Thursday, April 17, 2014

Dr. Martin Luther King - "LETTER FROM BIRMINGHAM JAIL" - April 16,1963

"But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." Was not Amos an extremist for justice:... "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream." Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." Was not Martin Luther an extremist: "Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God." And John Bunyan: "I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience." And Abraham Lincoln: "This nation cannot survive half slave and half free." And Thomas Jefferson: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal ..." So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime---the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists."--- Dr. Martin Luther King ("LETTER FROM BIRMINGHAM JAIL"
April 16, 1963).

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Great Abe Lincoln

"I am slow to listen to criminations among friends, and never espouse their quarrels on either side. My sincere wish is that both sides will allow bygones to be bygones, and look to the present and future only.” Abraham Lincoln 8/31/1860

Library of Congress image

Monday, March 17, 2014

A South Carolina Wade Hampton Political Button

Above is an incredibly rare South Carolina trigate (political button containing three photographs) featuring Colonel, Governor, and later-US Senator Wade Hampton, and US Senators, Matthew C. Butler and Martin Gary. The pin commemorates the 1926 50th anniversary of Hampton's inauguration as Governor of South Carolina, and the election of Butler and Gary to the U.S. Senate. All three men served together in the Civil War.  It is, again, a very rare southern trigate.

I am pleased to have added it to my collection recently.  I love for the history, the provenance, the beauty, and the excellent condition of this historic piece.  South Carolina's southern, political history is without rival.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Fascinating Story of the Demise of The Big East

‘Requiem for the Big East’ is a great ESPN 30/30 production about the rise and fall of a great American institution and sports enterprise, the Big East Athletic Conference.  It’s just a fascinating American story about an institution, and an athletic conference, built on American capitalism and brought down by the same.  Greed and capitalism made the conference and the same destroyed it.  So paradoxical, like so much in America. 
 
It is amazing to watch the conference come out of small campus gyms in the late 70s and early 80s and then rise to national prominence in Madison Square Garden, Boston Garden, The Spectrum, and the Carrier Dome.  The rise paralleled the birth and rise of ESPN, located in Bristol, Conn., in the heart of Big East country.  The league coaches were an amazing cast of characters, Lou Carnesecca, Boeheim, Big John Thompson, Rollie Massimino, Pitino.  And the Syracuse/Georgetown rivalry became classic.   
 
The conference demise began with football as BC, VT and Miami left for bigger bucks, then Syracuse / Pitt leaving in 2011 sealed it.  This 30/30 production is a must see for anyone interested in the dynamics of American sports culture in 21st century and how TV contracts and the infusion of economic stimulus can impact American culture.  I highly recommend this ESPN 30/30 production. (It is on 'Demand')

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Spiritual Food For Thought (And Action)

The following are spiritually uplifting and thought provoking tweets, which I am archiving, from my 33-year old Senior Pastor who is in NYC this week in conjunction with a class he teaches at Wake Divinity School.  I am blessed to be exposed to such profound spiritual insight and motivation.  May they provide impetus.

"The Dwelling Place with Sister Nancy and Sister Margaret. "We pray that you will find your own dwelling place. A place to be and do all you were created to be and do." @wakediv"

"With Taylor Field of Graffiti NYC. "We prayed, 'Lord, give us the toughest assignments.'" @wakediv"

"With Amanda Ashcraft, Director of Outreach at Fifth Ave Presbyterian Church. "Our sense of sanctuary doesn't end when our doors close."

"New Sanctuary NYC with Juan Carlos Ruiz. "Welcoming the stranger is not a political issue. It's a spiritual issue."

"With Rev. Michael Elick of Judson Memorial Church. "People like to repeat what Jesus said, but they don't like to repeat what Jesus did." @wakediv"

"HuffPost Religion with Paul Raushenbush. "I consider myself a minister in the online setting...if we abdicate that presence we abdicate the faith." @wakediv @HuffPostRelig"

"With Rev. Pat Bumgardner at MCCNY. "If you want to merely go to church, there are plenty of places for you to go. If you want to ask how does this faith get acted out in the world, this might be the place for you." @wakediv

"With Rev. Heidi Neumark at Trinity Lutheran. "The Gospel lesson that day was on Peter getting out of the boat, and it was as if God said, 'Heidi, get out of the boat.'" @wakediv

"Union Theological Seminary for Chapel with the Black Women's Caucus and conversation with Dr. Troy Messenger. "We want worship to be a place of risk."" @wakediv

"Abyssinian Baptist Church with Sandra McNeill of the Abyssinian History and Heritage Committee. "Founded in 1808 by a group who refused to accept racially segregated seating in Gods house, Abyssinian was established as a fellowship of faith that would welcome all people to worship freely." @wakediv"

"Metro Baptist and Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries with Tiffany Triplett Henkel, Ronnie Adams and staff. "This church opens it's doors wide, and we're always thinking about how to widen the doorway." @wakediv"

These last two, not tweeted by my Pastor, just seemed appropriate.
 
"From God we hear the word: “If you want my goodness to stay with you then serve your neighbor, for that is where God comes to you.”"---Dietrich Bonhoeffer
 
"We are all just walking each other home." ~Ram Dass

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Franklin Roosevelt and Eleanor arrive at the White House, March of 1933, after receiving a resounding 57.4% of the vote. The nation was deep in economic depression, hundreds of banks closing, with long, desperate hunger lines across America. Thankfully, FDR was 'the man of the hour' to begin leading the nation out of despair. Great photo.

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