The Martin Luther King Memorial

The Catholic News Service contained an article recently in which a Catholic spokesman complained about the new Martin Luther King Memorial on the Mall in Washington, D. C. The monument to Dr. King contains fourteen quotes from the civil rights icon.

The monument “…betrays his life and teachings..” said the critic.  He was upset none of the fourteen quotes mentioned God or religion.

The monument and the inscriptions chosen were selected by a 12 member Council of Historians. There was no explanation given as to why religious statements of King were not included.  One can understand why they are not there.

First, any statement King made about religion would be challenged by people who think they know more than King did about the subject.  There is no agreement about much in the Bible, even among believers.

Second, the civil rights movements helped all members of the minority community including ones who are not religious.  Thus, it was not a religious movement.

Third, slavery, and later segregation, was done in the name of the Christian religion.  Passages of the Bible were construed to mean races should not marry.  A former Governor of Georgia, Lester Maddox, kept these passages in his desk and would give them to visitors who brought up his anti segregation views. Bringing up religion brings up this as well.

Dr. King’s neice said she had no objection to excluding the religious remarks of her Uncle.  She felt the monument should be a universial statement of his life.

Good for her.

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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6 Responses to The Martin Luther King Memorial

  1. Henry says:

    Secularization of a monument is not unexpected in this day and age. It is also not unexpected they bought the $120 million national monument from China.

  2. Avatar of Kay Syvrud Kay Syvrud says:

    Who let the (attack) dogs out?????
    Snarl Growl….that @#*%!! Bible!

  3. Bob Jorgenson says:

    “First, any statement King made about religion would be challenged by people who think they know more than King did about the subject. There is no agreement about much in the Bible, even among believers.”

    But other than the Abrahamic scriptures, no one knows anything about their gods they believe in, including other religions too besides Abrahamic, past and future.

    Why? BECAUSE THEY’RE FICTION! There’s no proof of any of it. Why? Because supernaturalism and religion are an evolutionary psychological response to the frightening knowledge we are all going to bloody well die. No matter how bad we want to deny it, we are all going to die. Religion is the psychological apocalypse boomerang of knowing we are screwed, and there’s not a damn thing we can do about it. At least not until we advance science enough and move beyond death. And science is the only way we will move beyond death, other than our DNA being passed down to our children.

    The sad thing is, because death is so frightening, and as a result humans invented religion to cope with it, the religion/coping mechanism itself is bad for us. Like an alchoholic using liquor to deal with things they can’t deal with.

    • Henry says:

      “Because supernaturalism and religion are an evolutionary psychological response to the frightening knowledge we are all going to bloody well die.”

      Death isn’t so frightening. Why are you frightened?

      • entech says:

        I think anthropology shows that there are many common themes in the belief systems developed by different social groups throughout recorded history and from myths and legends from spoken history. Everyone has a creation story and most a creator, and the thought that we are created to simply end is simply too much for man’s vanity. Death was so important to the Egyptians that they built a life around it! The purpose of this life is to prepare for the next, what a waste of short and valuable time.

        Ever since man became self aware, had a sense of self – an ego, that ego would not allow the idea that I can’t be here just to go again, there must be more, in fact there must also be something before, someone created me. We need to create God so that God can create us and give a sense of purpose. So, Bob, I don’t think it is so much fear of death as a fear that death is really the end, the ego can’t accept the idea that things will go on whether you are there or not. So I apologise for more poetry but, as usual, Omar says it all.

        Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
        Before we too into the Dust descend;
        Dust into Dust, and under Dust, to lie,
        Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and—sans End!

  4. Bob Jorgenson says:

    Yeah, I agree entech, humans knowing its the end can’t accept that.
    But I think its time for humanity to grow up. Its just not mature to make up fairytales and its wish thinking to want Santa/god/heaven to be true. Never Never land just doesn’t exist, we have no proof of it. So its time to grow up as a species. Enjoy that we have life/consciousness at all. Humans are fortunate we can experience life on the level we do as compared to all the other animals. Its a shame we gotta make up dumb stories to live by and screw up all up for so many people, well actually, everyone.
    I agree Jon, good for the Martin King daughter defending leaving religion out. She’s being very mature, grown up about it. But the babies gotta throw a tantrum because they didn’t get their way.
    I believe like Christopher Hitchens does, that religion poisons everything. The more research I do on religion, the more I believe that.

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