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President Obama on MLK speech: 'That's like following Jesus.'

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
August 30th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

To mark his speech honoring the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" address, U.S. President Barack Obama made an off-handed comment that raised a few eyebrows. After remarks made during a White House reception for civil rights leaders, entertainers, politicians and social activists, Obama reportedly quipped "Man, can you believe they have me speaking tomorrow, 50 years to the day of the greatest speech ever given. That's like following Jesus."

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In either case, it won't be the first time President Obama has evoked the name of the slain civil rights leader. When Obama went to Oslo, Norway four years to accept the Nobel Peace Prize, it was the exact same honor King received 45 years earlier.

At that time, King was leading a campaign of nonviolent resistance to racial injustice in the U.S. Obama, America's first black president received his Peace Prize "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples" even while the U.S. was in the midst of two wars.

"When you are talking about Dr. King's speech at the March on Washington, you're talking about one of the maybe five greatest speeches in American history," Obama recently said on the Tom Joyner Morning Show. "And the words that he spoke at that particular moment, with so much at stake, and the way in which he captured the hopes and dreams of an entire generation, I think, is unmatched."

Obama was very mindful of King's legacy when he accepted his Nobel Prize. King, in his Nobel Prize address, said that "violence never brings permanent peace." Alluding to King's words in his Nobel speech, Obama said "I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people."

"That's the difference between the visionary and the political leader. It showed up in Oslo in the words these two great men spoke - and it will, no doubt, shape history's judgment of the power and influence of what they each said from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial," columnist DeWayne Wickham writes for USA Today writes.

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