Would Martin Luther King Jr. have been on MSNBC or Fox News?

Luke 10:25-37 NIV

25     On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

26     “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

27     He answered: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

28     “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

29     But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30     In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.

31     A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.

32     So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

33     But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.

34     He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him.

35     The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36     “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37     The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”


British statesman John Lubbock once said, “What we see depends on what we are LOOKING for.” What we see tends to be EXCLUSIVE.


I.            What MSNBC and Fox would have SEEN


MSNBC would have looked for the SYSTEMIC CAUSES.


“It is easy to see the shortcomings of the priest and Levite. But we miss the shortcomings of the Good Samaritan. The Samaritan should have appealed to public officials to set out after the robbers, better street lights, safer roads, police protection….clean up the Jericho road. It is not enough to sooth the EFFECTS of evil we must uproot the SOCIAL causes.”


The One-sided Approach to the Good Samaritan

M.L. King, Nov. 20, 1955, Montgomery, Alabama


James 5:1-6 GNV1And now, you rich people, listen to me! Weep and wail over the miseries that are coming upon you! 2Your riches have rotted away, and your clothes have been eaten by moths. 3Your gold and silver are covered with rust, and this rust will be a witness against you and will eat up your flesh like fire. You have piled up riches in these last days. 4You have not paid any wages to those who work in your fields. Listen to their complaints! The cries of those who gather in your crops have reached the ears of God, the Lord Almighty. 5Your life here on earth has been full of luxury and pleasure. You have made yourselves fat for the day of slaughter. 6You have condemned and murdered innocent people, and they do not resist you.


FOX news would have focused on SINFUL CHOICES.


Proverbs 14:12 NLT – There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.


Wealth comes by having a skill or product someone wants to PAY you for.

Booker T. Washington


II.         What MSNBC and Fox would have MISSED


The reason we don’t notice the truth of others:

1.      Narrow framing is the tendency to limit CHOICES

2.      Confirmation bias is the tendency to seek out people who confirm what you want to HEAR and already BELIEVE.

3.      Vested self interest will not allow us to SEE.


It is difficult for a person to understand something when their SALARY depends on not understanding.

Upton Sinclair


The brilliance of Martin Luther King Jr, was that he was seeking to be a SERVANT and not a CELEBRITY.


Both MSNBC and FOX would have FIRED Martin Luther King, Jr.


III.      What Martin Luther King Jr, would have REPORTED


Facing the Challenge of a New Age

Martin Luther King, Jr. – December, 1956


Now as we face the fact of this new, emerging world, we must face the responsibilities that come along with it. A new age brings with it new challenges. Let us consider some of the challenges of this new age.


First, we are challenged to rise above the narrow confines of our individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. The new world is a world of geographical togetherness. This means that no individual or nation can live alone. We must all learn to live together, or we will be forced to die together. This new world of geographical togetherness has been brought about, to a great extent, by man’s scientific and technological genius. Man through his scientific genius has been able to dwarf distance and place time in chains; he has been able to carve highways through the stratosphere. And so it is possible today to eat breakfast in New York City and dinner in Paris, France. Bob Hope has described this new jet age in which we live. It is an age in which we will be able to get a nonstop flight from Los Angeles, California, to New York City, and if by chance we develop hiccups on taking off, we will “hic” in Los Angeles and “cup” in New York City. It is an age in which one will be able to leave Tokyo on Sunday morning and, because of time difference, arrive in Seattle, Washington, on the preceding Saturday night. When your friends meet you at the airport in Seattle inquiring when you left Tokyo, you will have to say, “I left tomorrow.” This, in a very humorous sense, says to us that our world is geographically one. Now we are faced with the challenge of making it spiritually one. Through our scientific genius we have made of the world a neighborhood; now through our moral and spiritual genius we must make of it a brotherhood. We are all involved in the single process. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. We are all links in the great chain of humanity. This is what John Donne meant when he said years ago:


” No man is an island, entire of it selfe; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of shine owne were; any mans’ death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”


A second challenge that the new age brings to each of us is that of achieving excellency in our various fields of endeavor. In the new age doors will be opening to us that were not opened in the past, and the great challenge which we confront is to be prepared to enter these doors as they open. Ralph Waldo Emerson said in an essay back in 1871:


” If a man can write a better book, or preach a better sermon, or make a better Mouse trap than his neighbor, even if he builds his house in the woods the world will make a beaten path to his door.”


