Friday, January 14, 2022

THREE VALUES OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. FOR OUR CHALLENGING TIMES

Where do find we answers to the great questions of our time: COVID, global warming, inequality, out-of-control pursuit of political power.  Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January 17, 2022) offers us a chance to reflect on the values and strategies of a great American/global citizen.

Non-violence. King believed in resistance to evil, but not through violence. That didn't stop him from non-violent action to bring about social improvement. King organized and led nonviolent citizen action to protest against racial segregation throughout the U.S. The orderly parades of citizens, marching together to overturn discriminatory laws and practices, triggered improvements for the lives of millions.      

The value of the human person:  King affirmed this value early in his life; his affirmation was honed by doctoral study with personalist philosophers/theologians at Boston University. Human life is sacred; all people have equal personal value.



MARTIN LUTHER KING, Jr.

(Source: Wikipedia. Photo in public domain, U.S.A. and Sweden.)

"Social gospel." Don't focus faith on an individual's salvation only. Religious belief and action leads to social improvement. In his understanding of Christianity, the Kingdom of God is a prophetic summons to justice and equality. And to a future-oriented social goal. 

In the political struggles of our day, King, were he alive, would undoubtedly be favoring expansion of voting rights and resisting the removal of voting rights.

King was killed by an assassin using a gun. His influence lives on in and joins with that throng of people who believe in human equality and compassion. Fortunately, we can turn to King's writings to find answers for today's problems. 

January 17, 2022: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the United States and around the world--and let's make it a day not only of remembering the past but of planning for a future of greater justice and equality for all.


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