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King: Legacy of Christian love

Peace. Unity. Christian love. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. preached all of that and more in a lifetime spent advocating racial equality and an end to discrimination.

By Jessica Connor
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 skinbut by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boysand white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

– From Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech, delivered Aug. 28, 1963

Peace. Unity. Christian love.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. preached all of that and more in a lifetime spent advocating racial equality and an end to discrimination.

His passionate crusade for a unified, color-blind society earned him the Nobel Peace Prize and, posthumously, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal. More importantly, his words and actions inspired countless to take up the mantle of racial harmony and civil rights.

This month, we celebrate the life of Dr. King, an extraordinary human being who shaped and influenced the lives of so many people – including this editor.

King’s message runs parallel to what Jesus himself said about brotherly and sisterly love, about peace, about unity among the races:

• As I have loved you, so you must love one another (John 13:34).

• If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also (Luke 6:29).

• Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God (Matthew 5:9).

• Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand (Matthew 12:25).

If Jesus were here today, what would he be saying about civil rights, about racism, about peace, about Dr. King’s dream?

Sadly, much of this nation is still segregated – our schools, our churches, our neighborhoods. I still hear racist jokes on television or whispered in corners. I read about our nation’s first black president being called the N-word.

It makes me sick.

And it reminds me that on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and every day, we must remain steadfast and ever-vigilant in our quest to unite all people, all races, under God.

Just like Dr. King would have wanted.

Just like Jesus asked us to do.

May you rest in peace, Dr. King. God bless you.

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