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 ChristA 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. Accomplice "To ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it." -- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), US civil rights leader http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quote_blog/Martin.Luther.King.Quote.704B 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. Believe "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. Birmingham 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. Christian 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. Compassion 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. Compromises "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 Conscience 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. Dangerous "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 http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quote_blog/Martin.Luther.King.Quote.53BB Darkness "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. http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quote_blog/Martin.Luther.King.Quote.5366 Dead Already A man who won't die for something is not fit to live. Education "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 http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quote_blog/Martin.Luther.King.Quote.57C6 "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. Enemies 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. Evil "He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetuate it." Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Extremist 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 contest. Faith "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. http://centre.telemanage.ca/links.nsf/key/FreeAtLast Fear "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." Freedom 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. 1957 http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quote_blog/Martin.Luther.King.Quote.BF61 Hope 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 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 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, 4-16=1963 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 Justice "Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love." Law 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 Limitations "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 http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quote_blog/Martin.Luther.King.Quote.552A Lincoln 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! Love 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 heart. 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." Morals 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 http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quote_blog/Martin.Luther.King.Quote.E428 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. Patience We have waited for more than three hundred and forty years for our constitutional and God-given rights. Peace "Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal." Problem 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 Lord. Religion 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." Role I think I have a role to play which may be unpopular. Martin Luther King Jr. Source:Washington Post, Apr 3, 1988 Salvation Salvation isn't reaching the destination of absolute morality, but it's being in the process and on the right road. Self-interest 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. Violence "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. 1958 A TRIBUTE TO DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. Back to Howie's Great Democratic Quote Page Go To Howie's Stupid GOP Quote Page Midnightflyer Home page Great Democratic Speeches US Presidents Web Ring Robert F. Kennedy Quotes Mail Me
Powered by WebRing.