Peace as a Civil Right

An address given to Lakewood Ministerial Alliance for a 2003 Martin Luther King Day Celebration at Lakewood Presbyterian Church in Lakewood, Ohio

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Dr. Martin Luther King had a dream. It is time to make his dream a reality. It is time to take the evolutionary life of Dr. King and make nonviolence an organizing principle in our society. It is the practical and pragmatic thing to do in order to continue life on this planet. We can do so. And we must do so. Legislation to create a Department of Peace would build not only a structure for peace within our government, but infuse a consciousness for peacewithin our society, as has the Department of Defense reflected a consciousness of war.

It is time to create new possibilities in human relations, in economics, in governance, in politics and in all areas of endeavor. We can make war and poverty archaic and usher in a new era of human dignity by making peace and prosperity our daily work.

This day is a day to reflect on the ability of one person to make a difference. This day is a day to reflect on how one person can change the thinking of a nation and the world. This day is to celebrate our human potential to transform any condition, to change darkness into light, slavery into freedom, poverty into prosperity, war into peace, let us honor America's apostle of nonviolence by truly rededicating ourselves to his work. Let us make the vision of Dr. King, that vision of liberty and harmony, a reality. Let us confirm our commitment to all civil rights and let us declare peace a civil right in a democracy, a human right in this world. Thank you.

Contact Rep. Dennis Kucinich at [email protected].

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