It takes courage to take a stand

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, October 22, 2008

There are some things you just don’t realize until you can’t turn back.

Walking through the snow-laden streets of Washington D.C. in Converse shoes and ankle socks was definitely one of those things I thought twice about a little too late.

It must have been nearly an hour after I got inside from marching to the steps of the capital that I was certain I’d even be able to walk again.

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But, you know, it wasn’t until after I had gotten inside from my walk that I even realized my feet were well on their way to frost bite.

Don’t get me wrong. I knew I was cold as I marched the icy roads with snow falling on me. I guess I just didn’t care.

With hundreds of thousands of people walking around me, carrying signs, singing and chanting through the streets leading to Capital Hill, I was probably too in awe to notice.

To see so many people supporting a cause you believe in is inspiring. To see thousands marching for the pro-life movement, to me anyway, was beautiful.

It’s been two years since I have been to the national March for Life, and still it was one of the most moving experiences I can remember.

Now, I’m a little biased toward the cause, of course, but my experience goes beyond my pro-life views.

In today’s world where people are more cautious to take a stand than I believe any other age has ever been, it’s even more important to be bold than perhaps it has been in past years.

Where would our world be without those classic individuals who went against the grain and took a stand—people like Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Mohandas Gandhi.

These are leaders who are respected by most all, whether you support their causes or not.

These are the types of people I think are lacking in today’s times.

Take just these presidential elections for example. If you have listened to any of the debates you know there are countless times both McCain and Obama have failed to address the issues straight on to not offend potential voters.

And then look at our Congress, a group of leaders who was faced recently with a $700 billion decision, a decision all of the nation was depending on, and instead of acting quickly, they worked harder to protect their campaigns and that of their political party’s candidates.

But this isn’t just about election issues.

There are thousands of “hot button” topics people tend to avoid at all costs — politics, religion and let’s not forget abortion, just to name a few.

And, frankly, I’m afraid our world is too concerned about who they might offend and not concerned enough about what’s right and wrong.

I think very few people actually believe in this relativistic way of thinking that we often choose to live: a belief that “What’s right for you is right for you.” If that were the case, why believe in anything at all?

Yes, our views may be different on issues, but no matter what they are, we must quit placing them on the back burner to keep peace.

I’m not saying we should shove our beliefs down others throats, but perhaps we can find appropriate ways to express what’s most true to us.

Wednesday, as I drove by Troy University, I saw just that.

Troy University Students for Life took a stand this week for the pro-life movement by creating a “Cemetery of Innocents” on the campus Quad Wednesday.

With 4,000 blue and pink flags, representing the number of babies aborted every day, covering the Quad, there’s no doubt their stance drew some attention. And today, when several of these students wear red tape on their mouths and vow to be silent for a day, that will get attention, too.

I know abortion is a touchy subject. But, whether you are pro-life or not, there is something we can learn from what these students have done this week — boldness.

Come on folks. Let’s get gutsy.

Holli Keaton is a reporter for The Messenger. She can be reached at 670-6313 or via email at