There is much to discuss and think about, and I’m sure I will speak about it more on Shabbat, but for this moment I’ll share one idea. When we visited the sites of the civil rights movement and spoke to the people who marched and were involved in organizing it, it struck me how religious ideas, biblical passages, and expressions of faith framed so much of their vision for equality and freedom.
The face of the movement was, of course, a clergyman and the language he used over and over was Biblical — but it’s much more than that. The individuals we spoke with — Bernard Lafayette, one of the movement's main organizers; Dr. King’s congregants and neighbors; and others in the community — all saw their struggle through religious lenses. The greater purpose of Divine love, and the human image of God, were their guiding lights and their truth.
Below is a photo of the famous Edmund Pettus Bridge where the march from Selma to Montgomery began. Interestingly, on the other side of the bridge, which was only reached in the third march when federal troops came to accompany and protect the marchers, there is a memorial for those who were killed in the struggle for civil rights.