It’s Dr. King’s Birthday- Man, do I wish they hadn’t murdered him

My old pal, John Francis, got it so right when he wrote this song “Kill the Dreamer” back in 2007.

“Oh, say can you see
things are not as they seem
from sea to shining sea
Dr. King, Dr. King I know you’re listening.
they can kill the dreamer but they cannot kill the dream
there was a great proud nations
there was a great proud nations
100 years from now they’ll be thumbing through the page
the history books will tell of our mistakes
She fell asleep and watched the people bleed
She fell asleep and watched the people bleed
And on that day on her headstone the epitaph will read
She died of lust and greed.”

I’m not sure if there ever was a great proud nation called the states but I think Dr. King thought so.  He often revered the constitution as a great document which ought to live up to its true potential.  I’ll go with him on that, as Wendell Berry said “Denounce the government and embrace the flag.  Hope to live in that free republic for which it stands.”  But at the rate we’ve been going for the past 47 years since they killed him, I’m not sure our history books will be as insightful as John Francis believed they would be by 2107.

We’ve domesticated Dr. King. In death he has not been able to defend his legacy. I was reminded by the Circle of Hope pastors today in there “Someone Asked” vlog that it was Ronald Reagan who deigned to make a national holiday. (Ronald F’ing Reagan!)

I loved watching Selma and the dramatization of Dr. King’s power struggle with LBJ. King was so powerful in the movie version- and his power came from thousands united in a nonviolent movement. Imagine what he may have said to Ronald Reagan’s “trickle down” economy and his proliferation of weapons of mass destruction! If only…

If only Dr. King hadn’t literally been put in a box. We have needed his influence all these years since. But Jesus is alive and the same Holy Spirit that gave Martin courage emboldens us. I pray that a movement could crystallize in a way like it did in the 60s. That’s the main reason I’m marching in the MLK Day of Action, Resistance and Empowerment (MLK DARE) March on Monday. I want to be a part of the momentum that could reclaim MLK from his civic holiday. We want to use the fire of the Holy Spirit to take steps of action against the lust and greed that are entrenched in so many systems.

Happy Birthday, Dr. King. We’re inspired by you still, and your prophecy is still way too timely. Come Lord Jesus.

One response to “It’s Dr. King’s Birthday- Man, do I wish they hadn’t murdered him”

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