Reaching beyond resistance

Lifelong civil rights activist Sallie Letterlough recently shared with me her great appreciation of Martin Luther King, Jr. At the same time, she reminded me that the civil rights leader wasn’t as popular among his fellow Blacks when he was alive. Many felt his nonviolent approach was too restrained.

Yet within two years of the March on Washington, where King spontaneously shared his “I Have a Dream” vision, segregated public facilities and discriminatory employment and voting practices were outlawed in the United States.

Looking back on that march as we prepared for a Sentinel Watch podcast interview, Sallie recalled the civil rights movement during King’s era as embracing what she called “the most compelling of ideas for all people, love.” She said, “As a Christian—a student of Christian Science—I understand this from the teachings of Christ Jesus: that the greatest commandment in the law is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind,” and that “the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37–39, Christian Standard Bible). As a people, we are in the process of practicing and demonstrating this old/new idea in all phases of life, including making progress in overcoming ‘systemic racism.’ ” Sallie also quoted a phrase from Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, saying that new ideas aren’t necessarily “speedily understood” (p. vii).

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Our unobstructed purpose in God’s kingdom
January 18, 2021

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