Nonviolent resistance works

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Frequently, when I discuss the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the notion arises that nonviolent resistance could only work in a First World country in which leaders and people settle their differences democratically rather than violently, as is usually the case in an autocratic Third World country.

If that were true about a First World country, Dr. King never would’ve had to devote himself to what ultimately cost him his life. Admittedly, though, no Third World country with a dictatorship, to my knowledge, had ever removed its leadership through nonviolent protests and boycotts. In the past two years, however, this has changed.

It started December 2010 in Tunisia. A massive, nonviolent revolution involving the majority of the people forced its dictator out in a month. Egypt followed, deposing Hosni Mubarak quickly with similar nonviolent tactics.

Syria has been a tougher nut to crack, and I grant it may be sliding into civil war. However, the armed opposition lining up against Bashar Assad is largely defected military personnel. That means the nonviolent protests of the past year have caused Assad to start losing his military support, which is the final sign in a revolution that the repugnant dictator may not have much longer.

I don’t mean to make nonviolent resistance seem like a bowl of cherries. Thousands of nonviolent protesters in the aforementioned countries have been killed, hurt and imprisoned. As Dr. King relentlessly preached and personally experienced, nonviolent resistance merely means only one side is fighting for change and freedom as peacefully and fairly as possible.

Nevertheless, nonviolent resistance works even in the brutal Third World, with far fewer people harmed than if both sides had been armed. And on his national day, had Dr. King never existed, we might never have discovered this miraculous fact.

I hope you have a lovely MLK weekend!

Nathan Kirby


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skeptic griggsy
skeptic griggsy 01/14/12 - 03:24 am
Dr. King's voice reverberates

Dr. King's voice reverberates through the ages!

Fundamental_Arminian 01/14/12 - 08:08 am
I wish that Mr. Kirby had

I wish that Mr. Kirby had given God the glory for the success of the Civil Rights movement. Dr. King, in his "I Have a Dream" speech, evidently knew how crucial it was to have God with him. That's why the speech closed in hope of the day when protestors could say, "Free at last! Thank God almighty, we're free at last!"

Nonviolent resistance needs God's help in order to work; otherwise, it can fail as happened in Tiananmen Square.

Something else: Dr. King didn't invent nonviolent resistance, but borrowed the idea from Mahatma Gandhi, who also hadn't invented it.

My main point is that the Civil Rights movement, with its nonviolent protests, grew out of churches whose members' concept of justice came from God's Word, the Bible. That's why Dr. King frequently quoted or alluded to Scripture and eagerly looked forward to the day when he could praise God for the movement's victory.

southernguy08 01/14/12 - 09:22 am
Congrats, Nathan, you

Congrats, Nathan, you actually wrote a letter that DOESN'T blame Republicans for all the ills of the world. See, that wasn't so hard.

Willow Bailey
Willow Bailey 01/14/12 - 10:18 pm
Great post, Fundamental

Great post, Fundamental Arminian. Dr. King was wise; he knew the power behind the dream. I think he also knew that in order for God to get behind us, our dreams have to line up with His will.

KSL 01/14/12 - 11:44 pm
I'm pretty certain there is

I'm pretty certain there is another side of the King family that is not known by the public. I grew up over there where they lived. They have gotten just as huge of a pass as Obama has, in particular his father and Martin, Jr, himself.

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