There is deep dissonance in the United States between the celebration today of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and this week’s inauguration of our President-elect. King preached the power of non-violence, hope, compassion, truth and unity. Our President-elect promotes himself by denigrating others. He seems to admire bullies and uses violent words to attack anyone who disagrees with him.
Many people remain unaware that King was an adamant opponent of the war in Viet Nam, and many speculate that it was this stand that most troubled the military establishment. At any rate, he truly believed the Gospel, and it was his faith in Christ that gave him the strength to speak truth to power even as it cost him his life.
I honor him today by refusing to succumb to despair in the face of open hostility and contempt for many of the values I hold dear. I don’t know what I may be asked to do in the years ahead to combat the ugliness now dancing in the open. But, as we sang in church yesterday, “Here am I Lord, I come to do Your will.” That seems to me to be the best way to honor Reverend King.