Martin Luther King Jr. (Let The Trumpet Sound)

The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work Emile Zola Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo H. G. Wells Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God Jesus Christ

A Man
If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should 
sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or 
Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry.
He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of 
heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a 
great streetsweeper who did his job well.

A Great Day Ahead!
There is a great day ahead. The future is on its side. 
It's going now through the wilderness, but the 
Promised Land is ahead. Give us the ballot , and 
we will transform the salient misdeeds of 
bloodthirsty mobs into the calculated good 
deeds of orderly citizens. 

"To ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it."
-- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
(1929-1968), US civil rights leader

American Nation
"The nation is sick; trouble is in the land, confusion 
all around... But I know, somehow, that only when it 
is dark enough you can see the stars. And I see God 
working in this period of the twentieth century. 
Something is happening in our world. The masses of 
people are rising up. And wherever they are assembled 
today, whether they are in Johannesburg, South Africa; 
Nairobi, Kenya; Accra, Ghana; New York City;
Atlanta, Georgia; Jackson, Mississippi; 
or Memphis, Tennessee, the cry
is always the same: 'We want to be free.'"
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
3 April 1968

American Dream
The American dream reminds us, and we should 
think about it anew on this Independence Day, 
that every man is an heir of the legacy 
of dignity and worth.

"You ought to believe something in life, believe that thing so 
fervently that you will stand up with it until the 
end of your days..." 

I still believe that one day mankind will bow before 
the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over 
war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive goodwill 
will proclaim the rule of the land.
Most of these people will never make the headlines and 
their names will not appear in Who's Who. Yet when 
years have rolled past and when the blazing light of truth 
is focused on this marvelous age in which we live -- 
men and women will know and children will be taught 
that we have a finer land, a better people, a more 
noble civilization -- because these humble children 
of God were willing to suffer for righteousness' sake.

I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. 
Just as the eighth century prophets left their little 
villages and carried their "thus saith the Lord" far 
beyond the boundaries of their home towns; and just 
as the Apostle Paul left his little village of Tarsus 
and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to practically 
every hamlet and city of the Graeco-Roman world,
 I too am compelled to carry the gospel of freedom 
beyond my particular home town. Like Paul, I must 
constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.

We cannot be truly Christian people so long as we 
flaunt the central teachings of Jesus: 
brotherly love and the Golden Rule.

Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of 
civil disobedience. It was seen sublimely in the 
refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey 
the laws of Nebuchadnezzar because a higher moral 
law was involved. It was practiced superbly by the 
early Christians who were willing to face hungry lions 
and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks, before 
submitting to certain unjust laws of the Roman empire.
I'm grateful to God that, through the Negro church, 
the dimension of nonviolence entered our struggle.

One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho 
road must be transformed so that men and women 
will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make 
their journey on life's highway. True compassion is 
more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard 
and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which 
produces beggars needs restructuring. A true revolution 
of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring 
contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous 
indignation, it will look across the seas and see 
individual capitalists of the West investing huge 
sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, 
only to take the profits out with no concern for the 
social betterment of the countries, and say: "This 
is not just." It will look at our alliance with the landed 
gentry of Latin America and say: "This is not just." 
The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything 
to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. 

When evil men plot, good men must plan.
Martin Luther King Jr.

"The Negro has no room to make any substantial compromises
because his store of advantages is too small.
He must press unrelentingly for quality, integrated education
or his whole drive for freedom will be undermined
by the absence of a most vital and indispensable element -- learning."
-- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
(1929-1968), US civil rights leader
14 March 1964

The spilled blood of these innocent girls may cause 
the whole citizenry of Birmingham to transform the 
negative extremes of a dark past into the positive 
extremes of a bright future. Indeed this tragic event 
may cause the white South to come to terms 
with its conscience.

"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than
sincere ignorance and consciencious stupidity."
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
(1929-1968), US civil rights leader

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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

"The group consisting of mother, father and child
is the main educational agency of mankind."
-- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
(1929-1968), US civil rights leader

"It is precisely because education is the road to 
equality and citizenship, that it has been made 
more elusive for Negroes than many other rights. 
The walling off of Negroes from equal education is 
part of the histoical design to submerge him in
second class status. Therefore, as Negroes have 
struggled to be free they have had to fight for 
the opportunity for a decent education."
-- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

But if you love your enemies, you will discover that 
at the very root of love is the power of redemption. 
You just keep loving people and keep loving them, 
even though they're mistreating you.

