When I was a kid, my mom homeschooled me in 5th and 6th grades, and we once took a field trip to Jackson from our hometown of Clarksdale for a pro-life rally. I vaguely remember standing inside the state Capitol, surrounded by other pro-life folks, listening to elected officials talk about their support of the movement. This was in early 1987, when the pro-life movement was largely still in its nascent days.
On April 15, 2009, I returned to the Mississippi Capitol more than 20 years older but not a whole lot different otherwise. I was a child on that cold January day, but even then I knew in my heart that what I was doing was important. I knew that what I believed was right. I heard family and other pro-lifers around me talk about the battle being long and hard, but I knew, even then, that it was worth it.
That battle still rages, and will become even tougher in the coming months and years, but yesterday, I stood with my fellow Americans on the cusp of a different battle, and my changed season of life brought it so much more into focus.
This time, I’m an adult. This time, I pay taxes. This time, I have a mortgage. This time, I have a husband. But most important of all, this time, I have a son.
I went to the state house on Wednesday for my child. I went for his future. I went for his children and his grandchildren. I went for your children, too.
I stood side-by-side with other Mississippians ready to begin the process of taking this country back. No, we’re not the rightwing extremists the Department of Homeland Security would have you believe. There will be no riots. There will be no violence. There will be no burning effigies or flags. There will be no acts of treason against our government. Anything even appearing violent or treasonous will not be accepted by us, because we love our country, we respect our leaders, and we wish no physical harm ever to come to any of them.
What there will be is knowledge. There will be reading, and discussion, and study of our history and our form of government. There will be careful, serious thought and scholarship.
What there will be is action. There will be more people joining whichever party most closely lines up with their beliefs. There will be campaigning, and questioning, and letter-writing, and phone-calling. There will be running for office. There will be change.
I couldn’t wait to get to the Capitol yesterday. My aunt graciously came from out of town and kept my sweet son at our house so we could be totally focused on the event. I arrived at the Capitol before 1:30, ready to work. I helped sell t-shirts. I carried a walkie-talkie for the first time ever. My bright green STAFF shirt and credentials garnered lots of requests for assistance and information. I was in my element, apparently!
The crowd started to gather, and I noticed especially the groups gathered around our Pledge of Allegiance and Declaration of Independence tables. We asked fellow patriots to sign the Declaration as a symbolic gesture, a reaffirmation that our allegiance as Americans, after God, is to the republic. The scroll was 100 feet long, and by the end of the event, the paper’s end had been reached. Every inch was filled with signatures.
Each speaker drove home the point that this is not Republican vs. Democrat or conservative vs. liberal. This is not about black or white. This is about freedom and fiscal responsibility. This is about elected officials doing what their constituents send them to Washington to do: Keep us safe, adhere to the Constitution, and vote fairly. No more, no less.