Martin Luther King, Jr. Quote Applies to Any Advocacy


“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

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45 Responses to “Martin Luther King, Jr. Quote Applies to Any Advocacy”

  1. This mornings New York Times had a full page ad on page A7 with another Martin Luther King Jr. quote:

    “It does not matter how long you live, but how well you do it.”

  2. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” MLK, Jr.

    Can anyone articulate how the quote applies to US and THIS advocacy? In concretizing it, in bringing it home, our hearts and minds come to see and understand how it can transform us.

    • True. The fact that it it a quote doesn’t mean it is right to or that the technique works, or works quickly.

      Love didn’t drive out the Nazis, or Saddam Hussein, or Osama Bin Laden. Sometimes you need brute force.

      Here’s another quote – “You get a lot more with a kind word and a gun than with just a kind word”.

      • So should Martin Luther King have fought for racial equality with an armed group of advocates? Having armed forces defend a country is whole other ballgame than any type of advocacy work. I was a social worker for many years,and was able to make many differences armed with my intelligence,passion,and work ethic. This is classic Patrick, I am just picturing every advocate for any cause reading this right now. Supporters who fight to stop violence against women,child abuse of any nature,child hunger,disease, sex trafficking,all deciding brute force and weapons are the way to go.

      • Patrick, I say this because I have experinced it first hand. I have sat in an office two feet away from adults who have sexually and physically abused children. Men who have battered women,parents who have neglected their children to the point of malnutrition. I have had to rely on my basic love of humankind to even work with these clients. It is the most difficult thing in the world but if I only brought hate and darkness to my work with them -there would be no light..ever.

      • Kathy, you are oh so right! And thanks very much for sharing that comment!

      • Dr. Who, I removed your quote because of the gun/violence reference directly aimed at Archbishop Chaput.

      • Susan – “Dr. Who, I removed your quote because of the gun/violence reference directly aimed at Archbishop Chaput.”

        Let’s be fair; I never mentioned the word “gun” or suggested any violence in reference to Chaput or anyone else.

        I was simply agreeing with portions of Patrick’s post. Please reread it.

      • DrWho and Patrick. We posted our comment policy specifically for these type of comments. Obviously you both have felt my anger over the past few days and it is only fair to explain to you where that anger comes from. In our work with C4C and justice4pakids we do so much work people will never know about. We are contacted off site all of the time. Today I spent hours trying to help a woman who had concerns about a Megan’s law offendor being on school property at a nearby school. Each day something comes up where I am given the opportunity to help protect children. We spend so much time on all of this and then I log onto the site and read comments about kind words with guns and hitting someone with a 2×4. What is any of this venting accomplishing at all? How is it protecting even one child -one? I am angry and I will vent but that is not all I will do -because it helps no one -it certainly doesn’t help children.

      • Kathy – Yes I mentioned hitting someone between the eyes with a 2X4, but that was a metaphorical 2X4, not an actual 2X4.

        I understand that such distinctions may not come across clearly in a short post, no problem.

      • I understand that folks have very strong feelings about the Church. Actually, I think most C4C bloggers feel that way.

        However, how those feelings are expressed is an issue. It’s no accident that a blog, indeed this blog, used Martin Luther King as a starting point. One of King’s greatest and most effective strengths was his commitment to non violence. This is a model, worthy of a lot of respect, it also fits very well with Susan’s and Kathy’s desire that civil discourse is the game plan, on C4C, however annoyed a blogger may be.

        Certainly, not everyone has to agree with that approach and may want to express their point of view, differently. I feel sure that there are blogs that would welcome a more aggressive approach.

      • Dr. Who, I’m just very sensitive about not “inspiring” violence. Child sex abuse is such a heinous crime. I’m sure it wouldn’t take much nudging to push someone over the edge. I do appreciate your comments and I hope you don’t take the removal personally.

