Opinion

King’s message, methods more meaningful than empty religion

I am a huge fan of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his message. Not the diluted anti-racism, pro-nonviolent protest platform the powers-that-be have boiled it down to. No, I’m talking about King’s unadulterated message, which continues to be both applicable and revolutionary today.

The civil rights movements succeeded in that it took down the white-and-colored signs of racism. But the real system that King protested is still alive, well, and whipping the crap out of the underprivileged.

I am one of those spiritual, but not religious, types who is constantly looking for inspiration and validation for my beliefs. While I understand where this becomes problematic (see Pat Robertson), I simply cannot respect a tome that contradicts itself yet expects me to believe every word verbatim as the Word of God.

So as you can see, I take everything with a grain of salt. I find it hard to believe that the teacher’s miracles are more important than his message, or that the disciples went from being numbskulls to infallible with a “rushing of wind and flame” that descended when, conveniently, they had no one else to vouch for them. Divine gullibility just isn’t my style.

King, however, was a modern-day prophet, to me at least, whose message is worth observing. He said, “True compassion is more than flinging a coin at a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.” The appalling distribution of wealth in our country is no mere trifle; the increasing concentration of wealth is no inevitability.

Until we restructure our system so that “pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps” isn’t just a feat a la “Cirque de Soleil,” in the words of Stephen Colbert, we should not be passively playing by its rules.

In the spiritual vein, King stated, “A religion true to its nature must also be concerned about a man’s economic conditions. Any religion that professes to be concerned with the souls of men and is 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.”

Don’t get me started on how much those “food-and-God” types piss me off. Handing an immigrant worker a free meal and an extra shirt does not give you the divine judicial authority to tell the poor soul he’s going to rot in hell any more than it gives me the right to smack you upside the head. Oh, sweet temptation.

And finally, Martin Luther King, Jr. says that, “The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace, and brotherhood.”

I highly recommend taking up the horizontal-with-hope position, because I assure you, the action is incredible.

Bethany Quinn is a senior majoring in Latin American studies and photography. She may be contacted at b.quinn2@umiami.edu

February 9, 2007

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Either the Miami Hurricanes get a collective adrenaline rush from heart-palpitating fourth quarters, ...

The question came straight at Ahmmon Richards, like a tight spiral. And this time, he didn’t hesitat ...

1. DOLPHINS: Miami seeks revenge vs. hated, Stinkin' Jets: Dolphins host Jets Sunday with Miami ...

Notes and observations on UM’s 27-19 win against Syracuse: • A UM source said Mark Richt seemed more ...

View photos from the Syracuse at Miami game Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami G ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

The Hurricanes grabbed four interceptions and another ACC victory as they defeated Syracuse, 27-19, ...

The Miami women's tennis team split its eight matches on its second day of competition at the I ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

Syracuse visits Miami on Saturday, October 21st at Hard Rock Stadium. ...

Thirty years ago, the 1987 Hurricanes achieved perfection. This weekend they are back where it all b ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.