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Happy Martin Luther King Day

January 16, 2006

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  • Bora Bora boy January 16, 2006 1:59 pm

    Colson in King’s

  • Vicky from Rangiroa January 16, 2006 11:13 am

    Who’s putting words in whose mouth?

  • Gordon from Bora Bora January 16, 2006 10:29 am

    People try to put words in the mouths of great men–sometimes forgetting the meaning of the words they actually said
    The non-violent approach does not immediately change the heart of the oppressor. It first does something to the hearts and souls of those committed to it. It gives them a new self-respect; it calls up resources of strength and courage that they did not know they had. Finally it reaches the opponent and so stirs his conscience that reconciliation becomes a reality.
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.(1929-1968)

  • Vicky January 16, 2006 7:38 am

    King’s Dream
    The Good Society and the Moral Law
    January 16, 2006
    More than forty years ago, on August 28, 1963, a quarter million people gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial. They marched here for the cause of civil rights. And that day they heard Martin Luther King Jr. deliver his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, a speech in which he challenged America to fulfill her promise.
    “I have a dream,” he said, “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.”
    While we know of the speech, most people are unaware that King also penned one of the most eloquent defenses of the moral law: the law that formed the basis for his speech, for the civil rights movement, and for all of law, for that matter.
    In the spring of 1963, King was arrested for leading a series of massive non-violent protests against the segregated lunch counters and discriminatory hiring practices rampant in Birmingham, Alabama. While in jail, King received a letter from eight Alabama ministers. They agreed with his goals, but they thought that he should call off the demonstrations and obey the law.
    King explained why he disagreed in his famous LETTER FROM A BIRMINGHAM JAIL. “One may well ask, how can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer “is found in the fact that there are two kinds of laws: justlaws and unjust laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws,” King said, “but conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”
    How does one determine whether the law is just or unjust? A just law, King wrote, “squares with the moral law of the law of God. An unjust law . . . is out of harmony with the moral law.”
    Then King quoted Saint Augustine: “An unjust law is no law at all.” He quoted Thomas Aquinas: “An unjust law is a human law not rooted in eternal or natural law.”
    This is the great issue today in the public square: Is the law rooted in truth?
    Is it transcendent, immutable, and morally binding? Or is it, as liberal interpreters argue, simply whatever courts say it is? Do we discover the law, or do we create it?
    Many think of King as a liberal firebrand, waging war on traditional values. Nothing could be further from the truth. King was a great conservative on this central issue, and he stood on the shoulders of Augustine and Aquinas, striving to restore our heritage of justice rooted in the law of God.
    Were he alive today, I believe he would be in the vanguard of the pro-life movement and would be supporting Judge Alito. I also believe that he would be horrified at the way in which out-of-control courts have trampled on the moral
    truths he advocated.
    King’s dream was to live in harmony with the moral law as God established it. So this Martin Luther King Day, reflect on that dream — for it is worthy of our aspirations, our hard work, and the same commitment Dr. King showed.
    ~ Chuck Colson

  • Vicky January 15, 2006 9:47 pm

    Did you know that January 16 is also Religious Freedom Day? (The day is the anniversary of the passage, in 1786, of the Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom. Thomas Jefferson drafted the legislation and considered it one of his greatest achievements.)
    Chuck Colson writes: “It is fitting that this year Martin Luther King Day is also celebrated on January 16. King’s religious faith was the foundation of his fight for civil rights. And it was religious freedom in America that allowed him to express his faith and the dreadful evil and move the entire nation.
    King was explicit about Christianity’s centrality in seeking justice through nonviolent protest. For example, he required that volunteers in the Birmingham campaign sign a commitment card pledging themselves to “meditate daily on the teachings and life of Jesus,” “Walk and talk in the manner of love, for God is love,” and “Pray daily to be used by God in order that all men might be free.”
    While many people will commemorate Martin Luther King Day, very few people are even aware of the president’s proclamation of Religious Freedom Day.