In Dr. Martin Luther King’s essay, “Letter from Birmingham Jail” he refutes the statements made by the eight clergymen who denounce the demonstration taking place in Birmingham. His letter which he directs to middle class citizens, otherwise known as “white moderates,” is very compelling because King is very in tune to his audience, making them imagine themselves under specific circumstances. King explains that the intent of their “direct-action” is to cause a tension powerful enough to force a response, to direct change. Although the clergymen placed blame on timing of the demonstration, calling it “unwise and untimely,” King, declares they have waited long enough to be further delayed. Throughout his letter, King uses many biblical references to make his readers see the inequality of their society, and what it would continue to be like without change.
Martin Luther King created an archive that might start the defining moment of the Civil Rights development furthermore provides of the battle for genetic equity. King’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” aims to defend those who are frantic for peaceful immediate action, the outright shamelessness for unfair laws is very disgraceful and it needed to be exposed for what it really was. Also the expanding likelihood of falling back on amazing confusion and fighting, the utter frustration for those who lie within the chapel who, in King's opinion, required not to live up to their obligations as individuals for the lord. Those activities of the African-American race needed aid and support as the lord required demonstrated in King's Letter. Likewise, King explains, “past promises have been broken by the politicians and merchants of Birmingham and now is the time to fulfill the natural right of all people to be treated equal”. Secondly, King's solution for those clergymen's declarations that separating the law may not be the path to accomplish the effects the African-American is searching for. King feels that the chapel has bypassed its responsibilities to the African-American people, concealing behind “anesthetizing security of stained-glass windows”. King sums up his letter by making a side point that he trusts that the chapel will view its duty and intend as Concerning illustration individuals of the lord and comprehend to have immediate action, those who support unfair/one sided laws and the looming risk of the African-American climbing dependent upon Previously, savagery if they would not listen. King does this all in a diplomatic, ardent
On April 16, 1963, from a jail in Birmingham, Alabama, Martin Luther King Jr. composed an extensive letter to eight clergymen who condemned the timing of the civil rights movement. Although the letter was addressed to these eight clergymen, the Letter from Birmingham Jail speaks to a national audience, especially King’s “Christian and Jewish brothers”(King, 29). His peaceful but firm letter serves as a remarkably persuasive voice to an immensely chaotic mess, and is seen as a major turning point in the civil rights movement. King believes that without direct action, the full rights for African Americans could never be achieved. He defends the impatience of people in the civil rights movement, upholding that without forceful
In “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr extensively establishes his ethos and proves his authority on the matter of racial injustice. “I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. We have some eighty-five affiliated organizations across the South, and one of them is the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights” (King 1). King was the focal point of the Civil Rights movement and continues to symbolize the equality of all races to this very day. His authority to advocate on the
The primary goal of a sermon in church is to convince or persuade the congregation to turn to God and follow his ways and beliefs. A sermon is commonly broken up into several subsections beginning with “(1) an introduction ‘to establish a common ground of religious feeling’; (2) ‘a statement of the text’ which is often drawn directly from the Bible; (3) the ‘body of the sermon,’ which consists of repeated emotional climaxes; and (4) the ‘conclusion’ which resolves the emotional tension aroused by the sermon by drawing the sinners to God.” (Pipes 143). Based on these characteristics and King’s religious background and experience as a preacher, it is logical to argue that the structure of “A Letter from the Birmingham Jail” resembles that of a sermon which is aimed at an audience much larger than that of just eight clergymen. Through his brilliant use of persuasive methods and emotional appeal, Martin Luther King turns a simple response to a letter into a national cause for white support to combat segregation.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s response to a public statement of concern from multiple Southern white religious leaders entitled “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is perhaps one of the most important and influential pieces dedicated to the fight for equality written in the last one hundred years. It is striking just how much of the content within this letter continues to ring true. Numerous arguments King makes are still extremely relevant today, and it is nearly impossible to engage with and reflect on this text without drawing parallels to the current political landscape. This paper will discuss exactly how particular points
On April 12, 1963 Martin Luther King, Jr. composed one of his most famous letters in a Birmingham jail addressing eight prominent Alabama clergymen. This letter known as The Letter from Birmingham Jail has become one of the most important works in the fields of theology and ethics since its composition. In the following essay, I will attempt to provide a brief illustration of the intellectual landscape that King developed over his short life as well as touch major influential experiences that contributed to King’s ethical and theological developments as seen within this prolific letter. This endeavor is not only to satisfy my own curiosity, but more importantly begin to peer more deeply into this legendary prophet in the hopes that I may be able to apply his own theological understandings the context in which we live.