"He who passively accepts evil
is as much involved in it
as he who helps to perpetuate it."
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Was not Jesus an extremist for love -- "Love your 
enemies, bless them that curse you, pray for them 
that despitefully use you." Was not Amos an extremist 
for justice -- "Let justice roll down like waters and 
righteousness like a mighty stream." Was not Paul an 
extremist for the gospel of Jesus Christ -- "I bear in my 
body the marks of the Lord Jesus." Was not Martin Luther 
an extremist -- "Here I stand; I can do none other so 
help me God." Was not John Bunyan an extremist -- 
"I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make 
a butchery of my conscience." Was not Abraham Lincoln 
an extremist -- "This nation cannot survive half slave 
and half free." Was not Thomas Jefferson an extremist --
 "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are 
created equal." So the question is not whether we will be 
extremist but what kind of extremist will we be. 
Will we be extremists for hate or will we be extremists 
for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of 
injustice--or will we be extremists for the cause of justice? 
In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill, three men 
were crucified. We must not forget that all three were 
crucified for the same crime--the crime of extremism. 
Two were extremists for immorality, and thusly fell 
below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, 
was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and 
thereby rose above his environment.
There was a time when the church was very powerful. 
It was during that period when the early Christians 
rejoiced when they were deemed worthy to suffer for 
what they believed. In those days the church was not 
merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and 
principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that 
transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early 
Christians entered a town the power structure got 
disturbed and immediately sought to convict them for 
being "disturbers of the peace" and "outside agitators." 
But they went on with the conviction that they were 
"a colony of heaven," and had to obey God rather 
than man. They were small in number but big in 
commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be
 "astronomically intimidated." They brought an end 
to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial 

"I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great 
trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow 
cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for 
freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and  
staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the 
veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the
faith that unearned suffering is redemptive."
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
(1929-1968), US civil rights leader
Source: Speech delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington
D.C. on August 28, 1963.

"We must build dikes of courage to hold back 
the flood of fear."

Free At Last
 Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of 
God's children. I have a dream that one day this nation 
will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed - 
we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men 
are created equal.
This will be the day, this will be the day when all of 
God's children will be able to sing with new meaning 
"My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee 
I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's 
pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!"
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to 
ring, when we let it ring from every tenement and 
every hamlet, from every state and every city, we 
will be able to speed up that day when all of God's 
children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, 
Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands 
and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, 
"Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, 
we are free at last."

We will win our freedom because the sacred heritage 
of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied 
in our echoing demands.
One day the South will know that when these disinherited 
children of God sat down at lunch counters they were in 
reality standing up for the best in the American dream 
and the most sacred values in our Judaeo-Christian 
heritage, and thusly, carrying our whole nation back 
to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep 
by the founding fathers in the formulation of the 
Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

Freedom has always been an expensive thing.

Gandhian Philosophy
"I firmly believe that the Gandhian philosophy of nonviolent resistance
is the only logical and moral approach to the solution of the race 
problem in the United States."
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

But even in the inevitable moments when all seems 
hopeless, men know that without hope they cannot 
really live, and in agonizing desperation they cry for 
the bread of hope. And there is the deep longing for 
the bread of love. 

"We must accept finite disappointment, 
but never lose infinite hope."

Human Salvation
"Human salvation lies in the hands of the 
creatively maladjusted."

If we are wrong, justice is a lie, love has no 
meaning. If you succumb to the temptation of using 
violence in your struggle, unborn generations will be 
the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, 
and your chief legacy to the future will be an endless 
reign of meaningless chaos.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
We are caught in an inescapable 
network of mutuality tied in a single garment 
of destiny.  Whatever affects one directly 
affects all indirectly.
Martin Luther King Jr. Letter from a 
Birmingham jail,

We must learn to live together as brothers or we 
will perish as fools....Racial injustice is still 
the black man's burden and the white man's shame.
Martin Luther King Jr.

Judicial Action
Morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. 
Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can 
restrain the heartless.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Source:Strength To Love

"Power at its best is love implementing the demands 
of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting 
everything that stands against love."

One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws,
but conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws."
-- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
(1929-1968), US civil rights leader

A just law is a man-made code that squares with the 
moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code 
that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in 
the terms of Saint Thomas Aquinas, an unjust law is 
a human law that is not rooted in eternal and natural law.

Laws can restrain the heartless; 
they cannot restrain the heart
Martin Luther King Jr.

One who breaks an unjust law that conscience tells 
him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty 
of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of 
the community over it's injustice, is in reality 
expressing the highest respect for law.
Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from a 
Birmingham Jail, 1963

Life's Jericho Road
In the final analysis, I must not ignore the 
wounded man on life's Jericho road, because 
he is part of me and I am part of him.  
His agony diminishes me and his salvation 
enlarges me.
Martin Luther King Jr.

In the final analysis, the rich must not ignore 
the poor because both rich and poor are tied in 
a single garment of history.  All life is 
interrelated, and all men are interdependent.  
The agony of the poor diminisishes the rich, 
and the salvation of the poor enlarges the rich.  
We are inevitably our brother's keeper because of 
the interrelated structure of reality.
Martin Luther King Jr. 12-10-1964

The good neighbor looks beyound the external accidents 
and discerns those inner qualities that make all men 
human, and therefore, brothers.
Martin Luther King Jr. 1963

"The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win
and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not revolutionary but
reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional
catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of futility."
-- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
(1929-1968), US civil rights leader
Source: The Trumpet of Conscience

The spirit of Lincoln still lives; that spirit born of 
the teachings of the Nazarene, who promised mercy 
to the merciful, who lifted the lowly, strengthened the 
weak, ate with publicans, and made the captives free. 
In the light of this divine example, the doctrines of 
demagogues shiver in their chaff.

