In 1983, Republican President Ronald Reagan signed the bill to make the 3rd Monday in January a holiday in honor of Baptist Pastor, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was born JANUARY 15, 1929.
Martin was a Baptist preacher like his brother, Rev. A.D. King, pastor of Mount Vernon First Baptist Church in Newnan, Georgia, and like his father, Rev. "Daddy" King - Martin Luther King, Sr., who was pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.
In 1944, Martin Luther King, Jr., attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, a college founded after the Civil War by Baptist minister Rev. William Jefferson White.
Originally named Atlanta Baptist College, it was renamed after Henry Lyman Morehouse, secretary of the American Baptist Home Mission Society.
At Morehouse, King was a member of the debate team, student council, glee club, sociology club, and minister’s union.
In 1948, King, Jr., became a student at Crozer Theological Seminary in Upland, Pennsylvania, graduating with a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1951.
In 1960, he became co-pastor with his father of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.
King formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Rev. King, Jr., stated:
"I see Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world ... as a marvelous example of what can be done ... how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy."
"Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality."
"I solemnly pledge to do my utmost to uphold the fair name of the Jews."
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1964. In his acceptance speech in Oslo, Norway, King acknowledged:
"... profound recognition that nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time -- the need for man to overcome oppression and violence WITHOUT resorting to violence and oppression."
On April 16, 1963, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote:
"As the Apostle Paul carried the gospel of Jesus Christ ... so am I compelled to carry the gospel ...
One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters they were standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judeo-Christian heritage."
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, were influenced by the German church leader Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who resisted Hitler's National Socialist Workers' Party.
Bonhoeffer was himself influenced by the Black preacher, Adam Clayton Powell Sr., pastor of Harlem's Abyssinian Baptist Church, once the largest Protestant church in America.
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., was also influenced by Henry David Thoreau, who wrote in his book, In Civil Disobedience (1849):
"That government is best which governs least"
Rev. King was influenced by Booker T. Washington, having attended the high school named for him.
Booker T. Washington founded Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, and wrote Up From Slavery (1901), in which he stated:
"I resolved that I would permit no man, no matter what his color might be, to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.
... With God's help, I believe that I have completely rid myself of any ill feeling toward the Southern white man for any wrong that he may have inflicted upon my race ...
I pity from the bottom of my heart any individual who is so unfortunate as to get into the habit of holding race prejudice."
Booker T. Washington stated:
"In the sight of God there is no color line, and we want to cultivate a spirit that will make us forget that there is such a line anyway."
"I have always had the greatest respect for the work of the Salvation Army especially because I have noted that it draws no color line in religion."
Booker T. Washington wrote in Up From Slavery (1901):
"There is a class of race problem solvers who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the Negro race before the public ...
Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances because they do not want to lose their jobs ...
They don't want the patient to get well ...
Great men cultivate love ... only little men cherish a spirit of hatred."
Booker T. Washington recruited George Washington Carver to be a professor at Tuskegee.
Carver wrote to Robert Johnson, March 24, 1925:
"Thank God I love humanity; complexion doesn't interest me one single bit."
George W. Carver wrote to YMCA official Jack Boyd in Denver, March 1, 1927:
"Keep your hand in that of the Master, walk daily by His side,
so that you may lead others into the realms of true happiness, where a religion of hate, (which poisons both body and soul) will be unknown,
having in its place the 'Golden Rule' way, which is the 'Jesus Way' of life, will reign supreme."
Becoming internationally renown, George Washington Carver received letters from leaders around the world, including Mahatma Gandhi, with whom he corresponded from 1929 to 1935, addressing him "My beloved friend, Mr. Gandhi."
Gandhi's insistence on non-violent protests helped India gain its independence from Great Britain, August 15, 1947.
The United Nations designated Gandhi's birthday, October 2, as the International Day of Non-Violence.
Gandhi wrote in his autobiography of an incident on a ship with 800 passengers traveling from India to the Natal Province of South Africa.
When some passengers learned that Gandhi was aboard, they grew furious.
As Gandhi was disembarking, they punched him, kicked him, and threw stones at him, but he refused to retaliate and kept walking.
He was finally rescued when the wife of the town's police superintendent opened her parasol and stood between Gandhi and the mob.
"I hope God will give me the courage and the sense to forgive them and to refrain from bringing them to law.
I have no anger against them. I am only sorry for their ignorance and their narrowness.
I know that they sincerely believe that what they are doing today is right and proper. I have no reason therefore to be angry with them."
