WASHINGTON — Last week, organizers for the Women’s March on Washington encountered pushback on multiple sides for removal of pro-life sponsors, leading many to wonder if there was space in the movement for Christians or women who are opposed to abortion. But many who attended the march on Jan. 21 were driven there by their religious convictions — saying President Donald Trump’s positions “violate the gospel” by showing a lack of compassion for Muslims, people of color, and women.
“They cut against the grain of humanity, and human decency and compassion,” Rev. Susan Allison-Hatch said of the entirety of Trump’s proposed legislation. “And to me, they violate the gospel.”
Allison-Hatch, an Episcopal minister from Albuquerque, N.M., wore a shawl emblazoned with words from Matthew 25:35, the Scripture she said most informed her decision to march.
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”
She said the passage speaks to her desire for less division in American society.
Lee Mueller, who traveled from North Carolina to attend the march, carried a sign saying, “Jesus was a liberal, Middle Eastern, brown, feminist, radical refugee.” A religious studies student, Mueller said that of all Trump’s proposal, she most fears the Muslim travel ban.
“I am a Christian myself and I think it would be completely despicable not to allow people into this country because of what God they believe in and how the worship,” Mueller said. “It’s in our rights, it’s in our Constitution. It makes my skin crawl.”
Many marchers carried posters created by artist Shepard Fairey for the event showing a woman wearing an American flag hijab. Near an entrance to the rally, two women pinned American flag hijabs onto marchers for free.
“We are all neighbors! We are our sisters’ keepers, our brothers’ keepers,” Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of NETWORK, said during her remarks to the crowd. “We the people can bridge the gaps.”
Near the back of the rally, a large crowd emerged around poet and activist Purify Love while she performed a spoken word track over Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power.”
“Respect your brothers and sisters,” Love said.
“Don’t let people silence you because of who you love. Don’t let people silence you because of your religion. We all deserve to be here. We are all deserving of God’s love.”