Americans today are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech,” which he delivered on Aug. 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial.
That speech echoed themes King, a Baptist clergyman, had been sounding since he had emerged as a leader of the Civil Rights Movement eight years before.
On Dec. 5, 1955, four days after Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Ala., for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white person, King spoke in Montgomery’s Holt Baptist Church at the end of the first day of a boycott he had been elected to lead against Montgomery’s bus system.
King stressed that the boycott movement’s foundation was the Christian religion. “Whatever we do, we must keep God in the forefront,” he said.
“I want it to be known throughout Montgomery and throughout this nation that we are Christian people,” he said. “We believe in the Christian religion. We believe in the teachings of Jesus. The only weapon that we have in our hands this evening is the weapon of protest. That’s all.”
He also expressed his conviction that God would judge nations by whether they obeyed Him or not.
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