King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech

MLK Jr. I have a dream speech
Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking on National Mall

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech” needs to be more emphasized today, especially by those who claim to walk in his vision.  The video is below.  If you want to read the transcript, click here.

The key point that I want emphasize is from a conversation that I had with a coworker a couple of years ago.  He (as a black man) was bemoaning the demise and downfall of black culture including the rise of single moms, lack of fathers and the increase of hatred of white people from his discussions inside the black community.  He then mentioned that he believed the reason society had all these problems was that those who were pushing for Civil Rights in America today had deviated from the path laid out by Martin Luther King, Jr.  He believed that MLK, Jr. was so successful because he was espousing the equality of blacks and whites as God sees people—equally created in His Image and His Likeness through His Son.

We see a great example of this in King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.  Lets take a look at a few of these.

God-language in King’s Speech

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

Here King is making it clear that in the struggle for Civil Rights, blacks need to rise above the protests and win on the conviction of their arguments rather than the projection of force.  The force is the force of their ideas, which King makes clear comes from God and is expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one.

Interestingly enough this is exactly what has happened with the implementation by Democrats/Liberals. The late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan forsaw this and predicted where we stand in the black community today. Exactly what King was speaking against here.  In fact, the Moynihan Report has been mentioned by Washington Post Opinion writer George Will a few days ago.

… when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

Martin Luther King, Jr. pins the Civil Rights on religious texts and the equality of all people under God.  He appeals to all Jews and Christians for the cause.  Clearly, for Martin Luther King, Jr. it is a moral issue stemming from a higher moral authority.  Not an issue of power or money.  But what is right in the eyes of God.  Today’s civil rights movement has lost that.

The Christian Response

The best Christian response is to get involved.  To be active against injustice.  Not for the sake of social justice which is a buzzword of social activism and liberalism masked in the disguise of tolerance.  But Christianity has provided great equality and enhancement for all classes and all races.  Jesus himself does the unthinkable in his day and speaks to a Samaritan woman.  Christianity breaks the barriers imposed upon society with the force of God’s culture.  Like Martin Luther King, Jr., Christians should use the might of Jesus to fight for equality and not impose it.  We should move forward as a nation on race, not backwards as we have been doing.