Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes on Good & Evil (6 Quotes)


    My study of Gandhi convinced me that true pacifism is not nonresistance to evil, but nonviolent resistance to evil. Between the two positions, there is a world of difference. Gandhi resisted evil with as much vigor and power as the violent resister, but True pacifism is not unrealistic submission to evil power. It is rather a courageous confrontation of evil by the power of love....

    Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies - or else? The chain reaction of evil - hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars - must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.

    We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.

    Was not Jesus an extremist for love 'Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you.' Was not Amos an extremist for justice 'Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.' Was not Paul an extremist for the gospel of Jesus Christ 'I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.' Was not Martin Luther an extremist 'Here I stand I can do none other so help me God.' Was not John Bunyan an extremist 'I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience.' Was not Abraham Lincoln an extremist 'This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.' Was not Thomas Jefferson an extremist 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.' So the question is not whether we will be extremist but what kind of extremist will we be. Will we be extremists for hate or will we be extremists for love Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or will we be extremists for the cause of justice In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill, three men were crucified. We must not forget that all three were crucified for the same crime the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thusly fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment.

    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.


    He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.


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