20th Century, African American, History, Minnesota, Politics, Uncategorized

Humphrey on Civil Rights

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1948
Hubert Humphrey makes an impassioned plea for civil rights at the Democratic National Convention. His speech offends Southern Democrats, who walk out of the convention, but sets the party on a course toward the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“To those who say that we are rushing this issue of civil rights–I say to them, we are 172 years late!” -Hubert H. Humphrey at the Democratic National Convention*

Hubert H. Humphrey saw the United States as the emerging leader of the free world after World War II, but dared to question its authenticity. The specters of fascism, communism, and racial balkanization were very real in the aftermath of WWII. It also underscored the dichotomy of winning liberties for those outside the US while ignoring the racial injustices at home. What did he see as the root cause and motive for the Civil Rights movement?
“For us to play our part effectively, we must be in a morally sound position.” ***

Yet, by what means would America redefine itself and reclaim this “morally sound position”? Humphrey posited our need to lead by example of a consistent standard, not a double standard on rights. Humphrey proposed the notion in this address that human rights exceeded the value of states’ rights.
“To those who say that this civil-rights program is an infringement on states’ rights, I say this: The time has arrived in America for the Democratic Party to get out of the shadow of states’ rights and to walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights.” ***,****

Further, he willingly threw down the gauntlet of human rights with the full knowledge of its opposition within his own party. The locus of this opposition were Southern Democrats concerned that the Civil Rights movement made our Supreme Court stronger than State law. Their debate over the next decade centered on the Declaration of Constitutional Principles, also known as the “Southern Manifesto”, arguing that the Tenth Amendment limited the Supreme Court from overreach into their State law. See Tenth Amendment below:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Humphrey’s address rang the bell on a sixteen year, tag-team wrestling match of our national conscience. Most legislators agreed that something must be done about racial injustices, but disagreed as to the proper method Constitutionally. When the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed, it had more Republican than Democratic support. The roll call tally of June 19, 1964 shows that 82% Republican “Yeas” and 18% “Nays”, and 69% Democratic “Yeas” and 31% “Nays”. ***** Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona embodied the position of Republican critics. He voted to end segregation, and was an active member of the NAACP, yet objected to Title II and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Why? He felt they could interfere with the rights of a business to do business with or employ whomever they chose. Additionally, he had reservations that these Titles could be misused to usurp States’ rights and free speech of the individual. ******

In all, this riveting oratory decries the courageous heart of Hubert Humphrey. Though viewed as emotional grandstanding to his detractors, he willingly spoke his conscience, and the conscience of millions. He dared ask the question, “What is to be done when America’s head conflicts with our heart?”

So we seek You in this moment, Father. We come to You asking insight and wisdom as to Humphrey’s rhetorical line in the sand. How did this speech affect You?

First, we ask forgiveness for the racism of Humphrey’s era. We have offended You first in our legal, cultural, and personal false assessments of African-Americans. Granted, Minnesota’s culture was less legally overt and more free than many states, but we acknowledge the subtle and quiet prejudices that hurt these brothers and sisters: we tolerated red-lining in housing, we tolerated discriminatory lending practices, in many ways, we zoned African-Americans away from us. We have practiced associating crime with a color, and negated the noble contributions of many minorities. Will You forgive our misbeliefs and unbeliefs? We have denied You when we deny Your Image in our African-American brothers and sisters. Jesus, Son of David, have mercy!

Next, we thank You for the life of Hubert H. Humphrey, and the gift You placed in his heart of having the courage of his convictions. Clearly, he was willing to be misunderstood, even by his own, for daring to call out injustice. We commend him in his intense moments at the Democratic National Convention held at Philadelphia Convention Hall on July 12-14, 1948. Will You continue to give us leaders like him who are willing to speak the raw truth in love and respect?

We acknowledge to You the pains of betrayal at the hands of our beloved! WE acknowledge to You the oceans of these judgment’s past. Will You forgive the judgments’ of Democrats towards those of their own, mostly but not limited to Southerners who expressed dissent at Humphrey’s take on civil rights? Will You forgive Democratic dissenters of Humphrey’s vision their counter judgments’ and bitterness? Will You forgive Republicans their judgments’ of those within their party who voiced dissent to the Civil Rights Act? Will You forgive the counter-judgments of those led by Goldwater towards those who supported Humphrey’s ideals?

