(Image courtesy Riehl World View)
Today we celebrate the birth of a true contemporary prophet, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Each year on this day I try to set aside a little time to re-read Dr. King's "Letter From A Birmingham Jail". I hope that all of you have read it as well, and that your older children have also read it.
I am always struck by how truly eloquent Dr. King was. Not the phony, scripted, teleprompter-dependent eloquence of our current Chief Executive, or the "looks good in a tuxedo" eloquence that seems to have convinced more than a few Hollywood types that they actually have something substantial to contribute to American politics. Dr. King was none of these. He was eloquent like Ronald Reagan was eloquent -- he could tactfully and truthfully shame those who practiced indecency and injustice, while still extending a hand in friendship and promising to work with anyone who was willing to meet him half-way.
Unfortunately that kind of eloquence has been thoroughly abandoned by today's civil rights leadership.
In light of the Left's new-found fondness for "civility", perhaps we should look at the inflammatory rhetoric directed squarely at the Republican party (and in general, all who hold conservative beliefs) by the very people who claim absolute moral authority on matters of tolerance and equality.
Most disturbing is the 1998 Missouri radio ad which aired on stations with a high percentage of black listeners: "When you don't vote, you let another church explode. When you don't vote, you allow another cross to burn. When you don't vote, you let another assault wound a brother or sister. When you don't vote, you let the Republicans continue to cut school lunches and Head Start. Vote smart. Vote Democratic for Congress and the U.S. Senate."
And there is the shameful legacy of former NAACP Chairman Julian Bond, who has slandered Republicans for decades with statements like: "Their idea of equal rights is the American flag and the confederate swastika flying side-by-side" and "they draw their most rabid support from the Taliban Wing of American politics, and now they want to write bigotry back into the Constitution."