Monday, January 19, 2009

Martin Luther King

In August 28, 1963 Martin Luther King gave his famous speech "I have a dream" at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. A historic moment indeed, a witness to the power of prayer, the power of unity, and ultimately a testimony to the inner thirst in the heart of every man for justice and dignity. What a tremendous speech. Here is an excerpt:

"Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.
And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."
This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.
With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:
My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true."

And what a dream indeed it was and continues to be. The dream has been in part been fulfilled in the change of attitudes of the American people to be more open, to see beyond the color of the skin of people, and a witness to that is the election of Obama who will be inaugurated tomorrow. But the other half of the dream remains unfulfilled, we have learnt not to judge people by their skin color, but we continue to fail to judge people by their character. And this is the sad part of America, our crisis is not a first and foremost a financial one, the most important crisis is the moral crisis of this country, a crisis that is destroying the very freedom that we claim to uphold and even strive for, a crisis that is trampling on the dignity of the people that this alleged freedom is supposed to serve, a crisis that is creating other forms of discrimination and even the violation of the human rights of certain members of our society including the unborn, the elderly, etc. MLK would not be satisfied with the placement of a black man in the presidency as good as that is in terms of breaking the racial prejudices of the American people, MLK if he is true to his word, would have sought the recognition of the dignity of all human beings, MLK would have defended the right to profess our own faith and the recognition that any greatness in our country is due primarily to God's blessing upon our land and our people. MLK would have defended the right to pray and to wait for that day when the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together!!


  1. Absolutely! MLK would indeed have sought the recognition of the dignity of ALL human beings, including the unborn. I am very doubtful that he ever dreamed our nation would legalize their slaughter. One abomination following upon another. It is left to us to take up his peaceful, prayerful, persevering fight for justice toward EVERY human being, as we wait a little longer for that day when the Lord's glory will be revealed before all flesh.

  2. I'm very much sure that he'd take to task Obama, and FOCA...the content of one's character is still missing, and I pray that we get to that stage, which starts with the recognition of life.