A New King? Please!

On this day set aside to honor Dr. King, I am reminded how bereft we are of leaders of his stature. We really need the moral compass he provided.

The strongest voices in our nation these days seem to belong to those whose primary values focus on money–getting more, keeping what they have, avoiding paying taxes. We need a counterweight of the sort provided by Martin Luther King, Jr.

I am particularly struck by the absence of religious voices that speak with the authority he commanded.

Jonathan and I were at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fairfax Saturday afternoon and evening to hear Rev. Mark Kiyimba, a Unitarian Universalist minister in Uganda, speak about his work against misogyny and homophobia in his country. He did not speak in the magnificent cadences of Dr. King, but he spoke with the same moral power and clarity. As I listened, I thought, “Oh we need him and others like him, we need a new Dr. King in this country.”

What struck me about Rev. Kiyimba is something that was always clear about Dr. King. He is a serious man, a faithful man who thinks for himself, a man who thinks with God as his main adviser. He does not consult polls, he does not let himself get caught up in seeking publicity for himself but he strategizes about how to get the message of peace and justice a full and fair hearing.

Of course, there will never be another Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We cannot, and should not, seek to duplicate him. But we need a new King for this time.

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