Saturday, January 3, 2009


I have traveled the length and breadth of Alabama, Mississippi and all the other southern states. On sweltering summer days and crisp autumn mornings, I have looked at the South's beautiful churches with their lofty spires pointing heavenward. I have beheld the impressive outlines of her massive religious education buildings. Over and over I have found myself asking: "What kind of people worship here? Who is their God? Where were their voices when the lips of Governor Barnett dripped with words of interposition and nullification? Where were they when Governor Wallace gave a clarion call for defiance and hatred? Where were their voices of support when bruised and weary Negro men and women decided to rise from the dark dungeons of complacency to the bright hills of creative protest?" [Quoted from Letter from a Birmingham Jail, by Martin Luther King.]

Don Charles, who blogs at "Christ, The Gay Martyr," wrote a superb two part post entitled, Echoes From a Birmingham Jail that must be read by everyone who is genuinely concerned with full and equal civil rights for LGBT people!

Don Charles beautifully shows how the analysis, insights, and feelings of Martin Luther King regarding the African American Civil Rights movement parallel the current struggle for LGBT Civil Rights, and what we can learn from the lessons that King taught and practiced in that movement. The relevance of the struggle for African American civil rights must not be lost on the Gay rights movement, as the dynamics and the necessary transformation of consciousness that made the success of that movement possible must be seen in the same light that King saw if full and equal LGBT rights are to be acquired in the foreseeable future.

Here's an excerpt from Don Charles' superb two part post that I hope will whet your appetite to read both parts of his post in their entirety:

Dr. King shared my annoyance with those who counsel the disenfranchised to wait for justice. Wait until a court victory is certain! Wait until there’s less bigotry in the culture! Wait until the political winds start blowing in your direction! He heard all those kinds of warnings. MLK certainly wasn’t blind to the political realities of his day, but as a minister of the Gospel, he saw himself spearheading a moral crusade.

He knew that a moral crusade couldn’t align itself to a partisan political timetable and retain its credibility. He also knew that African-American equality would never be a priority for politicians counting on the votes of racist constituents for re-election. In 1963, that category included John F. Kennedy, the man Barack Obama has been frequently compared to. Dr. King and his Civil Rights marchers couldn't count on President Kennedy to do the right thing. They had no choice but to crash his dinner party. They had to create tension in the Kennedy administration and lay groundwork for progress on racial issues. This is what LGBT "leadership" fails to grasp. They turn up their noses at the idea of protest rallies and marches. They seem to think the Democratic Party can and will do most of our work for us. When did "career politician" and "Gay Rights activist" become interchangeable terms?
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