Marianne Williamson in Healing the Soul of America

On Abortion: Ask for soul's wisdom on abortion, and surrender to God

I was once giving a lecture to a large audience when the subject of abortion came up. Tensions began to surface; a rip in the emotional fabric in the room was obvious to everyone.

I asked those in the room to close their eyes and remain in silence for two minutes. I asked that we look within ourselves and call on the spirit of goodness that resides there. I suggested we ask for the soul's wisdom regarding this issue, surrendering our perceptions into the hands of God.

After two minutes of silence, we resumed conversation. Everyone in the room was quieter, more accepting and compassionate toward the views of others, and more eloquent in stating their own views.

People were truly HEARD that night by people who had previously dismissed their views out of hand. The "right to answer" is not a particular view on policy, so much as an experience of each other in which the process of meaningful conversation is restored.

Source: Healing the Soul of America, by Marianne Williamson, p.214-5 Jul 24, 2018

On Civil Rights: You don't have to LIKE people to allow their equal rights

Our equality before the law, theoretically, is not up for discussion. It is the birthright of every American; it is a given.

Martin Luther King Jr., used to say that he was not going to Washington to ASK for rights for black Americans, but to demand the rights they had been given already.

The political question, for instance, should not be, "What do you think of LGBTQ people?" but rather, "Do we or do we not remain committed to the principle of equality for all, and how does that principle apply to the quest for LGBTQ rights?" Whether someone in America LIKES someone else in America is irrelevant to what both of their rights should be before the law. The only way we can be vigilant on behalf of our children's freedom is if we are vigilant on behalf of EVERYONE'S freedom.

Source: Healing the Soul of America, by Marianne Williamson, p. 50-1 Jul 24, 2018

On Civil Rights: Reparations is a sign of America's racial healing

When African Americans say the word "reparations," you'd think they had suggested something completely outrageous. But the general concept is legitimate. Germany has paid $89 billion in reconstitution to Jews since World War II. The United States paid $20,000 to every Japanese American who had been sent to a concentration camp here in America during World War II. Nothing short of a massive investment in America's African American poor--the true legacy of slavery--is a responsible sign of America's willingness to heal itself radically. The most depressed communities in America, which are primarily African-American, cry out for help and we act like it's some major liberal coup every time we even throw them a crumb.
Source: Healing the Soul of America, by Marianne Williamson, p. 94 Jul 24, 2018

On Corporations: Corporate interests control the political process

Corporate interests--not the people of the United States--for all intents and purposes now own America.

Moneyed interests control the political process, routinely pouring so many millions of dollars into so many political campaigns as to have completely corrupted the process. This is not a secret anymore. The health and well-being of corporate structures are placed before the health and well-being of individuals and communities.

Gargantuan economic concerns, whose financial interests are unabashedly placed ahead of the collective good, pour through the halls of our government like lava. We do not spend billions upon billions of dollars more to support certain industries than to support our children for any other reason than that organized business interests can afford highly paid lobbyists to make it happen, in both legal and illegal ways. The influence of money on the political process is a fast-growing cancer threatening to destroy our democracy.

Source: Healing the Soul of America, by Marianne Williamson, p.142-4 Jul 24, 2018

On Crime: Tougher sentencing laws led to mass incarceration

Mass incarceration now constitutes the single largest urban industry in America, as tougher sentencing laws instituted in the 1990s have led to an explosion of our prison population. Unfortunately, while African Americans make up 12 to 13 percent of the U. S. population, they make up 35 percent of jail inmates and are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of whites. Add to that the clear instances of police brutality against blacks that have occurred over the last few years in cities such as Ferguson, MO, and Baltimore, MD, coupled with the with the extraordinary failure of our criminal justice system to convict those whom we saw in video after video, with our own eyes, proactively assault unarmed blacks, and I don't know how any white American can say, "I don't understand what they're complaining about."
Source: Healing the Soul of America, by Marianne Williamson, p. 98 Jul 24, 2018

On Drugs: Opioid crisis results from pharma companies drugging America

The most significant drug stash in America is in our collective medicine chests. America has become a legally ordained drug culture.

Legal, though not necessarily morally legitimate, pharmaceutical company campaigns have set out to drug America, with far too many doctors as their willing accomplices. Our opioid crisis is one of the results, as the most common "gateway drug" to opioid addiction is a legal pharmaceutical.

