Monday, January 21, 2013

President Obama's Re-Inauguration on Martin Luther King Day: Commentary on the Synchronicity

Very interesting commentary today on the synchronicity that brings together the second inauguration of President Obama and the Martin Luther King holiday: 

The fact that Obama's inauguration is taking place on Martin Luther King Day – a federal public holiday to celebrate the birth of the civil rights leader – carries great symbolic resonance. The notion that America might vote in a black president now seems little more than a banal fact of life.

Obama will use two Bibles when he takes the oath of office, one owned by Abraham Lincoln, and another by King. "It’s almost like fate and history coming together," said Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), who worked alongside King in the fight for civil rights struggle. "If it hadn’t been for Martin Luther King Jr., there would be no Barack Obama as president."

At Blue Eyed Ennis, Phil Ewing focuses on the collaboration of Martin Luther King and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who said that he felt his legs praying when he marched beside Dr. King. Phil cites Heschel's God in Search of Man: A Philosophy of Judaism, noting how "bang on" Heschel's prophetic insights remain for us today:

When faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendor of the past; when faith becomes an heirloom rather than a living fountain; when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than with the voice of compassion–its message becomes meaningless.

It's almost as if someone has taken a snapshot of the arguments of the Catholic clerical old boys' club at this point in history, and of Catholics who support that club at all cost (creed trumps faith, discipline takes precedence over heartfelt worship, habit subsumes love, and authority tramples on love), and compared those arguments with what really counts in the prophetic literature that was at the heart of Heschel's spirituality.

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