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This Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Remember to Love Your Enemies

This Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Remember to Love Your Enemies

“We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.”

I look forward to Martin Luther King Jr. Day every year because it affords me the opportunity to post one of my favorite speeches of all time, Dr. King’s “Loving Your Enemies” speech.

Speaking at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, on 17 November 1957, King implored those in attendance to love their enemies, no matter the cost.

“Let us fight passionately and unrelentingly to the goals of justice. Let’s be sure that our hands are clean. Let us never fight with falsehood and violence and hate and malice, but always fight with love so that when the day comes and the walls of segregation are completely crumbled in Montgomery, we will be able to live with people as brothers.”

“Love is the only creative, redemptive, transforming, power in the universe,” he said:

This entire sermon is powerful. An excerpt I included last year and will again share with you:

…There’s another reason why you should love your enemies, and that is because hate distorts the personality of the hater…. You just begin hating somebody, and you will begin to do irrational things. You can’t see straight when you hate. You can’t walk straight when you hate. You can’t stand upright. Your vision is distorted. There is nothing more tragic than to see an individual whose heart is filled with hate…. For the person who hates, the beautiful becomes ugly and the ugly becomes beautiful. For the person who hates, the good becomes bad and the bad becomes good. For the person who hates, the true becomes false and the false becomes true. That’s what hate does. You can’t see right. The symbol of objectivity is lost. Hate destroys the very structure of the personality of the hater.

…meet every situation of life with an abounding love. Never hate, because it ends up in tragic, neurotic responses…. Hate at any point is a cancer that gnaws away at the very vital center of your life and your existence. It is like eroding acid that eats away the best and the objective center of your life. So Jesus says love, because hate destroys the hater as well as the hated.

…Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. That’s why Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” Because if you hate your enemies, you have no way to redeem and to transform your enemies. But if you love your enemies, you will discover that at the very root of love is the power of redemption. You just keep loving people and keep loving them, even though they’re mistreating you. Here’s the person who is a neighbor, and this person is doing something wrong to you and all of that. Just keep being friendly to that person. Keep loving them. Don’t do anything to embarrass them. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with bitterness because they’re mad because you love them like that. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies.

…So this morning, as I look into your eyes, and into the eyes of all of my brothers in Alabama and all over America and over the world, I say to you, “I love you. I would rather die than hate you.” And I’m foolish enough to believe that through the power of this love somewhere, men of the most recalcitrant bent will be transformed. And then we will be in God’s kingdom. We will be able to matriculate into the university of eternal life because we had the power to love our enemies, to bless those persons that cursed us, to even decide to be good to those persons who hated us, and we even prayed for those persons who despitefully used us.

The compulsion to respond to hate with hate will always exist, but is that the legacy we want to leave for our children, for future generations?

In all you do, in every way, may you find the grace to choose love.

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.


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Our Posterity (future generations).

Judge people by the content of their character, not their diversity class (e.g. color of their skin).

great unknown | January 15, 2018 at 7:13 pm

Any comments from the good Professor on loving Abbas and the Iranian Imams?

Education, media, the civil rights movement and our government has been infested by leftists influenced by foreign money, who want to destroy the nation as we know it.

The likes of sharpton and jesse jackson, shiela jackson lee, maxine waters etc. are in the hate business. So is that traitorous rat, obama. And business is business.

It’s not really about ‘us’ leaving anything to our children. What we are leaving them is the guilt of allowing the likes of the leeches above to gain power in our country and to continue to enable them.

Let’s be honest: King would be laughed at today by the leftist hijackers of the civil rights movement, and he would be called an Uncle Tom.

King’s memory is honored by people on the right, not the left.

In 1968, he told a church audience:
“It didn’t cost the nation a penny to open lunch counters. It didn’t cost the nation a penny to give us the right to vote. But it will cost the nation billions to feed and house all of its citizens. The country needs a radical redistribution of wealth.”
1964, after traveling to Norway to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, King said:
“In both Norway and Sweden, whose economies are literally dwarfed by the size of our affluence and the extent of our technology, they have no unemployment and no slums. There, men, women and children have long enjoyed free medical care and quality education. This contrast to the limited, halting steps taken by our rich nation deeply troubled me.”
In a letter to his future wife, Coretta Scott, a 20-something King wrote:
“I imagine you already know that I am much more socialistic in my economic theory than capitalistic … So today capitalism has outlived its usefulness. It has brought about a system that takes necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes.”

King would be surprised by Sweden and Norway today, Socialism and all., with the Muslim hordes ..

I too wonder how King would love these Muslim terrorists, the likes of ISIS…but I am not Black and I imagine the violence bestowed upon many he knew, besides the ultimate sacrifice he gave, would make what I say maybe not relevant.

    Why would a Socialist be surprised by Scandinavian socialism? We seem to quote the Reverend King at all stops so how about these words from our civil rights leader:

    We are now making demands that will cost the nation something. You can’t talk about solving the economic problem of the Negro without talking about billions of dollars. You can’t talk about ending slums without first saying profit must be taken out of slums. You’re really tampering and getting on dangerous ground because you are messing with folk then. You are messing with the captains of industry. . . . Now this means that we are treading in difficult waters, because it really means that we are saying that something is wrong . . . with . . . capitalism. . . . There must be a better distribution of wealth and maybe America must move toward a Democratic Socialism.

At least we still have Reverend Sharpton and his Imminence, Reverend Jackson.

Tonight on CNN, Don Lemon, that shining light of logic and goodwill, and three guests rolled out the “I am not a racist” trope.

It works like this ..

1) somebody is called a ‘racist’
2) that person responds with “I am not a racist”
3) they are countered with a quote by George Wallace saying “I am not a racist”

QED) they are a ‘racist’

The proof is left to the student

“It didn’t cost the nation a penny to give us the right to vote.”

Not a penny, huh? Well, somebody paid rather a lot for it. It didn’t happen all by itself.

In fact, something on the order of 360,000 men paid with their lives to do just that.

White men.

Average age, 26. Average height, 5 feet 8 inches. Average weight, 143 pounds. Just average all around.

Or as Obama would have put it, “Typical white people.”

So maybe they don’t count. Except to old American curmudgeons like me, who think they do count.

Even on MLK Day.

This may verge in some people’s imaginations as a racist comment. But I don’t celebrate MLK day. Because somehow it has evolved into a black-only holiday. They own it.

I have to wonder how a holiday for a man who wanted the content of his character and not the color of his skin to be his defining feature has morphed into a “color of skin” holiday.

As white guy I’m not welcome. Or, I can be tolerate. As long as I shut up, nod along to the lecture, and hand over my wallet.

If MLK Jr. was sincere, I doubt he’d welcome these developments.