Civil rights icon to speak at Augusta interfaith event

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He’s called the dean of the civil rights movement for a reason.

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The Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, a Paine College graduate and civil rights icon, is the keynote speaker for this year's  "Keeping the Dream Alive: Why Dr. King Still Matters" interfaith event.  FILE/STAFF
FILE/STAFF
The Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, a Paine College graduate and civil rights icon, is the keynote speaker for this year's "Keeping the Dream Alive: Why Dr. King Still Matters" interfaith event.

The Rev. Joseph Lowery was there for the Montgomery bus boycott, the Selma-to-Montgomery marches, the March on Washington and the founding of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

“Today he is still very much speaking for justice and freedom,” said Rabbi Robert Klensin of Congregation Children of Israel.

On Tuesday, the civil rights icon will speak at the area’s largest interfaith event, Keeping the Dream Alive: Why Dr. King Still Matters. The annual celebration in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday brings together local Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs and Hindus.

It begins at 7 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Augusta, 3500 Walton Way.

“It’s very much a worship service recognizing and honoring the things all religions have in common,” said Andy Reese, ministry associate at Unitarian Universalist Church of Augusta and a member of the Progressive Religious Coalition.

The Progressive Religious Coalition of Augusta began holding the program in 2008. Past speakers include the Rev. Otis Moss III, the former pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Augusta who is now pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, and the Rev. Raphael Warnock of King’s home church, Ebenezer Baptist in Atlanta.

Lowery, a Paine College graduate, helped lead the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955 after Rosa Parks’ arrest. He co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with King and served as president and chief executive officer of the organization from 1977 to 1997.

In 2009, he delivered the benediction at the inauguration of President Obama. Later that year, he received the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

There’s a reason he has been called one of the country’s greatest black preachers, said Michael McCullen, a member of the Progressive Religious Coalition and co-chairman of the Augusta Mayors Blue Ribbon Commission on Race.

“We want to recognize this man for the icon he is,” McCullen said.

At 91, Lowery brings a unique perspective, he said.

“He’s just a joy,” McCullen said. “Once he gets up on that stage, he gets going. You want to listen to him for hours.”

In addition to Lowery’s keynote address, the program includes special music plus readings and prayers from each faith group present. It’s a service made intentionally welcoming to all, McCullen said.

“We didn’t want one specific group to own the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King,” he said. “He appealed to everybody. He was for every man.”

Klensin agreed.

“The theme of this service is Keeping the Dream Alive: Why Dr. King Still Matters,” he said. “There are so many things he started. There’s still lots to do. We need everybody working together to make them happen.”

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Keeping the Dream Alive: Why Dr. King Still Matters is an annual interfaith event in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday; music from the John S. Davidson Fine Arts Chorale and Trio Intermezzo begins at 6:45 p.m.

WHERE: First Baptist Church of Augusta, 3500 Walton Way

MORE: Learn more about the Progressive Religious Coalition of Augusta, the host of the event, at prc-augusta.org.

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Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 01/11/13 - 02:51 pm
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Yes

Yes, once he gets on that stage, he gets going. It doesn't take him long to get to the hate-filled part.

soapy_725
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soapy_725 01/11/13 - 03:12 pm
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Marion say the whole county is a sore eye, sore eye,
Unpublished

the Regency is a sore eye. Didn't take him long to impress his constituents. That search for mold could not have been very difficult. Local slum lords can get away with homicide by indifference, but the owners of the "mall" are criminals. Tear down the mall, Mr. Williams. Tear down that mall. ARC needs to tear down everything that even resembles a potential threat to the black community.

soapy_725
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soapy_725 01/11/13 - 03:19 pm
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What communion hath faith with unbelief?
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The annual celebration in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday brings together local Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs and Hindus.

Tolerance of different faiths and embracing different faiths is a wide chasm. Someone, we are not saying who, will have to denounce their Savior and Salvation in Jesus Christ for this to work. The rest of the groups are already there. Good works to offset bad works is the name of the game.

soapy_725
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soapy_725 01/11/13 - 03:23 pm
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It is very much about worship?
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Worshiping who? Who does the UUCA worship? Who do each of these group worship? Only one is worthy of praise. Have they condensed on the who and not informed the rest of us.?

soapy_725
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soapy_725 01/11/13 - 03:28 pm
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You have to love how it all comes together to fulfill...
Unpublished

the direct will of Almighty God. The state praising the church and church mooning over the state. Human Liberation Theology. The angle of light praising the beast. And all the while the sheep a wandering farther from the fold. The shepherds are filled with greed and the sheep are wandering in the swamp of self gratification.

