“One heart, full of courage, is a majority”

Martin Sheen at press conference

Martin Sheen joins Illinois Governor Pat Quinn at a rally and press conference to support raising the minimum wage on October 5, 2014.

Actor Martin Sheen said the words above last Sunday at a rally outside my church, paraphrasing a line popularly attributed to Andrew Jackson (most likely in error, it seems). Sheen was encouraging his listeners to continue to fight to raise the minimum wage.

Martin Sheen also came to our church last winter to support this same cause and I was impressed on both occasions not only with his commitment to issues of social justice but with his friendly good nature and his patience with everyone in the crowd wanting a moment with him – and selfies as well!

The long-time movie and television actor is an ardent follower of the teachings of Gandhi and Martin Luther King and helped make and starred in the famous movie about the former. At a demonstration a few years ago Sheen told the crowd that, “I still firmly believe that ‘lost causes’ are the only causes worth fighting for and that non-violence is the only weapon to fight with.”

It is notable and telling that on both visits Martin Sheen was the last person to leave the gathering and each time his staff had to pull him away from final conversations with people at the events. He simply didn’t want to stop sharing stories, telling jokes, laughing uproariously at those jokes, and, yes, even letting people take selfies with him.

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