Civil Rights: Comedian Brad Stine and Rick talk about Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his brother A.D. King and what they learned about making a real and lasting change. “Hate can’t drive out hate. Only love can do that.”
Air Date: 01/16/2017
Guests: Brad Stine, Comedian
- WallBuilders | American historical events, founding fathers, historical documents, books, videos, CDs, tapes, David Barton’s speaking schedule.
- Brad Stine
- “Letter From a Birmingham Jail”
- Legends of Liberty
- Chasing American Legends
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Transcription note: As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
You found your way to the intersection of faith in the culture. This is WallBuilders Live where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and other areas of the culture all from a Biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective. David Barton is normally with us, America’s premiere historian also Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor.
But today you’re stuck with me, former State Representative Rick Green and a very special guest comedian, Brad Stine. He’s known as God’s Comic. He’s the most media covered Christian comic in the nation. Brad Stine, always good to have you, Bro.
And there’s nowhere else I want to be. You know me. I love talking! Just knowing that my voice is in Texas makes me feel good. Like I want to go buy some armor and some kind of gun.
Hey, there’s only two kinds of people, Texans and those that want to be Texans. So even you over there in Tennessee wanting to be a Texan. I get it.
Well, I feel if it. I catch it every time I talk to you in Texas. I have to go buy another firearm. That’s just the way it works.
Of course, you noticed when you came down and we filmed the episode at the at the Alamo. You noticed how many Tennesseans had fought at the Alamo?
That’s actually true and Davy Crockett…. So Tennessee has a lot of great history with defending and being apart of the patriotic Texas experience. So I’m proud. Of course, I am a transplant. But then again you know what, Rick, if you’re a United States citizen then whatever state you end up in you’re from there if you choose to be. That’s what America all about.
Was Martin Luther King A Communist
That’s right. That’s right. Well, we would love to have you back in Texas any time. But in fact, I want to talk to you a day.
It’s MLK day and I was thinking about when we were down in Atlanta doing one of our comedy Constitution shows at that big church there. I had a blast, by the way. That was fun.
That guy asked us about MLK after the show. I’d quoted one of one of MLK’s quotes. And he asked us about him being a communist. So you and I went on a kind of interesting journey investigation into whether or not MLK was a communist. And ended up shooting one of our Chasing American Legends episodes on MLK.
Yes, it was a communist quest. One of the first ones we ever had. It’s funny because when you hear things like that it sets you back at first. Because it almost feels like something is disparaging about it or whatever.
I mean you know you think this guy was such an iconic American figure. And so beloved and so important to civil rights and in the way he did it as a Christian man. And in saying, “I’ll never let a man bring me so low as to hate him.” Here is somebody who was literally having bombs thrown into their home and they’re not retaliating with guns and weapons?
I mean compared to what this country has looked like you know the last two years as far as strife between races and so forth. If anybody had a reason to fight back with weapons it was him. But he didn’t. He said, “I will live like Christ.” And it was just such an inspiration to me.
Remembering What A Legacy He Was
Of course, we’ve all heard about him. We’ve all seen the “I have a dream speech.” But to to meet his relative, to be in the church where he preached, realize he was just a regular old pastor who lived his life exactly how he believed God would ask him to. He payed the price for it. But it literally changed America. And he a Christian man. What a humbling experience to think if I could just do even an iota of help to America like he did with my faith, I would be happy.
In fact, I remember at the end of the the episode they had an interview with you where you said, “Because of what you learned on that trip it made you a better man.” It was that example of seeing him stand true in the face of incredible, incredible adversity.
In fact, before the show’s over we’ve got to talk about the trip to Birmingham as well where we went and saw the Birmingham jail cell where he wrote that letter from the Birmingham jail. That was just incredible. We went with the kids and went through the entire museums. It was a great experience.
MLK Was NOT A Communist
But great day to talk about it and remember what kind of man he was, what his legacy was, what we learned about him. And in our investigation certainly learned he definitely was not a communist. He was the opposite of how a communist would respond.
There were communists involved in the civil rights movement that were violent and more like what we’ve seen the last few years. He and his brother A. D. King always said that was wrong and always spoke against that. And refused to participate in it.
And as you said, “Even literally, while their own homes were being bombed. When Alveda King his niece stood there in the church where they were raised and told us about their home being bombed. And what her dad did that was one of the most powerful moments of the whole trip for me.”
