I decided to revisit Monday’s post and put the quote from MLK Jr. in context. It comes from the passage below from the book Strength to Love, which is a compilation of many of Dr. King’s famous sermons. Besides, Dr. King says it much better than I could anyway.
Let us move now from the practical how to the theoretical why: Why should we love our enemies? The first reason is fairly obvious. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction. So when Jesus says, “Love your enemies,” he is setting forth a profound and ultimately inescapable admonition.
Martin Luther King Jr., Strength to Love. New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1963. pp. 52-53.