The struggle to obtain gay and civil rights has been directly influenced by religion, either in a positive or negative way. More specifically, religion has served as a disadvantage to achieving gay rights and an advantage to those that participated in the civil rights movement. Contrary to the recent successes of the gay rights movement, there have been a lot of obstacles along the way and most of them have been due to religious beliefs and practices. Religion opposes gay rights, especially gay marriage on the basis that it immoral and unnatural, it is against the word of God and it is incompatible with religious beliefs, sacred texts, and traditions of many religious groups(Eskridge,15). On the other hand, religion more directly influences the outcome of the civil rights movement by providing a basis for unity among African Americans. The concepts and strategies of the civil rights movement alluded to Biblical stories and admonitions. The church provided a physical shelter for African Americans to congregate and organize marches, sit-ins and protests, but also a spiritual overlook that guided them to the freedom that they always deserved.
The early church is an example for the modern church. In the Letter from Birmingham Jail, Dr. King states how discouraged he was with the lack of support he and his supporters received from the Church; which was supposed to be their greatest ally. The modern Church turned out to be one of King’s opponents by acting passively and resisting to offer help (King, 7). The early Church in Biblical times, however, stood up for what they believed was moral in accordance with their faith no matter what the consequence. As King states in the letter, the Church in his day and age does not want to deal with the United States’ social issues “…with which the gospel has no real concern” (King, 8). The modern Church’s lack of concern for social issues was a real problem, for the modern Church’s
In a response to the Alabama clergymen's’ letter Martin Luther King Jr. addresses their concerns and works to connect with his audience by establishing his credentials by describing his work. He uses imagery and sets up his character to not only unify people, but to also to separate groups. From the start of the letter, he respectfully puts himself into a place of importance to coerce the reader to see the relevance of his words. King manages to display himself as a respectful fighter of injustice from the very start of the letter where he positions himself alongside his “dear fellow clergymen”(1). To show his status of someone with power he describes the image of his secretaries not being able to be efficient if he were to respond to every
In “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. resolutely responds to eight clergymen who question his methods of protest against segregation in Birmingham, Alabama. Specifically, in paragraphs 12-14, Dr. King explains why his protests are indeed being done in a timely manner to obtain the “constitutional and God-given rights” (A Portable Anthology, page 207) that Africans have been restricted of for over 340 years. Dr. King’s argument, combined with his strategic use of rhetorical devices to enhance it, helps create a palpable feeling of understanding that captivates the audience into seeing America through his vision.
King begs for a civil and peaceful resolution to the unjust laws and unfair treatment of African Americans. But, as history shows, the clergymen were not going to have anything to do with that. King says that he is trying to do this in the best way possible but it will not seem that way, “In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law… One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty.”(par. 12)
Expressing disappointment towards the church leaders, he states that they should do more, to help the minority stand on their two feet, and not feel discriminated against. This is because following the teachings of God, every human being is equal. Therefore, the church must help structure society closest to how The Bible shows. King fought for this same equality. However, being verbally reprimanded and going to jail for voicing his rights, he shows what happens when you go against the norm of society. The church is there to break those norms, and construct new ideals in accordance with the word of God.
In the year of 1963, Eight Alabama Clergymen wrote and sent a letter to MLK Jr, regarding their concerns and their views on his work. In fact, the Clergymen uttered “We recognize the natural impatience of people who feel that their hopes are slow in being realized. But we are convinced that these demonstrations are unwise and untimely” (413). Then again, they were against everything that King supporting. With this in mind, when it came to Mr. King to answer; he established credentials that would make him important and his words worth listening to. Such as, in the beginning of his letter King mentioned that “I have the honor of serving as president of the southern Christian leadership Conference, an organization operating in very southern state with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. We have some eighty-five affiliate organizations all across the south-one being the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights” (415).
During the Civil Rights Movement, several prominent members of society joined the movement to combat racially fueled oppression and to advocate for equality. Each of these men and women, at one point in time, asked themselves: Is it ever okay to use violence to end systemic racism and advance civil rights? With this question in mind, each of these men and women developed their own methods to contribute to the Civil Rights Movement. Among these leaders were James Cone, William Campbell, and Martin Luther King Jr. After comparing the three leaders listed above’s methods, I have determined that I favor King’s approach and I believe that it is never right to use violence to end systemic racism and advance civil rights.