Monday, August 1, 2016

Why I Blaspheme Your God(s)

[Originally I decided to write the following as a sort of preface to this photo description on my Facebook page to explain the reasoning behind the photo in particular and my typical blasphemy of god(s) in general. The eventual length of the explanation made it seem more appropriate for my blog... Now I DO ask – where Bible verses, Qur'anic ayahs (and one Bhagavad Gita text) are cited – that you stop and grab your Bible, Qur'an, and Bhagavad Gita; or Google the text) and actually READ the text cited so that clear understanding of the assertions made can be had. Women should be particularly understanding of the analogy I'm going to use, though it supersedes gender. It is still my intention to film a video to go into even more detail on the matter...]
       A battered woman visits a health care professional seeking advice about stopping her abuse. The health care professional determines the seriousness of the abuse. If it's physical the woman is immediately counseled about leaving the man, how to do so, and the police are probably called in. If the abuse is verbal or otherwise psychological, things are a little different. Then the advice is determined by the severity of the abuse. Questioned are asked to determine whether or not the pros of the relationship outweigh the cons of the relationship.
       In this determination the health care professional seeks to discover how much of the battered woman's attachment to her batterer emanates from FEAR and what portion actually represents LOVE. Said professional will ask how the batterer is with the kids, if there are any. He/she will ask if the batterer is abusive ALL the time or whether or not there are things that “trigger” the abuse. But still, the bottom line will be that he/she will offer to the battered woman that no one should be in a relationship with someone that they FEAR no matter how much they profess to LOVE that same individual. Said professional will opine that such a relationship is incongruent and an unhealthy one!
       Now the battered woman's fear can be based on anything from fear of actual physical abuse to fear that the claims of the batterer – that she is nothing without him and that she needs him to provide sustenance for her and maybe her kids – is true. But the bottom line is that, if the batterer is verbally abusive to her – and the kids as well – whatever other lovable qualities he has still renders him unlovable! She's still only with him out of FEAR!
       Imagine that the said batterer was a serial child killer. Would any woman still LOVE him; worship and adore him? Or would she simply be appreciative of the fact that she can rely on him for sustenance? And if it's the latter, wouldn't her reason for staying with him actually be FEAR of poverty? What if he tested her by requesting that she kill one of her children to show her loyalty to him? Would she even consider it? Hell no! She'd tell him where to go, how to get there, and maybe even provide the means for him to get there expeditiously!
       What if she told her abuser how disappointed she was that he was not the beacon for peace in her home that she thought he would be and he responded with, “You think that I am here to bring peace? I'm not here to bring peace, but a sword. I'm here to sow discord between members of your family. I'm here to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law so that a man's foes will be folk of his own household.” And what if he followed that up with the notion that, “Any woman who loves her parents or children more than me, isn't worthy of me”?
       I don't know of  any woman who would “stand by her man” under such extreme circumstances! ...and yet... Christians (the group of believers I'm most familiar with, but the same applies to all believers in a deity) claim to LOVE their god who exhibits every characteristic attributed to the male abuser cited above!
       Jehovah/Yahweh/Jealous [Ex. 34:14 says one of the NAMES of the Christian god is Jealous] is a serial child killer according to the “bibble” (because it's all dribble to me). He supposedly killed hordes of children in the “great flood” [mass infanticide AND mass genocide] as well as hordes of Egyptian children in the Passover. This makes him an UPPI (Unapologetic Perpetrator of Pandemic Infanticide). This is not a lovable quality and yet believers are asked to not only LOVE this god, but to worship and adore him as well. But how do you love unlovable qualities?
       The Passover occurred because Pharaoh refused to “let [god's] people go” even though Pharaoh wanted at one point to let them go; but he couldn't do so because Jehovah/Yahweh/Jealous “hardened his heart” so that Pharaoh couldn't let them go. And the reason given for the “hardening” of Pharaoh's heart...? Wait for it.... so that an insecure god could “show his glory”! Sounds a bit self centered to me. So how is it that selfishness and jealousy are considered negative characteristics for the followers of Christianity but are okay characteristics for their leader? [Biblical Texts to Show God’s Zeal for His Own Glory]
       Like the batterer above, Jehovah/Yahweh/Jealous asked Abraham to kill his son to show allegiance to his god (Gen. 22:2-12). Who DOES that shit?!! Jesus – whom, through the magic of the trinity is both the “holy spirit” AND Jehovah/Yahweh/Jealous all in one – said in the new testament that he didn't come to bring peace but war (a sword)! [Matt. 10:34] He said that he came to set families against each other so that family members would be enemies! [Matt. 10:35-37] Hate your gay son. Despise your favorite uncle who lives with a woman he refuses to marry. Kick your atheist daughter out of your home so that “as for me and my house, we will serve the lord [my batterer]”. [Joshua 24:15] Not only is the EFFECT of these policies the destruction of the family, the destruction of the family is THE DESIRED RESULT!!!!
       Jesus says in the Bible that, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” [Matt. 10:37], “doubling down” on his “trinitarian counterpart” Jehovah/Yahweh/Jealous' “clear sign” that Abraham was not deserving of “god's love” if he loved his son more than he loved his god. But the family is supposed to be the cornerstone of society. I was taught that it is within the family unit that various personalities overcome their differences by accepting that "blood is thicker than water". We don't choose our family members and we all have some that we might have rejected had we knew what their personalities would evolve into, and had that option and the accompanying foresight been a reality.
       But we learn to accept those family members as they are simply because we value our families so much. And again, a health care pro would opine that the family unit who opts to accept each other's differences are ideal for society, as they are learning blocks toward a much more accepting society. So why would Christians embrace a god who feels that they should reject – and even be willing to kill – their family members for his “glory” when, conversely, they would counsel the battered woman to sever ties with the batterer who seeks the exact same thing? It's because they value the ASSOCIATION with their god OVER their principles!! The $64,000 question is "why"?
       It is my firm belief that believers value their association with their god over their core principles because of FEAR; otherwise their principles would be paramount! For instance, when I was in law school my graduate chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. had taken over the undergraduate chapter on campus because of several things. During this period one undergraduate member had hit a pledge in the testicles with his fist and I decided to inform the national president of the incident. Many of my brothers didn't approve of my action but it mattered not to me. When another frat – Andy Young – opined, during the 2008 presidential campaign that Bill Clinton was “blacker” than Barack Obama because he had slept with more black women, I dubbed him "Andy “sellout” Young for daring to suggest that the number of black women one had been inside of was a “barometer for blackness”.
