Saturday, November 15, 2008

I Have A Dream Revisited

Truly, Martin Luther King's dream for America has come to culmination in the election of the first black President. Here is the text, audio file, and video-footage of the historic 1963 I have A Dream speech. What makes this speech so moving and powerful is his pleading for the most basic rights for his people.

I can't help read a speech like that and think of some other people...

A class of human beings, of persons, who are not granted the most basics rights under our laws. I can't help but think of little black persons, who are killed at a much higher percentage than little white persons. Martin Luther King's dream needs to be revisited for our time. His was important for his time, and we thank God for all the hearts that have been softened and changed. But it's time for a new civil rights movement. May God raise up a Martin Luther King for the unborn.

Please, read his speech and think of the oppressed in our time:

[I changed the wording ever so slightly. Words in green are not King's but are mine; green is for life. Sentences in bold are King's original words that I bolded for emphasis. This is an excerpt.]

When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, babies as well as grown, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her unborn citizens are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the unborn people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give the unborn upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of slaughter to the sunlit path of justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the unborn’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Two thousand nine is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the pro-lifers needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the unborn baby is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining America's babies their rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for their freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights for the unborn, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the unborn baby is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of any brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as America's babies, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities, because they never saw the light of day. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by a sign stating: "Planned Parenthood." No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until "justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream."¹

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, those who survived abortions and those who once made a living off the blood of unborn babies will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood, because the killing has ended.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of the injustice of abortion, sweltering with the heat of oppression of racial abortion, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that all little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by their size or helplessness but by their human dignity.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."²

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that all children will be free one day.

And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, babies, the elderly, those with Down Syndrome and all other handicaps, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro piritual:

Free at last!

Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, the little ones are free at last!³

Wake up America, no greater injustice has ever been permitted here, much less protected under your laws. But I believe as King said, there will be no rest in America until every person is protected by our laws.

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