Yesterday was the observance of Martin Luther King's birthday. I thought about writing an article, but then I decided to see what his niece, Dr. Alveda King had to say.
Dr. Alveda King is full-time Director of African American Outreach for Priests and said that advice columns written by her uncle for Ebony magazine in 1957-58 reveal a man who today would be regarded as a social conservative.
"In advising men and women on questions of personal behavior 50 years ago, Uncle Martin sounded no different than a conservative Christian preacher does now," said Dr. King. "He was pro-life, pro-abstinence before marriage, and based his views on the unchanging Word of the Bible. Today, Planned Parenthood would condemn Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as part of the 'religious right.'"
In advice columns written for the African American-oriented magazine, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. told a young man who had impregnated his girlfriend and refused to marry her, resulting in a "crime," that he had made a "mistake." He urged another reader to abstain from premarital sex, noting that such activity was contributing "to the present breakdown of the family."
"Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man of peace, justice, and most of all a man of God," added Dr. King. "Were he alive today, he would be working to secure peace and justice for those in the womb and healing for a nation that is still pained by over 50 million missing lives."
I found that Martin Luther King also had to defend himself against the accusation that he used "incendiary political language." Something that is currently happening now. Dr. King wrote a letter to a clergy from a Birmingham jail cell:
"In your statement you assert that our actions, even though peaceful, must be condemned because they precipitate violence. But is this a logical assertion? Isn't this like condemning a robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery? Isn't this like condemning Socrates because his unswerving commitment to truth and his philosophical inquiries precipitated the act by the misguided populace in which they made him drink hemlock? Isn't this like condemning Jesus because his unique God -consciousness and never-ceasing devotion to God's will precipitated the evil act of crucifixion? We must come to see that, as the Federal courts have consistently affirmed, it is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts to gain his basic constitutional rights because the quest may precipitate violence. Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber."
Sadly we haven't changed much.