Regarding this day in the light of the assassination of Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr …

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joe sheila antiqueSo much has been written, so much said about Dr King, when he was alive and since his death. Many of us were young on that day, for many of us it is a day marked only in the history books. My intention today is not to write about the work, the struggle, the pain endured as an age old national way of life was violently torn from its foundation in the 1960s, but rather, how we have responded to it in the current political and religious climate. “all men are created equal” is a powerful statement sewn into the fabric of our origins. While that may be true, it would be impossible to add “all men are treated equal” to that document. So we ask, what good is creation if it is not nurtured and allowed to grow and prosper? It is said that the USA is founded upon Judeo Christian principles that include the 10 commandments and the teachings of Christ. In the Torah we are told that the planet and all that it includes is our responsibility to care for. Jesus told us to love one another as we love ourselves. With that, we are called to be cautious of self destructive actions. When we review the commandments, the beatitudes, the parables, we see a clear explanation of Dr King’s mission. We see a clear explanation of the utopia that the founders of this nation envisioned, but did not exercise. Therefore, that vision was left to future generations who were obliged to fight the destructive forces of slavery, poverty, prejudice, hate, social divisions of every kind. That is where we come into the picture. It is well and good to remember the heroic men and women who were courageous and wise enough to defy those destructive forces. It is good to celebrate those lives and those lives lost in that struggle. But it does no good to gather and sing and cry and eat cake and shake hands and tell one another how radical and revolutionary we are, and then go home complaining, and forgetting, and putting off until tomorrow, what could have been done yesterday and celebrated today.

So while we look back upon the history of our heroes and our prophets and our mystics, let us not use our time lamenting, but rather planning and creating a new history for our legacy. Let us become the ancestors that our spawn will write about and celebrate 100 years from now, knowing that we were part of the liberation of humanity from the oppression and division of lies. Let us find our own wisdom and bravery in the silence of our hearts and minds and in the faces of our brothers & sisters everywhere to make that dream a reality that all men are not only created, but at long last treated, equally … Blessings upon all people … www.joekiddandsheilaburke.com

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