In Honor of Women’s History Month

This post was published in the Shepherdstown Chronicle on January 23rd, 2009, and read as a reflection at both Sunday worship services at Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church, on January 25th, 2009. 

I, too, Have a Dream—

First of all, let me say that I voted for Barack Obama and that I am overjoyed that he is our 44th President. As we celebrate the inauguration of our first African American President, on the heels of Martin Luther King Day, I hope that, amid all the celebrations of this historic occasion, we will not forget that we have many dreams still to be realized. For instance—

I have a dream that one day we will not only talk about the Moses or Joshua generations, but will lift up the Miriams and Rahabs to designate generations that have seen and claimed the promise for all.

I have a dream that some day we will not need to lift up the examples of any one religious or philosophical tradition over another in order to make a point.

I have a dream that soon, very soon, a woman will not have to choose between having an outstanding career or being a good mother because support systems will be in place for enabling her to be both.

I have a dream that we are on the eve of a universal health care system that enables all women and all men to choose the kind of work they really love because they are not handcuffed to the health care benefits of a particular job.

I have a dream that sooner rather than later it will not be unusual for women to occupy most seats in the U. S. Senate and House of Representatives or to sit in majority on the U.S. Supreme Court—or on any ruling body anywhere in the world.

I have a dream that it will one day be in the natural course of events to celebrate a woman who is being sworn in as President of the United States

I have a dream that our daughters and granddaughters will no longer need to ask why the leaders of the world’s religions and spiritual traditions are almost always male (Jesus, Mohammed, Krishna, Confucius, the Buddha, the Dalai Lama, the Pope).

I have a dream that our language—and all the languages of the world—will honor the feminine as much as the masculine and will one day transcend the use of gender-specific norms.

I have a dream that the God we worship, in whatever form or shape, will never again be the province of any one gender or creed.

And, last but not least, I have a dream that our hopes and dreams will transform the world into a more compassionate and caring place for all and we will truly walk together on sacred ground.

Pat Donohoe, a Shepherdstown, WV, writer and artist, was among the first women to attend North Carolina State University. When Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968, she was teaching at William G. Enloe High School, the first high school in Raleigh, North Carolina, to be integrated. In September of 2000 she was ordained and installed as the first female Minister of Word and Sacrament at Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church, where she served as Associate Minister until December of 2003. Before moving to Shepherdstown, she worked at Prince George’s Community College in Largo, MD, where, as the director of public relations and publications, she was responsible for making sure that the college’s public communications reflected its diverse student body and the inclusive mission of community colleges.

 

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.