Sunday, November 21, 2004
"I've seen too much hate to want to hate, myself, and I've seen hate on the faces of too many white sheriffs, too many white citizens' councillors, and too many Klansmen of the south to want to hate, myself; and every time I see it, I say to myself, hate is too great a burden to bear. Somehow we must be able to stand up before our most bitter opponents and say: 'We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We will meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will and we will still love you. We cannot in all good conscience obey your unjust laws and abide by the unjust system, because non-co-operation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is co-operation with good, and so throw us in jail and we will still love you. Bomb our homes and threaten our children, and, as difficult as it is, we will still love you. Send your hooded perpetrators of violence into our communities at the midnight hour and drag us out on some wayside road and leave us half-dead as you beat us, and we will still love you. Send your propaganda agents around the country, and make it appear that we are not fit, culturally and otherwise, for integration, but we'll still love you. But be assured that we'll wear you down by our capacity to suffer, and one day we will win our freedom. We will not only win freedom for ourselves, we will so appeal to your heart and conscience that we will win you in the process, and our victory will be a double victory."
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.
Posted by Matt Talbot at 10:49 PM
"These Fourteen Steps
That you are now about to walk
You do not take alone.
I walk with you.
Though you are you
And I am I
Yet we are truly one:
Therefore, my Way of the Cross,
Two thousand years ago
And your "way" now
Are also One.
But note this difference:
My Life was incomplete
Until I crowned it by my death;
Your Fourteen steps will only be complete
When you have crowned them
By your life.
-Clarence Enzler, "Everyone's Way of the Cross"
There are great possibilities for nobility and redemption in un-earned suffering. The only requirement is that the suffering is elevated by Love -- "Agape" love, love that is freely given and expects nothing in return. Am I saying, "Be a doormat"? No. I'm saying that standing in loving opposition, refusing to cooperate with evil but also refusing to hate the evil-doer, can be an occasion of reconciliation, which is better than some narrow definition of victory.
Posted by Matt Talbot at 9:45 PM
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
There are several factions in the Democratic Party pushing different solutions to our evident electoral problems.
One faction is advocating that the party basically write off the deeply red states -- the South and Great Plains -- in favor of an exclusively urban strategy. I think this grows out of the bitterness many feel at our defeat; I think it is an over-reaction, and ultimately a betrayal of people that should be the solid core of the democratic party.
Put morer plainly, I think this is exactly the wrong approach.
I think the democrats have had their asses handed to them in most of the last 30 years because they (we) have forgotten just what it is that makes us Democrats.
What has the party traditionally stood for? The little guy. Small farmers. The working class. Minority rights. People who don't have enough power or money to have any influence.
The Democrats could, TOMORROW, put together a winning coalition based on these people. Take, say, the bottom sixty percent of the income scale, and talk to all of them. Better yet, LISTEN to them. What are their priorities? What are their values? Who are they? We won't learn by proposing solutions to them. We will learn by listening to them.
Here's an idea that may seem strange -- give up on the BLUE states! They've been costing the democrats elections for years, and more than elections, their souls. The Blue states are the richer states (mostly); STOP listening to rich people.
Only people who are very, very economically comfortable would make abortion or gay marriage their number one, big-deal, no-compromise issues. Those of us who are well down the income ladder look at the democrats' priorities and say "What the @#$% are you people thinking?? We're hurting, the pain is getting worse, and you're all bunched up about gay marriage?! What is wrong with you?"
Posted by Matt Talbot at 8:20 PM