i come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. i join you in this meeting because i am in deepest agreement with the aims and work of the organization which has brought us together: clergy and laymen concerned about vietnam. the recent statements of your executive committee are the sentiments of my own heart, and i found myself in full accord when i read its opening lines: "a time comes when silence is betrayal." and that time has come for us in relation to vietnam.
the truth of these words is beyond doubt, but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government's policy, especially in time of war. nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one's own bosom and in the surrounding world. moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexed as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty; but we must move on.
and some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. we must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. and we must rejoice as well, for surely this is the first time in our nation's history that a significant number of its religious leaders have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. if it is, let us trace its movements and pray that our own inner being may be sensitive to its guidance, for we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us.
over the past two years, as i have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart, as i have called for radical departures from the destruction of vietnam, many persons have questioned me about the wisdom of my path. at the heart of their concerns this query has often loomed large and loud: "why are you speaking about the war, dr. king?" "why are you joining the voices of dissent?" "peace and civil rights don't mix," they say. "aren't you hurting the cause of your people," they ask? and when i hear them, though i often understand the source of their concern, i am nevertheless greatly saddened, for such questions mean that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment or my calling. indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live.
in the light of such tragic misunderstanding, i deem it of signal importance to try to state clearly, and i trust concisely, why i believe that the path from dexter avenue baptist church -- the church in montgomery, alabama, where i began my pastorate -- leads clearly to this sanctuary tonight.
asking the devotees of civil rights, "when will you be satisfied?" we can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. we cannot be satisfied as long as the negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. we can never be satisfied as long as a negro in mississippi cannot vote and a negro in new york believes he has nothing for which to vote. no, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousnelike a mighty stream.
but there is something that i must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. in the proceof gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterneand hatred.
we must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. we must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
the marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.
we cannot walk alone.and as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. we cannot turn back. there are those who are.
helping every american with autism achieve their full potential is one of this administration’s top priorities. at the u.s. department of health and human services, we continue to strive to meet the complex needs of all people with autism spectrum disorders (asd) and their families. while there is no cure, early intervention is critical and can greatly improve a child’s development.
perhaps the biggest step we’ve taken to support those affected by autism and their families happened over a year ago, with the signing of the affordable care act. now, new insurance plans are required to cover autism screening and developmental assessments for children at no cost to parents. insurers will also no longer be allowed to deny children coverage for a pre-existing condition such as asd or to set arbitrary lifetime or annual limits on benefits.
also, thanks to the new law, young adults are allowed to stay on their family health insurance until they turn 26. for a young adult with autism spectrum disorder and their family, that means peace of mind. it means more flexibility, more options, and more opportunity to reach their full potential.
ultimately, there is more support for americans with autism than ever before. this means more promise of new breakthroughs that will help us understand autism even better. but in order to continue meeting the needs of people with autism, the combating autism act must be fully reauthorized. we still have a long way to go. working collaboratively with important partners, the affordable care act and the combating autism act will allow us to continue important research and develop and refine vital treatments.
there are still many unknowns. however, one thing is certain. we will continue to work harder than ever to find solutions and provide support to individuals with asd and their families. together, we can help reduce disparities and allow everyone to actualize their greatest potential.
kathleen sebelius is secretary of health and human services.