We drop antidepressants today as though they were candy. Over 2 million of our young people under the age of seventeen are now taking them. Human suffering has been turned into a profit center for corporate interests.

Source: Healing the Soul of America, by Marianne Williamson, p.172-3 Jul 24, 2018

On Education: Teach children HOW to think, not WHAT to think

For decades, the American public education system tried to teach children WHAT to think, avoiding its greater mission as a free society: to teach children HOW to think. Teaching children how to think means fostering minds that are questioning, assertive, open-minded, and creative. We should bring up our children to be creators, not imitators, for only that prepares them for the wonder of life.

This is an outlook that the perpetuation of democracy requires, but that an industrialized economic system came more and more to resist. As we became dominated economically by the rule of industrialization, the tacit pact that American education made with industry was to provide the system with masses of Americans who would show up on time, do as they were told, & not to ask a lot of questions.

A child would enter kindergarten excited and passionate. By the sixth grade at the latest, his or her passion was squelched. Passion is messy for an authoritarian system and frightening to those who live under it.

Source: Healing the Soul of America, by Marianne Williamson, p.113-4 Jul 24, 2018

On Energy & Oil: Massive effort to combat effects of climate change

Climate change denial is moving irretrievably into the dustbin of history's worst ideas. American citizens--if not yet the majority of politicians currently in power--are ready to embark upon a massive effort to combat the effects not only of catastrophic weather conditions, but also the effects of climate change denial on our environmental and political policies. The American people are being vastly underserved by America's rejection of the Paris Climate Accord.
Source: Healing the Soul of America, by Marianne Williamson, p.178 Jul 24, 2018

On Environment: Clean air and water are environmental justice

The Environmental Protection Agency has become an agent of protection not of the earth and the earth's resources, but of the corporate profits of fossil fuel, chemical, and big agricultural companies. From our land to our water to our air to our food, our most precious treasures do not just lack protection; they are currently under assault.

Environmental justice does not just mean justice for the earth; it also means justice for the people who live on the earth. Gutting the Clean Air Act--as has recently been done--does not just affect the air; it affects our breathing. Gutting the Clean Water Act--as has recently been done--does not just affect the water; it affects our bodies when we drink it. As protectors of our earth, and protectors of our own bodies, we should vigorously and passionately defend the health of our environment against the ill-advised, dangerously recalcitrant policies of the current leadership at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Source: Healing the Soul of America, by Marianne Williamson, p.178-9 Jul 24, 2018

On Foreign Policy: Ask ourselves why we are so disliked around the globe

Do we need a military? Of course we do. Do we need to radically rethink its function and operation? Maybe we should think about that. Perhaps it would behoove us to ask ourselves why we are so disliked by many people around the globe. What relatively little money we do give to nations is applied far less to humanitarian than to military use. As one expert on chemical warfare was quoted as saying, "The only way the US could really be safe from the threat of chemical warfare is if there weren't so many people out there who hated us."

We spend trillions of dollars on methods of destroying life, while routinely withdrawing billions of dollars from projects and efforts that restore life.

The protection afforded us by the machinations of America's war machine will serve us but little, if we do not address the fundamental causes of hatred and violence, here and throughout the world. We need a Department of Peace, at least as much as we need a Department of Defense.

Source: Healing the Soul of America, by Marianne Williamson, p.170-1 Jul 24, 2018

On Homeland Security: Remove pathological romanization of the military

During the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, I was one of many Americans saying, "This is Vietnam all over again." At the time, we were described by officialdom as facile thinkers who simply didn't understand the severity of the situation. What we did understand was that Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11; there was no Al Qaeda in Iraq; and even if Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, let us be adult enough to remember we do business with countries that have WMD every day. Oh, and Saddam Hussein killed his own people? So have the Chinese, and we did not invade them.

We need a miracle of God to remove from us what has become an almost pathological romanization of the military. I have a great respect for the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, but their idealization as ultimate and exclusive saviors in times of national distress is a disservice to them and to us all. If America spent more time and resources waging peace, we would find ourselves waging far less war.

