“One man come in the name of love
One man come and go
One man come here to justify
One man to overthrow
In the name of love!
One man in the name of love…
Free at last, they took your life.
But they could not take your pride.”
Pride, by U2 – written in honor of MLK
I’m sitting at home today, enjoying a day off, because Martin Luther King, Jr. spent his life sharing a dream of freedom. His dream was one of freedom from prejudice, freedom from hate, freedom of choice, freedom to disagree, freedom to live your individual dreams regardless of who you are or where you come from. It was a pretty spectacular dream and he gave his life sharing the wisdom of that vision, making sacrifices and risking everything as he desperately tried to lead a nation torn by hatred and prejudice into some semblance of unity.
Why should that be so hard?
I wonder what he would think of our nation now? I recently watched the movie (and read the book) “The Help.” I don’t think I’ve ever laughed, cried, or been inspired to violence so much during one film. Obviously violence would not be the answer but heaven help me, some of those characters made me see red! We all know enough about history to know the truth behind those character representations. But that was years ago, right? We’ve improved, haven’t we?
Sometimes I think we have. And then I hear derogatory and ignorant comments and comparisons about a Muslim president. I read about unemployment rates for African Americans vs Caucasians. For every inspiring song, such as the one quoted above, there are two promoting prejudice and discrimination.
For such a heavy topic, this is a pretty weak post. I don’t have answers. And my thoughts and questions on the subject of prejudice are a whirlwind in my mind as I try to puzzle out the answers. Is it a national catastrophe that the President chose to say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas and temporarily terminated the tradition of a White House Christmas tree? He has a right to his beliefs. One could argue the Christmas tree is more pagan than Christian anyway. And prayers in our schools? You can’t force a child to participate in prayer anymore than you can deny a child the right to pray. Where’s the balance? And why is Hollywood still dominated by Caucasian themes?
While this is just a sample of the questions I have, there is one thing I do know. I am a Christian. I’m a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. And every promise He ever made was directed to ALL His children with no qualification for gender, ethnicity, or current state of perceived righteousness. He created everyone of us. And I’m grateful for His obvious love of creativity and diversity.
An oversimplified statement perhaps. If we could just see each other through His eyes… But then, not everyone believes in Him. So, no answers. Just a rambling about a subject heavy on my heart.
And perhaps a pledge, that despite the lack of answers, I can still take a page from MLK’s book and be the change I wish to see. It starts with me.
Let freedom ring.