King supported are the ones that guide the contemporary social workers. He believed that people had equal rights, despite of the color of their skin and their ethnic origin, and he proved that restricting those rights demeans both the oppressed and the oppressors. In the contemporary society where segregation according to various tokens, beginning from race and ending with sexual orientation or religious affiliation is still a vital problem, his ideas are very valuable.
In the Letter from Birmingham Jail the author did his best to prove the right of his people to organize civil non-violent actions of protest, as they were prohibited in the city of Birmingham at those times. In order to prove his viewpoint, Martin Luther brings the examples from the religious sources, such as the New and Old Testament, from the history of the American democracy, and from the world history.
For example, in order to explain and support his vision of the just and unjust laws Martin Luther provides the words of the middle-age catholic religious leader and mystic St. Thomas Aquinas, and when the need for the civil disobedience needs to be proved, he brings the example of the people who disobeyed the command to give all the Jews to the Nazi government both in Germany and occupied countries. To support this claim he also recalled the early Christians who refused to obey the orders of Nebuchadnezzar, as those were against their moral and religious beliefs.
In order to clear himself from the accusations in the extremism, Martin Luther recalled the well-known phrases and sayings by the famous people like Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, John Bunyan and the Christ's apostle, Paul, which sounded extremist, but their aim was clear and just; he proved that they were the extremists for love, justice and freedom.
In his writing Martin Luther talked about priests and ministers, clearly displaying that all of them were sometimes capable of the heroic words and deeds, and of the cowardice or malice prepense. The author emphasized that social status or occupation doesn't determinate the moral qualities of the human being. This idea is one of the basic principles of the contemporary social work. It is believed that a person who is in need has the right to receive help despite of age, race, gender, social status etc. Dr. King was one of the most prominent social activists who introduced this idea into the minds of ordinary Americans, bringing this value from the religious sphere to the social one.
Martin Luther King was a religious person, and at the beginning of his fight he hoped that the white clergy will support his claims, as they coincided with the values and norms that were promoted by them. Unfortunately, according to his own words "some have been outright opponents, refusing to understand the freedom movement and misrepresenting its leader era; an too many others have been more cautious than courageous and have remained silent behind the anesthetizing security of stained-glass windows."
By those actions the white religious leaders alienated numerous black, Latina and even white followers from their churches, as it was obvious for those people that by oppressing or being neutral towards the anti segregation movement is against all the principles they proclaim on their Sunday preaching, against the norms and values declared in the Bible.
Those events also gave Martin Luther King the opportunity to show to the