The Brady Campaign is condemning Beck & co. for holding the rally at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. Though Beck has insisted on a number of occasions that the date of the event and the anniversary of King's remarks was purely coincidental, the Brady Campaign is taking a strong stance against the rally because of the National Rifle Association's partial sponsorship.
In an editorial posted at HuffPo, Brady Campaign president Paul Helmke wrote:
Most jarring is the sad irony of all of these people at the podium, with their supporters spread across our National Mall, celebrating, in part, their worship of guns, while invoking, quite blatantly, the legacies of two great Americans whose magnificent lives were cruelly cut short by bullets. ...Contrary to what Helmke thinks, Beck, Palin LaPierre, Nugent or any other person attending the rally in earnest will not be looking to "mock" or "slander" the legacies of these noble figures.
Are Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, the NRA's Wayne LaPierre, and Ted Nugent, at this place and time, the new keepers of King's dream and of Lincoln's legacy? Or do they, with this event at this place and time, in one of the boldest and most public ways imaginable, mock, and indeed, slander, everything for which these men so nobly stood, and for which they died?
On the contrary, the fact that the "Restoring Honor" rally promises to be non-partisan and welcomes all people--black, white, conservative, liberal, Republican and Democrat alike--seems to honor them and their beliefs that man's character and positive example were his most significant contributions in life. It is the honor of individuals such as King and Lincoln that needs to make a comeback in Washington these days.
To come to the conclusion that just because the NRA is sponsoring an event it must be a pro-gun shooting fest or even a quietly peaceful pro-Second Amendment rally (God forbid) shows the sheer hysterical intolerance of the Left--it shows that individuals like Helmke are either so narrow-minded that they are unable to recognize an olive branch when it's offered, or they are so wound up in their own self-righteousness that they are unwilling to accept it.
Update: Since writing this post, HuffPo has made some serious edits to Helmke's original post. In the updated piece, Helmke condemns Beck for dismissing "social justice"--the government-mandated redistribution of wealth and preferential treatment of minorities or other seemingly disenfranchised groups in the name of "equality." Helmke goes on to proclaim "social justice" to be "the very foundation of King's leadership during the 1950's and 1960's"--itself a serious distortion of King's legacy, a crime for which Helmke is content to blame Beck, but accepts no responsibility himself.
Replay King's famous words and try to point to where the civil rights leader ever called for "social justice" as a means to accomplish equality during the 1960s--you won't find it.
King demanded "freedom and justice," not "social justice." He spoke of freedom, not entitlements; of liberty, not government mandates; and of justice in the eyes of the law, not "social justice" in the eyes of ideologues.
Contrary to Helmke's claims, you'll find King's speech--and life's legacy-- are full of references to the teachings of Jesus Christ, not Karl Marx.