Today is a very special day for me, for many Muslim Americans, and for all of us Americans who realize that America remains an unfinished dream.
Today's the 45th anniversary of Brother Martin's historic speech at Riverside Church on April 4th, 1967.
This was Martin's radical recognition of the profound connection between racism, materialism, and militarism, a connection that we are today desperately in need of recognizing and fighting against.
The racism that would lead to the death of Trayvon Martin, the militarism that would have us put military bases on more than 150 countries and fight war after war, and materialism that has the top 1% of Americans own more than the bottom 150 million and leave tens of millions without healthcare and massive numbers of our children below the poverty line are all connected.
That "triplet giant evil" is to be countered with the sacred affirmation of the dignity of all human life.
Take a minute to listen to Dr. King's speech, and ponder what it would look like to substitute Iraq/Afghanistan for Vietnam, and the threat of "radical Islam" for communism:
This day, every day, if we want to honor Martin, let us realize that: "Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love."
That is the way to honor a prophet, by heeding their prophetic call, and standing up for God's children by removing all that blocks love for all. And as Martin said, this mission would have to cultivate "allegiances and loyalties which are broader and deeper than nationalism and which go beyond our nation's self-defined goals and positions. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy."
This day, every day, if you want to honor Martin, pick up the mantle of Martin, and continue the struggle for peace and justice based on a commitment to love for all, a commitment to nonviolence, and a commitment to "let justice roll down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream." [Amos 5:24]
The prophets, and the Dream, lives -- or dies -- inside each and everyone of us. May we have the courage and determination to live out this lofty dream by dismantling all that blocks our hearts from pursuing this path of love and justice.
May we honor Martin today, and everyday, not but honoring a man, but by striving make the dream a reality.
Image of Martin Luther king is from here.
Image of Martin Luther King Quote about Love, power, and justice is from here.