Growing up in beloved red hills of Cartersville, I recently experienced that strong sense of attachment to my larger native land while crossing the marshes of Glynn to join “kin” in Brunswick. People from New York to California gathered for the Aug. 6-9 “Vigil/Fast in Defense of Creation,” particularly for support of the Kingsbay Plowshares defendants on Aug. 7.
Arriving at the federal courthouse, we were greeted by smiling, friendly police and other officials who probably did not join in singing “Gonna lay down my sword and shield/Down by the riverside,” but the spirit of goodwill was ever present. Thank you, City of Brunswick and federal officials, for exemplifying another way that can help save our Earth as declared in the Youngbloods’ song: “Love is but a song we sing/Fear’s the way we die/We can make the mountains ring/Or make the angels cry. . . /Come on people now/Smile on each other/Everybody get together/ Try to love one another right now.”
The defendants’ love was not song, but strongest religious action, “Caritas Christi urget nos” (“The love of Christ impels us”). Their acting on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Georgia’s Nobel Peace Prize winner, exemplified their deepest understanding of his words, “It is no longer a question of violence or nonviolence; it is nonviolence or nonexistence.”
As the song cited above concludes, “Just one key unlocks them both/It’s there at your command/Come on people now. . . !”