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playThe Speech That God Martin Luther King Jr. Killed

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The Speech That Got Martin Luther King Jr. Killed

Words & Music By Bryan Sirchio

There’s a time when silence is a form of betrayal

So began Martin Luther King Jr. at Riverside Church

1967 was the year. He spoke truth about the war then so clear

That less than one year later Martin Luther King Jr. was gone, and that’s why some people say that…

This is the speech that got Martin Luther King Jr. killed

Prophets who challenge the powers are silenced still

Just think of Jesus in the temple, when he overturned the tables

How the powers got together, and said we’ve got to stop him while we’re able and…

This is the speech that got Martin Luther King Jr. killed

He said every war waged is fought most and paid for by the poor

Poor folks of color are on the front lines of this war disproportionately

War drains human skills and money like a huge demonic suction tube

Money spent on war instead of raising up the poor is unjust and cruelly misused

He said, how can I tell angry black folks to march peacefully

When power trying to change things through violence is all their eyes see?

How can I make the cause for non-violent action, which I believe is how real social change will happen

Without speaking first to the greatest purveyor of violence in our world today—my own government—

The USA—I can’t be silent

This is the speech that got Martin Luther King Jr. killed

He said I speak to you today as a winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace

The prize commissioned me to work for wholeness for the entire human family

This is a calling that takes me beyond all national allegiances

As does the meaning of my commitment as a Christian and to the Christian ministry

He said, sometimes I marvel at those who ask why I speak against the war

Could it be that they don’t know the good news of God’s Love is for everyone?

That means communist and capitalist, all races and all tribes

Revolutionaries and conservatives alike

It means I speak in the name of the One who loved his enemies so much he died for them

This is our burden and our privilege when we’re bound by loyalties deeper than nationalism

We’re called to speak out for victims of our nation and those it labels “enemy.”

And when I try to understand their point of view, and all the terror and injustice they’ve been through

It seems to me in this case America’s on the wrong side of history

This is the speech that got Martin Luther King Jr. killed

He said, this war has got to stop now—yes this madness must cease

He said, I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of our enemy

He said, I speak as a citizen of the world for the world stands aghast at the path we’ve taken

He said I speak as one who loves America, and who cares deeply for our troops

He said its time for us to undergo a true revolution of our values

And say that war itself as a way of settling differences must come to an end

For a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on the military

Than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death

Chorus

updated: 1 year ago

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