Neo-antinomian guru Darryl G. Hart answers an ignorant, semi-literate Canadian on a public forum in this promising way:
So Steve, are you also concerned that Americans (of certain political persuasions) exalt Martin Luther King, Jr., and don’t ever address his philandering or plagiarism?
“Philandering” is such an understatement that it must be taken as a euphemism. King took part in wild orgies, especially when white women were available. Although, in fairness, it should be pointed out that apparently a black bruthah would serve in a pinch, according to Abernathy — King was apparently neither a racist nor a sexist, at least in this matter that interested him more than anything else. Nevertheless, it was encouraging to see Hart start off by at least mentioning these suppressed aspects about Westminster Seminary’s hero Martin Luther King, Jr.
Alas, it wasn’t to last. He continued:
The right [meaning, the Right — ed.] of course looks at those moral failings to discredit King. But what exactly do those failings have to do with what he was trying to do to gain equality for blacks?
This is not the right question, however. The question is, what exactly do those failings have to do with honoring him as an American hero? And the answer is, it has everything to do with that. Moreover, heroes are generally identified not by what they “try to do,” but what they actually do. George Washington was honored by our forefathers not for “trying” to do something, but actually doing it, against all odds — namely, defeating an empire with a rag-tag group of freezing patriots. In contrast, what did King “do”? He was a hollow man that could not even write his own sermons and speeches. He was chauffered up to the front of the parades at just the right camera moment. His movement did not overcome anything. On the contrary, his small band of opponents were beaten down with the combined forces of LBJ, the nationalized militia, the FBI, federal marshals, corrupt judges, and an adoring and dishonest media. All King had to do was show up. What a difference from Washington.
But, Washington was also perceived to be morally blameless. For all intents and purposes, he was beloved by everyone, and that for the double qualification of heroic deeds coupled with exemplary character.
But let’s consider Mr. Hart’s thesis on its own level — what did King’s “failings” have to do with “what he was trying to do”?
According to lore, Mafia bosses “did a lot” to “gain equality for the Italian people.” But most people do not say that the criminal means can be divorced from the end (even if the ambiguity of that end is set aside for the sake of discussion).
I suppose it goes without saying that Mr. Hart would not praise the original KKK for attempting to regain equality for Southerners vis-a-vis the Yankee occupiers.
Why then are King’s methods and character set aside by defenders like Mr. Hart, when they would never do so for a Mafia godfather or KKK leader? It must be either that some heroes are guilty of a skin, and thus must not be honored, or character and methods is not something Mr. Hart actually believes can be set aside when deciding whether to honor a man. As if sensing the corner he has painted himself into, Hart continues:
Was he sleeping with female congresswomen in order to secure favorable legislation? That might discredit some of his stand.
Oh please. This is really quite a revelation of how the slavish political conformity of our Reformed “leaders” has addled their thinking. As if a Congresswoman in 1965 would be thinking, “I really can’t support this civil rights legislation … unless Dr. King would be willing to sleep with me. Then I would.”
A quick check of Wiki indicates that in 1965, of the nine Congresswomen in office, all were White and over 50, except for one Oriental woman from Hawaii. Does Mr. Hart really think that even one of these women would think the way he imputes in the one example that pops naturally into his head?
Does he think any woman holding power, of any race and any age would think that way?
This is one sick dude.
In point of fact, that is one perversion that Martin Pervert King did not choose in plying his trade. Why does Mr. Hart think this way?
Even so, how would such a scenario “discredit some of King’s stand”? Does “the stand” mean the cause — equality for black people — in which case, how could such a sacred cause be discredited by the behavior of any person? Or does it mean, “this man’s standing” — i.e. it discredits this man, personally, this man that is taking the stand? In that case, what does the “some of” qualification of his stand mean? To the extent that the stander not the stand is in view, wouldn’t it completely disqualify?
But for the most part, his failings were personal and private and represented the afflictions that cling to most human beings not born of a virgin.
First, all failings by persons are personal. How does that qualify anything?
Second, “Doctor” King’s failings were not private. The plagiarism in particular was witnessed every time he made a speech, and the plagiarized Ph. D. dilutes the credibility of every other Ph.D. holder, especially those coming from Boston U.
Third, this statement is a preposterous denial of God’s gifts and graces manifested in history. It plasters over human history into a flat sameness. Only, he doesn’t even use plaster, he uses dung.
According to Tacitus, the Germans in their pre-Christian state were more chaste than the African-American community is after three centuries of exposure to the Bible.
Actually, putting it that way is not quite fair… to the Germans. It would be less misleading to say it this way: the pre-Christian Germans were a chaste people; the Christian Negroes are not a chaste people.
But according to Hart, King’s flagitious character represents “the afflictions that cling to most human beings not born of a virgin.”
Michael Dyson says the womanizing is endemic among pastors in the black church. Is Mr. Hart willing to say, “also in my denomination, the OPC?”
Is Mr. Hart willing to say, “most Ph. D. holders not born of a virgin have plagiarized their dissertations”? How should we regard the integrity of Mr. Hart’s own Ph.D. if that is what he thinks?
In fairness, Mr. Hart admits defects in King’s theology, and rejects King’s use of theology for his civil struggle. But that’s not the point. Being antinomian leads to despising God’s work of sanctification where it has occurred, and to God’s common gracious preserving and directing in history. This is the theological fruit one reaps when one reveres the current political order, along with its shibboleths, above just about all else.