Martin Luther King

Letter from Birmingham jail is a document which was written by Martin Luther King in response to a letter that was written by clergymen from the Southern town meant to persuade the blacks to end demonstrations. It was very significant in the struggle of the blacks towards equality as it inspired them to continue fighting until they acquired racial equality.

There were many themes that were covered in the letter which are inclusive of the necessity for a non violent action, difference between just and unjust law as well as Martin’s opinion regarding the failure of the God’s people to take their full responsibility.

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Therefore, the main aim of the letter was to push for the changing of the unjust laws as well as upholding the Supreme Court ruling of the year 1954. With that background in mind, the essay shall focus on Martin Luther definition of some issues like Revolution and compare the same with the description of other people like Henry David Thoreau.

Revolution has been defined differently by different people. The letter illustrates clearly that the only way to achieve revolution is through an action characterized by strength, determination and persistence. Martin’s letter explains that a non violent action which is usually taken after observing the need for freedom can be termed as revolution. He continues to clarify that those people who have grasped the meaning of social revolution are people like Lillian Smith and McGill who have written about the struggle of the blacks.

Therefore, according to Martin Luther, revolution is all about realizing the need for a powerful action that can solve the problem of segregation. Similarly, Jefferson believes that revolution does not involve violent actions. He explains that there is a difference between war and revolution. War occurs when the government helps to identify the bad people while revolution takes place due to people’s initiatives (Jefferson and Woods).

According to Marin Luther King, an extremist is any person who strongly persuades people to act and believe into what he believes is the right way (King). For instance, he says that the reason why he had been termed as an extremist is due to the approach he uses to tell people of how they can solve their discontent through a non violence direct action.

He applies the term extremist to illustrate people who made a difference in the society by being extremists in a positive manner. For instance, Jesus was an extremist for love and ended up even advising people to love even their enemies.

He emphasizes that the problem is not being an extremist but the type of an extremist one is. Martin Luther uses relevant examples is his explanation of he term extremist which is very significant as it helps people to grasp and understand what he is talking about more easily (King).

Martin Luther King was greatly influenced by Henry David Thoreau although they existed in different eras. Both wrote about the contemporary issues and are aimed at achieving justice and equality in the society.

David Thoreau may have laid the foundation for Martin Luther in many ways but the fact that Luther used to read Thoreau’s essay on civil disobedience must have been very influential. This is due to the fact that Luther came to adapt the same method of using nonviolent ways to stop evil in the society (Martin Luther King Jr. and Henry David Thoreau on Boundaries).

It is not only the content that makes Martin’s letter interesting but also the style and rhythm. The paragraphs and sentences are well developed and his use of repletion helps reinforce his points. Since he was raised in a well up background, he was able to obtain some education which helped him greatly in developing and presenting his ideas.

Moreover, he wanted to make sure all the blacks would get a chance to enjoy the social amenities he was able to enjoy as a child. His father was also actively involved in the fight for the rights of the black people. Therefore, the character of Martin Luther which is illustrated in his major works is a result of not only hard work, but also his background.

Works Cited

Jefferson, Thomas & Brett F. Woods. Thomas Jefferson: Thoughts on War and Revolution. New York : Algora Publishing, 2009. Print.

King, Martin Luther. “Letter from Birmingham Jail”. 1963. Web. 2 November 2010.

Martin Luther King Jr. and Henry David Thoreau on Boundaries. 2009. Web. 2 November 2010.

Martin Luther King

How Did Martin Luther Challenge Loyalty
To The Roman Catholic Church
In our society today, it is ruled with a firm hand.
Similar aspects of our modern society and how our society
was. Back then in the early fifteen – hundreds were
similar. Such as today the public has the right to free
speech and to build and choose a strong democracy, and a
responsible loyal leader. The people in our life want to
seek independence and live their own life from the ruler.
In a unique way, all things have a ruler for instance the
church in our case for Catholics, Pope John Paul is the
Catholic religion ruler; and as it was back in the fifteen-
Hundreds, a man named Martin Luther became an important
ruler. In the year of fifteen-seventeen, a German monk
named Martin Luther wrote a reformation that changed the
life of the Roman Catholic Church.

Martin Luther was born in Eisleben on November 10,1483
(Beers, Burton page 246). Luther’s family was peasants
but still being peasants they were wealthy. Luther was
survived by his father Hans Luther his occupation was a
copper miner(Flowers page 27). When Luther got older, his
father sent him out to study law at the University of
Wittenburg; not interested in the idea of law school,
Luther dropped the class sold his learning books and left
school. After Luther left school he later joined a
monastery. The reason why Luther decided to join a
monastery was one night, while walking home a storm began
to brew from up above while not taking shelter, lightning
struck Luther and in fear Luther cried ” Saint Anne, help
me; For I will become a monk”(Beers page 247). Being true
to his words Luther joined a monastery where he taught
Bible studies and studied theology in order to become a
professor. His friends and family were shocked by his
While in training Luther began to believe
that a person’s sin cannot be removed by just doing good
deeds but to have faith in god. With Luther’s beliefs he
then accuses the selling of indulgences or the removal of
sin after death in purgatory through money which was made
by the church. That is one way Luther is loyal to the
church but in this case Luther can do the opposite.

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Luther challenges loyalty against the church by
composing ninety-five questions for arguments against the
Pope, he also posts his reasons on the church of
Wittenburg, his reforms showed much impact on people’s
lives especially the peasants. These ninety-five questions
were called the ninety-five theses( Chambers page14 ).
Luther firsts starts out challenging loyalty to the Roman
Catholic Church by writing the ninety-five theses which
also were Latin proposals opposing the attitude the church
in raising money to build Saint Peter’s in Rome by selling
indulgences. Since his theses were in another language
they were later translated into German so that they may be
spread all over Europe. He later said that a person’s sins
cannot be reduced or removed by buying indulgences or by
doing good works but by only believing in God. His criticism to the church expanded and soon he battles the church authorities in other cases. He says that a Pope is not more powerful than the Bible’s authority and the conscience of a person. This means that the Pope cannot decide or judge someone by himself. A council of Bishops will decide what to do to the person who is accused. Pope Leo X was frightened at the movements of Luther. The Pope calls Luther and tells him to destroy all the theses he made or else he will be excommunicated. The church didn’t show loyalty to its people so Luther had to protest. The church was selfish. The Emperor Charles V questions him also about dropping his criticism. “But Luther refuses to withdraw his criticism about the church, (p.294).” He was tough like a “bull.” Instead, he declares, ” I cannot go against my conscience. Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise. (p.294).” This declaration made him as a leader of reform-minded churches in the Holy Roman Empire. Luther find shelter in Saxony, there he translates the Bible in German language


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