Gandhi read the Gospels, stating that Jesus' Sermon on the Mount "went straight to my heart."
While practicing law in South Africa from 1893 to 1914, he went to visit a church, but the usher refused to let him in because of his race.
Later, missionary E. Stanley Jones asked him:
"Mr. Gandhi, though you quote the words of Christ often, why is that you appear to so adamantly reject becoming his follower?"
"Oh, I don't reject Christ. I love Christ. It's just that so many of you Christians are so unlike Christ ...
If Christians would really live according to the teachings of Christ, as found in the Bible, all of India would be Christian today."
Historian Will Durant wrote of Gandhi in The Story of Civilization, Volume I:
"He did not mouth the name of Christ, but acted as if he accepted every word on the Sermon on the Mount.
Not since St. Francis of Assisi has any life known to history been so marked by gentleness, disinterestedness, simplicity and forgiveness of enemies."
Gandhi was assassinated on January 30, 1948.
His non-violent methods influenced Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., who referred to Gandhi as "the guiding light of our technique of nonviolent social change."
Rev. King left on a five week tour of India, February 3, 1959. He met Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and toured the country.
Afterwards, King reflected:
"Since being in India, I am more convinced than ever before that the method of nonviolent resistance is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for justice and human dignity.
In a real sense, Mahatma Gandhi embodied in his life certain universal principles that are inherent in the moral structure of the universe, and these principles are as inescapable as the law of gravitation'' (Papers 5:136).
"Mahatma Gandhi was the first person in human history to lift the ethic of love of Jesus Christ, above mere interaction between individuals and make it into a powerful and effective social force on a large scale."
On March 6, 1984, President Ronald Reagan mentioned Rev. King in his remarks at the annual convention of the National Association of Evangelicals, meeting at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Columbus, Ohio:
"During the civil rights struggles of the fifties and early sixties, millions worked for equality in the name of their Creator.
Civil rights leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King based all their efforts on the claim that black or white, each of us is a child of God. And they stirred our nation to the very depths of its soul."
Graham wrote in his autobiography:
"One night civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whom I was pleased to count a friend, gave an eloquent opening prayer at the service; he also came at my invitation to one of our Team retreats during the Crusade to help us understand the racial situation in America more fully."
Becoming friends, Billy Graham shared a conversation with Rev. King:
"His father, who was called Big Mike, called him Little Mike. He asked me to call him just plain Mike."
Rev. King credited Billy Graham with reducing racial tension, as Graham even canceled a 1965 tour of Europe to preach crusades in Alabama, allowing the Gospel to bring healing between the races.
Billy Graham stated:
"Jesus was not a white man; He was not a black man. He came from that part of the world that touches Africa and Asia and Europe.
Christianity is not a white man's religion, and don't let anybody ever tell you that it's white or black. Christ belongs to all people; He belongs to the whole world."
Billy Graham wrote:
"My study of the Bible, leading me eventually to the conclusion that not only was racial inequality wrong but Christians especially should demonstrate love toward all peoples."
Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote:
"Had it not been for the ministry of my good friend Dr. Billy Graham, my work in the Civil Rights Movement would not have been as successful as it has been."
On January 20, 1997, Rev. Billy Graham delivered the invocation just prior to the Second Inauguration of President Bill Clinton, stating:
"Oh, Lord, help us to be reconciled first to you and secondly to each other. May Dr. Martin Luther King's dream finally come true for all of us.
Help us to learn our courtesy to our fellow countrymen, that comes from the one who taught us that 'whatever you want me to do to you, do also to them."
In proclaiming 1990 the International Year of Bible Reading, President George H.W. Bush stated:
"The historic speeches of Abraham Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., provide compelling evidence of the role Scripture played in shaping the struggle against slavery and discrimination."
On February 16, 2002, Dr. James Dobson addressed 3,500 attendees at the National Religious Broadcaster's convention:
"Those of you who do feel that the church has no responsibility in the cultural area ... Suppose it were ... 1963, and Martin Luther King is sitting in a Birmingham jail and he is released.
And he goes to a church, yes, a church. And from that church, he comes out into the streets of Birmingham and marches for civil rights.
Do you oppose that? Is that a violation of the separation of church and state?"
In his address at Montgomery, Alabama, December 31, 1955, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., declared:
"If you will protest courageously, and yet with dignity and Christian love, when the history books are written in future generations, the historians will have to pause and say,
'There lived a great people-a black people-who injected new meaning and dignity into the veins of civilization.'"
