For MLK's birthday, the gift of love from a 9-year-old girl

Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 11, 2011; 10:38 PM

Well, Martin Luther King Jr., another birthday approaches. So let's open a few presents, see what your friends sent this year - starting with that box from Nonviolence postmarked Tucson.

Empty, you say? Except for a note:

"Dear Rev. King: You wrote an article, 'Showdown for Nonviolence,' that was published posthumously, just after your assassination in 1968. A similar confrontation just occurred here, and I'm sorry to report that we lost - again."

On Saturday, a gunman shot and killed six people and wounded 14 at a constituent gathering hosted by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) . Still too much hate, too many guns.

How about the package from Peace, postmarked Laos?

You won't believe this, Rev. King. It's a cluster bomb, one of the hundreds of thousands that the United States dropped on Laos between 1963 and 1975 during the Vietnam War.

The unexploded ordnances are still being found on playgrounds and agricultural fields throughout Laos, and they kill about 100 people each year, mostly children, according to a recent report by the Minnesota Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munitions.

Remember your sermon protesting the war in Vietnam, "Trumpet of Conscience," which caused an uproar in 1967? "Somehow this madness must cease," you said. "We must stop now."

Well, we didn't. And now we're waging war in Afghanistan, which means kids in that country will be suffering the consequences for years to come.

Enjoying your birthday so far?

Here's a gift from the Church, called the "Social Gospel." Very popular with preachers. All you have do is tell a congregation that social evils can be eradicated with a little reasoning, charity, goodwill and moral persuasion. No need for civil disobedience or nonviolent protest anymore.

If you want the government to stop spending trillions of dollars on wars that aren't justified, just Tweet out a complaint. And tithe. It's the new passive-passive resistance.

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