Cornel West on why MLK’s Bible shouldn’t be used at the inauguration of Obama

Cornell West is a voice that I always listen to. I can’t, a white middle-class guy, claim to always understand. But, I always want to appreciate and listen.

My issue is both with using Martin Luther King Jr.’s bible and one step further: using a bible at all. This is a form of nationalistic idolatry, which is not addressed by the video. However, the concerns addressed are important ones.

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  • West’s critique is powerful, but I actually don’t think he does question whether using the Bible is appropriate. At one point he says it’s “fine.” I don’t think it actually is fine, for all the reasons he said it wasn’t fine to use MLK’s Bible. Just as it was offensive to West that Obama would co-opt King by using his Bible, it’s offensive to me that the U.S. would co-opt Jesus by using a Bible at all!

  • bluecenterlight

    Amen brother west, amen.

  • I really fail to see how this was any of West’s business. The family stated that it was ok, even to the point of asking the President along with the chief Justice to sign the bible before returning it to them. Sadly we all think we own a piece of King, we don’t. If his family is ok with it then really, honestly, truly it is none of our business.