In the new age we will be forced to compete with people of all races and nationalities. Therefore, we cannot aim merely to be good Negro teachers, good Negro doctors, good Negro ministers, good Negro skilled laborers. We must set out to do a good job, irrespective of race, and do it so well that nobody could do it better.


Whatever your life’s work is, do it well. Even if it does not fall in the category of one of the so-called big professions, do it well. As one college president said, “A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better.” If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, like Shakespeare wrote poetry, like Beethoven composed music; sweep streets so well that all the host of Heaven and earth will have to pause and say, “Here lived a great street sweeper, who swept his job well.” As Douglas Mallock says:


” If you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill Be a scrub in the valley-but be The best little scrub by the side of the hill, Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway just be a trail If you can’t be the sun be a star; It isn’t by size that you win or fail- Be the best of whatever you are. ”


A third challenge that stands before us is that of entering the new age with understanding good will. This simply means that the Christian virtues of love, mercy and forgiveness should stand at the center of our lives. There is the danger that those of us who have lived so long under the yoke of oppression, those of us who have been exploited and trampled over, those of us who have had to stand amid the tragic midnight of injustice and indignities will enter the new age with hate and bitterness. But if we retaliate with hate and bitterness, the new age will be nothing but a duplication of the old age. We must blot out the hate and injustice of the old age with the love and justice of the new. This is why I believe so firmly in nonviolence. Violence never solves problems. It only creates new and more complicated ones. If we succumb to the temptation of using violence in our struggle for justice, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and our chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos.


We have before us the glorious opportunity to inject a new dimension of love into the veins of our civilization. There is still a voice crying out in terms that echo across the generations, saying: Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you, that you may be the children of your Father which is in Heaven. This love may well be the salvation of our civilization.


Excerpt from Stride Toward Freedom

“Where Do We Go from Here?” – pg. 199-200

Martin Luther King Jr.


The most constructive program ahead must include a vigorous attempt to improve the Negro’s personal standards. It must be reiterated that the standards of the Negro as a group lag behind not because of an inherent inferiority, but because of the fact that segregation does exist. The “behavior deviants” within the Negro community stem from the economic deprivation, emotional frustration, and social isolation which are the inevitable concomitants of segregation. When the white man argues that segregation should continue because of the Negro’s lagging standards, he fails to see that the starts lag because of segregation.


Yet Negroes must be honest enough to admit that our standards do often fall short. One of the sure signs of maturity is the ability to rise to the point of self-criticism. Whenever we are object of criticism from white men, even though the criticisms are maliciously directed and mixed with half-truths, we must pick out the elements of truth and make them the basis of creative reconstruction. We must not let the fact that we are the victims of injustice lull us into abrogating responsibility for our own lives.


Our crime rate is far too high. Our level of cleanliness is frequently far too low. Too often those of us who are in the middle class live above our means, spend money on nonessentials and frivolities, and fail to give to serious causes, organizations, and education institutions that so desperately need funds. We are too often loud and boisterous, and spend far too much on drink. Even the most poverty-stricken among us can purchase a ten-cent bar of soap; even the most uneducated among us can have high morals. Through community agencies and religious institutions Negro leaders must develop a positive program through which Negro youth can become adjusted to urban living and improve their general level of behavior. Since crime often grows out of a sense of futility and despair, Negro parents must be urged to give their children the love, attention, and sense of belonging that a segregated society deprives them of. By improving our standards here and now we will go a long way toward breaking down the arguments of the segregationist.

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