Comedy Constitution Tour
We’ll talk about that later as well. We’ve got to take a quick break. Brad Sien with us. Brad, your Web site BradStine.com. Right?
That’s it! I’m going to keep it that way until somebody kicks me out.
Go to his website BradStine.com . Get his DVDs there. If you are looking for a speaker you can bring him. Or us both together in for the Comedy Constitution Tour. Hang on. We’ll be right back. Stay with us here at WallBuilders Live.
Bring A Speaker To Your Area
Hey, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders. And as you’ve had the opportunity to listen to WallBuilders Live, you’ve probably heard a wealth of information about our nation, about our spiritual heritage, about the religious liberties, and about all the things that makes America exceptional. And you might thinking, “As incredible as this information is, I wish there was a way that I could get one of the WallBuilders guys to come to my area and share with my group.”
Whether it be a church, whether it be a Christian school, or public school, or some political event, or activity, if you’re interested in having a WallBuilders speaker come to your area, you can get on our website at www.WallBuilders.com and there’s a tab for scheduling. If you’ll click on that tab, you’ll notice there’s a list of information from speakers bio’s, to events that are already going on. And there’s a section where you can request an event, to bring this information about who we are, where we came from, our religious liberties, and freedoms. Go to the WallBuilders website and bring a speaker to your area.
Brad Stine, God’s Comic
Welcome Back and thanks for staying with us here at WallBuilders Live. Brad Stine with us today known as God’s Comic, the most media covered Christian comic out there. He has fantastic material that you can get on his website today on BradStine.com. Or book him to come into your church as well.
I’ve had the privilege of speaking with Brad across the country on our Comedy and Constitution Tour. And also doing our Chasing American Legends program. And the one we’re talking about today was when we got to go down to Atlanta and Birmingham and investigate MLK.
We actually were challenged after an event.
One of our Comedy Constitution events as to whether or not we should be quoting MLK. We were told that he was a communist. And we found pretty quick, Brad, where that claim came from. There was even a billboard with a picture of him at a training. And said something about Communist training or whatever. And so there was definitely, as you said, in the episode a lot of propaganda trying to label him as a communist in order to discredit him.
Yeah, it’s interesting because again, I love it when you can take older stories but apply it to today. One of the big, you know, terms you hear a lot nowadays is, “fake news.” Well, there was a lot of fake news about Martin Luther King back in the 60s. I think the guy at the Birmingham Civil Rights Museum-
Yeah, Maud Ward.
How Easy It Is To Spin The Truth
Yeah. I think he’s the one that said that. That was an easy way to try to disparage somebody’s character or to diminish them is to call him a communist back then. So that was one of the ways that they did that.
But remember, we immediately went to look on the Internet about just some basic research when the guy said, “Hey, he is a communist.” And I’m thinking, “This is stupid. He’s not a communist. That’s ridiculous.”
And I think the first thing that popped up was that billboard. Well, apparently that was even completely a different type of event he was at. But they just took that photo. And then they spun it into saying this was communist gathering or whatever.
Anyway, it just shows you how easy it is to try to destroy somebody’s character if you’re not doing the research. If somebody has it in for you, they don’t care what the truth is. They’ll take the first lie that comes down the pipe that fits their narrative of what they want you to be. Again, I think to see that happening back in the 60s when we didn’t have the Internet, cell phones, and computers, and so forth, it was lot harder to defend yourself. It was a lot harder to get proper newspapers or magazines to give your side of the story. And then he had pastors coming out against him from the Birmingham jail letter.
Putting An End To Slavery Came Out Of A Christian Church
Honestly, I would like to think that us Christian guys are always doing it right. And we can always count on the pastors and the Christians of America to stand up for the good things. And of course, we do wonderful things as Christians in America like getting rid of slavery and so forth. All that came out of a Christian church.
But there was a lot of bad things that were done, too, unfortunately. There was a lot of misrepresentation of Christ toward the fellow brother, fellow believers who we weren’t used to seeing them have such power at that time and that much notoriety. And that’s just sad. You would hope you would have been different back in the day. If we were there, to defend him. But who knows. I mean I think even you made a pointed statement about having some family members that may not have been completely free of racism. So I mean listen we all are flawed. We have all sinned.
