taking the words of Jesus seriously

Returning to the site and sound of MLK’s legendary ‘Beyond Vietnam’ speech to examine the enduring evils of racism, materialism, and militarism 55 years later

NEW YORK – LIVE FREE USA joins The Quincy Institute and Red Letter Christians to host: “55 Years Later: Can the Church Study War No More?”

The event comes amid a harrowing war in Ukraine, violent crime spikes in US cities and continued economic distress in communities of color across the country.  This FREE forum will invite people of faith and good will to reflect and commemorate the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Beyond Vietnam speech where he calls on all people to defeat the “triplets of evil: militarism, racism and poverty.” National leaders will gather to re-read the historic speech, followed by a panel conversation featuring Rev. Dr. Bernice A. King. Special musical guests Brian Courtney Wilson, Aaron Niequist, and Common Hymnal will perform.

“Violence abroad and violence at home require the active engagement of the church if we are to be agents of peace and justice in these times. We cannot allow our tax dollars to be a slush fund for military contractors abroad or militarization in US cities.” says Pastor Mike McBride.

Adds Shane Claiborne “the prophets call people of God to study war no more! We intend to amplify this call among faith leaders and congregations with an aim to resurrect a faith driven anti-war movement which encompasses the foreign and domestic expressions of state violence: international military actions in Ukraine, Yemen, Somalia and Israel/Palestine; police and state violence including the death penalty; and community gun violence in black and brown communities”.

Executive Director of Quincy Institute Lora Lumps says, “The importance of the faith community, in partnership with bi-partisan policymakers, advocating for peaceful resolutions to violent conflicts at home and abroad has never been more critical. As the Biden administration and this Congress adds close to $100B to already bloated military budgets and private contracts, poor people in the United States and underdeveloped countries around the world are met with death and needless suffering. We cannot not be so committed to funding violence and strength through might.”

This event is April 2 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Riverside Church, the location where Dr. King gave this historic speech. The event is free and open to the press.

Proof of vaccination or negative PCR test (within 72 hours of event) and masks are required for entry to Riverside Church. 

WHO: Rev. Dr. Bernice A. King, and RLC Leaders, Shane Claiborne, Rev. Michael McBrideRev. Traci Blackmon, Rev. Todd Yeary (RLC Board Chair), Lisa Sharon Harper (RLC Board Member), Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, Jemar Tisby, Sharon Risher,  Michael W. Waters, Erich Kussman, Carlos Rodriguez, Diana Oestreich, Common Hymnal, and Aaron Niequist.

WHAT: MLK Beyond Vietnam 55 Years Later: Can the Church Study War No More

WHEN: Doors open at 3:30 ET on Saturday, April 2; the event will run from (approx.) 4-6 ET.

WHERE: The Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Dr, New York, NY. Live stream can also be viewed on RLC’s Facebook, YouTube, or website.

RSVP: bit.ly/mlkvietnamspeech2022

CONTACT: Katie Kirkpatrick, [email protected], (856) 477-3277


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