Posted by: Victor | December 13, 2007

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: “6 Principles of Nonviolence”

1.  Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people.

2.  Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding.

3.  Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice, not people.

4.  Nonviolence holds that suffering for a cause can educate and transform.

5.  Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate.

6.  Nonviolence holds that the universe is on the side of justice and that right will eventually prevail.

Source: The King Center



  1. There were several references to Martin Luther King, Jr, during all the press coverage on Obama’s Inauguration—and rightly so. He was the persistence and one of the martyrs behind the civil rights movement that brought the equality needed to allow us to consider such a bright, independent-thinking multi-racial, multi-cultural leader.

    Many people saw a fulfillment of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream Speech” that day, but MLK had another dream that we hope is not the nightmare of humanity. His speech, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence” was given on April 4, 1967 to a meeting of clergy at Riverside Church in New York City. The speech, one of his least known, is chock-full of timeless quotables on nonviolence and can be found at:

    or heard at:

    Here are a few paragraphs from it:

    “A genuine revolution of values means in the final analysis that our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies.

    This call for a world-wide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one’s tribe, race, class and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all men. This oft misunderstood and misinterpreted concept — so readily dismissed by the Nietzsches of the world as a weak and cowardly force — has now become an absolute necessity for the survival of man.

    When I speak of love I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response. I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality. This Hindu-Moslem-Christian-Jewish-Buddhist belief about ultimate reality is beautifully summed up in the first epistle of Saint John:
    “Let us love one another; for love is God and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. If we love one another God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

    Let us hope that this spirit will become the order of the day. We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate. As Arnold Toynbee says : “Love is the ultimate force that makes for the saving choice of life and good against the damning choice of death and evil. Therefore the first hope in our inventory must be the hope that love is going to have the last word.”

    SteveA says that this is how the meek inherit the earth—they are the only ones who can.

  2. I love your closing line.

    This call for a world-wide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one’s tribe, race, class and nation … has now become an absolute necessity for the survival of man.

    If what I understand about economics and peak oil is right, the highly distributed and individualized society we have now will become more and more unsustainable. The Church can forge a path forward, if they realize their calling in this time.

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