Archive for the ‘MLK’ Category

“Everything Has a Different “Why,” But the Results Still Make Me Cry.”

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

MLK“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it….

“Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

“Strength to Love,” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1963

A young man is shot dead by a policeman in Missouri. A photojournalist is horrendously executed by Islamists. A dear friend’s niece and her baby are killed and their bodies burned in a family dispute.

Three non-related events have touched me deeply in recent days, each having a different “why,” but each making me cry.

I am on my way to Ferguson, Missouri now. There is grief, anger, and uncertainty there. But also there, somewhere, is the truth of how and why Michael Brown died.

That truth will be revealed in time.

We yearn, of course, for immediate answers and swift justice. There can be no justice, though, without truth. And without peace, the search for truth becomes more difficult.

In some instances, such as what happened to James Foley at the hands of ISIS or my friend’s niece and her baby at the hands of a rage-driven relative, the truth is plain to see. No explanation could possibly justify what their killers did. We know who the wrongdoers are and whatever their rationales for their actions, those rationales are woefully insufficient.

In the case of Michael Brown, we have conflicting reports as to the events that led to his shooting. The jury is not in. Yet, rather than wait for the truth, some have acted from a deep-seated sense that they already know the truth. In the name of “justice,” some victims have inflicted great injustices on themselves and the collective by turning to violence. In their pain and anger, they have brought more harm than good.

Now, I’m not saying we shouldn’t have righteous anger at acts of oppression, hatred, or cruelty that are offenses before God. God’s Word teaches us, though, that we should be slow to anger. And we should be careful to distinguish human emotional outrage over an offense to ourselves versus an offense to God. God’s righteous anger is most powerful; seeking to restore righteousness, not trample upon it by committing more wrongs.

In my book KING RULES I write about how my uncle, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and my father, the Rev. Alfred Daniel Williams King, knew injustice. They, like millions of other African Americans, needed no introduction; injustice greeted them virtually every day of their lives. But they also knew peace in their hearts, the peace that surpasses all understanding. And from this peace, they sought and achieved a modicum of justice for the masses.

three headed monster Revised2Yet Ferguson teaches us that the dream is still lacking. Until we slay the three headed beast of racism, reproductive genocide and sexual perversion, we still have mountains to climb and to overcome.

We live in a corrupt world. Yet God’s Word teaches us not to repay evil with evil. Instead we must live to overcome evil with good.

When Jesus was being wrongly arrested by the Romans, Peter took up a sword and cut off a soldier’s ear. Jesus responded, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.” In compassion, Jesus healed the wounded soldier who had come to arrest him.

Wow! That’s a higher frequency that we should tune into our heart. Love overcoming hate.

As men of God, and students of history, Uncle M.L. and Daddy understood that violence begets violence. Violence is often borne of rage. And rage destroys – not only neighborhoods, but also lives. Rage is borne of hate. And hate does not seek the truth, but rather spawns victims. And victims seek other victims to make them suffer as they’ve suffered. Hurting people hurt people. And on and on and on souls fall towards a yawning abyss.

As Uncle M.L. Once wrote, violence is a descending spiral.

But inspired by 1 Corinthians 13, believing “Love never fails,” he also wrote, “darkness cannot drive out darkness and hatred cannot drive out hate. Only light can end the darkness, only love can drive out hate.”

My prayer is for the peace and healing of Ferguson, but also for the peace and healing of those who have recently lost loved ones – the families of Michael Brown, James Foley, my friend, those who have died at the hands of the abortion industry such as LaKisha Wilson and Tonya Reaves, and those who are victims of human trafficking, war, poverty, and other horrors of our fallen world.

My prayer is that we love truth; loving truth, that we seek it. Once finding the truth, that we seek justice. And once finding justice, we enjoy peace. As Uncle M.L. said, “true peace is not the absence of tension, but the presence of justice.”

