2018 | Week of January 1 | #1236
Like you, as 2017 came to a close my email inbox was filled with messages from all sorts of organizations seeking some portion of my hard-earned money. Subject lines vie for our attention—some humorous, some pun-filled, some pleading, others challenging, some questioning.
And so it happened, in the waning days of 2017 as I was checking my ever-growing inbox, a subject line brought me to an abrupt halt. I recognized the sender and nearly didn’t open the email because over the years he’s sold out on God’s plan for marriage. His emails don’t generally warrant any of my time. But I couldn’t get past this subject line:“[A]ctivism by little platoons is how civic renewal happens….”
It was the words “little platoons” that got me. I quickly opened the email and scanned the message to find the pertinent line. I knew it wasn’t an organization or an idea I was interested in supporting in any way, but I persevered to the full quotation: “Activism by little platoons is how civic renewal happens, and it always starts out against long odds.”
Oh my. That statement captured my interest because it expresses what we are all about at Wisconsin Family Council. We truly believe “little platoons” of concerned citizens who work in their own communities, against long odds, effect real and positive change.
What a great image! Small groups of people informed, equipped, and resolved to make a difference. We encourage and help in every way we can these “little platoons” because we know real and lasting change in a community, state and nation doesn’t happen top down. It happens as “little platoons” at the grassroots level actively engage on issues such as marriage, family, life and religious freedom. And there’s no doubt that these efforts “always start out against long odds.”
We’ve seen the truth of this statement time and again over the last year.
When the cities of Sun Prairie and De Pere decided they needed “anti-discrimination” policies related to housing, employment and “public accommodations,” “activism by little platoons” made a difference. These policies give special rights and protections to various “characteristics” and groups of people, including “sexual orientation” and “gender identity/gender expression.” Concerned citizens who are part of these “little platoons” contacted us to see what they should do. Wisconsin Family Council was honored to help in both situations.
A “little platoon” of citizens in Neenah was concerned about how the school district’s Human Growth and Development program was being developed and implemented. The current law, which this “little platoon” really liked and insisted the school district adhere to, is on the books in large part because of the work of Wisconsin Family Council. In 2011 we were honored to lead a “little platoon” of concerned citizens and organizations in passing a law restoring common sense and local control to voluntary Human Growth and Development programs in schools.
Also in 2017, a key victory happened in a school board election in Wausau. In the fall of 2016, the Wausau school district implemented a dangerous transgender policy—over the reasoned, responsible and repeated protest of many citizens. Our organization worked with a “little platoon” there to help them address this issue with the school board and advised them that ultimately they needed to change the makeup of the school board. That change began this past spring, when two people from this “little platoon” stepped up to run for school board. One of the two won, ushering in a real possibility for that school board to begin going in a different and much better direction.
“Little platoons” of activists! That’s what we are all about at Wisconsin Family Council: helping these critical, valuable, difference-making “little platoons” change their communities in positive ways, even when the odds are long, which they were and are in each of these cited instances.
Scripture admonishes us not to despise the day of small things or small beginnings. That seems to me to be good advice as we begin a new year. Each of us needs to consider what “little platoon” God wants us to be part of and then be obedient to His direction. In spite of long odds, as we work together, empowered by God, “little platoons” can make a tremendous difference right where we live in 2018.
For Wisconsin Family Council, this is Julaine Appling reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”