Poem: Praying For God’s Judgement

 

Lord, why is it that You stand so far from us

Lord, why do You hide Yourself from our troubles

You say that You hate the mouth of a wicked man

Yet the blood of the poor lays upon the Jailers floor

 

All Branches of government their mouth’s are full of deceit

Your ways are grievous to them, they see You as empty air

Our Leaders murder the innocent and steal all the poor have

The Rulers crouch like Lions hiding behind vain promises

These Liars, thieves and murders think You do not exist nor see

 

Lord rise up, lift up Your hand, forget not those who love You

I know that You have seen their transgressions, strike them Lord

The rich and the powerful buy the fatherless to be their slaves

The poor and the weak we commit our lives to Your Holiness

Lord break evils grip upon the Earth so no more blood they spill

 

(The idea for this piece came from the 10th Psalm)

Religious Philosophy Poem: Mark 12

 

The Wine Press I have dug with hedges all about

To my family I have lent my beautiful Vineyard out

In the Fall I shall return to receive My Prophets earned

Surely My Servant you shall receive as if he were Me

 

My Servant comes to Me with bruises that I can see

So I sent you another yet you cast stones upon his head

I sent you many Servants, chance in deed you have had

You have beaten all I have sent and some you even killed

 

Now I will send you My only Son, Him will you respect

Evil has over come most of you as you dared to kill My Son

You cast His Body out as if the land and your lives belonged to you

To darkness you shall be cast as His Blood has Cleansed another Class

When The Poor Serve No Need= Extermination

When The Poor Serve No Need= Extermination 

 

Earlier I posted an article that came from the Government of China, the article was in several of their news outlets, the article stated that by the year 2027 in China’s Financial district alone that AI will cause the loss of 2.3 million jobs. Remember that their current President for life Mr. Xi Jinping is a devout follower of Chairman Mao. When Chairman Mao was in charge in China their country’s population was about one billion people and his policies were to let about half of the Nation starve to death. One of the main reason he gave was the Central Government’s inability to not only be able to control them but also their inability to feed them. The population of the United States and of Russia combined today is about 470 million people, Mao was speaking of letting 500 million of his own people starve to death. There are many reasons that China went to their ‘one child’ policies for several decades, these were two of their top reasons.

 

There are those in China and elsewhere in the world who will argue that these things could not happen today because we are now much more civilized and to this I have to say, O really. The United States is without a doubt a ‘surveillance State’ today, if you think otherwise you are being quite naive. There are good things about living in constant surveillance though, I have no doubt that the FBI, CIA, and the NSA have stopped quite a few attacks upon the American people because of their secretive work. Yet how much freedom do the people give up for the sake of being safer? The more a government knows, the more easily they can then totally control the lives of the people. When it comes to governing a Nation the main building block of their power is their ability to control the people. Lose control on the streets, they lose their grip on their power.

 

Now let’s get back to financials within a government. Unless you are oblivious to reality you should know that the tail that wags the dog, is money. Back in the mid 1970’s I worked in a Chrysler Assembly Plant in norther Illinois for just a couple of weeks (I couldn’t stand the thought of working on an assembly line putting cushions in-car seats for at least 37 years) so I quit. What I did notice was how many people worked on the different ‘lines’. As the cars went down the assembly line you had many people doing manual labor like spot welding and putting windshields into the car frames. Go there now, see how many jobs are still there and how many are being done by automation, the job loss is staggering. Even think of stores like Wal-Mart who are getting rid of their cashiers in favor of automation and self-checkouts. Now think about self driving cars, trucks and even trains. Even companies like Uber are killing the Taxi industry. What do all of these things have in common folks? Companies are trying to get rid of human employees and the reason is simple, more profits for the top end persons in these companies.

