Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. saw the injustices in American society and sought to correct them. He succeeded in many ways as laws were changed to eradicate overt segregation, but other problems proved more intractable as witnessed in the criminal justice system, as Laura Finley notes.
Though based on the pacifist teachings of Jesus, Christianity has been an accomplice to more wars and genocides than any other religion, a paradox reflected in the contradictory views of 16th Century protestant reformer Martin Luther and 20th Century civil rights martyr Martin Luther King Jr., as Gary G. Kohls explains.
Reflections on Martin Luther King Jr.’s “dream” – a half century after he delivered his famous speech at the Lincoln Memorial – have been clouded by the prospect of a U.S. military strike against Syria, as President Obama seems to have forgotten that King’s message went beyond race, as Laura Finley notes.
On the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, the inspiration from King’s non-violent civil disobedience has spread around the world, including to Palestine where much of the resistance to Israeli repression is following King’s guidebook, writes Jeff Cohen.
Exclusive: The Right’s hostility to “guv-mint” is not new. It traces back to the South’s fears that any activism by the national government, whether building roads or providing disaster relief, would risk federal intervention against slavery and later against segregation, perhaps even the end of white supremacy, reports Robert Parry.
Placing bombs among civilians – as happened at the Boston Marathon – is an inexcusable act, but Americans invite future violence when they ignore how their government’s acts of brutality abroad drive people to extremism, a half-century-old lesson from Martin Luther King Jr., as Jose-Antonio Orosco recalls.
Besides battering down the walls of racial segregation, Martin Luther King Jr. demanded that America address its economic barriers to fairness and justice, a challenge that may have earned him even more contempt from the power structure, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship note.
Despite originating in Jesus’s messages of peace, Christianity has been arguably the world’s most violent religion with its adherents committing genocide on all continents except unpopulated Antarctica. Again and again, Christian churches have blessed warfare, but a new generation is objecting, says Rev. Howard Bess.