Thursday, December 21, 2006

An Alternative Story on Muslims and Klansmen

Like News 2 before it, NewsChannel5 has joined the Christmas Wars over Phil Bredesen's choice of personal (as in "unofficial") Christmas cards. Details after the jump. In his latest interview, pastor Maury Davis again links Islam and the Ku Klux Klan and he demands cultural purity from Bredesen's personal choice.

However, one comment that Davis made hit me:
If on Martin Luther King day you sent a picture of a Klansman and said, "Martin Luther had a dream that this guy would one day get along with the people he is trying to kill," I'm not sure that the African American community would handle that very well.
That comment in particular called to mind a miraculous story told by Will Campbell; it is an impossible possibility that might not ever haunt the ungraceful mind of Maury Davis.

From Forty Acres and a Goat:

Word circulated among the black prison population [in Danbury, Connecticut] that the Grand Dragon of the [North Carolina] Ku Klux Klan [J.R. "Bob" Jones] was there [after being convicted of contempt of Congress]. Further word had it that he wouldn't be there long because he would be dead in the yard. A mutual friend [of Campbell's] in New Jersey, Pete Young, knew a Black Muslim minister who had members and numerous contacts at Danbury .... The word then became that if anything happened to Bob Jones while he was in prison, the one responsible would have to answer to Muslim justice. Jones continued in good heath, his best friend in prison a Black Muslim. Mysterious ways ....

A few years later Pete Young's house caught on fire .... His wife, their three-year-old daughter, and his wife's mother were killed. Pete lay in critical condition from burns he received when he tried frantically to save them. Pete was a Protestant. They were Catholic .... [The funeral had] twenty-four pallbearers. At the front of the line was the former Grand Dragon .... Beside him was his Muslim prisonmate.

While Rev. Davis--an ex-con himself--sees a world at cultural war, Rev. Campbell tells us a story of truce and of the laying aside the issue of cultural purity for the sake of a closer fellowship. Which one would Martin Luther King, Jr.--or, I daresay, Jesus--prefer?

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