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First Law of Motion and the Civil Rights Movement

Isaac Newton (a 17th century scientist) put forth a variety of laws that explain why objects move (or don't move) as they do. These three laws have become known as Newton's three laws of motion.

Newton's first law of motion is often stated as:

“An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”

We have all experienced these forces when riding in a car. Seat belts are used to provide safety for passengers whose motion is governed by Newton's laws, providing the unbalanced force that brings you from a state of motion to a state of rest.

In one context, the Civil Right movement demonstrated Newton’s laws of motion as it moved against the status quo and worked to bring about change through non-violent means.  The leaders of the Civil Rights Movement suffered for the pressure they put on the status quo yet it did not deter them.

Jesus moved against the status quo throughout his ministry and conflicted with the religious authorities in Jerusalem.  They too tried to cut him down, but once God had been let loose in the world, it was very hard to resist this new momentum.

We are a better society today because of a tradition of brave men and women pushing and moving against the status quo. However, inertia is always there, and the United Methodist Church continues a legacy of inclusion through the support of ministries like Black Methodists for Church Renewal.  Let us continue to strive for Jesus’ example of a world in motion toward a brighter future of brotherly and sisterly love.