The Thirty Minute Blogger

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Honoring Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ... In His Own Words and With "No Shots Fired" Monday

All of us American Baptists hold Martin Luther King, Jr. in special, high regard as he is one of our own. I want to commemorate his life and work for civil rights by allowing him to speak for himself this morning.

There is a lot of stuff and nonsense floating around these days about a conflict between science and religion. The loudest voices are equally strident and equally inflexible in their views. Let each have their sphere of influence. Dr. King took another approach, one far more intelligent and useful in my estimation. He said:

Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.*
Scientific vs. spiritual power:

Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.

On hope:

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.

On violence:

Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars... Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
 The burden of hate:

I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.
On ignorance (as relevant now as it ever was):

Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

On equality:

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.
On change:

Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your back is bent.
Military defense vs. social programs (a timely reminder ... sadly):

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.

Dr. King, any last words for us?:

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.
According to the Chicago Tribune, today should be a "no shots fired" day across the United States and church bells should be rung in support of non-violence. Given the recent, terrible school shootings and the penchant for gun violence in this land, I couldn't agree more. Let's pray no shots are fired today ... and then keep praying for that every day!

*Keep creationism out of the classroom and let the two sides do what they do best. How about it?

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