Leave Your Labels at the Door: My Thoughts on “God & Country”

god and countryChristianity. Islam. Republicans. Democrats. Black Lives Matter. All Lives Matter. These terms have become packed and charged and far too often, turned into black or white issues. As humans, for our own comfort and understanding, we tend to categorize and compartmentalize other humans. For those of you coming to see the production of God & Country, I have one word of advice: do not assume anything and leave your labels at the door.  

I consider myself a woman of faith. If I can be honest, it was not until junior year that I began to seek the intersection of my faith and social justice. Throughout the production’s process, I have been questioning. What does it mean to be a Christian and work towards justice? As my worship moves outside of a sanctuary, how can I pray and know when to act?  When Rev. Khristi first shared her interest of doing a docudrama concerning issues haunting our country, I eagerly followed the development of her script. We met over breakfast a couple of times to talk about it, and it was then that I saw her desire to incorporate various voices and perspectives into this piece. It was then that I realized how social justice and faith could come together.

Our cast consists of Jewish students, Muslim students, Christian students, and students who prescribe to no faith at all. Each rehearsal has evolved from individuals simply memorizing their lines into a complete ensemble, often taking breaks to discuss the depth and meaning of what we are reciting. When one cast member is missing, the ensemble feels unbalanced. We have grown to know one another and discuss those issues close to our heart. There have been moments of laughter, along with moments of silence and even confusion, as we process difficult lines that have been spoken. We strive to do justice to the stories of people whose lives we are portraying through our reenactments. We have learned that it is okay to disagree, but not okay to hide within our own comfortable thoughts and ideologies.

With all of this said, I would like to apologize in advance because it will be difficult to categorize this play. There is no religious or political agenda. No one point of view is shared. God & Country is a reenactment of recent tragedies in our nation, quotes taken from many instances, and personal pieces from the cast. No, God & Country cannot be categorized for you under a certain group, faith, or political party. This docudrama will leave you with questions, challenge your views, and make you wonder what “hate” and “love” actually mean. I expect every audience member to enter what will be the transformed St. William Chapel with an open heart. I cannot promise God & Country will solve the issues that took centuries to create, but that’s not the point. If truly, WE ARE GEORGETOWN, then let us, together, agree or disagree in a spirit of love. As Lilia Watson once said, “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let’s work together.” Please, join us and lets work together.

Written by Kimberly Portes, C’16