Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Teachings On Love Extend to Climate Leadership

Martin Luther King Jr. was a champion of social justice who often relied on his Baptist theology to motivate millions through arguably one the most difficult times in American history. 

Once again, America is faced with trials that test our ability as a nation to overcome the social injustices that plague our vibrant society. From the recent events in Ferguson that stirred millions to seek justice for black communities, to the millions suffering the plight of climate change around the world, America is left with only one choice – to reevaluate our actions.

Climate change is a social justice issue. As it stands, our current environmental decisions have displaced millions, the majority of which, come from impoverish communities. This not only makes climate change a social justice issue, it makes it a moral one.

Martin Luther King, Jr. relied on one crucial religious teaching to guide him through the difficult struggle of obtaining social justice. 

In a word, Agape.

The Greek term, later appropriated into christian theology, teaches us that to display reverence for God, we must first care for our fellow man. As Thomas Jay Oord once wrote, Agape is "an intentional response to promote well-being when responding to that which has generated ill-being.

As you move forward in leading on climate action, maintain this theological underpinning as the bases for all you do. 


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