"People need to know you guys exist!"
"There aren't enough of you!"
"I am so frustrated with the right-wing politics in my church. Where do I find a progressive congregation?"
"Like, hello? Isn't peace and justice what Jesus was about?"
Dozens of people stopped me with comments like these as I marched in downtown Los Angeles at the Women's March on January 20 with at least 200,000 joyful, positive folks committed to moving our country in a progressive direction. I was carrying the Progressive Christians Uniting banner high, and people loved seeing it. I got nothing but smiles and positive responses. Other PCU supporters in the crowd, wearing their "See, Pray, Act" PCU tee-shirts, got the same kinds of reactions.
These comments were both encouraging and sobering.
The happy shock and surprise that I witnessed reminded me that many if not most folks, at least those of a progressive political bent, assume that Christians are homophobic, misogynistic, xenophobic, and lacking in social conscience. The existence of progressive Christians was news to them.
Clearly, we are not nearly as visible and audible as we need to be... not for our own sake, but for the sake of the poor, the sick, and the vulnerable.