       When a FAMU band member was killed in a fraternity hazing incident I opined that the perpetrators should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Now, why did I take these stands? It's simply because I always value principle over association! Anybody who expects to lead me anywhere categorically has to possess the same principles they expect me to exhibit! PERIOD! I don't care if it's a drill sergeant, fraternity member, friend, fellow police officer (if I were one, contrary to the “code of blue” where “good” police officers overlook the antics of the bad ones), or a GOD! It matters not! I always adhere to principle over association no matter who the hell said association is with! That's what keeps me grounded!
       Now a great many folk can truly understand my predilection for principles over associations in every instance described, but draw the line when it comes to their god! Why is that? I think that I have clearly demonstrated why it's not plausible that said allegiance is because of any love they feel for their associated god, any more than love would explain allegiance to their batterer who violated the same principles they hold dear. It's fear!
       It is the fear of being subjected to eternal pain and torture. It is the fear that the being they believe to be the provider of all sustenance will not provide for them. It is fear of his supposed omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence! These are the things that prompt the believer to overlook the incongruence of their supposed god's character with the principles near and dear to their hearts!
       But the fact is that the Bible says that, after the resurrection, those found lacking in the book of life are only subjected to a “second death”. Only the devil/serpent/Satan is said to be bound and tormented forever. [Rev. 20:10, 13-15]. Conversely, the Qur'an does say that the skin of individuals abiding in the “fire that is hell” repeatedly burns off and replenishes itself for the process to begin again – the prospect of which must scare the hell (no pun intended) out of Muslims! [Surah 4, Ayah 56] Fortunately, the English translator of the Qur'an that I have opines in the introduction that the various ayahs that state that the “evil ones” shall “abide in the fire forever” – and then add the qualifier: “except as thy Lord pleases” – indicate that a reprieve from hell is possible. But again...fear, and not love...
       Also, believers are told that their god is the provider of all sustenance they receive. This is despite the fact that every good thing – be it a job, promotion, love, unexpected money, etc. – comes to us all via another human being! I seem to never be able to forget my dearly departed mother's response to an act of kindness from a neighbor or church community member, "I ain't gon' say thank you, baby, but I appreciate it" -- a ringing reminder that she felt GOD was the provider of all her sustenance no matter who said sustenance came from and that all thanks inure to him. 
       If the battered woman in the example above heard her batterer say that he was the provider of all sustenance -- no matter whom acts of kindness came from -- would she believe him? Yet, the believer believes that nothing, whether good or bad, happens except it be their god's will – either via his “perfect will” or his “permissive will”. And the “bad” things are viewed as happening for their “ultimate good”. Sadly this mindset makes severing ties with their god virtually impossible for many believers.
       Finally amongst the fears of god(s) stated three paragraphs above is the issue of his omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence – the all-everything god. Now I'm not omniscient but even I know how a god – IF he is omnipotent – could insure world peace, IF indeed that was what he desired! But as I have pointed out above – according to the Bible – the goal of this trinitarian god is to sow discord and NOT peace. But assuming for the moment that peace amongst mankind IS his goal, that he actually exists, and that he IS an all-everything being, here's how he could accomplish it.
  Now for this insight as to how an all-everything being could insure world peace to have any validity we must, for the sake of argument, assume that your god actually did create and actually does control the laws of the universe such as gravity, centrifugal force, planetary motion, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, etc. If this is true, it would be rational to assume that he could CHANGE any law and/or CREATE any other law he deemed necessary. All minds in agreement so far?
  We will call this hypothetical law -- that conveniently doesn't interfere with free will -- the “no weapons law” after the oft-cited verse, "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper..." [Isaiah 54:17]. This law would make it veritably impossible for one human being to harm another, and here's how it would work... All tools and potential weapons in existence would work exactly as normal UNTIL an attempt was made to use them to harm another human being. Hammers could be used to build houses, etc., but the moment someone tried to hit another with it, it would boomerang back and hit the perpetrator instead. Guns would work for target practice and to allow for the killing of animals for food, but would blow off a hand, foot, toe, etc. when attempts were made to harm or kill humans. The computer hacker attempting to place a virus on another's computer would end up with the virus on his/her own computer instead. 
       Eventually all who try to harm others would cease and desist said actions of their own accord -- via their own free will! Now clearly, I am not -- AND NO ONE ELSE IS -- all-knowing. And yet, little ole me can fathom a way that an all-powerful god could insure world peace. The fact that world peace doesn't exist leads to a few inescapable conclusions about the god many of you serve. The conclusions about your god would be that he/she/it:
       (a) is not omniscient (all-knowing) and simply doesn't 
             KNOW about the "no weapons law" described above;
       (b) is not omnipresent (everywhere at once) or he would 
             have heard ME speak on the matter countless times 
             and, thus, be aware of what he could do;
       (c) is not omnipotent (all-powerful) and simply is more
            powerful than us but certain things are outside of his
       (d) doesn't want peace and is true to his "word" that 
            manifestly states that his goal is to sow discord 
            -- though believers are taught that an anti-god (a devil, the believers' imaginary 
            foe) fills that role; or
       (e) simply doesn't exist!
     If believers were to opt for any of the above first three options listed above to explain their god's non-institution of a "no weapons law", they would merely have to adjust their thinking that their god is all-everything. He/she/it would merely be relegated to a god who is more powerful, more knowledgeable, and capable of being in more places than mankind but simply not all-everything -- yet still worthy of praise for what he tries to do. Accepting the fourth option would mean accepting the express "word of god" as it is written, and thus, accepting the rule of a diabolical god. Accepting the last option would mean accepting the notion that "if it is to be, it is up to we". Rejecting them all means they are simply afraid!
       Since the vast majority of believers would reject all of the options listed above as an explanation of their god's non-institution of a "no weapons law" -- coupled with all that has been offered here -- I have come to the inescapable conclusion that they cling to their god merely out of fear. THIS is the reason that I blaspheme your god(s) with regularity. I seek to remove that fear by being the example of one who blasphemes without consequence. ...but this is not without risk!
       The risk I take is solely the risk that one of YOU -- the very people I seek to free from the matrix of fear -- may do me harm. I need worry about nothing that your imaginary friend may do to me because imaginary beings have no power. The fact is that [WARNING! BLASPHEMY COMING] since the beginning of goddamn time not one goddamn god has harmed or killed one goddamn person! ...but PEOPLE with gods have killed a whole slew of people in the name of their goddamn god(s). [BLASPHEMY OVER. THE SQUEAMISH MAY CONTINUE FROM HERE] If this were not true I wouldn't give a damn about any of you wallowing in your own ignorance and fear. It is my sincere compassion for humanity that prompts me to take the risk I undertake -- and unlike police officers, I don't get paid diddly for putting my life on the line. According to your Bible there is no greater love that any man can have than to lay down his life for his friends. [John 15:13] I'm risking mine for strangers!

