Founding Mothers

Founding Mothers February 3, 2014

It is amusing how rightwing pundits and politicians frequently refer to the “founding fathers.” Two things amuse me about that. First, they act as if there were no “founding mothers.” Cokie Roberts recently wrote a children’s book by that title, in the hope that young people might grow up free of that illusion. (I wonder how different America might be if our founding mothers had held a bit more sway!)

The other thing I find amusing about the conservatives’ deification of our country’s founders is that they seem to forget completely that these women and men were revolutionaries. In fact, according to Roberts’ research, the women were the ones who advocated for radical independence from England, rather than a negotiation of different terms of governance.

By definition, conservatives want to conserve the status quo, and, in the end, that wasn’t the path our early leaders chose. They threw it all out and started over. So, too, in the church I find it amusing that so many of the Reformed Churches—of which the United Church of Christ is one—have abandoned their values of reformation. They often are the hardest people to persuade to change their ways. I work very hard to remind them that the Reformation wasn’t an event but a way of approaching faith. Even in the UCC, where we say “God is still speaking,” we seem to act as though God is just saying the same thing in the same way we always have heard and believed it.

When was the last time you let the Spirit lead a revolution in your life? When was the last time you read/heard/learned something that reformed how you thought or lived? Jesus described the Spirit as being like the wind. You don’t know where it comes from or where it is going, but, if you can live with your windows open, you can be sure things will be disturbed, moved around, and, sometimes, altogether overturned.

From the very start, Liberating Word was designed to be a window through which the Spirit MIGHT blow. One of the first things I ever wrote five years ago was that if you agree with everything I write I have failed. My hope is that God is doing a new thing in you and me and this is just one of many tools available. If you find it so, please share this with others. Who knows? You may be a founding mother/father of a revolution of faith.

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