Monday, January 21, 2013

IS THE WILL STILL ALIVE?

Icon by Tobias Haller
"In a few weeks some of us are coming to Washington to see if the will is still alive or if it is alive in this nation. We are coming to Washington in a Poor People’s Campaign. Yes, we are going to bring the tired, the poor, the huddled masses. We are going to bring those who have known long years of hurt and neglect. We are going to bring those who have come to feel that life is a long and desolate corridor with no exit signs. We are going to bring children and adults and old people, people who have never seen a doctor or a dentist in their lives.

We are not coming to engage in any histrionic gesture. We are not coming to tear up Washington. We are coming to demand that the government address itself to the problem of poverty. We read one day, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." But if a man doesn’t have a job or an income, he has neither life nor liberty nor the possibility for the pursuit of happiness. He merely exists.

We are coming to ask America to be true to the huge promissory note that it signed years ago. And we are coming to engage in dramatic nonviolent action, to call attention to the gulf between promise and fulfillment; to make the invisible visible.

(Sermon by Martin Luther King, Jr at the National Cathedral, Washington, DC, on 31 March 1968.  The Rev King was shot on April 4, 1968.)
Tobias Haller blogs at In a Godward Direction.

2 comments:

  1. Lovely words. I want to go and seek out the rest of the sermon. Why no comments? Very strange.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. King was a prophet and a martyr. When I read his sermons and speeches, it's hard to choose excerpts, because nearly everything he says is good.

      Blogs are not what they once were, Cathy, but I still enjoy what I do.

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