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said August 28, 1963:
"Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children ...
In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds.
Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence."
On April 16, 1963, Rev. King stated:
"I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers ... I stand in the middle of two opposing forces in the Negro community.
One is a force of complacency ... The other force is one of bitterness and hatred, and it comes perilously close to advocating violence.
... It is expressed in the various black nationalist groups that are springing up across the nation, the largest and best-known being Elijah Muhammad's Muslim movement ...
This movement is made up of people who have lost faith in America, who have absolutely repudiated Christianity, and who have concluded that the white man is an incorrigible 'devil.'"
One black man who lost faith in America was Manning Johnson (1908-1959).
He joined the communist movement for ten years and ran for Congress in New York (NY-22) as a communist candidate in 1935.
Finally, he came to the realization communists cared nothing for the plight of the black community but were simply using them to bring division for their political gain.
"Ten years later, thoroughly disillusioned, I abandoned communism. The experiences of those years in 'outer darkness' are like a horrible nightmare."
Manning Johnson wrote an exposé titled Color, Communism and Common Sense, 1958.
The Foreword was written by Archibald B. Roosevelt, a decorated U.S. military commander and son of President Theodore Roosevelt.
Less than a year after Manning published his tell-all book, he was killed in an automobile accident in 1959, described with "a veil of mystery obscures the true circumstances of Manning Johnson’s death."
Johnson wrote of his life journey:
"To me, the end of capitalism would mark the beginning of an interminable period of plenty, peace, prosperity and universal comradeship.
All racial and class differences and conflicts would end forever after the liquidation of the capitalists, their government and their supporters ...
Being an idealist, I was sold this 'bill of goods' ... Like other Negroes, I experienced and saw many injustices and inequities around me based upon color, not ability.
I was told that 'the decadent capitalist system is responsible,' that 'mass pressure' could force concessions but 'that just prolongs the life of capitalism'; that I must unite and work with all those who more or less agree that capitalism must go.
Little did I realize until I was deeply enmeshed in the red conspiracy, that ... grievances are exploited to transform idealism into a cold and ruthless weapon against the capitalist system — that this is the end toward which all the communist efforts among Negroes are directed ...
I saw communism in all its naked cruelty, ruthlessness and utter contempt of Christian attributes and passions.
And, too, I saw the low value placed upon human life, the total lack of respect for the dignity of man."
"After two years of practical training in organizing street demonstrations, inciting mob violence, how to fight the police and how to politically 'throw a brick and hide' ... I was given an ... intensive course in the theory and practice of red political warfare ... that changed me from a novice into a dedicated red — a professional revolutionist."
He explained further in Color, Communism and Common Sense, 1958.
"I began to realize the full implications of how the Negro is used as a political dupe by the Kremlin hierarchy ...
The white socio-liberal, philanthropic, humanitarian supporter ... when communists unite with and support them today, it is necessary to keep in mind that 'it may be necessary to denounce them tomorrow and the day after tomorrow hang them ...'"
"White leftists descended on Negro communities like locusts, posing as 'friends' come to help 'liberate' their black brothers ...
Everything was inter-racial, an inter-racialism artificially created, cleverly devised as a camouflage of the red plot to use the Negro."
Malcolm X essentially said the same in a 1963 address:
"The liberal is more deceitful, more hypocritical than the conservative ...
The white liberal is the one who has perfected the art of posing as the Negro's friend and benefactor, and by winning the friendship and support of the Negro, the white liberal is able to use the Negro as a pawn or a weapon in this political football game that is constantly raging between the white liberal and the white conservative.
The American Negro is nothing but a political football and the white liberals control this ball through tricks or tokenism, false promises of integration and civil rights ...
The white liberals have complete cooperation of the Negro civil rights leaders who sell our people out for a few crumbs of token recognition, token gains, token progress."
Johnson explained how communists manipulated churches into replacing the message of forgiveness of sins through faith in Christ with a message of "social justice."
Instead of "For God so love the world that He gave his only begotten son," woke churches co-opted by communists transformed Jesus into being a Palestinian agitator.
"A large number of Negro ministers are all for the communists ...
They in common believe that beating the racial drums is a short cut to prominence, money and the realization of personal ambitions even if the Negro masses are left prostrate and bleeding — expendables in the mad scramble for power ...
White ministers acting as missionaries, using the race angle as bait, aided in the cultivation of Negro ministers for work in the red solar system ...
