Showing posts from July, 2020

St. John Lewis

A Congressional colleague of his said that John R. Lewis was the most Christ-like person he has ever known.

Lewis was beaten nearly to death when he led civil rights marchers across the Edmond Pettus Bridge in 1965, as every American by now should know. He had been arrested and jailed up to 40 times before. “I don't like pain,” he said.
I don't like to suffer in a hospital. But if that's the price you have to pay to make things better for others, I was willing to pay that price.  This is my idea of a martyr.
Christlike, Lewis preached and modeled love and forgiveness, earning the title “conscience of the Congress.” He forgave enemies of civil rights marchers.

His philosophy, he said, was very simple.
When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, stand up. Say something. Speak up and speak out. [Then, he says,] you get into trouble, good trouble, necessary trouble.  Saint-like, he motivates us to keep working for justice.
Lewis’s words in an On Being intervi…

John Lewis

“Donald Trump is not my president,” said John Lewis. I rejoiced because that is how I felt. I felt validated hearing it from a person of unquestioned integrity—John Lewis. The words “president” and “Trump” do not fit together as one phrase; the office is respectable; the current holder is not. I hate saying or writing “President Trump.” It seems wrong.

Some years ago I turned on the radio to an interview that struck me as unusually fine and wondered who the inspiring speaker was. Ever after, I have recognized John Lewis’s voice after hearing only a few words.

Lewis preached love and forgiveness. Nothing remarkable about that, but John Lewis modeled them in remarkable ways. Elwin Wilson physically attacked Lewis when Lewis was marching for civil rights. Wilson was gleeful in his frequent attacks on Negroes. Lewis forgave him. Trent Lottdeclared that civil rights turmoil could have been avoided if racist Senator Strom Thurmond had become president. Lewis forgave him.

The death of this g…

Virginia Woolf & Tulsa Massacre

I had never read A Room of One’s Own. For decades it was on my “someday” list of works to read. Now that I get books from the library only by ordering them, I finally read Virginia Woolf’s famous book, doubting I would find it as groundbreaking as everyone said.  Its emotional effect on me surpassed my expectation, shaped as I am now by the murder of George Floyd and the ensuing fallout. Written in 1928, A Room of One’s Own still applies today, in 2020. 

Woolf wondered why women are so interesting to men. “Have you any notion of how many [books about women] have been written by men?” 
She studied a few learned tomes by men about women:         Alexander Pope wrote, “Most women have no character at all.”         Dr. Samuel Johnson regarded a woman composer “like a dog’s walking on his hind legs. It is not done well, but you are surprised to find it done at all.”         Oscar Browning, professor at Cambridge, declared after looking over examination papers that “the best woman was inte…