Path to resistance may travel through faith

There are countless ways to resist the current (and with any luck, temporary) occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Ever since the 2016 election and a year into Donald Trump’s presidency, people across the country have found ways to fight back. To resist.

Almost immediately, grassroots organizing evolved into local Indivisible groups. The thousands of groups across the country are locally based and have local agendas, although the group offers coordinated actions each week. “We’re not the leaders of this movement: you are,” the Indivisible website reminds us. The website also lets users search for local groups and events in their own areas.

Marching; attending town halls; calling, emailing, and pressuring elected officials; running for office; and (especially!) voting and getting others to vote all have been hallmarks of the modern resistance movement. While those tactics are hardly brand new, they have intensified and multiplied. But people have always protested, worldwide.

Some images of protest are burned into our brains. Who can forget the anonymous man who faced down Chinese tanks in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in a huge student-led protest in 1989? The wave after wave of Indians protesting the British salt tax during the 1930 Salt March led by Mohandas Gandhi, only to be beaten and arrested by British troops? And we remember the searing image of Georgia congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis as a young man in 1965, joining the throngs going across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, on a voting rights march and getting his skull cracked by state troopers’ batons.

More recently, there was the July 2016 photo of a calm lone woman who stood up to police officers dressed in riot gear amid the protest of cops shooting an unarmed black man in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The protestor, Iesha Evans, was detained, and she later took to Facebook to assure friends that she was alive and well. Just as important was her message: “I appreciate the well wishes and love, but this is the work of God. I am a vessel!”

Anyone reading this may or may not believe in a higher power, and even such beliefs may not lead to political activism. But for some, the path to resistance is grounded in their faith.