When Martin Luther King was gunned down on April 4, 1968 many believe those shots were a direct result of his famed Riverside Church speech "Beyond Vietnam" given exactly one year prior to the day of his murder. It was a prophetic speech, a profound speech, quite possibly the most extraordinary of his career. And he was disembowled for it.
For the past handful of years (and since You Tube has made the speech highly accessible) I've listened closely to it on April 4, choosing to consider not merely whether I agree with Dr. King or not - any lover of the non-violent love-gospel of Jesus Christ must agree - but why it is still so shocking to hear 40 years later.
And while listening to it and studying it, I've wondered, as many have, if this unbearably couragous Dr. King would be welcomed at today's mega churches with their Support Our Troops bulletin boards, at flag-waving political rallys and feel-good corporate paint days that celebrate his legacy.
Shame on us that no movement on these issues of violence, human and spiritual waste, racist arrogance, economic and social inequality, exploitation of the poor, and the evil game of rich becoming richer from war, have been made.
Truth is sometimes painful indeed to bear.
Janet Kinosian is a 25-year print journalist who has written for the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times Syndicate, The New York Times Syndicate , The Washington Post , Reader's Digest and People Magazine. She provides Media Consulting at www.janetkinosian.com.
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