ABORTION: by Bill MuehlenbergNews Weekly
I have a dream for the unborn
, February 4, 2012
January 17 marked Martin Luther King Jr Day in America.
The famous civil rights campaigner, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr (1929-1968), was a clergyman and a tireless activist in securing justice for black Americans. As a Baptist pastor and a black American, he knew full well that to treat blacks as second-class citizens was immoral and unbiblical.
His incessant civil rights activism, involving speeches, marches, boycotts and other activities, resulted in his being arrested and thrown into jail on various occasions, and his life was finally cut short by an assassin’s bullet on April 4, 1968.
He is perhaps most famous for his “I Have a Dream” speech, given on August 28, 1963, before some 200,000 supporters at the March on Washington. He dreamed of the day when blacks would be seen as equals with whites, and not as non-persons. Because of his ceaseless activity that dream is now very much realised.
But there is a very similar human rights struggle going on today, and it also involves treating an entire class of people as second-class citizens. The war against the unborn is every bit as ugly and dehumanising as was the war against blacks.
Where are those who will stand up for their civil rights — their very right to life? One person who is passionate about life is Martin Luther King Jr’s niece, Alveda King. In a recent interview with LifeNews.com, she discusses how her uncle would be involved in the pro-life movement today if he were still alive. It is worth quoting from.
The article says: “As the nation today marks the contributions of Dr Martin Luther King Jr., his niece Alveda King says her uncle would be pro-life and battle against abortion if he were alive today. As the daughter of Rev. A.D. King, a leader in the civil rights movement, King sees the pro-life cause as a continuation of the civil rights movement in which her uncle was a prominent leader.
“Alveda King called her uncle ‘a man of great compassion, and a man of non-violence’. He once said, ‘The negro cannot win as long as he is willing to sacrifice the lives of his children for comfort and safety,’ she added. King said her uncle would understand that to include the destruction of unborn children.” (LifeNews.com, January 16, 2012).
Alveda King told LifeNews.com previously: “I know in my heart that if Uncle Martin were alive today, he would join with me in the greatest civil rights struggle of this generation — the recognition of the unborn child’s basic right to life.
“My uncle Martin would agree that we cannot end poverty, hunger or suffering by killing those who might suffer. We cannot claim to guarantee equal rights if we deny the rights of the helpless. And we cannot feign ignorance of the fact that those who are torn apart, crushed or left to die on an abortionist’s table are just as human as we are.
“My uncle said that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” (LifeNews.com, August 28, 2008).
She recently added: “Abortion is genocide. It’s killing populations. It’s killing generations and certainly the population that is most impacted by abortion in America is the black community. So I feel that as a civil rights leader I have responsibility to proclaim that black Americans are being exterminated by the genocidal acts of abortion.”
Powerful words indeed. And many of the famous quotes of Dr Martin Luther King can certainly be applied to the battle for the unborn. Consider just a few of them:
• “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
• “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
• “A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.”
• “Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’ Vanity asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’ But, conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’ And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because one’s conscience tells one that it is right.”
• “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
• “We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people.”
• “The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But the Good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?’”
• “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”
• “A time comes when silence is betrayal.”
• “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable…. Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”
Every one of these powerful words can be directly applied for the struggle to rescue the unborn from slaughter.
The Australian poet Bruce Dawe wrote a moving poem about the unborn entitled “The Wholly Innocent”:
I never walked abroad in air
I never saw the sky
Nor knew the sovereign touch of care
Nor looked into an eye
I never chose, nor gave consent
Nor voted on my fate
Unseen, I came, unseen I went
Too early and too late
This was my life-line trust
As absolute as blood
Now down in the bucket thrust
Anonymous as mud
Oh you within whose God-like power
Lies to so decide
Remember me when, some late hour
Talks turn to genocide
For I was part of that doomed race
Whose death-cell was the womb
But who can clear a bloody space
And call it living room
I never had a name or cried
That central cry “I am”
But in a world-wide shambles died
Defenceless as a lamb
Remember me next time you
Rejoice at sun or star
I would have loved to see them too
I never got that far.
Bill Muehlenberg is a commentator on contemporary issues, and lectures on ethics and philosophy. His recent book, Strained Relations: The Challenge of Homosexuality, is reviewed in this issue of News Weekly. His website CultureWatch is at: www.billmuehlenberg.com
Steven Ertelt, “Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s niece to Obama: My uncle would oppose abortion”, LifeNews.com, August 28, 2008.
Steven Ertelt, “Martin Luther King Jr’s niece: My uncle would be pro-life”, LifeNews.com, January 16, 2012.