Fifty years ago, thousands marched in Selma as part of a faith-rooted, moral campaign to secure an expansion of voting rights. Extremists who couldn't deny their cause sought to distract and divide the country by using moral and religious language to stir up old sexual fears. The mystery money and secretive organizing behind today's "religious freedom" bills seek to do the same.
We who preach the good news of "freedom to captives" in this Easter season must make clear as Dr. King did that religion serves the common good when it cries out against injustice, not when it fuels culture wars by dictating personal morality. Extremists in our state houses are echoing George Wallace and Jim Clark of Selma when they pretend to talk about morality in order to hold onto power. We would do well to pay attention to the moral witness of those who most now agree were on the right side of history.