By: Ali Elizabeth Turner
There are certain days you just don’t forget. In my life, as far as difficult national days are concerned, they have been the days JFK, RFK, and MLK were assassinated. And, of course, the “biggy” was 9/11, but the difference was that those assassinated were not public figures. They were just Americans. As we go to print, there is the predictable retrospective media treatment of that horrible day when MLK was cut down at a Memphis motel.
And while there are those who feel that so much of what he stood for has been forgotten, or that those who claim to stand for the things for which he was shot are not cut from the same cloth as was he, precious few know what he really believed. The purpose of this Point is two-fold: to teach you some things that you may not know about the man, and to remind you that I still believe in the dream, 50 years later, and why you should, too.
Fact number one: Martin Luther King Jr. was a strong proponent of the 2nd Amendment. When the lives of his wife and child were threatened as a result of the home where they were staying being fire-bombed, MLK applied for a gun permit in order to exercise his constitutional right to self-defense. He was denied, but he did the next best thing for them. He made sure that there were those who did have weapons and permits and were ever at the ready. Does this contradict his belief in non-violence? No, that would be apples and oranges, in my opinion. Non-violent protest is an expression of the 1st Amendment, self-defense is an expression of the 2nd Amendment. Both are constitutional, and both are biblical.
Fact number two: Martin Luther King Jr. was pro-life. While the great irony is that he was awarded the Planned Parenthood Margaret Sanger Lifetime Achievement Award in 1966, the racist, holocaustic agenda of Ms. Sanger, as it later came to be expressed through Planned Parenthood, had not been made manifest yet. And I truly believe he was ignorant of it all. He thought he had bought into the concept of what is typically referred to as natural family planning. What he did believe, and after literally millions of African Americans have been aborted, I think he would still believe, and is crystalized by the following: “The Negro cannot win if he is willing to sacrifice the futures of his children for immediate personal comfort and safety. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Did you realize that this was the context of the iconic “injustice anywhere” statement? I sure didn’t. King clearly felt that abortion-on-demand was tantamount to injustice, and I don’t think he would have been okay with the fact that Planned Parenthood centers are purposely placed in traditionally African-American neighborhoods in order to make it easier for black families to destroy themselves.
Fact number three: King did most of his work in the pulpit, and that is why I believe the dream can make a comeback if it is reconnected to its roots. It was the pulpit that was, and still can be, a place where true change that is biblically-based is birthed, sustained, and revived when it goes awry. “The church,” King wrote in Strength to Love, “must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state.” If King had seen what has become of his dream today, I think he would be sad and mad. But this I know, if he were alive, he wouldn’t give up on it, and neither should we. We need to get our minds right, and our hearts right, get the dream right, and get back after it for another 50 years.