 

If you are old enough (I am 62) do you remember when we used to hear how technologies were going to allow worker to only have to work 4 days a week because with technologies we could get 5 days work done in 4 days? Some people were foolish enough to think that their employer was going to pay you for 5 days work even though you only worked 4 days. Reality was that the employees still worked 5 days a week but the companies demanded 6 or 7 days of finished product in the 5 days, for no more pay. Then of course the companies could ‘let go’ some of their workforce because they didn’t need them anymore. The employment issue has just grown from there as more and more computers and machines have taken over jobs that humans used to do.

 

I have spoken of the world Stock Markets before, how I believe that they are nothing but a Ponzi scheme and a curse to the working class, the working poor who labor in these corporations who are on these ‘Markets.’ Some will argue that throughout the years that they have been buying and selling stocks and bonds that they have been able to amass a ‘nice little retirement fund’, yet in reality all of a persons profits that they have amassed over the past thirty years can easily be wiped out in one or two hours on this same ‘Market scheme.’ Little people like us working class folks at best get the crumbs that fall off of the ‘Boss Mans’ plate. We are no more than dogs licking their floor and their shoes. What takes you or I 30 years to amass the ‘connected’ make in one 5 minute transaction.

 

When there are lets say 4 billion working age poor people (ages 10-75) but there are only 2 billion actual jobs that need a humans hands to do, what will happen to the other 2 billion people, and all of their families, all of the children? The Republicans in the U.S Congress often refer to things like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Aid For Dependent Children, unemployment checks, VA Disability checks and even the VA itself as “entitlements” as “Welfare”, things that must be “defunded”, “stopped.” Why is this? The answer is simple, it takes away from the money that flows to the top end of the financial class. The Republicans say that they are the “Christian right” yet their actions are as anti-Christian as you can get in American politics. Do not get me wrong, I am no fan of the Democratic Party either with their platform of murdering babies (pro-abortion). Both ‘Parties’ are pure evil, they will both do everything that they can to make sure that the American people never get to have a viable 3rd or 4th political party and the reason is simple, that would take away from their power and they aren’t about to let that happen.

 

When there is not enough jobs for the poor people to do, not even slave labor jobs, who is going to house and feed these people if they can’t get an income? Is the top 1% going to just ‘give’ these people money from their bank accounts? When there is 7 billion people on the planet but only enough food or clean drinking water for 6 billion, who is going to get that food and clean water, the poorest of the poor people? Really? If you really think so, how naive you are my friend! In this new world that is on our doorstep, indeed kicking down our doors right now, you are either the lead dog, or you are daily looking up the lead dogs ass, drinking their piss for water and licking up their shit for food. In this regard, for the poor, this new world that we are all hurtling into, thousands, then millions, then billions of people will be fighting for a position behind these lead dogs just so they can stay alive. Those who refuse will not be fed and housed, we will be exterminated!

 

Prophet?—Profit?—Both Prophet And Profit?

 

Good afternoon folks, this afternoon’s letter to you is mostly my thoughts on the issue of “Holy Men, or Women.” I write this wanting to get your thoughts and opinions. So, if you would, after you have read this please drop me a note in the comment section with what your thoughts and opinions are on this subject matter.

 

Before a person can decide if they themselves or someone else can be a Prophet we need to know what the definition of the word is. So, I checked into the Google Dictionary and then into the Merriam-Webster Dictionary for reference points. I am going to put their thoughts down for you so that we can have good talking points to help base our conversation on.

Via Google: the world ‘Prophet’ is “a person regarded as an inspired teacher or proclaimer of the Will of God.”

Via Google the word ‘Profit’ as a Noun: a financial gain, especially the difference between the amount earned and the amount spent, excess.

Via Google: as a Verb: obtain a financial advantage or benefit, especially from an investment.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes the word ‘profit’ as “the excess of the selling price of goods over the cost.” Also: “The ratio of profit for a given year to the amount of capital invested or to the ‘value of the sale.’

