The Power of Love and Forgiveness
March 28, 2012 5:02pm CST
If Lincoln had not been assassinated, if he had lived to oversee reconstruction of the south, if he could have acted on his desire to forgive and reconcile, would we have seen the violence, the lynchings, the segragation of the period folowing the Civil War? Would mercy have led to a less racially divided country. If the southern democrats did not feel the federal government was overstepping its role would the KKK ever started and gained so much ground in response to the demands of reconstruction? Reconstruction would not have occurred as it did if Lincoln had lived and the forgiveness he favored would have gone a long way to healing the wounds of the Civil War. Lincoln wanted to reconcile with the south and not punish them. He felt that the American people had suffered enough, including the South. After he was killed, Andrew Johnson's policy of punishment and restitution kept the wounds fresh and open. If Lincoln had lived it may have solved many issues and that would have empowered the poor of the south, black and white. This would have addressed the race issue in an entirely different manner. Because Johnson did not stand up to Congress, Reconstruction divided the south between black and white, resulting in the longstanding racial inequality of segragation, which lead to the civil rights struggle in the 50's and 60's. Fast forward 100 years. Would race relations be different today if Martin Luther King had not been assassinated almost a generation ago? Yes, it has been almost a generation since his voice has been silenced. Read this quote and then tell me whether those who have inherited MLK's role as the conscience of our nation are walking in his shoes. Are Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton keeping the 'hate alive' instead of the 'dream alive'? "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction...The chain reaction of evil -- hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars -- must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation." Martin Luther King Strength To Love, 1963 Like Lincoln's death, King's death changed history. I cannot help but wonder what kind of nation we would be if both had lived. One voice praying for forgiveness and reconciliation between the North and the South, and another speaking of a dream that one day his children would see a world where the content of a man's character meant more than the color of his skin. What do you think? What would be different if these two men had lived?
1 person likes this
29 Mar 12
I think that's somewhat simplistic assumption to make. No doubt it appears from the outset that if the two great leaders, Lincoln and Luther King had lived for long, they would have tried to reconcile differences and build better race relations. But like life has no guarantees, there is no guarantee they would have succeeded. It is like an idea that only works when its time has come, people are open to trying it, there is a demand and it fulfills the demand. Movements and struggles throw up leaders who then become face of the struggle. For leaders can't go against the prevalent mood and expect the supporters to follow him blindly. As I said, our understanding at best is very limited. God and the existence have their way of functioning, creating order and we need to trust that. Cheers! God Bless :)
• United States
13 Apr 12
I'm sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. MyLot should put the responded to discussions up top so you can see them right off. Yes, it is a simplistic assumption. And life has no guarantees, but the time had come for each one of these leaders to lead. They were there to fill the need at a specific time. Neither one set out to find a cause to lead, I believe each was put where he needed to be when he needed to be there by God. I also believe the advesary took them out. Took them out because they were close to doing what should have been done. To close to making things right.