Happy MLK Day! Some thoughts

The last few MLK days, I have made it a point to read his letter from the Birmingham jail, both to remind myself of how far we have come, yet also to remind me of how far we have to go. It struck me that his words for the church have relevance for us today as we see the division in the church has changed a bit from racial lines to the issues of politics, sexuality, and as we see here to the faith- science issue, though the racial aspect is still present though perhaps finding a proxy in social justice issues.
A quote from his letter:
"Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church’s silent and often even vocal sanction of things as they are.

But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust."

I would encourage you to read the full letter is you have the time. Here is a link if you so desire:

In an attempt to make this relevant to the forum, do you see any parallels to the science faith debate, or is such a comparison inappropriate, given the tremendous injustice of racism, and the piddly hurt feelings suffered by participants here? Is there common ground for discussion given the damage suffered by the church in both?


That is my favorite MLK piece. Really important still for today.

I don’t think we need cast about for relevance of King’s message. The least we can do (especially today!) is grant his message the dignity of fully and amply providing all the relevance to our human condition that any forum could hope to have. If anything, to try to make it about science, might even be to trade out the greater relevance for a lesser one. Not that we’ll find it easy to moderate just where all this discussion can go … granted. But still!

Just my two cents.

1 Like

We are studying MLK in our theology class in a three-part series. The Episcopal church has a special feast day for him and a collect:

Almighty God, by the hand of Moses your servant you led your people out of slavery, and made them free at last: Grant that your Church, following the example of your prophet Martin Luther King, may resist oppression in the name of your love, and may secure for all your children the blessed liberty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.


I don’t think it’s in appropriate to make connections between any irrational hate towards anything compared to racism. It’s all generalized delusional hatred that’s all encompassing of any one thing. I also think this will always exist and so we do our best it combat it as it expresses itself in our community. I also don’t believe racism is merely something that can be carried out only by a ruling party but can be expressed by anyone who hates someone solely on stereotypes of their race or by people who express self hatred through demonizing their own race as a form of penance and lastly as a form of self victimization by blaming all of their problems and their community problems against another race for the most part of it denying personal accountability. I think the same for hatred within the religious and science community.

You have religious people who think all scientists are mostly just politically driven liars who push a agenda just for finding and to undermine another political party and you have science focused people who believe all religious people are simply idiots with a fear of death clinging to out dated desert cult rantings. You also see various mix matching or science focused and faith focused conflicts.

I read some paper by the KKK guy , did not recognize his name at the time, but he was arguing something about subspecies within the human race such as whites were Homo sapien “ neanderthalensis” and blacks were like Homo sapien “sapien” and ect… while reading it before even knowing who it was I quickly realized that if there was any truth to the writings at all scientifically it was being misused to promote justification for racism and that was a example of science focused work being used to push racism and discrimination. Or how the eugenics program was pushed to “fix” those with undesirable traits to have kids.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

This is a place for gracious dialogue about science and faith. Please read our FAQ/Guidelines before posting.