Some less frequently quoted words from Reverend King

Because as powerful as the “I Have a Dream” speech is, many of Martin Luther King, Jr’s other words were powerful, too.

“A true revolution of values will lay hand on the world order and say of war, ‘This way of settling differences is not just.’ This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”
“Beyond Vietnam,” Riverside Church, New York

 “For here on either side of the wall are God’s children and no man-made barrier can obliterate that fact. Whether it be East or West, men and women search for meaning, hope for fulfillment, yearn for faith in something beyond themselves, and cry desperately for love and community to support them in this pilgrim journey.”
Sermon at St. Mary’s Church, East Berlin

“It’s possible that those men were afraid. You see, the Jericho Road is a dangerous road … And you know, it’s possible that the priest and the Levite looked over that man on the ground and wondered if the robbers were still around … And so the first question that the priest asked, the first question that the Levite asked was, ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But then the Good Samaritan came by, and he reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?’”
“I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” Bishop Charles Mason Temple, Memphis

“We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was ‘legal’ and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was ‘illegal.’ It was ‘illegal’ to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler’s Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers.”
“Letter from Birmingham Jail”

“But there was never a conflict between religion and science as such. There cannot be. Their respective worlds are different. Their methods are dissimilar and their immediate objectives are not the same. The method of science is observation, that of religion contemplation. Science investigates. Religion interprets. One seeks causes, the other ends. Science thinks in terms of history, religion in terms of teleology. One is a survey, the other an outlook.”
“Science and Religion”

“We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation. We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace in Vietnam and justice throughout the developing world, a world that borders on our doors. If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.”
“Beyond Vietnam,” Riverside Church, New York

 “Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct-action campaign that was ‘well timed’ in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word ‘Wait!’ It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This ‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.’ We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that ‘justice too long delayed is justice denied.’”
“Letter from Birmingham Jail”

“On some positions cowardice asks the question, ‘is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, ‘is it politic?’ Vanity asks the question, ‘is it popular?’ But conscience asks the question, ‘is it right?’ And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”
“A Proper Sense of Priorities,” Washington, DC

“The world is a narrow bridge / but the main thing is not to fear”

I first learned about the 1980s Sanctuary movement from Tucson’s Rabbi Joe Weizenbaum. He said he remembered being asked, from time to time, why he was a part of a largely church-led movement. His response, which I can no longer remember word for word, was to the effect that Sanctuary wasn’t just a Christian business—that we Jews belonged there too.

I thought about Rabbi Joe’s words after watching yesterday’s nationwide #JewsAgainstIce protests against the internment and abuse of immigrants and asylum-seekers in ICE detention camps, held on Tisha b’Av, a Jewish day of deep mourning.

And I especially thought about them after hearing the protesters singing.

I’d gotten so used to songs of protest being either Christian or secular. I knew that the songs I grew up singing in synagogue—the songs that I still sing there, and at home as well—had things to say about survival and justice and healing the world, but those weren’t the songs that I sang while holding signs at rallies and marches and in front of my representatives’ offices.

So hearing protestors singing Oseh Shalom, or Gesher Tzar Me’od, or Hinei Ma Tov—it broke me open a little, in a good way. It said to me not just that Jews belong here, but that we’re needed, that we’re here for a reason, that have our own unique and critical role to play, a part of the larger picture where so many people are playing unique and critical roles to heal this country and this world.

I’m sharing some clips of that music—so that I can come back to them when I need to, so that I can share them, so that you can hear them too.


Inside the ICE detention center in Seattle yesterday. Hinei Ma Tov … “How good it is when all of us dwell together.”
At the Amazon store in New York yesterday (Amazon has contracts to provide technology to ICE). Gesher Tsar Me’Od … “The world is a narrow bridge, but the main thing is not to fear.”
Outside ICE headquarters in Washington, DC last month.Oseh Shalom … “May the one who makes peace in the heavens make peace for us and for all the world.”
And back in Seattle again, not a song, but the Mourner’s Kaddish.

Megamania!

Join me this Saturday, July 13, at the Pima County Public Library’s annual Megamania — a (free!) summer reading event and mini-comicon all rolled into one.

Here’s where I’ll be:

  • 2pm: Writing for Children, Middle Grade, and YA
    with Janni Lee Simner, Adam Rex, and Kathleen Glasgow
  • 3pm: Signing
  • 4pm: How to Beat Writer’s Block
    with Janni Lee Simner, SF Edwards, Kathleen Glasgow, and KS Merbeth

The full event runs from 1-5 down at Pima Community College’s downtown campus. Hope to see some of you there!

For a sneak peak at where I’ll be speaking this fall, check out my appearances page.

Tiernay West on Arizona Spotlight

I’m reading from the new edition of Tiernay West, Professional Adventurer on Arizona Public Media’s Arizona Spotlight tomorrow (Thursday). If you’re in Southern Arizona, tune in to KUAZ at 8:30 a.m. or 6 p.m. to hear me. Or you can listen anytime, from anywhere, by visiting Arizona Spotlight’s website.

Tiernay West, Professional Adventurer is available in from Antigone Books and Mostly Books, or you can order a copy anyplace else books or ebooks are sold.

Faerie Winter’s new edition

Faerie Winter

Faerie Winter has a new look—and new paperback and ebook editions! If you missed this sequel to Bones of Faerie the first time around, now is your chance to revisit Liza’s post-apocalyptic world and its treacherous, haunting magic.

Order the new Faerie Winter paperback online or from your favorite brick-and-mortar bookstore (ISBN: 978-1798950708). Order the ebook edition from Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo Books, or wherever ebooks are sold.

Missed the first book? You can still order the first edition of Bones of Faerie from your favorite offline or online bookseller, and you can still order the ebook wherever ebooks are sold.


More about Faerie Winter

Liza is a summoner. She can draw life to herself, even from beyond the grave. And because magic works both ways, she can also drive life away. Months ago, she used her powers to banish her dangerous father and rescue her mother, lost in dreams, from the ruined land of Faerie.

Born in the wake of the war between humanity and the fey, Liza lived in a world where green things never slept, where trees sought to root in living flesh and bone. But now the forests have fallen silent, and even Liza’s power can’t call them back. Winter crops won’t grow, and the threat of starvation looms.

And deep in the dying forest a dark, malevolent will is at work. To face it, Liza will have to find within herself something more powerful than magic alone.

This sequel to Bones of Faerie will thrill both new readers and fans eager to return to Janni Lee Simner’s unique vision of a postapocalyptic world infused with magic.

“Simner paints a hauntingly exquisite portrait of a postapocalyptic world. Fans of both fantasy and dystopian fiction will devour this one.” —School Library Journal