If it is to be, it's up to we...

       Why do I care so much? And why do I denigrate the god that I once praised? Ironically, I just finished watching a movie whose plot is strikingly on point: "The Huntsman: Winter's War (2016)". The huntsman was one of many huntsmen (male and female) taken by the evil ice queen as children and forced to train as mercenaries to conquer other lands, increasing her kingdom. They were told as children that love is a weakness and the representation of love evidenced by any longing for their parents -- slain by the queen's henchmen -- would not be tolerated by her. They weren't even asked to love her. Her only requirement was loyalty.
       When the "main" male huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) falls in love with a female huntsman, he learns that love is good, contrary to the edict of the ice queen. He leaves and later leads a mutiny against the ice queen. There was a time when I my loyalty to "god" mirrored the loyalty the huntsman once had for the ice queen -- except that I was NEVER willing to kill for my god, despite the pronouncements from his supposed "sacred book(s)". That loyalty is gone -- just like the huntsman -- after discovering the deceit.
       The huntsman discovered that, contrary to the ice queen's pronouncement, love is good. Malcolm X discovered Elijah Muhammad's deceit -- proclaiming that all white men are devils -- as well as his infidelities. I discovered that man's gods don't bring families together and instead, tears them apart. The huntsman fought against the ice queen literally, Malcolm fought against the Nation of Islam figuratively, and I fight against the tyrannical effect of the idea of god(s), all for the same reason -- that man might live in peace and harmony!

If it is to be, it's up to we...

       The major religions have an apocalyptic view of the world wherein war is inevitable in order for peace to finally reign. Their constituents, thus view catastrophic events to be indicative of "end times" wherein the "evil ones" will be purged from the earth. But who are these evil ones? Christianity calls all non-followers heathens. Muslims call them infidels. The Qur'an refers to them as "those who hated instruction". The Bhagavad Gita: As It Is (one of the main Hindu sacred texts), in one of it's purports (explanations) states that, "There are two classes of men, namely the devotee [to Lord Krsna (Krishna, English)] and the demon". (Chapter 4, Text 3, PURPORT)
       Armies are arrayed constantly with the notion that "god is on their side". This ranges from believing god to be for your cause and thus, clearing the way for victory, to -- definitely in the case with some Muslims -- god actually using your bodies to fight his battle. The Qur'an states that in the Battle of Badr "So you slew them not but Allah slew them, and thou smotest not when thou didst smite (the enemy), but Allah smote (him)..." (Surah 8, Ayah 17). Clearly the belief in god(s) destroys families and societies, and has the enormous potential to destroy the only world we know of.

If it is to be, it's up to we...
       In an age where mankind is capable of constructing philosophies, laws, and governing systems -- like the golden rule (which predates Christianity); equal protection of race, color, and creed; and democracy -- that lift up families and societies instead of destroying them as theology does, it's time to embrace man's superior systems over antiquated superstitions. Therefore, I evolved from mere atheist to anti-theist -- seeking the eradication of all belief in all gods! And for those who are yet desirous of an organized belief system to guide them -- like I was, coming out of a sort of Christian pluralism -- I recommend Humanism, where belief lies solely in each other and the power of collaborative will; and NEVER seeks to make enemies of familial and societal members who think differently.
       The start of my blasphemy of your god (name one) was about five years ago in response to continued proselytizing from a Christian co-worker to whom I had disclosed that I am an atheist but a former Christian. He surmised that he could "bring me back into the fold" by continuously preaching/witnessing to me. As if that the other huntsman could change the huntsman's mind, or other members of the Nation of Islam could change Malcolm's mind. When your eyes are open to the truth, there is no going back! So his repeated attempts prompted me to say, (blasphemy no. 1, stated in the NOTE at the end of article. Believers would be too shocked to continue to the end if I stated the blasphemy here).
       I later "doubled down" on by blasphemy by exclaiming that, (blasphemy no.2, also in NOTE at end of article). By then my blasphemy had taken on a different purpose. It was designed specifically to help to remove fear from the minds of believers that their imaginary "boogeyman god" possessed the power to do anything to me in the form of chastisement. It had become clear to me that -- just like the battered woman -- believers didn't love their god; they merely fear him. So I opted to try and allay their fears by exposing their imaginary god to be weak, feckless, impotent -- just as the health care professional might try to expose the true lack of power in the batterer -- albeit probably using different techniques. And I do this with great risk to my well-being and my life -- again, not from your powerless imaginary god, but from his believers, the very people I seek to help to free from the bonds of mental slavery!
     I blaspheme because I seek a mutiny from "gods" for the betterment of humanity, just as the huntsman orchestrated the mutiny against the ice queen for the betterment of humanity. The only difference is that the ice queen actually did have powers that the huntsmen had to fight against. The gods we've created only have the power we have given them over us. We can take that back!

If it is to be...

[P.S. Since many of you believers will feel that I am worthy of severe chastisement after reading the full text of my blasphemies laid out in the note below, I issue a prayer challenge to you. I want all of you to pray to your god to chastise me! Some may pray for severe "near death" chastisement and some may pray for my actual death. I don't care which way you go, just that you pray that he "show up and show out". But, this chastisement must come in a form to make it clear that "god" is the one punishing me. Any harm from a believer will only further the argument that your god is imaginary and powerless to chastise me personally. 
       I'll make a suggestion. For those seeking merely a "show of power" why not pray that your god cause it to rain only upon me and for said rain to continue upon me -- on an otherwise sunny day -- for at least 10 straight minutes. Afterward, those who want me dead should pray that a lightning bolt strike me dead from within that pillar of rain. Somebody will start recording the phenomenon within minutes and post it to YouTube. ...and if the rain culminates with the fatal lightning blow at the end... no one would ever believe that god isn't real! This should be right up the alley of a "god" who's depicted in the bible as zealous for his own glory!
       For all you believers who are seriously pondering your relationship with your god, welcome. Your subsequent research will be the beginning of your mental freedom. For the rest, happy praying!

[NOTE: Blasphemy no.1, stated about five years ago in response to repeated proselytizing (and repeated on numerous occasions): "The only thing that your god can do for me is kiss my ass, suck my dick, and go straight to motha fuckin' hell"!
              Blasphemy no. 2, stated repeatedly after my decision to expose imaginary gods as weak, feckless, impotent, and useless: "The only thing god can do for me is lick my ass clean after I take a shit"!
              Blasphemy no. 3, not referred to above, but augmented to include the devil (imaginary foe of believers, since so many believers view non-believers as devil worshippers) and the holy spirit since the bible specifically states that blasphemy of the holy spirit is the only unforgivable sin (Mark 3:29; Matt. 12:32) but doesn't specifically state that the same is true for blaspheming any of the other two parts of the trinity: "The only thing that your devil, god, Jesus, holy spirit, or any other fucking god, demi-god, or anti-god you can think of can do for me is be my own personal bidet and lick my ass clean after I take a shit"!]

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Hidden Colors 4: The Religion Of White Supremacy

Hidden Colors 4: The Religion Of White Supremacy from Hidden Colors on Vimeo.

Friday, July 15, 2016


Many people believe that - despite the obvious surge in police misconduct, beatings, and killings - MOST police officers are GOOD! This video takes the opposite  view and explains in no uncertain terms exactly WHY most of them are actually BAD!! Once you watch the video, I'm CERTAIN that you will agree...

Math update: 10 - 20% (officers classified as "bad actors") + half of remainder... (involved in coverup for "bad officers")
10 + 45 = 55; 20 + 40 = 60
SOOO.... 55 - 60% = CLEAR MAJORITY!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Agnostic’s/Atheist’s Prayer/Exhortation

Upon evolving from a seeker of the "face of God" to agnosticism - but still believing in the "what God", though doubting the existence of the "who God" - I felt the need for a "prayer", incantation, or invocation that was relevant for me.

Since I don't revere or worship an entity, there is no need for prayer or supplication. Still, some type of recital, evocation, or exhortation - perhaps because of pure indoctrination into the worship of a "who God" since my youth - seemed helpful for the perpetual directing of positive energy. My concern is that there may be other agnostics and atheists who still feel the need for a set of words that help THEM to maintain faith in achieving goals - despite not having the luxury of reliance on a super being. 

This is what I came up with...

Agnostic’s/Atheist’s Prayer/Exhortation

Our higher selves
Which art within us,
Lift us up where we belong.

Let love prevail
That utopia may come,
In reality as it exists in our minds.

Lead us this day on the path toward commUNITY
And help us to understand others,
As we seek to be understood by them.

Let us not use our power only for self;
But direct it for the good of the whole.

For Love is the key
To all the power and all the glory
Forever and ever.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. - April 4, 1967 - Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence

This is the least known of Dr. King's speeches amongst the masses, but it needs to be heard because it is STILL relevant today.

Many folk have heard that the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. made the comment that the U.S. government [was/is] "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today". This was in context to a speech delivered on April 4, 1967 at Riverside Church in New York City - exactly one year before his untimely death. Though not as well-known as his other speeches, this is one of the ones that speak deeply to my soul. Because of a few "blips" in the audio, I include the entire speech that can be read along with the speech, if you so desire.

Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen:

I need not pause to say how very delighted I am to be here tonight, and how very delighted I am to see you expressing your concern about the issues that will be discussed tonight by turning out in such large numbers. I also want to say that I consider it a great honor to share this program with Dr. Bennett, Dr. Commager, and Rabbi Heschel, and some of the distinguished leaders and personalities of our nation. And of course it’s always good to come back to Riverside Church. Over the last eight years, I have had the privilege of preaching here almost every year in that period, and it is always a rich and rewarding experience to come to this great church and this great pulpit.

