Letter From Birmingham Jail

Identify the allusions in these two paragraphs How does King use these allusions to support his argument in favor of civil disobedience?

Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience. It was evidenced sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar, on the ground that a higher moral law was at stake. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians, who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks rather than submit to certain unjust laws of the Roman Empire. To a degree, academic freedom is a reality today because Socrates praticed civil disobedience. In our own nation, the Boston Tea Party represented a massive act of civil disobedience."

We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was "legal" and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was "illegal." It was "illegal" to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler's Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christain faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country's antireligious laws.

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Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego/ Laws of Nebuchadnezzar


Adolf Hitler

In the Book of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego defy the laws of King Nebuchadnezzar based upon their direct conflict with the men's religious beliefs.

The second allusion points to the example of what happens when people do not stand up to moral wrongs...... thus, the extermination of six million Jews at the behest of Adolf Hitler.


Letter From Birmingham Jail