"Martin Luther King called for an end to racial injustice not by appealing to current laws or even to the will of the majority (both of those, at the time, were against him!), but to a Higher Law.
Rev. King said in his Letters from a Birmingham Jail: "An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law." And so he appealed beyond the existing laws of the books to an eternal law. He said that God had created of one blood all races and thus all men of all races were all brothers.
There are many today who want to divorce laws from any foundation in God’s universe, but when you do so you are left with a vacuum of authority. Laws have to be based on something. Something will be ultimate. For the Nazi regimes it was race and blood and power. For Communist regimes it was the will of the state. For Dr. King, what was ultimate, what he appealed to in the face of political opposition, and even a majority that opposed Him, was the justice of God.
So, Reverend King’s life teaches us that the roots of a just society are in God. He knew that if laws don’t gain their legitimacy from the Higher Law of the omnipotent, benevolent God, then we end up being subject to the tyranny of the majority and the whims of the powerful. As the late Richard John Neuhaus famously said, "Take government out from under God and government will become the God." "
Monday, January 18, 2010
Dr. King and God's Justice
Here's an exellant quote from J. D. Greaar on What We Have to Learn from Martin Luther King, Jr., specifically on Dr. King's grounding of his cause in Natural Law and God's Justice.
Good stuff to remember as the nation celebrates Dr. King's memory today.