In this, we may have judged our political opinions to be more sacrosanct than the relationship with the beloved human being in front of us. We have closed our ears to their objections, because it is easier to break relationship than listen to honest criticism of our political and personal doctrines and dogmas. We have feared our detractors, and closed our minds to the wisdom to be gained in real dialogue and debate. You have said, “Come now, let us reason together…” ******* We have turned it to “Come now, you are unreasonable!”

We have offended You in our failure to listen to our friends, and hear out our opposition in our zeal for our rights. We have attempted to gain a more just America, too often, by too much political and legal force. We have attempted to heal the bitter judgments towards African-Americans through bitterly judging those who disagree with our version of justice for African-Americans. Will You forgive and heal us then, free us in the present, and bless the future of Civil Rights? May we come to agree with Our Creator as to the worthiness and inherent value of every human being made in Your Image. We have failed to learn our lesson from the world’s first sibling rivalry where Cain hated and murdered his brother Abel over doing a good thing; an offering of thanks?!? In this we are 5778 years too late!

* P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org, is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!
** Photo credit: smithsonianmag.com
*** See transcript of this famous speech. (1948) Blackpast. “Hubert Humphry, Speech at the Democratic National Convention” December 14, 2010. https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/1948-hubert-humphrey-speech-democratic-national-convention/
**** See HHH give this speech. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xQZX5ZvcnY
***** See a photo of the official roll call vote. The Center for Legislative Archives “Roll Call Tally on Civil Rights Act 1964, June 19, 1964” On June 19, 1964, the Senate passed the Civil Right Act of 1964; 73 to 27. The House passed the amended bill on July 2; 289 to 126. https://www.archives.gov/legislative/features/civil-rights-1964/senate-roll-call.html
****** Mooney, Kevin J. “The 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Conservative Movement”, November 14, 2013. https://www.theblaze.com/contributions/the-1964-civil-rights-act-and-the-conservative-movement
******* https://www.biblehub.com/isaiah/1-18.htm

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20th Century, History, Intercession, Judgment & Counter-Judgment Cycle, law, Minnesota, omnipresent history, State Government, suffrage, women

Minnesota Ratifies 19th Amendment in 1919

Headquarters-Minnesota-Suffrage-Group

August 26, 1919

“The state legislature ratifies the nineteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States, granting women the right to vote.” *

“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” 19th amendment of the U.S. Constitution

“In 1881, the Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association (MWSA) was founded in Hastings. Prior to 1881, the campaign for suffrage in Minnesota was splintered and loosely organized, yet  advances were made. In 1875 a constitutional amendment passed that allowed Minnesota women the right to vote in school elections (Laws 1875, Chapter 2). But two years later, a temperance-related suffrage constitutional amendment was defeated (Laws 1877, Chapter 2). That amendment proposed that women could vote on a ‘question of selling, or restraining the sale, or licensing the selling, or the manufacture of intoxicating liquors.’ In 1877, an interesting clarification of election law was passed by the Legislature, requiring separate ballots and separate ballot boxes for women voting in local elections, as they could only vote for ‘officers of public schools’ but not other officers of the village or city (Laws 1877, Chapter 74, Sec. 14).

As the national movement for suffrage gained strength, so did Minnesota’s movement for suffrage. Minnesota suffragists began to use new tactics such as parades, rallies, advertising, and promotional tours in newly purchased automobiles. They even had female stunt pilots put on aerial shows in support of suffrage. Clara Ueland served as MWSA President from 1914-1919, when the suffrage campaign in Minnesota gained significant momentum. In 1919, the Legislature passed a law allowing women to vote for presidential electors (Laws 1919, Chapter 89), and later in the year ratified the national amendment ensuring universal suffrage. Other prominent organizers for suffrage in Minnesota included Sarah Burger Stearns, Julia Bullard Nelson, Ethel Edgerton Hurd, Emily Haskell Bright, Bertha Berglin Moller, Emily Gilman Noyes, and Nellie Griswold Francis.

