"I will send you prophets, and wise men, and inspired writers, and you will kill some by crucifixion, and rip open the backs of others with whips . . ."
Matthew 23: 28, 34
Historians fear Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s true legacy is being lost. Professor Henry Louis Taylor Jr. said that "All we know is that this guy had a dream. We don't know what that dream was."
Just like Jesus everybody wants to use Dr. King to suit their purpose. Just like Jesus Dr. King was perfectly capable of speaking his own mind without need of theologians, pundits and preachers putting forth the party line.
So just let me put forth some of Dr. King's words on the table. You decide how we are doing. Indeed, ask yourself, how much of this would Dr. King be able to say today without being attacked from both the right and left.
"I submit to you that if a man hasn't discovered something he will die for, he isn't fit to live."
"The greatest purveyor of violence on earth is my own government."
"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."
"Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred."
"We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence."
"Let us not wallow in the valley of despair."
"It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream."
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
"With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together . . ."
"Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true."
"We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."
"When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative."
"Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love."
"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."
"We have genuflected before the god of science only to find that it has given us the atomic bomb, producing fears and anxieties that science can never mitigate."
"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
"The Darwinian concept of the survival of the fittest has been substituted by a philosophy of the survival of the slickest."
'The church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society."
"Yes, I see the Church as the body of Christ. But, oh! How we have blemished and scarred that body through social neglect and through fear of being nonconformists."
"We must rapidly begin the shift from a "thing"-oriented society to a "person"-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable to being conquered."
"We must use our vast resources of wealth to aid the undeveloped countries of the world. We have spent far too much of our national budget in establishing military bases around the world and far too little in establishing bases of genuine concern and understanding."
"I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together."
"I just want to do God's will."
So, how goes the dream?