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Alveda King’s Appeal To President Obama 

Delivered at White House Gates

Washington, DC

January 23 at Noon for Birmingham Letter Project

Ezekiel 34

1 Then this message came to me from the LORD: 2 "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds, the leaders of Israel. Give them this message from the Sovereign LORD: Destruction is certain for you shepherds who feed yourselves instead of your flocks. Shouldn't shepherds feed their sheep? 3 You drink the milk, wear the wool, and butcher the best animals, but you let your flocks starve. 4 You have not taken care of the weak. You have not tended the sick or bound up the broken bones. You have not gone looking for those who have wandered away and are lost. Instead, you have ruled them with force and cruelty. 5 So my sheep have been scattered without a shepherd. They are easy prey for any wild animal. 6 They have wandered through the mountains and hills, across the face of the earth, yet no one has gone to search for them.

7 "Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: 8 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, you abandoned my flock and left them to be attacked by every wild animal. Though you were my shepherds, you didn't search for my sheep when they were lost. You took care of yourselves and left the sheep to starve. 9 Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD. 10 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I now consider these shepherds my enemies, and I will hold them responsible for what has happened to my flock. I will take away their right to feed the flock, along with their right to feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths; the sheep will no longer be their prey. 11 "For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search and find my sheep. 12 I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places to which they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day. 13 I will bring them back home to their own land of Israel from among the peoples and nations. I will feed them on the mountains of Israel and by the rivers in all the places where people live. 14 Yes, I will give them good pastureland on the high hills of Israel. There they will lie down in pleasant places and feed in lush mountain pastures. 15 I myself will tend my sheep and cause them to lie down in peace, says the Sovereign LORD. 16 I will search for my lost ones who strayed away, and I will bring them safely home again. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak. But I will destroy those who are fat and powerful. I will feed them, yes – feed them justice!

17 "And as for you, my flock, my people, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will judge between one sheep and another, separating the sheep from the goats. 18 Is it not enough for you to keep the best of the pastures for yourselves? Must you also trample down the rest? Is it not enough for you to take the best water for yourselves? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet? 19 All that is left for my flock to eat is what you have trampled down. All they have to drink is water that you have fouled. 20 "Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will surely judge between the fat sheep and the scrawny sheep. 21 For you fat sheep push and butt and crowd my sick and hungry flock until they are scattered to distant lands. 22 So I will rescue my flock, and they will no longer be abused and destroyed. And I will judge between one sheep and another.  

But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their "thus saith the Lord" far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.

There was a time when the church was very powerful--in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being "disturbers of the peace" and "outside agitators."' But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were "a colony of heaven," called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be "astronomically intimidated." By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests.

Although we rejoice with President Obama’s historic win as the first African-American elected President of the United States, we are deeply troubled by his radical support of abortion. His embracing of prenatal murder is a tragedy and travesty of social justice and the principles of Dr. Martin Luther King and the Scriptures. By supporting policies which have resulted in the deaths of over 50,000,000 innocent American lives, President Obama overlooks the eternal truth of “loving your neighbor as yourself.”

Throughout history, the people of God have always been a public prophetic witness against injustice and “spoken truth to power.” We see many examples of this in Scripture and throughout church history.

  • In 2 Samuel 12:1:7, we read how the prophet Nathan confronted King David for his sin of adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband Uriah.
  • In Mark 6:17-28, the prophet John the Baptist confronted King Herod for having an adulterous relationship with his brother’s wife.

So, it is in that “prophetic spirit” that God is calling the church to prayerfully challenge President Obama on his radical support for abortion in Washington, D.C. this January.

The reality is, President Obama, FOCA and all of your other pro-murder plans would set the human rights and civil rights movements back 35 years with your tragic prenatal murder policies even as you persist in the face of millions of Americans who are growing more and more uncomfortable with abortion.

I have here today a cartoon that depicts the state of our nation today. At your door, I will leave it and an open letter from many of America’s finest and most sincere voices for life. As I close with the message of my uncle Martin, and more strongly and persistently with the message of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I’ll revisit their words:

If I have said anything today that overstates the truth and indicates an unreasonable impatience, I beg you to examine your own hearts. If I have said anything that understates the truth and indicates my having a patience that allows me to settle for anything less than the unadulterated love of Jesus Christ, I beg God to forgive me.

I hope this message finds you strong in the faith. I also hope that circumstances will soon make it possible for me to pray for all of you, not as an integrationist or a civil-rights leader but as a Christian sister. Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice and prenatal murder will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brother and sisterhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.

In Deuteronomy 30, God commands us to choose life. In Matthew 19: 18 Jesus says: Thou shall do no murder. The choice of abortion is prenatal murder.

As a repentant and silent no more post abortive mother, as a citizen of these United States whom you are pledged to serve, from the youngest, the weakest, to the most mature, until our natural deaths, I beseech you, President Obama, in the name of Jesus, let the babies live!

Priests for Life
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