The Question of Faith

Harold Camping - the man who predicted the end of the world. And got it wrong. Again. Image care of Wikimedia Commons.

This week I have a bundle of quotes for you, as the previous week extolled in me a need for some reason up in here.

Rapture has come and passed according to those who believed it – other Christian groups actually had members outside gatherings of these people to comfort them in their realizations – and so I thought it a good time to address not only faith, but to leave you with a little commentary on society…

“He who has faith has… an inward reservoir of courage, hope, confidence, calmness, and assuring trust that all will come out well – even though to the world it may appear to come out most badly. “
~B.C. Forbes

“Faith must be enforced by reason…When faith becomes blind it dies.”
~Mahatma Gandhi

“Faith and doubt both are needed – not as antagonists, but working side by side to take us around the unknown curve. “
~Lillian Smith

“I think we risk becoming the best informed society that has ever died of ignorance.”
~Reuben Blades

For the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Portrait of MLK Jr, by Betsy Reyneau, care of Wikimedia Commons.

I’ve been bad. I know I have. You see that “Quote of the Week” section on the blog and you think, “Hey, that Chris guy, he gives us great quotes each week…” But I’ve not been keeping up. The poems have been flowing, but each week when the time comes around to drop the weekly quotes, they seem to slip right out of my remembering. Bad Chris.

Well this week I’m getting back into the habit, and what better day to do that with than Martin Luther King Day?

MLK is a tragic and inspirational tale for us all – a man that pushed society to the brink, moved a nation with his words, and gave hope where before there had been little. He was but one face and voice in a movement crowded with them, but his is the one we most often hear echoing through the halls of time – reminding, humbling. A clergyman, activist, and leader in the stylings of Mahatma Gandhi, King was a Nobel Peace Prize recipient. Born on January 15, 1929, he energized the civil rights movement both before and after his assassination on April 4, 1968, at just 39-years-old. He was a Christian man, and a colorblind one; he opposed war, and fought to end poverty.

The man, the inspiration, the paragon of peace and advancement that was Martin Luther King Jr. was a master orator, and writer, and so today, I would like to share with you a few of his words. At the bottom you will also find a video of his legendary speech: “I have a Dream,” as well as the news broadcast from CBS’s Walter Cronkite that aired on the night of his murder. I can only imagine what it must have been like to be sitting there that night and suddenly be greeted with such a thing…even if King himself had predicted it. Even if he’d known.

So please, as this day passes you by, take some time to reflect on what this man once said, and on the messages he preached, which still ring as true today as they ever did, and ever shall, so long as man draws breath upon this earth.

“Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars…Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”

Give Me Liberty…

“No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.” ~Frederick Douglass

“Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err. It passes my comprehension how human beings, be they ever so experienced and able, can delight in depriving other human beings of that precious right.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

“Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.” ~Benjamin Franklin

“There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.” ~Nelson Mandela

What is this Human life?

“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

“If each man or woman could understand that every other human life is as full of sorrows, or joys, or base temptations; of heartaches and of remorse as his own…how much kinder, how much gentler he would be.” ~William Allen White