Here's what Dr. King got out of the Sermon on the Mount. On Nov 17, 1957, in MOntgomery's Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, he concluded the learned discourse that came to be known as the "loving your enemies" sermon this way: "So this morning, as I look into your eyes and into the eyes of all of my brothers in Alabama and all over America and over the world, I say to you: 'I love you. I would rather die than hate you.'"
Go ahead and re-read that. That is hands down the most beautiful, strange, impossible, but most of all radical thing a human being can say. And it comes from reading the most beautiful, strange, impossible, but most of all radical civics lesson ever taught, when Jesus of Nazareth went to a hill in Galilee and told his disciples, "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you."
Whoever wins the presidential election this year will be a Christian. (Unless of course it's that one guy who is a member of a Muslim sleeper cell. Just when you think the electorcal process couldn't get any more stupid....) So the rest of us might as well suck it up and see if we can pick the Christian who is, if incapable of loving his or her enemies, the one who seems least likely to drum up a bunch of extra, new enemies to hate.
-- Your most unlikely minister, Sarah Vowell in The New York Times, January 21, 2008