In the final year of his life, King became an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War, Johnson told a packed auditorium. However, he added, today’s wars are not out of line with the iconic Nobel Peace Prize winner’s teachings. [Emphasis added.]Perhaps a soul such as Johnson must believe such things if he is to retain his sense of honor and decency, or simply even to be able to look himself in the mirror. This, however, does not make them true. From King's speech "Beyond Vietnam," April 4, 1967:
“I believe that if Dr. King were alive today, he would recognize that we live in a complicated world, and that our nation's military should not and cannot lay down its arms and leave the American people vulnerable to terrorist attack,” he said.
When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered . . . A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death . . . Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism. With this powerful commitment we shall boldly challenge the status quo and unjust mores, and thereby speed the day when "every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain." [Emphasis added.]Today, perhaps we should ask ourselves whether our nation is indeed spiritually dead. Liam Fox provides a few simple figures in an article at the News Junkie Post:
When a society allows for more than $45,000 a year to be paid to incarcerate each of its many, many inmates, $1,000,000 dollars a year on each of its soldiers invading a foreign country, and only $11,287.50 per year (based on current $903 Billion budget for estimated 80 mil students) on each of its students the resulting social dilemma is inevitable.Given the apparently intractable character of this dilemma under the conditions of the two-party state, we may have to draw the conclusion that we are not spiritually dead, but rather spiritually undead.