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Essay Prompt 2007

"God give us men!
Men who serve not for selfish booty.
But real men, courageous, who flinch not at duty;
Men of dependable character; men of sterling worth;
Then wrongs will be redressed, and right will rule the earth;
God give us men!"
-invocation at a meeting of the Invisible Empire, Knights of the United Klans of America (121)

"Certainly, this is no hour to be at ease but an hour for positive action. What we do now will determine the destiny of thousands who come after us. God forbid that we falter or recoil from performing our solemn duty." -Louis Austin in an editorial for the Carolina Times (90)

The call for moral responsibility, especially in religious terms, is used as both a defense and a rallying cry for the Ku Klux Klan and civil rights groups alike. What is the nature of the moral ambiguity created when two groups in direct opposition to one another call upon ethics and morality to justify their position? Are the concepts of ethics and morality ever more dangerous than beneficial in shaping history?

Essays should be heavily grounded in examples from the book. Please limit your essay to 750 words - essays longer than 750 words will not be considered. Entries must be submitted via email to dukehonorcouncil@gmail.com by 5pm EST on August 15, 2007.