Martin Luther King Jr.’s Christian Appeal

16 Feb

The first thing I identified with while reading Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter From a Birmingham Jail was the Christian appeal. I’m Catholic and personally, the practice of faith and Christian ideals is beyond important to the way I live my life. If anything in his letter were to tug on my heartstrings, it would be that. I found promise in his approach through the Christian foundations he tied in. In my view, Dr. King Jr. spoke out towards the clergymen in the “we are all Christian brothers and sisters” approach. He wasn’t too blatant or too vague. The right amount of urgency was used.

In my own faith practice, I feel that it is my duty to reach out to my Christian brothers and sisters in all my actions. We are all practicing to grow stronger in our faiths, we have one common goal, and I believe that Dr. King Jr.’s purpose was to convey just that. He just wanted his fellow clergymen to understand that his goal was just the same as theirs. He just had plenty more hoops to jump through and desired their support. This is why my Christian heart felt compelled to feel something by his words.

The fact that MLKJ’s purpose was so strongly presented in his word choice and tone of voice was what drew me in. It is a speech in which I feel the power of the words, even though I do not have the opportunity to hear them spoken. Think back to the circumstance that he was in. He was sitting in little jail cell. He was there because he was fighting for what he believed was right. Imagine what it would be like to want something with all of your heart and feel so far from it. The disposition he displayed, and the hope he had, created a steadfast approach that could capture the attention many people.

He took many stories and happenings to relate himself with his target audience, the clergymen, but also many other audiences like the white moderate, religious peoples, parents, and the civil rights movement. As an example, Dr. King Jr. used the wording “your six year old daughter” when speaking of his own, but in that particular moment he reached out to the minds of mothers and fathers everywhere. He made that connection.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. showed many audiences, through his voice and hope for progress, that he was determined to end the suffering of colored people everywhere. He reached out to my Christian heart and the hearts of many others. Like he said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice anywhere.”


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