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Old 05-03-2011, 10:06 AM   #10
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,153
Re: Martin Luther King, Jr and O Sensei

To the thread question... I think we are talking somewhat apples and oranges. I think what Rev. King accomplished in his life and subsequent years afterwards is astonishing. As for the quote, I believe the quote is in reference to the Christian message to bring love to others and express it in yourself. This was a key message from Dr. King for many years. In many ways, Dr. King's movement was built on the Greek "agape" love for mankind as expressed by Jesus in his "love thy neighbor as thyself" sermon. I do not know enough about Shinto or Omoto Kyo to apply the equivalent message from O'Sensei. Everyone is "pro-humanity", at least on paper. I believe while each would express their own religious perspective, I believe both were strong believers in self-worth, self-reliance and compassion. I also believe that both advocated action to better society from this strong foundation.

As for the more current drift... Osama bin Laden was a bad person. I believe his death is just for the evil he inflicted upon the world. I think it is appropriate to feel compassion for his passing as a human being; I also believe it is appropriate to feel compassion for the actions in his life that destroyed the lives of others. I believe the net balance of his life is not positive and that is why I do not feel sorrow for him.

In the movie Tombstone, The Doc Holiday character speaks about the rival Johnny Ringo. The quote is, "A man like Ringo has got a great big hole, right in the middle of him. He can never kill enough, or steal enough, or inflict enough pain to ever fill it." The quote is constructed and a little corny, but there is a kernel of truth that resonates with me; some people are just bad.

Before we let the shade of our politics color our comments, we would speak freely of good and bad. Now its perspective, right? There was a time when we had the courage to confront bad people. "Run 'em out of town on a rail", right? Now some politician tells me that I have to let a pedophile live next door to my two children. There is law and there is justice and the two are not the same thing anymore. And that was one of the things Dr. King fought for all his life; to make laws just for all.
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