theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Praying for PEACE, Pragmatic of WAR

FILE - In this March 31, 1968 file photo, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., left, who heads the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, preaches to a capacity crowd from the pulpit at the National Cathedral in Washington. King spoke from the Cathedral's Canterbury Pulpit. It would be his last Sunday sermon before he was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis. (AP Photo/John Rous, File)
FILE - In this March 31, 1968 file photo, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., left, who heads the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, preaches to a capacity crowd from the pulpit at the National Cathedral in Washington. 
King spoke from the Cathedral's Canterbury Pulpit. It would be his last Sunday sermon before he was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis. (AP Photo/John Rous, File)


Cheryl K. Chumley


ANALYSIS/OPINION:
Martin Luther King Jr.said in his December 1964 Nobel Lecture that the further humankind goes in terms of material gain, the further humankind drifts on spiritual matters.
Wise words. Relevant words for these times.
Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives, what have you — a quick reflection: We can all stand to take a few more bites of humble pie and remember that hey, in the end, in the final end times, the midterm elections of 2018 aren’t really going to matter. The presidential election of 2020 will not be the be-all and end-all. The political offices of America’s hallowed congressional halls aren’t the end zones for humanity.
There are larger concerns — like courtesies and respect and humility and dignity and service to others, and learning the proper way to fight for right while still standing tall for peace.
Yes, our country’s at war with itself. We’ve got the Democrats doing this, the Republicans saying that, the president putting forth yada, yada, the progressives setting the stage for so forth and so on.
But we can still collectively wish for peace, hope for peace, pray for peace, all the while individually fighting for cultural and political wins.
We can draw some lines in the sand and agree on a few basic rules of engagement. We don’t have to tear a man down, shred a woman’s character, simply to score a cheap political point.
As Kingsaid: “Modern man has brought this whole world to an awe-inspiring threshold of the future. He has reached new and astonishing peaks of scientific success. He has produced machines that think and instruments that peer into the unfathomable ranges of interstellar space. He has built gigantic bridges to span the seas and gargantuan buildings to kiss the skies. His airplanes and spaceships have dwarfed distance, placed time in chains, and carved highways through the stratosphere.”
How much more so today, 50-plus years after this speech.
The dawn of artificial intelligence — the modern time technology that’s been infused into daily living. America, 2018, is a very different world than America, 1964.
But not so different in the most important matters, it seems. Not so different in confronting what still challenges on a wide-scale basis.
“[I]n spite of these spectacular strides in science and technology,” King went on, “something basic is missing. There is a sort of poverty of the spirit which stands in glaring contrast to our scientific and technological abundance. The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers.”
The more things change, the more they stay the same, right?
Today, we have politicians on Capitol Hill who think it’s A-OK to tear down a Supreme Court nominee with fabrications of high school days gone by — because it’s what their base wants and demands.
We have protesters in the streets who think it’s First Amendment freedom to rip restaurant take-home boxes out of the hands of duly elected, or storm-troop White House officials and their families as they dine in public — because this is what passes for proper politicking.
We have members of the media drumming up and spinning the worst of the worst, pointing at this president, this Cabinet, this White House for the very same faults that are then automatically and vigorously free-passed for the left. This is not the America that was supposed to be.
This is not the America founders envisioned, the one patriots fought for, the nation good citizens of moral upbringing struggled to preserve.
This is not even the country King himself wanted.
“Every man lives in two realms,” he said, not-so-far-back in 1964, “the internal and the external. The internal is that realm of spiritual ends expressed in art, literature, morals, and religion. The external is that complex of devices, techniques, mechanisms, and instrumentalities by means of which we live. Our problem today is that we have allowed the internal to become lost in the external. We have allowed the means by which we live to outdistance the ends for which we live.”
It’s the same now as it was then; the same then as it is now.
So, too, the solution.
Pragmatically speaking, our country may be at war with itself, divided by political lines over a battle for sovereignty, morality and cultural identification. We can’t ignore the war; we can’t turn blind eyes to the battle. But as King noted, violence as an answer is neither practical nor moral.
“Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love,” he said.
Violence is immortal because it tears down, rather than builds up. And how can a country torn from within, by those from within, ever build back up and recover?
We have to fight better.
We have to fight right.
We have to learn to fight with both sword and with cup — knowing when to bring the firepower, when to extend the charity; discerning when to wield the sledgehammer, when to offer the olive branch. And we have to start fighting with courtesy and humanity and respect, prioritizing prayers for peace as a pragmatic way of waging war.
The shared fate of our nation depends on it. The shared fate of our humanity relies on it.
Source>https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/nov/3/praying-peace-pragmatic-war/

No comments:

Post a Comment