[An In This Moment blogger, Taylor shares her insight and a link to an essay]
Last year I wrote an essay for the NPR Program, This I Believe, about the challenges of acting on deeply held, but very controversial beliefs. In my case, it was giving the sermon and leading the prayers for a mixed-gender congregation in a mosque.
The essay describes some of my decision-making process, and my conviction that we must go beyond belief in our principles, beyond writing about our belief in them, and step into activism to implement those principles.I just found out the essay was published on the This I Believe website, and can be read here.
The most salient points:
After much thought, it became clear to me that I had I no choice. I had to accept this invitation [to officiate the prayers], even if it cost me venues in which to publish, even if it meant subjecting myself to public disdain by more conservative Muslims, even if I had to endure the pangs of performance anxiety. Especially because I had to endure the pangs performance anxiety. What was the point to all my passionate writing in defense of women's rights if I refused to exercise those rights when they were offered to me? Why bother asserting women's competence in all endeavors if I shrank from demonstrating that competence in the very field where I possessed more expertise than most people? How could I expect others to step forward to enact the principles I promote, if I, the advocate, would not?