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Where did Kings political ideas and values come from? (Essay Sample)


Stephen Oates implies that Martin Luther King, Jr. received most of his important political ideas and values from his years studying theologians and philosophers at Morehouse College, Crozer Seminary, and Boston University. Richard Lischer disagrees, contending that King's family and church upbringing played a far greater role in his ethical and political development. Which position do you agree with? Why? In what ways do King’s student papers support one position or another?
1) Write a 3-5 page (typed, double-spaced 12-point Times New Roman) essay, using Oates, Lischer, and the four Crozer papers to answer this question. 
2) Use footnotes (Chicago Style) to cite your sources. Use Writing History by W.K. Storey, chapter 3, as your guide. Do NOT use parenthetical citations.
3) Your grade will be based upon writing quality (grammar, clarity of expression), the logic of your argument, and how effectively you use evidence to back up your position.


Topic: Where Did King’s Political Ideas and Values Come From?
As one of the most famous activists of non-violent social change policies, Martin Luther King Jr., borrowed ideals from various cultural traditions. Most recent research conducted on him focused on the degree to which the African-American religious belief shaped his ideals; beliefs that were then influenced by his education. The character that he came to be, a social activist, and a leader, was significantly influenced by the broad formal education he acquired, strong personal values and moral ethics.
Martin Luther King Jr. was brought up with a belief that even one person could make a significant change. His leadership brilliance can be associated with his character that was shaped by his moral beliefs and great personality. Study of King’s life reveals that his ethical values of fairness, love, non-violence, truth, integrity and peace served as great motivation that helped him to achieve as high as he did. King became great because he served to bring peace not just to a certain area but all humans. His memories of humility and leadership with love to his fellow man despite their skin color still linger in our mind. His greatness was also influenced by his strong moral values that developed the ideal character out of him, making him one of the most influential leaders. Through serving with integrity, he had a vision of truth; truth that one day all men shall be treated as equals.
King was brought up in a society full of discrimination toward people with color. Being a direct victim, he grew up believing that a time will come when racism would be conquered, and he made this his personal goal. He expressed unconditional love to every human and even had two white friends at his tender age. King’s character of love strongly influenced his excellent leadership capabilities. He describes the meaning of love in his speeches as time to break silence, and considers being called an extremist a compliment just when it refers to being one of love.
Being bred in a church-going family, King grew believing in talking the truth no matter the consequences. He grew to act in Godly ways and even when his family was one time threatened, he never acted with violence or hatred; instead he acted more courageously and with strength urging people to love their enemies and be good to them, a phrase well known from the Bible. Most of his ministries and speeches focused on obedience to Jesus Christ, for His love for humankind was strong that He died for them. King emulated this kind of love to the human race and served wholeheartedly. Studies reveal that King’s mother was all along aware of his ability to speak the truth in early stages of his life. He attracted congregations from the start by his eloquence, sincerity, and moral beliefs.
King had a very humble upbringing. His parents showed him the church ways and taught him the value of church and the need to use it as a mechanism for improving lives. Martin, throughout his mission, never let greed distract him in any way, unlike most leaders today who eventually get carried away after amassing power. He had such a mindset that could not be diverted from the main agenda, which was to uphold equal justice for everyone. The church figure was so important to Martin that it kept him committed to the service of the people. He could have chosen to profit personally from his popularity and accomplishments, but he chose not ...
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