Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Martin Luther King, Jr., and Political Amnesia

Young William L's hands

True or false: Martin Luther King, Jr., was one of our nation's greatest and most influential social activists

True.

But, as Walter Fluker writes:

"Remarkably, few remember the role of the black church in the modern civil rights movement. Most forget, in fact, that Martin Luther King Jr. was a pastor before he became a civil rights leader, and few have ever heard of Howard Thurman and many other illustrious leaders of this tradition who have shaped many of the basic institutions and laws of this nation." (Fluker, Ethical Leadership: The Quest for Character, Civility, and Community, K 282)

The foundation of King's social activism was the ongoing activism of the Holy Spirit in the depth of his spiritual being. Our secular media, however, ignores this, striking King's faith from the historical record and creating a mass of politically correct amnesiacs. 

(Note: forthcoming and of interest - Yale University's Miroslav Volf, Flourishing: Why We Need Religion In a Globalized World.)