In April 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. landed in jail in Birmingham, Alabama for violating a local injunction against demonstrations.
Sitting in jail, he learned that local white clergy advised against “outsiders coming in,” calling King’s activities “unwise and untimely.”
In response, King wrote his famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”
In the pages long, handwritten letter, he lays out the logic and theology of his activities. He explains that, like the prophets and apostles, he was compelled “to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my home town.”
King concludes saying that “…when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters, they 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 the formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.”
We are witnessing today a bizarre role reversal of those events in 1963.
We live in a dangerous world and America has enemies. We must have a clear sense of the nature of these threats so we may act properly.
In this spirit, House Speaker John Boehner has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress to convey his thoughts about the dangers of a nuclear- armed Iran.
But members of the Congressional Black Caucus are protesting, saying they will not attend.
Black members of congress, those allegedly carrying on the civil rights movement that Dr. King led, are now the ones protesting “outsiders coming in” and saying that expression in the pursuit of truth, in our free country, is “unwise and untimely.”
The U.S. State Department has listed Iran as a State Sponsor of Terrorism since 1984. Freedom House in Washington, DC designates Iran as an “Unfree” country.
In a new Gallup poll, 77 percent of Americans call development of nuclear weapons by Iran a “critical threat.”
All Americans should welcome with enthusiasm the thoughts of the Israeli Prime Minister, who leads a nation that has fought for its survival in the Middle East every single day since its founding.
Black caucus members walking out on the Prime Minister violate the principles of freedom of our nation, for which Dr. King fought.
They also betray the unique relationship of black Christians, and America in general, to the Jewish people and the state of Israel.
In a Pew Research survey in 2013, in answer to the question “Was Israel given to the Jewish people by God?”, 40 percent of Jewish Americans said yes, 44 percent of all Americans said yes, and 51 percent of black Protestants said yes.
Dr. King was outspoken in his support of Israel and today there is a street named for him in Jerusalem.
The civil rights movement was animated by imagery from the Book of Exodus in the Old Testament. Historian Taylor Branch’s biographic trilogy about Dr. King’s movement are called “Parting the Waters”, “Pillar of Fire,” and “At Canaan’s Edge.”
The words inscribed on the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia – “Proclaim liberty throughout the land to the inhabitants thereof” – are from the book of Leviticus.
Welcoming the Israeli Prime Minister is by no means partisan. Two prominent Democrat Senators, New Jersey’s Robert Menendez, former chairman of the House Foreign Relations committee, and New York’s Chuck Schumer, have co-sponsored a bill, which President Obama opposes, to tighten sanctions on Iran if current talks do not succeed by March 24.
The Black Caucus is out of step with black Christians by not welcoming this visitor bringing the “gospel of freedom” from abroad. They should recognize that welcoming Mr. Netanyahu means, in the words of Dr. King, “standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values of our Judeo-Christian heritage.”
The civil rights movement became unmoored from the religious and moral values that drove it to begin with. (comments)
Many with great political power in Washington, who control so much of our money, cannot distinguish between a fact and an opinion. (comments)
Republicans have not stood ground and provided a real conservative alternative to the party of the left. (comments)
As the politics of the welfare state and moral relativism have increasingly taken control of the country, they have disproportionately hit our minority communities. (comments)
The constitution does not exist to use government power to force the set of values of one private citizen on other. (comments)
If the forces of anger and fear prevail, we will pay a dear price. (comments)
Gallup points to the extent to which voters, particularly Republicans, are being turned off. (comments)
Is it any wonder why so many feel that our government has gotten way out of hand? (comments)
The best circumstances cannot save a sick spirit and sick values. (comments)
The major domestic crises we face today trace to Supreme Court decisions. (comments)
Evidence is overwhelming regarding the central importance of the traditional family to economic success. (comments)
It is the healthy sense of right and wrong that liberals want to destroy. (comments)
Republicans need to be as clear with the country as Sanders with an alternative. (comments)
Huge, unproductive expenditures need to be redirected to encourage the values and behavior that move people out of poverty. (comments)
My five principles for restoring America. (comments)
The institutions -- FHA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac -- and the policies that led to the 2008 meltdown are still in place. (comments)
The D.C. school voucher program is cut and the Congressional Black Caucus does nothing. (comments)
Big-government solutions undermined the traditionally successful values and institutions of the country. (comments)