Monday, January 16, 2012

Pastors & MLK - On Today's War(s)


Thoughts from my friend, Rev. John Hay Jr.

VIETNAM AND IRAQ. Each MLK Day since George W. Bush attacked Iraq under false pretenses, the thought occurred to me that King would have not been silent about or acquiesced to the Iraq War. Based on his outspoken perspective on the Vietnam War (a perspective largely based on that war’s impact on poverty and economics), I doubt many would want to hear what Martin Luther King, Jr. would have had to say about the Iraq War. King’s stand against Vietnam was very unpopular. Some of his close associates felt he should not speak out against it. But his last speech on April 3, 1968 was a vow to stand solo, if need be, as a black civil rights leader against war. I know of only handful of pastors who have spoken against the Iraq War or any other. Fewer still who take it to the streets.

WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR? The image of a pastor--white, black, Latino, etc.--in American society is too closely associated with a suit in the pulpit. Let us not mistake our call to interpret and articulate prophesies with being prophetic. Let us not think we have delivered our soul when we have delivered our sermons. Let us not accept a generous paycheck from a congregation that buys clergy silence and keeps pastors on the sidelines of unjust and pressing local, national and world events. Let us put our words into action. Let our calling be expressed fully--in action, in solidarity, in the messiness of community conflict, in speaking truth to power (and not just from behind the pulpit). Jesus points the way. Martin contemporized Jesus' precedent. What are we waiting for?

From Rev. Hay's compelling and insightful blog - here.

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