By Sara Vruggink
I think I will have more questions than answers in this post, but I believe this is an important discussion to revisit from time to time.
I had many ideas when I agreed to write for this week, as most news outlets are covering a number of high-profile events and legal issues right now, the implications of which could affect millions of people across the nation and the world. Just a few current events include the Bradley Manning trial, the news of Edward Snowden’s disclosures of wide-ranging, secretive U.S. government surveillance programs, the closure of dozens of schools in the city of Chicago, the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in Syria, and on and on. A quick scroll down the Google News U.S. Edition feed yields hundreds of stories from all over the world of people dealing with the consequences of decisions made by members of their respective governments and other influential people.
By Timothy S. Flanders
One of the greatest figures in the history of the United States is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He sought to fight a threefold evil in society: racism, militarism, and materialism. Since his assassination by the U.S. government in 1968, the historical memory and media coverage of this great man has narrowed the focus to only racism, severing dampening Dr. King’s legacy as a Christian ethicist and activist. But as slavery and legal discrimination in its ‘Old’ Jim Crow form has changed into the New Jim Crow in this country, the militarism and materialism—forces which were the means and ends of slavery, respectively—continue in full force. Dr. King’s vision, it seems, has been dampened because citizens of this country are not able to consider a new way of life without the residual benefits of slavery. We may deny our racist systems, but the militarism and materialism continues to possess us. They are the substantial means by which we maintain our plush affluence. Since the 1970s, however, louder voices have begun to question the sustainability of these lifestyles on the basis that they are undermining the very earth we stand upon—our livelihood itself.