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#knowpeaceknowjustice
#rachelweepingforherchildren
#heartsoftheparentsreturntochildren

Grieving, but believing, please join me in prayer for all of Ferguson as well as for all victims of violence who suffer in sterile hospital units, in darkened rooms, in abortion chambers, and by tear-drenched gravesites. We need repentance, forgiveness, and love. Let us seek them first.

Alveda King is the author of KING RULES, Founder of Alveda King Ministries and Director of African American Outreach for Priests for Life. www.AfricanAmericanOutreach.com

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Dr. Alveda King Salutes MLK Congressional Gold Medal Honor; Remembers KING RULES

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Martin and Coretta King

It is a blessing to pause today while on a book tour for the release of KING RULES to honor my uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife Aunt Coretta, both recipients of a posthumous Congressional Gold Medal, awarded today during a special ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

I can’t join my cousins King Center CEO, Dr. Bernice A. King; Martin Luther King III and Dexter Scott King today as they join with Speaker John A. Boehner (R-OH), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), Congressman John Lewis (D-GA), Congressional Black Caucus Chair Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH), and other Senate and House leaders as they join in commemorating this historic occasion. I extend my prayers and best wished for this august occasion.

Responding to the announcement that her parents would receive the Congressional Gold Medal, Bernice, said “We are deeply honored that my father and mother, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King, are being given this award in recognition of their tireless and sacrificial leadership to advance freedom and justice through nonviolence in our nation. It is fitting that the award will be presented by the U.S. Congress as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the signing of Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was a cornerstone reform on America’s journey to racial justice.”

For more than two centuries the Congressional Gold Medal has been one of the most distinguished honors bestowed by the Congress. Since 1776, the award has also been given to such diverse individuals as George Washington; Mother Theresa; Dorothy Height; Rosa Parks; Thomas Edison; Sen. Robert F. Kennedy; President Nelson Mandela; the Dalai Lama; Dr. Jonas Salk and many others.

This honor is fitting as it gives credence to the dream of not only Uncle ML and Aunt Coretta, but to our entire family. I believe that if they were here today, Uncle ML and Aunt Coretta would be happy that their family is proud of them.

In my book KING RULES, with my grandfather Daddy King, my father AD King and my Uncle MLK on the cover, I share memories of my uncle and our family. I too share the dream and in this 21st Century I pronounce – I too have a dream, that white people, and black people, all ethnic groups, all political wings, all human beings will unite in “The Beloved Community,” and honor the sanctity of all life, born and unborn.

I am blessed to know that there seems to be a new awakening across political lines that the sanctity of all life, marriage and family are called to a high yet not unreachable standard. For too long, there has been a great divide between America’s predominant political parties, confusing Civil Rights with moral preferences. It is encouraged to hear about progress for life and family across political lines.

It is with joy that I note a recent announcement from a democrat:

For example, African American Democrat Louisiana State Representative Katrina Jackson, the author of the state’s new law requiring abortionists to have local hospital admitting privileges, said in an interview, “The No. 1 genocide in the African-American community, and why we’re becoming a minority of minorities, is because most of our babies are dying in the womb from abortions.” She added, “I’m very passionate, especially when you’re looking at the African-American community, because those in the pro-choice community have been attempting to sell us on abortion being a way out for women who can’t afford to have their baby.”

It is time to break the chains.

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A Travel Guide to Life: Don’t leave home without it!

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

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A good author should recognize the gift in a colleague, and also acknowledge that gift. I’ll let you be the judge of my penmanship when my newest book KING RULES hits the stand on June 10.

Meanwhile, please read the latest offering, A TRAVEL GUIDE TO LIFE, by my friend Anthony DeStefano. The book, one in a series of TRAVEL GUIDES, is filled with insights and how to’s straight from the pen of one who successfully navigates the ups and downs of life with candor, humility, repentance and humor.

