The History Of Disobedience

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Throughout history, changes and movements have come in many different and unexpected forms. One form of change, disobedience, has continued to dominate the others in terms of effectiveness. Some of the greatest alterations made to the world have stemmed from some form of disobedience, such as the founding of the protestant church under Martin Luther and English Reformation. Often, the disobedience resulted from conflicting religious beliefs and interpretations of religious works. The history and formation of the United States of American provide an example of how disobedience shapes a nation. Disobedience of unjust laws, based on divine authority, laid the foundation of the American identity. Disobedience shaped the identity of the United…show more content…
While the government the founding fathers established had a purpose of protecting the divine rights granted to man, more issues arose due to the inability of the government to fully protect all human rights. Jefferson stated in The Declaration of Independence “that all men are created equal,” (Jefferson, 2014, p. 108). However, the government did not uphold this ideal. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the leaders of the civil rights movement, encouraged Americans to practice civil disobedience to attempt to make a change in the treatment the African-American people endured under the ideals of the government. Segregation laws were considered unjust under the divine law. They encouraged the unfair treatment of American citizens based solely on the color of their skin. A portion of the American identity established by the revolution, was an intolerance to unjust laws and actions. King explains in his Letter from Birmingham Jail that “injustice anywhere is a treat to justice everywhere,” (King, 2014b, p. 141). Therefore, the citizens had a duty to disobey injustice to achieve justice. However, disobedience only applies with unjust laws. According to King, “an unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law,” (King, 2014b, p. 144). Kings considers any law that does not align with the teachings of the Lord or the natural rights that all men possess as unjust. This echoes the ideas of the Founding Fathers that the British government defied the rights of the colonists. The American identity established during the founding of the nation, seems to accept the use of disobedience of unjust laws as a method of improving the American state. Without this disobedience, American citizens would lack an effective way to establish their dissatisfaction with the state of the
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