Today Is A Holiday

Today is a holiday because we are celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was not a perfect person, but he was a visionary who did some things that needed to be done–and he did them peacefully.

LiveLeak has posted a transcript of the speech Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., gave in Memphis, Tennessee, the day before he was assassinated. My husband and I were in Memphis at that time, and it was a very tense place before and after Dr. King’s assassination.

Here are a few highlights from that speech:

Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation. And I want to thank God, once more, for allowing me to be here with you.

You know, several years ago, I was in New York City autographing the first book that I had written. And while sitting there autographing books, a demented black woman came up. The only question I heard from her was, “Are you Martin Luther King?”

And I was looking down writing, and I said yes. And the next minute I felt something beating on my chest. Before I knew it I had been stabbed by this demented woman. I was rushed to Harlem Hospital. It was a dark Saturday afternoon. And that blade had gone through, and the X-rays revealed that the tip of the blade was on the edge of my aorta, the main artery. And once that’s punctured, you drown in your own blood?that’s the end of you.

It came out in the New York Times the next morning, that if I had sneezed, I would have died. Well, about four days later, they allowed me, after the operation, after my chest had been opened, and the blade had been taken out, to move around in the wheel chair in the hospital. They allowed me to read some of the mail that came in, and from all over the states, and the world, kind letters came in. I read a few, but one of them I will never forget. I had received one from the President and the Vice-President. I’ve forgotten what those telegrams said. I’d received a visit and a letter from the Governor of New York, but I’ve forgotten what the letter said. But there was another letter that came from a little girl, a young girl who was a student at the White Plains High School. And I looked at that letter, and I’ll never forget it. It said simply, “Dear Dr. King: I am a ninth-grade student at the White Plains High School.” She said, “While it should not matter, I would like to mention that I am a white girl. I read in the paper of your misfortune, and of your suffering. And I read that if you had sneezed, you would have died. And I’m simply writing you to say that I’m so happy that you didn’t sneeze.”

And I want to say tonight, I want to say that I am happy that I didn’t sneeze. Because if I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been around here in 1960, when students all over the South started sitting-in at lunch counters. And I knew that as they were sitting in, they were really standing up for the best in the American dream. And taking the whole nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been around in 1962, when Negroes in Albany, Georgia, decided to straighten their backs up. And whenever men and women straighten their backs up, they are going somewhere, because a man can’t ride your back unless it is bent. If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been here in 1963, when the black people of Birmingham, Alabama, aroused the conscience of this nation, and brought into being the Civil Rights Bill. If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have had a chance later that year, in August, to try to tell America about a dream that I had had. If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been down in Selma, Alabama, been in Memphis to see the community rally around those brothers and sisters who are suffering. I’m so happy that I didn’t sneeze.

And they were telling me, now it doesn’t matter now. It really doesn’t matter what happens now. I left Atlanta this morning, and as we got started on the plane, there were six of us, the pilot said over the public address system, “We are sorry for the delay, but we have Dr. Martin Luther King on the plane. And to be sure that all of the bags were checked, and to be sure that nothing would be wrong with the plane, we had to check out everything carefully. And we’ve had the plane protected and guarded all night.”

And then I got to Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?

Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

This is the man that we are celebrating today.

Has The Senate Read The Constitution?

Article VI, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution states:

…but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

This is a YouTube video of Diane Feinstein questioning appeals court nominee Amy Barrett during Judge Barrett’s confirmation hearing:

This line of questioning is unconstitutional and inappropriate. This is a religious litmus test. This is not anything new. During the 1960’s, there was a lot of reporting about the fact that John Kennedy was Catholic when he was running for President. He was elected in spite of that. We need to remember that the roots of our judicial system are Judeo-Christian. The people who founded and supported this nation in the early days of the republic were Christians and Jews. In the early days of America, weekly church services were held in the Capitol building.

The Declaration of Independence states:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights

Questioning a judicial nominee on her religious beliefs is totally inappropriate and not in alignment with the founding documents of America.

 

What Are We Teaching Our Children About America?

The Examiner is reporting today on one of the lessons included in the sixth-grade class assignments of the Common Core curriculum.

The article reports:

The assignment made the assumption that the United States government has determined that the Bill of Rights “is outdated and may not remain in its current form any longer.”

The children were to assume the persona of “experts on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights” in their aim to ensure that “the pursuit of happiness remains guarded in the 21st century,” despite the fact that the phrase “pursuit of happiness” exists in the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution.

There is nothing in the lesson that explains how the Constitution is amended, and the mother of the child said that the child did not think the word amended had been used in the lesson. Wouldn’t it be better to teach the children the value of the Bill of Rights, how unique it was for its time, and how unique America is because of the Bill of Rights? If we continue to undermine the respect our children have for America, we will raise a generation that will not understand or work to preserve our freedom.

 

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Happy Fourth of July

Posted by Andrea Soucy on facebook:

If the weather cooperates, there could be a lot of barbeques, beach cookouts, peak bagging, and bike tours this weekend; topped off by some fabulous fireworks. Sometime during the happy, hectic celebrations please take a few minutes to reflect on why all the cause for joy; we are celebrating the coming together of a greatly diverse group of men who pledged their fortunes, their lives, and their sacred honor to overthrow a government that had grown into a tyrannical and oppressive monstrosity. They saw themselves as citizens and felt that George III saw them as serfs to be exploited. Despite a number of years of pleas for redress to their grievances, the government became ever more repressive. That was when they came to a decision to throw off the yoke of oppression and create a nation of free men.

It was not a decision made without much discussion and soul searching. They knew that they might be seen as nothing more than treasonous men who would die in infamy after losing their fortunes, lives, and honor in the eyes of others. However, after prayer and reflection, they produced the Declaration of Independence and went back to their cities and towns to spread the news and raise the men to battle the most powerful military force of their time. Because they truly believed in their cause, they did not quit when the weather grew cold and snowy or their clothing tattered and torn. The rags with which they wrapped their feet when boots had fallen to shreds left bloody footprints in the snows of Valley Forge.

I often wonder if I could have persevered in those difficult conditions; I hope I would have but knowing my subterranean pain threshold think I might have folded, although the courage and perseverance of my comrades might have given me the strength to go onward. I certainly hope it would have been the latter. At any rate, I plan to take a bit of time on the fourth for some quiet reflection on their sacrifice that has given me the opportunity to live in the greatest nation that has ever existed to date. It was a noble experiment based on the novel idea that men did not need a king to tell them what to do and when to do it but was conceived with the idea that each person could rule himself if the government would recognize each person’s unalienable rights, given by no man but rather by the God of that person’s understanding, to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. As I look upon the current world scene, I am so grateful to those Founders for creating this nation and to God for allowing me to be born a citizen of this nation. Created by mortals, my country is not perfect but it is closer to perfection than any other nation I know and there is no where else I would want to live.

Andrea Soucy is a selectman for the town of Plainville, Massachusetts.

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