G-d’s master plan – IX – John Lewis, CT Vivian: Founding fathers of non-violent protests


In an opinion column written by David Von Drehle dated July 18 for the Washington Post, he leads off the article making the following statement referring to the passing of John Lewis and CT Vivian on the same day. Drehle says the following – “”Sometimes I wonder if history is trying to tell us something”.

To me, this is a very interesting statement, but at the same time I really am a bit confused by what he meant. And this is by no means intended to criticize the author in any way because he wrote a very good and informative opinion piece. Drehle provided information about these two Civil Rights giants that I was previously unaware of. However in this Blog I want to concentrate on an interesting tie-in to the recent July 4 events and the lives of John Lewis and CT Vivian.

G-d Creates And History Records

If I carefully read the abovementioned sentence Drehle wrote, it seems to be saying that history is speaking to all of us. But in reality, history; the way I understand it, acts like a video and records everything that is taking place at that particular moment.

History cannot speak, only we human beings are given that power. And of course all that credit goes to G-d.

But then the next question should logically be – When do we know G-d is trying to urgently speak to us individually about an event that we should pay attention to? That becomes an impossible question to answer on an individual basis. But when something so extraordinary like the passing of these two Civil Rights leaders takes place within hours of each other, then I feel justified in saying that this can be considered an event that G-d is indeed speaking loudly to each and every one of us. And we must all pay close attention. 

G-d’s Master Plan – Another Puzzle Piece Revealed

In October of last year I wrote a series of Blogs with this same title, but paused to cover other interesting developments that had taken place. With the passing of Lewis and Vivian in such a short time span I feel justified to continue using this title because other events that have recently taken place seem to fit perfectly into a sequence of occurrences that can be considered part of a well thought out master plan that only G-d can create.

We all know that just like the evil events of the recent past such as the Holocaust, the two World Wars and the many terrorist groups that had sprung up such as ISIS, all of the evil people responsible for these events are eventually destroyed and the world returns to its original state of operating based on law and order.

This has always been the case in America, but as President Trump recently pointed out at Mount Rushmore on the eve of July 4, there is now an evil element present in the US that is determined to destroy the very value system upon which America was founded.

Therefore, it is hard to understand, why such great fighters for Civil Rights and non-violent protests would have to pass away together on the same day when the US and world needed them and their ideals the most.

The Recent July 4 Mount Rushmore Ceremony, CT Vivian And Eva Marie Saint

On the eve of American Independence Day President Trump spoke in front of a crowd to honor those great Presidents carved into Mount Rushmore’s mountainside. On that very same day, July 4, in 1924, Eva Marie Saint was born. It was in that same year and month, CT Vivian was also born.

I did not find any stories which indicate that CT Vivian and Eva Marie Saint had even met each other, but with regard to Mount Rushmore, the actress starred with Carrie Grant in the movie “North By Northwest”, a portion of which was filmed there. It would become one of her most famous roles and director Alfred Hitchcock’s completion of a life-long goal to make a movie at Mount Rushmore.

Even more interesting, was President Trump’s timing to bring the July 4 celebration to Mount Rushmore where American founding fathers Washington and Jefferson gaze out at visitors of that memorial. Lincoln, who was responsible for the Emancipation Proclamation joins them along with Teddy Roosevelt.

A Young John Lewis Speaks At “The March On Washington”,

It was at the base of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC that during the March On Washington, where Martin Luther King gave his famous “I Have A Dream speech, a young John Lewis,  the National Chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee said the following-

To those who have said, “Be patient and wait,” we have long said that we cannot be patient. We do not want our freedom gradually, but we want to be free now! We are tired. We are tired of being beaten by policemen. We are tired of seeing our people locked up in jail over and over again. And then you holler, “Be patient.” How long can we be patient? We want our freedom and we want it now. We do not want to go to jail. But we will go to jail if this is the price we must pay for love, brotherhood, and true peace.

I appeal to all of you to get into this great revolution that is sweeping this nation. Get in and stay in the streets of every city, every village and hamlet of this nation until true freedom comes, until the revolution of 1776 is complete.”

And then Lewis added, ”We must get in this revolution and complete the revolution from Mississippi, Georgia, in Alabama, in Harlem, in Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia and all over this nation the black masses are on the march for jobs and freedom.  We will march with the spirit of love and the spirit of dignity that we have shown here today.”

CT Vivian , John Lewis, Martin Luther King

“There must always be the understanding of what Martin had in mind for this organization,” Vivian said in a 2012 interview. “Nonviolent, direct action makes us successful. We learned how to solve social problems without violence. We cannot allow the nation or the world to ever forget that.”

An Atlantic article written by Adam Serwer on July 18, points out-

Lewis wanted to be a preacher; as the historian David Halberstam wrote in his book The Children.

Lewis moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1957, where he met C. T. Vivian, and others who introduced the nonviolent tactics of a movement that would change the country, and the world. Vivian, Halbertsam wrote, “said that it was as if God had a master plan, bringing so many uncommon people of such rare strength and vision together in one place at one time.”

If CT Vivian Can Recognize These Events As Part Of G-d’s Master Plan That Sends A Strong Message

It is very unusual for a public figure to be quoted acknowledging that G-d has a master plan.  But looking at what both John Lewis and CT Vivian accomplished during their lifetimes, these were two unique individuals who realized that G-d indeed does run the world. And perhaps G-d has a more important job for their  souls to do in heaven now that they have physically departed from earth.

The legacy they leave is one of peace and non-violence which hopefully will be restored to the streets of America in the not too distant future.

With the new month of Menachem Av now ushering in the 9 days, culminating in the destruction of both Holy Temples, perhaps G-d is preparing us for the arrival of a new era where peace and non-violence will once again be the norm. Let us hope that day comes sooner than later.

Chodesh Tov

About the Author
Born and raised in the Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park. Married to a South African, we lived in Johannesburg from 1979 to 1996. Made Aliyah with our seven children on Parshat Lech Lecha. BSB Accounting Degree from the University of Minnesota. Investment Portfolio Manager /Fundamental And Technical Analyst. Wrote in-depth research on companies, markets, commodities for leading financial publications. Served in the US Army Reserves Semi Retired spending quality time with my wife, children, grandchildren and attend Kollel while analyzing current events as they relate to Torah and Mitzvahs.
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