      • Susan is right about child sex abuse being such a heinous crime and it deserves rational solutions. I think sometimes people like to post the most absurd ideas simply to get a reaction out of others.This is not a game to me nor is it a contest about who can scream the loudest. People often mention to me the absurdity and some of the most outlandish comments they have seen continually posted on the site. These comments are from the people who have put the time,energy and even their own money on working on this issue and have results to show in the protection of children. Very concrete ,positive results. And accomplished without lie detector tests,dungeons or guns.

      • Okay that sounded confusing. The people making the comments about how absurd and outlandish the solutions/ideas offered by some ,are the people with a proven track record in the field of child protection/abuse/advocacy.

      • Brute force doesn’t mean you have to use a gun, but it might mean you use law enforcement to get a job done. The Nazis and the mafia weren’t defeated by love, and neither are drug kingpins.

        I look at the Catholic church like the mafia – an institution that is hiding the world’s largest organized child rape syndicate. If Catholics asked for it, they could have the FBI use the same RICO statutes that they use against the mafia to infiltrate the Catholic church.

        There’s more than one way to fight crime, and we have different opinions.

      • Patrick, law enforcement hands are tied in Pa. because of the statute of limitations. They are more frustrated than anyone (aside from the victims) RICO has been explored at many levels,many times over. If I thought calling the FBI and asking them as a catholic to use RICO, I would have made that phone call. I am not using “love” I am using my rights as a citizen of Pa. to advocate for necessary SOL reform, which leads to justice.

      • Susan – “Dr. Who, I’m just very sensitive about not “inspiring” violence.”

        No problem Susan. I understand that this blog is open to the world, and there are unbalanced people out there. In the future I will be careful not to use figurative language that may be interpreted literally.

      • Kathy you stated, “These comments are from the people who have put the time, energy and even their own money on working on this issue and have results to show in the protection of children. Very concrete, positive results Very concrete, positive results. And accomplished without lie detector tests, dungeons or guns.”

        I know I have stated this many time before, but I did play a major role in putting a pedophile priest in prison, and he’s still there. I put my money, heart, and soul into getting him into his new living accommodations.

        In the process, the Church was very heavy handed with me, but they lost! Following my experience, it’s hard for me to use kid gloves when dealing with the RCC. One has to be as forceful as the law permits in order to have any chance of receiving justice from this organization. But I agree, no lie detector tests, dungeons or guns permitted.

      • drwho, I do remember your efforts of putting a pedophile priest in jail , I like how you refer to it as new living accommodations. And I agree also ,one has to be as forceful as the law permits, and in Pa. the law is not that forceful. I am sure in your own situation it was not just a matter of you picking up the phone, calling the police -all wrapped up in 5 minutes and you went about your day. It was probably a long complicated process and you were thrown under the bus at every turn -but you persevered. .That is exactly what I was trying to convey in some of my comments. Just because we realize how important SOL reform and mandatory reporting are in this issue, anyone can choose to focus their energy somewhere else. It gets old to continually be told what we should do,presented in a way that seems unbelievably easy ,when we know the amount of time and energy our efforts involve. And then throw in some unrealistic solutions and outcomes – makes it even harder when we know the reality.

    • Patrick, just google RICO and the catholic church and you will see how many articles have been written on this subject. You simply can’t just “ask” for this to happen, wouldn’t life be great if you could. Here is a link to one effort that failed. I never say never, we may see this happen at some point . If RICO is successful at some point it will not be because some catholics ‘asked” for it. I encourage everyone to take up the efforts they think best on this issue. It is not about agreeing or disagreeing but using your time as productively as possible in the avenue you feel will be successful. So if you have a plan -why not implement it. Social media is a gift in this world today. You can draw supporters from across the nation and the world who believe in your approach/efforts. http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/mass_tort_litigation/sexual_abuse/

  3. From Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”

    Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.

    Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up, but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of light and air, injustice must be exposed with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.

    We must use time creatively in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.

  4. Had it,

    For me, it’s about not letting anger toward Church leadership fill me with hate. That would change who I am and how I approach conversations with fellow Catholics. I want the truth to be understood more than I want to be heard. The truth is the light.

