Various thoughts on current events with an emphasis on politics, legal issues, sports, and whatever is on my mind. Emails can be sent to email@example.com; please put "blog comments" in the subject line.
Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., was first and foremost a devout Christian, a preacher of the word of God. All of his teachings were profoundly rooted in his religious faith. Yet he was always careful to express his thoughts in secular as well as religious terms. You did not have to be Christian, or be religious in any way, to get the message. Reverend King spoke clearly and eloquently to atheists, too.
His faith told him that God is a personal God. Every person is a child of this same God, created in His image. So every one of us is a "soul of infinite metaphysical value." Each of us has a sacred value and dignity. Since God has infinite freedom, each of us created in his image has a right to the fullest possible freedom. Rev. King spent his life, and gave his life, struggling for everyone's right to be free.
But suppose you don't believe in God? Well, Rev. King said, just think about your life and use your common sense. You know that you are a unique person with a unique set of potentials. You want to the right be free, to make the choices that you believe will realize your potentials to the fullest.
From an article I re-discovered. It is debatable how inclusive "religious" is and not believing in God need not cause you to be on the outside there. But, the most inclusive and successful religious leader, at least one who is trying to change society in some fashion, is inclusive. Also:
Paul O'Neill, former Secretary of the Treasury in the George W. Bush administration, recently wrote: "In a civilized society we have a responsibility to take care of our own needs." Rev. King would have gently pointed out that the truth is just the opposite. In a truly civilized society, we would all recognize a responsibility to take care of each other's needs.
Remember him? You know, someone cited as a sane voice in the Bush Administration, who to me calls to mind the 1990s Yankee OF. This is my sentiment to, the idea "we the people" have government in large part (to quote the Preamble of the Constitution) to "promote the general welfare." Ultimately, on some level, we are in the world alone, but clearly we cannot survive well if at all that way. Such sentiments lead me and others, beyond other things, to think opposition to PPACA as some sort of big threat on individual liberty in part rather selfish.