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What Would Martin Luther King’s Dream Be Today?

Yesterday marked the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Not to be confused with MLK Day in mid-January, which marks the civil rights leader’s birthday.)

As PBS’s Religion & Ethics Newsweekly reported on the 40th anniversary, King was killed while in Memphis helping sanitation workers who were on strike trying to get recognition for their union. But, if he were alive today, “would he be campaigning for economic justice, or might he be a social conservative opposing abortion, or both?”

Some recent faith-related links:



On an unrelated, morbid note, Twitter has just informed me that today is the anniversary of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain’s death. (I’m sure I’ll come across some kind of memorial in Seattle later today, but it’s still early here on the West Coast.) So, RIP Kurt Cobain,  as well.

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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posted April 5, 2011 at 11:19 am

Honestly, I think these sorts of questions are best left unanswered. We often dishonor historical figures by assigning positions to them that they may or may not have agreed with. Dr. King, and other historical figures like him, were far more complex than their mythologies would suggest, and they lived in times that were in many ways very different from our own. Dr. King is not here to speak for himself. We should be thankful for what he gave to our country. But we should let him rest.

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posted April 6, 2011 at 6:09 pm

I’d like to think he’d be leading the charge against the neocon war on the middle class, our prison state and endless imperial wars. The cynic in me worries that maybe he would be co-opted like most other celebrities, hamming it up on reality shows and the self-help guru circuit.

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posted April 6, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Given that African Americans tend to be statistically more likely to be Democrats versus Republicans, he would be likely to favor Democratic causes.

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posted April 7, 2011 at 6:43 pm

It’s anybodys guess, but he would have probably thought as his wife did, and have fought for the GLBT. She hasn’t been gone for long.

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