Sex trafficking is bad. Adultery is bad. Hypocrisy is really, really bad. These are things that even pagans agree upon (generally). As Christians, we can also add a few other things to the “bad” list as it pertains to Martin Luther King, Jr. Orgies are bad. Homosexuality is bad. Heresy is bad. All of these things typify Martin Luther King, Jr. When a civilized and decent society – especially one with a substantial segment of that society that professes Jesus – beatifies a sex-trafficking adulterer and homosexual, it doesn’t elevate that society to higher plains of decency. Society doesn’t become better by virtue-signaling alone, especially when the virtue being signaled is tied intrinsically to a man with little virtue of his own.
Before we get to Martin Luther King, let me demonstrate the standard of decency that our American society has mutually agreed upon as fair exchange in the Marketplace of Ideas. We have – generally speaking – agreed that men who take advantage of women or who treat women like disposable sexual objects should not be promoted and should not advance in influence. There is literally no better time to demonstrate this nearly universal consensus than now.
On October 5, 2017, the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke. The Hollywood producer and kingmaker now has 93 accusers alleging (none of them proven, as of yet) misbehavior on a spectrum that spans from abuse of influence to gain sexual favors to out-right rape. Weinstein is now persona-non-grata, unhireable, blacklisted, and his name will live in infamy. Since then, a peculiar cultural phenomenon called “the Weinstein Effect” has led to (nearly) countless high-profile men having to resign their positions, lose their influence, and step down from their institutional responsibilities because of a systemic cultural sin problem that isn’t confined to Hollywood. And sure, many of them are in Hollywood, and include celebrities like James Franco, Paul Haggis, Morgan Spurlock, Travis Smiley, Russell Simons, Louis C.K., Steven Segal, Dustin Hoffman, Jeremy Piven, Kevin Spacey, Oliver Stone, Ben Affleck, and Danny Masterson. In the news media, notable Weinstein Effect crash-and-burns include Charlie Rose, Bill O’Reilly, Matt Lauer, and Matt Zimmerman. In politics, those taken out by the Weinstein Effect include Al Franken, John Conyers, and most notably, Roy Moore.
The nearly-universal agreement that men who use women as sexual playthings shouldn’t be celebrated, promoted, voted for, hired or promoted (or even employed) is so accepted that the most recognizable conservative political figure in Alabama lost a “sure-thing” election against a Democrat in a deeply red state. Opposing Roy Moore on the grounds that good policy or good positions don’t undo personal scumbaggery were evangelicals. The fact is, Roy Moore was not defeated in spite of evangelical support, but he was defeated because of evangelical opposition. While the accusations against Moore are somewhat credible, they are also somewhat deniable. He certainly has not been found guilty in a court of law. His offenses (which do not include, ironically enough, actual sexual relationships) are forty years old. At least some of the evidence against Moore has been fabricated or at the very least, tampered with.
Some evangelicals made the case that regardless of what Moore has done in his past, which amounts to being a man in his younger thirties being “pervy” (I think that’s the official term) to post-pubescent teenage girls, he’s better to represent Alabamians than someone who thinks it’s okay to butcher babies in the womb. Republicans may sexually harass teenagers, their argument went, but Democrats want to murder babies. That was their argument (take it for what it’s worth), and that argument was rejected by enough evangelicals that Roy Moore lost to a Democrat in a Republican state. People – evangelicals, in particular, – made the conscious decision that even if someone promoted good things, if they practice bad things – they should not be celebrated, promoted, or supported.
Sure, there are inconsistencies to the degree that different segments of society hold to this assertion. Some Republicans who once comprised the “Moral Majority” and stood against Bill Clinton’s scumbaggery (which was pretty undeniable) also supported Roy Moore in spite of his (still unproven but nonetheless likely) scumbaggery. There are nuances and differences (Clinton never stopped his scumbaggery even while in office, probably raped women, and was repeatedly proven guilty by a preponderance of the evidence, while the jury is still out on Moore and his offenses were much longer ago and not nearly as severe). But still, someone pointing out that a Republican calling for the impeachment of Clinton and later the election of Roy Moore might be cognitively dissonant may have a point to some degree. Likewise, Democrats who supported Hillary Clinton – who has been nothing but a persecutor of her husband’s sexual victims – have their outrage toward Donald Trump’s anatomy-grab comment ring hollow. Nonetheless, as a general rule, we don’t want to be a society that supports, condones, or celebrates scumbags who were engaged in scumbaggery, even if they promote policies we like. Even though most are inconsistent in that rule’s application, we agree with that premise.
Evangelicals like Russell Moore and the Social Gospel Coalition warriors fought vehemently against Judge Roy Moore. They cannot – with any degree of consistency – celebrate the legacy of a man whose utter depravity makes Judge Roy Moore look like a choir boy. Heck, Martin Luther King makes Bill Clinton look like a choir boy. The ability to celebrate Martin Luther King in the age of the Weinstein Effect is gross negligence. It’s only the product of inconsistency. And, that inconsistency is inexcusable.
