Monday, January 15, 2007

Merry MLK Day

Ooops, my mind was thinking it was Sunday.

I hope everyone is having and or had a happy Martin Luther King Day.

My mind is running off track because I've been thinking about those things which cause division in our society. In previous posts, I pointed out that you can structure holidays and temples in ways that are divisive. This type of game gets played on both sides of the "culture war". It is even possible for culture warriors to make days that we all love (like Christmas) divisive.

On of the challenges in life is to resist people who want to divide and conquer. King saw the divide and conquer mantiality as a force that leads to chaos, not community.

Martin Luther King played an important role in the debate about division in our society. There were some who had studied revolutionary theory and who wanted to see the civil rights movement be more violent than it was. Some wanted it to be part of larger social revolutions. Martin Luther King resisted the violence and escalation. Instead he focused on the aim of eliminating blatant wrongs within our society.

The social challenges of today really are not as deep as the racial divide that had existed in the deep South (and throughout all America) in the bad-old-days of Jim Crow. I hope people reflecting on MLK realize that real progress gets made when we find ways to solve problems. We only achieve regress when we divide people off into us-v-them encampments.

To conclude this MLK day, I wish everyone well. If there happens be a group you dislike, think positive thoughts about that group. If there is an issue you see that is oppressing people, think of positive ways to remove the oppression, but do not hate the oppressor.

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