Dead Men Make Convenient Heros

As everyone has previously pointed out, Professor Cone discussed many topics that have a connection to the book of Amos.  Yes, of course one of the famous quotes used by Dr. King is from Amos, but one of the main points of Professor Cone’s lecture was something that was intimately expressed in Amos.

You who turn justice into wormwood and hurl righteousness to the ground!  (Amos 5:7)

I will pay no heed to your gifts of fatlings.  Spare me the sound of your hymns, and let me not hear the music of your lutes.  But let justice will up like water, righteousness like an unfailing stream. (Amos 5:23)

Professor Cone used the teachings of the prophet Amos to explain the dissatisfaction that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would have with today’s society (had he been given the opportunity to experience it).  The above quote from Amos occurs on behalf of God explaining that far too many people were using offerings and prayer as a free ticket to avoid righteous behavior.  Similarly, Professor Cone made a point that the modern day citizens (especially those with national or monetary power) are making decisions in an absurdly inequitable manner.  Whether it is politicians, ceo’s, or President Obama himself, they all have the same issue with righteousness.

One of the blatant forms of injustice that Cone spoke of involved the very same unrighteous groups that often use the image of MLK.  Companies and leaders use quotes from King and erect monuments on his behalf displaying their social morals.  According to Cone, these are the very people that are creating the injustice in society today.   “It’s easier to make monuments then to make change,” Cone pointed out.  The prophet Amos and Martin Luther King Jr. were similar in the fact that they were mad about social injustice.  Whether it was an Israelite sacrificing a goat or an NGO building a statue, the underlying issue remains the same.  People love the image but not the action.

The lecture given yesterday was an eye opening experience.  I could tell that it was custom tailored as somewhat of rally speech given to people who are already doing their part against society’s injustice.   It was definitely filled with inspiring rhetoric that is necessary is this battle for justice.

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