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Amazing Quote

290. Amazing Quote

Forty-five years ago on April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. In those years I have heard the speeches he made, one of them just a few hours before his death. I have listened over and over to his “I have a dream” speech, and I have remembered my own trip to Washington, DC for the Poor Peoples’ March just a few months after his death.

In 1967 at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Birmingham, he delivered what came to be known as “A Christmas Sermon on Peace.” In that sermon is the quote that still moves me, no matter how many times I read it over. He’s saying that we have to be able to face our most bitter opponents and say: “We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our 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. We cannot in all good conscience obey your unjust laws and abide by the unjust system, because noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good and so throw us in jail and we will still love you. Bomb our homes and threaten our children, and, as difficult as it is, we will still love you…But be assured that we’ll wear you down by our capacity to suffer, and one day we will win our freedom. We will not only win freedom for ourselves, we will so appeal to your heart and conscience that we will win you in the process, and our victory will be a double victory.”

Yesterday I started a list of people for whom I would stand up in respect. I would add Martin Luther King, Jr. to that list.

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