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Was MLK wrong to use his church as a vehicle for social change?

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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:01 PM
Original message
Was MLK wrong to use his church as a vehicle for social change?
Edited on Sat Mar-15-08 06:04 PM by theboss
Would it have been better if he set up a non-profit and left the politics out of church?

I mean, the vote to stage the Birmingham Bus Boycott took place in Holt Street Paptish Church. Shouldn't that have taken place in a community center or maybe a Lion's Club?

And why were ministers leading the boycott anyway? Religion and politics don't mix.
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Crooked Moon Donating Member (278 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:04 PM
Response to Original message
1. social change is forward thinking.
dr. king used his pulpit to advocate a new path to unity, not to preserve and agitate for continued divisiveness.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Is "Unity" really all that's left over from Dr. King's message?
Is that really all we remember?

That's sad that we've turned him into some kind of black Joel Osteen.
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Crooked Moon Donating Member (278 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
11. of course not
but segregation and divisiveness were the things he fought hardest to change. and those required unity between the races... not weekly rants fostering further hostility and division.

but then i'm sure you already knew that.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:14 PM
Response to Original message
3. I guess it wasn't
Ok
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me b zola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:17 PM
Response to Original message
4. Is this satire?
Seriously, I don't undertand your post.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Part of what Wright is criticized for is bringing politics into a church
So....King brought politics into the church.

Was it wrong then too?
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me b zola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. Okay, gotcha.
In general I don't believe that church & politics should mix. But, as I think that you were trying to point out in your post, there is a legitimate reason why politics have always been (generally speaking) in Black churches. During jim crow southern Blacks could not congregate in any other place. The tradition has stayed because we as a nation never took responsibility for the crimes committed against Blacks, never dealt with the institutional racism that still exists.
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Unsane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #5
14. No, what's wrong is saying the gov't created AIDS to kill blacks and America deserved 9/11
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EVDebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-17-08 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. It might not be incorrect, however...
Edited on Mon Mar-17-08 03:28 PM by EVDebs
The Mysterious Dr. Ford
http://www.crimelibrary.com/terrorists_spies/terrorists...

who worked for the CIA and was working on AIDs/biological-warfare

also, the military's Operation Raindance (re ethnically targetted viruses).

BTW, what Jerry Falwell and others said about 9-11 being brought to America because of gays etc. isn't that a bit hypocritcal from the rightwingnut point of view to be criticizing Rev Wright now ?
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EVDebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:20 PM
Response to Original message
6. HELL NO !
In the immortal words of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils,
"If you want to get to heaven, you gotta raise a little hell".
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cbayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:21 PM
Response to Original message
7. Progressive churches (and other religious institutions)
always have been and continue to be at the forefront of social change.

There are, however, restrictions on their participation in political races. It puts their tax-exempt status at risk.
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murielm99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. That is a very good answer.
I would add that in the past, much AA leadership traditionally has come through the church. The AA community had few other ways to train and bring leaders up through the ranks.

That has changed somewhat, but it is still a legitimate source for organizing and social change.

I heard Jesse Jackson speak about this, roughly twenty-five years ago.
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cbayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. Great reply from you as well!
I grew up in Hyde Park and Rev. Jackson was a regular speaker at churches in the area. The church I grew up in was all about social change and was actively involved in the anti-war movement. That's the kind of church I know and love.

Absolutely true about the organizational power that churches have provided for the AA community, as well as other disenfranchised groups.

Go cubbies (second on my list of faves only behind the red sox - long story). Nice to meet you :hi:
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Beregond2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:31 PM
Response to Original message
8. Religion/Politics
"Religion and politics don't mix." Well...

Social criticism is central to the Judeao-Christian tradition. The line that must not be crossed is working for or against particular parties, candidates, or measures within the context of the religious institution. So yes, King did break the law, as it is now understood. But the emphasis on the separation of church and state was not so pronounced then as it is now.

I would say that a church can, officially, criticise an injustice, but not push a particular political remedy. For example, it can discuss violence, without taking a stand on a particular gun control measure. It can address sexuality without telling it's members to vote for or against legalized gay marriage. And so on.

There are always a grey areas of course. And the law is very unfairly applied. For example, the Catholic church has become, for all intents and purposes, the Anti-Abortion church, and has stuck it's nose directly into this civil matter with no consequences at all. Same thing with the fundies and their anti-gay politics. And I think Reverend Wright crossed over the line as well.

But it is a difficult issue. Spirituality has social implications, and it is unreasonable and counterproductive to expect the churches to stop witnessing to the truth as they see it. What else are they for?
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. I love watching people tie themselves in knots over this
There will be someone in a few minutes making a convoluted argument that if King were alive today, he wouldn't be a minister.
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