Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. On Religious Freedom

MLK on Religious Freedom

Today we commemorate the life and work of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Many Progressives uphold Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as an example of Progressive ideology.  Yet, how many Progressives have taken the time to actually read what Dr. King had to say about so many ideas he held in common with the Founding Fathers?  Progressives have spent the past century undermining many ideas and values upheld by both Dr. King and America’s Founding Fathers.  Dr. King and the Founding Fathers were firm in their resolve to uphold and defend our Creator endowed right to religious freedom.

If you have never read Dr. King’s, Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” then you should.  One of my favorite pastimes is to share truth to Progressives by quoting from some of their most cherished heroes.

“Nothing pains some people more than having to think.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Asking questions that are not easily answered has the potential to create the necessary cognitive dissonance to challenge Progressive ideology.  Many people do not want to think for themselves.  Many are content to imbibe the talking points of the day spoon-fed to them via the anti-Christian Mainstream Media Industrial Complex.

In contrast to Mainstream Media drivel, Dr. King’s words withstand the test of time because, like the Founding Fathers, King understood that God’s Word is true, and he based his reasoning on God’s Word, just like the Founders did.

Dr. King once observed, “Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking.  There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions.  Nothing pains some people more than having to think.”  Despite this intellectual laziness that Dr. King observed as common among so many people, isn’t it possible to bring someone to the point of thinking by asking certain questions?  Isn’t that what Dr. King was doing by shining a spotlight on the wrongs perpetrated by segregation laws and institutionalized racist hatred?

Asking the right questions has the potential to spark someone else to think.  Dr. King knew that, and we could take a play out of his book by learning to ask better questions.

“Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall  forever be encouraged.”

Northwest Ordinance, 1787 (federal law that established public schools)

It’s interesting when I ask my students, “Are we allowed to talk about religion in school?”  Invariably, they respond, “No.  We are not allowed to talk about religion in school.”  Then I quote to them from Michigan’s state constitution, which declares in Article VIII, Section 1, “Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall  forever be encouraged.” I then point out that the state constitution’s wording in Article VIII, Section 1, is taken word for word from a federal law that is still on the books, The Northwest Ordinance of 1787.

An important follow up question is, “What does our state constitution say is the purpose of education?”  Then we talk about the stated purpose, which – as quoted above – is to foster, “good government and the happiness of mankind.”  A follow up to that is, “What three things does our state constitution declare as being necessary ingredients to good government?”  And we discuss the state constitution’s declaration that what is necessary for good government is: “religion, morality and knowledge.”  Eventually during the conversation, someone brings up the so-called “Separation Clause.”  At that point I usually offer my students the $100 challenge: “Show me where in the U.S. Constitution it is ever stated that there is a ‘wall of separation between church and state’, and I will personally hand you a crisp one hundred dollar bill (crisp because I will personally iron it out for you before hand).”  I’ve gotten more than one student to actually read the entire U.S. Constitution by issuing this challenge.

We must learn to ask the right questions.  Dr. King studied how to ask the right questions.  So can we.

Read Dr. King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail.  Then start asking questions that aren’t so easily answered by Progressives, like: “Did you hear about the mayor in Texas who demanded pastors submit their sermons for mayoral review to make sure they agreed with the mayor’s opinions on sexuality?”  Follow that up with a quote about religious freedom by Dr. King (like the one in the image below) and ask, “Do you think Dr. King would agree to submit his sermons and speeches for governmental approval before delivering them?”

This article first appeared on LifeandLiberty76.com on January 19, 2015.

Tim Keller
About Tim Keller
Tim Keller loves God, America and his Family. He has taught history, government, speech and writing at the secondary level since 1997.
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