On Thursday, the day after the SCOTUS rulings on Prop 8 and DOMA, we began the second half of our Living Jubilee Revival Tour and made the turn into the South. We left Kansas with the threat of severe weather in the proverbial rear-view mirror and landed in Springfield, MO where we experienced our first bona fide mid-west storm! Thank goodness it was an overnight event and we were safely parked at our host’s (Leon and Vladimir) home alongside a hay field overlooking the Ozarks.
This morning, as I awoke to the sound of birds in the RV Park just south of Graceland, I was struck by the “Southern” nature of the past few days. We visited the George Washington Carver Museum and I was reminded just how important this man was in a time of post-emancipation, pre-voting rights America. Visiting the Laura Ingles Wilder Home yesterday I saw Carver’s exact same words about freedom in Laura’s hand and wondered if she was at all conscious about the divide between her White American “freedom” and Carver’s Black American “freedom.“
As we drove along, passing flea market after flea market, I was struck by the displays of Confederate flags and reminded that we were not in Kansas anymore. I was reminded that the women whose wedding I officiated at the Equality House last weekend live in this southern reality where voting rights, women’s rights, and gay rights are still ground zero for daily life. The SCOTUS decisions this season will have yet unforeseeable impacts on the African American community, the LGBTQ community, the Immigrant community, and our society as a whole. Texas and all the other states where a woman’s right to choose are being threatened is in this landscape too, and despite or because of our present reality, Jodi and I keep driving and bringing AWAB's witness of hope and love to as many people as we can.
The road to freedom is still ahead of us because, as Dr. King said in his letter from the Birmingham jail, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” The right to have my marriage recognized does not absolve me from the struggle for economic, social, religious, racial, ability, or gender justice. AWAB will continue to bring the Living Jubilee to wherever the ideals of God’s Kin*dom can be realized “on earth as it is in heaven” to the widest extent possible.
It is true, we are not in Kansas anymore. But Kansas is always were we will be, and Florida, and Alabama, and Utah, and New Mexico, and New Hampshire. We will be everywhere that the Gospel of Inclusion needs to be lived. I hope you will be there too.
To the journey ahead. Peace.