3-Day Weekend

Exterior of Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, Rome, Italy  

As the calendar gods orchestrated it, the upcoming 3-day weekend will witness the convergence of three unique events.

Next Monday is the holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King.  Banks will be closed.  Mail will not get delivered.  Every major city in the U.S. has a Martin Luther King Boulevard or a Martin Luther King Drive.  In a domesticated way, we tend to honor fiery prophets once they’re dead.  If King were alive, he would have harsh words for fiscal cliffs and the way we accuse the poor and underserved for being takers from the system.  King would also have much to say about corporate creed, the tax system, our fondness for wars, and our violent culture.  King sounds a lot like Jesus.

This weekend is also the inauguration of President Obama.  On Sunday at noon, in a private ceremony, he will be sworn into office for a second term.  On Monday, the public inauguration will take place on the steps of the U. S. Capital.  The president will place his hand on Bibles once belonging to Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln.

The third event of the weekend is less known but gaining momentum.  On Saturday, the first National Gun Appreciation Day observance will take place.  The call to the faithful is found at www.gunappreciationday.com:  “On 01.19.13 go to your local gun store, gun range, or gun show with your Constitution, American flags and your ‘Hands off my Guns’ sign to send a loud and clear message to Congress and President Obama.”

It’s an attractive, well-designed web site.  Lots of red, white and blue.  The home page has a great shot (pun intended) of three females and one male enjoying a day at a local firing range.  A fair-skinned blonde is smiling as she grips her bright red (or is that a shade of cranberry?) pistol.  You just know she feels safe and secure in every situation.  I don’t see anywhere on the site that it’s supported by the NRA, but I imagine the folks at the National Rifle Association give their full support and plan to participate on Saturday.

What an amazing convergence this weekend!  Honoring the memory of a prophetic African-American.  Inaugurating the first African-American president to his second term.  Calling upon patriotic Americans to sharpen their shooting skills.

Is it fear that lurks in the DNA of some organizations?  The KKK was birthed in 1865 for the purpose of re-asserting the dominance of the white race.  The NRA was founded in 1871 for the purpose of teaching folks how to be better marksmen.  That the Civil War was over and more than 3 million former slaves roamed free must have made a lot of people nervous.

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character . . . I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together – Martin Luther King, Jr.

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6 Comments

  1. Christine Armbrecht January 18, 2013 at 2:38 am #

    Thank you for articulating the awful fear of ignorant people who still believe that victory is won by the power of mighty weapons.

  2. Brandon Grafius January 18, 2013 at 9:21 am #

    Thanks for another thoughtful post, Dan. In another piece of this convergence, the organizer of National Gun Appreciation Day also tried to take on the mantle of Dr. King: “I think Martin Luther King, Jr. would agree with me, if he were alive today, that if African Americans had been given the right to keep and bear arms from day one of the country’s founding, perhaps slavery might not have been a chapter in our history.”
    Not only do we honor fiery prophets after they’ve died, but as soon as they’re dead we can begin appropriating them for our own agenda. That’s much more convenient than having a discussion about what the prophet’s legacy actually is…

  3. Sue Robert January 18, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    Thank you Dan. Your thought provoking words and photos are appreciated. I dido Chris Armbrecht,s comment.

  4. Mike Holton January 18, 2013 at 10:50 am #

    Thank you Dan for this blog. Once again I am made aware that loving God is easy but loving my fellow man and his institutions is much harder. I will pray and continue to work on the latter.

  5. Jim Coty January 18, 2013 at 11:17 am #

    Well said.

  6. Barbara Thibeault January 18, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    Right on, Dan! Thanks so much for the thoughtful reflection on the upcoming week-end.