This past Saturday the Women’s March took place in DC, as well as the rest of the 50 states, and several other countries. Not only was it a march for women’s rights, but signs depicted other current issues such as abortion rights, immigrants, native american rights, Black Lives Matter, climate change, and of course in protest of the newly inaugurated President Donald Trump. All these issues drew thousands of people to march, but many also felt compelled to participate because of their faith.
Many religious groups felt frustrated that the only political voices for their faiths have been conservative groups courted by Trump. But most of those who study religion say more left-leaning people of faith, who now have a clear foe in the White House, may be motivated to better organize and become leaders for social change.
It’s important to realize the significance of this march in our modern time. We’ve learned in McGuire’s Official and Nonofficial Religion chapter, that historically, religion has been one of the most significant sources of cultural definitions of gender roles. Thus, official religious institutions have historically reinforced the structural and ideological suppression of women. Additionally, religion has generally excluded the poor, various minorities, indigenous peoples in colonized lands, and other powerless groups. Many of these issues that are being brought up stemmed from religious constructs and are now being resisted by a large number of people, including people of faith. If we continue to organize together, people with religious affiliation and non religious people, we can bring about real change in an era where all hope feels lost.