WSJ 7/2/2020. Letters to the Editor.
There is a common theme between the discussions of morality and moral law in Daniel Henninger’s “Smiley Face Liberalism” (Wonder Land, June 25) and “Notable & Quotable: Dr. King” (June 25). Mr. Henninger speaks of the left’s erasure of “even the idea of a functioning consensus about morality,” concluding that in a society untethered to a shared moral baseline, no one today has moral authority. The latter quotes a portion of Martin Luther King Jr.’s powerful and timeless “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” in the context of the recent kerfuffle at UCLA, where lecturer W. Ajax Peris is under investigation for having the temerity to read King’s letter aloud in class, in which King used the n-word twice.
One suspects UCLA’s microaggression monitors have little real concern about their exquisitely sensitive students hearing Dr. King’s meaningful, historical use of a word that is heard in almost every gangsta-rap song today. Rather, it is King’s message about the foundation for a moral code that is most threatening to leftist academia’s relativism, i.e., that “just” laws must be rooted in natural law, eternal law or the law of God. As with the writers of our Declaration of Independence, which refers to the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” King declared there must be a fixed touchstone or standard against which to determine what laws are moral and just, or not. Otherwise, laws can be declared just or unjust arbitrarily, as it suits the ideology of the loudest or most powerful voice in the conversation. One can only wonder how King himself would have fared if he read his letter verbatim today in a class of those offended UCLA students.
Ed Grysavage St. Augustine, Fla.