Friday, April 04, 2008

Martin Luther King Jnr still inspires us today

The role of Christians in public life is often written out of history. Those in power usually shapes what's supposed to be remembered. The legacy of Martin Luther King jnr's relentless witness against racism, however still haunts the USA, and the world. In an article, Forty years after the shot race fears still haunts the US, as well as one in today's Mail & Guardian, King still roils US politics 40 years after death, it is argued that the mission against racism is not over, yet. The first article states,
"It is perhaps one of the greatest paradoxes facing modern American black leaders such as Charles Steele, now president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which King founded and used as his tool to bring civil rights to America. "If Dr King was alive now, he would be distressed and disappointed in America," Steele said. "America is still racist to a large degree. More so perhaps. It's subliminal and embedded in the system."

Today, marks the 40th years after the assassination of this Christian leader in Room 306 at the Lorraine Motel in downtown Memphis, Tennessee. He led the struggle against racism, but his witness still inspire Christians today towards public witness and leadership. He said,
'A religion true to its nature must also be concerned about man's social conditions. Religion deals with both earth and heaven, both time and eternity. Religion operates not only on the vertical plane but also on the horizontal. It seeks not only to integrate men with God but to integrate men and each man with himself. This means, at bottom, that the Christian gospel is a two-way road. On the one hand, it seeks to change the souls of men and thereby unite them with God; on the other hand, it seeks to change the environmental conditions of men so that the soul will have a chance after it has changed. Any religion that professes to be concerned with the souls of men and it not concerned with the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them and the social conditions that cripple them is a dry-as -dust religion. Such a religion is the kind the Marxists like to see- an opiate of the people.

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