Posted by: morgan1965 | April 4, 2011

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – A Prophetic Peacemaker

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968 at the age of thirty-nine years. His tragic death shocked the nation and the world. In the aftermath of his death, chaos spread across the United States. The drum major for justice, who like Jesus took a towel, had been slain by an assassin’s bullet.

On the 43rd anniversary of his assassination, it is appropriate to ponder what it was that Dr. King stood for in his life. There are a variety of thoughts that come to mind when one remembers Dr. King. One such thought is that Dr. King was a courageous civil rights leader.

As I look at our world today, I want to remember Dr. King as a peace maker who spoke out against war in general, and the Vietnam War in particular. I believe that he would no doubt speak out against the current wars that the United States is waging – Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya.

Dr. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on December 10, 1964. In his “Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech” he said: “I believe that even amid today’s mortar bursts and whining bullets, there is still hope for a brighter tomorrow. I believe that wounded justice, lying prostrate on the blood-flowing streets of our nations, can be lifted from this dust of shame to reign supreme among the children of men.”

He ended the speech with these words: “Today I come to Oslo as a trustee, inspired and with renewed dedication to humanity. I accept this prize on behalf of all men who love peace and brotherhood.” Martin Luther King was a proponent of peace for all of humanity.

On April 4, 1967, exactly a year before his assassination, King gave a speech at the Riverside Church in New York City. The speech was titled, “A Time to Break Silence.” King had previously expressed his opposition to the Vietnam War, but this marked the first time that he joined his war opposition to the civil rights movement. Also, the speech was his first direct criticism of the Johnson administration’s war policy. He said in part, “in order to atone for our sins and errors in Vietnam, we should take the initiative in bringing a halt to this tragic war.”

War is always tragic, with tragic results. So, Martin Luther King, just as he did then, today his prophetic voice calls on the United States to “take the initiative in bringing a halt” to any war in which we are involved.

What do you think about it?

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Responses

  1. Lord, give us the courage to study war no more.


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