I’m trying to find words to describe yesterday. I spent most of the day in Raleigh, watching HB2 unfold. Committee hearings, hallway gatherings, deliberations, and voting.
I was awed by the courage and honesty of folks who stood up and spoke against this bill, offering their own experience, wounds, and wounding as evidence as to why this is a bad idea. I did my best to represent Jesus, a faith and belief that is not afraid, that loves, welcomes, and accepts.
I was disturbed by the fear and bad theology. But what might have been even worse was the active bigotry working just beneath the surface – a surface of ignorance for some, denial for others, and cold calculation for some. I prayed for them, that they would be surrounded by love.
To Jeff Jackson, Graig Meyer, Verla Insko, Grier Martin, Equality NC, Believe Out Loud, More Light Presbyterians, and others who did your best to defeat this (there were many, many more, these were just the folks I personally heard or encountered). Thank you. I don’t know why more people didn’t hear you.
The #WeAreNotThis has been a rallying cry, but this morning all I can think is that, after the governor’s signature, want it or not, we are this.
At the end of the day, before going home, I needed to visit the restroom. I asked where the restroom was, and a lovely woman at the information desk pointed me to the women’s room. I went in, did what I needed to do, and then was on my way home. It was a complete non-event, and is an experience denied to many of my brothers and sisters. Yesterday was much bigger than this, but it was also every bit as small as this.
Anna Pinckney Straight is an Associate Pastor at University Presbyterian Church in Chapel Hill, NC. A native of Charleston, South Carolina Anna is a graduate of Agnes Scott College (BA), Union Theological Seminary in New York City (MDiv), and Wesley Theological Seminary (DMin). Before moving to Chapel Hill in 2006 she served as Solo Pastor of Community Presbyterian Church in Arthurdale, West Virginia and Solo Pastor of the Greencastle Presbyterian Church in Greencastle, PA.