On MLK, Non-Violence & The US
MLK could follow in Jesus' footsteps because Jesus walked there first. Only because the message of Christianity lay underneath American society could American society be moved by an example of this type, just as Gandhi's example worked against the British in India. Nonviolence as a method of social change, I am far from the first person to note, relies upon an underlying morality in the society you're trying to change. American society was predisposed to justice, even though it was not yet capable of achieving and making real that justice."American society ... hated seeing itself as engaged in violence in the cause of injustice." In the Left's world of moral relativism, where justice, injustice, good, evil, morality and immorality all blend into a confused spiritual ambivalence, a large portion of America has become unwilling to participate in any violence, no matter how just the cause.
That is why nonviolence worked. American society was shocked into making the hard changes necessary to achieve justice precisely because it hated seeing itself engaged in violence in the cause of injustice. America was not a wicked society, but only a society that was failing to live up to its ideals. The fact that it changed in response to MLK is proof of this: if it had been a wicked society, it would not have cared.
If we continue down this road, the next MLK standing up for a just cause will be debated and second-guessed, and will be unable to move society.