Wednesday, March 15, 2017

While We Were Sleeping

Our city recently defeated(at least temporarily)an LGBT ordinance that would have persecuted Christian businesses and families. On four days notice Christians mobilized, showed up, and made their voices heard. Parkersburg was the first large city in West Virginia to stop this legislation. It was an exciting evening with every seat in council chambers filled to include an overflow crowd seated on the chamber floor and lobby. This issue really seemed to be important to both sides. The evening was filled with emotional talk from organizations and concerned citizens. What days earlier was considered a done deal by the local newspaper was now reversed from much pressure on the mayor and council members.

As people were sharing there concerns with council I overheard someone ask how it came to this? How did this issue get so close to passing? I thought about those questions over and over. My family moved here over three years ago and instantly fell in love with the community. It seemed to be the most loving, conservative area we have ever lived in. We noticed there seemed to be an abundance of great churches, homeschoolers, and adoptive families. We thought this was our kind of place. The kind of place to raise a family and although we didn't know then, the kind of place to start a small family business. It definitely seemed to be a great place to serve God in this wonderful community.  So, with all that being said, how did this ordinance make it to city council for a first reading?

I believe it happened while we were sleeping. This legislation did not materialize in four days. The LGBT community have planned and worked for that night for over a year. They sought out likeminded candidates to run for election and worked to convince the others to join their side. They met regularly. They connected with Fairness West Virginia and began to take the same steps that made this successful in ten other WV cities. Step by step by step they worked together gaining steam and support a little at a time. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. That's exactly how it got to this. We are very blessed God chose to smile on us.

The big question is, what have believers been doing in the last 18 months to affect the political climate in Parkersburg? Apparently not nearly enough. There are several liberal community groups that watch every move that takes place. They hold Council accountable on everything. They know everything possible about each candidate long before Election Day. They are registered to vote and they actually vote. All along we wait until the last minute and react. We remain comfortable inside our church walls. When we go out in the world we mute our Godly principles. After all, we don't want to offend the world.

We need to get out of our comfort zone. We need to get proactive and play offense for once. Why not have our own political action group? We could find our own godly candidates and get them in office. We could also propose our own ordinances that honor God. This is done everywhere except the local city level. One thing we know after this ordinance is that local politics are extremely important. Maybe next time we won't get caught sleeping.