Everyone should "Pilgrim's Progess".

HenryWalker3rd
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HenryWalker3rd 01/11/13 - 04:25 pm
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^ let it go already!
Unpublished

^ let it go already!

triscuit
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triscuit 01/11/13 - 04:59 pm
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If he were alive today, Dr.

If he were alive today, Dr. King would be saddened by what many in the the black community has done with all that was worked for during the Civil Rights era. Equal education apparently means little considering the high drop out rate.

Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 01/11/13 - 06:28 pm
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The event is called "Keeping

The event is called "Keeping the Dream Alive: Why Dr. King Still Matters". Maybe I need to go, because I'm not sure why he still matters. I know Dr. King has made ALOT of black "civil rights icons" very rich and psuedo-influential...is that the reason we're supposed to keep the dream alive??
Naaaah, on second thought, I think I'll just go to bed early...have to get up early so I can go to work.

Jane18
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Jane18 01/11/13 - 08:16 pm
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Agree w/ Little Lamb and Triscuit

If people only knew.................I still remember Mr.Lowery(and Hosea Williams) from the '60's '70's in Atlanta. Someone please explain to me "what'' the Progressive Religious Coalition is???? Also, what is it that all these different religions have in common that are going to be recognized and honored?...Please, I'd like to know, and probably some other folks would like to know too! By the way, that Trinity United Church Of Christ in Chicago where Otis Moss111 is, isn't that where Jeremiah Wright did all his "damning America" preaching?

Jake
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Jake 01/11/13 - 09:06 pm
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Progressive Religious Coalition

I would suggest that if anyone is TRULY interested in what the PRC is all about that they attend the interfaith event and find out for themselves.
Like I said on here the other day, Rev Lowery is indeed a very brave man to have taken the stand that he did back in the 50's and 60's in regards to civil rights. How many of you would have the guts to face a hostile crowd and environment by standing up for what is right knowing you will most likely get beaten up or killed? Not too many, I am sure.
And big kudos to the First Baptist Church for holding this event.

thauch12
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thauch12 01/12/13 - 03:03 am
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Yes Joseph Lowery did some

Yes Joseph Lowery did some great things in his life. Unfortunately some of his more recent extremist views are not really in keeping with his earlier accomplishments and he kinda reeks of a man desperately trying to stay relevant...

OpenCurtain
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OpenCurtain 01/12/13 - 08:54 am
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Brief History check

He did great things in the 50-70's

But lately he has become a documented racial panderer spewing Hate Speak.

I believe that the Civil Right Movement was Co-Opted in the mid 1980's by the 3 horsemen for fame and $$$. It no longer has the same goals that Dr. King fought so hard for and peaceably won for this nation, at the cost of his life.

It has come down to the fact there is no fame, $$$ or meal ticket in moving forward for so many of the Old Guard.

Does any one think Mr. Lowery won't again make a racially charged speech? The question becomes which politicians will attend, clap and listen WITHOUT getting up walking out if and when Mr. Lowery starts up with his all to common hate filed comments?

Jane18
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Jane18 01/12/13 - 09:06 am
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The Naivete' Of Some

Jake, Jake, Jake, unless you were around and heard some of the inflamatory and hatefulness of Lowery and others, naturally you would say what you have. Trust me, he did not face a hostile crowd and environment, he created them!! And after he and others did their thing, then Mr. King would come out and "soothe" the crowd. That is how it was!!

seenitB4
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seenitB4 01/12/13 - 09:32 am
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black on black crime

If the black leaders would address that problem I would have more respect.......blacks killing other blacks......the past is the past..problems have changed ......they need help in many ways.....but not like the plantation days of long ago....jmo

soapy_725
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soapy_725 01/12/13 - 10:05 am
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Obviously he has no leadership skills.....
Unpublished

look at the fruits of his labor. Look at the fruits of his leadership over the last thirty years. Look at the mindset of continuing to blame someone else for your plight. Look in the projects? Look at the church influence?
Bill Cosby is the only African American who will speak to the plight of African Americans and he is despised. A true prophet who has not voice in his own culture.