    Susan

  5. MARTIN LUTHER KING explained GOD’s Agape Love at his speech at Illinois Wesleyan:

    “Now agape is understanding creative redemptive goodwill for all men. It is an overflowing love, which seeks nothing in return. Theologians would say that it is the love of God operating in the human heart. And when one rises to love on this level, he is able to love the person who does the evil deed, while hating the deed that the person does. And he is able to love those persons that he even finds it difficult to like for he begins to look beneath the surface and he discovers that that individual who may be brutal toward him and who may be prejudiced was taught that way—was a child of his culture. At times his school taught him that way. At times his church taught him that way. At times his family taught him that way. And the thing to do is to change the structure and the evil system, so that he can grow and develop as a mature individual devoid of prejudice. And this is the kind of understanding goodwill that the nonviolent resister can follow if he is true to the love ethic. And so he can rise to the point of being able to look into the face of his most violent opponent and say in substance, do to us what you will and we will still love you. We will match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We will meet your physical force with soul force. And do to us what you will, and we will still love you. We cannot in all good conscience obey your unjust laws because non-cooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. And so throw us in jail, and as difficult as that is, we will still love you. Bomb our homes and threaten our children and as difficult as it is, we will still love you. Send your hooded perpetrators and violence into our communities at the midnight hours and drag us out on some wayside road and beat us and leave us half-dead and we will still love you. But be assured that we will wear you down by our capacity to suffer. And one day we will win our freedom but we will not only win freedom for ourselves. We will so appeal to your heart and your conscience, that we will win you in the process. And our victory will be a double victory. This is the meaning of the nonviolent creed. This is the meaning of the nonviolent ethic.”

    Link: http://www.iwu.edu/newsrelease06/KingSpeech5.shtml

  6. Haddit, I think mature ‘tough love’ is what is called for in THIS advocacy. And facts are part of that tough love. So is legislation.

    I think Susan is right about anger and the Church.

    I think Sybil’s King quote is stunning, especially the part about understanding how one’s opponent got there.

  7. “The Catholic church and its congregation is breaking up upon is own rock, by its own hands and deeds, by its own lack of honesty. It is nothing more than floating debris, and all that keeps it from sinking down into the darkness is the tissue of lies and the frightened faithful who cling to these lies.” Go to: http://ncronline.org/news/actors-play-exposes-irish-hell

    The above quote comes from the “National Catholic Reporter” dealing with a one-man play (James X) about abuse in Ireland. However, the NCR article also states that “Given the subject and its high-profile backers, I can easily see it traveling from New York to other American cities — Boston and Philadelphia, to name two.”

    It’s hard to see any light or love within the leadership of the RCC. The light and love will have to come from somewhere other than these despicable men. My anger toward Church leadership is directed toward disrespecting them, and keeping their immoral actions in the public eye. I also do not give them money, and discourage others from doing so.

  8. “Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man’s sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.”
    Martin Luther King Jr.

    • It strikes me that we all have our favorite King quote, mine is the Free at Last speech, where King wants his own children and all children ‘judged on the content of their character, not the color of their skin.’

      I would be hard pressed to find any hierarchal quote, from bishop, cardinal or pope that springs to mind. Nor do we declare and celebrate a national holiday in their honor.

  9. Nine mature and affirmative responses, just what one needs to hear to start their day.
    For many there is nothing more than helplessness.

  10. I was at a Mass today where the priest took a shot at the immoral behavior sometimes exhibited by Dr. King in his private life- I am sure it referred to his extra marital affairs- which his wife Coretta knew of and forgave him.
    Very interesting how people who live in glass houses sure feel comfortable throwing the first stone! Disgusted is all I can say….

    • Leave it to a Catholic priest to note the fallible SEXUAL nature of a man who produced an infallible message.

    • Celticseeker, unless there is some hugely compelling reason to attend THAT Church why not use your car keys and find one with a priest that is not offensive. I think Newman Centersa can be a safer bet.