I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. I join you in this meeting because I am in deepest agreement with the aims and work of the organization which has brought us together: Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam. The recent statements of your executive committee are the sentiments of my own heart, and I found myself in full accord when I read its opening lines: "A time comes when silence is betrayal." And that time has come for us in relation to Vietnam.

The truth of these words is beyond doubt, but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government's policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one's own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexing as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty; but we must move on.

And some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. And we must rejoice as well, for surely this is the first time in our nation's history that a significant number of its religious leaders have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us trace its movements and pray that our own inner being may be sensitive to its guidance, for we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us.

Over the past two years, as I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart, as I have called for radical departures from the destruction of Vietnam, many persons have questioned me about the wisdom of my path. At the heart of their concerns this query has often loomed large and loud: "Why are you speaking about the war, Dr. King?" "Why are you joining the voices of dissent?" "Peace and civil rights don't mix," they say. "Aren't you hurting the cause of your people," they ask? And when I hear them, though I often understand the source of their concern, I am nevertheless greatly saddened, for such questions mean that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment or my calling. Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live.

In the light of such tragic misunderstanding, I deem it of signal importance to try to state clearly, and I trust concisely, why I believe that the path from Dexter Avenue Baptist Church -- the church in Montgomery, Alabama, where I began my pastorate -- leads clearly to this sanctuary tonight.

I come to this platform tonight to make a passionate plea to my beloved nation. This speech is not addressed to Hanoi or to the National Liberation Front. It is not addressed to China or to Russia. Nor is it an attempt to overlook the ambiguity of the total situation and the need for a collective solution to the tragedy of Vietnam. Neither is it an attempt to make North Vietnam or the National Liberation Front paragons of virtue, nor to overlook the role they must play in the successful resolution of the problem. While they both may have justifiable reasons to be suspicious of the good faith of the United States, life and history give eloquent testimony to the fact that conflicts are never resolved without trustful give and take on both sides.

Tonight, however, I wish not to speak with Hanoi and the National Liberation Front, but rather to my fellow Americans.

Since I am a preacher by calling, I suppose it is not surprising that I have seven major reasons for bringing Vietnam into the field of my moral vision. There is at the outset a very obvious and almost facile connection between the war in Vietnam and the struggle I, and others, have been waging in America. A few years ago there was a shining moment in that struggle. It seemed as if there was a real promise of hope for the poor -- both black and white -- through the poverty program. There were experiments, hopes, new beginnings. Then came the buildup in Vietnam, and I watched this program broken and eviscerated, as if it were some idle political plaything of a society gone mad on war, and I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube. So, I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such.

Perhaps a more tragic recognition of reality took place when it became clear to me that the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home. It was sending their sons and their brothers and their husbands to fight and to die in extraordinarily high proportions relative to the rest of the population. We were taking the black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in southwest Georgia and East Harlem. And so we have been repeatedly faced with the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same schools. And so we watch them in brutal solidarity burning the huts of a poor village, but we realize that they would hardly live on the same block in Chicago. I could not be silent in the face of such cruel manipulation of the poor.

My third reason moves to an even deeper level of awareness, for it grows out of my experience in the ghettoes of the North over the last three years -- especially the last three summers. As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they ask -- and rightly so -- what about Vietnam? They ask if our own nation wasn't using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today -- my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.

For those who ask the question, "Aren't you a civil rights leader?" and thereby mean to exclude me from the movement for peace, I have this further answer. In 1957 when a group of us formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, we chose as our motto: "To save the soul of America." We were convinced that we could not limit our vision to certain rights for black people, but instead affirmed the conviction that America would never be free or saved from itself until the descendants of its slaves were loosed completely from the shackles they still wear. In a way we were agreeing with Langston Hughes, that black bard of Harlem, who had written earlier:

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath --
America will be!

Now, it should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war. If America's soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read: Vietnam. It can never be saved so long as it destroys the deepest hopes of men the world over. So it is that those of us who are yet determined that America will be -- are -- are led down the path of protest and dissent, working for the health of our land.

As if the weight of such a commitment to the life and health of America were not enough, another burden of responsibility was placed upon me in 1954; and I cannot forget that the Nobel Peace Prize was also a commission, a commission to work harder than I had ever worked before for "the brotherhood of man." This is a calling that takes me beyond national allegiances, but even if it were not present I would yet have to live with the meaning of my commitment to the ministry of Jesus Christ. To me the relationship of this ministry to the making of peace is so obvious that I sometimes marvel at those who ask me why I'm speaking against the war. Could it be that they do not know that the good news was meant for all men -- for Communist and capitalist, for their children and ours, for black and for white, for revolutionary and conservative? Have they forgotten that my ministry is in obedience to the One who loved his enemies so fully that he died for them? What then can I say to the Vietcong or to Castro or to Mao as a faithful minister of this One? Can I threaten them with death or must I not share with them my life?

And finally, as I try to explain for you and for myself the road that leads from Montgomery to this place I would have offered all that was most valid if I simply said that I must be true to my conviction that I share with all men the calling to be a son of the living God. Beyond the calling of race or nation or creed is this vocation of sonship and brotherhood, and because I believe that the Father is deeply concerned especially for his suffering and helpless and outcast children, I come tonight to speak for them.

This I believe to be the privilege and the burden of all of us who deem ourselves bound by allegiances and loyalties which are broader and deeper than nationalism and which go beyond our nation's self-defined goals and positions. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation and for those it calls "enemy," for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers.

And as I ponder the madness of Vietnam and search within myself for ways to understand and respond in compassion, my mind goes constantly to the people of that peninsula. I speak now not of the soldiers of each side, not of the ideologies of the Liberation Front, not of the junta in Saigon, but simply of the people who have been living under the curse of war for almost three continuous decades now. I think of them, too, because it is clear to me that there will be no meaningful solution there until some attempt is made to know them and hear their broken cries.