Although it has been very, very common knowledge (for a very, very long time) that Martin Luther King, Junior had no more personal integrity than Reverends Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson, he has been venerated by American civil society, the evidence regarding King’s gross sexual sins entered into official government documentation when the “JFK Files” were released last year. As a part of that civil society, evangelicals have happily jumped on the bandwagon celebrating MLK. We wrote about this in the post, It’s Time to Stop Beatifying Martin Luther King, Jr. We wrote then:
President Donald Trump ordered the release of documents relating to President John F. Kennedy from the National Archives, and those documents contain a dossier on King. What they reveal, according to Fox News and other sources, is that King had multiple extramarital affairs, likely sired an out-of-wedlock child with his mistress, and had a penchant for orgies. Please note that these have all been common knowledge about King, but these documents provide hard evidence of the claims.
The Washington Examiner claims that a 20-page document details a “two-day drunken sex orgy in Washington D.C.” attended by King, in which he took part in the festivities. The primary source document may be read here. The document reveals that the orgy contained both heterosexual and homosexual behavior (it’s long been known that King engaged in bi-sexual behavior). Claims that this document is an attempt by J. Edgar Hoover to slander King are entirely foolish, considering that this was an internal report that was sealed from the public.
The document also details MLK’s communist sentiments, quoting a “Gus Hall,” who was the General Secretary of CPUSA (the Communist Party), as saying, “King is a whole-hearted Marxist who has studied it, believes in it, and agrees with it, but because of his being a minister of religion, does not dare to espouse it publicly.”
Furthermore, the document cites attendees at several of his events who testify to “behind the scenes drinking, fornication, and homosexuality that went on at the conference,” and provided testimony of prostitutes being brought in for King and his associates. Along with this the document also reveals that King was carrying ongoing affairs with at least three women, including a prominent folk singer. The document states, “It is a fact that King not only regularly indulges in adulterous acts but enjoys the abnormal by engaging in group sex orgies.”
It’s not really conspiracy at this point. There is documentation. There is evidence. These are not new allegations, these are only newly proven allegations. They’ve been known about and reported upon for a long time. They substantiate the testimonies of the people surrounding King (who were a part of his movement for racial equality), who testified to his behavior. Anyone who is an expert on MLK, a historian of any sorts, knows that Martin Luther King’s personal life was rife with sexual escapades that involved many women, including prostitutes (we call that “sex trafficking” today), and even men.
There’s another issue for Christians that may not be controversial for pagans and it’s this; King was a heretic. There’s no doubt about this. He denied the Virgin Birth, denied Scriptural inerrancy, had very troublesome views of the atonement, and was by all accounts a theological liberal. This can be easily researched by yourself, but here’s a paper from King denying the Virgin Birth and called the Resurrection “historically and philosophically untenable.” From start to finish, King denied the fundamentals of Christianity, practicing a liberation and social-gospel theology. As the Christian Research Institute notes:
In 1985, Coretta Scott King asked Stanford professor Clayborne Carson to become the head of The King Papers Project, tasked to publish fourteen volumes of King’s papers to preserve his work. The papers’ dates range from 1948 to 1963. Around 1996, Mrs. King gave Carson a box with papers that affirmed King’s doubts about whether the Bible was literally true: “King didn’t believe the story of Jonah being swallowed by a whale was true, for example, or that John the Baptist actually met Jesus, according to texts detailed in the King papers book. King once referred to the Bible as ‘mythological’ and also doubted whether Jesus was born to a virgin, Carson said.”
On top of all of this, King’s dissertation was doused with healthy doses of plagiarism, this according to the New York Times.
So then, other than virtue-signaling one’s lack of racism (an overly-simplistic and sophomoric idea of, “If I celebrate MLK, I’m not racist”), why would a pagan who affirms our common cultural belief that those who use women as sexual objects or abuse their positions of authority for sexual treats then celebrate MLK? How could one who thinks Harvey Weinstein is bad then celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.? Furthermore, how could a Christian who affirms Biblical teaching celebrate one who taught contrary to it and lived contrary to it?
Now, the answer might be, “In spite of his flaws, King promoted good ideas like equality, justice, and racial harmony.” Yes, and Judge Roy Moore promoted ideas like the Sanctity of Life, the Sanctity of Marriage, and religious freedom. You can’t have it both ways. If you can’t celebrate Judge Roy Moore, you can’t celebrate Martin Luther King.
Be consistent, or be sub-intellectual. It’s your choice.
[Editor’s Note: Contributed by JD Hall; this post was done because I saw that SBC Voices, which fervently attacked Roy Moore for his alleged sexual misgivings, are celebrating MLK, despite his even-more-credible sexual misgivings. I really hate inconsistency, and virtue signaling is annoying. Have it one way or have it the other way, but you can’t have it both ways.]
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