Would the Baptist minister, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., be pleased with the recently unveiled 450-foot memorial wall in Washington, D.C., dedicated to his memory?
I doubt it, because they left God out.
His niece, Dr. Alveda C. King, doesn’t think so either. She is the president of King for America and is a lay spokesperson for the organization Priests for Life.
In a press release dated October 18, 2011, she said: "This missed opportunity to carve God's name on the wall still presents another opportunity. Many people don't know that Uncle M. L. was a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It stands to reason that they have never heard of his devotion to Jesus Christ and his message of God's agape love.”
She added, “I wasn't consulted on the design of the site, still I see this as a teaching moment to encourage people to read King's sermons."
Indeed, as a minister, it’s not surprising to learn that Martin Luther King’s writings and speeches are filled with biblical texts.
I remember when I went to Montgomery, Ala., about 10 years ago to conduct yet another interview with chief justice Roy Moore, the Ten Commandments judge, who lost his post because of lawsuits against his public display of the Decalogue.
Ironically, one of the parties suing him has a Scripture verse in stone in their building, visible from Roy Moore’s old office. The quote is from Martin Luther King, Jr. But King was simply quoting the Old Testament prophet Amos (“Let justice roll down …”).
So here was a group (the Southern Poverty Law Center) suing Chief Justice Moore for daring to have some Old Testament quotes in stone in the Alabama Supreme Court building, but they have a biblical quote in stone, right next to his building.
(They would probably say that they’re a private group, whereas Chief Justice Moore was a public figure. But I don’t buy the premise that the First Amendment requires censoring God from the public square. The founders certainly did not believe that.)
I guess we’ve become a nation of biblical illiterates. Therefore, many people don’t even realize when the Bible is being quoted, as Dr. King quoted it in his “I Have a Dream" speech.
He said, “I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; 'and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.’” These are quotes right out of the 40th chapter of the book of Isaiah.
One of my reference books is a paperback from the year he died, 1968, entitled The Wisdom of Martin Luther King in His Own Words.
I hate to pop the liberals’ bubble on this, but the book is filled with references to God and to Jesus. It is absolutely amazing that they would leave God out of the recent memorial.
Just flipping through the book at random, here are some examples:
“Let us hope there will be no more violence. But if the streets must flow with blood let it flow with our blood in the spirit of Jesus Christ on the cross” (Birmingham, Ala., May 1963).
“A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law” (April 1963).
“Nonviolence is not a symbol of weakness or cowardice, but as Jesus demonstrated, nonviolent resistance transforms weakness into strength and breeds courage in the face of danger” (1963).
“In the midst of outer dangers I have felt an inner calm and known resources of strength that only God could give” (April 1960).
And on and on it goes. If one were to try to compile a book on the wisdom of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today, and leave out his references to God, Jesus, the gospel, etc., it would be a mighty short book.
I think one of the aspects of political correctness that is plaguing our times is that the elites think that all references to God and Jesus have to be expunged from all public places. But when dealing with historical figures, they are simply projecting their own skepticism onto others — many of whom were not skeptics.
Such as Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., who said, “We will win our freedom because the sacred heritage of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands.”
Too bad you would have no clue of the source of his greatness if you only knew about him from the new memorial.
Dr. Jerry Newcombe is the senior producer and co-host of Truth that Transforms with Dr. D. James Kennedy. He has also written or co-written 21 books, including 14 with the late Dr. D. James Kennedy. His forthcoming book, Answers from the Founding Fathers, is available from Truth in Action Ministries (formerly Coral Ridge Ministries).
Publication date: November 1, 2011