The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and days leading up to it force me into reflection. I often wonder how it was possible that an alarming number of Christians outright opposed Martin Luther King Jr. or failed to stand in solidarity with him during his lifetime. A large part of it was old, deep-seated, prejudices against African-Americans, Native Americans, and other brown-skinned brothers and sisters.
Today, most of us find the racist arguments used by slaveholders and by those who opposed King despicably false. Yet back then, many white Christians, especially in the South, lived according to these narratives about the institution of slavery and white supremacy. Those who dared to oppose their local church community, to go against the spoken and unspoken rules of Southern society, by siding with King were often branded radicals or Communists. Some were physically harassed.
Funny how yesterday's Christian radical can become today's Christian saint.
In reflecting on King's ...1