Today, we had a program at Christ Church Cathedral, St Louis called "Let Freedom Ring." It was an all day reading of the sermons, speeches and writings of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. While others read, I tweeted a good deal of the readings.
Many of his quotes are embedded on my brain, from both today and from the past. From the past, many of his words helped me understand why I cannot sit still while so much goes on around me. His words helped me, more than anyone thing, to understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Today only energized that understanding.
I first read Dr. King as a grad student at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth. Yeah, I know. Long time to go without reading Dr. King. It is a regret but I can guarantee you that I made up for it.
While I knew many of the speeches that I heard today and many of the direct quotes, one that struck me anew had to do with problems he noted: he said that we have a problem with a "sort of quasi-liberalism based on the principle of looking sympathetically at all sides." Basically, what he is saying is that all those fence sitters are not all nice and innocent; rather, what they are is a major problem. He is talking in particular about the "northern liberals" back in the 60's who claimed that the South was so wrong about it's attitude but didn't deliberately do anything about it.
That problem still exists, within and without the lesbigay population. People think that being gay or lesbian is not a problem...they don't even have a problem with same sex marriage...but they don't do anything about it.
Or worse, there are gays and lesbians who are gay or lesbian, married or coupled, some with kids. From their "lifestyle" one would assume that they do not have a problem with being gay or lesbian. They may even be bold about being gay or lesbian. Yet, what do they do to help those who are not able to be so bold? What do they do to change the world?
So, "quasi-liberalism" struck me as an appropriate term. Quasi...having some resemblance...almost, but not quite. Nearly...but not there yet.
So, what are we waiting on? What will it take to get people off of the fence?
One more quote: "Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating that absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will."
I'll leave it at that.