A call for an end to discrimination
On August 28, 1963, Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr made his, now-famous, “I have a dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, in the USA.
The message of the life of King is a call for an end to discrimination. If he were alive today, he would likely take up the civil rights issue that is facing us in this age: rights for people who are of different sexual orientations and gender identities.
As King wrote from jail in April, 1963, “an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Our task – always – is to seek the welfare of all people. We must always be aware, and working for justice, for the least among us. I read an article this week that states that this is the role of religious expression in a day where voices tend to push the role and reason-for-being of religion to the margins. The faithful hold up life. Inter-Faith Youth Core founder, Eboo Patel, has said wisely, “Show me a religion that doesn’t care about compassion. Show me a religion that doesn’t care about stewardship of the environment. Show me a religion that doesn’t care about hospitality.” Faith, and hopefully religious expression, is about compassion, hospitality, stewardship – values that are not always easily measured. …values that have to do with life and being.
We can seek the welfare of all people, like us and not like us. We can declare that life – in all its expressions found in various cultures and contexts – is to be revered. When all have a place and feel accepted, there will be true freedom. And that kind of freedom – which we glimpse occasionally on a grand scale – is always worth celebrating!
“Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring—when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state [or province] and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children — [black, white, gay, straight, Jews, Gentiles, Protestants, and Catholics] — will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old [African-American] spiritual: “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”