Source: Healing the Soul of America, by Marianne Williamson, p.105-6 Jul 24, 2018

On Homeland Security: Military expenditures are 54% of all discretionary funding

President Eisenhower [warned in 1961 that] "we must not fail to comprehend grave implications. [of] an immense military establishment and a large arms industry We clearly did not heed his warnings. Our military expenditures have steadily increased to the point where they are 54% of all discretionary federal funds.

World military spending totaled more than $1.6 trillion in 2015, and the U.S. accounted for 37% of the total. The budget of our Defense Department, for instance is $600 billion, 24 times more than the $26.5 billion allotted to the Department of State.

Are we being served or are we being robbed? Are we being protected or are we being turned into a militaristic nation whose citizens are being led to believe that brute force rather than adherence to our values is the fulcrum of security?

In truth, our military budget is more an expression of the financial appetites of our military-industrial complex than it is a truly wise response to admittedly very real threats.

Source: Healing the Soul of America, by Marianne Williamson, p.167-8 Jul 24, 2018

On Principles & Values: Separation of church and state supports spiritual flowering

Separating the State from the undue influence of religious institutions was in no way meant by our Founders to be an impediment to the search for higher truth, within the individual or within society. They embraced the Creator while refusing to pay homage to specific dogmas claiming to monopolize religious truth. That stance was in support, not rejection, of the true religious experience. The separation of Church and State was intended to SUPPORT our spiritual flowering by guaranteeing its freedom.

Spiritually, to many of us, is as important to the soul as oxygen to the body. Without it, the world can make sense to the mind, but it can never make sense with the heart. But the spirit is an internal phenomenon, and civilization has always suffered when any particular dogma or doctrine has sought to impose itself upon the peoples of the world.

Source: Healing the Soul of America, by Marianne Williamson, p. 60 Jul 24, 2018

On War & Peace: Vietnam was a huge black gash wounding America

Robert McNamara, who was President Johnson's Secretary of Defense during the Vietnam War, wrote in his memoirs that the war was a "terrible mistake." McNamara also mentioned that he, and others who planned and directed that war, had no knowledge or understanding of the religion, language philosophy, or character of the people of Vietnam--and no one to teach them, even if they wanted to learn.

There is an inestimable human tragedy stuck to this nation as a result of that war, a significant aspect of which is the ever-more-frayed bond of trust between the American people and our government.

The Vietnam War Memorial is a uniquely powerful place because it is emotionally true. It doesn't lie. It pictures the war as a huge black gash across our landscape, which it is. It approximately memorializes the lives of those who died such purposeless, tragic deaths in Vietnam. And it helps us grieve not only for them but also for who we were as a nation before that war so wounded us.

Source: Healing the Soul of America, by Marianne Williamson, p.101 Jul 24, 2018

On War & Peace: U.S. imperialistically devastated both Vietnam and Iraq

The very tyrannies from which we had fought to be free would reappear among us, and often we were the oppressors as well as the oppressed. With every generation, we've waged a fiery personal and political contest between our most noble and our basest thoughts. Which would control the destiny of our country? Even now, the contest rages.

To look in our national mirror is to see both glory and shame. We endured the horrors of a Civil War, heroically fought two world wars, brilliantly helped defeat Hitler--and then imperialistically devastated both Vietnam and Iraq. We are blessed with more money and more technological resources than any other nation in the world, yet we give only 1 percent of our budget away to nations less fortunate than us. America has always been a land of contradictions.

Source: Healing the Soul of America, by Marianne Williamson,p.xix-xx Jul 24, 2018

On Welfare & Poverty: Welfare is social justice, not charity

We hear many people say today that poverty is a "charity" issue, and that the government should not be involved in charity. According to that line of thinking, it should be the purview of nonprofits, churches, and so on, to support America's disadvantaged citizens. But as someone who has founded nonprofits, who understands the importance of charity work, and has led a religious congregation, I know very well that charity cannot compensate for lack of social justice. When I look at the advantages of my own child compared to the relative disadvantages of children a few miles away, I don't just think that I should be involved in charity work. I think that child on the other side of town is being denied his or her RIGHTS in a democratic society.
Source: Healing the Soul of America, by Marianne Williamson, p.146-7 Jul 24, 2018

The above quotations are from Healing the Soul of America
20th Anniversary Edition

by Marianne Williamson
Click here for other excerpts from Healing the Soul of America
20th Anniversary Edition

by Marianne Williamson
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Page last updated: Jun 10, 2019