Monday, March 05, 2007

Elizabeth Abolitionist

The other day I was talking with a mother in my congregation about skateboarding laws, because I'm considering getting one to ride to work in the morning. It seemed important to make sure that I wouldn't be breaking any laws to do so! It turns out that there aren't any laws about skateboarding down the sidewalks, but that you can't skate in places where it's posted that you can't. I suppose that businesses are concerned about possible skater-patron collisions, but I also suspect that there's also a degree of irrational fear involved. Skaters tend to travel in groups, and any time there are groups of young people, "old" people get scared. (I know 20-somethings who get nervous at the sight of a group of teens hanging out together, to in this case "old" really is very relative!) Irrational or not, it's bad for business to scare off the "old" people--cause the "old" people have money!

But it still bugs me. We're literally surrounded by extraordinary teenagers who are passionate forces of good in the world. Take Elizabeth for example. You may have read her blog, considering that I have it linked in my sidebar. Elizabeth has a lot of good things going for her, but today I'd like to highlight her abolitionist work.
She is deeply involved with Justice for Children International, a charitable organization which stands opposed to human trafficking with a focus on child sex trafficking. Elizabeth recently held a fundraiser here at the church, and because she brought that attention to JFCI, our Board of Benevolance and Social Concerns is considering allocating money to support the group. Elizabeth was even recently featured on the JFCI website!

So next time you feel nervous around a group of teens, ask yourself if any of them are Elizabeth.
Ask yourself if any of them are fighting racism, or homophobia, or child sex trafficking. Ask yourself what it is exactly that you're scared of? Because most likely, you don't have any reason to be scared at all.

Be good to each other,
Rev. Josh


Dawn said...

Hi Josh,
I commented the other day, but it doesn't seem to have stuck. I was just commenting on the reason that the storeowners don't allow skateboarding might be because of liability issue.

Rev. Josh said...

I'm sorry it didn't go through the first time, I'm really not sure why. However... Yes, I'm sure that storeowners have to be careful of liability issues. (That's why I mentioned skater-patron collisions.) However... I honestly think that there's at least a little concern that "gangs" of kids will keep their patrons away altogether... Which, incedentally, has no negative reflection on storeowners. I'm more concerned with all the patrons out there who are scared of our teens!

Chris said...

Happy birthday!!

Rev. Josh said...

Thank you! I've come to the conclusion that 30 is a strange age to be. For some it is old. For others young. It's a first, but I was already able to legally have a beer and then go vote, so what kind of first is it?

Anyway, thanks for the happy wishes!

Rev. Josh

Dawn said...

I had a hard time turning 30, not so much 40. Happy 30th!!

Diane said...

Just following orders to send you wishes for a Happy Birthday.