As I drove home from the Zen center last Wednesday, the local NPR station played Martin Luther King's remarkable speech entitled, "Beyond Vietnam," given on April 4, 1967.
Both Time Magazine and the Washington Post condemned Rev. King for siding with the enemy - a stance that betrayed their own blind misunderstandings, not only of Rev. King's words but of the notion of enemy.
Rev. King's message is more relevant than ever. Here's an excerpt from:
A genuine revolution of values means in the final analysis that our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies.
This call for a world-wide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one's tribe, race, class and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all men. This oft misunderstood and misinterpreted concept -- so readily dismissed by the Nietzsches of the world as a weak and cowardly force -- has now become an absolute necessity for the survival of man.
When I speak of love I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response. I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life.
Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality. This Hindu-Moslem-Christian-Jewish-Buddhist belief about ultimate reality is beautifully summed up in the first epistle of Saint John:
Let us love one another; for love is God and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us and his love is perfected in us.
Let us hope that this spirit will become the order of the day.
You can read the entire speech here. And you can listen to the speech below (my recommendation):