Monday, January 17, 2011


Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies - or else? The chain reaction of evil - hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars - must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.

Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your back is bent.

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.

A man who won't die for something is not fit to live.

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.

I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.

I submit that an individual who breaks the law that conscience tells him is unjust and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the very highest respect for law.

"A religion true to its nature must also be concerned about man's social conditions....Any religion that professes to be concerned with the souls of men and is not concerned with the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them, and the social conditions that cripple them is a dry-as-dust religion."

- Martin Luther King, Jr.


Blogger Dave Splash said...

Such a great man, such great thoughts. I shudder to think what the modern day right would do to him if he were still alive today. There is still so much to learn from the ideas of MLK, yet so few who are actually learning them.

12:49 PM  
Blogger MRMacrum said...

We heed his words no better now than we did then.

4:15 AM  
Blogger T. Paine said...

He did indeed have great wisdom in many ways.

Splash, as for your pokes at the right:

“Reverend Sharpton, you’re saying that my uncle sought help from government. I say, no, my uncle sought help from God, so that the people elected to govern would seek help from God,” said Dr. Alveda King (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's niece). “When we look to government, I believe we’re diluting the source of strength from which our power comes.”

“In advising men and women on questions of personal behavior 50 years ago, Uncle Martin sounded no different than a conservative Christian preacher does now,” said Dr. Alveda King. “He was pro-life, pro-abstinence before marriage, and based his views on the unchanging Word of the Bible. Today, Planned Parenthood would condemn Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as part of the ‘religious right.’”

8:08 AM  
Blogger MRMacrum said...

T Paine - On this issue I have to disagree with King and this over the top dependence on a God who has certainly cut us free of his/her leash and given us the idea of free will. We want better, we should look to taking care of it ourselves. A mythical being will not do it for us. Belief in this beingmay have helped to direct our efforts, while at the same time in many cases has hindered our efforts.

Depend on yourself first before you depend on anyone else...including God.

In that respect, MLK was a giant. He made things happen. God is beside the point in my opinion regardless of who MLK wants to give credit to.

With respect to what King's neice says, it would seem her evidence is anecdotal at best. Rose colored glasses and re-writing history to fit a current mindset. King was actually for birth control and a supporter of Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood. Hardcore Pro Lifers hate King for this.

9:20 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Great quotes. How sad that most of them are as relevant today as they were when he said them.

1:35 PM  
Blogger Dave Splash said...

The right treated MLK in the 60s the way they treat Obama in the 2000s: they called him a communist, socialist, uppity, angry, radical who wants to destroy the country.

Planned Parenthood did then, and still does, view MLK as a hero.

Sorry, Paine, I think you need to put down those books from Glenn Beck University, and try reading something more...truthful.

7:28 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

If MLK was alive in today's climate, he might well be trivialized as a rabble rouser (that's what my dad always used to call him) through repetivite propaganda, or he might be a pariah based on microanalysis of his remarks. I think one aspect of what Dave might have been getting at is that there were no such programs as Sean Hannity, Michelle Malkin, Glenn Beck, and FOX News around in King's day, and our system of sharing information was fairly primitive compared to what we have today. What would it have been like had the internet been around in the late Sixties? We will probably never know. But people such as King would seem to be far more under the microscope.

I basically just put up the quotes because Martin Luther King is one of my heroes and he always will be. There is a lot of both conservatism and liberalism in his quotes. Some will say he adhered to a "social gospel" in an attempt to tar him as a socialist or some other absurd label, but he was a guy who believed there was room for good works as part of the process of saving people's souls. He was a man of God who also had compassion.

I personally don't care about whether someone is a "person of God" or not, that's totally up to them. It's the compassion I look for. Seems to me that is the lesson we most need to learn from him... compassion.

10:32 PM  
Blogger T. Paine said...

"Seems to me that is the lesson we most need to learn from him... compassion."

Well said, Mr. Snave!

8:08 AM  

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