America experiences a new birth of freedom in her 
sons and daughters; she incarnates the spirit of her 
martyred chief. Their loyalty is repledged; their 
devotion renewed to the work He left unfinished. 
My heart throbs anew in the hope that inspired by 
the example of Lincoln, imbued with the spirit of 
Christ, they will cast down the last barrier to perfect 
freedom. And I with my brother of blackest hue 
possessing at last my rightful heritage and holding 
my head erect, may stand beside the Saxon--a 
Negro--and yet a man!


It is quite easy for me to think of a God of love mainly 
because I grew up in a family where love was central 
and where lovely relationships were ever present.
My parents would always tell me that I should not 
hate the white man, but that it was my duty as a 
Christian to love him.

Ocasionally in life there are moments...which cannot 
be completely explained by words. Their meaning can 
only be articulated by the inaudible lanuage of the 
Martin Luther King Jr.

Measure of a Man
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he 
stands in the moments of comfort and convenience, 
but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy
Martin Luther King Jr. 1963

Mind and Heart
"We must combine the toughness of the serpent 
and the softness of the dove, 
a tough mind and a tender heart."

The most dangerous criminal may be the man 
gifted with reason, but with no morals.
Martin Luther King Jr. January 1947

Though our scientific genius we have made the world 
a neighborhood; now though our moral and spiritual
genius we must make of it a brotherhood.
Martin Luther King Jr. 1963

Murder or Act of Heroic Virtue?"
"If an American is concerned only about his nation, 
he will not be concerned about the peoples of Asia, 
Africa, or South America. Is this not why nations 
engage in the madness of war without the slightest 
sense of penitence? Is this not why the murder of a 
citizen of your own nation is a crime, but the murder 
of citizens of another nation in war is an act of heroic virtue?"
-- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
(1929-1968), US civil rights leader

My Life
I decided early to give my life to something eternal 
and absolute. Not to these little gods that are here 
today and gone tomorrow, but to God who is the same 
yesterday, today, and forever. 

Now Is The Time
Now is the time to lift our nation. Now is the time to 
lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice 
to the solid rock of racial justice. Now is the time to 
get rid of segregation and discrimination. 
Now is the time. 

We have waited for more than three hundred and 
forty years for our constitutional and God-given rights.

"Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, 
but a means by which we arrive at that goal."

The great problem facing our nation today in the 
area of race is that it is the black man who to a 
large extent produced the wealth of this nation. 
And the nation doesn't have sense enough to share 
its wealth and its power with the very people 
who made it so.
I submit to you this morning that what is wrong in 
the world today is that the nations of the world are 
engaged in a bitter, colossal contest for supremacy. 

Promised Land 
Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got 
some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter 
with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. 
And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live 
a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not 
concerned about that now. I just want to do God's 
will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. 
And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land.
I may not get there with you. But I want you to know 
tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the 
promised land. And I'm happy, tonight. I'm not 
worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. 
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the 

But what religion does say is this: that if you 
have faith in God, that God has the power to give 
you a kind of inner equilibrium through your pain. 
So let not your heart be troubled.

Even though I have never had an abrupt conversion 
experience, religion has been real to me and closely 
knitted to life. In fact the two cannot be separated; 
religion for me is life.

Right and Wrong
"When you are right you cannot be too radical; 
when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative."

I think I have a role to play which may be unpopular.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Source:Washington Post, Apr 3, 1988

Salvation isn't reaching the destination of absolute 
morality, but it's being in the process and on 
the right road.  

Now if life is to be complete, we must move beyond 
our self-interest. We must move beyond humanity 
and reach up, way up for the God of the universe, 
whose purpose changeth not. 

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

This Government's Business
This business of burning human beings with napalm, 
of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, 
of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into veins of 
peoples normally humane, of sending men home from
dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped 
and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled 
with wisdom, justice and love. 

Too Late
We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. 
We are confronted with a fierce urgency of now. 
In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there 
is such a thing as being too late.  Procrastination 
is still the thief of time...The 'tide in the affairs 
of men' does not remain at the floods; it ebbs....
Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of 
numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words: 
Too Late.

"We must forever 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."
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Source: Speech delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington
D.C. on August 28, 1963.

"In our struggle against racial segregation in Montgomery, 
Alabama, I came to see at a very early stage that a 
synthesis of Gandhi's method of nonviolence and the Christian 
ethic of love is the best weapon available to Negroes for this 
struggle for freedom and human dignity. It may well be that 
the Gandhian approach will bring about a solution to the race 
problem in America. His spirit is a continual reminder to 
oppressed people that it is possible to resist evil and yet 
not resort to violence."
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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