Sunday, November 08, 2009

"people of ill will use time"

This morning, I finally got to sit through an entire service at church. This fall has been spent teaching the middle school class. Today was my first "day off" since September and I relished the chance to sit in quiet, sing some hymns and reconnect with dear friends.

The two readings included one by Tony Kushner, the Angels in America playwright, and a excerpt from Martin Luther King's Letter from Birmingham. I took some liberties:

I had also hoped that the white straight moderate would reject the myth concerning time in relation to the struggle for freedom. I have just received a letter from a white straight brother in Texas. He writes: "All Christians know that the colored gay people will receive equal rights eventually, but it is possible that you are in too great a religious hurry. It has taken Christianity almost two thousand years to accomplish what it has. The teachings of Christ take time to come to earth." Such an attitude stems from a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely rational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this 'hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial all injustice to the solid rock of human dignity.

So to those of you who are silent as these ballot initiatives strip human rights - who chose not to speak out against the hatred towards gays, lesbians, transgender and bisexual persons, who attend houses of worship that ferment hate yet say nothing - you too are people of ill will.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is simply TIME.
Lovely post. Lovely liberties.

We've got to get this done.