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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose birthday we celebrate today, spoke with some frequency during his years of ministry of putting on the “weapon of love.” 

Responding to those who resisted the emerging civil rights movement, King asserted, “We will counter your force with soul force, we will match your ability to hate with our ability to love.”

And King reminded us that at the heart of Jesus’ life and message is the call to be peacemakers and reconcilers. “Violence,” said King again and again, “never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problems; it merely creates new and more complicated ones.”

We live in a world thirsty for this gospel of peace. With Martin Luther King, Jr. and with Jesus before him, we need to announce with integrity, “The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind. It is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than on love. It destroys community…Violence ends by defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.”

Many, many people have asked me over the years: “Why do we need a National Holiday to celebrate and honor Martin Luther King, Jr.?” Take a long, hard look at Washington, D.C. today – the most armed and fortified city in all the world this January 18th. Not Baghdad or Kabul, but our own Washington, D.C. How did we as a nation get to this point? Because we never read and reflected on the words and the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. and acted upon them. That’s how we got to this point!

At least take some time today to read again and reflect on Dr. King’s words that are above.


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