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Clothing sin in the beautiful garments of righteousness

“It seems to be a fact of life that human beings cannot continue to do wrong without eventually reaching out for some thin rationalization, to clothe an obvious wrong in the beautiful garments of righteousness.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary on 19 April 1961.

Looking back 50 years and across the Pacific ocean it is easy to see slavery in the USA as obviously wrong and the rationalization as very thin indeed. The question we need to face is what are we currently rationalizing and dressing up in pseudo-righteousness that will be seen by others (in other times or places) as obviously wrong?


  1. I think this is one of the great questions to ponder. What is it that people will look back on in 100 years and ask “How could they not see that?” My suspicion is that currently it may be to do with global resource inequities. Although I am heartened by the fact that my children (and their generation) seem to be more aware than my generation were a their age.


  2. “Global resource inequalities”… it took me a second read to realise what that means to my simple brain! That is certainly the one that comes to my mind also, that we are in fact filthy rich and have no comprehension of what poverty is and how normal it is.

    From a Christian perspective I am currently trying to understand what it means for us to have only minimal opposition when many Christians risk their lives in even converting to faith in Christ. In both these issues, what is a right response – a response that is based on faith in Jesus rather than faith in our own ability to make the world a better place?


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