The new line went like this: Jesus, the carpenter, was a worker like the communists. He was against the 'money changers,' the 'capitalists,' the 'exploiters' of that day.
That is why he drove them from the temple. The communists are the modern day fighters against the capitalists or money changers.
If Jesus were living today, he would be persecuted like the communists who seek to do good for the common people ...
Of all their methods used, it was generally agreed that the church is the 'best cover for illegal work.'
Where possible we should build units in the church youth organizations ... under the illegal conditions, as it will be easier to work in the church organizations."
Congressman Albert S. Herlong, January 1, 1963, read into the Congressional Record (Vol 109, 88th Congress, 1st Session, Appendix, pp. A34–A35) the communist goals for America, which included:
"Discredit the Bible ... Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with 'social' religion."
Alexander Solzhenitsyn warned in Washington, D.C., June 30, 1975:
"I ... call upon America to ... prevent those ... from falsely using the struggle for peace and for social justice to lead you down a false road."
In 2 Corinthians 11, the Apostle Paul gave a rebuke:
"I am afraid, however, that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may be led astray from your simple and pure devotion to Christ.
For if someone comes and proclaims a Jesus other than the One we proclaimed ... or a different gospel than the one you accepted, you put up with it way too easily."
Paul admonished in Galatians 1:
"I am amazed how quickly you are deserting the One who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel — which is not even a gospel.
Evidently some people are ... trying to distort the gospel of Christ ... If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be under a curse!"
Manning Johnson explained their tactics:
"Setting up situations that bring about racial bitterness, violence and conflict; putting forth demands so unrealistic that race relations are worsened;
attacking everybody in disagreement as reactionaries, fascists, Ku Kluxers among whites; and Uncle Toms among Negroes, constitute the red’s pattern of operation ...
Stirring up race and class conflict is the basis of all discussion of the communist party’s work ...
The evil genius, Stalin, and the other megalomaniacal leaders in Moscow ordered the use of all racial, economic and social differences, no matter how small or insignificant, to start local fires of discontent, conflict and revolt ...
Black rebellion was what Moscow wanted. Bloody racial conflict would split America.
During the confusion, demoralization and panic would set in. Then finally, the reds say:
'Workers stop work, many of them seize arms ... Street fights become frequent ... Seize the principal government offices, invade the residences of the President and his Cabinet members, arrest them, declare the old regime abolished, establish their own power ...'
What if one or five million Negroes die ... is not the advance of the cause worth it?
A communist is not a sentimentalist. He does not grieve over the loss of life in the advancement of communism.
... This plot to use the Negroes as the spearhead, or as expendables, was concocted by Stalin in 1928, nearly ten years after the formation of the world organization of communism ...
From the bloody gun battles at Camp Hill, Alabama (1931), to the present ... the heavy hand of communism has moved, stirring up racial strife, creating confusion, hate and bitterness so essential to the advancement of the red cause."
Such communist tactics were described by Sanford D. Horwitt in Let Them Call Me Rebel: Saul Alinsky: His Life & Legacy (1992):
"1972 ... students asked Alinsky to help plan a protest of a scheduled speech by George H.W. Bush, then a U.S. representative to the United Nations ...
He told them ... to go ... dressed as members of the Klu Klux Klan, and whenever Bush said something in defense of the Vietnam War, they should cheer and wave placards reading 'The KKK Supports Bush.'
And that is what the students did, with very successful results."
Manning Johnson continued:
"The reds and so-called progressives never spend money on projects to 'help' the Negroes unless these projects pay off in race conflict and animosity ... resentment that can be exploited ...
... Some people describe New York City as a 'melting pot' ... German sections, Italian sections, Irish sections, Jewish sections, Puerto Rican sections, Chinese sections, Negro sections, etc ... like five fingers on the hand, yet they are one solid fist as Americans.
The communists try to exploit these national, racial and religious differences in order to weaken, undermine and subjugate America to Moscow.
Like a serpent, they use guile to seduce each group.
The communists, through propaganda, have sold a number of Negro intellectuals the idea that the Negro section is a ghetto; that white Americans created it, set its geographical boundaries; that it is the product of race hate and the inhumanity of white Americans.
Therefore, it is a struggle of Negro against 'white oppressors' for emancipation ...
Obviously, this line, deliberately spread by the communists, leads to the worst kind of mischief. It strengthens and creates racial prejudices and lays the basis for sharp racial conflicts ..."
"Blaming others may be the easy way, but it is only a short cut to communist slavery ...
