Martin Luther King and Robert E. Lee, and Why We Triggered You This MLK Day
Why did you run a post telling people not to observe MLK Day because of his lack of Christian character and then post an article about the Christian character of Robert E Lee! Guffaw! [Insert accusation of racism here]. Why? Well, we were hoping for a response like this.
No, we weren’t “hoping” to be called “the Westboro Baptist Church of the Internet” (by the way, Westboro Baptist Church is the Westboro Baptist Church of the Internet, you sheer genius). No, we were wanting to demonstrate a fundamental and elementary truth when it comes to thinking in the post-modern Marketplace of Ideas. By “thinking,” we mean the process of using one’s mind to consider a matter. Postmodernism has made thinking hard. And, if we – as Christians – are to demolish every proud argument and lofty opinion raised up against God (2 Corinthians 10:5), we have to recognize that so long as we are enslaved to postmodernity, our minds remain enslaved and feeble.
Those seeking to do apologetics or polemics must make sure that we are thinking, that our brains are tuned up, well-greased, the pistons are pumping and it’s firing on all cylinders. Our job is to battle in the foxhole of ideas. Ideas are the front line of the skirmish, and thoughts are the means of our warfare. The philosophical ideas that pervade our culture, those that deny absolute truth, play from a peculiar book of rules that were unfortunately created by the enemy. It has created for our minds what is, effectively, a philosophical prison from which we must break free. And frankly, there are too many Christians dabbling in contending for the truth through apologetics who have yet to acknowledge their brain has already been taken hostage to the lofty opinions and vain philosophies that indoctrinate our age.
Consider, for example, these propositions as we game-planned the conjoining of these two posts together:
- Martin Luther King, undeniably, held to grossly heretical doctrines and provable, unbridled sexual depravity. He also held to an unbliblical worldview known as Marxism. King also said some good things about racial harmony and supported the equality of the races.
- Robert E. Lee, undeniably, held to high ethical standards and was of a towering moral character. He was an orthodox Christian believer and a man of devout faith whose personal life reflected his public profession of faith. He also fought for a side of the Civil War that would uphold a State’s rights to keep slavery legal.
- Considering Point 1, MLK was grossly immoral and heretical, but affirmed the fair treatment among the “races.” Considering Point 2, Lee was evidently a strong believer in Jesus and was devout in his private life and affirmed in his Christian character, but he did not affirm the universal fair treatment of the races. MLK’s view of racial harmony was in harmony with the Scripture, but the rest of his doctrine and lifestyle were not. Lee’s view of racial harmony was not in harmony with the Scripture (at least during a portion of his life), but the rest of his doctrine and lifestyle was in harmony with the Scripture.
- If the first man can be celebrated by Christians – who in fact was not a Christian either in his doctrine or conduct – based upon his view of racial equality, and the second man can be scorned by Christians – who in fact was a Christian based upon his doctrine and conduct – based upon his errant view of racial inequality, then that means what we believe is that our view on racial equality is more important than “essential Christian doctrines” (that’s a term referring to things like Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, a belief in the Virgin Birth, Resurrection, and so on) and is more important than godly character.
Now, while people can make Westboro comparisons because we dare deal with the realities that Martin Luther King, Jr was historically a scumbag heretic and Robert E. Lee was an upstanding Christian man of the orthodox Christian faith, the reality is that reality is. History doesn’t change because of 21st Century cognitive retardation. We are impaired in our thinking, we lack the ability to think critically, fairly, and objectively, but that doesn’t change the realities as to who these two men really were. MLK really was a scumbag and Robert E Lee really was a Christian leader in his confession and conduct.
However, postmodernity thinks that truth is malleable to our subjective feelings. And so, postmodernists view things we like as “truth” and therefore view things we don’t like as “lies.” Objectivity isn’t even considered. The comments left on our Facebook page underneath the post for MLK demonstrate this perfectly; someone would frequently comment, “These are lies!” What they mean by that is, “I don’t like this information.” To them, they think, MLK’s documented “moral indiscretions” are immaterial and inadmissible in the court of their opinion. Likewise, that Robert E. Lee was historically a man of deep and devout faith that bore fruit in keeping with repentance was similarly made immaterial and inadmissible. With all the cognitive functioning of a preschooler, “Martin Luther King is good!” and “Robert E. Lee is bad!” is the shallow, sophomoric, sub-intellectual status quo of the public schooled American mind. People have been conditioned to think so, and so they think so. In the postmodern mind, facts don’t matter; they just get in the way of a good opinion.
