|2003-01-30 23:00, by Julie Solheim-Roe|
I got an open email from Marianne Williamson asking what Martin Luther King Jr. would be doing now:
Just as Dr. King spoke out against the war in Viet Nam, one wonders what he would be thinking as we prepare for war against Iraq. Neither Dr. King in his time, nor any of us now, wish to see a weak America. Yet many of us, like him, have come to question how much strength there is in violence. "The ultimate weakness of violence," said Dr. King, "is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it."
And a couple days ago Nelson Mandela 'blasts Bush on Iraq', warning:
It is difficult to express such things in America today, without being branded an unrealistic dreamer. Indeed, the status quo no more embraces the philosophy of non-violence today than it did thirty-five years ago. For love, peace, brotherhood and justice are radical concepts, as much so today as they were decades ago, or centuries ago. And the notion that military power is strength -- while brotherhood and love are weakness -- is a spiritually perverse worldview with unfortunately as much grip on the American mind today as it had during Dr. King's lifetime. It is that assumption, I believe, which he would challenge, were he here.
Dr. King inspired us to look to the love at the core of the human experience, for a vision that beckons all humanity. "We are challenged to rise," he said, "above the narrow confines or our individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. The new world is a world of geographical togetherness. This means that no individual or nation can live alone. We must all learn to live together, or we will be forced to die together.
... Through our scientific genius we have made of the world a neighborhood; now through our moral and spiritual genius we must make it a brotherhood. We are all involved in the single process. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are all links in the great chain of humanity... we have before us the glorious opportunity to inject a new dimension of love into the veins of our civilization."
Dr. King was as serious when he talked about love, as some people are when they talk about war. And so should we be, if we claim to truly embrace what he lived and died for.
"It is a tragedy what is happening, what Bush is doing in Iraq," Mandela told an audience in Johannesburg. "What I am condemning is that one power, with a president who has no foresight, who cannot think properly, is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust," he added, to loud applause. Flemming found an extraordinary link between the spoils of the Third Reich and Bush Jr.'s grand daddy... and it goes on and on. How can we one two buckle our shoes? Tie ourselves into so many knots that we cannot simply see the destruction from the chaos? Is there any rhyme, is there, is there? To this madness? And how am I participating? When I watched Bush offer his condolences today for the Columbia astronauts... I thought how he totally didn't deserve the honour... of such an honour! I thought of how many times he will come on the tv in the coming months... years? And have the same BS to say about the military braves --- our mother's sons .. and daughters -- that he is sending into oblivion... not accidentally or in an unforeseen tragic event like today's events -- but indeed with calculation and choice. And the innocents that will die on account of his arrogance, greed and sickness to evangelize the illiterate. So, Marianne.... what would MLK, jr do now? I don't know. But damned if none of us are doing it.