Progressive Action Spot

"Cherish, therefore, the spirit of our people, and keep alive their attention. Do not be too severe upon their errors, but reclaim them by enlightening them. If once they become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress, and Assemblies, Judges, and Governors, shall all become wolves." Thomas Jefferson

Monday, October 09, 2006

Happy Birthday John

Many of us regard December 8th as a day of mourning and a day of remembrance. Yoko always asked that we remember today and celebrate his life, rather than the day that he was murdered.

A couple of weeks ago we had the opportunity to see the US versus John Lennon.

It was truly a beautiful movie about a beautiful man who had a vision.

He Imagined a world where people truly lived in peace. A world absent of materialism and greed, labeling and dogma – a world that was safe for every human. A world that we have grown farther from today than perhaps any time in our history.

John believed in and practiced “Bagism”: An ideal where there were no labels and no prejudice. An ideal where people could be exactly who they are and not suffer from judgment and deception.

Yoko stated that the theory of Bagism was inspired by the theme in the book "the Little Prince":

"One sees rightly only with the heart, the essential is invisible to the eyes." She hoped that the bag, by hiding her and John's physical appearance, would make their essence or the essence of their message visible.

Bagism dot com is a site dedicated to John. Part of their mission statement continues John & Yoko’s philosophy of a state of being devoid of prejudice and judgment.

"The underlying concept of John and Yoko's "bagism" idea is interactivity among people without prejudice."

Absence of prejudice is such a simple concept, yet its beauty is completely lost in today’s society.

Today we live in an America where an entire political group is demonized and placed in a category of “unpatriotic” because we have decided that we believe in Peace and Justice. We believe that war does not serve a purpose and we do not want to be a part of a system that thrives on greed and murder.

Because we want Peace, because we believe in truth and goodness and an America that holds people up and cares for the least among us – we are labeled as whacko and fringe and ‘haters of America.’ The extreme labels us as ‘godless’ and traitors and un-American.

There is nothing un-American about standing up for freedom and equality and peace. These are American traits and I no longer will allow the right to take these traits from us and re-brand them as bad.

John was demonized for fighting for peace. He was attacked by Nixon with bogus immigration suits. He was followed and spied on. His phones were tapped and his mail was read. Why? Because he fought for peace.

His message was simple: War is Over, if you want it.

John was instrumental in exposing Nixon’s paranoia and enemies list. If it weren’t for his continued fight many of Nixon’s crimes might not have been exposed.

We were able to see this movie through a free screening offered by the ACLU. The ACLU today is fighting many of the same battles that John fought almost 40 years ago.

Today’s battles are greater, however, because more of our Constitution has been shredded, we do not have the same rights that we once did to help us in our fight. In the Nixon era, the Congress still had a majority of members in it who knew why they served. The Nixon era Congress contained members who understood their oaths to uphold and defend the Constitution.

Today’s Congress is devoid of a majority who understand this role. Today’s Congress is filled with rubber-stamp Republicans who believe that their role is to do the President’s bidding and will not hold him accountable for the most egregious offenses.

My gratitude to John is unending. He was revolutionary, not only for music but for a movement towards a society where everyone had the same opportunity and each human was valued because they existed. Existence was the only requirement, not class or color or creed.

We have gone far in the other direction, John, and I am sorry. I am sorry that more people do not understand the value in the simple messages that you preached. Materialism and shallowness are the principal descriptors of today’s America. We are now a Country that you might not fight to stay in. We are now a bigoted and intolerant society hell-bent on the destruction of this world.

Perhaps our own self-destruction will come first. This bottom will arrive not because of those of us who practice tolerance, but because of those who worship a man who preached it but know nothing of what it means.


Post a Comment

<< Home