I on purpose left the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and their definition of the word “Prophet” for last because it gives more definitions in their answer. When I get finished giving you these definitions I will give you my personal thoughts on this matter. If you would, then please give me your thoughts on them.

Prophet:

1.) One who utters divinely inspired revelations.

2.) A writer of one of the Prophetic Books of the Bible’

3.) One regarded by a group of followers as the final authoritative revealer of God’s will:  Jesus Christ, Muhammad

4.) One gifted with more than ordinary Spiritual and moral insight especially: an inspired poet.

5.) One who foretells future events.

6.) An effective or leading spokesman for a cause , doctrine, or group.

7.) Christian Science: A Spiritual Seer.

Human terms: An Economist who is regarded by many as a reliable (Prophet) of future developments in the global economy. Example: Warren Buffet.

 

So now, a Prophet, Profit, or both a Prophet and Profit.

 

Okay, so in your thoughts, what is a Prophet? To me, a Prophet is definitely a ‘Holy Man, or Woman’, a Teacher, a Seer, one who has a much deeper understanding of the teachings of God than the average person. One who gives their life to God and His teachings. One who does these things then speaks the insight and knowledge they have been given to any who may ask of that knowledge and in some cases give this knowledge to those who did not ask and who do not want to hear such knowledge.

 

Profit: what does profit have to do with being a ‘Holy person?’ Does money have anything to do with being a Holy Person, a Preacher, a Priest, a Minister or a Church? Should we as children of God or as Ministers/Teachers of His Word base our lives on income? Should a true ‘Teacher/Prophet’ of God’s Word own 8 homes, $5,000 suits, $10,000 watches and a fleet of fancy cars? Should a Preacher be making a million dollars a year from the Church he ‘serves?’ Even with a Church Congregation that has 10,000 members and an offering plate each Saturday or Sunday of $100,000 what is wrong with the Preacher having a salary of $12,000 per year to go with a free Parsonage, utilities and a gas allowance for their vehicle or even a Church supplied vehicle? Why is that not enough? Should not the Church offerings be spread out to the Church members in need first then to the local community and or to missionaries? How about local food banks and homeless shelters? Why does so much have to go to the ‘top end?’ How much is a Church Congregation paying the Elders and the Deacons? Should the Elders and Deacons be getting paid at all? Are the local Churches sending all of their ‘profits’ to a regional ‘Dioceses’ where Bishops and Cardinals decide where funds should be spent? Has the Church you attend become nothing more than a business? The only excuse that I can think of for Churches having to pay their Preachers such a large salary is because of the cost of their college education at these ‘Christian’ schools. Personally I attended Carson Newman Baptist College in Jefferson City Tennessee and I realized that a person attempting to get their PhD. in something like Theology with a minor in Preaching could have a College loan debt of $100,000.00 plus by the time they graduated. Folks, it takes a long time to pay off a debt like that, the payments are high so it requires a high salary to be able to pay it. Here is my thought on this issue. Colleges like Carson Newman has thousands of students who are not studying for the Ministry so I believe that for the students who are trying to become Ministers couldn’t these ‘Religious’ schools cut these students a break like say let them attend at %50 the cost of the other courses? Or, being that they are ‘Religious’ schools couldn’t they only charge these students the cost of materials like books and write off the rest of the ‘fees? No Ministers first priority should have to be how big of a salary they can get so that they can pay off their college debt at a Religion based College!

 

Profit, a verb, a financial benefit, especially from an investment. Yes, a College tuition is an investment both in financial terms and in physical effort terms, yet is personal profit what should be driving a person who is trying to become a Minister of God? Should not Colleges who say that they are Religion Based be ‘not for profit’ schools/businesses? Our goal as followers of God should not, can not be, to see how much wealth we can amass. When non believers see Preachers who are at the Pulpit who are dripping in the trappings of wealth who are begging the Congregation and/or those watching or listening on TV or Radio to donate of their hard-earned income to the Church and to God, what do you think this makes them think? How many people have to think that a good chunk, or all of their offerings are going into the pockets of the Preacher? Folks, for profit Preachers and for profit Christian Colleges are a spike in the Cross of Christ.

