Posted by on January 26, 2021

         Christian Century magazine publishes an annual feature called “Voices of [fill in the year],” a collection of quotes from a variety of people.  Their December 30, 2020, issue included these few “Voices of 2020” that I’ve selected to pass along:

         o       “There genuinely is no more time to waste.  We must act as though our home is on fire – because it is.”  — (Joëlle Gergis, climate scientist based at the Australian University, on climate change and wildfires) 

         o       “I have been in some kind of fight – for freedom, equality, basic human rights – for nearly my entire life.  I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now.”  — (John Lewis, civil rights activist and congressman, on being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  He died in July)

         o       “Our worst response would be to plunge even more deeply into feverish consumerism.”  — (Pope Francis, writing about a post-pandemic world in his third papal encyclical, Fratelli tutti [All brothers])

         o       “We know that the basic need for living wages, healthcare, just immigration policies, and a livable planet are not right or left issues, but moral issues that can unite people of different backgrounds and ideologies.”  — (William Barber II, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, author of Revolution of Values, on priorities in the upcoming Biden administration)

         o       “And remember, when you put on that mask, you’re protecting yourself from other people, but mostly you’re protecting them from yourself.  You’re doing the altruistic, loving thing of saying, ‘I’m going to protect people from me.’  And that’s a Christian action if I’ve ever heard one.”  — (Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health)

         o       “Joe Biden and I are both people of faith, and it’s insulting to suggest that we would knock anyone for their faith.”  — (Vice President Kamala Harris in her debate with Vice President Mike Pence, who accused her of religious bias against some Trump nominees)

         o       “It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric.  Lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again.  And to make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as our enemies.  They are not enemies.  They are Americans.”  — (Then President-elect Joe Biden in his victory speech)

         o       “Observe, brainstorm, research, build, and communicate.”  — (Fifteen-year-old Gitanjali Rao, an inventor and scientist, who was named the first-ever Kid of the Year by Time magazine, on her approach to tackling issues as different as cyberbullying, contaminated drinking water, and opioid addiction)

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