Jeremiah Wright gave up a student deferment to volunteer to serve in the Marines. He transferred to the US Navy, and entered the corpsman school, where he graduated as valedictorian. He trained as a cardiopulminary technician at the National Naval Medical Center, where he graduated as salutorian. He was assigned as part of the medical team charged with the care of President Lyndon B. Johnson. He went on to a masters degree in English, and a doctorate in theology, preaching to thousands, and being there for not only Barack Obama, but for Bill Clinton in times of need.
My hero for the day is Reverend Michael Fleiger, who did a wonderful job defending Rev. Wright, making "O'Reilly Factor" producer Porter Berry look like a partisan flunkie turned journalism school dropout .
And Rev. Fleiger is right. If Martin Luther King were alive today, his words would be twisted or taken out of context in order to demonize him, fixating on a handful of statements, while ignoring the obvious manifest good that he has brought to this nation. And indeed, this wouldn't have been anything new for him.
Don't believe me?! Watch MLK on "Meet The Press", where he was accused of being a communist sympathizer, and accused of believing that criminality was okay, because the ends justified the means. Or listen to MLK's "Drum Major Instinct" sermon, in which he called America "the supreme culprit" which has "committed more war crimes than almost any nation in the world"... but that "God has a way of putting nations in their place."
You could say that MLK believed that violence begets violence and that America's chickens could come home to roost one day.
MLK preached Christianity and non-violence, yes... but like Gandhi, he wasn't timid in his criticism of the system, nor was he willing to passively obey its unjust laws. Rather, he operated based on a calling to a higher law, based on the rights of all people. When we beatify people like MLK and forget that they were flesh and blood, we not only underestimate and trivialize them, we damage and discredit our own potential to be exceptional, and to live up to their example.