Monday, January 18, 2010
MLK/Human Rights Day- X Factor Ed(Add?)ition
Since today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Human Rights Day, I draw your attention to an article published in The Salt Lake Tribune last Saturday by Pastor Corey Hodges, who is pastor of New Pilgrim Baptist Church in SLC- Remembering two martyrs: King and Malcolm X. Pastor Hodges is a frequent contributor to the Trib's 'Faith' section. I look forward to his articles which are always insightful and often constructively provocative. To frame the legacies of Dr. King and Malcolm X in terms of Catholic social teaching, King represents solidarity and X subsidiarity. As Pope Benedict pointed out in his most recent encylical Caritas in veritate: "The principle of subsidiarity must remain closely linked to the principle of solidarity and vice versa, since the former without the latter gives way to social privatism, while the latter without the former gives way to paternalist social assistance that is demeaning to those in need" (par. 58).
I read The Autobiogrpahy of Malcom X shortly before Spike Lee's Malcom X was released. Lee's biopic, starring Denzel Washington, remains, at least in my opinion, one of his very best films. Suffice it to say that my assessment of the achievements of and societal critique offered by Malcolm X is more positive than that of Pastor Hodges, which is why I allude to his autobiography, told to and written by Alex Haley, and Lee's movie. This is also why I see the contribution of both men in terms of solidarity and subsidiarity, two approaches that can only be balanced through tension of the dialectical kind.