The Kennedy phenomenon can only be understood by composite views. The eagerness to tell “what really happened” is a part of the Dallas native culture. Each person advances his or her belief as a fact, with an incredible fanaticism. I keep smiling and wondering about the Kennedy mystique. Indeed, I was in Luby’s last night and asked several seniors, most of whom were natives of Dallas.
TEXAS FAITH: Why does the nation still pause 50 years after JFK’s death?
By Bill McKenzie / Editorial Columnist
5:34 pm on November 19, 2013 | Permalink
At the end of this week, Americans will pause to observe the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s death. We in Dallas particularly will be in the middle of the observation. The assassination, of course, happened here. And Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings has put together a gathering at Dealey Plaza to commemorate the anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination.
Earlier, this panel discussed the impact John Kennedy had on Catholicism. Let’s now look at the Kennedy impact in another way.
Why is it that the nation still pauses 50 years after his death?
The country has never really looked back on the assassination of any our other leaders, except perhaps that of Abraham Lincoln. So, is this just part of the Kennedy mystique?
Or does this national moment of reflection say something about an innate human need to have princes we look up to, even if the scriptures warn against putting one’s faith in princes?
Or are we pausing because we still wonder what might have happened if an assassin’s bullet had not put the country on a different course?
Or was it only one assassin? I think so, but the open question for some creates a giant sense of mystery around his death. Is that why we keep focusing on November 22? Does the mystery draw us in?
Or do we stop to reflect because he was having an impact on the country that was suddenly aborted?
Or here’s one more thought: Is November 22 now mostly a media creation?
Obviously, there are many different angles here. And there are many more. But from your perspective: Why does the nation still pause 50 years after John Kennedy’s assassination?
MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism and speaker on interfaith matters, Dallas
The Kennedy phenomenon can only be understood by composite views. The eagerness to tell “what really happened” is a part of the Dallas native culture. Each person advances his or her belief as a fact, with an incredible fanaticism. I keep smiling and wondering about the Kennedy mystique.
I have walked up to strangers in restaurants and other public places and asked them about Kennedy’s 50th anniversary. Indeed, I was in Luby’s last night and asked several seniors, most of whom were natives of Dallas.
Here are some of my observations: Most of the seniors believed in conspiracies that involved Russians and Cubans, who thought Kennedy was going to wipe out communists. A few even blamed Lyndon Johnson. Many teenagers I talked to could not go beyond the words “Kennedy” and “Oswald.” Uniquely, most Asian immigrants believed the Civil Rights Act got him killed.
Several others mentioned that the Lincoln obsession lasted for about 50 years. They predicted the mystique about Kennedy assassination will be replaced by a new one in 2063!
My perspective stems from my faith in justice and balance, or essentially God.
Whether we arose out of evolution, creation or banged out of an explosion, the fact is we exist. When the universe began, it produced matter and life. Matter was obviously programmed to remain and seek its own balance. For instance, the universe, solar system, planets and stars were all programmed to do exactly what they do (Quran 55:5-6). Humans, on the other hand, were not put on a trajectory. They were endowed with freedom and a mind to create their own balance.
It is this human longing to seek balance that keeps the Kennedy mystique alive. When a conclusive proof of what happened is advanced and accepted, we will settle with the answers.
Deep down, the balance and justice-seeking mechanism comes to an end when we tie up the loose ends. Then, the mystique will fade and the desire to seek justice will be fulfilled. Until then, it will keep us occupied on the 75th, 100th and 200th anniversary of JFK’s death.
To read the other panelist's take, go to Dallas Morning News at - http://dallasmorningviewsblog.dallasnews.com/2013/11/texas-faith-why-does-the-nation-still-pause-50-years-after-jfks-death.html/#more-31819
Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a
writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work
place. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers
pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. He believes in
Standing up for others
and has done that throughout his life as an activist. Mike has a presence on
national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on
Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to
the Texas Faith Column at Dallas
Morning News; fortnightly at Huffington post; and
several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes all his work
through many links.