Saturday, August 24, 2013

Faith's Call for Civil Rights

Excerpts from an article written by Matthew Brown and published today in the Deseret News out of Salt Lake City:

 " was the preaching of Christian and Jewish leaders that took place Aug. 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to an interracial mass of about 250,000 and millions more on television that became the most enduring memory of the historic gathering — particularly the famous "I Have a Dream" speech given by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., a clergyman who became the most powerful figure of the Civil Rights era.

"What a lot of secular liberals have never understood about King is that religion wasn’t just an opportunistic accessory. It was his driving force and utter motivation," said Jonathan Rieder, a sociologist who has written about the religious roots of King and the Civil Rights movement. "It was the source of their vision of justice."

During the past decade, scholars and historians have reexamined the Civil Rights movement, with some making the case that without religion and the belief that God was on their side, the movement's organizers and footsoldiers wouldn't have endured the violent backlash to boycotts, marches, civil disobedience to segregation laws and other direct action.

"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?" Isaiah 58:6

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