This MLK Day, I read someone comment on King’s optimism and how it animated his work, basically him as the Dreamer. But he was the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and God is what animated him. He did not mince words about this. The night before he died he said,
Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!
And the next day he was shot and killed.
I often wonder whether or not education is fulfilling its purpose. A great majority of the so-called education people do not think logically and scientifically. Even the press, the classroom, the platform, and the pulpit in many instances do not give us objective and unbiased truths. To save men from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education. Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from fiction.
The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason but no morals.
We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character–that is the goal of true education. The complete education gives one not only the power of concentration but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate. The broad education will, therefore, transmit to one not only the accumulated knowledge of the race but also the accumulated experience of social living.
I mourn for the current state of affairs in our education system and in our politics.
Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge which is power; religion gives man wisdom which is control. Science deals with facts; religion deals with values. The two are not rivals. They are complementary. Science keeps religion from sinking into the valley of crippling irrationalism and paralyzing obscurantism. Religion prevents science from falling into the marsh of obsolete materialism and moral nihilism.
Take that fundamentalists both of the evangelical and atheist variety.
I’ve been reading a book of quotes of Martin Luther King, Jr. and they are powerful. I’ve decided to drop a few because they are so jarring in their direct truth-telling. Look at how he straight up sons white America.
The majority of white Americans consider themselves sincerely committed to justice for the Negro. They believe that American society is essentially hospitable to fair play and to steady growth toward a middle-class Utopia embodying racial harmony. But unfortunately this is a fantasy of self-deception and comfortable vanity. Overwhelmingly America is still struggling with irresolution and contradictions. It has been sincere and even ardent in welcoming some change. But too quickly apathy and disinterest rise to the surface when the next logical steps are to be taken. Laws are passed in a crisis mood after a Birmingham or a Selma, but no substantial fervor survives the formal signing of legislation. The recording of the law in itself is treated as the reality of the reform. [emphasis mine]
King was a flawed and human man, but a genius of love by living and speaking it in public. Just looking a few quotes, reminds one of that. What a terrible loss we suffered on April 4, 1968.