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Monday, January 15, 2007

Martin Luther King Jr., Too radical

"When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative."
Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Hopefully you got the day off. I would like to mark the day by passing on some quotes. While I don't know if King was a true pacifist. He certainly accomplished much through peaceful methods. People who would quickly drag those they disagree with into a violent battle of words or force could learn much from King and those like him in the civil rights movement. We can triumph against injustice and persecution with only the Gospel of Christ as our weapon. When we practice self-control, patience, charity and sacrifice there can be no conflict among Christians.
"We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools." -MLK

As men, with the power of God's saving grace, we can rise above the pull of sin which lures us towards envy, greed, pride, anger, vengeance and ultimately violence; even when battling against true injustices, such as King did. How difficult it must have been to continually face such hatred and always respond with love.
"Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must ever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force."-MLK

"Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love."-MLK
With all our knowledge, we have yet to conquer war. Peace seems to be beyond the reach of technological and scientific advancements. And unfortunately, the further our society fall from Christ, the further we will get from peace. A culture that supports the murder of its most vulnerable, who pose no threat to our national security, will never have a problem justifying war. Liberals bemoan the casualties in Iraq while happily supporting the killing of the unborn while conservatives rally for life in the womb but blindly support a war waged by their party. It comes back to living our faith first above nationality, political party or ethnic divides. When we live the Gospel, God takes care of the details.
"We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers."-MLK

Simply put, if we all lived as Christ, as pacifists, there would be no war. That should be our goal, to bring about a social reign of Christ. But what to do, since that is not the case? How do pacifists exist with those whose religion dictates violence? When is self defense permissible? When is war just? More to come. For now, enjoy the quotes.
"We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobile rather than by the quality of our service and relationship to mankind."-MLK