The reds called those persons 'Uncle Toms' who sought solution of the race problem through the medium of education, patience, understanding and discussion which would lead to mutual agreement.
Since any program leading to a peaceful solution of the race problem automatically excludes and dooms red efforts among Negroes, it goes without saying that the reds are going to oppose it ... They must 'be discredited and isolated from the masses.'
So, in addition to the tags of 'enemy of the race,' 'tool of the white ruling class,' 'traitor to the race,' the reds have added the opprobrium of 'Uncle Tom.'
In their usual diabolically clever way, the reds took the name of a fine, sincere and beloved character made famous in the greatest indictment of chattel slavery and transformed him into a dirty, low, sneaky, treacherous, groveling, snivering coward.'
This the reds did in order to make the name 'Uncle Tom' the symbol of social, economic and political leprosy.
Today, the name 'Uncle Tom' among Negroes ranks with the term 'McCarthyism' generally, turning many ministers into moral cowards, many politicians into scared jackrabbits ...
No man dare stand up and proclaim convictions counter to red agitation without running the certain risk of being pilloried ..."
Manning Johnson continued:
"The top white communist leaders know that ... differences can be used to play race against race, nationality against nationality, class against class, etc., to advance the cause of communism ...
Under the guise of a campaign for Negro rights, set race against race in the cold-blooded struggle for power ...
Social equality for the Negro is a major slogan of the communists.
They use it on the one hand to mislead the Negro American, and on the other hand to create anxieties and fears among white Americans to better exploit both racial groups ...
The red propagandists distort the facts concerning racial differences for ulterior motives ...
... Moscow’s Negro tools in the incitement of racial warfare place all the ills of the Negro at the door of the white leaders of America ...
This tends to make the Negro:
(a) feel sorry for himself;
(b) blame others for his failures;
(c) ignore the countless opportunities around him;
(d) jealous of the progress of other racial groups;
(e) expect the white man to do everything for him;
(f) look for easy and quick solutions as a substitute for the harsh realities of competitive struggle to get ahead.
The result is a persecution complex — a warped belief that the white man’s prejudices, the white man’s system, the white man’s government is responsible for everything.
Such a belief is the way the reds plan it, for the next logical step is hate that can be used by the reds to accomplish their ends ..."
"The media of public information is far from free of communists ... who operate under the guise of liberalism.
They are ready at all times to do an effective smear job.
Among these red tools may be found editorial writers, columnists, news commentators and analysts, in the press, radio and television.
They go overboard in giving top news coverage to racial incidents, fomented by the leftists, and also those incidents that are interpreted so as to show 'biased' attitudes of whites against Negroes.
This is a propaganda hoax aimed, not at helping the Negro, but at casting America in a bad light in order to destroy it ... widespread racial hate which the leftists are creating.
The energizing of race hate is an asset to the red cause ... Thus all racial progress based upon understanding, goodwill, friendship and mutual cooperation, built up painfully over the years, is wiped out ...
Too few Americans in our day have the courage ... in the face of leftist opposition ...
The words God, country and posterity have lost much of their substance and are becoming only a shadow in the hearts and minds of many Americans."
Manning Johnson concluded with some words of hope:
"Great Negro Americans such as Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver should serve both as an inspiration and a reminder to the present and successive generations of Negro Americans that they too 'can make their lives sublime and in departing leave behind them footprints in the sands of time.'
The great surge of progress of the Negro since slavery can be largely traced to the work and efforts of these two men, their supporters, their emulators and their followers.
Theirs was a deep and abiding pride of race, a firm belief in the ability of their benighted people to rise above their past and eventually stand on an equal plane with all other races.
Moreover, equality was to them, not just a catchword — the prattle of fools — but a living thing to be achieved only by demonstrated ability ...
We must try to bring America back to sanity.
And let us pray and work, that the misunderstanding, the bitterness, the hate, and the frustration and the tension that exists may disappear and that the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of Charity may prevail again amongst our people."
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., stated on April 16, 1963:
"I have tried to stand between these two forces, saying that we need emulate neither the 'do-nothingism' of the complacent nor the hatred of the black nationalist.
For there is the more excellent way of love and non-violent protest.
I am grateful to God that, through the influence of the Negro church, the way of non-violence became an integral part of our struggle."
Rev. King proclaimed August 28, 1963:
"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed:
'We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.'
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood ...
... 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 skin, but by the content of their character ...
I have a dream ... where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers."
--Read as PDF ... Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church & Ebenezer Baptist Church