The "Ought" and the "Is" - A Reflection on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In January of 1955, in a speech titled “A Realistic Approach to Progress in Race Relations” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. boldly declared to an audience that was largely made up of clergy, “You must do more than pray and read the Bible” in order to destroy racism and segregation, “you must do something about it." He went on to say, "How often are our lives characterized by a high blood pressure of creeds and an anemia of deeds! We talk eloquently about our commitment to the principles of Christianity, and yet our lives are saturated with the practices of paganism…This strange dichotomy, this agonizing gulf between the ought and the is , represents the tragic theme of man’s earthly pilgrimage" ("Love in Acfion," Strength to Love 40). Dr. King repeatedly called the church, it's leaders, and those within it to find the courage to walk in the footsteps of the one whom we claim to follow, Jesus. King admonished us all that we must follow Jesus