Today we salute the achievements and celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We can be grateful for how God used him as an ordained minister to fight nonviolently for racial equality and an end to discrimination in the United States.
This was a fitting battle in a country that holds “these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This battle was morally right, because “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).
The movement for racial equality was also right from an economic perspective. Slavery is the most expensive form of labor. Though slaves were never paid, the cost of chains, dogs, and fear was much greater than wages paid to free workers. Even more, slavery destroyed the dignity and innovative spirit of human beings, and this economic loss is incalculable.
Even racial discrimination disrupts the free working of the labor market and introduces costly distortions. As a result of this sin, both producers and consumers are harmed. Everyone will be better off when the shadow of racial discrimination and prejudice finally passes from this land. As Dr. King cried out: And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state in every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”