This entry was originally posted on OnFaith.
When we love even in the face of fear and rage, we can transform relationships, our culture, and our country. Love becomes revolutionary.
Since the President’s executive orders began to come down, we have barely had a chance to breathe. Thousands of people – including those who have never protested before – have rallied at airports, held vigils, supported legal action, called Congress, flooded social media with our voices and even engaged in civil disobedience. Our show of resistance helped stop the administration’s ban on Muslims and refugees, at least for now. That’s a true victory.
It feels more like four years, but it’s only been four weeks.
If we let fatigue or despair overcome us, we will burn out and our resistance will fizzle. Worse, we will start to absorb the fear and hate that we are resisting. But if we ground our moral resistance in the ethic of love – for others, our opponents and ourselves – then I believe we can sustain our movement in the months and years ahead.
That’s why today is the first a Day of Revolutionary Love, Day of Rising. The Revolutionary Love Project has brought together #LoveArmy, One Billion Rising, the Women’s March, Moms Rising, Groundswell Movement, Middle Church, and an array of faith and moral leaders, public voices, and organizations to reclaim love as a public ethic and a way to fight for justice.
In America today, the word “love” has been captured by Hallmark cards, sidelined as purely personal and romantic — far too fickle and sentimental to be a political force. But love is not just as a feeling but an action. Love is the commitment to extend our will for the flourishing of others, opponents, and ourselves. When we love even in the face of fear and rage, we can transform relationships, our culture, and our country. Love becomes revolutionary.
Throughout history, prophetic leaders from Gandhi to King built social movements rooted in love. They understood that love is an inexhaustible wellspring that can inspire and embolden us to rise up with courage we did not know we had. “Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice,” said Dr. King, “and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.”
Today, the Day of Revolutionary Love, Day of Rising brings together some of the most powerful voices in the fight for social justice in the U.S. all of whom have come on as signatories, including renowned faith leaders Rev. William Barber of #MoralMondays and Sister Simone Campbell of the Nuns On The Bus Project; political thought leaders Van Jones, Melissa Harris Perry, and Michael Nutter, former Mayor of Philadelphia; playwright Eve Ensler, celebrities including Jane Fonda and Aja Naomi King of How to Get Away with Murder; and leaders from the Women’s March, including Carmen Perez, executive director of The Gathering for Justice, Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, and Opal Tometi, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network.
Together, we are committed to love as social and political action to protect all those in harm’s way – including refugees, immigrants, Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, LGBTQIA, people, Blacks, Latinos, LATINX, the indigenous and the poor. We are challenging the culture and institutions that allow our opponents to hurt us. We are caring for ourselves and embracing joy as moral resistance. And we are bringing women and girls into the center of our movement.
We invite you to Sign the Declaration for Revolutionary Love. Then we offer three actions to take today:
1. CALL CONGRESS WITH LOVE
Call 1-855-408-2357 and we will connect you to your representative to ask them to fight for justice with love. Sample script: “My name is ____, and I’m calling to ask my Senator to oppose the President’s executive orders that harm [refugees, immigrants, Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, LGTBQI people, Black people, Latinos, women and girls, the indigenous, and/or all people in harm’s way]. Today is Valentine’s Day. I believe that love for our country requires us to love and protect one another. I ask the Senator to [keep fighting OR take a stand] and join millions of us who are committed to moral resistance throughout this administration. Thank you.”
2. SHOW UP WITH 1 BILLION RISING
Rise up with music, art, poetry, and dance! On Valentine’s Day, women and men throughout the US and in 200 countries worldwide will come together and RISE to end violence against all women and girls (cis, transgender and gender non-conforming) as part of V-Day’s massive annual One Billion Rising campaign. In NYC, join us in Washington Square Park for an Artistic Uprising & Call for Revolutionary Love. Together we will stand in solidarity and declare our moral resistance grounded in love. Click here to find an event near you or create your own as part of #1BillionRising.
3. POST A LOVE LETTER
Write a Love Letter to others, to your opponents, or to yourself Go to our Love Letters site hosted by #LoveArmy to write your letter and share it on social media. Post “#RevolutionaryLove is… ” and fill in the blank with an idea, story or photo that shows what love means to you. Got some paper handy? Write a love letter or make a Valentine by hand. Cut out a heart from a piece of paper, write your letter, and post a picture. Use hashtags #RevolutionaryLove #WomensMarch #LoveArmy #1BillionRising to be retweeted!