MCC MLK InterFaith Panel


Uploaded by Winifred2010 on 13.02.2011

Transcript:
AZAR ALIZADEH: HELLO TO ALL OF YOU. I AM AZAR ALIZADEH.
AND THANK YOU FOR WATCHING INTERFAITH ODYSSEY.
WE ARE ALWAYS HERE WITH ALL OUR WONDERFUL FRIENDS FROM
DIFFERENT FAITHS. AND, BEFORE WE START WITH THE TOPIC,
I'D LIKE TO INTRODUCE THEM TO YOU. AND THEY ARE
RABBI DAVID NELSON FROM THE JEWISH RELIGION,
DR. CURTIS RUSSELL FROM THE BAHA'I RELIGION,
MR. JERRY CLELAND FROM NATIVE AMERICAN FAITH,
MR. GUPTA FROM THE HINDU RELIGION,
FATHER ROCHE FROM THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION
AND MS. RAMAN SINGH FROM THE SIKH RELIGION.
THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE, AS ALWAYS, NICE TO HAVE YOU HERE
AND LISTEN TO YOU. TODAY WE ARE GOING TO TALK
ABOUT ONE OF THE PERSONS THAT IS ONE OF MY HERO AND THAT IS
REV. DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING.
WE WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT HIM AND IF HE
HAVE AN IMPACT TO OTHER RELIGIONS BESIDES HIS OWN
RELIGION, BECAUSE HIS QUOTATIONS AND HIS WORDS
REALLY TOUCHED MANY, MANY PEOPLE IN WHOLE WORLD.
AND HE WAS A GIFT FOR US. AND WE WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU
THINK. ESPECIALLY, WE KNOW RIGHT NOW IT IS HIS BIRTHDAY
SOON. SO, WE START WITH DR. CURTIS RUSSELL.
>>DR. CURTIS RUSSELL: WELL, THIS IS A WONDERFUL TOPIC AND
JUST SO HAPPY TO BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN A PROGRAM LIKE THIS.
CLEARLY, DR. KING'S LIFE AND WORK SUPPORTED AND EMBODIED
A NUMBER OF PRINCIPLES REVEALED BY BAHA'ULLAH, THE FOUNDER
OF THE BAHA'I FAITH, AND WHICH IN ENGLISH MEANS THE GLORY OF GOD.
PARTICULARLY, DR. KING'S WORK EMBODIED THE PRINCIPLE OF THE
ONENESS OF HUMANITY. THE FACT THAT ALL PEOPLE EVERYWHERE
ARE HUMAN BEINGS, HUMAN SOULS, AND FOR THAT REASON ALONE,
ARE INFINITELY LOVEABLE. HIS WORK IN THE INTEREST OF
SOCIAL JUSTICE IS ALSO A VERY IMPORTANT PRINCIPLE IN THE
BAHA'I FAITH. BAHA'ULLAH SIMPLY SAID THAT THE PURPOSE OF JUSTICE
IS THE APPEARANCE OF UNITY AMONGST MEN.
HE ALSO SAID THAT THE PEACE AND TRANQUILITY OF THE HUMAN RACE
ARE IMPOSSIBLE UNLESS AND UNTIL IT BECOMES UNIFIED.
SO, WITH THOSE TWO STATEMENTS, WE ACTUALLY HAVE A THEORY
OF PEACE, NAMELY, JUSTICE PRODUCES UNITY. UNITY IS AN
ESSENTIAL CHARACTERISTIC OF A PEACEFUL WORLD,
AND THIS IS SOMETHING THAT DR. KING CERTAINLY WORKED TOWARDS
IN HIS MINISTRY AND IN HIS CAREER. HE ALSO CHAMPIONED THE IDEA
THAT ETHICAL BEHAVIOR MUST BE BASED UPON PRINCIPLE,
NOT SIMPLY UPON WHAT MAKES ME FEEL GOOD OR WHAT MIGHT BE
CONVENIENT AT THE MOMENT. IT NEEDS TO BE BASED UPON
PRINCIPLE. AT LEAST IT SEEMS LIKE HIS FAVORITE PUBLIC EXAMPLE
WAS THAT IF WE REALLY BELIEVE, AS THE DECLARATION OF
INDEPENDENCE SAYS, THAT ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL,
THEN SEGREGATION IS WRONG AND INTEGRATION IS RIGHT.
SO THAT WE'RE TALKING THEN ABOUT THE CONNECTION BETWEEN
PRINCIPLE AND BEHAVIOR. I – I KNOW HE SOMETIMES COMMENTED
CONCERNING THE ROLE OF THE CHURCHES, THAT THE MOST
SEGREGATED TIME OF THE WEEK WAS 11:00 ON SUNDAY MORNING,
HIS PITHY WAY OF EXPRESSING HIS OWN VIEW OF THE CONDUCT
OF AMERICAN SOCIETY. SO THAT ALL OF THESE DIFFERENT
PRINCIPLES THEN WERE EMBODIED IN DR. KING'S WORK.
