Well I haven’t exactly been silent in recent years, but I think the circumstances we are in call for being unafraid to stand up to forces that are dragging us toward our collective demise, but also to offer alternatives that redirect us towards a more just and peaceful future. It will be 50 years in April, when Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his most radical and courageous speech at Riverside Church in New York City. In fact, it occurred one year from the day of his murder in Memphis. That speech , where he came out against the Vietnam War, brought him all kinds of hate mail, even from within the civil rights movement from some who believed he was jeopardizing that work.
He chose that title inspired by a recent statement from Clergy and Laity Concerned, a group that was sponsoring his speech, which opened with, “A time comes when silence is betrayal.”
The truth of these words is beyond doubt, but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government's policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one's own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexing as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty; but we must move on.
And some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak.
The increasing evidence of climate destabilization and its acceleration demands that we act, as King suggested then “with the fierce urgency of now.” We can’t ask that the necessary sacrifices be borne by those already struggling to survive or to find some basic level of security. Our situation has been manufactured in significant part by those who gorge at the consumptive trough.
The Trump regime appears to be handing power to those who have been gorging. Four billionaires so far for cabinet offices, most of the rest are multi-millionaires. We have apparently so idolized profit driven market over the past forty years, that even noted theologian Harvey Cox has equated it to God. The unrestrained drive for profit over everything has accelerated both climate change and growing income inequality both domestically and globally. And of course they are linked. If we want to address either of these urgent crises we must tackle runaway private profit.