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The White Church

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter From Birmingham Jail
by

Chase Muramoto

on 14 April 2011

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Transcript of The White Church

The White Church The White Church Overview

Social Context

Henry David Thoreau
- Civil Disobedience Martin Luther King Jr.

- Civil Rights Activist

- Baptist Minister

- Founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Audience Directly: Birmingham Clergymen
Indirectly: -Supporters of the civil
rights movement
-National population Speaker Subject Dr. King believed that the white ministers, priests and rabbis of the South would be amongst his strongest allies
Instead they are opponents, who are refusing to understand the freedom movement
Contemporary church is just following the social status quo Rhetorical Triangle Diagram Occasion Response to the eight Clergymen's letter
"A Call for Unity"
Purpose to express his disappointment in the white church and to criticize their reaction to the recent demonstrations. Tone Sincere
Direct
Passionate 33. Other than a few exceptions, such as a non-segregated church service and the recent integration of the Spring Hill College, King is disappointed in the white church.
34. Even as a minister himself, he is disappointed by the church’s reaction to the recent demonstrations.
35. The white church of the south provided a strong base of support during the Montgomery bus boycott, and King expected the same support for the Birmingham demonstrations. However, many members of the church, as well as its leaders have directly opposed King’s latest movement toward freedom
Major Points of King's arguement 36. King claims that he came to Birmingham hoping to be welcome, and that the opposition he faced from the white church disappointed him.
37. Although southern religious leaders have encouraged their followers to comply with desegregation, most have only done so because it is law and not because it is morally right.
38. King questions the morality of southern Christians. He asks how they can stand by while fellow men and women suffer and are left without a voice to protect themselves.
39.King claims that he is only disappointed because he loves the church and he doesn’t want to see it ruined by the social and moral neglect of a few members or preachers.
40.Before Christians had become prominent throughout the world, they were considered “outside agitators” wherever they went. However, they knew, just as King and his protesters, that they were fighting for what was morally right.
41.The Church’s role has changed; rather than being the voice of change, the church has become to protector of the status quo.
42. If the church continues to oppose the civil rights movement, it will lose its legitimacy as a Christian church.
43. King questions whether he has had too much faith in the church, but he also thanks the people who have left the white church in order to support the civil rights movement. These people joined the movement, going against the convention of the white church.
44. King hopes that the white church will realize the error of its ways, but even if it does not, the civil rights movement will succeed. Just as the people of America have always won in their fight for freedom, King and his followers will win their fight for civil rights.
Rhetorical Techniques & Appeals "Let me take note of my other major disappointment." line 491

"In spite of my shattered dreams..." line 519

"In deep disappointment..." line 555 "I say this as a minister of the gospel, who loves the church; who has nurtured in its bosom; who has been sustained by its spiritual blessings and who will remain true to it as long as the cord of Rio shall lengthen." line 504-507 "I felt we would be supported by the white church. I felt that the white ministers, priests and rabbis of the South would be among our strongest allies." line 510-513 Lines 565-579 Visual Metaphor In section 4E. King argues, "Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound." (lines 581 - 582)
This quote expresses the change in the purpose of the contemporary white church of 1963, just like the vacuum cleaner, whose main purpose is to suck up dust and dirt on floors, but instead it is being used to maintenance the lawn. The whole meaning of the white church and the vacuum have been altered and does not fulfill what its main role in society should be. Thank You Chase Muramoto Collin Matsumoto Taylor
Uda Tyler
Yasuda
Full transcript