Controversy is raging over the new Martin Luther King memorial in Washington DC which features not a single mention of God despite the fact that King was a Baptist minister.
“This missed opportunity to carve God’s Name on the wall still presents another opportunity,” said Dr. Alveda King, niece of the late minister who was assassinated in 1968.
“Many people don’t know that Uncle M. L. was a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It stands to reason that they have never heard of his devotion to Jesus Christ and his message of God’s agape love. I wasn’t consulted on the design of the site, still I see this as a teaching moment to encourage people to read King’s sermons.”
A 450 foot wall of quotes surrounds the main memorial, which is called the Mountain of Despair and the Stone of Hope. The quotes come from different periods of the life of MLK – from his rise during the Montgomery Bus Boycotts in Alabama in 1955 to quotes taken from the last sermon he delivered at Washington’s National Cathedral in 1968, four days before his assassination.
But a memorial dedicated to a Baptist minister that excludes even a single mention of God’s name has caused anger among some Christians.
“How is it possible to have a memorial dedicated to a Christian minister, who based his entire message on faith in God and the teachings of Christ and whose movement was founded in the church and not include even one mention of God?” asked the Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, in a press release.
“Dr. King was an ordained Christian minister and pastor who made faith in God and the teachings of Christ the central part of his life and message. The heart of the civil rights movement was rooted in the church and drew its strength from the timeless truths proclaimed by God. Not to include any mention of ‘God’ in the quotes at the memorial is a betrayal of the life, legacy and teachings embraced and lived by Dr. King.”
He concluded: “Simply stated, it is very troubling, dishonest, and should be corrected.”
The official memorial website claims the quotes selected were meant to represent Dr. King’s “universal and timeless messages of Justice, Democracy, Hope and Love.”
No one from the memorial has chosen to comment on the controversy.
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