Monday, January 18, 2010

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

In April of 1960, Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote an essay called "Pilgrimage to Nonviolence". Here is a link to the full essay (it is worth reading the whole article), and some select quotations. Let us not forget King's convictions about pacifism and how they drove the movement, and let us consider how he would respond to war mongering among Christians today.

"During recent months I have come to see more and more the need for the method of nonviolence in international relations. While I was convinced during my student days of the power of nonviolence in group conflicts within nations, I was not yet convinced of its efficacy in conflicts between nations. I felt that while war could never be a positive or absolute good, it could serve as a negative good in the sense of preventing the spread and growth of an evil force. War, I felt, horrible as it is, might be preferable to surrender to a totalitarian system. But more and more I have come to the conclusion that the potential destructiveness of modem weapons of war totally rules out the possibility of war ever serving again as a negative good. If we assume that mankind has a right to survive, then we must find an alternative to war and destruction. In a day when sputniks dash through outer space and guided ballistic missiles are carving highways of death through the stratosphere, nobody can win a war. The choice today is no longer between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence."

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