But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First-Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest. Frequently we share staff, educational and financial resources with our affiliates. When I was suddenly catapulted into the leadership of the bus protest in Montgomery, Alabama, a few years ago, I felt we would be supported by the white church.
We had no alternative except to prepare for direct action, whereby we would present our very bodies as a means of laying our case before the conscience of the local and the national community.
Perhaps I have once again been too optimistic. But he will not see this without pressure from devotees of civil rights. But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before.
There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love. Of course, there are some notable exceptions.
They were too God-intoxicated to be "astronomically intimidated. Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful. How we have blemished and scarred that body through social neglect and through fear of being nonconformists.
I am not unmindful of the fact that each of you has taken some significant stands on this issue. When the eight clergymen authored their open letter to Birmingham recommending that people stop demonstrating and instead negotiate in the community and through the courts, King responded with his letter advocating direct action.
Consciously or unconsciously, he has been caught up by the Zeitgeist, and with his black brothers of Africa and his brown and yellow brothers of Asia, South America and the Caribbean, the United States Negro is moving with a sense of great urgency toward the promised land of racial justice.
One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an "I it" relationship for an "I thou" relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust?
I also hope that circumstances will soon make it possible for me to meet each of you, not as an integrationist or a civil-rights leader but as a fellow clergyman and a Christian brother. There was a time when the church was very powerful--in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed.
I hope you are able to see the distinction I am trying to point out. But is this a logical assertion? Was not Jesus an extremist for love: We must come to see that, as the federal courts have consistently affirmed, it is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts to gain his basic constitutional rights because the quest may precipitate violence.
I hope the church as a whole will meet the challenge of this decisive hour. Over the past few years I have consistently preached that nonviolence demands that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek.
Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.
Let me take note of my other major disappointment. They have left their secure congregations and walked the streets of Albany, Georgia, with us. Never before have I written so long a letter. A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God.
A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law.
You warmly commended the Birmingham police force for keeping "order" and "preventing violence. But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. But even if the church does not come to the aid of justice, I have no despair about the future.
In this sense they have conducted themselves rather "nonviolently" in public. We have gone through all these steps in Birmingham. I commend you, Reverend Stallings, for your Christian stand on this past Sunday, in welcoming Negroes to your worship service on a nonsegregated basis.
For more than two centuries our forebears labored in this country without wages; they made cotton king; they built the homes of their masters while suffering gross injustice and shameful humiliation -and yet out of a bottomless vitality they continued to thrive and develop.
Before the pilgrims landed at Plymouth, we were here. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being "disturbers of the peace" and "outside agitators.
To preserve the evil system of segregation.- King’s Letter Considered a Classic Argument After being jailed in the Birmingham city jail, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister who preached nonviolence, wrote this response to a published statement by eight fellow clergymen from Alabama. "Letter from a Birmingham Jail [King, Jr.]" 16 April Birmingham is probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States.
Its ugly record of brutality is widely known. Negroes have experienced grossly unjust treatment in the courts.
I have just received a letter from a white brother in Texas. He writes: "All Christians. Letter from Birmingham jail argument essay In Martin Luther King Jr.'s essay “Letter From Birmingham Jail” he makes the claim that; “It is a historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily.
Letter From Birmingham Jail study guide contains a biography of Martin Luther King, Jr., literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Despite its measured restraint, the “Letter” is an argument for taking action, and against hiding behind platitudes of moderation.
“Letter from a Birmingham Jail” Outline. I. Introduction King’s thesis: Reasonable refutation of the white clergymen’s criticism of his direct action-nonviolent resistance campaign as “unwise and untimely.”. In "Letter from Birmingham City Jail," Martin Luther King, Jr.
argues on behalf of direct action, argues that the newly elected local government .Download