 

Can you be a Christian or a Preacher and be blessed by God with great wealth, yes you can. But, what do we do with that wealth once we are blesses with it? Do we hoard it? Do we invest it in the stock market? During the time of Christ here on Earth the Jewish Religious Leaders of the Day taught, and rightfully so, that everyone should give the top %10 of their earnings to God, yet Jesus spoke to us that we must do better than these ‘Leaders’ in our actions. If you or I for example became well published writers, whether we are Preachers or not, and our income each year was one million dollars, have we developed a million dollar lifestyle? Do I need a bring home income of $900,000 per year? If I had such an income should I not be gracious to the Church I attend and to the community in which I live? Could I possible survive if I donated $900,000 each year to charities and lived off of the remaining $100,000 per year? My current income is about $30,000 per year, we own a 13-year-old car with about 180,000 miles on it yet it is still working well enough to do the things that we need it to do. The huge thing for us is, it is paid off, we have no payment on it. We own a house that was built-in 1961 and it is the best house we have ever owned, (actually it is the only house that either my wife or I have ever owned). To be honest we own %10 of it and the bank owns the other %90 but we feel very blessed to be allowed to have this home to live in. The house is the only thing that we have payments on except for some credit cards so we are surviving financially as long as nothing major tears up. But the thing is, we feel very blessed and thankful to God for his kindness of what we do have as we know that there are billions of people on this planet who have it much worse than we do. We only have a couple of hundred dollars in the bank but, when is enough, enough? We have food, we have a roof over our heads, we have electricity, we have a car that works, what have I got to complain about? We as Christians must learn to accept and to cherish to good things that we have been given and to quit coveting more. For that which we covet, that which we worship, this becomes ‘our God.’

 

(Poem: Theology/Philosophy) With Power Comes Dreams And Night Terrors

With Power Comes Dreams And Night Terrors

 

Kings like all people do dream dreams

Therein their Spirit is often much troubled

Their sleep and their conscience is tainted

Yet, can a King demand to be enlightened

 

Leaders can summon their Magicians and Sorcerers

Yet when they stand before the throne can they see

Do they know what the King in His dreams has seen

Can the night terrors of Power ever truly be explained

 

What can be done if the King is terrorized by a forgotten dream

Can forked tongues give enlightenment to what they have not seen

Frauds and Sorcerers, can you see your own end written on the wall

Are there truly Leaders, Magicians or Sorcerers worthy of great honor

 

Yet, shall that which is good be thrown into the fire if it has not been tried

A crazed Ruler shall punish all because of His own errors, ego and arrogance

He who lies to all and contradicts Himself leads His people to be slaughtered

The terrors of the night bring enlightenment to a Leader of wisdom and a conscience

 

 

 

 

 

Is There Ever A ‘Right Time’ To Assassinate A Head Of State?

Is There Ever A ‘Right Time’ To Assassinate A Head Of State?

Those of you who know me know that I am a person who wishes only peace and kindness in a world of absolutely no violence at all, for any reason. Now is the problem, in that violence is a very excepted form of our reality today. That first sentence was more like ‘fantasy land’ I know, I know that as long as there are humans in our current form, there will be hate and violence. Today I am asking you to consider the assassination of a Head of State (hopefully not your own), if you think there is ever such a thing as a case where you would give the order or even pull the trigger yourself? The on purpose taking of any life, even the life of a rabbit a cat or a dog should never be done carelessly, or thoughtlessly.  The taking of a human life is sometimes a necessity, at least in my mind. Have you heard the question (I didn’t create this question, nor do I know who did), “if you could go back in time and kill Adolf Hitler while he was still a baby, would you do it, could you yourself do it”?

