The King Assassination Riots – A Lesson For All Times

The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, on the 4th April 1968, was an extremely sad and tragic crime, which lead to many very violent criminal reactions on April 5th and the following few days. In the King assassination riots, there were 43 deaths, over 3,000 injuries and over 20,000 people arrested.

President Lindon Johnson said of that extreme reaction: “What did you expect? I don’t know why we’re so surprised. When you put your foot on a man’s neck and hold him down for three hundred years, and then you let him up, what’s he going to do? He’s going to knock your block off.”

King can be said to have predicted the riots with these words: “…….  in spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones. Violence is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all.”

Lord Please Bless Our Freedoms With The Good Sense To Keep The Peace And Not Kill Out Of Hate

Geoff Fox, 5th April, 2023, Terra Nullius

Theology For Freedom #1 Thomas Aquinas

St Thomas Aquinas died on this date in 1274, 749 years ago.

The ideas of Aquinas on Natural Law are echoed in the assertion in the American Declaration Of Independence: ““We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights ……. “

In his letter from the Birmingham City Jail in 1963, Martin Luther King Jr also referred to Aquinas: “A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.” 

Towards the end of his life, Thomas Aquinas pointed at his own books and said that his writing “appears to be as so much straw”. This rejection of bookishness by one of the great book writers in human history reminds me of the insightful rearticulation by my new friend Father Michael Bowie of the essence of his own Christian faith: “God is a person not a book.” I have made my own adaptation of these words to suit the emptier spaces of part o the Guercino portrait of Aquinas distracted from his writing seen above and below.

As I see it, the eternal law of God, which Jesus said he came not to destroy, but to fulfil, can also be fulfilled in all of us at our best.

Our best is when we speak our minds in ways that help us hear.

I would like to call that theofreedom.


Thomas Jefferson.

Martin Luthor King (Jr)

And, hopefully, that God-based freedom still lives in us, here and now.

Sincerely, Geoff Fox, 7th March, 2023, Down Under

St Mary Of The Cross And Martin Luther King Junior: Their Spirit Lives On In “Women. Life. Freedom.”

Today is both the 181st birthday of Australia’s only Saint, Mary McKillop, and the 94th birthday of America’s cultural hero, Martin Luther King Jr.

3 years ago today I wrote this about them here.

I see echoes of the greatness of both these figures in the “Women. Life. Freedom.” movement which is opposing murderous tyranny now.

Geoff Fox, 15th January, 2023, Down Under

McKillop and King

The famous Martin Luther King, who was born on 15th January, 1929, wrote from prison: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

As Australia is burning down, justice here seems impossible to me. A few dozen people are dead – and a billion animals. Nothing seems fair in the land of the alleged “fair go”.

Mary MacKillop, Saint Mary Of The Cross, was also born on this date in 1842.

She helped establish the Josephite order where women renounced independence, worldly knowledge and property to embrace poverty, chasity and obedience.

This commitment allowed the order to establish countless schools for the poor across Australia. That was a very different time.

As I live with almost no income and face the real possibility of poverty and homelessness at the age 0f 62, I am in awe of Mary MacKillop and Martin Luther King.

Geoff Fox, 15th January 2020, Terra Nullius.