"But If Not" - A Sermon by Martin Luther King, Jr. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered this sermon at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia in November, 1967. For the life of me I can't find the exact date, almost any more info about it, or any transcription of it. So, since I'm currently unemployed and in honor of MLK Day yesterday, I figured I'd make myself useful and transcribe it. Enjoy! Transcription notes: A few uhs were taken out, as well as a stammer here or there. For the most part I've formalized spoken informalisms like 'ya' to 'you' and 'oughta' to 'ought to,' though I did leave in a few instances of 'gonna' just because I think it sounds better. I've bolded and italicized a few words that I think deserve special emphasis and which he emphasizes in his speech, but there are many times he raises his voice and "bolds" words that I have transcribed in regular type; I can't try to convey all his powerful intonations and speaking style via thicker font, you really just have to listen to it. Also, if you want to both listen to the embedded speech below (thanks to the wonderful Internet Archive) and read at the same time, please let me know if you spot any typos or mistakes in my transcription. But If Not There was a day when many of the Israelites found themselves in bondage in Babylon. There was a king of Babylon by the name of Nebuchadnezzar, you read about him a good deal in the book of Daniel, and it stands as an epic that will remain stenciled on the mental sheets of unfolding generations. Nebuchadnezzar was a mighty king, and when he ruled, he ruled and when he issued an order he meant business. And Nebuchadnezzar issued an order. He made a golden image and his order was that everybody under the reign of his kingship had to bow before that golden image and worship it. Now those of you who read the Bible remember that story. One day Nebuchadnezzar called in the judges and the governors and the sheriffs, and they had a dedicatory service for this golden image, and then he said to them "I'm instructing you to see that everybody bows before this golden image." But there were three young men around there. One's name was Shadrach, the other one's name was Meshach, and the other name was Abednego. And they answered--and I read it from the scripture--and said to the king "O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this manner [sic]. "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. "But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." [1] Now I want you to notice first, here, that these young men practiced civil disobedience. Civil...

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