This month’s release of the movie Selma, and the Oscar buzz accompanying it, reminds us of the spellbinding oratorical capabilities of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who is widely credited (by President Obama, no less) with the quote at the top of this blog.
What I didn't realize is this particular turn of phrase actually came from 19th-century Unitarian minister Theodore Parker. In an 1853 sermon on "Justice and the Conscience," Parker declared:
"I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice."