03 April 2018

Remembering the 50th Anniversary of the Execution of Martin Luther King

"And some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak.  We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak."

Martin Luther King, A Time to Break the Silence, Riverside Church, 4 April 1967

"It is a dark day in our nation when high-level authorities will seek to use every method to silence dissent.  But something is happening, and people are not going to be silenced."

Martin Luther King, 'Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam',  Riverside Church, 30 April 1967

"But if not, I will not bow, and God grant that we will never bow, before the gods of evil."

Martin Luther King,  But If Not, Ebenezer Baptist Church,  5 November 1967

"We've got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now, because I've been to the mountaintop.  And I don't mind.  Like anybody, I would like to live a long life — longevity has its place.

But I'm not concerned about that now.  I just want to do God's will.  And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain.  And I've looked over, and I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you.  But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land.

So I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything, I'm not fearing any man.  Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord."

Martin Luther King, Last Public Statement, 3 April 1968

The next day Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered in Memphis, Tennessee, 4 April 1968, exactly one year to the day after speaking out against the Vietnam War in his sermon, A Time To Break the Silence.

This was not an isolated action—  this was a message, and one that presidential candidate Robert Kennedy refused to obey.  And it has had a transforming effect on American political consciousness.
"He’s afraid of what happened to Martin Luther King Jr. And I know from a good friend who was there when it happened, that at a small dinner with progressive supporters – after these progressive supporters were banging on Obama before the election, 'Why don’t you do the things we thought you stood for?' 

Obama turned sharply and said, 'Don’t you remember what happened to Martin Luther King Jr.?' That’s a quote, and that’s a very revealing quote."

Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst for Russian affairs

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

Ephesians 6:12

Are we not exceptional?   Are you not entertained?

"Those who are at present so eager to be reconciled with the world at any price must take care not to be reconciled with it under this particular aspect: as the nest of The Unspeakable. This is what too few are willing to see….

Shall this be the substance of your message?  Be human in this most inhuman of ages; guard the image of man for it is the image of God.  You agree?  Good. Then go with my blessing. But I warn you, do not expect to make many friends."

Thomas Merton, Raids on the Unspeakable

"Do you think he is so unskillful in his craft, as to ask you openly and plainly to join him in his warfare against the truth? No; he offers you baits to tempt you... This is the way in which he conceals from you the kind of work to which he is putting you; he promises you illumination, he offers you knowledge, science, philosophy, enlargement of mind.  He scoffs at times gone by; he scoffs at every institution which reveres them.

He prompts you what to say, and then listens to you, and praises you, and encourages you. He bids you mount aloft. He shows you how to become as gods. Then he laughs and jokes with you, and gets intimate with you; he takes your hand, and gets his fingers between yours, and grasps them, and then you are his."

J.H.Newman, The Antichrist

I will not bow, and God grant that we will never bow, before the gods of evil.