The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Pray, Stand and Deliver
By: Eva Andrade, President
“Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon, which cuts without winding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.” MLK, Jr.
Many great men and women have exemplified a great leader. The Bible, history books, institutions, families, and friends have all been filled with someone we want to emulate.
Martin Luther King, Jr. is one of them.
In his 1963 open letter to leaders in the faith based community, Dr. King reminded them that “[i]t has been been the responsibility of the Church and Synagogue to broaden horizons, challenge the status-quo, and the break the mores when necessary.” His letter implored those in leadership, representing the wider faith based community, to rise up for the cause of justice. At the time, many leaders were afraid to take a stand on the issue of racial injustice.
He goes on to say that, sadly, “the Church has been an echo rather than a voice, a tail light behind the Supreme Court and other secular agencies, rather than a headlight guiding men progressively and decisively to higher levels of understanding.”
Some of us may know people who marched in the historic march upon Washington. Some of us may even made the journey ourselves as 5,000 police officers, National Guardsman and Army Reservists, and over 200,000 people made headlines on the historic “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.”
Today, we are simply called to raise our voices in the public arena because these issues are still top and center. We are the voices of the church and we must remain vigilant and connected. Simply put, relevant and present.
If we remain in the shadows, we will be part of a future Dr. King warned us about in 1963. “If the Church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become little more than an irrelevant social club with a thin veneer of religiosity.”
See you at the capitol on opening day!
Source: (An Address by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Conference on Religion and Race, Chicago at the Edgewater Beach Hotel, January 17, 1963.)