Tomorrow is Holocaust Memorial Day. A day to both remember the horror of the holocaust and to stand up, speak up, speak out and say "never again"!
Never again to religious hatred; never again to sexual intolerance, never again to discrimination on any level. Yes, these are issues where we can and should speak up and speak out.
It sounds easy doesn't it, but how many of us take a stand?
As we sit at our computers and tweet or blog about the horror of genocide and discrimination we raise some awareness, hurrah! But it all starts locally, relationally and practically; what do we do at these levels?
I am passionate about gay rights; I long to see the day when a gay couple are married in our church. I can write this without shame or concern; but I rarely say it in person at church. Why is that? It's because I am fearful of the response; of the kickback, the arguments, the rifts that may be formed.
Why can I not feel the fear and do it anyway?
Why do I not speak up and speak out?
Let's for a minute imagine.....
1940 Germany - people stand up and speak out against the nazis
1993 Bosnia - people say no to religious intolerance
1994 Rwanda - people ring the bell right at the beginning
Of course there were people standing up, speaking up, speaking out at each of these points in time, but not enough. If everyone who cared had said something then that would have been a loud noise indeed.
So let's make a loud noise.
Let's speak up and speak out and together shout NEVER AGAIN.
Here are two ways to speak up, speak out:
1.Sign the pledge at http://www.speakupnow.org.uk/sign_our_pledge.php
2. Blog about it and link up