The 55th anniversary, April 4, 2023, of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination in Memphis, TN, shook America. Dr. Martin Luther King was standing for peaceful resistance to tyranny and oppression in the unity of the American people coming together as Americans, regardless of race. Dr. King was a visionary leader. He was a man of deep faith, and his powerful 1963 speech, “I Have A Dream,” remains one of the most powerful and inspiring speeches that I remember. Today’s show remembers Dr. King and his leadership, faith, and heroic efforts he made to show Americans the peaceful way to stand against tyranny.
April 4, 2023, is also a sad day for America for another reason: on this day, for the first time in our entire history as a Nation, a former United States President, Donald J. Trump, has been ordered to report to Federal Court in Manhattan for arraignment and arrest on charges that should never have been brought.
It is an attack on a political opponent now, just as we saw with Dr. King’s assassination 55 years ago. 1968 was a time when tensions in the United States were intense and divided the country, just as we see today.
In the second half of today’s show, Dr. Vliet and Christian Pastor Bill Wilson discuss the spiritual warfare evidenced in these turbulent times from the 1960s that carry forward into the crises and battle between the forces of good and evil for the soul of America today. The Marxist protestors of the 1960s have become the puppeteers today in the shadow government behind the Biden Administration, continuing their determined attack to destroy America as a Judeo-Christian nation and a Constitutional Republic.
In 1968, one of America’s most iconic musicians was deeply affected personally by Dr. King’s death, and he recorded a song based on Dr. King’s 1963 speech in honor of the man he deeply respected and with whom he shared his deep Christian faith. “If I Can Dream,” sung by Elvis Presley and written by Walter Earl Brown, was written and recorded in June 1968, two months after Dr. King’s tragic death.
Dr. King’s death in 1968, only 5 years after the shock of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, shook the United States to the core and deeply affected Elvis Presley, setting him down a path of deep thought regarding the state of the country. The events following King’s assassination weighed even heavier on the rock star when U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy, brother of and Attorney General for President Kennedy, was assassinated two months after Dr. King, on June 6, 1968, after a campaign victory speech in Los Angeles.
At the time, Elvis was busy working on his latest special, “Elvis,” when he heard the news of Kennedy’s death, and it resulted in a long night of deep conversation with Steve Binder, the show’s director, and several others on the musical team. The conversation throughout the night was heartfelt, and Elvis let his feelings flow freely as he described the world as he hoped it could be. The lengthy close-knit chat led Binder to change direction regarding the ending of the special. The program was scheduled to air in December, planned as a Christmas special. But these tragic events led Elvis and Steve Binder to take a completely different approach and address the hardship and pain facing America.
Elvis’ passionate performance of “If I Can Dream” wowed not only the band recording with him, and first-hand reports left the band and backup singers in tears. It clearly affected Elvis himself as well, who sensed there was something different about this track. Later he is reported to have told Binder, “I’ll never sing another song I don’t believe in.” It is evident from the intensity of Elvis’ recording that he was profoundly affected by these horrific events. As listeners can hear in today’s show, Elvis’ vocals are raw with emotion and powerful in a way that only Elvis could achieve, and the emotion backing up each note came from a place of real feeling.
Clearly, the inspiration and depth of feeling came from something Elvis, and most of the United States, felt in the shock of three assassinations of courageous leaders standing against oppression. It is a sad thought, however, that such a beautiful and powerful track was born out of the deep sorrows of such a profound tragedy. Listeners can access the full song, “If I Can Dream,” on YouTube.
Just as Dr. King, President Kennedy, US Senator Robert Kennedy, and now President Trump tried to expose the evil assault on God’s Divine inspiration for America, WeThePeople must turn back to God, humble ourselves, repent, and pray for God to heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14) …and STAND against tyranny (Ephesians 6).
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