The American Dream

I’m reading a book of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s sermons entitled A Knock at Midnight.
Today, I read his sermon called “The American Dream” and came across this section that inspired me, challenged me, motivated me, to see what love your enemies should really look like, and how love can conquer all. The excerpt after the jump
We can stand up before out most violent opponent and say: We will match your capacity to endure suffering. We will meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will and we will still love you…

Send your hooded perpetrators of violence into our communities after midnight hours and drag us out on some wayside road and beat us and leave us half-dead, and as difficult as it is, we will still love you…

Threaten our children and bomb our homes, and as difficult as it is, we will still love you.
Be assured that we will ride you down by our capacity to suffer. One day we will win our freedom, but we will not only win freedom for ourselves, we will so appeal to your heart and your conscience that will win you in the process. And our victory will be a double victory.
Oh yes, love is the way. Love is the only absolute. ( pg 96-97)

2 thoughts on “The American Dream

  1. I like the sentiment, but I don’t think I agree. No matter how much we show love I feel as though there will always be people that will oppose it with violence. On the same thought no matter how much we endure, there will be people to push the limit to the end. Sometimes I feel we need to stand up get in the face of the people that are refusing to change and tell them to back the hell up, and that they will not push us around anymore, and there are consequences to their actions. Because frankly, there are people that will hate and destroy to their dying day. But I do like the sentiment.

  2. I think that’s the problem with many, that we only look at it as ‘sentiment.’ that we look at jesus’ teachings and say, that’s nice, but not realistic.
    i think dr. king’s and gandhi’s and even mother teresa or bonhoeffer’s actions show that love is greatest ‘weapon’ of all.

    there will always be ppl who will hate and destroy. but when the retaliations is more hate and violence, how can we ever expect them to change?

    violence is a result of little to no imagination, and we as a people have lost our imaginations, because we resort to violence first and foremost.

    loving someone isn’t being passive and taking it all and cowering away. Jesus didn’t call us to be cowards.
    It is standing up for ourselves. But it’s standing up and saying, i will not fight back with violence.

    the bus boycott of alabama would’ve never been successful if they fought back with violence.
    the civil rights movement would’ve been far different if King suggested that the people take up arms and fight back.

    sure, it’s a nice sentiment. but it can be reality too.
    fighting back with violence, is always the easy way out.
    and just because we are to turn our cheeks, isn’t calling us to be cowards.

    I suggest, if you have time, to read Shane Claiborne’s Jesus for President. There’s a nice section there dealing with this.

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