They must see Americans as strange liberators. The Vietnamese people proclaimed their own independence in 1954 -- in 1945 rather -- after a combined French and Japanese occupation and before the communist revolution in China. They were led by Ho Chi Minh. Even though they quoted the American Declaration of Independence in their own document of freedom, we refused to recognize them. Instead, we decided to support France in its reconquest of her former colony. Our government felt then that the Vietnamese people were not ready for independence, and we again fell victim to the deadly Western arrogance that has poisoned the international atmosphere for so long. With that tragic decision we rejected a revolutionary government seeking self-determination and a government that had been established not by China -- for whom the Vietnamese have no great love -- but by clearly indigenous forces that included some communists. For the peasants this new government meant real land reform, one of the most important needs in their lives.

For nine years following 1945 we denied the people of Vietnam the right of independence. For nine years we vigorously supported the French in their abortive effort to recolonize Vietnam. Before the end of the war we were meeting eighty percent of the French war costs. Even before the French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu, they began to despair of their reckless action, but we did not. We encouraged them with our huge financial and military supplies to continue the war even after they had lost the will. Soon we would be paying almost the full costs of this tragic attempt at recolonization.

After the French were defeated, it looked as if independence and land reform would come again through the Geneva Agreement. But instead there came the United States, determined that Ho should not unify the temporarily divided nation, and the peasants watched again as we supported one of the most vicious modern dictators, our chosen man, Premier Diem. The peasants watched and cringed as Diem ruthlessly rooted out all opposition, supported their extortionist landlords, and refused even to discuss reunification with the North. The peasants watched as all this was presided over by United States' influence and then by increasing numbers of United States troops who came to help quell the insurgency that Diem's methods had aroused. When Diem was overthrown they may have been happy, but the long line of military dictators seemed to offer no real change, especially in terms of their need for land and peace.

The only change came from America, as we increased our troop commitments in support of governments which were singularly corrupt, inept, and without popular support. All the while the people read our leaflets and received the regular promises of peace and democracy and land reform. Now they languish under our bombs and consider us, not their fellow Vietnamese, the real enemy. They move sadly and apathetically as we herd them off the land of their fathers into concentration camps where minimal social needs are rarely met. They know they must move on or be destroyed by our bombs.

So they go, primarily women and children and the aged. They watch as we poison their water, as we kill a million acres of their crops. They must weep as the bulldozers roar through their areas preparing to destroy the precious trees. They wander into the hospitals with at least twenty casualties from American firepower for one Vietcong-inflicted injury. So far we may have killed a million of them, mostly children. They wander into the towns and see thousands of the children, homeless, without clothes, running in packs on the streets like animals. They see the children degraded by our soldiers as they beg for food. They see the children selling their sisters to our soldiers, soliciting for their mothers.

What do the peasants think as we ally ourselves with the landlords and as we refuse to put any action into our many words concerning land reform? What do they think as we test out our latest weapons on them, just as the Germans tested out new medicine and new tortures in the concentration camps of Europe? Where are the roots of the independent Vietnam we claim to be building? Is it among these voiceless ones?

We have destroyed their two most cherished institutions: the family and the village. We have destroyed their land and their crops. We have cooperated in the crushing -- in the crushing of the nation's only non-Communist revolutionary political force, the unified Buddhist Church. We have supported the enemies of the peasants of Saigon. We have corrupted their women and children and killed their men.

Now there is little left to build on, save bitterness. Soon, the only solid -- solid physical foundations remaining will be found at our military bases and in the concrete of the concentration camps we call "fortified hamlets." The peasants may well wonder if we plan to build our new Vietnam on such grounds as these. Could we blame them for such thoughts? We must speak for them and raise the questions they cannot raise. These, too, are our brothers.

Perhaps a more difficult but no less necessary task is to speak for those who have been designated as our enemies. What of the National Liberation Front, that strangely anonymous group we call "VC" or "communists"? What must they think of the United States of America when they realize that we permitted the repression and cruelty of Diem, which helped to bring them into being as a resistance group in the South? What do they think of our condoning the violence which led to their own taking up of arms? How can they believe in our integrity when now we speak of "aggression from the North" as if there were nothing more essential to the war? How can they trust us when now we charge them with violence after the murderous reign of Diem and charge them with violence while we pour every new weapon of death into their land? Surely we must understand their feelings, even if we do not condone their actions. Surely we must see that the men we supported pressed them to their violence. Surely we must see that our own computerized plans of destruction simply dwarf their greatest acts.

How do they judge us when our officials know that their membership is less than twenty-five percent communist, and yet insist on giving them the blanket name? What must they be thinking when they know that we are aware of their control of major sections of Vietnam, and yet we appear ready to allow national elections in which this highly organized political parallel government will not have a part? They ask how we can speak of free elections when the Saigon press is censored and controlled by the military junta. And they are surely right to wonder what kind of new government we plan to help form without them, the only party in real touch with the peasants. They question our political goals and they deny the reality of a peace settlement from which they will be excluded. Their questions are frighteningly relevant. Is our nation planning to build on political myth again, and then shore it up upon the power of new violence?

Here is the true meaning and value of compassion and nonviolence, when it helps us to see the enemy's point of view, to hear his questions, to know his assessment of ourselves. For from his view we may indeed see the basic weaknesses of our own condition, and if we are mature, we may learn and grow and profit from the wisdom of the brothers who are called the opposition.

