Reflection for the week of July 21, 2014 “To be honest in our answers we will each as leaders have to disrobe ourselves of the mantle of self-righteousness. We will each have to open our minds to critical self-examination and examination. We will each have to admit past wrongs and admit to public correction. We will each have to question the truths that we considered given to learn to live with a reality which demands that we change the assumptions which inform our action.” -Nelson Mandela, Opening Address at the Patriotic Front Summit Meeting, October 29, 1992
Reflection for the week of March 24, 2014 “Instead of the bright, blue sky of America, I am covered with the soft, grey fog of the Emerald Isle. I breathe, and lo! the chattel becomes a man.” -Frederick Douglass, letter to William Lloyd Garrison, 1845
Reflection for the week of March 10, 2014 “I have reached a point in my life where I understand the pain and challenges; and my attitude is one of standing up with open arms to meet them all… …If I may say it this way, I’ve been through a living hell, but with friends, with prayer… I’ve been able to rise above all of that and take the negatives and turn it into something positive.” –Myrlie Evers The Faith & Politics Institute led a congressional delegation to Mississippi and Alabama this past weekend, March 7-9, 2014. We were privileged on our pilgrimage to stand on the hallowed ground at Myrlie and Medgar Evers home in Jackson, Mississippi where we heard the moving testimony of Myrlie Evers as she described the night Medgar Evers was assassinated while stepping out of his car on his driveway to return home to his family. Governor Phil Bryant of Mississippi introduced Myrlie Evers to our delegation as “The First Lady of Mississippi.” We honor her and all the heroes and “sheroes” of the civil rights movement who are helping our nation move from pain to promise.
Reflection for the week of February 17, 2014 “Happy, thrice happy shall they bepronounced hereafter, who have contributed any thing, who have performed the meanest office in erecting this stupendous fabrick of Freedom and Empire on the broad basis of Independency; who have assisted in protecting the rights of humane nature and establishing an Asylum for the poor and oppressed of all nations and religions.” – George Washington’s General Orders given on April 18, 1783. “Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.” – George Washington’s Farewell Address 1796 George Washington was born on February 22, 1732 and lived to age 67, December 14, 1799.
Reflection for the week of February 10, 2014 “We are a nation of many people and many views. In such a nation, the prime purpose of a legislator, from wherever he may come, is to accommodate the interests, desires, wants, and needs of all our citizens. To alienate some in order to satisfy others is not only a disservice to those we alienate, but a violation of the principles of our Republic. Lawmaking is the reconciliation of divergent views. In a democratic society like ours, the purpose of representative government is to soften tension – reduce strife – while enabling groups and individuals to more nearly obtain the kind of life they wish to live.” –William M. McCulloch, 1971 William M. McCulloch served as a Republican Congressman from Ohio’s 4th district from November 4, 1947 – January 3, 1973. Today is the 50th anniversary of the House passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Congressman McCulloch introduced civil rights legislation and pushed for its passage. President Johnson commended Williams as an “important and powerful political force” in passing the 1964 civil rights law.
Reflection for the week of February 3, 2014 On the question of liberty, as a principle, we are not what we have been. When we were the political slaves of King George, and wanted to be free, we called the maxim that “all men are created equal” a self evident truth; but now when we have grown fat, and have lost all dread of being slaves ourselves, we have become so greedy to be masters that we call the same maxim a “self evident lie.” –Abraham Lincoln, August 15, 1855 Letter to George Robertson Abraham Lincoln was born February 12, 1809.
“My creed is that public service must be more than doing a job efficiently and honestly. It must be a complete dedication to the people and to the nation with full recognition that every human being is entitled to courtesy and consideration, that constructive criticism is not only to be expected but sought, that smears are not only to be expected but fought, that honor is to be earned but not bought.” – Margaret Chase Smith in The Declaration of Conscience. Margaret Chase Smith from Maine was the first woman elected to both the US House and US Senate. Fifty years ago on January 27, 1964, Smith announced her candidacy for President of the United States. In July 1964 at the Republican National Convention in San Francisco, she became the first woman whose name appeared as a presidential nominee at a major party’s convention.
Reflection for the week of August 6, 2013 Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny. –Mahatma Gandhi
Reflection for the week of July 30, 2013 We march today for jobs and freedom, but we have nothing to be proud of, for hundreds and thousands of our brothers are not here, for they are receiving starvation wages or no wages at all. While we stand here, there are sharecroppers in the Delta of Mississippi who are out in the fields working for less than three dollars per day, 12 hours a day. While we stand here, there are students in jail on trumped-up charges. Our brother James Farmer, along with many others, is also in jail.We come here today with a great sense of misgiving. It is true that we support the administration’s Civil Rights Bill. We support it with great reservation, however. Unless title three is put in this bill, there’s nothing to protect the young children and old women who must face police dogs and fire hoses in the South while they engage in peaceful demonstration.In its present form this bill will not protect the citizens of Danville, Virginia, who must live in constant fear of a police state. It will not protect the hundreds and thousands of people that have been arrested on trumped up … (more)
Reflection for the week of July 24, 2013 Remember, remember always that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists. — Franklin D. Roosevelt The Faith & Politics Institute is hosting a congressional delegation on a Becoming America Pilgrimage to New York City this week, where we will be hearing and sharing immigrant stories of struggle, hope and accomplishment. Read more about the Becoming America Pilgrimage Here