 

For purpose of argument I want to take us back to pre-Iraq invasion in March of 2003. The people of Iraq hated their leader “Saddam” yet they themselves never struck him down, why? Were Saddam’s security forces that good? There is no doubt that Saddam was a very bad person and that his own people were scared of him, for good reasons. My question with this example is if the American Government (George W. Bush) wanted to bring Saddam to justice (end of a rope) why not have spread out a few of our well-trained snipers and find an opportunity to give Saddam a little gray pill between his ears? Wouldn’t one well placed bullet have been better than an open-ended war where hundreds of thousands have died?

 

Now let us go to the modern-day situation’s we find ourselves in. Today I am only going to concentrate (for an example) on the ‘living god’ President of North Korea. If you have paid any attention to the world going on around your/our little space, the very evil and obviously insane President of North Korea has been threatening to attack other nations (U.S., Japan, South Korea) with nukes. A Head of State who makes such statements is equivalent to declaring war on you! So, when, if ever, is it okay to give the ‘god king’ a splitting headache?

 

At what point will the government of China get tired of backing this man and get rid of him themselves? Is there such a point? If China’s President, Xi Jinping were to summon Kim Jung Un to China and once there give Kim personal guarantees of China keeping him in power in North Korea as long as Kim ‘plays ball’ with the U.S. and doesn’t start a war on the Korean Peninsula. There could easily have been offered the two edge sword, Xi could promise Kim that if Kim did not ‘play ball’ that either China would totally shut down all commerce in and out of North Korea and that China would back North Korean assassins to put in a Regime change.

 

For a moment let us consider Terrorist groups like Hamas who control the Gaza Strip in Israel, should their very top leaders be considered as untouchable Heads of State, or mass murdering wild dogs? Do you doubt that some of/all of, these terrorist groups would kill your country’s leader if they could get the chance to? How about ‘The Supreme Ruler’ in Iran, does he count as a Head of State? The taking of another life should never be done lightly, but my question is whom decides who the order is given to pull the trigger on someone by? Your President, CIA Director, NSA Director, a General at the Pentagon? How about the E-1 Army private who has one of these evil people in their cross-hairs? I did not say that I was giving any answers on this subject matter today, like always, I am just trying to get people to think for themselves. Folks, life is a conversation piece, live it.

(Philosophy Poem) What A Beautiful Evening

What A Beautiful Evening

 

Do we ever, just stop and look around us

Where are today or for later this evening

Just exactly what are we doing right now

Open our eyes now, what is it that we see

 

Do we notice any of God’s beauty around us

Trees, fresh air or even on the Cities Side-walks

Horses, Catfish-ponds and God’s virgin mountain trees

High-Rises, Government owned, and then the crimes

 

Working on the streets and living where you can

Bad luck, bad deals, don’t mean that a person is trash

Are we really as happy as others gossip that we’re not

Lying with some-one else’s wife, or others with our own

 

To ourselves do we ever stop and say, thank you Lord

Different stages for each one blessed to reach 80 years

Things we did good, others we needed to ask forgiveness

Our Ends, it just something, so enjoy the beauty till then

 

Does Iran Verses Saudi Arabia Equal Russia Verses America Through Proxy?

Does Iran Verses Saudi Arabia Equal Russia Verses America Through Proxy?

Seriously, the title is a question to you personally, what do you think about this issue? President Putin of Russia seems to have aligned his Nation to Iran and the Shiite side of Islam considering Russia’s ties with Shiite Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon. No one really wants to align themselves with the ISIS  folks if you are a government but they are a big Sunni issue sitting in the middle of Islam. Even though the Saudi government is also Sunni, they just aren’t as strict as ISIS, I guess. Now we, the American government have through treaties, weapons sales and the such, we have aligned ourselves up with the Saudi government just as Russian President Putin has done with Iran. Some may say why should the U.S. help the Saudi’s if they get into a shooting war with Iran, and Russia and the Shiite population of the region? Do we sell billions of dollars of weapons to unfriendly nations? Russia and China backup the Nations that do business with them, that is part of the deal, friendly nations only, or not at all. In the Middle-East, strength matters, backing up your words matter, what you believe the truth is, matters! It is difficult to imagine how a nation, any nation, can afford to let their country go into open warfare in either Russia, China, or in the U.S. and still maintain their current grip on power. The people of our nations mainly just want the governments to stay the helium out of our lives, except on trash and snow removal days of course. How will the world leaders and the world markets handle these next few weeks and months as this dangerous face-off continues? I guess we shall all see what we shall see.

