This month at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, the faithful met to worship the Almighty and discuss the latest battles for religious liberty in an increasingly secular culture.
When the Knights of Columbus’ Supreme Knight Carl Anderson spoke, he made a startling observation about the new Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. monument which has not been widely reported and is quite unique among monuments throughout our nation’s capital. Even though Dr. King was a Baptist minister and his history-altering speeches about civil liberties are saturated with references to natural rights and profound theological constructs, all 14 quotes carefully etched into his stone monument completely eschew references to God!
Mr. Anderson mocked those in authority who were given the difficult task of carefully combing through Rev. King’s archives trying to finding a few secular quotations.
In Dr. King’s famous letter from the Birmingham jail, which is full of religious references, he relied on the Catholic natural law tradition by citing Saint Augustine of Hippo, who said in On Free Choice of the Will that "an unjust law is no law at all." King went onto proclaim he and his peaceful supporters were “in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judeo-Christian heritage, thereby bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.”
There is no question about Rev. King’s adherence to scripture, and it was his fidelity to religious principles which lead him to a higher calling on this Earth. Instead of excusing injustice, King was in the front lines against oppression and inequality. And while Dr. King is no longer with us, his ability to look evil in the face and defend the inherent rights of all men is a model which all true Christians must follow.
So, with Rev. King and religion are inseparable, why are they so quick to hide Dr. King’s religiosity? We would expect this type of careful ideological manipulation of history in tyrannical states of the former Soviet Union, North Korea, or in the reeducation camps during the Vietnam War. But how does this happen in America?
Sadly, I believe this another example of how the secular left is winning the culture war. By driving religion out of the public square and re-writing the history books, the invaluable role religion has played in our country is being erased.