7 Easy Ways To Be Civically Engaged

7 Easy Ways To Be Civically Engaged

Make calls, vote... there are many ways the average citizen can make a difference.

In the current political and social atmosphere, it can be easy to feel helpless and like there’s no point in trying to resist the overwhelming tides of hatred, bigotry, and general unpleasantness. But there are things we can do!

Please note: if the most you can do is keep yourself going through each day, good. Do that. Living in and of itself is an act of rebellion. Take care of yourself and your basic needs before you worry about trying to fix the world as well. But if you have the time, energy, and ability to do something, please do. Here are a few things we as voting citizens can do to help make a difference in these troubled times.

1. Oh Crap! What Now?: A Survival Guide to Living in Trump’s America

“Planning for a Trump Administration When You're Not A Straight Rich White Dude,” proclaims the sidebar. With items like “Do Something,” “Responding to Hate,” and “The Legal System and You,” this site has everything you need to navigate safely through Trump’s America while also hopefully making a bit of a difference.

2. 5calls.org: Five Calls A Day

“Turn your passive participation into active resistance. Facebook likes and Twitter retweets don't create the change you want to see.” This site gives you five issues a day to call your representatives and other people about.

3. mycivicworkout.com

Get a daily email with an action item from this site.

4. thesixtyfive.org

“We are the 65 and we’re his problem now,” proclaims the site banner. This site features a weekly call to action/daily tasks like calling reps.

5. Keep America Great With a Thing a Day

Pretty self-explanatory. Their about page says, “we're here to research every issue that we come across to make sure it's credible, and provide you with easy ways to get involved and make a difference RIGHT NOW.” Sounds pretty useful, yeah?

6. Call My Congress.com

Not sure who to call? Check this site!

7. How to Call Your Reps When You Have Social Anxiety

Nervous about calling? Totally understandable, I personally hate phone calls. Check out this to get some tips on how to calm down and do it!

Finally, one extra one — the most important one — VOTE IN 2018!! The entire House and half the Senate will be up for re-election, and if you want your voice heard, the best way to do it is to vote for people who represent ideas that you support.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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15 Inspirational Quotes From Martin Luther King Jr. For ANY Day Of The Year

Not just for MLK day, but every day.

MLK was known for his voice and leadership during a time of sacrifice. His words encouraging love and activism still apply to life today. 50 years after his death, we can still hear this quotes read in MLK's voice

1. "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"

2. "I have decided to stick to love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."

3. "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

4. "We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies."

5. "The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important."

6. "Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal"

7. "The ultimate tragedy is not oppression and cruelty by bad people, but the silence over that by good people."

8. "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all of humanity."

9. "There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love."

10. "Every man must decide whether we will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness."

11. "If man has not discovered something he will die for, he isn’t fit to live."

12. “Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The method of such is the method of love."

13. “Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it, because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.”

14. "If I can not do great things, I can do small things in a great way"

15. "Darkness can not drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate can not drive out hate; only love can do that."

Cover Image Credit: wikimedia commons

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If You Really Want To Honor MLK, You'll Fight Join The Fight For Life

That means no abortion and no euthanasia, but also no neglecting those in poverty, no death penalty, and no war.

Another year goes by, and again we celebrate the feast day of the civil rights hero and martyr, the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. While we still have a ways to go in assuring the equality of all races in practice (*ahem*), Dr. King helped win much of the battle in promoting the legal and practical equality of blacks and whites. For that, he should be commended, and his anniversary should be celebrated.

A week after his feast, thousands will march on Washington to continue the fight for human equality and the civil rights of all. I don’t mean the Women’s March, although many of its goals are also laudable. I mean the March for Life, which commemorates the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in the United States.

Although I cannot attend the March this year due to academic commitments, I support (and will be praying for) its goals, since I am pro-life. That may sound hard to believe, because I’m a young woman at an elite university, but I am. As a proud practicing Catholic, I’m a “seamless garment” pro-life advocate, which combines “conservative” and “liberal” views. That means no abortion and no euthanasia, but also no neglecting those in poverty, no death penalty, and no war (unless the latter two would undoubtedly save more lives than they cost).

It means supporting the civil rights movement because if all life is sacred, black lives are included in that.

And the sanctity of black lives must be upheld because throughout American history they have disproportionately been taken by those in power. Before 1865, slavery ran rampant, confirmed by a Supreme Court decision declaring that blacks were not “persons” and had no constitutional rights. Between the end of the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement, blacks were lynched and otherwise terrorized by white supremacists, especially the Ku Klux Klan, and the government officials in league with them. Today, they are shot by police officers, sometimes in truly life-threatening situations but often out of irrational, subconsciously racist panic.

Today they are also snuffed out in the womb in disproportionate numbers -- 30% of black pregnancies end in abortion, whereas only 11% of white pregnancies do. Just like police shootings, only a minority of abortions were justified by threats to the mother’s life -- less than one-tenth of 1% in the state of Florida, for example. Just like lynchings, many government officials turn a blind eye to abortions. Just like slavery, abortions are justified by a Supreme Court decision declaring that fetuses are not “persons” with rights.

Just like every abuse against black Americans, abuses against unborn Americans are perpetrated by those with power against those without, and oppression of the weak always cries out to heaven for vengeance. As his niece Dr. Alveda King cries out, “Oh, God, what would Martin Luther King, Jr., who dreamed of having his children judged by the content of their characters, do if he’d lived to see the contents of thousands of children’s skulls emptied into the bottomless caverns of the abortionists’ pits?”

What would he do? What would he do about this scourge that is not a cure to black oppression, but a symptom and expression of it? By Planned Parenthood’s own statistics, more than half of all women who abort do so due to poverty or another source of inability to raise a child. But abortion is only a band-aid “fix” that distracts from (and fails to find a real solution for) the real problems of poverty and familial instability which disproportionately affect the black community. Worse, it lowers the black population, which reduces their political power and therefore their ability to enact solutions to problems that affect them.

And all this, of course, is on top of it being an intrinsically evil act, a grave injustice to all those extremely young black men and women.

King, who spent his whole life fighting for rights for the oppressed in the Kingdom of God, would not have put up with it.

He who proclaimed that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” would not have allowed the privilege of already having been born to make him complacent. He who proclaimed that “right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant” because “unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in the end” would not let the fact that abortion is currently legal by Supreme Court fiat to stop his activism for the oppressed of the world today. He who proclaimed that “the true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige and even his life for the welfare of others” would not be cowed by the hostility against pro-life people or the threat of prosecution for protesting outside clinics/exposing the abortionists’ misdeeds. So let’s honor him this week by remaining silent no longer about this grave injustice. We may not win overnight, but according to King himself, “we must never allow ourselves to become satisfied with unattained goals. We must always maintain a kind of divine discontent.” Black lives matter because all life is sacred.
Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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