Tuesday, January 22, 2008

MLK Passage

The kids are home again today, so my blogging opportunities will be limited. In honor of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, here's a quote from his Letter from the Birmingham Jail. The headlight/tail-light metaphor was used in two different sermons I heard on Sunday, so I'll just pile on:

"In spite of my shattered dreams of the past, I came to Birmingham with the hope that the white religious leadership of this community would see the justice of our cause, and with deep moral concern, serve as the channel through which our just grievances would get to the power structure. I had hoped that each of you would understand. But again I have been disappointed. I have heard numerous religious leaders of the South call upon their worshippers to comply with a desegregation decision because it is the law, but I have longed to hear white ministers say, "follow this decree because integration is morally right and the Negro is your brother." In the midst of blatant injustices inflicted upon the Negro, I have watched white churches stand on the sideline and merely mouth pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities. In the midst of a mighty struggle to rid our nation of racial and economic injustice, I have heard so many ministers say, "those are social issues with which the gospel has no real concern.", and I have watched so many churches commit themselves to a completely other-worldly religion which made a strange distinction between body and soul, the sacred and the secular.

So here we are moving toward the exit of the twentieth century with a religious community largely adjusted to the status quo, standing as a tail-light behind other community agencies rather than a headlight leading men to higher levels of justice."


Fingtree said...

Our Alma Mater; Carroll High School is the only school that stays open in Allen County for the Martin Luther King observance day. My son Clem asked Park Ginder assistant principal; "Why are we the only school to stay open"? Ginder's standard answer is; "Martin Luther King would want you to be in school". Amazing! It goes without saying.

brownie said...

No snarky comments?

Dan S said...

I've been trying to think of a response to Mr. Ginder all week. It is quite clever to use the principle of education, which King of course supported, as a way to undermine support for the MLK holiday.

I wonder what steps Mr. Ginder is taking to make sure his Carroll High students are learning about MLK on this day he believes it so important for them to be in school. I know I didn't learn much about MLK when I went to Carroll.

Fingtree said...

It's funny, my son Clement said that Carroll High has invited the past 3 years a speaker for MLK day. Each time they cancel because they thought it was not going to be on that day and they assumed the school would be closed that day. This year the same thing happened, but they got a replacement and Clem said he was the worst speaker he has ever heard. I will ask him more about the content of the speach from this guy and pass it on.