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Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. brought biblical themes of justice and prophetic passion to the campaign for black civil rights. Many of his most famous speeches drew both their biblical allusions and sermonic cadences from his background as a Baptist minister. Evangelicals today look to King’s role in the civil rights movement as an exemplary illustration of how to blend religious witness and political activism in support of the common good, often using King’s example to rebut secularist claims that religion and politics should never be mixed.

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  • Jim Crow South’s lynching of blacks and Christianity: The terror inflicted by whites was considered a religious ritual.
    "I should emphasize that blacks of the era understood lynching as rooted in the Christian practice of white southerners. 'It is exceedingly doubtful if lynching could possibly exist under any other religion than Christianity,' wrote NAACP leader Walter White in 1929, 'No person who is familiar with the Bible-beating, acrobatic, fanatical preachers of hell-fire in the South, and who has seen the orgies of emotion created by them, can doubt for a moment that dangerous passions are released which contribute to emotional instability and play a part in lynching.'
  • Interview with Carlton Lee - Michael Brown's Father's Pastor
    Let me tell you, the movie “Selma” was like a fairytale compared to what we had to go through in Ferguson. The crap we went through in Ferguson, it was some serious, serious stuff.

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