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The Olympian, Olympia Washington
Saturday, September 20, 2003



A successful interracial union shows world can unite as one


This summer, I wrote the following to my wife, Lonnie, on her 57th birthday:

"Fifty-seven years ago, you and I were both born, myself in the spring, you in the summer. We were born worlds apart, me in Prince Rupert, B.C., and you in Demopolis, Ala. It was the North Woods and Southern Pine, opportunity and limitation, freedom and oppression, White and Black. In that year (1946), nobody could have imagined that years later we would share our lives together. We both traveled thousands of miles from our birth place and eventually met in the mountains at a place where people talked of spiritual matters, of love, unity and the human family. We shared our thoughts and intimate feelings, eventually married and adopted two biracial children."

The rest of the message was the expression of my love for Lonnie. But the possibility of our interracial marriage in this time was through the recognition of the oneness of humankind, which breaks down the barriers that have existed between black and white in this country for hundreds of years. It was knowing that we are all created by one God that bridged the gap between our separate histories. It was the creation of something different than that of our parents. It is progress toward a common theme reflected in all religions. And yet, in 1984, even we were surprised that we were so compatible. In 2003, interracial marriages are no longer so rare, and biracial children grace the halls of schools around the country.

And now Lonnie writes:

Dan and I have traveled this converged road for nearly 19 years now. Not without bumps. We have done it through open and honest discussions, always with "We will verily abide by the will of God" (our marriage vows) guiding us.

Why are we writing about our marriage? Because it is this kind of intimate relationship that exists as a model for how we are to behave with each other, in the community and in the world. In the holy writing of the Quran, it states: "O Mankind! We created you from a single pair of a male and female and made you into nations and tribes, that you might know each other." In the Bhagavad Gita, it states, "He who experiences the unity of life, see his own self in all beings, and all beings in his own self." In the Bible, it states, "Every Kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand." In the Baha'i writings, it states: "Ye are all the fruits of one tree and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye with one another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship. ... So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth."

The Baha'i writings also state that peace and unity begins with individuals, then spreads to communities and further to the world.

Dan and I know that someday the world will know peace because humankind will begin to see each other as one family. We all yearn for it. We know that it is possible to overcome the things that have separated us. It is collective will that will help us achieve it.

Dan and Lonnie Locke are members of Baha'i Faith Community of Thurston County.

Perspective is coordinated by Associated Ministries in cooperation with The Olympian. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by Associated Ministries or The Olympian.

©Copyright 2003, The Olympian (Olympia, WA, USA)

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