      • Why do any of you want attend a “den of inequity?” I see it as being saved from the “fiery furnace” and then going back in to see what’s going on. What’s the reasoning or just plain commom sense for that/?

        Their(the RCC)) traditions are not Christ’s Their saying that they can consecrate and transfer that consecration to you, is an impossibility. YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN CONSECRATE THE BREAD AND WINE INTO THE BODY AND BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST..No priest can do this for you.

        It is YOUR FAITH , your BELIEF SYSTEM , and ONLY YOURS, that can do this. Other wise it is a “magic thing” which it it not. it is real substance and should NOT be treated as a”phenomenon” that only priests can do….. THIS IS MY BODY , THIS IS MY BLOOD, “DO THIS IN REMEMBERANCE OF ME”

        You can not transfer your belief system to another. What do you think of this as a logical way of believing in the communion HE wishes for us to have with HIM? Are we able ?

        If it could be transfered, wouldn’t we want all people to be partakers of Christ and not say no, you can’;t come to communion unless you are Catholic. How arrogant to think we are the only ones who God Blesses… If it were the “REAL deal” allways, all Christian people would be crawling to church to touch Christ in communion.There is a terrible lie being perpetuated by all Catholics.

        YOU CONSECRATE, ONLY YOU!

  11. Susan or anyone, I wish you would reply to this comment above that I made. It is very “far out” for those who still believe in the priest’s consecration of the bread and wine. I’d like to hear your rebut if you have one. Fr. Tom Doyle agrees with me. Check it out.

    • Gloria,
      While I may agree with parts of what you shared, the way it’s presented can be a challenge. Namely the capital letters…which in internet ettiquette equates to shouting. This site was created for catholics, who love their church, but are working to make children safer (in and out of the church) through legislation. I’m all for sharing experiences, opinions, our take on how the catholic church can help make children safer…but at no time do I think the catholics who come here should believe what I believe.

      I often get the impression that you are trying to convert catholics to something else and that isn’t the purpose of this site. Central to Catholism is the Eucharist…and while I don’t agree with every single thing the catholic church teaches, I am wrong to try to “convince” others who love their church and believe in its teachings to believe as I do.

      I say, believe what you will about the Eucharist, all Sacraments, the Holy Spirit, mortal sin, saints, Mary…but for crying out loud, protect your children and hold your hierarchy accountable.

  12. Thank you so much for replying. I just wanted to see what others thought of our take on the Eucharist…I’m so into protecting our precious ones that I have been blogging for over ten years, all over the world. It’s been a labor of love to save them from the “evil ones” and bring our Blessed Savior back to them . Sorry if I presented it it in a way that was offencive to anyone.

    I still say “Christ is the Answer,” not the RCC. The “KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN. I know that capitalization, many years go, was thought to be shouting. I believe it also can give super prominence to the “words.”. Which I feel communion is., a “sacred gift”to each of us as Christians.

    You advise me, gently, as I will you, that these CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY (emphasis mine) is all over the RC World and there should be a way to put a stop to it. My way is leaving! and continuing the fight in HIS WAY, not mine, on line. Yours maybe staying but as long there are people who put up with these people who commit Crimes Against Humanity in their midst, it will never stop no matter if you blog and do all you can, if they can still count you as one of them, it’s a futie task. IMHO

    I am a “great grandmother” and was in the church for 60 years as a convert. and doing my best to be the best catholic I could be but finally had enough of the evil and we left in 2001.
    I’ll be 83 in August.

    I will continue to blog to save our innocents all over the World by evil priests, nuns and
    brothers. The religious in our family; a Dominican nun and a Holy Cross, Notre Dame brother, told us things we would not believe…It took a lot to get us to believe them but when we knew they were telling the TRUTH we also knew that they both died too early of broken hearts. We were apologists for the church for years. No one could say a word against it. How sad that made us, that we didn’t believe them. .

