Program Report: "Civil Disobedience" Seminar in Bartow, Florida

On October 26, 2015

On Saturday, October 24th, teachers from Central Florida gathered in the 1902 Historic County Courthouse in Bartow for a Seminar on Civil Disobedience led by Dr. David Alvis. An interesting topic which explored America’s founding and it’s roots in civil disobedience. What does civil disobedience mean? How far can a person or group act upon their convictions before it deemed not civil?

This seminar’s three sessions began with John Locke’s “Two Treatises” and the “Declaration of Independence”. Was the American Revolution “revolutionary” or merely a “war for independence” when compared to the French or Russian Revolutions? The second session considered Henry David Thoreau’s idea of conscientious disobedience, that a person is morally obligated to act upon any repugnant injustice or law, regardless of the outcome. However, with that idea came events like John Brown acting on his own moral authority to murder in the name of justice. Juxtapose Thoreau’s writings with Abraham Lincoln’s “Lyceum Address” and he warns of the dangers with “mobocracy” and the need for rule of law at all times. Our third session compared Dr. King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” writings to Malcolm X “The Ballot of the Bullet”. Overall, this was a very thought provoking day.

You may access the seminar materials for this program here.

If you would like to find a program like this in your area, please click here.


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