On this day in 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and delivered what I still think is one of the greatest speeches in history – his I Have a Dream speech.
Martin Luther King III, president and chief executive of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, described his father’s vision and view of religion in this way:
[Martin Luther King] said that any religion that is not concerned about the poor and disadvantaged, ‘the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them and the social conditions that cripple them[,] is a spiritually moribund religion awaiting burial.’ In his ‘Dream’ speech, my father paraphrased the prophet Amos, saying, ‘We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.’
By the standards of Amos we still can not be satisfied. The dream King envisioned has not yet been realized. And that means there is still work for all of us. And we have no business calling ourselves religious people unless we do our part.
If you have never watched or listened to the speech, take the time to do so today. If you have – do so again. The message is one we still need to hear. A youtube video of the speech is here.