So, too, with Hanoi. In the North, where our bombs now pummel the land, and our mines endanger the waterways, we are met by a deep but understandable mistrust. To speak for them is to explain this lack of confidence in Western words, and especially their distrust of American intentions now. In Hanoi are the men who led the nation to independence against the Japanese and the French, the men who sought membership in the French Commonwealth and were betrayed by the weakness of Paris and the willfulness of the colonial armies. It was they who led a second struggle against French domination at tremendous costs, and then were persuaded to give up the land they controlled between the thirteenth and seventeenth parallel as a temporary measure at Geneva. After 1954 they watched us conspire with Diem to prevent elections which could have surely brought Ho Chi Minh to power over a united Vietnam, and they realized they had been betrayed again. When we ask why they do not leap to negotiate, these things must be remembered.

Also, it must be clear that the leaders of Hanoi considered the presence of American troops in support of the Diem regime to have been the initial military breach of the Geneva Agreement concerning foreign troops. They remind us that they did not begin to send troops in large numbers and even supplies into the South until American forces had moved into the tens of thousands.

Hanoi remembers how our leaders refused to tell us the truth about the earlier North Vietnamese overtures for peace, how the president claimed that none existed when they had clearly been made. Ho Chi Minh has watched as America has spoken of peace and built up its forces, and now he has surely heard the increasing international rumors of American plans for an invasion of the North. He knows the bombing and shelling and mining we are doing are part of traditional pre-invasion strategy. Perhaps only his sense of humor and of irony can save him when he hears the most powerful nation of the world speaking of aggression as it drops thousands of bombs on a poor, weak nation more than eight hundred -- rather, eight thousand miles away from its shores.

At this point I should make it clear that while I have tried in these last few minutes to give a voice to the voiceless in Vietnam and to understand the arguments of those who are called "enemy," I am as deeply concerned about our own troops there as anything else. For it occurs to me that what we are submitting them to in Vietnam is not simply the brutalizing process that goes on in any war where armies face each other and seek to destroy. We are adding cynicism to the process of death, for they must know after a short period there that none of the things we claim to be fighting for are really involved. Before long they must know that their government has sent them into a struggle among Vietnamese, and the more sophisticated surely realize that we are on the side of the wealthy, and the secure, while we create a hell for the poor.

Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam. I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. I speak of the -- for the poor of America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home, and death and corruption in Vietnam. I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as one who loves America, to the leaders of our own nation: The great initiative in this war is ours; the initiative to stop it must be ours.

This is the message of the great Buddhist leaders of Vietnam. Recently one of them wrote these words, and I quote:

Each day the war goes on the hatred increases in the heart of the Vietnamese and in the hearts of those of humanitarian instinct. The Americans are forcing even their friends into becoming their enemies. It is curious that the Americans, who calculate so carefully on the possibilities of military victory, do not realize that in the process they are incurring deep psychological and political defeat. The image of America will never again be the image of revolution, freedom, and democracy, but the image of violence and militarism (unquote).

If we continue, there will be no doubt in my mind and in the mind of the world that we have no honorable intentions in Vietnam. If we do not stop our war against the people of Vietnam immediately, the world will be left with no other alternative than to see this as some horrible, clumsy, and deadly game we have decided to play. The world now demands a maturity of America that we may not be able to achieve. It demands that we admit that we have been wrong from the beginning of our adventure in Vietnam, that we have been detrimental to the life of the Vietnamese people. The situation is one in which we must be ready to turn sharply from our present ways. In order to atone for our sins and errors in Vietnam, we should take the initiative in bringing a halt to this tragic war.

I would like to suggest five concrete things that our government should do [immediately] to begin the long and difficult process of extricating ourselves from this nightmarish conflict:

Number one: End all bombing in North and South Vietnam.

Number two: Declare a unilateral cease-fire in the hope that such action will create the atmosphere for negotiation.

Three: Take immediate steps to prevent other battlegrounds in Southeast Asia by curtailing our military buildup in Thailand and our interference in Laos.

Four: Realistically accept the fact that the National Liberation Front has substantial support in South Vietnam and must thereby play a role in any meaningful negotiations and any future Vietnam government.

Five: Set a date that we will remove all foreign troops from Vietnam in accordance with the 1954 Geneva Agreement.

Part of our ongoing -- Part of our ongoing commitment might well express itself in an offer to grant asylum to any Vietnamese who fears for his life under a new regime which included the Liberation Front. Then we must make what reparations we can for the damage we have done. We must provide the medical aid that is badly needed, making it available in this country, if necessary. Meanwhile -- Meanwhile, we in the churches and synagogues have a continuing task while we urge our government to disengage itself from a disgraceful commitment. We must continue to raise our voices and our lives if our nation persists in its perverse ways in Vietnam. We must be prepared to match actions with words by seeking out every creative method of protest possible.

As we counsel young men concerning military service, we must clarify for them our nation's role in Vietnam and challenge them with the alternative of conscientious objection. I am pleased to say that this is a path now chosen by more than seventy students at my own alma mater, Morehouse College, and I recommend it to all who find the American course in Vietnam a dishonorable and unjust one. Moreover, I would encourage all ministers of draft age to give up their ministerial exemptions and seek status as conscientious objectors. These are the times for real choices and not false ones. We are at the moment when our lives must be placed on the line if our nation is to survive its own folly. Every man of humane convictions must decide on the protest that best suits his convictions, but we must all protest.

Now there is something seductively tempting about stopping there and sending us all off on what in some circles has become a popular crusade against the war in Vietnam. I say we must enter that struggle, but I wish to go on now to say something even more disturbing.

The war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit, and if we ignore this sobering reality...and if we ignore this sobering reality, we will find ourselves organizing "clergy and laymen concerned" committees for the next generation. They will be concerned about Guatemala -- Guatemala and Peru. They will be concerned about Thailand and Cambodia. They will be concerned about Mozambique and South Africa. We will be marching for these and a dozen other names and attending rallies without end, unless there is a significant and profound change in American life and policy.

And so, such thoughts take us beyond Vietnam, but not beyond our calling as sons of the living God.

