Monday, January 17, 2011

Martin Luther King Day

"One may well ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that "an unjust law is no law at all." MLK

Dr. King's words are striking, and so applicable to today's most vile attack on the dignity of the human person. What would Dr. King think of living in a country that has legalized the killing of the most innocent human beings, the unborn.

I pray that by reading and studying the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., more good people will enter the pro-life movement, and help end the sin of abortion in our time.


Today I read the "Letter From Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963", by Dr. Martin Luther King. I believe that this letter offers the very essence of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., his beliefs, his character, his courage, his love of humanity, his love for America, and his love of Jesus. Where are his disciples today? Certainly not Jesse Jackson, certainly not Al Sharpton. No, today his devoted disciple is his niece, Dr. Alveda King. Dr. Alveda King is carrying on the legacy of her famous uncle - Dr. King is a PRO-LIFE activist. Protecting the rights of the most vulnerable human beings in society, the unborn. I believe Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be doing the same work if he were with us today.

Here is an excerpt from "
Letter From Birmingham Jail."

"You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court's decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may won ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies in the fact that there fire two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the Brat to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that "an unjust law is no law at all".

Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distort the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an "I-it" relationship for an "I-thou" relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and awful. Paul Tillich said that sin is separation. Is not segregation an existential expression 'of man's tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness? Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong."

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