Thursday, January 17, 2008

Commercializing Martin Luther King's Birthday

At Thanksgiving we gather the homeless and hungry for turkey dinners. We make sure they have a hot nutritious meal...on that one day of the year. I tend to believe it’s more for the community at large than those being fed. It relieves guilt we may have for not taking care of these folks year round.

I see the same sort of dynamic growing more each year around Martin Luther King’s birthday. Next Monday there will be breakfasts honoring civil rights champions all over the country. There will be celebrations and TV broadcasts. There will be quotes and speeches about how great Dr. King was. There will be volunteer opportunities to paint, restore, clean up, and care...on that one day of the year.

I’m not buying any of it. I’m quite certain that Dr. King would not buy it either. He was much more of an in-the-trenches warrior than a celebrity. He was a year round activist who was more concerned with results than pomp and circumstance.

So I choose to have a day of fasting and praying on Monday. Something very low key. I’ll set my sights on what I can do when Tuesday rolls around.

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