Thursday, December 28, 2006

Details on MLK Event

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Martin Luther King Jr.: "Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam" Sermon at the Ebenezer Baptist Church on April 30, 1967. Click HERE
to read and listen. Truer words could not be said if they were spoken today about the Iraq war.

Conversation Recap 12.24

Mary’s story

Steve sings Big Floppy Shoes song

Moral/Philosphical Question—

Love, the Beloved Community and Peace On Earth

Whatever our past experiences with respect to Christmas, one aspect that we can focus on is that it is a story of Peace On Earth and Goodwill Toward All—ideas that can resonate with any faith tradition.

Dexter repeated some of last week’s talk on love as a way to transition into talking about peace.

MLK article (The Current Crisis in Race Relations) made 5 points in laying out the argument for non-violence.
It is not a method of cowardice or stagnant passivity.
It does not seek to defeat or humiliate the opponent.
It is directed at the forces of evil, not those caught up in the forces.
It avoids not only external violence but internal violence of the spirit. At its center stands the principle of love.
It is based on the conviction that the universe is on the side of justice.

Goal is creation of peace-the goal is the creation of love-the goal is the bringing into being, the Beloved Community
Ø Available
Ø Accountable
Ø Trusting

Tell the truth to each other-honey w/ medicine, in Jamaica they say “taste your words” while the Bible says “speak the truth in love”

Is peace the absence of war or violence or is peace the presence of justice—the presence of goodwill?

People want peace and leaders want war. What are we, The People to do for peace?

Tragic/Comic, looking at life through the blues but still with hope (Cornel West)

Guard our souls against becoming a ideologues (persons who love you to death and then, when disagreement, hate you to death tomorrow).

What do you believe and why do you believe it? What informs and governs why you believe what you believe?

John-poem “If in your heart you make a manger for his birth, then God will once again become a child on earth.”

Laurie- how do we become the people we’ve been waiting for,(referencing the new Alice Walker book?

Tom-self-work resonates, challenged by how to work externally

Tully- love and peace words are tossed out so easily—I love this scarf, I love that movie, etc. Also hate. What do these words really mean?

Dick—love is the natural way we feel for one another when we are not hurt by a class based economically oppressive society. Boldly share this point—we have a system that creates this dysfunction in all of us. Get courage from loving one another in this group

Eve- From The Hopi Elders Speak

Marti-Reagonomics cut taxes create debt-- debt pays interest to banks-rich get richer. To cover up, war in Granada. Bush 2 same thing, would have to have a war to cover. War is used as a tool to distract us and to train us not to speak out. Live a life of courageous love not just comfort.

Steve-admin. So disingenuous in discourse with the American People. Tools (education system, TV). Julia’s message of looking inside yourself is worth taking seriously. Part of solution is acknowledging that there is a them and an us.

Mary-Pogo “We have seen the enemy and they are us” Trees fell and then were cleaned up and still lots of trees. This is not the end of the world. Only do that which is possible—within your sphere of influence. Can’t accept we and them—none of us is getting out alive.

Sallie-in terms of the balance in the struggle, the only thing that works is love. It’s actually pragmatic. With violence, someone loses and then wants to right the wrong. Agree with the us and them and it’s all us. Struggle is balancing these 2

Magda—Navajo Dine-5 worlds, destroy the world and each time then what stands is the earth

Laurie -articulate a vision capable of inspiring even those caught up in the destruction of the planet for profit that there is a better way.

Steve—acknowledge the us vs them in order to make them US.

Magda-example of Cuba that a small can resist a large. Public financing of voting. On voting day the children get out of school and take the votes. Don’t have capitalism. Cuban people say “we love you. We don’t love your gov’t and sorry that you don’t have a democracy.

Dexter—hope that nothing like an “us and them” thinking here. Problem is when you build that internal cohesion in then, once you’ve “won”, there’s a new struggle with those who lost. Agree with Steve that we need to challenge those who use the façade of us/them, but we have to propose a larger, better vision. Working on self can be problematic because it reinforces the American individualism that is such a big part of the problem. We can make a different world. We can make a better world. S. Africa “could not fall” but yet it fell.

With respect to what we can do, we ARE doing it. Not planning for it, not getting ready for it, this IS it. If nothing else, bear witness.

Updates on MLK Event
Fundraising is coming along. Various people volunteered for things still needing doing.