The article is the first of a four part series that addresses the need for all people of faith to acquire a Christian or faith based Worldview, and then find our place in the New World Order, as the Need for Urban Christian leadership confronts us like never before.
So may things came to mind when, I first thought of writing this group of articles. Currently, I’m preparing for the United Nations event on November, 3, 2015 called Perspectives and Dialogue on Structural Racism against People of African Descent Worldwide, an event which I along with the United Nations Team first organized to support Tamir Rice a young 12-year-old who was shot by Police in an unfortunate and tragic incident out of Cleveland, Ohio. I also want to make note of my seminary work at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. IL-where I’m seeking a Master of Divinity or (MDIV). In addition to my human rights work as the President of Freedom First International. In all of these events my though is how do I international arena.
While organizing a Tamir Rice Press Conference in Cleveland this past week- I met a Young Naval Intelligence Officer, and I discussed my work with high-profile American Civil Rights cases, like the George Stinney Jr. case, Tamir Rice, and the fight against Stand your Ground in Florida and others.
After few minutes into the conversation, we began to discuss, his work as a Naval Military Intelligence Interrogator during the Persian Gulf War, which then lead to our conversation about problems with Radical Islamic Extremist (example, picture right) I asked “if an extremist could be converted to take a humanistic position” my friend then told me a story about a young Al-Qaeda Extremist he met-who had been injured, and placed into a Christian Missionary Hospital in Iraq-the injured young extremist, when taking note of the care givers patience with him, had a life changing moment and addressed the missionaries in charge of his care, he said, “All my life I believed that you Americans always hated us,” “Where the Kuffar [non-Muslims] are not gathering to fight the Muslims. The fighting becomes Fard Kifaya with the minimum requirement of appointing believers to guard borders, and the sending of an army at least once a year to terrorize and destroy the enemies of Allah.”
According to the Naval intelligence Officer, the story about the extremist ended with this life changing awareness as he now go’s around the world and lectures, about tolerance and acceptance toward for all. My exchange with the Naval Intelligence Officer brought me to present another question, “do you believe-our fight against Radical Jihadi Extremism, with political means has been successful, The response was a quick “no” he then went on to say, during his whole time, while deployed and doing intelligence work overseas he only came about one incident, which an extremist was converted, he(officer) then said-one reason we struggle with growing, Extremist-“is because, “they don’t trust politicians”-“we need faith leadership to combat, faith extremism.” In many ways-I felt he was spot on! I further began to reflect on the depth of the statement, due to fact that this was a common belief which I had always shared-The main point is Faith Leadership is needed to assist in world change.
QUESTION: Name one international event that most effected the civil rights movement?
Historical facts will show that Reverend Martin Luther King Jr’s Civil Rights career began by leading a little known boycott on the Alabama transit system when Rosa Parks was convicted after not giving up her seat to a white person. He (King) eventually became leader of the Black Protest Movement. King made his famous speech asking for equality in 1963 and urged peaceful protests. He was assassinated a year later-many believe was largely due to stance against the “War in Vietnam.” Dr.King’s historical speech ” on April 4, 1967 called Beyond Vietnam” in front of 3,000 people at Riverside Church in New York City. In it, he says that there is a common link forming between the civil rights and peace movements. King proposed that the United States stop all bombing of North and South Vietnam; declare a unilateral truce in the hope that it would lead to peace talks; set a date for withdrawal of all troops from Vietnam; and give the National Liberation Front a role in negotiations.
While it is true that with urgency and pressure from Civil Rights leadership including Dr.King- American President Lyndon B. Johnson passed Kennedy’s civil rights bill, which allowed federal government to cut funding to any program that practiced discrimination. Johnson also strived to help the economically disabled by starting a “war on poverty“. As a result he (Johnson) also made it easier for blacks to vote by getting rid of the literacy test
Despite Kings cry for peaceful protests, violent protests broke out in the late 60’s in black ghetto’s which caused many deaths, injuries, and millions of dollars of property damage.
The ultimate transition was when Dr. King began to internationalize the black struggle, by speaking out against a war that we now know was unjust and without known purpose but unfortunately behind that clarity-Dr.King lost his life.
For civil rights activists and humanitarians for years around the world, we have struggled against bigotry, racism, fears, tradition, history, and stagnation to change the world. Civil Rights Movements Around the World American Civil Rights Movement even after the ban of slavery in America,many blacks felt the impact of segregation against them right up to the 60’s, still to this day- many blacks still describe a seemingly an indirect form of racism- as the struggles which economically compared to others are inadequate. The question of reaching out and connecting with those of the black race worldwide to form a common bond, has been a point of conversation for many years, but has never truly materialized. From a faith perspective, and with leadership in place this vision, this may one day materialize.
Question: How can faith leadership play a role and where do we go from here?
As an American Minister, In today’s modern age understood-The growing need for Urban Christian Leadership has emerged out of the reality of the poor, and the downtrodden, in American society and in communities across the world. The poor live in their sad existence seven days each week and 24 hours a day-change must come! If we would just imagine for a second the correlation between poverty and lack of leadership in urban communities across the country-Then all people could more or less address the core issues more efficiently and perhaps we could say if we had “more” of solid leadership to represent us, then our state of wellness might change possibly overnight.
We must stand in the line of great “faith” leadership around the world who were determined to “Be the Change you wish to see in the world.” a quote from Mahatmas Gandhi. While political and military leaders come and go, religious figures seem to endure throughout the ages, which is why millions of people still venerate their accomplishments hundreds or even thousands of years after they’ve died. Let’s use one last example-Jesus Christ!
What is especially remarkable about this- is that Jesus Christ’s public ministry lasted little more than two years, throughout this period Christ never had more than a few thousand followers during his lifetime, but today with more than a billion followers world-wide, Christianity remains the largest single religion on the Earth. However, it is beyond serious debate the impact this itinerant rabbi from Galilee has had on the planet. Christ left no personal writings, and was even executed for sedition by the Roman authorities, all of which should have made him little more than a footnote in history.
In the end just as Jesus Christ stood in indifference to the Roman Empire-so must we by pointing the way forward to a citizenship that transcends the best political experiences of the world and offers citizenship that will last for eternity. I leave you with this creed. Called the Freedom First International Trilateral Covenant (below) which addresses a precedent for church, and state to cooperate for world change.
In summary-Around the world if all people of faith follow the teachings of great faith leadership, then instantly the results of positive world change would come. That is exactly why, We must engage from an International and Faith Perspective.
Article 1 Trilateral Covenant-God, State, People
1. All people of the Earth have the right to seek God Given self-actualization. They must be given the Freedom and protection to openly express and secure the right to determine their political worldview and freely pursue their economic, spiritual and cultural development, specially when their belief is based on a foundation of acquired long-term peace.
2. The State Parties have protection of the provisions based on the International Charter of the United Nations-note that all parties who present this Covenant, including those having responsibility for the administration of Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories, shall promote the realization of the right of self-determination, and shall respect that right.
3. All people may, for their own ends, freely secure the benefit of natural :”god given” resources without prejudice to any obligations arising from international economic co-operation, not based upon the principle of mutual benefit, and international law, but based on the world moral compass when presented facts of absolute truth, not relativistic policy.