Robert Kennedy’s “Ask Why? . . . Ask Why Not?” Applied To Church

I like to apply the idea from Bobby Kennedy’s “Ask why? . . . Ask why not?” quote to church.  Here goes:

“There are those that look at church as a programmed religious service and ask why?  I dream of church as spontaneous and participatory and ask why not.?”

Here’s a bit of history/background:

Senator Robert F. Kennedy used these words as the theme for his 1968 presidential campaign:  “There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why?  I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”

President John F. Kennedy said: “You see things, and you say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were and I say; ‘Why not?'” in a 1963 speech to the Irish parliament and correctly attributed the quotation to George Bernard Shaw.

However, Shaw’s attribution has been so overshadowed by Robert Kennedy’s rendition that in W. P. Kinsella’s 1982 novel, Shoeless Joe – the inspiration for the movie, Field of Dreams —  he mistakenly attributed the quote to Robert Kennedy.

The phrase originated in Shaw’s play, Back to Methuselah (1921), pt. I, act I: “You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?'”

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About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. I have written two books: Mindrobics: How To Be Happy For The Rest Of Your Life and Your Sperm Won--Experiencing Your Value As A Championship Human Being. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I lead a non-traditional church in Nashville based on open participation and Spirit-led sharing. We long to see the power and passion of the early church come to life in our time.
This entry was posted in history, organic church, Quotes, speech making, quote, dream, presidential campaign, American history, media, movie, British history, quotation, speeches, senator, President Kennedy, Back to Methuselah, W.P. Kensella, Shoeless Joe, Bobby Kennedy, 1968, I dream of things that never were, Irish parliament, famous speech, Irish history, background and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Robert Kennedy’s “Ask Why? . . . Ask Why Not?” Applied To Church

  1. Pingback: Here Ya Go — Original Organic Church Comments | Free Gas For Your Think Tank (Steve Simms Blogs From Nashville)

  2. Pingback: We dream of things that never were and say: “Why not?” | We dream of things that never were and say: "Why not?"

  3. Pingback: Realty TV / Reality Church . . . | Free Gas For Your Think Tank (Steve Simms Blogs From Nashville)

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