Monday, 20 January 2014

St Boniface Church fail --- and it's about the Revd. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, ( but it's more than about him).

Today was a national holiday in these United States, but you would scarcely know it.

Apart from the closing of Federal, State, County and City functions (e.g. all government offices closed, no delivery of mail, public schools closed) life has gone on as abnormal (although the banks have been closed  in what is the American equivalent of the British Bank Holiday).

For today has been the U.S.A. holiday known as Martin Luther King day.

MLK needs no introduction, and the creation of a national holiday in his name is laudable indeed.

Yet:--

1. Yesterday my  local Episcopal Parish made no mention of Dr. King, or of the ongoing  sins of racial injustice, despite the fact that we pride ourselves as being a "progressive" Church.

(Come to think of it I have never in seven years heard  any sermon at St. B's about the sin of racism, nor indeed of any sin!).

2. I have no reason to be proud. I intended to attend a MLK service at one of the Black Churches in SRQ, (Bethel CME)  yesterday afternoon  ---  but I completely forgot. 

( I tried to redeem my conscience by going to a MLK festival in Newtown (SRQ's Black area) this afternoon.) Many of my polite liberal friends say that Newtown is a dangerous area. That is pure crap. It's a great part of our City. I was glad to be there.

3. The white dominated media (Press, T.V, Internet) loves to pay homage to (quote) "the slain Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." on this one day of the year

This amounts to no more than a tip of the hat to Martin Luther King, Jr,

( And it is all  too facile in the face of continuing racial prejudice against African Americans in the popular culture, and in governmental discrimination against blacks in States which draw "white friendly" electoral boundaries, and create barriers for blacks who wish to vote.)

4. We do well to honour Martin Luther King.  He lived and died for the sake of biblical justice. 

 But we must also remember the hundreds of thousand of blacks who were enslaved (in the North  as well as in the South) and beaten, lynched, raped, and demeaned  over the ghastly years of our history. They too must be honoured.

 ** MLK day is facile if we have no knowledge of other courageous and utterly truthful sisters and brothers who prepared his way.

** MLK  day is no more than liberal tokenism if we whites ignore the current sins of racism buried deep in our own hearts, and in our laws. .

** MLK day has so much failure about it. 

I dare you to read about these MLK precursors


TRY THESE FOR SIZE.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sojourner_Truth

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fannie_Lou_Hamer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_McLeod_Bethune

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Weldon_Johnson

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