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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

America Come Home

It Is Time For All People of Conscience To Call America
To Come Home

By Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Jesse's Crossroads Cafe
Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question
the fairness and justice of many of our present policies.

On the one hand, we are called to play the Good Samaritan
on life's roadside, but that will be only an initial act.

One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must
be changed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten
and robbed as they make their journey on life's highway.

True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar.

A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring
contrast of poverty and wealth with righteous indignation.

It will look across the seas and see individual capitalists
of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa,
and South America, only to take the profits out with no
concern for the social betterment of the countries, and
say, "This is not just."

It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America
and say, "This is not just."

The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach
others and nothing to learn from them is not just.

A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and
say of war, "This way of settling differences is not just."

This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our
nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous
drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending
men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped
and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom,
justice, and love...

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on
military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching
spiritual death.

We are presently moving down a dead-end road that can lead to
national disaster.

America has strayed to the far country of racism and militarism.

The home that all too many Americans left was solidly structured
idealistically; its pillars were solidly grounded in the insights of
our Judeo-Christian heritage.

All men are made in the image of God.

All men are brothers.

All men are created equal.

Every man is an heir to a legacy of dignity and worth.

Every man has rights that are neither conferred by, nor derived
from the State--they are God-given.

Out of one blood, God made all men to dwell upon the face of
the earth.

What a marvelous foundation for any home! What a glorious
and healthy place to inhabit.

But America's strayed away, and this unnatural excursion has
brought only confusion and bewilderment.

It has left hearts aching with guilt and minds distorted with

It is time for all people of conscience to call upon America
to come back home.

Come home, America.

Omar Khayyam is right: "The moving finger writes, and having writ
moves on."

I call on Washington today. I call on every man and woman of good
will all over America today.

I call on the young men of America who must make a choice today
to take a stand on this issue.

Tomorrow may be too late. The book may close.

And don't let anybody make you think that God chose America as
his divine, messianic force to be a sort of policeman of the whole

God has a way of standing before the nations with judgment, and it
seems that I can hear God saying to America, "You're too arrogant!

And if you don't change your ways, I will rise up and break the
backbone of your power, and I'll place it in the hands of a nation
that doesn't even know my name.

Be still and know that I'm God.

Now it isn't easy to stand up for truth and for justice. Sometimes it
means being frustrated.

When you tell the truth and take a stand, sometimes it means that
you will walk the streets with a burdened heart.

Sometimes it means losing a job...means being abused and scorned.

It may mean having a seven, eight year old child asking a daddy,
"Why do you have to go to jail so much?"

And I've long since learned that to be a follower of Jesus Christ
means taking up the cross.

And my bible tells me that Good Friday comes before Easter.

Before the crown we wear, there is the cross that we must bear.

Let us bear it--bear it for truth, bear it for justice, and bear it
for peace.

Let us go out this morning with that determination. And I have
not lost faith.

I'm not in despair, because I know that there is a moral order.

I haven't lost faith, because the arc of the moral universe is long,
but it bends toward justice.

I can still sing "We Shall Overcome" because Carlyle was right:
"No lie can live forever."

We shall overcome because William Cullen Bryant was right:
"Truth pressed to earth will rise again."

We shall overcome because James Russell Lowell was right:
"Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne."

Yet, that scaffold sways the future.

We shall overcome because the bible is right: "You shall reap
what you sow."

With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of
despair a stone of hope.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church,
April 30, 1967

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