They have left their secure congregations and walked the streets of Albany, Georgia, with us. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. The part is filled with a lot of emotion more so because of the actions the police. In the following passage, he reflected upon the philosopher, Socrates, and his beliefs on human equality: Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective. What is most interesting about the letter is the style of writing King uses to argue for righteousness which compels the reader to share his views of anti-segregation. We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Right: In 1967, King serves out the sentence from his arrest four years earlier in Birmingham, Alabama.
. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust. So, let's just pick something: Where were their voices when the lips of Governor Barnett dripped with words of interposition and nullification? Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals. King opens the letter with stating his position as President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference—an organization operating in every southern state that has affiliation with the Alabama Christian Movement for Human rights. Can any law enacted under such circumstances be considered democratically structured? Try reading that first sentence out loud to hear and feel it.
If the inexpressible cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail. King's letter has grown in stature and significance with the passage of time. I hope the church as a whole will meet the challenge of this decisive hour. They have left their secure congregations and walked the streets of Albany, Georgia, with us. But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. In our own nation, the Boston Tea Party represented a massive act of civil disobedience. I have traveled the length and breadth of Alabama, Mississippi and all the other southern states.
So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. This is sameness made legal. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. But even if the church does not come to the aid of justice, I have no despair about the future. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment.
He also makes a bright appeal to ethos and pathos but their effectiveness is limited by a number of inconsistencies in the letter. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime—the crime of extremism. But even if the church does not come to the aid of justice, I have no despair about the future. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive.
Nonviolent direct action would create a tension that an otherwise ignored subject would have to be faced. King justifies his presence in Birmingham, his uses of nonviolence and direct action, his timing, his willingness to break laws, and his apparent extremism. In deep disappointment I have wept over the laxity of the church. For instance, King tells of the failure in negotiation with the government. Doctor Martin Luther King Jr.
Durick; Methodist Bishop Nolan Harmon, Episcopal Bishop Charles C. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Several months ago the affiliate here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in a nonviolent direct action program if such were deemed necessary. Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue. He believes segregation laws were unjust because it damages the personality and makes African American lives below the standards given to them by the Constitution. He does not want to frighten or upset an audience that might be inclined to listen to arguments they have not previously considered.
Luther ensures that for every action he advocates for, he gives the reasons why he advocates for the particular actions. However, he then distinguishes between just and unjust laws, insisting that an individual has both a right and a responsibility to break unjust laws. Whites bombed black homes and churches,. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. He was met with bad condition. There can be no gainsaying the fact that racial injustice engulfs this community.
And yet the nature of the letter reveals that the message is filtered through the address to the clergymen, even if it is intended for more than just them. On sweltering summer days and crisp autumn mornings I have looked at the South's beautiful churches with their lofty spires pointing heavenward. Before the pen of Jefferson etched the majestic words of the Declaration of Independence across the pages of history, we were here. I commend you, Reverend Stallings, for your Christian stand on this past Sunday, in welcoming Negroes to your worship service on a nonsegregated basis. These are the hard, brutal facts of the case. Small in number, they were big in commitment. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension.
In particular, he is shocked that the clergymen would blame the black victims for the violence of segregation, as he believes they did in their open letter 177. They have carved a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment. I would agree with St. As in so many past experiences, our hopes had been blasted, and the shadow of deep disappointment settled upon us. On April 12, 1963, those eight clergy asked King to delay civil rights demonstrations in Birmingham.