Ken and I, along with our son Chris and his wife Lauren, walked through the visitors’ center at the Martin Luther King Center last week.
As I thought about the irony of reports of torture perpetrated by US operatives while we work to establish democracy in Iraq and protect our national interest, MLK’s words, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to freedom everywhere,” kept echoing in my mind.
Exhibit after exhibit reminded me:
It’s possible for an entire generation and an entire culture to be wrong about important issues.
It’s possible for Christians be on the frontlines of a social and political issue and be wrong.
It’s possible for an individual to speak truth to power, but it may be very costly.
Seeing the response to Martin Luther King’s criticism of the Vietnam War reminded me:
The government will prosecute failed policies in war if they seem politically expedient.
The government will intimidate and smear its critics in war time and seem justified.
Tonight the president will attempt to rev up support for the War in Iraq. Certainly our soldiers fighting there need our prayers and command our respect.
Meanwhile, we should be unafraid to hold leaders responsible for their policies and their rhetoric. We must be unafraid to exercise the freedom to hold a debate over these issues.
Going to the King Center reminded me that while war making is dangerous business, MLK, Gandhi, and Jesus demonstrate that peacemaking is also deadly work.