My respect for Martin Luther King grows year by year. I also wish I had this on audio so I could hear his voice.
And we are not wrong; we are not wrong in what we are doing. If we are wrong, the Supreme Court of this nation is wrong. If we are wrong, the Constitution of the United States is wrong. If we are wrong, God Almighty is wrong. If we are wrong, Jesus of Nazareth was merely a utopian dreamer that never came down to Earth. If we are wrong, justice is a lie, love has no meaning.
I think sometimes we slide into relativism. We think that there is no right and no wrong. But I would hope that we all could agree 50 years after this speech that the opression of people of color in our world was wrong and is wrong. Those who lived during the days of slavery had to know that it was wrong no matter how hard they tried to justify it. The founding fathers of our nation had to know that injustice was wrong when they established a slave-holding nation. (It makes me wonder if I have any prejudices that I hold on to.)
Let us be Christian in all of our actions. But I want to tell you this evening that it is not enough for us to talk about love, love is one of the pivotal points of the Christian faith. There is another side called justice. And justice is really love in calculation. Justice is love correcting that which revolts against love.
This brings to mind the words of Saint James that faith must show itself in action. Not only did the blacks of Montgomery take a stand for justice, but some white allies as well.
Too often those of us who are not directly involved in a situation sit back because it is not us. I think of the Lutheran church in Nazi Germany (The Catholic church did little better). It was totally silent about the Jewish holocaust. (Deitrich Bonhoeffer being almost the lone exception). Where were the Christian voices for justice? I really appreciate the straight allies that we have in the struggle for LGBT equality. Without them we have no chance to change our society.
On a side topic: From what I have read, Rosa Parks was very active in the civil right movement before the famous "bus" incident. It was not something that happened out of the blue but was part of a plan. I really doubt she planned to become the pivotal figure that she eventually did, but it was part of an organized movement. (I could be misinformed about this, but that's how I understand it.)
Also we need to realize that the civil rights movement is not over. The struggle is ongoing. When black people make 58% as much as whites in the United States, there is still work to do. When all our presidents have been white men, there is still work to do. When the lower-income segment of our society is left poorer year by year, without medical care and in sub-standard schools, the fight for justice is far from over.