The Key That Unlocks the Door

NicolasDay 30 of our Lenten journey through Dr. King’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech.

This call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one’s tribe, race, class, and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all mankind. This oft misunderstood, this oft misinterpreted concept, so readily dismissed by the Nietzsches of the world as a weak and cowardly force, has now become an absolute necessity for the survival of man. When I speak of love I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response. I’m not speaking of that force which is just emotional bosh. I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality. This Hindu-Muslim-Christian-Jewish-Buddhist belief about ultimate reality is beautifully summed up in the first epistle of Saint John: “Let us love one another (Yes), for love is God. (Yes) And every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love. . . . If we love one another, God dwelleth in us and his love is perfected in us.” Let us hope that this spirit will become the order of the day.

By Elizabeth Nicolas, a Workers’ Rights Attorney at the Empire Justice Center (Rochester, NY)

In the weeks leading up to the 2016 presidential election, flyers were distributed in neighborhoods near my home in Rochester, NY that stated “Make Rochester Great Again.” The flyers directed residents to a website that promoted white supremacy. On the night of the presidential election, the home of a black family was vandalized: their windows were broken and a racial slur was spray painted across their house. The next day, two rainbow pride flags were set on fire while still attached to people’s homes. Continue reading “The Key That Unlocks the Door”