It is rumored that the Civil Rights hero, Martin Luther King Jr., carried in his pocket a copy of Howard Thurman’s “Jesus and the Disinherited.” Rumors or nay, the similarities between these two magnanimous Christians and their Christo-love-centricism are undeniable. Thurman, a highly educated lawyer who bravely trail-blazed key civil rights cases, unveils the true “religion of Jesus.” Jesus was a Jew. A poor Jew. A poor, minority Jew under the Roman Empire. Jesus stands with the disinherited because he was one of them. So what does this disinherited Jesus teach and preach? The need for a profound “inward center” transformation. Both the oppressors and the oppressed cannot allow fear, deception, or hate to define and propagandize the self over and against the other; only love must stand it their stead.
Here Thurman’s summation of Jesus’ life and teachings: “You must abandon your fear of each other and fear only God. You must not indulge in any deception and dishonesty, even to save your lives. Your words must be Yea-Nay; anything else is evil. Hatred is destructive to hated and hater like. Love your enemy, that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven.”