Commemorating Martin Luther King and Liberty

Lynne Kiesling

For the past couple of years, I’ve commemorated Martin Luther King day by rereading his Notes From A Birmingham Jail, which I recommend to you as an eloquent articulation of, among other things, the values of liberty and of equality before the law.

It’s interesting to reread it this year,as our awareness of increasing encroachment and violations of our civil liberties grows. The juxtaposition of “Birmingham Jail” with Jonathan Turley’s analysis of the top ten ways in which the United States is no longer the land of the free is striking and thought-provoking. We lose such liberties incrementally, and King’s reminder of the importance of disobeying unjust laws is important to remember as we consider Turley’s list and how to regain our freedom. Note also the juxtaposition with the Economic Freedom of the World report from 2011, in which the US fell in stature due to increasing regulatory invasiveness to accompany the civil liberty invasiveness.