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Why Standing Up For Your Rights is Important

I wrote the other day about Blake Page, the West Point cadet who resigned from the academy in protest against the rampant imposition and favoring of Christianity. Here’s a perfect example of why his example matters. This is an email he sent to Mikey Weinstein about what has happened since then:

Mikey,

I really need to share this with you. Something incredible happened tonight at our SSA meeting and I just couldn’t step away from it. First off we had a huge turnout, probably about 25 cadets compared to our usual 10. Also, many of them had told me in the past that they were afraid to speak up and file EO complaints, some were even afraid to give statements to support the one I had already started. The EO investigator leading this case was at the meeting because she wanted to see what they had to say first hand, and more than a dozen of them said they were inspired to finally come forward, and they did! I watched cadet after cadet go have closed door meetings with the investigator to finally let a person in authority know what sort of things they have experienced. On top of that I’ve had more people than I can count come up to me to let me know personally that they support what I’m doing. Some of the most rewarding of these conversations were with religious cadets that were tired of being told by their peers and others that they aren’t “Christian enough” or that they aren’t the right type of believer.

It seems like the work we’ve been doing together has finally paid off. You and the MRFF have been an awesome source of support for me and I can’t thank you enough. We’ve finally gotten the conversation started on the national level that’s been so desperately needed for decades. That was exactly what I wanted to see come from this, and I’m honestly close to tearing up from happiness just thinking about it.

Every single example of someone taking an unpopular stand for their rights inspires many others to do so. We see this all the time. Jessica Ahlquist’s courage in standing up to her school inspired several others around the country to do the same thing. And this is also why it is so important to have SSA chapters and other groups that provide support for those people. It really does make a difference.

Comments

  1. abb3w says

    Of course, every person who takes an unpopular stand for their rights will tend to have an incredible amount of crap to wade through as a result… but the many others who are inspired to follow thereafter will tend to have less to wade through in consequence.

    (Notion stolen from Simon Illyan, in Lois McMaster Bujold’s novel “Memory”.)

  2. bobmunck says

    A friend of ours returned his Rhodes Scholarship in 1972 to protest the exclusion of women and virtual exclusion of blacks from the scholarship awards. The rules were changed over the next few years. He’s now general counsel for the United Mine Workers and still doing good things in the world.

  3. Artor says

    I’m thrilled to see this result, but sad to see Mr. Page leave the Academy. It’s sad that the kind of people we want to lead our military are the ones too honest to stay.

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