Fifty Years On, MLK’s Call for Economic Justice Rings True

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Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was gunned down fifty years ago today on April 4, 1968. It was a turning point of the twentieth century, marking an ending and a beginning. It was the end of one phase of the Black Freedom struggle, and the beginning of one of the most volatile periods of U.S. politics since the Civil War.

 

"King was arguably the greatest progressive leader of the past century."(Photo: AP/Gerry Broome)

Image: Common Dreams

Dr. King was a Baptist minister, a prophetic visionary, a great coalition builder, a moral pillar, a polarizing figure, a movement strategist, a practitioner of nonviolence, a radical reformer. King was arguably the greatest progressive leader of the past century.

One the one hand, King’s life and his assassination seem distant after five decades. At the same time, it is haunting to know that King could be alive today had he lived on. He was only 39 when he was killed.

Perhaps it is a natural obsession to wonder what King could have been had he lived. What would he do today? What would he say about Trump? How would he respond to the issues of the day? Truth is, we don’t know. But we can learn urgent lessons from his life’s work.

More from Common Dreams

Posted by Libergirl

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Miss. Church Asks for Forgiveness for Barring Black Wedding

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Amid public outcry over its refusal to wed a black couple, First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs, Miss., issued an apology Sunday, expressing regret and admitting to being wrong.
“As a church, we express our apology to Te’Andrea and Charles Wilson for the hurt that was brought to them in the hours preceding their wedding and beyond,” the church stated. “We are seeking forgiveness and reconciliation with our Lord Jesus Christ, Te’Andrea and Charles, family and friends of the Hendersons and Wilsons, our church family, and our community for the actions and attitudes that have recently occurred.”
Te’Andrea and Charles Wilson had planned to marry at First Baptist, a predominantly white church, in July. But at the last minute, the couple was told that they would have to move the wedding to a different church. First Baptist Pastor Stan Weatherford said a small minority in his church opposed the wedding and thus to avoid conflict he decided to perform the wedding at a nearby church.
The Wilsons would have been the first black couple to marry at the 150-year-old church.
The move was met by protest by the public as word spread.
Russell D. Moore, dean of the School of Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., said he cringed when he heard about the church’s refusal to marry the African-American couple. First Baptist, he said, should seek repentance and reconciliation.

More from Audrey Barrick, Christian Post

Posted by The NON-Conformist

The Pledge of Allegiance and Fascism

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Image: enwikipedia.org

I wrote in a couple of blog posts about bloggers and journalists and the differences between the two. For this reason I like blogging. The 4th of July was just upon us. This is when bloggers can say things that are true whereas journalists can’t without fear of blow back. In this post I want to deal with the pledge of allegiance and fascism. After the ruling on the Affordable Care Act a.k.a Obamacare, Repubs lost their minds; literally. Some of them started throwing around the word fascism as if saying it three times the candy man would appear. That’s as foolish as the “idea” of fascism itself. I listened to their arguments and I was confused especially by one certain person who I can’t mention by name till she runs for president. Anyways, she was throwing the word around without “any” explanation of what she meant by it. This is what bothers me most, people in positions of authority shouldn’t allow guests to speak  frivolously because it may sound good. That’s fine in the interim but in the long run it can hurt one’s credibility.

We have to ask the question, what is fascism? Fascism is difficult to pin-point or define as it mostly deals with an ideology. It could be explained as an illiberal regime type, insofar as it denies the significance and rights of the individual and expects citizens to function together in a corporate fashion for the glory of the state. Fascism is defined as much by what it opposes as well as what it supports, it is anti-modern, anti-rationality, anti-democratic, and vehemently anti-communist. Fascism is also militaristic and espouses and imperialistic, expressionistic foreign policy and corporatism.

At a forward glance, this definition refers to both ruling parties in the United States. As a free-thinker as well as moderate/volunteerist, our political system is corrupted from both sides. I don’t think the founding Fathers planned for our country to be controlled from a Left/Right paradigm. Both sides want equal control to rule and put policies in as they please to control the minds and hearts of individuals. Indoctrination starts in schools beginnig with the worship of the state.

The Pledge of Allegiance was created by Francis Bellamy, a Baptist Minister as well as a Christian socialist. He first pinned the pledge in a magazine entitled The Youth’s Companion 1892. Before this he sold flags to schools. During that time he sold as many as 26,000 flags to schools but when the flag business began to dry up he started to speak to school superintendents to promote his new idea: the pledge. The program began around the flag being raised followed by the pledge. A controversy arose with the induction of the Bellamy salute. He was the first to champion what became popularized by Mussolini and later by Hitler. Hitler copied almost verbatim  from Mussolini down to the uniforms; so much for originality. The salute was later changed with hand over the heart gesture. Eisenhower later encouraged congress to add “Under God.” Because of Bellamy’s socialist views and his belief  in the rights of individuals and of equal distribution of economic resources, he was force to leave his church in Boston. He said his beliefs had always come from the teachings of Jesus and the Bible.

Political pundits decry socialism but, again, isn’t all government socialism? Don’t both sides want to control certain parts of the economy or all of it? While I believe Bellamy had a different idea the flag worship and pledge of allegiance is used to indoctrinate young kids to believe in an idea,  it’s a form of worship that should only be made for the creator.  America is no different from any other country that proposes worship of the state. People are free to do as they please but it doesn’t make one more patriotic. I believe it makes one more beholden to a failed idea.

The NON-Conformist

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