Listen to 'Love Your Enemies'

My column today, about Martin Luther King's urging us to love our enemies, was inspired by the brilliant sermon the slain minister delivered at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. I first read the text of "Love Your Enemies" in Strength to Love, a collection of King's sermons that his wife, Coretta Scott King, said best explained her husband's philosophy of nonviolence: His belief in a blind, loving presence that binds all of life.

In "Love Your Enemies," King says, "All [people] are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be."

"Love Your Enemies" is far too long to excerpt here, but it's so worth a read when you have the time. Or, to hear an audio of the sermon, delivered on Nov. 17, 1957, click here.