Monday, January 17, 2011

Ten Other Things Martin Luther King Said

I was too young to understand what was meant by "prophetic voice." My middle class, all-white Methodist Church in Jersey didn't emphasize it in Sunday School or from the pulpit. Why risk making too strong a connection with the more comfortable, complacent inhabitants of ancient Israel & the contrarians they raised up in their midst?

I discovered the "prophetic voice" in American poetry & had to backtrack to the sources. The voice isn't always loud, preachy, & obvious. It can be subtle & enigmatic. It can make you squirm in your seat or make you want to stand up & walk away, hands clasped over ears.

Establishing a national holiday for Dr. King required making him seem less radical.  The religious right has tried to appropriate him, although that "movement" was galvanized by court decisions & federal policies regarding racist policies at Christian schools. Dr. King (like Robert Kennedy) was assassinated after he began speaking out against the Vietnam War & for economic justice.


Thanks for this Bob - it is so necessary to see Dr. King in the context of the great and radical man that he was, not some watered down, co-opted vision that suits someone else.

Kind of like Jesus and others who bring the prophetic voice into the world.
Post a Comment

<< Home
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?