Hitchens once more from Indistinct Union by cjsmith ...Think of these great events in human history.–The Civil Rights Movement, as Taylor Branch’s multi-volume history (the best on the subject) has shown, was a RELIGIOUS AWAKENING. The secular press/academia teach that MLK was a political reformer (give him a day!!!) and the Civil Rights movement was a political movement. It was a religious movement that had political effects.
–Ditto, the abolitionist movement. It is was part and parcel of the Evangelical Awakening (2nd Awakening in US).
–Ditto Gandhi’s movement to overthrow British colonialism in India. A religious movement that had political effects.
–Aung San Su Kyi, influenced by Thich Naht Hanh (Vietnamese Buddhist monk) who himself learned from Christians (notably the Catholic monk Thomas Merton) to apply Buddhism to the social and political realm. The Burmese protest movement’s backbone is religious.
–Solidarity, the Polish labor union that precipitated the Fall of the Soviet Empire was a Roman Catholic movement. Vaclev Havel was writing prayers to God in jail and the Eastern Orthodox Church’s part in the Velvet Revolutions in 1989 has yet to be properly told.
–Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa.