UNITED STATES — On this day each year, the U.S. honors Martin Luther King Jr. Public schools, government offices, and many businesses are closed in order to recognize his work and sacrifice, as well as the staggering influence that his message has had on American society. Many Pagans, Heathens and polytheists across the country participate in local activities, both small and large, and privately in ritual to recognize Dr. King and his influence. After a contentious presidential election cycle, this year’s day of honor has found itself at the helm of what promises to be an interesting and tense political week, culminating in inauguration day. While there have been celebrations and parades throughout the country focused specifically on King and his legacy, much of this year’s political energy and focus is on the coming week, as the U.S. is poised for a political shift with unknown consequences. Some Pagans, Heathens, and polytheists, hailing from all walks of life, are preparing to participate in the week’s schedule of marches, actions, and other activities specific to their political and social concerns.
Today, the U.S. honors Martin Luther King Jr. Public schools, government offices and many businesses are closed in order to recognize his work and sacrifice, as well as the staggering influence that his message has had on American society. Many Pagans, Polytheists and Heathens across the country are participating in local activities, both small and large, to recognize Dr. King and his influence. Some choose to honor his work within the privacy of their practice. For example, T. Thorn Coyle noted that “Solar Cross Devotional will honor the legacy of Dr. King, focusing on economic and racial justice.” However, many others are attending larger public community events such as the second annual #96Hours action held this weekend in California’s Bay Area. Organized by the Anti Police-Terror Organization, the #96Hours event consists of a weekend of scheduled actions, including protests, interfaith vigils, rallies and other activities, culminating in a march through the city of Oakland. Groups and individuals participating in the various activities include members of Coru Cathubodua, Solar Cross Temple, Golden Gate Kindred and more.
In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I’m re-printing my tribute from 2012, which I think still resonates as one way we as Pagans can acknowledge this great activist and religious leader. I would also recommend John Beckett’s post on King’s paper regarding Mystery Religions. “I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
“I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
“What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.” – Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go From Here? (1967)
Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, when the nation celebrates the birthday* of peacemaker activist Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.. “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”