- The Washington Times - Friday, August 8, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

COMMENTARY:

A new movement called the Global Peace Initiative is being launched in America Aug. 9 on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. It is a movement that is destined to be loved by Americans because it affirms values close to the heart of the American people: faith in God, compassion for all, and family as the basis for love and peace.

It is movement that reminds me of what happened in America at the Lincoln Memorial, 45 years ago when Dr. King made a statement that changed the course of history. “I have a dream that is deeply rooted in the American dream, I have a dream that one day America will live out the full meaning of its creed. We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal.”

My colleague and brother, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. touched America and reminded us of our founding principles. Faith leaders and people of conscience were moved, and America began to change. As America changed the world changed. It took cooperation among faith leaders and those in government service to make the changes lasting. It took the diligent sacrifice of people of conscience to put it into practice.

People of courage and conscience changed the direction of America then. It is now time for us to do it again, this time on a global basis.

On July 2 of this year, 10 of us who were Dr. King’s fellow laborers held a press conference to announce that the situation of global conflict cannot be addressed by governments alone. We called for a global peace initiative and a worldwide peace movement to bring understanding and cooperation between Jews, Muslims, Christians and all people of faith. The Global Peace Festival is that movement. It is led by spiritual leaders in partnership with leaders in the fields of service, nonprofit foundations, youth, media, business and government, all working together as “One Family Under God” to give content to Martin’s vision from the Mountain Top.

We come together with a sense of urgency because the world is on a course that is filled with tension and violence. Military intervention, diplomacy and efforts by governments alone cannot deal with the enmity, hate and fear that leads to terrorism and destruction.

A new fresh effort must be supported to parallel the diplomatic course. In this effort, Muslims, Christians and Jews and all faiths are finding common ground in God and practicing love through dialogue, service and sacrifice for one another.

Aug. 9, 2008, the leaders who stood with Dr. King and I are coming to Washington to thank an impressive team of courageous Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu and a host of other spiritual leaders of religious traditions in the world for being the first to resonate with our appeal to launch an ongoing movement that will apply globally the founding principle of America, that all men are created equal. They have been working together in Israel and Palestine, in Mindanao and Nepal, in Sudan and Bosnia and several other hot spots on the planet in recent years to bring about repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation.

We are seeing that people of conscience and faith in all nations strongly desire to come together for peace and end this history of conflict. All that is needed is leadership rooted in the understanding that we are all “One Family Under God.”

If you believe you share with hundreds of millions the bright hope that the world is on the threshold of a marvelous era of peace in our time, please join us Saturday at the Global Peace Festival from 5 to 8 p.m. on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

Walter Fauntroy is pastor of the New Bethel Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., and a six-term former member of the U.S. House of Representatives. A civil and human rights activist, he worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King.

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