I CAN TELL YOU PERSONALLY THAT VISITING THE MARTIN LUTHER KING
CENTER IN ATLANTA WHICH MY WIFE AND I DID THIS LAST YEAR
AND THIS IS THE CENTER THAT'S OPERATED BY THE NATIONAL PARK
SERVICE. AND I WOULD CERTAINLY RECOMMEND IT TO OUR VIEWERS.
THAT WHILE GOING THROUGH THAT CENTER, I HAD THE FEELING
THAT I WAS STANDING ON SACRED GROUND BECAUSE OF THE NATURE
OF WHAT DR. KING HAD DONE, WHAT THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
HAD STOOD FOR AND THE VARIOUS PRINCIPLES OF THE BAHA'I FAITH
THAT I'VE JUST LISTED THAT WERE EMBODIED AND, AGAIN,
SUPPORTED BY DR. KING AND HIS WORK. I GOT A VERY SIMILAR SENSE
IN THAT CENTER AS I HAD WHEN MY WIFE AND I, ABOUT TWO YEARS
EARLIER, HAD VISITED THE BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG,
THE GETTYSBURG BATTLEFIELD IN SOUTHERN PENNSYLVANIA.
AS YOU CAN TELL, WE ARE AMERICAN HISTORY BUFFS. AND IT WAS REALLY
QUITE SOMETHING TO VISIT THOSE PLACES.
>>AZAR: THANK YOU VERY MUCH, DR. RUSSELL.
NOW, RABBI NELSON, YOU TELL US ABOUT DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING.
>>RABBI DAVID NELSON: WELL, IT'S VERY PROFOUND. I ENJOYED YOUR
ANSWER, DR. RUSSELL. I HAVE BEEN, ALL DURING THE COURSE OF MY
CAREER, I WAS HONORED ONCE BY ST. ANTHONY'S CHURCH,
A MARTIN LUTHER KING AWARD. THEY HONORED ME WITH THAT
FOR OUR PRESENTATION, AND THIS IS THE 18TH YEAR OF THE SOUTHFIELD
MARCH FOR MARTIN LUTHER KING – WHATEVER THE ORIGINAL YEAR WAS.
I WAS PART OF THAT MARCH, AND THIS YEAR THEY WANT US
TO ALL COME BACK, THOSE OF US WHO WERE THERE AT THE FIRST
TIME. THAT WAS BEFORE THERE WAS A MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. DAY
WHICH IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR OUR COUNTRY.
I WAS IN RABBINICAL SCHOOL DURING THE TIME OF HIS GREAT
SPEECH, I HAVE A DREAM SPEECH, AND THE MARCHES,
THE VARIOUS MARCHES. THE MARCH TO SELMA, MY TEACHER WAS
ABRAHAM JOSHUA HASSEL, PROFESSOR HASSEL – PROFESSOR OF
MISSIONS OF THE JEWISH THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY MARCHED WITH
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND HE WAS – THAT WAS AN INSPIRING
EXAMPLE FOR US, BECAUSE HE STOOD WITH MARTIN LUTHER KING
ON ISSUES SUCH AS VIETNAM. HE STOOD WITH HIM, CERTAINLY,
ON SUPPORTING INTEGRATION. AND, THAT MARCH TO SELMA,
YOU SEE A FIGURE THAT LOOKS LIKE HE'S OUT OF THE PROPHETIC
TRADITION. ONE PERSON AWAY FROM DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.,
ARMS ENTWINED – INTERTWINED WITH ONE ANOTHER
AS THEY MARCHED. AND SOMEONE SAID, “DR. HASSELL, WHAT ARE YOU
DOING HERE? SHOULDN'T YOU BE OFF IN YOUR SEMINARY?
SHOULDN'T YOU BE IN YOUR OFFICE CUBICLE? IT WAS EARLY IN THE
MORNING. WERE YOU DOING PRAYER?” HE SAID, “ON THAT DAY,
MY FEET WERE PRAYING.” AND SO – AND I THINK IF I WAS INFLUENCED
IN MY GENERATION, I THINK, AND I WAS. WE HAVE DREAMERS
IN THE BIBLICAL TRADITION IN THAT “I HAVE A DREAM” SPEECH.
WE ALL SHOULD HAVE A DREAM. CHILDREN OF GOD SHOULD HAVE
DREAMS. AND, HE WAS A MAN WITH GREAT ELOQUENCE THAT WALKED,
NOT ONLY HAD THE DREAM AND THE VISIONS AND TALKED THE TALK.
HE WALKED THE WALK AND HE IS AN INSPIRING FIGURE
OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS AND WE HAVE INCORPORATED SOME OF THAT
SPEECH IN THE VERY CREATIVE – IN THE VERY CREATIVE PASSOVER
HAGGADAH, THAT ARE NOT SO TRADITIONAL. THEY HAVE EXCERPTS
FROM HIS SPEECH, “I HAVE A DREAM” SPEECH THAT WE READ ON
PASSOVER NIGHT IN SOME HOMES. SO, A VERY GREAT IMPACT.
>>AZAR: INTERESTING. THANK YOU, SO MUCH. NOW, MR. GUPTA,