Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Letter from Birmingham Jail

"So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church's silent and often even vocal sanction of things as they are."
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


9 comments:

Constantine said...

Wow. It's easy to see from reading this quote why he took the name Luther (I think his dad did too?) for himself. Both, meaning the 16th century renegade and Jr., were prophets for their age and time.

Have you always been a “protester” Angevoix? I ask with respect and out of curiosity. Your comment recently on Padre's Blog about how you would end up in jail after they sawed your handcuffs off of the front door of the appropriate government building had me lol (literally). First, because it is a foreign experience for me this notion of “civil disobedience” (though I have no problem telling someone what I think and to their face if necessary—I just tend to be more of a lone gun so to speak or lonesome pilgrim as I once described myself on Neo, and I'm not much for following anyone). The image that came to my mind was that of a policeman in riot gear sawing off a pair of handcuffs and was just too much for me not to enjoy with laughter. But also because, though we seem to differ on many things as you know, I find myself often in agreement with the spirit of what you say. You have a bit of Scout (from “To Kill a Mockingbird”) in you Angevoix. Translated that means some “good fight” in you. In case you haven’t noticed I don’t mind a good fight.

voixdange said...

No, C., I wan't always a protester... its kind of funny that you should ask. I was having a conversation with a coworker yesterday about a PBS show, Guns, Germs and Steel.The show was based on a book written about how all three of these things affected human history. I unfortunately only caught the last show. The author was walking around a clinic in Africa. the director told him that 7 children a day die from malaria. They walked around talking and looking at the children hooked up to IVs and then all of the sudden, in mid conversation the author just stops. His mouth opens in a silent wail and his hands go to his face. When he is able to get ahold of himself, he explains how he had written so clincally about this for years, and then he said several times,still tearing up,
"Its so different being face to face with it." I have been face to face with the affects of the indifference our society shows to the least of these for twelve years now. I know that the most tragic and hard hit victims are our children...the ones who deserve the very best we have. Its as if their faces are burned into my psyche and I would do whatever I could to help them have a better life. When I protest, its for them. Isn't that one of our callings? To speak up for those who can not speak for themselves?

Dan Trabue said...

Yes, I certainly agree. We must be about the business of speaking up and JOINING WITH the least of these.

Another MLK quote along these lines:
"We must see the great distinction between a reform movement and a revolutionary movement. We are called upon to raise certain basic questions about the whole society.... What America must be told today is that she must be born again. The whole structure of American life must be changed."

Constantine said...

Yes you are right in my estimation Angevoix, and I commend you for seeing the faces of the little ones and the least of these and acting on that impression. I wish I were a better example myself.

Great quote DT. Man o' man is MLK quite the prophet. It hurts to read him because he's so spot on.

voixdange said...

"Man o' man is MLK quite the prophet. It hurts to read him because he's so spot on."

Man o' man, you said it C!

olympiada said...
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olympiada said...

I meant to say I agree with Dr. King about the church especially when it comes to things like marriage and divorce.

Constantine said...

What did Dr. King say about marriage and divorce? I'm curious.

olympiada said...

I mean that the church, well the American Protestant Fundmentalist Cult Orthodox Church of which I am no longer a member, is an archdefender of the status quo and an upholder of the power structure of my former community which I did not like. I do not know Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s position on marriage and divorce but I do know my former church's position and it stinks!