    The Lord Jesus Christ lives in our hearts, thanks to the Charismatic Renewal that brought the Gifts of the Holy Spirit into our lives, back in thev 70’s, when things then were not getting better in the R Church.

    I’m so glad to get your opinion. Thanks and God Bless you. gloria

    • Gloria, you have a perfect right to your point of view and there are literally thousands of ‘religious’ sites, where you can share your insights.

      This site as SW has pointed out “was created for Catholics who love their Church, but are working to make children safer (in and out of the Church)”. with an emphasis on legislation, to protect children.

      I, too feel as if you are trying to religiously ‘convert me’ and I don’t think that is appropriate to this site.

    • Gloria,
      Keep sharing your story. I need to hear it and I’m sure others do too.

      I understand you don’t intend to offend. I think of all the catholics who come here…looking, searching for some way to make sense of all this, or a way to be involved, or even a place to say they don’t agree with how C4C is handling things…if all they are ever given is how they are wrong to believe what they know to be true, then they will never listen to another word said.

      I will never debate a catholic about the Eucharist, or any Catholic teaching or their love of their church (or school)…because I know what I believe and why I believe it. I don’t need a theology debate. I trust they hold as firm to their beliefs as I do to mine.

      But, I know they’ve got some things all wrong. The truth of my husband’s experiences are evidence and he wasn’t alone. The treatment my family received because I supported my husband was immoral and bordered on criminal. I know there are other families suffering too. I can be their voice. When catholics question why things are the way they are or wonder how they got to this place…I can share my experiences and you can share yours Gloria. The laity have a right to know…a responsibility to know. Their hierarchy won’t tell them, so it’s up to us. We get this opportunity! 83 years old!!!…I pray I am a fighter for innocents then too…God willing. Peace, Gloria

  13. I am not a religious person. I am a Spiritual person. I do not try to convert anyone, I just want them to see that giving your life to an “institution” and what they tell you to do and say, is not the same as; having a good relationship with Jesus Christ by reading HIS Word on a daily basis and basing your life on HIS WORDS. . You get so tangled up with the rules and regs of the Hierarachy, that Jesus and HIS Apostles and deciples seem to be just a side line to look at when you feel like it.

    The Bible is your” How to Book.”. Your everyday way to find yourself, and how to get through life, in this tangled web that the devil trys so hard to confuse us with.

    We need the WORD Of GOD *to Stand Tall in this life, to make sure we have put on the Full Amour of GOD” Which is the *SWORD of SALVATION..We fight with HIS WORD! WE know them , we live them , we breathe them. The Joy of the Lord is our strength!
    Thank you! I have His Peace ,which supasses all understanding” God is always willing , if we are willing to hear HIM! ” Be silent and know that IAM GOD” I will be for a while.

  14. I just wanted to share this very good news with everyone. These SOL reform Bills were introduced in the Pa. Senate. As many remember similar legislation has been held up in the Judiciary committee of the House of Reps for many months. These Bills will not be held up in the Senate -best news in a long time. Maureen Martinez and Bob Riley,two local Catholics who cofounded Justice4Pakids deserve a lot of credit for this development. They took their anger and focused on what could be done for justice for victims and protection of children.

    http://justice4pakids.com/2012/01/19/dinniman-introduces-bill-for-victims-of-childhood-sexual-abuse-legislation

    • This deserves its own post, and everyone involved deserves a great deal of credit. Thank you.

    • Very good news.

      What is finally registering with people, thanks to knowledge and information, is the “festering” nature of sexual abuse trauma, and how it takes years if not decades for victims to reach a psycho-emotional “ready” point. For way too long our society took a light-weight approach to this, if not a blind one, failing to see, accept or understand the truth of it. In doing so, we added to, compounded and/or prolonged the suffering of victims. I so regret that.

      Thanks, Kathy, Justice4Pakids, and Dinniman. Very good news.

  15. That’s absolutely terrific, Kathy! Please thank Maureen and Bob!!!!!!

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