conventional wisdom

Mary Elizabeth King 08-29-2011

The forthcoming dedication of the national memorial monument honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., affords an opening for considering the complexity and meaning of his leadership. He was not the tamed and desiccated civil hero as often portrayed in the United States around the time of his birthday, celebrated as a national holiday. He was until the moment of his death raising issues that challenged the conventional wisdom on poverty and racism, but also concerning war and peace.

King was in St. Joseph's Infirmary, Atlanta, for exhaustion and a viral infection when it was reported that he would receive the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize. As Gary M. Pomerantz writes in Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn, this was the apparent cost exacted by intelligence surveillance efforts and the pressures of learning that Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy had formally approved wiretaps by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. His evolving strength as a leader is revealed in his remarks in Norway that December, which linked the nonviolent struggle of the U.S. civil rights movement to the entire planet's need for disarmament.

Debra Dean Murphy 07-07-2011

I couldn't bear to watch any of the coverage of the Casey Anthony murder trial. I heard snippets of information on occasion: intimations of incest; a car that "smelled of death"; fist fights breaking out as the curious and obsessed (or the profoundly bored?) tried to get a seat in the Florida courtroom.

Claire Lorentzen 05-06-2011

At Sojourners, we have always been advocates of principled nonviolence. But all too often, conventional wisdom has seen nonviolence as passivity, even in the face of injustice.

Jim Rice 02-03-2011
This Sunday would be Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday, and the predictable tributes have come from across the political spectrum.
Claire Lorentzen 10-27-2010
Are you tired of reading about the Tea Party? The group represents 11 percent of our population, yet it has been on the front cover of every national newspaper for months now.
Rose Marie Berger 05-18-2010
I was in a "webinar" (live online presentation thingy) recently with Erica Chenoweth from Wesleyan University.
Ernesto Tinajero 11-10-2009
Driving home from Seattle, the rain was both daunting and beautiful.
Cesar Baldelomar 08-19-2009
As debates rage over the proposed health-care reform (which I strongly support), I believe many politicians, activists, religious leaders, and ideologues are missing an essential point.

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