How Liberals and Gay Rights Activists Have Hijacked the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jnr
By Ambra Nykol
Throughout the decades, a number of liberal individuals have found it wise to link themselves with the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Of course, given the fact that King was indeed an important leader and activist for justice, associating oneself with him is generally a safe bet. Even the likes of Planned Parenthood have beat the life out of any remaining shred of a tie they may have had with the man that is so highly regarded in America and beyond.
It wasn't until my lesbian college American History professor pointed out in class how "conservative" King was that I came to realize that the social activists of the left may have fraudulently appropriated his legacy.
There is a debate raging in the atmosphere about whether or not Dr. King would have been in favor of a ban on same-sex marriages.
Even within King's own family, there is division on the issue. King's late widow, Coretta Scott King had spoken publicly on more than one occasion about the need for justice for homosexuals, claiming that her husband would have been in favor for the rights of homosexuals to marry.
Meanwhile, in opposition to her own mother, King's youngest daughter Bernice said the following at a conference in Auckland, New Zealand:
"I know deep down in my sanctified soul that he did not take a bullet for same-sex unions."
A few of those who "knew" King, including a friend of his from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Rev. Joseph Lowery, said if King were alive today, he would view marriage as a "private affair".
The reality is, King never spoke publicly about the issue of homosexuality and today, the frame of reference is quite different.
In the ongoing quest to equate the plight of homosexuals with the civil rights movement, the rainbow brigade is once again up in arms due to a recent Atlanta march in favor of a ban on same-sex marriages. This particular march called "Reigniting the Legacy" from King memorial, also happened to include the late Dr. King's daughter Bernice King, a minister.
The backlash from this march has been predictable. In typical childish fashion, Bernice King's stance on this issue has earned her the title of "House Nigga" in some circles.
This black on black hate thing? It's getting old.
Liberals and gay-rights activists (often the same individuals) are outraged at the fact that their beloved Dr. King was associated with anything opposing homosexual marriage. Among the many protesters from gay-advocacy groups were signs that read "I STAND IN OPPOSITION OF NEW BIRTH'S HOMOPHOBIC MARCH".
Right. I love how the Left uses "homophobia" as a scare tactic; as if being called "homophobic" is something new or offensive. The following are a few quotes regarding the recent event:
"If Dr. King were here today, he wouldn't participate in this march," said U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a veteran of the civil rights movement who marched alongside King. "During the civil rights movement, we were trying to take discrimination out of the Constitution."
"I think it's very sad. I think he's abusing the good name of Dr. King and the work he did creating equality for all Americans," said Chuck Bowen, a spokesman for Georgia Equality.
A great success of liberal groups has been to disconnect the work of Dr. King with the fact that he was a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. People love to call King "Doctor" but rarely do they refer to him as "Reverend".
We don't hear a great deal mentioned about King's ministry and his sermonizing from the Bible. There was once a day when "social justice" and politics were closely tied with the "black church".
Based on the fact the King was a Bible-believing Baptist (and assuming he didn't subscribe to the private interpretation methodical, choose-your-own-adventure brand of Christianity), we can deduce that he probably did not condone homosexuality as a lifestyle.
Although, Liberals will point to the fact that one of King's top advisers and organizers for the March on Washington, Bayard Rustin, was an openly homosexual man as proof positive that King was in favor of homosexual marriage. The reality is, this example merely shows us that King was in favor of showing an attitude of love towards all people, regardless of their sexual orientation.
This is simply the cause of Christ. However, the philosophy of King is currently being distorted to support the homosexual agenda.
Fundamentally, the debate gets murky. Not too long ago, Thomas Sowell wrote an article called 'Gay Marriage' confusions, in which he points out the holes in the arguments being made by gay rights activists. Sowell wisely notes:
Few issues have produced as much confused thinking as the "gay marriage" issue.
There is, for example, the argument that the government has no business getting involved with marriage in the first place. That is a personal relation, the argument goes.
Love affairs are personal relations. Marriage is a legal relation. To say that government should not get involved in legal relations is to say that government has no business governing.
Homosexuals were on their strongest ground when they said that what happens between "consenting adults" in private is none of the government's business. But now gay activists are taking the opposite view, that it is government's business -- and that government has an obligation to give its approval.
The last refuge of the gay marriage advocates is that this is an issue of equal rights. But marriage is not an individual right. Otherwise, why limit marriage to unions of two people instead of three or four or five?
Why limit it to adult humans, if some want to be united with others of various ages, sexes and species?
Marriage is a social contract because the issues involved go beyond the particular individuals. Unions of a man and a woman produce the future generations on whom the fate of the whole society depends. Society has something to say about that.
Even at the individual level, men and women have different circumstances, if only from the fact that women have babies and men do not. These and other asymmetries in the positions of women and men justify long-term legal arrangements to enable society to keep this asymmetrical relationship viable -- for society's sake.
Neither of these considerations applies to unions where the people are of the same sex.
The whole debate of "justice" and the government's role in defining marriage is already an argument with many sides. That said, in the context of the Civil Rights movement, the "rights" to King's legacy cannot be bought without taking into account the fact that he was a Christian man. And of all the reading I've done of King's work, speeches and books, the running through-line seems to be his commitment and devotion to God first.
I doubt we would ever see King, a man of faith, a Reverend, raised in a fundamentalist home, publically rallying in favor of a woman's right to murder her unborn child.
Based on a 2004 Black Entertainment Television and CBS poll, more than half of black Americans oppose same-sex marriages. In fact, this has been the very issue that has gained President Bush more support from the black community.
This "majority" is not new, but speaks to a culture that is deeply rich with a history of Christianity. As a whole, the black community has always been more socially conservative. That majority is telling. King represents a generation whose activism was rooted in an understanding of God's intention for humanity.
I find it highly interesting that the homosexual community - number one hijackers of the King legacy - are crying heresy at the fact that Christian leaders are invoking his name when King was in fact a Christian.
In spite of what his own wife may have said, there is no finality of the argument on where King would have stood on this 21st century issue.
Ambra Nykol is a columnist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Soundpolitics.com, Seaspot magazine and Modestly Yours. She blogs at nykola.com
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