I like the way you raised that. Because we like to think, “Hey, if I was there I would have done it this way.” But you don’t know. I mean if you’d been raised in a different era, you’d had different influences in your in your life. You know, you may have been led down the wrong path as well.
But as you point out I mean even that that letter from the Birmingham jail, that’s what it was all about. Was essentially calling out the other pastors that were not standing with them and that were allowing these atrocities to take place. And not only not standing with them but like you said ridiculing and saying that he was wrong and telling him he should just be quiet and go home.
It goes to show though, Rick, that you know we as Christians believe there is a family that this is a– you know that the Christian church is one body. Well, we’re not. I mean with this is that a battle for thousands of years here of us trying to find unity.
And you know that’s really you know a sad testimony and probably something that you and David are used to addressing on your radio show many times. And that is a Christian is even allowed to enter the political realm or to speak up against political route.
And and there’s people right now that would sit and say well that’s really you know none of our business. Just stay with —
Don’t stir things up. Just stay quiet.
Civil Rights Movement
Yeah. And it’s like– well then– you know. I know you’re a big fan of the Revolutionary War period. And it’s like- wow. Even in the episodes where we watch what those pastors were all about. I mean, the pacifist Christian, stay out of politics guy , today wouldn’t have been able to stomach the Revolutionary War past.
Same thing. These guys were involved in culture and and participated in battle in the Revolutionary War believing their faith had spoken to them that liberty and justice and freedom must be maintained. It’s a Christian and Biblical idea. And definitely what Martin Luther King used in the 60s for civil rights.
As we go to our next break I want to read a quick quote from that letter from the Birmingham Jail. Where he said, “For years now, I’ve heard the word ‘wait.’ It rings in the ear of every negro with piercing familiarity. This ‘wait’ has almost all we always meant. Never. We must come to see with one of our distinguished jurist that justice too long delayed is justice denied.”
Stay with us folks. We’ll be right back. Brad Stine, our guest. We’re talking about the episode from Chasing American Legends about Martin Luther King Jr. when we had the chance to go down and visit not only the church where he grew up and preached his first sermon but even the jail cell where the letter from the Birmingham Jail was written. And actually got to visit for quite a while with Alveda King, his niece. And learned so many powerful stories about this amazing man and his brother, A.D. King.
Stay with us. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
Hey guys this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders. And I know you hear my dad and Rick talk a lot about our Founding Fathers about the original intent of our nation, a constitutional heritage that we have. And really we’ve seen how far we slipped away from that. And I know a lot of us as we hear my dad and Rick talk think, “I wish there was a place that I could go where I could see these documents and I could read and learn about the Founding Fathers firsthand. See the things they did.”
I want to give you some websites today that can help you accomplish that very thing. If you get online you can go to places like Library of Congress and you can look under their century of lawmaking or historical documents. You can go to the Avalon Project, to the Founders Constitution, Google Books, or even the internet archives.
Or you can just go to WallBuilders.com. We have a section for our library. And under that section we have different subgroups for historical documents, historical writings, even a place where you can get helpful links to find out more information about other websites. Where you can do research for yourself and find the truth for yourself. Friends, this is the time that we need to know who we are and where we came from. WallBuilders.com is a great place to go.
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Brad Stine here with us today talking about Martin Luther King here on MLK Day. And our experience down there in Atlanta, in Birmingham, learning more about MLK.
Brad, both of us kind of went into that episode fans. And we’d both quoted from him. And in fact, the quote that day that that created some interest and had this guy ask that was the quote about “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
And and so we had some ideas about the man. But we learned so much. What you were just saying in the last segment about how you know people will always try to disparage you.
Back then when that propaganda campaign would try to connect him with communists and different things like that. It was it was hard to respond. I was wondering. As you were saying that if maybe that was part of the reason that he knew he could not ever defend himself physically. And that’s why he wouldn’t carry a gun.
Remember, we learned that that people were trying to get him to defend himself and make sure he always had a gun with him. And he refused. Because he knew no matter what happened, no matter if he was in the right, the propaganda at any time that he responded and defended himself would make it look like he was the aggressor. So he he was totally about peace and totally about making sure that they they they did not get violent. He would have certainly spoken against. As his niece Alveda King has done over the last few years against the violence in these riots across across the country.
