"This business of [killing people with drones], of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows...of sending men [and women] home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."
Such were the words spoken by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, 1967 at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned, a group committed to ending the war in Vietnam. At this meeting King declared that he could no longer be silent in the face of the war and its atrocities. "A time comes," Kind said, "when silence is betrayal. That time has come for us in relation to Vietnam."
Of course, I tweaked his speech a bit; instead of "killing people with drones," King referred to "burning human beings with napalm" (I also added "women" in recognition of our soldiers). That my tweaking did no violence upon King's overall critique speaks volumes to how far we still have to go or, perhaps more pointedly, how close this nation is -- through this unending war in Afghanistan -- to spiritual death.
The Nation magazine has issued a call to "kill the kill list." I invite you to answer that call.
"Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism."