Will the Real Institute on the Constitution Please Stand Up?

Last week, a representative of the Institute on the Constitution, John Lofton, touted a  new initiative to alert elected officials that they must administer God’s law rather than make their own laws. Called the God and Government project, Lofton wants followers to go to town council, school board and other local government meetings with 2-3 minutes speeches promoting the IOTC view of civil government.  You can read all of them at the link, but I will cite the first one.

Suggested Statement for Those Going Alone
(The greeting you are most comfortable with but one that is respectful)
My name is __________________. And I wanted to come here this evening to tell about what God says is the duty of those holding the public office you hold.
In the 13th chapter of the book of Romans in the New Testament, God’s says that those who govern us, such as this (yourselves, this Council, whatever) are ministers of God — that actual word “minister” is used. And that you are a minister of God to us for good, for good, as defined by God’s Word. And that you are, conversely, to bring wrath on those who are evil — evil as defined by God’s Word.
Thus, your job is ministerial and not legislative. Your job is to administer and apply God’s Law. And this means it is not the role of government to house or feed or clothe or give health care or education or welfare to anyone.  There is no Biblical authority for that kind of thing. The provision of those things is the job of Christ’s Church.
Romans 13 also tells us that a law is just or unjust depending on whether it is in accord with what God says or whether it is at odds with God’s Law. That is the teaching of the Bible, St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, the British jurist William Blackstone and Martin Luther King in his “Letter From The Birmingham Jail.”
In that “Letter,” Dr. King said, and I quote: “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,” unquote. King said, and again I quote him directly: “We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was ‘legal’.” The word legal in this letter is in direct quotes, King’s point being that what Hitler did in Nazi Germany was not  legal because it was against the Laws of God.
Thank you very much. And may God bless us all as we obey Him.

There is a lot wrong here, but I want to focus on the surprising citation of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Let’s review: The IOTC’s founder and director is Michael Peroutka who is a board member of the neo-Confederate, Southern secessionist League of the South. Peroutka pledged the resources of the IOTC to the League and even told a League audience that he acquired what he knows about government from the League. What does the League think of Martin Luther King, Jr.?
One could start with this review of a book on Martin Luther King, Jr., by John Lofton. After reviewing recitations of allegations about King’s character and morality, Lofton concludes:

In a nutshell,’ what Mr. Garrow’s book demonstrates is that King was one of the most grossly immoral hypocrites in American history.

and then

Well, indeed, Martin Luther King was not a saint, to put it charitably. And thanks to the scholarship of David Garrow, we now know that he was “perhaps worse” than even Buchanan imagined. But to think that this man is honored with a national holiday, and for as much as a week at a time he is honored as a saint in thousands of our public schools. What a disgrace! 

If he is such immoral person, then why quote him Mr. Lofton?
Then, in a press release in 2005 from the League of the South on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day we learn the League’s view. Written by Peroutka’s fellow board member and League president Michael Hill, the release leaves no doubt about the League’s position on King:

In a day when every facet of traditional Anglo-Celtic Southern heritage is called evil—including the thoughts and actions of Lee and Jackson—I am in no mood to mince words. The “Reverend” “Dr.” Martin Luther King, Jr., far from being the saint of recent liberal myth, was nothing but a philandering, plagiarizing, left-wing agitator. Conversely, Lee and Jackson were paragons of Christian manhood, though not without fault. But this year, as always, King is the object of veneration by liberals of every color and stripe, while Lee and Jackson are held in utter disdain. Even some so-called “conservatives” sing MLK’s praises, choosing to keep silent about Lee and Jackson, in hopes that they will not be called “racists” by the left-wing media.

and…

Only a sick and reprobate society would elevate Martin Luther King, Jr., and demonize Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. The former sought to manipulate white guilt and use the power of national government for the ends of black racial advancement; the latter risked their lives on the field of battle to preserve the true principles of Constitutional government and the integrity of their homeland. To King and his ilk (both then and now), the U.S. Constitution and the Bible are nothing more than words to be twisted in service of the liberal vision of the good life. To Lee and Jackson, and those who honor them, they are the wellsprings of Christian liberty and prosperity.

There can be no compromise between the worldviews of those who follow MLK and those who salute Lee and Jackson. Moreover, there is no way that a man can, in good conscience, pay homage to both sides at the same time. 

At present, the IOTC appears to pay homage to both sides. On one hand, Michael Peroutka writes for League publications, speaks at League meetings, gladly joined the League’s board of directors and pledged the resources of the IOTC to the League. On the other hand, his organization favorably cites Martin Luther King, Jr. What a hypocritical ploy this is.

King’s letter from the Birmingham jail was addressed to clergy who opposed his non-violent resistance approach to inequality. The League of the South has no sympathy for African-Americans who suffered under Jim Crow laws and worse. In fact, Michael Hill defended Jim Crow laws. In a League essay, Hill said:

Whereas whites and blacks in the antebellum South had lived and worked together in close proximity, once the situation changed at the end of the war (especially with the passage of the Reconstruction amendments) some new arrangement became necessary if whites were to preserve their society. Few Southerners of the late nineteenth century believed that whites and blacks could live together in a state of equality without serious social consequences for both races. Therefore, postbellum Southern blacks were disenfranchised and “Jim Crow” laws resulted in a segregated South (today “Jim Crow” has been replaced by what might be called “Jim Snow” policies that discriminate against whites). Through these measures white Southerners were able to exert some control over a still primitive black population. Nonetheless, the “black community” of the late nineteenth century began to experience problems largely absent prior to 1865: black-on-black crime, illegitimacy, abject poverty, disease, and family disintegration, among others. Despite trillions spent on welfare and other programs, these problems–and many others–still plague the “black community” in the present day. Clearly there is an ever-present problem here that emancipation and money did not solve. 

In another essay (see also this one), Hill decried the civil rights movement led by King:

Sadly, our true interests were compromised and sold for a mess of pottage by our so-called leaders a long time ago. For instance, if the South had had real leaders of the people there would have been no second reconstruction known as the civil rights movement. 

Either the IOTC has betrayed the League or there is an effort to obscure the sentiment of the League to which the IOTC has been pledged.  If the IOTC really wants to celebrate civil rights and the legacy of King, publicly and decisively step away from the League of the South.