The bottoms of my khaki dress pants slowly soak in the water from the freshly watered grass as I make my way to Constitution Ave. It’s the kind of wet grass that you feel in your feet and shoes. And not the kind you enjoy when you’re trying to do that whole professional thing. But nonetheless this was happening as I passed a group of coal miners in support of coal mining on my way to an immigration rally. If you know me at all, you’d be amused that I passed that sort of a rally.

I took my seat in a pew in the historic Lutheran Church of the Reformation amongst immigrants, religious leaders, families, community organizers and a myriad of other folks who make this county great. A variety of people speak including Jim Wallis from Sojourners, Senator Luis Guiterrez and Representative Robert Menendez. The Dream Act is up for a vote in the Senate next week. It’s being introduced by Senator Harry Reid as a part of the defense bill due to the military component of the Dream Act. A lot of peace activists are torn over this and I share their sentiments. But I suppose that’s how legislation is. It’ll never be 100% what you want because we’re a bunch of people and compromises have to happen and all that jazz. This is where I agree with the whole idea of not putting your entire faith in the government. Sure, as Christians we should be influencing policy where there are injustices. But at the same time, our faith lies in Christ and he gives us abundant life.

Overall, the theme was “relief, respect, reform.” (I may have gotten that out of order). Relief means no more families getting separated, people being treated unfairly, etc. Reform means legislation like the Dream Act but also Comprehensive Immigration Reform, legislation that will give undocumented immigrants a clear path to citizenship. All I know is that things need to change. People need to be treated fairly and we need to embrace our diversity.

After the speakers were finished, we left the church, ate lunch and proceeded to our afternoon actions. I went with a group of people to Senator John McCain’s office. About 40 of us crowded into his lobby area and spoke to one of his staffers. McCain used to support reform but now he does not and we came to urge him to come back to the table. We prayed and sung “This Little Light of Mine.” It was encouraging to be around such a great group of people.

Flash back a day and you’d find me sitting in the United Methodist building also on Capitol Hill. Two Ugandan religious leaders traveled to Washington, DC for a few days to speak to people and our government about the new legislation in regards to the Lord’s Resistance Army. If you don’t know, the LRA is a rebel group that has been waging war on Uganda for years. The U.S. has passed legislation to try and stop the violence and it includes some military force. The religious leaders came to America as proponents of peace because they see it as the only way. The U.S. tried using military force a few years back and it spread the LRA to Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo. So people are wondering what is different now. Uganda is a tough situation and I can see both sides. I’m a big fan of peace. However I can see where people are coming from when they wonder if peace will work since the LRA is a crazy, rebel group. However I’m for peace because that’s what I feel called to be for.

So that’s it for now!

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