Though suffrage granted all women in the United States the right to vote, certain populations were not allowed to become full citizens which denied the women of these populations the right to vote. For example, Native Americans were not granted citizenship until the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924. And despite passage of that law, states still could decide whether or not Native Americans could vote.”**

Below is a common argument given in opposition to suffrage by J.B. Sandford. Note that he is the Chairman of the Democratic Caucus in California and not a Minnesota politician. 

“Woman suffrage has been proven a failure in states that have tried it. It is wrong. California should profit by the mistakes of other states. Not one reform has equal suffrage effected. On the contrary, statistics go to show that in most equal suffrage states, Colorado particularly, that divorces have greatly increased since the adoption of the equal suffrage amendment, showing that it has been a home destroyer. Crime has also increased due to lack of the mothers in the home. 

Woman is woman. She can not unsex herself or change her sphere. Let her be content with her lot and perform those high duties intended for her by the Great Creator, and she will accomplish far more in governmental affairs that she can ever accomplish by mixing up in the dirty pool of politics. Keep the home pure and all will be well with the Republic. Let not the sanctity of the home be invaded by every little politician that may be running up and down the highway for office. Let the manly men and the womanly women defeat this amendment and keep woman where she belongs in order that she may retain the respect of all mankind.”***

So here we begin our prayer today Lord, we have judged Your image within male and female. Suffragettes have judged the males and male leadership of this era and found it wanting. Their opponents have judged the females and female leadership roles and found them wanting. Will You forgive both of these schools of judgment? 

Wise Judge, will You parse and expose the motives of women who were submitted to abusive men? Will You forgive these men their false forms of leadership based on the letter of Your law but missing its Spirit? Your example, Messiah, was to love Your bride, serve Your bride, and lay down your life for hers. Will You forgive the unwillingness to love in this kind of male, and his progeny? We have loved our male image and missed Your incarnation in the female image. Have mercy!

This leads me to the question; where did these misbeliefs come from regarding male leadership? Certainly it’s not of Your word or of Your example. Will You show us what Your example looked like, Kind Master?

“According to New Testament scholar Dr. Frank Stagg and classicist Evelyn Stagg, the synoptic Gospels of the canonical New Testament contain a relatively high number of references to women. Evangelical Bible scholar Gilbert Bilezikian agrees, especially by comparison with literary works of the same epoch. :p.82 Neither the Staggs nor Bilezikian find any recorded instance where Jesus disgraces, belittles, reproaches, or stereotypes a woman. These writers claim that examples of the manner of Jesus are instructive for inferring his attitudes toward women and show repeatedly how he liberated and affirmed women. Starr writes that of all founders of religions and religious sects, Jesus stands alone as the one who did not discriminate in some way against women. By word or deed he never encouraged the disparagement of a woman.Karen King concludes, based on the account of Jesus’ interaction with a Syrophoenician woman in Mark 7:24-30 and Matthew 15:21-28, that “an unnamed Gentile woman taught Jesus that the ministry of God is not limited to particular groups and persons, but belongs to all who have faith.”

We give You praise for this example of women gaining their participation in the decisions of Minnesota, and the United States. We thank You for the examples of: Sarah Burger Stearns, Julia Bullard Nelson, Ethel Edgerton Hurd, Emily Haskell Bright, Bertha Berglin Moller, Emily Gilman Noyes, and Nellie Griswold Francis. Will You rmember them in this era, and bless their figurative and literal children?

Will You shield them from recreating the excesses of male leadership of this era, and cause us to rely on both male and female forms of leadership? We thank You for the honest opposition to suffrage in men like J.B. Sandford. Will You help male leadership to speak the truth in love, and banish law made in fear of female authority? Will You shield men from becoming passive in reaction to these past errors, and recoiling from proper leadership in shame? Will You forgive us both our denials?

