Saturday, January 13, 2007

Should MLK Birthday Be a National Holiday?

By John W. Lillpop

One cannot dispute the fact that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an icon in the civil rights movement, a champion for African- Americans, and a symbol of hope for downtrodden and oppressed people everywhere.

Nearly 40 years after his assassination, Dr. King's words and actions continue to inspire, guide, and illuminate.

But does the birth and life of Dr. King warrant the forced closure of American government, education, and vast segments of private enterprise for an entire day every year?

Compared to the other national holidays observed in America, is Martin Luther King day really appropriate?

Consider please: Martin Luther King day is the only holiday named for a specific American figure, although Dr. King was never elected to political office, nor did he serve the entire nation and all people in any official capacity.

No president, war hero, educator, religious leader, or other individual American in our history has been so honored. Why should Dr. King be the exception?

Further. consider why we celebrate the other national holidays:

We honor those who have given their lives during war (Memorial Day), we celebrate America's independence and establishment of the most successful democracy in human history (Independence Day), we honor the tens of millions of blue-collar workers whose labor has built this great nation (Labor Day), we honor all the men and women who have served and are serving in the U.S. military (Veteran's Day), we observe a day of thankful reflection for the many blessings bestowed upon the American people by our Creator (Thanksgiving), we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ along with billions of people throughout the world (Christmas), we celebrate the start of a new year (New Year's Day), and we honor those who have served as America's Chief Executive Officer and commander-in-chief (President's Day).

Given the substance behind America's other designated national holidays, does Martin Luther King day really seem warranted?

Or is this holiday really all about easing white guilt over slavery and racism in America's past?

John Lillpop is a recovering liberal, "clean and sober" since 1992 when last he voted for a Democrat. Pray for John: He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where people like Nancy Pelosi are considered reasonable!