The night before the [Friday morning] peaceful protest, we went to a meeting to plan it. At this meeting, there was a guy from Christian Peacemaker Teams (Tim Nafziger). He said a lot of things, but one of the things that stood out to me was when he said something about doing this not out of hate, but out of love for the people who had different beliefs than us. That kind of resonated with me because I hadn’t really considered that angle of it. So, when we were standing in the delegate meeting, holding our signs, I for a minute felt myself getting annoyed because it seemed as if not only were people not getting upset, but a lot of people appeared to be simply ignoring us. Usually, I would want people who think differently from me, or people who I don’t agree with, to get angry. Because honestly, as someone who can be a bit confrontational at times, it can feel good to see someone that you strongly don’t agree with get angry or upset. But, after remembering what Tim had said, this experience made me start to realize that that is not the point of an action such as this. The point is not to make people angry or upset, it is to make them realize that what is going on is unjust and that everyone, even they, should be treated equally and fairly. Just as they should learn to love and accept everyone, we need to remember to love and accept everyone, even people who don’t agree with us. Even people who may say or do hurtful things are still people, and if we want them to be inclusive towards everyone, I realized that we also need to be inclusive towards them.
First Mennonite Church of San Francisco