Friday, April 04, 2008

In Memory of Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King

Today, April 4th is the anniversary of the assassination of an amazing contributor to the evolution of human consciousness, Dr. Martin Luther King.

I have immense respect for the fundamental societal changes the resulted from the courage and inspiration of this one man.

With all the current 'controversy' around Barack Obama and his minister, Rev. Wright, I realize that we are not nearly as 'evolved' as I would like for us to be. With regards to race and with regards to violence as a means to resolve problems.

Dr. King spoke out, shortly before his assassination, against the Vietnam war. He was labeled 'unpatriotic' and a 'traitor' by some. Reverend Wright, although some of his rhetoric (particularly when taken out of context, as it is mostly being shown on Youtube and in the media) has been labeled the same.

What people like Dr. King, Gandhi and other great spiritual and social reformers understand, is that the truth, although unpopular, must be spoken. Until and unless that happens, we are doomed to repeat the mistakes of our past and continue to operate at less enlightened stages of consciousness.

It is considered unpatriotic for Rev. Right to speak about American foreign policy with regards to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, or for Dr. King to speak out against the Vietnam war. I find it simply astounding that it could be considered 'unpatriotic' to merely analyze the country's foreign policy and criticize it.

The delusion that we can all get in to, in our own lives, and collectively in groups, is to believe that ANY reflection on the validity of our actions or opinions is an act of betrayal.

Think about how children learn right from wrong. They make mistakes, and they are corrected and often encouraged to gain understanding about their actions and the subsequent consequences.

Yet, when leaders like King spoke out about injustices, in our own society, or in our world, they are deemed traitors and threats if that truth reveals something that needs attention and correction.

Dr. King was an amazing change agent. He was not perfect, and he certainly had his human frailties and faults. He was, however, an amazing orator and leader and he changed the fabric of American culture. The struggle he fought so ardently for... continues to this day.

I had the great privilege, upon my graduation from One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in New York City, as one of our elected class speakers, to speak (very briefly) at the pulpit of Riverside Church in New York City. Dr. King had spoken from that pulpit (as well as some of my other heroes). It gave me chills to speak from the very spot that Dr. King himself had spoken. WOW!

Today, on this solemn day, let us reflect on the legacy on Dr. King. He gave his life in a struggle to champion human rights for ALL people... ALL over the world. That deserves our deep gratitude and our greatest respect.

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