I've set up a multi-author social blog to be used by my part-time blogger friends who don't want one of their own. Send me a note if you'd like to be able to write on For Consideration

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Who I learned about yesterday

I guess I'm on a streak here lately of learning about influential people that I shamefully know very little about. A couple of days ago it was Rachel Carson, and yesterday it was Martin Luther. My task here again is not to tell you who these people are in any great detail but to encourage you to learn more about them.
When it comes to Martin Luther, is it fair to say that most of us are familiar with the name and that's about it? Perhaps we know he was a religious figure, perhaps that the Lutheran religion is named for him. But what else do you know? Did you know he told a Pope, Pope Leo X, and a King, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, that he wouldn't retract his writings; that he was right and they were wrong? That he basically told the Pope he was irrelevant; that he translated the Bible from Latin to a language of the common people, and thus the Protestant Reformation starts with Luther?
He was a devoutly religious man and I'm an atheist but I love rebels and free thinkers. Every freedom fighter from Thomas Jefferson to Martin Luther King were inspired by Martin Luther. It could be fairly said that we as Americans owe our democracy to Luther. So take five minutes or so to become better acquainted with one of the most influential people of all time.
Up next? Cleisthenes.


Anonymous said...

One thing to note, Martin Luther was a devoted Catholic monk... I believe this makes him all the more incredible for standing up to be heard. He just wanted the people to know they don't need anyone to have a relationship with God. He studied the bible and could only see two examples when you would 'need' someone to assist. I will let you discover what those two times are.


Emily said...

I think he said you don't need a relationship with God because it's not about what you do or the rules you follow (because we all stink at following them), but about what you believe.

Zebster said...

He said that the Pope and priests are irrelevant; that all one needs for salvation is a relationship with cut out the middlemen.