We praise You that our rights in Your kingdom cannot be broken! We thank You that our self-worth and value is not based on the fickle winds of human politics and law! We thank You that Your law points out our separations in relationships with You and our neighbors, yet You have removed its power to convict and have become our restitution; the perfect blood sacrifice! We belong because You took our death sentence and criminality to the Cross. You, the Forgiver of All Defilements have stated for all eternity that we have become Your family! You have removed our sufferings and given us eternal suffrage! Amen!

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

**https://www.leg.state.mn.us/lrl/womenstimeline/details?recid=2

***Full text of J.B. Sandford’s letter “Argument Against Women’s Suffrage”.  https://sfpl.org/pdf/libraries/main/sfhistory/suffrageagainst.pdf

****https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus’_interactions_with_women

 

 

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19th Century, Health, History, Intercession, Medicine, Minnesota, omnipresent history, University, women

Ripley Maternity Hospital Opens 1886

unknown

1886

“Dr. Martha Ripley opens a maternity hospital for unwed mothers in Minneapolis. A pioneer in combining social care with medical treatment, she teaches new mothers how to care for their babies and helps them find work. 

Martha Ripley’s training was in medicine, but her interest was in the rights of women. She advocated for women’s right to vote and consistently argued against the abuses that led women to her hospital.” *

Thank you, Lord, that your personality is balanced; You are protector and nurturer! Will You bless Martha Ripley and her generations in the imitation of Your character? She expressed the mother nurture for those women and girls who did not have an adequate voice in society, or means for their pregnancy. 

Our society has often skewed into imbalance in its’ emphasis of one gender over the other. We have denied the good attributes and blessings of the opposite sex that You have intended for our state. We have failed to balance our head and our heart! We have failed to balance rational thought with the relational thoughts based on love. Lord have mercy! 

How has this been expressed? In the over emphasis of male political leadership and exclusive male voting rights for much of our history. We have suppressed the benefits of female scholarship, and the Imago Dei that is intellectually expressed best by a female mind. Our churches have too often promoted female submission to male head of households, without equally emphasizing male responsibility to selfless love and leadership. We have negated Your example of humble servant-leadership. Hear our prayer!

Lord, will You forgive us for discounting your voice in the opposite sex? Will You forgive the negation of female doctors, scientists, and cultural leaders like Dr. Ripley? Lord, will forgive us for emphasis on submission rather than freedom? Will You teach us the healthy bounds of submission to one another in choice-based love?

Will You stop us from overreacting and rejecting the opposite sex based on our painful experiences? Will You help Minnesotans’ forgive our mothers or fathers, and deliver us from the cycle of offense, counter-offense? Will You give us the forbearance for our ‘beloved enemies’ of the opposite sex? All our rejections of the opposite sex deny Your masterpiece in each. Will You forgive us?

 

 

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History, Prayer, Uncategorized

Why pray through history?

τοῖς οὐρανοῖς Ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομά

In my devotions this morning, I was reading “The Divine Conspiracy” by Dallas Willard. I was bumping along in Chapter 7, (it is a wonderfully dense book), and I was stopped in my tracks by the following excerpt about the holiness of G-d’s name and why the Savior underscored that we uniquely respect it:

“This request is based upon the deepest need of the human world. Human life is not about human life. Nothing will go right in it until the greatness and goodness of its source and governor is adequately grasped. His very name is then held in the highest possible regard. Until that is so, the human compass will always be pointing in the wrong direction, and individual lives as well as history as a whole will suffer from constant and fluctuating disorientation. Candidly, that is exactly the condition we find ourselves in.” (p258-259, HarperCollins Publishers, 195 Broadway, New York, NY 10007) http://harpercollins.com

These words rang through my heart; this, at its root, is why I choose to pray through history. All our offenses, human to human, are first an offense against The First Cause. I simply want to be on record that, whether acting as antagonists or protagonists of history, we have denied the Imago Dei (Image of G-d) of our fellow humans, therefore denied and offended The Name. Conversely, I want to make it a practice to record for my children that when individuals or societies reverence The Name, they indirectly revere, respect and better love His creation, and fellow man.

 

 

 

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