In 1957, a sensitive American official overseas said that it seemed to him that our nation was on the wrong side of a world revolution. During the past ten years, we have seen emerge a pattern of suppression which has now justified the presence of U.S. military advisors in Venezuela. This need to maintain social stability for our investments accounts for the counterrevolutionary action of American forces in Guatemala. It tells why American helicopters are being used against guerrillas in Cambodia and why American napalm and Green Beret forces have already been active against rebels in Peru.

It is with such activity in mind that the words of the late John F. Kennedy come back to haunt us. Five years ago he said, "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." Increasingly, by choice or by accident, this is the role our nation has taken, the role of those who make peaceful revolution impossible by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investments. I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin...we must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand, we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life's roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life's highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.

A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say, "This is not just." It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of South America and say, "This is not just." The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just.

A true revolution of values will lay hand on the world order and say of war, "This way of settling differences is not just." This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing except a tragic death wish to prevent us from reordering our priorities so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from molding a recalcitrant status quo with bruised hands until we have fashioned it into a brotherhood.

This kind of positive revolution of values is our best defense against communism. War is not the answer. Communism will never be defeated by the use of atomic bombs or nuclear weapons. Let us not join those who shout war and, through their misguided passions, urge the United States to relinquish its participation in the United Nations. These are days which demand wise restraint and calm reasonableness. We must not engage in a negative anticommunism, but rather in a positive thrust for democracy, realizing that our greatest defense against communism is to take offensive action in behalf of justice. We must with positive action seek to remove those conditions of poverty, insecurity, and injustice, which are the fertile soil in which the seed of communism grows and develops.

These are revolutionary times. All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression, and out of the wounds of a frail world, new systems of justice and equality are being born. The shirtless and barefoot people of the land are rising up as never before. "The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light." We in the West must support these revolutions.

It is a sad fact that because of comfort, complacency, a morbid fear of communism, and our proneness to adjust to injustice, the Western nations that initiated so much of the revolutionary spirit of the modern world have now become the arch antirevolutionaries. This has driven many to feel that only Marxism has a revolutionary spirit. Therefore, communism is a judgment against our failure to make democracy real and follow through on the revolutions that we initiated. Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism. With this powerful commitment we shall boldly challenge the status quo and unjust mores, and thereby speed the day when "every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain."

A genuine revolution of values means in the final analysis that our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies.

This call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one's tribe, race, class, and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing -- embracing and unconditional love for all mankind. This oft misunderstood, this oft misinterpreted concept, so readily dismissed by the Nietzsches of the world as a weak and cowardly force, has now become an absolute necessity for the survival of man. When I speak of love I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response. I am not speaking of that force which is just emotional bosh. I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality. This Hindu-Muslim-Christian-Jewish-Buddhist belief about ultimate -- ultimate reality is beautifully summed up in the first epistle of Saint John: "Let us love one another, for love is God. And every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love." "If we love one another, God dwelleth in us and his love is perfected in us." Let us hope that this spirit will become the order of the day.

We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. And history is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate. As Arnold Toynbee says:

Love is the ultimate force that makes for the saving choice of life and good against the damning choice of death and evil. Therefore the first hope in our inventory must be the hope that love is going to have the last word (unquote).

We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood -- it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, "Too late." There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect. Omar Khayyam is right: "The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on."

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. If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.

Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter, but beautiful, struggle for a new world. This is the calling of the sons of God, and our brothers wait eagerly for our response. Shall we say the odds are too great? Shall we tell them the struggle is too hard? Will our message be that the forces of American life militate against their arrival as full men, and we send our deepest regrets? Or will there be another message -- of longing, of hope, of solidarity with their yearnings, of commitment to their cause, whatever the cost? The choice is ours, and though we might prefer it otherwise, we must choose in this crucial moment of human history.

As that noble bard of yesterday, James Russell Lowell, eloquently stated:

Once to every man and nation comes a moment to decide,
In the strife of truth and Falsehood, for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, God’s new Messiah offering each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever ‘twixt that darkness and that light.
Though the cause of evil prosper, yet ‘tis truth alone is strong
Though her portions be the scaffold, and upon the throne be wrong
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.

And if we will only make the right choice, we will be able to transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of peace. If we will make the right choice, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our world into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. If we will but make the right choice, we will be able to speed up the day, all over America and all over the world, when "justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream."

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Capitalist and Socialist Elements of a Competitive Market System

Certainly many who are accustomed to hearing media pundits and politicians pit capitalism against socialism will be reticent to acknowledge that elements of both economic systems have been at play in our competitive market system for most of the time that we have been a nation. This fact is neither readily acknowledged nor publicized simply because our “free press” is predominately owned by corporate moguls who fund our political campaigns - a circumstance solidified by the January 21, 2010 U.S. Supreme Court Decision, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. This decision allows for even more corporate spending to insure the election of “corporate candidates” who will undoubtedly continue to allow unfettered corporate acquisition of media outlets. Thus - since you are unlikely to get the truth about anything from mainstream media - you “better recognize” and seek out and subscribe to blogs like mine.

Let me first of all acknowledge that I am neither a capitalist nor a socialist. I am an “inclusion-ist” - a hybrid form of the two. Additionally, I submit that both the American and Chinese competitive market systems are also hybrid, “inclusion-ist” systems. The only difference is that China’s economic system is basically socialist with capitalist elements and ours is basically capitalist with socialist elements. The mixture of capitalist and socialist elements in a competitive market society springs from the knowledge that both are incomplete, standing alone, to provide for the common welfare of an entire citizenry. America realized this long ago and China has come to the realization in the past few decades or so. So the REAL argument has never been one of capitalism versus socialism. The REAL issue has always been, “what is the proper mix of the two”.