Monday we will officially celebrate the life of one of the greatest Americans of the twentieth century. Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi used the principles of the Gospel to bring two nations to their knees and to their feet at the same time. The following quote is taken from a speech Dr. King gave in April 1967, “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” The speech was delivered at the Riverside Church in New York City.
Forty years later our nation still continues to spend more on war than we do on programs of social uplift. How much longer can Americans be deprived of adequate health care and basic necessities so we can continue to feed the military industrial complex? How much longer can these agents of death and destruction continue to wrap themselves in the American flag? Samuel Johnson wrote that, “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” Notice the smear of Rep. Murtha who has spoken truth to power.
I pray that our leaders will have a spiritual awakening and realize the folly of war. War is big business. We seem to invent enemies to create a need for the use of weapons systems that in reality are draining America and Americans of their greatest resources. What is the likelihood that the money being spent on the battlefield could have found a cure for AIDS or cancer? What is the likelihood that our weapons have killed the future scientist that finds these cures?
Whatever happened to the Peace Dividend? Can you imagine what good we could do and how much terror and terrorism we could thwart if we turned our swords into plowshares and used our wealth and might to end poverty and starvation worldwide. Gandhi said that, “poverty is the worst form of violence.” Until we end the terror of poverty we will never end terrorism.