Tuesday, August 28, 2018

B.D. first appeared in Doonesbury in 1968, the year that Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated / Melissa Wheeler first appeared in 2007 / Melissa running for office in 2018 / Revisiting August 28, 1963

Thank you to robin andrea for bringing us all back to the events of 1967-1968, as we experience the events of  2018 and see what hasn't changed and what has changed.

Remembering August 28, 1963:

In the past 24 hours, I was struck by the thought that a person who practices nonviolence could not with good conscience be President of the United States, given the store of nuclear weapons that our military is prepared to use at any moment.  The President of the United States must accept the title of Commander in Chief of the Military.  A sobering awakening.

Nonviolent persons continue to serve in the United States, many of those persons serving in obscurity as well as in the public eye. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke out strongly against war but not in judgment of soldiers or anyone else as fellow flawed human beings.  It's time for me to read Strength to Love again.  No easy answers from Martin Luther King, Jr.   No demand that everyone follow him on his chosen road as a Christian doing his best to practice nonviolence.  He was not self-righteous.  He was a Christian in the truest sense of the word.


37paddington said...

I had that same sober awakening when Obama, a president I so greatly respect, ordered the killing of Osama Bin Laden. I found myself feeling so sad for Obama, thinking that to order the killing of anyone, even very bad people, must rent the soul.

ellen abbott said...

humans tend to elevate human life above all others and yet humans are capable of the most heinous acts. some people are so horrible that they need to be removed for the safety of so many others. it is well that there are those who will step up to that. we invest a lot of emotion in ending a human life but that life is no more important than the lives of the plants and animals that we end thoughtlessly for food or inconvenience.

am said...

Thank you for your directness, ellen abbott. Although I'm not a Christian like Martin Luther King, Jr., and do not follow any religious or spiritual tradition, I stand with the minority from various religious and spiritual traditions and no tradition at all throughout the world, those who look for and take nonviolent action rather than violent action and yet, I respect those who make the agonizing decision to kill in one-on-one self-defense or to protect another person. I cannot say that I wouldn't do the same.

I respect those throughout the world and throughout history who have found it necessary to hunt and fish for food to feed their families. I respect those throughout the world and throughout history who raise their own animals for food for their families. I respect those in the present day who raise animals humanely on a small scale and supply organic meat to those who choose to eat meat.

Because of various food intolerances, I cannot be a vegetarian, much less a vegan. My main source of protein is from local salmon and wild salmon caught in Alaska. Although I don't catch my own fish to eat, I am willing to catch fish. Catching and eating salmon is an ancient tradition of the Lummi Nation which sits side-by-side of the town where I live.

For inspiration, I look to those like Martin Luther King, Jr., who know from hard-won lived experience why they believe what they believe and who live those beliefs, not demanding that other people believe or live as they do.

beth coyote said...

I am unutterably sad that POTUS is being so petty to try to ignore McCain's death. What a sad little man. McCain was a war hero and while I'm firmly on the side of non-violence, as long as we insist on waging war with young, able bodied men and women, I will suffer with them when they come home, wounded and broken. So many vets are homeless, ill and forgotten. It's a disgrace.

ellen abbott said...

Hi am. Like you, I'm not a christian, nor subscribe to any religion or particular spiritual practice and I do practice non-violence as much as I can. I don't kill things indiscriminately, my domain being a 'no kill' zone. I let wasps build their nests, spiders their webs, I don't kill snakes (except copperheads, I've been bit by a copperhead even though I know it was only acting out of fear and warning), I don't use poisons in the yard (except on poison ivy), I let the possum live under my house, I don't kill bugs just because they exist. and yet I do commit violence against life when I kill the bugs attacking my food plants, when I harvest those plants (I do praise them and thank them), when I smack a mosquito, when I pull weeds, when I killed the rat trying to make a nest in the wall of my house, when I had a tree cut down, when I cut down the wild grape vines that want to cover everything. all life is equal, all life is sentient but I recognize that there are times when non-violence doesn't solve the problem. I see no difference between killing a tree and killing a human as they are both the destruction of life (even though I did kill a tree for convenience, wanted more light, I would not kill an animal for convenience so obviously I do have a hierarchy). life wants to exist. along with the urge to reproduce, preservation of life is the strongest biological imperative and we will, most of us, commit what violence we need to commit to live. we definitely, as a culture in this country, need more non-violence. we also need more tolerance and respect, not only for ideas and ways of being different from our own, but also towards all the other forms of life. All this said, I'm an omnivore. I don't see eating meat as immoral any more than eating plants. as I told my vegan granddaughter, that carrot is screaming all the way to your mouth. because we can't hear it, we think it isn't aware. this is a closed system, there is no manna from heaven, so what we eat, what all things eat to survive, to live, is each other. there is no shame in that. if there is shame, it's in how we go about it, causing misery.

am said...

Thank you, ellen abbott, for writing out your further thoughts along these paradoxical lines. That this is a closed system is a new thought for me. My experience is not that this is a closed system. I respect your experience of it being one. There are so many ways of experiencing what to me is largely mysterious and boundless. I forgot to say that I'm neither an atheist nor an agnostic. There may be no manna from heaven but I sense that there is something besides food which sustains living beings and everything else in an infinite experience, something that cannot be proven or described through logic or science. Hmmmm ... now I sound almost like a Taoist, but I'm not that either (-:

Turning to the words of that trickster, Walt Whitman:

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.