The Moral Arc

Beltane                                                                    Early Growth Moon

Gay marriage.  Yes.  That the vote to pass this measure in Minnesota might come two days after mother’s day.  Priceless.

In the long, long exile of a left perspective from the American political scene, beginning somewhere around Nixon and only now gradually beginning to lift and even now sporadically and with drone inflected interludes of neo-con thinking, it was Martin Luther King’s prescient rhetorical flourish that sustained me:  “The moral arc of the universe may be long, but it bends toward justice.”

And, I mean that.  When Reagan busted the air traffic controllers union, when he cut welfare programs and raised defense spending, when Bush I was elected and couldn’t recall what a grocery store scanner was for, when Clinton continued the dismantling of our welfare system and most dismally of all, when Bush II was elected by the Supreme Court, then reelected even after his fatal rhetorical flourishes, Axis of Evil and Mission Accomplished, even then I knew that history opens toward freedom and the breaking of tradition-forged chains and when that freedom comes and the chain’s links lie broken in the street, time does not revert.

Now, marriage will become, here in Minnesota at least, an expression of love between two people willing to commit to each other in a long-term, legally binding relationship.  There is not now and there never has been any problem with that.  But often the obvious and political reality don’t match.  Ask the atmosphere.  Rending the disjunction between justice and social reality was the focus of King’s life, Ghandi’s too; it is our focus as well, those who would end economic discrimination, further women’s full integration into life at all levels and make the world’s borders as open as possible.


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