A Tennessee man rummaging in his attic found a taped interview his father had conducted with Martin Luther King, Jr., back in 1960. King talked about the definition of nonviolence: “It is a method which seeks to secure a moral end through moral means, and it grows out of the whole concept of love, because if one is truly nonviolent that person has a loving spirit, he refuses to inflict injury upon the opponent because he loves the opponent.”
A moral end through moral means. As opposed to the more common attitude of “The end justifies the means.”
I’m thinking about ways that might apply to wars and political campaigns and social action and business practices and church life, especially the part about refusing to inflict injury upon an opponent. Sometimes we can believe so strongly in the rightness of our cause that we’re willing to take moral and ethical shortcuts to get there.