I haven't done much spiritual stuff here (except maybe the abortion post a little) lately but listening to the I have a Dream speech seems to bring some of that out.
"Don't ever let anyone pull you so low as to hate them. We must use the weapon of love. We must have the compassion and understanding for those who hate us. We must realize so many people are taught to hate us that they are not totally responsible for their hate. But we stand in life at midnight; we are always on the threshold of a new dawn."
Martin Luther King, Jr.
"In struggling for human dignity the oppressed people of the world must not allow themselves to become bitter or indulge in hate campaigns. To retaliate with hate and bitterness would do nothing but intensify the hate in the world. Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can be done only by projecting the ethics of love to the center of our lives."
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King "I have a dream"
“We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace in Vietnam and for justice throughout the developing world, a world that borders on our doors. If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
I'm emmersed in a primarily conservative Republican community (with hopes of seeing it become dark purple to blue).
I get the felling I’m supposed to hate. I can’t be a loyal American unless I believe that all members of Islam want to make us all like them or destroy us and our freedom in the process.
Bravado driven nationalism that disguises hate in an illusion of the defense of mom and apple pie does not improve its immorality.
We are constantly assailed by the religious right that we are a Christian nation founded on Judeao/Christian values. What we really are is a country founded on the principle that people can be,say, believe and associate with whoever they want without interference. Besides, it takes a lot more than just saying it; you have to struggle your best to be it. Isn't that the way it is with all religions or belief systems?
It doesn’t matter what our founding fathers believed about their own personal faith. To be a Christian nation we would have to act like one. We would have to be the servant of all and as a nation make meaningful sacrifices for the good of all people.
We would have to love those who hate us and wish to do us harm , pray for them, ask that they be blessed, forgive them and do good things for them as well.
Far too many times we Christians have excused crimes against humanity done in our name. Our nation has too often placed into power or supported dictators guilty of many human rights atrocities for what is perceived as some short term foreign policy benefit. Often these arrangements are made for the profit of powerful international corporations.
A short list of sins against our neighbors would include; detention of innocents, accepting the use of torture, tolerance of the killing of innocent women and children as just a casualty of war, participating in and profiting from the arms trade, and supporting cruel and unjust economic policies in the third world.
Holy Dirt -by: Steve Schalchlin.
This was a short Sunday Gospel reading that caught my eye in Feb. 07. I couldn’t pass putting it up. Everything Christ talks about here is exactly what the conservatives attempt to denigrate liberals with, what they seem to believe is the derogatory expression of ‘bleeding heart’. Few who throw the term out with venom realize it's referring to a picture of the Sacred Heart.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back.
Do to others as you would have them do to you. For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, and get back the same amount.
But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
“Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give, and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”
Jesus explains well what it means to be a good follower of His; a good explanation of one type of Cross He has asked us to bare. Also, for those of us who dare to call ourselves Christian it’s a good example of how to be a ‘bleeding heart liberal’.
Back during Israel’s incursion into Lebanon I remember a caller on CSPAN who, with a calm fatherly voice speak of, after identifying himself as a Christian, how wrong a cease fire between Israel and Lebanon would be. He told a story of how he along with his father and brother had to go into their barn and kill all the rats, big ones and little ones. How sad when a person who claims to represent reason and family values can so calmly call for bloodthirsty violence, terror from the skies and murder.
The sad thing is these types of words and the actions they’re meant to initiate inflame the haters. Violence whether it’s from shadowy terrorist or from terrifying smart bombs is always counterproductive except for those who want to keep hate super-charged. We have a huge hate problem toward everyone of Middle Eastern ancestry now from the radical conservatives, many who claim to be good to outstanding Christians, who are the presidents’ supporters. Many want all Muslims, including citizens, to carry special identification, identifying them as so, but, they would prefer Muslim round-ups and expulsion at home with bombing to the point of genocide else where.
They believe greater violence is the only answer. Those who disagree will be called un-American traitors in league with the terrorists, bad Christians and anti Semitic. Evil can and often does exist on all sides in a war. Many are feeling comfortable cuddling up with wickedness. They are deceiving themselves that they are doing God’s will while calling evil good. Bravado driven nationalism that disguises hate in an illusion of the defense of mom and apple pie does not improve its immorality.
Barack Obama Speaks at Dr. King's Church
Hate is evil, it always has been and it always will be the largest obstacle to fitting through the needles eye. They frighten me and I worry how they will use this to push us further into fascism.
Islamo-fascism is the marketing term for our struggles, that has been officially adopted by this administration. It’s an incorrect term. The most extreme are authoritarian and theocratic with about as much love for human rights as our favorite trading partner, China or our favorite oil producer, Saudi Arabia. What they aren’t, like our neoconservative dominated administration, are corporatists. Fascists use religion as a tool to further the propaganda to be seen as its great protector. In a theocracy it’s all about the religion and everyone, corporations included, are under its thumb.
If we are looking for a new term how about the ‘Struggle against Al Qaeda’. After all they were the ones who attacked us. They are the ones who were ignored when the Bush administration abandoned that battle in favor of Iraq and now they are the ones along with the Taliban who have grown stronger.
"I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority."
There’s another incorrect mantra, frequently repeated on CSPAN and other places where they can be found lurking, of the dangerous right….’Not all Moslems are terrorists but all terrorists are Moslems.’
These places have all had or are continuing to have problems with terrorists who are not from Islam...
.....National Security Watch: 60 right-wing terror plots foiled (from 05) there have been plenty since then from the Unitarian Church shooting to the meth-heads with the plot to kill our presidential pick. Conservative hate radio is a huge instigator for those who are easily inclined to hate and violence.
Etc., Etc. Etc…..
There’s no shortage of people who mistakenly think terrorism is the answer to their political or economic problems. They are not a homogeneous group, they are all different with different solutions to each circumstance. I wish they would learn from such great men as Gandhi, Martin Luther King, John Paul II, Desmond Tutu and others for a better way to attack their problems. Much more can be accomplished through nonviolence.
'An eye for an eye for an eye would make the whole world blind.'
"As an essential part of its fight against all forms of terrorism, the international community is called to undertake new and creative political, diplomatic and economic initiatives aimed at relieving the scandalous situations of gross injustice, oppression and marginalization which continue to oppress countless members of the human family. History in fact shows that the recruitment of terrorists is more easily achieved in areas where human rights are trampled upon and where injustice is a part of daily life.”
Pope John Paul II
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”
‘God bless the whole world-no exceptions’.
Obama message to Nelson Mandela on his birthday