And you and I found the pledge that he had people sign if they were going to march with him. And of course, Reverend Shuttlesworth was the one we learn so much about there in Birmingham. We were blown away by some of these things. You had to actually sign and say if you are going to march with him that you would: 1. meditate daily on the teachings and life of Jesus. 2. You would remember always that that the nonviolent movement seeks justice and reconciliation. Not even victory.
That’s amazing to me. Justice and reconciliation, not victory. So i wasn’t to put other people down. It was just to get justice and reconciliation.
- He said you had to walk and talk in the manner of love. For God is love. 4. Pray daily to be used by God in order that all men might be free. 5. Sacrifice personal wishes in order that all men might be free. 6. Observe with both friend and foe the ordinary rules of courtesy. 7. Seek to perform regular service for others and for the world. 8. Refrain from the violence of fist, tongue, or heart. 9. Strive to be in good spiritual and bodily health. 10. And follow the directions of the movement and of the captain on the demonstrations.
I mean that’s that’s amazing to me. You couldn’t march without saying, “Look, I’m going to act like Christ. Speak like Christ. Have Christ on my tongue.” No wonder they change the world.
Yeah. And you know, the Bible says the meek shall inherit the earth. And sometimes I think we, guys like you and I, who are– you know, we’re pretty manly type men. We like that. You know, the testosterone type of approach to the world. And sometimes I think we cringe a little bit when we hear things like meekness.
But I don’t believe that that meant that you were spineless or that you were weak or that you were cowardly. I think there is nothing, and the Bible says this. There is nothing more powerful, more courageous, and more strong than to willingly lay down your life and your strength for something greater.
In other words, it’s much — If I know I can destroy somebody and beat somebody up and I choose not to out of a better, higher calling. That makes me more powerful That makes me more strong.
I mean, and this is a little off topic but not so much. That you know really, I’ve always been a big fan of Jackie Robinson. And to me, she was really one of the major instigators of the new civil rights movement.
And the same thing was said to him by Branch Rickey. He said for three years. So they’re going to throw a ball at you. Spike you. Call you names. Do whatever they can to disrupt you. And you cannot strike back.
And he’s like well, what do you want? Somebody who is afraid to strike back? And he said, “No I want somebody who has the courage not to.” Not because he didn’t belong or have the right to do that. But he but again – optics. If we’re going to use another modern phrase. I think he knew that everybody will use that to say, “See that’s what they’re like. We can’t let these black people fight. You know, play with these white– because that’s what they will do.” Forget the fact that they didn’t start it
That’s not what matters. How people— they went in with prejudice. And so they would see what they wanted to see. So I think Martin Luther King probably you know took a chapter out of the Bible and when it talks about meekness. But also, to be wise as a serpent and harmless if it dove.
It’s not that I don’t have the strength or even maybe the right to fight back if somebody is attacking me. I mean you have a legal right to fight somebody. You have a right to shoot somebody if they’re trying to kill you or your family. So it’s not like it’s like this is a precedent.
But he felt like the power of not fighting back would get the the empathy and the sympathy of a nation because there’s nothing seems more powerful than somebody standing for something truthfully and being abused for it. And that really took place when we began to see the the fire hoses.
All of the children….
Yeah. When they were all shown on television for the first time. White Americans who were not necessarily racists. Maybe they just didn’t pay attention. Because they weren’t around this world, saw something that they couldn’t fathom.
So you can’t do this. These are Americans. You know these are children. What is happening?
And so by not fighting back. It allowed people to see what it looks like when justice isn’t being served. When someone who is simply asking, not for extra, not for more. Just equality. Just let me have the same options as everybody else. I pay taxes. I’m a citizen. I want what everybody else has. Let me rise and fall on my own merit.
And they saw what it looked like. And so I think it King was such an advocate of that. You know he was a smart guy. He was wise. But more than anything, he could not have endured what he went through and not have been fully committed Christian. A man fully filled with the Spirit of God. Because you have a family that you adore as do I and most men. And you start attacking my kids and my wife. Certainly my theology probably is going out the door.
Well, actually our theology says we can defend them. Right? So they —
Well, we can defend them, but what I am saying–
But he saw what he was saying. “Look, I’m not going to defend myself because this is bigger than me. You know, he wasn’t against the doctrine of self-defense. He was saying in our particular scenario, like you said, because of the optics. Because of we’re trying to literally change the world. We’re going to lay ourselves down and sacrifice ourselves in order for this to happen
Sons Of Thunder
You remember Alveda telling us right there in the church how when their home was bombed. She was just a kid. And her home was bombed. And the people in the community started riding over it. And her dad goes outside stands up on a car and tells everyone. This is A.D. King. This is Martin Luther King Jr.’s brother. They were known as the sons of thunder because their preaching was so powerful. And they were leading the civil rights movement together.