 

 

 

(Dark Philosophy Poem) Secrets, Lies and Ghosts

(Dark Philosophy Poem)   Secrets, Lies and Ghosts

 

Secrets we have harbored sense opening our eyes

How many stories and lies had we learned by five

Family secrets, personal flaws, shelved deep in files

How many skeletons haunt the rafters of our mind

 

We learn to survive in a home with hate, ignorance and lies

All creatures learn young if they hold a high value, or none

Lies and secrets that little children learn to spin to cover the scars

What is truth, what are the lies, the path we choose defines our lives

 

Aged we lay in bed thinking of the Ghosts left behind, their blood in our minds

Our brain, our personal CPU, 92% dark matter, 8% can’t fathom our own realm

Night time filled with escape dreams, daytime living in the mental space allowed

Secrets poison the Soul, they are like lies, old ghosts, you can’t live until they die

 

5 Things Written by Martin Luther King Jr. That Everyone Should Read

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

 

Dr. Martin Luther King addresses some 2,000 people on the eve of his death—April 3, 1968—giving the speech "I've been to the mountaintop."
Dr. Martin Luther King addresses some 2,000 people on the eve of his death—April 3, 1968—giving the speech “I’ve been to the mountaintop.”
Bettmann/Getty Images
By LILY ROTHMAN

6:30 PM EDT

The words written about Martin Luther King Jr. during his too-short life and in the half-century since his assassination — 50 years ago Wednesday, on April 4, 1968 — would be impossible to count. King himself left a deep archive of writings, speeches and sermons, too. His spoken orations in particular are a powerful reminder of why he was destined to become part of the pantheon of American icons.

“One has to remember that King above all was a preacher,” says Carolyn Calloway-Thomas, chair of African American and African Diaspora Studies at the Indiana University Bloomington and an editor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Sermonic Power of Public Discourse.

While she notes that he was so prolific that it’s near impossible to choose, Calloway-Thomas spoke to TIME about the pieces of King’s work that everyone should know about. They are:

“The Death of Evil upon the Seashore” (May 17, 1956)

“The death of the Egyptians upon the seashore is a glaring symbol of the ultimate doom of evil in its struggle with good.”

This sermon was delivered to a massive crowd at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York on the occasion of the two-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education ruling against school segregation, at an early moment in this phase of the civil rights movement, with the Montgomery bus boycott still ongoing. To Calloway-Thomas, the sermon is noteworthy for the optimistic vision it presented at such a moment. “He had to help African-American people imagine themselves,” she says. “I think the Death of Evil upon the Seashore is that speech.”

It wasn’t the first time King preached on these ideas, and in fact the link he draws between the Biblical exodus and the story of African-American progress toward freedom and equality was an old one, but those present noted that his delivery that day was particularly moving. “He taps into that reservoir, that myth of the Hebrew children in bondage,” Calloway-Thomas says, “and he elevates it and makes it more publicly known.”

Read the full speech here

Letter from a Birmingham Jail (April 16, 1963)

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

Yes, this is a letter, not a speech or sermon — but Calloway-Thomas says it’s worth including on such a list anyway. After all, the circumstances that created this letter are inherently linked to the fact that he couldn’t deliver a speech in person. At the time, King found himself jailed in Alabama after ignoring an injunction against protests in Birmingham. During that time, a group of clergymen wrote an open letter urging him away from protests. He wanted to respond but, from the jail, his only option if he wanted to answer quickly was to write it down. “Ideas have moments and if those moments aren’t used, you lose that rhetorical moment and it no longer has the force it had,” Calloway-Thomas says.

