Martin was born 11 years after Mandela, and has been dead for 45 years. We lose some of the beautiful ones far too early, and get to have others around for a while. Truly, it’s not the longevity of our life, it’s the quality of our living.
I am also concerned that we are doing the same thing to Madiba that we have done to Malcolm X, and to a lesser extent, to Martin Luther King: whitewashing their radical prophetic legacy into nonthreatening champions of “reconciliation.”
The history of Thanksgiving may not be real, but the love we share is real. The joy that comes from contentment is real. Expanding the circle of love and compassion is real. And for all that, we give thanks.
Listen to this talk (with stunning images) about the history of Iran and US-Iranian relations over the last century.
So what do people of faith have to say today, facing the catastrophic destruction in Philippines? Where do we stand? Do we have a contribution that is actually informed by our faith traditions? Here are five points to keep in mind and in our hearts as we link together direct and immediate compassionate action with spiritual reflection.
I watch in horror Christian preachers talk about how God wants you to be “blessed” with faith, wealth, health, and victory. And I wonder about the poor and the homeless, the immigrants and the marginalized ones, and where they fit into this false gospel of prosperity. Are they the un-blessed?
The moral blind spots of Nobel Peace Prize winners Obama, Elie Wiesel, and Ayung San Suu Kyi are a reminder that we have to keep each other accountable, even the most noble and beautiful of us. We have to insist that we practice moral constancy, and shine the light on those moral blind spots.
I struggle with why we are so offended with seeing human beings dressed up like monsters for two hours, when for the other 364 days of the year we see monsters dressed up like human beings, killing and raping and stealing and occupying and pillaging.
This, all of this, is us. We are the monster. We are the angelic. We are the human where the monstrous and the divine mingle.