I am a parish minister currently serving the Eliot Church of Natick MA. Eliot Church is a Community Church affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. Any statements made and postions held in "Unity," however, are solely mine(of course, they may be used with appropriate atribution). Therefore if you disagree, please do not blame the church!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Two Great Americans Two Great Women

I briefly considered blogging about the State of the Union Address, but I am not. One reason is that it has become a near literary form amongst bloggers and I can, therefore, leave it to the fine practitioners of this art. The other reason is that I watched it with the "mute" button on and, therefore, only know what I read in the papers. I do have some fashion notes, however. My wife (and some congregants) always tell me that blue does not go with black. Yet I saw at least three of our nation's leaders making that particular combination (Alito, Bush, Kerry). I do not know why Alito and Kerry went that way but Bush, I think, was meant to be part of a red-white-and-blue triumvirate involving the gigantic flag over the rostrum and the red ties of Cheney and Hastert (sp?). Guys, sometimes you just have to say "no" to your handlers. For those of us who weren't listening to what you were saying (and, believe me, I am not alone) it was a bit much...

(I should note that I didn't listen to this guy, either)

Really, I just wanted to lift up the loss of two great Americans. You know the ones I mean. One of them, Coretta Scott King, has been a fixture in the lives of most of us. She is someone whose name we know and who has contributed a great deal to the discussion of race in this country. My hope is that we can, as a nation, resist the urge to sanitize her message (and that of MLK). They were radicals in their own way. This is something that many people would like to forget during that inevitable and ongoing revisionism that occurs when a leader dies.

The other is Wendy Wasserstein, the playwright. Her death pulled me up short in a way that King's did not. I was surprised by my reaction, actually. I have always been a fan and have seen a couple of her plays (and read others), but a casual one. All I could think was that our cultural, social, and political life as a people will be diminished through her absence.

At the Natick Interfaith MLK Service our guest preacher, Dr. Ed Rodman reminded us that Martin Luther King didn't have a dream as much as he had a vision. Hopefully someone else will be able to articulate as complex and moving a vision as these two remarkable women and great Americans were able to do.