So, in a format she likens to a spoken call and response, he answers the questions that were posed to him about his methods. While also explaining that he’s on strong biblical footing, he provides the public with a way to understand the work he’s doing. His rhetorical skills are also on display as he uses a story about his 6-year-old daughter’s early perceptions of racism and segregation to underline that the matter is not theoretical. In the years since, this letter has become one of 20th century American history’s most famous documents.

Read the full letter here

“I Have a Dream…” (Aug. 28, 1963)

“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.”

The speech that remains Martin Luther King Jr.’s most famous oration — one of the most famous orations in American history, if not world history — is that well-known for a good reason, Calloway-Thomas says. This was the moment when the world as a whole really saw King, and the moment was carefully orchestrated, framed by the Lincoln Memorial. “Think about how dazzling that was!” she says. “Think about the robust visuals and the lovely words echoing from Dr. King. It was an elixir that was made to circulate.”

But, she says, the power of his voice and the impact of the image can sometimes overwhelm the full message of the speech. “Dr. King had some pretty radical statements in that speech,” Calloway-Thomas adds. “Most people gloss over the part in that speech where King says that if we overlook the urgency of now there’ll be a rude awakening. I’ve never seen a student go to that section of the speech; people go right to ‘I have a dream’ and they don’t notice the threat.”

Read the full speech here

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COMING UP…
A COLLEGE STUDENT SAVED A DROWNING SQUIRREL USING A TRICK SHE LEARNED FROM ‘THE OFFICE’
I HAVE A DREAM THAT ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.’ MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.’S GRANDDAUGHTER, 9, GIVES POWERFUL SPEECH AT MARCH FOR OUR LIVES

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“A Time to Break Silence” (April 4, 1967)

“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.”

In this speech, King publicly answers his conscience, as Calloway-Thomas puts it, on the matter of the Vietnam War. With an undercurrent of “anguish” about the fact that he feels he must speak, and must criticize the choices of Lyndon Johnson, who had often been an ally, he entered the arena of opposition to the war.

“This is an unsettling moment. People paid attention, but that meant there was backlash,” she says. President Johnson and many others felt that he ought to stay focused on domestic civil-rights issues and leave the foreign policy to them, but in this speech he makes clear why those two topics cannot truly be separated. That idea, Calloway-Thomas says, parallels the experience of earlier fighters for justice, such as Frederick Douglass, who got to the world stage with one kind of story — their personal freedom narratives, in that case — and shocked some of their allies when they showed that their thinking was far more expansive.

Read the full speech here

“I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” (April 3, 1968)

“I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.”

Start with the date on this one: that’s April 3, 1968, the night before King was assassinated. In this speech, which summons King’s primary background as a preacher, he returns to the story of Moses. Rather than speaking on the joy of the Exodus, though, he turns to the end of Moses’ life, and his death just outside the Promised Land to which he had delivered his people. King casts himself as another leader who may not be there for the end of the journey. “He used Christian values and Democratic traditions to bring people together, so it’s not surprising that he goes to this idea,” Calloway-Thomas says. “What’s significant here is when it occurred. It was almost apocalyptic. Because it occurred at that time it has lingering significance and carries with it an abundance of pathos.”

Of course, as Calloway-Thomas says, we can imagine a scenario in which King gave this speech and then lived. The emotional resonance of his words might be lessened without the seemingly prescient layer of fate, but the story would be there all the same. “Here’s a man talking about longevity, here’s a man talking about god’s Will, here’s a man talking about going up to the mountaintop and looking skyward toward heaven and looking over into the Promised Land,” she says. “It’s a gorgeous story.”

Read the full speech here