It's commencement speech time again at colleges and universities across America. Goshen College is one of the few to have already graduated its class of 2007, and CBS producer Greg Kandra took notice. Kandra plugged a speech by the Rev. Joy Carroll Wallis* at Goshen College:
In the days to come, we'll be reading a lot of snippets from commencement speeches. 'Tis the season. Some will be hilarious. Some dreadful. A few will actually say something that make you put down your morning coffee and think. This speech is one of those.
[...]Print it. Save it. Share it. It's worth it.
So I'm following Kandra's advice. I printed it (should I buy a tree-offset too?) and I'm sharing it with you. Unfortunately it contains the usual liberal platitudes you hear in a college commencement speech. Here's a sample:
Fear: it’s become the foundation for American foreign policy. We are directly and constantly encouraged to be afraid. Afraid of attack, afraid of immigration, afraid of pandemic diseases, afraid of poverty, and it makes us want to build walls.
But as James Wolfensohn, former President of the World Bank, once said, “There are no walls.” What he meant was that building walls cannot protect us from all the critical forces and threats of the world from environmental degradation, pandemic disease, random violence and threats of terrorism
And Micah, the prophet, reminds us that we will never have peace or security — ploughshares and pruning hooks — we will not reduce violence and war until more people have their own vines and fig trees. There is no peace without justice, and our security is deeply connected to the security of others.
*Kandra misspelled Wallis' surname as "Wallace" in his blog post. Wallis is the wife of Jim Wallis, who edits Sojourners magazine, a liberal Christian publication.