We don’t hear much about A. D. as we do Martin Luther King Jr. But he was just like him. So he stands up on this car. And his children— I mean they’ve tried to kill his family. And he stands up on the car.
And people are trying to respond to that and fight against the fact that his family was attacked. He looks them in the eye and he says, “If you’re going to hit somebody. If you’re gonna throw something. Throw it at me. Hit me. You cannot be violent against them. We have to respond in peace.”
When she told that story,man. That was.. I read.. That was the moment when I said what you just said, which is “This is supernatural.” I mean they had to have had.
I mean God had to have been giving them the ability to do this for the purpose of change in the hearts and minds of an entire nation.
Oh absolutely and you know what? This is a sensitive.. this is a sensitive subject to bring up in this day and age. And I hope it is received as simply an observation or an idea as I speak these words. But you know when we look at the Black Lives Matter groups and so forth who felt an injustice or they felt like somebody you know. If they think policemen are shooting black guys for no reason, whatsoever. And they would be outraged. You know, I could see that but what we’ve seen is that there has been almost a completely 180 degree way of approaching this. By literally being violent.
It’s the exact opposite type .
And sometimes without cause. Right? For the wrong cause. Right?
Exactly. And that’s what I’m saying. It’s like you know, if there wasn’t this idea that, “Oh this guy was shot. And the police and you know, was guilty.” And well, we’ll come to find out he wasn’t guilty.
So if you’re not going to admit that and say, “Listen this isn’t– you know, we need to make sure the facts are out there. Right?
If you don’t do that you’re not going to receive the empathy from the rest of the nation.
That’s right. It is exactly what King– I don’t mean he was weak. Nor do I believe that just because somebody wants to stand up against something, you know, vigorously because they feel like something was unjust that they should shouldn’t do that.
But all I guess I can say is we have two similar scenarios. Two minority groups who feel that they’ve been violated and their rights and justice has been violated. But guess what. One of them’s techniques worked.
And wouldn’t you wouldn’t you say that the underlying difference was the spiritual foundation. That back then with MLK and those that marched with him. They were church going. You know God was at the center of their lives. And you can see from the thing they had to sign to even march. Whereas this thing today you’ve got entire communities void of that of that spiritual foundation. We’ve pushed that out of our communities.
Exactly. And that’s all I’m getting at. Is that he actually believed that what he was fighting for was more important than his life.
You knew this guy had to know that it would not have been unlikely that he was going to be killed. He knew that that was probably at least going to be tried. Because that’s what the 60s, man. That Jim Crow had been around just a couple of years prior to that.
Also what he said. He said, “Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will.”
Well, that’s what– That’s it. And that’s what makes him such a role model as one of the disciples, as an apostle. Here’s a guy who lived it like it was real. And the truth is. You can say I’m crazy for bringing that up. Or what do I have– the right to even make that assessment because I’m white. And you can’t talk about this or that.
All I can tell you is this. In the end. Black Lives Matter is still sitting there beating their heads against the wall and not really making any headway. And Martin Luther King got a civil rights bill passed. Got a nation to change the laws and eliminate Jim Crow laws.
And hearts. And hearts.
His technique based on true love of people who hated him.
Actually worked and provided fruit that the nation still is reaping because he was a follower of Jesus Christ.
And that’s how you
Amen. And absolutely change the world.
Episode FREE On WallBuildersLive.com
We’re out of time, folks. Thanks for listening. Thanks to Brad Stine for joining us today.
Brad mentioned, by the way, the Jackie Robinson story. He’s done a story on that. And it’s in our Legends of Liberty book. We will have a link today at WallBuildersLive.com if you’d like to grab that.
The episode from Chasing American Legends that follows Brad and me and our family down to Atlanta and Birmingham. The interview with Alveda. All of that. We’re going to make available for free today at our website. So if you go to WallBuildersLive.com you can watch that episode. And get a chance to see the interview with Alveda King. And all the great things that we got to experience there at the Birmingham Civil Rights Museum as well.
So check those out at WallBuildersLive.com today. Thanks for listening to WallBuilders Live.