John Lewis —
The Art & Discipline of Nonviolence

An hour with the extraordinary humanity of Congressman John Lewis. The civil rights movement he helped animate was — as he tells it — love in action. He opens up the art and the discipline that made nonviolence work then — and that he offers up for our common life even today.

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is a member of the United States House of Represent- atives from Georgia’s 5th District. He's also the author of Walking with the Wind and Across That Bridge.

Video Interviews with Krista Tippett

In the Room with Congressman John Lewis

Before a live audience in Montgomery, Alabama, Krista interviewed the civil rights legend John Lewis during The Faith & Politics Institute's annual Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage. Watch their complete, unedited conversation from a front-row seat in the room.

Selected Audio

Celebratory Sounds in Remembrance of the Struggle for Civil Rights

Journey with Krista and experience a few audio highlights of the 13th Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage organized by the Faith & Politics Institute. Feel free to download them and share with your friends and family!

About the Image

Congressman John Lewis attends Sunday worship services at Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church in Selma, Alabama before retracing his footsteps across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

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Mr. Lewis, thank you for making such a positive impact on my day and my life. I also believe in the importance of building a beloved community through love and nonviolence. I believe that this not only Dr. King's dream, but it is also God's dream for all creation. Like you, I believe that I'm not doing enough and I'm not reaching out effectively to the younger generations. Would you be interested in working on a redrafting of the Pledge of Nonviolence from the civil rights movement, to create a "Pledge of Nonviolence for the New Millennium? The idea is to take this pledge and put it into todays context and into today's words. However, the key points of love, nonviolence, sacrifice and service would remain consistent. I felt "lead" to start this recently and found the process of recreating the pledge both powerful and transformative.

Skip Hutton
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee Member
St. Augustine, Florida

Hello, I haven't listened yet, but I am super excited and grateful for the show. I am a doctoral student at the University of Florida who has studied with Dr. Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons, mentioned by Vincent Harding in his broadcast on your show. It has been wonderful to learn about the Black Freedom Movement from Dr. Harding's words and now from Mr. Lewis'. Your work has greatly enriched my studies. You should definitely interview Dr. Simmons, here in Gainesville, Florida! She would be a great addition and interesting perspective to round out the two freedom movement interviews you already have showcased.
Thank you!

That a man who derives his income and political power from the threat of violence towards the inhabitants of the geographical territory controlled by the him and his colleagues operating under the color of the "United States Government" dares to lecture on the 'art and discipline of nonviolence' demonstrates a level of hubris and intellectual sophistry of truly amazing proportions.

Ms. Tippet, I have admired your work for years, but shame on you for not recognizing this internal conflict in logic. Non-violence, more properly called non-aggression, is a principle which stands in absolute contradiction to any form of government which relies on the threat of violence to extract obedience from those over whom it claims to have sovereignty.

Mr Escher, With all due respect sir, you are making an assumption about an individual (Mr. Lewis), whom you have likely never met nor studies, based on a generalized belief you hold about the institution of Congress rather than the actions of this individual. Do you suppose that part of the reason so many people view John Lewis as a hero is precisely because of how he sets himself apart? Perhaps you might reexamine your own logic.

This is just a phenomenal interview. Thank you both.

I am born, raised and live a muslim but married for about thirty years to a Christian. We have three girls and son. As a student, a youth, a Special Troop and a Diplomat I woorked hard throughout my life with LOVE. I was abused, denied EVEN salaries for months as diplomat, neglected, my life threatened and abandoned abroad by my people and country yet continued to hold my own guards. Try to hold my family together and with sanity I have been fighting hard than before to raise and give these children a father, education and a life each. This isnt always easy and great to recall. A fall from grace to grass, from diplomatic immunity to doubtful refugee status, I prayed from my own country, the people who hurt me and LOVE them all. My worry has always been that I could have been wrong loving my enemies and not fighting them but this morning, the morning of EASTER, a time of resurrection I i had JOHN LEWIS spoke clearly as though biblical; "its is gonna be OK.." John you resurrected my spirit and hopefully oneday I shall be privileged to speak out perhaps through Krisat Tippett to world. "We stil have goodness and good people on this earth. With sanity and love every pain deminishes several folds and several of the several folds severals times, comes such great days of testimony like we heard from JOHN. I STILL FEAL I CRY A LOT JOHN, BUT HOPE TO BE CONSOLED WIPPING THEM TEARS OF LOVE FROM THE CHINS OF THE ABUSED. WE SHALL OVERCOME AND I AM MOVING MY FEET OUR FATHER. It still is not easy to maintain faith in one's enemies. Be blessed.

fr david eberhardt (Baltimore 4 and CORE leader in Baltimore)
Thanks for the program w John Lewis- a "non violent revolution"? Where?
In this time of the NRA and endless war- this seemed to this vet of the civil rts, peace and criminal injustice mov't to b a little feeble. Couldn'[t you have brot this wonderful philosophy more up to date?
It seemed preserved in ???? amber????
What about the Transform Now Plowshares? They face a trial NOW!!
Lewis is a in highly disregarded body- the Congress! What does he think of that? Of the economic system that we are in?
Come on Krista (sp).

I listened to this program twice on Easter Sunday. I found Mr. Lewis incredibly moving and intend to explore all the other content related to this episode. His message truly resonated with me -- love, nonviolence, sacrifice and service: what better message during this Pascal season.

Listening to John Lewis made me hope that those struggling for fair immigration reform will take a page out of his playbook.

Dear Krista & Senator Lewis,

I cannot thank you enough for the beauty of your messages and the elegance of your story telling and interviewing skills.
I have passed this along as a gift to all who long for Resilience in the Spring Sunshine of a new day.
Thank you again,
PS James Lawson came to us when I studying social change with Dan Snyder at Pendle Hill, a Quaker Study Center in Wallingford, Pa. I remember him as a peaceful presence, a practical, wise and unflappable man. Thank you for reminding of his investments in us all. May I be such a trainer one day!

Krista thank you and your staff for the effort that went into this wonderful, comprehensive, presentation.
It was a blessing to hear John Lewis and learn more about him. The world is a better place because of him.

In the unedited interview, Rep. Lewis mentions his meeting and forgiving Elwin Wilson, who had assaulted Mr. Lewis in 1961. After spending much of the last few years apologizing and asking forgiveness for his racially motivated attacks, Elwin Wilson passed away on March 28.

Rep Lewis and Mr. Wilson appeared together on ABC News 2009

My heart has expanded beyond all conceivable boundaries upon listening. I savored every word. We have all already arrived!

Thank you for this conversation, Krista Tippett and John Lewis, which reminds us of the complexity of life and love, and the spirit and courage of the Civil Rights Movement; for me, Mr. Lewis, you embody that spirit, courage and promise. Krista, your preparation, sensitivity and thoughtful questions made the hour, for me, an act of love, spirit and community.
A neighbor and now I have started sending the link to the conversation everywhere we can think of.