The statement included seven affirmations. The seventh was, “That every human being is created in the image of God and is entitled to respect as a fellow human being with all basic rights, privileges, and responsibilities which belong to humanity.”
Eight of these clergy were later addressed in Martin Luther King’s powerful Letter from Birmingham Jail, but there is no evidence he was aware of this Jan. 16 letter, which brought threats and hate mail and nationally brought many letters of support and praise.
King’s letter was rather a response to their April 12 statement asking Birmingham citizens to refrain from demonstrations in light of the current elections in Birmingham. “In Birmingham recent public events have given indication that we all have opportunity for a new constructive and realistic approach to racial problems.” This was known as the White Ministers’ Good Friday Statement.
The Rev. Doug Carpenter