If the African American community took care of its own business, it would have no need of "national gurus" of continued slavery and hatred. But if what you preach makes you rich, then that is what you preach. Keep 'em poor and dependent. It works for the federal government. Maybe Mr. Lowery works for the federal government? Jesse as well?

soapy_725
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soapy_725 01/12/13 - 10:07 am
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Hillary and Obama were there for the marches
Unpublished

per their resumes. They suffered with Martin in t he streets. LOL LOL

Bizkit
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Bizkit 01/12/13 - 11:39 am
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Back then the issue was

Back then the issue was "freedom and justice"-which I whole heartedly support. But now the focus has changed to a new semantic-"social justice". That should scare the heck out of any logical and reasoning human being. It is the most anti-science, anti-evolution bunch of ignorant crap I've ever heard of-it's hilarious and ludicrous. Social justice equates to fighting discrimination with discrimination, which is just sad. But it's coming. I wonder if Dr. Lowry will talk about MLK jrs belief that Jesus had picked him for this mission of peace and change. Really the story is how Jesus changed his life and then America-at least that's what his daughter attest.

Bantana
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Bantana 01/12/13 - 11:56 am
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"Trust me, he did not face a

"Trust me, he did not face a hostile crowd and environment, he created them!! "

That is the most ridiculous statement I've read here since uh...yesterday. I suppose everything would have been better for the underclass if they had just kept their heads down and continued taking it from those that felt unjustifiably superior simply because they were born caucasian.The Rev. Lowery is more relevant than ever as evidenced by the remarks posted here. The concept of "social justice" is anything but hilarious or ludicrous. It goes directly to the teachings of Jesus Christ and his Sermon on the Mount.

"Blessed are they that have been persecuted for righteous-
ness' sake : for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Bizkit
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Bizkit 01/12/13 - 11:57 am
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Unitarian Universalist

Unitarian Universalist Church. So I gather this isn't a faith or a religion but just a group of people who see all spirituality as equal or is it they are against all spirituality? I don't get it. I guess they are like the Pastafarians or at least accept the Pastafarians into their group too.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 01/12/13 - 11:59 am
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Jesus Christ never addressed

Jesus Christ never addressed social justice(he could have cared less that isn't his message or was his task)-take slavery for instance. Just proving my ignorance statement.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 01/12/13 - 12:24 pm
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Social justice isn't

Social justice isn't biological or theological so don't go there. It's just another form of discrimination. Jesus wasn't concerned about the present or social justice-he was concerned about eternity. He never told the jews to take arms against Rome, nor address slavery, abortion, and social ills-fact said give "caesar" his due. Life ain't fair-social justice is tryin' to say it is or somehow make things right by discriminatin'=it's just perverse. I support minorities and done so directly for a number of years but I believe in a hands up as my equal more so than a hand out you're a loser. What message do you send if you don't believe in minorities and support them as equal rather than subjugate them to lesser opportunities? Often our good faith efforts of hand out ends up to the detriment of those we are trying to help-a dependency on the hand out. I love to see all people thrive.

Bantana
2071
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Bantana 01/12/13 - 12:20 pm
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Social Justice is all about

Social Justice is all about the theology of Christianity. That all mankind treat others with respect and dignity regardless whether it is returned in kind. To help those in need and poor in spirit, and on and on and on.

Jake
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Jake 01/12/13 - 12:24 pm
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Oh the prejudice of some

I would think that heading the bus boycott in Alabama in the mid-50's and also leading the Selma-Montgomery march in 1965 would be classified as very daring and brave. I was around in those days and well aware of the hateful rhetoric and killings that took place in the name of segregation. Obviously history is well aware of it to.

Jake
33022
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Jake 01/12/13 - 12:31 pm
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Unitarians

My wife and children go to the local UU church and it is a place where everyone is accepted no matter what their spiritual or non-spiritual beliefs are.
We participate in local fund raising events for schools, music and environmental concerns and we usually see the same contingent of UU folks there.
It is not hard to look up there tenets on the internet if one is truly interested in what they believe.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 01/12/13 - 12:37 pm
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"Social justice" is the

"Social justice" is the message of the Jesuit Thomas Aquinas (reflects catholicism) and not of Jesus Christ. People confuse the teachings of the Apostle Paul with the teachings of Jesus too. I argue that Jesus is reflecting on the responsibility of the individual and to the individual (there is no collective salvation) and that will have an impact on society (just like the role of the individual in evolution as only a population evolves). It is still dependent on the individual. "Social" implies the society implementing it rather than Christ's message to the individual to follow his heart and do so with a cheerful heart. It isn't we are giving or doing some good deed but it is we have a change of heart-becoming altruistic. The only way to have altruism grow in the population (the allele to become more prominent like evolution) is by individuals displaying the trait-trying to force it just doesn't work.

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