Let me start off by saying that this is not meant to offend.
The quasi-fake/quasi-real MLK quote that was going around the other day really got me thinking. And it got me looking into a lot of other quotes that MLK wrote. And then it presented me with a real problem.
Here was a guy who had a lot of beautiful ideas. Progressive ideas. Ideas that I strongly believe in. But his means for coming to those ideas was through the lens of Christianity, which is something that I don’t believe in.
So how do I deal with the fact that the seeming basis for things that I think are deeply important to humanity come from a belief system that I do not abide by?
I did a lot of thinking about it. And I came to this. Almost all philosophies have things in them that are good, and things that are bad. Divinely inspired ones, non divinely inspired ones. But they were all developed by humans, sometimes showing the deepest goodness of our humanity, and sometimes showing the deepest callousness of our humanity. And just because some people claim that these ideas were given to us on high, I believe that they came from man. Nothing more than people sitting around writing their thoughts, and nothing less.
So the basis for MLK’s speeches isn’t in the Almighty. It is from the best parts that make us human, and have made us human. When he says to forgive and love because that is what God requires, what I read is that forgive and love because that is what our humanness requires.
And so I can read and agree and believe in what he wrote without feeling tied to the doctrine of the religion behind it.