Now, if someone read the aforementioned posts on MLK and Lee (intellectual laziness and reading comprehension are casualties of postmodernity), they would have seen (at least in the former) that the point wasn’t that Martin Luther King, Jr isn’t worth celebrating. The point is that if Christians should celebrate a man for no reason besides what he propositionally stood for (the positions he officially held) even though the man was unrestrained in his depravity, there is no reason why those same Christians should not have celebrated Judge Roy Moore. Like MLK, Roy Moore stands for good and wholesome things (the sanctity of life, the sanctity of marriage, religious freedom and so on). Like MLK, Roy Moore (seems) to have suffered from a similar – although not as extensive – lasciviousness. If MLK can be celebrated, then Roy Moore can be celebrated. The point of that post was that the very ones daily attacking Roy Moore (chiefly, Russell Moore, the ERLC, and the Gospel Coalition) are the very same exact ones who are throwing a party in honor of Martin Luther King in a few months. The point was simple: A thinking and rational person, who entertains facts and factors in reality when making moral judgments, one who values cognitive consistency, would not celebrate one and scorn the other, or scorn one and celebrate the other. A similar mental disfunction was demonstrated by Russell Moore and Albert Mohler when they demanded the removal of Confederate flags and monuments from State property but refused to remove the names of Confederate soldiers (like those of Confederate chaplains and slave-holders, Manly and Boyce) from SBC property.
[Editor’s Note: If there is any doubt that my point was to demonstrate consistency (I can already hear accusations of being “alt-right”) let it be known that I’ve gone on record to say that I did not vote for Donald Trump and would not have voted for Roy Moore, had I resided in Alabama, and both on account of deficiencies in morality (the former has been proven, the latter is alleged, but credibly it seems)]
My point, as clearly as I could make it, is that what drives the Evangelical Intelligentsia is not their brain. They are not thinking rationally, reasonably, or consistently. They are driven by virtue-signaling political correctness and in some cases (like that of Russell Moore) social progressivism and Cultural Marxism. Inconsistency, as James White says, is the sign of a failed argument. The fact is, no one putting on the TGC/ERLC joint “MLK50” conference can give a coherent answer for why Christians should celebrate one scumbag for what he only propositionally supported while scorning the other. Celebrate one or celebrate them both. Scorn one or scorn both. But because of the rules of logic, you can’t consistently do both.
Then comes our post on Robert E. Lee, which was basically designed to trigger the snowflakes. And trigger snowflakes it did. A “snowflake,” according to Urban Dictionary, is a “A very sensitive person. Someone who is easily hurt or offended by the statements or actions of others.” For example, consider David Wood, who was so emotionally scarred and spiritually wounded that we would write about Robert E. Lee on MLK Day (bless his ever politically correct, virtue-signaling heart) he’s spent days curled up in the fetal position flailing about his virtue blankie via social media. The danger of “snowflakism” is that it inhibits – if not prohibits – honest intellectual discourse in the marketplace of ideas. If everyone is having a conniption fit every time someone doesn’t walk the line of political correctness, then whoever gets to define political correctness wins the battles for our hearts and souls. And by the way, it’s neither Christians nor conservatives who are defining political correctness these days.
What we did – and did intentionally – in our back-to-back MLK and Robert E. Lee posts was not designed to be controversial for the sake of controversy. No, it was to be controversial for the sake of cognition. Do we think, or do we emotionally respond? Do we let facts speak louder than feelings? Do we weigh evidence in the court of our opinion, or do we cover it up under our blanket of subjectivity? Are we prepared to speak about important cultural issues – like race relations – without having to cry in the corner when someone breaks the social mores we were given via our government education lobotomy?
The fact is, the very people presenting themselves (especially in the politically correct Cultural Marxism of New Calvinism) as the experts on racial harmony are the very ones who find an honest discussion untenable, if not tasteless. By dancing around unfortunate realities (say, for example, statistics, demographics, and other objective realities that deal with race or immigration) and by adopting a “MLK is good and Robert E. Lee is bad” simplistic ethos, the non-thinkers are actually inhibiting the very thing they wish to accomplish.
If only people would judge Martin Luther King and Robert E. Lee by the content of their character, and not the color of their skin.
[Contributed by JD Hall]