Tuesday, January 15, 2008

These Thoughts on Martin Luther King's Birthday

I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin...we must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

There is nothing except a tragic death wish to prevent us from reordering our priorities so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from molding a recalcitrant status quo with bruised hands until we have fashioned it into a brotherhood.

Listen to a speech on Vietnam that is chillingly relevant today. It is long but it is worth your time. It is worth a quiet half hour to think about where we are, where we have been and what lies before us. Truth shines in the darkness, always.

We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent coannihilation. We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace in Vietnam and 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.

This speech was given in Riverside Church in New York City exactly one year before he was assassinated. We do him honor to go beyond remembering him and instead work toward a just and peaceful world.