The Appalling Silence

More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.

Martin Luther King, Letter from Birmingham Jail, 16 April 1963

This is one of the many quotations from MLK’s ‘letter’ (actually, a succession of bits of letter written in newspaper margins and on scraps of paper that were all he could get hold of in jail) that I wasn’t able to use in my article for LICC yesterday.

I’ll doubtless be blogging more about it in future, as it is a powerful letter, with many points which still hold true for us today, but for now I’ll leave you with that, and this, the full quotation I used towards the end of my piece. I think it’s powerful and thought-provoking, and I hope you do, too.

So here we are moving toward the exit of the twentieth century with a religious community largely adjusted to the status quo, standing as a tail-light behind other community agencies rather than a headlight leading men to higher levels of justice.

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