To date this new release becomes a favorite, although all of Anthony’s books are super. My grandchildren adore his children’s books. We recently read A TRAVEL GUIDE TO HEAVEN FOR CHILDREN. Delightful!

On a personal note, I remember praying for Anthony when he was preparing for his father’s transition from this life. He stoically bore it all while helping others to navigate their way through such a trying season.

I also remember Anthony tolerating my monologue about why I’m a Star Trek fan. I was lamenting about how my critics consider my Sci-Fi passion to be sinful. After all, they reason, “Christians don’t have time for fantasy. Jesus is the real deal.”

Yes, Jesus is real, and thank God for His Blood, His Love, His Mercy and HIS Grace. I’m not perfect, and we all need prayer.

I remember Anthony saying: “Alveda, we’re not perfect in this life. You pray for me, I’ll pray for you.”

On that note, I’ll close here with a prayer that you’ll read our books and enjoy them. We all need a good TRAVEL GUIDE. Don’t leave home without this gem. Blessings.

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Honoring Uncle MLK remembering Daddy today

Monday, January 20th, 2014

King Collage w Names

Today we honor my uncle, Dr. MLK in accordance with the themes led by my cousin King Center CEO Bernice King, “NO SHOTS FIRED: A Day On Not a Day Off! In addition she is urging 100 Days of Nonviolence: abstain from violence, the tongue and the fist. For me this includes abortion providers not closing their fists around scalpels, forceps and bottle caps to snuff out the lives of babies in the womb which not only kills the babies but often kills or hurts their mothers and destroys the dreams of their fathers.

My father, Rev. AD King and my mother chose life for me 63 years ago. Praise God. I hope you will pray with us that God will heal our land. 2 Chronicles 7:14.

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s niece on uncle’s legacy http://fxn.ws/1h8IDUU

http://bit.ly/1bdJkIn

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Fr. Pavone to celebrate MLK legacy with King family in Atlanta

Friday, January 17th, 2014

Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: January 17, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

On Monday, Jan. 21, Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, will join Dr. Alveda King and her family in Atlanta for observances of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Father Pavone has been honoring the legacy of the late civil rights leader with the King family for more than a decade.

“It’s been my honor to spend this time with the King family and to be part of the historic celebrations that annually mark the birth of America’s pre-eminent civil rights leader,” Father Pavone said.

He added that the proximity of the holiday with the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision serves as a good reminder that when we talk about the “unfinished business” of fulfilling the dream of Dr. King, first on the list is restoring the right to life to the children in the womb, and ending the violence of abortion.

Dr. Alveda King, the full-time director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life, said that when Father Pavone joins her family onstage at the culmination of the main ceremony at Ebenezer Baptist Church, “We are reminded that with abortion, we still have much to overcome. We still need civil rights for the babies.”

Father Pavone will preach a sermon at 11 a.m. Sunday at Bible Believers Church, 3689 Campbellton Rd. SW in Atlanta. He also will be at the Salute to Greatness Dinner Saturday night at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta.

“As we celebrate all that Dr. King was able to accomplish, I want to invite everyone to read and sign on to the statement that some members of the King Family have signed called The Beloved Community and the Unborn. It expresses, above all, what we should be thinking and talking about during this upcoming week of pro-life and civil rights events,” Father Pavone said.

The statement can be found at www.priestsforlife.org/africanamerican/beloved-community-and-the-unborn.htm.

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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Sometimes Father Frank comes to my church…

Friday, January 17th, 2014

Jeremiah 29:11-13

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Click HERE for an audio message.

Dear Friends,

As my January update I’d like to invite you to a couple of very special events in Atlanta if you’re going to be in the area. If not, please call and ask your friends to come. We’ll be seeking the will and heart of God in Atlanta and DC as we remember the legacy of my uncle, Dr. MLK and also during the March for Life.

On Friday, January 17, 2014, some of my very dear friends will be gifting us with a special concert. Atlanta, GA – The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Social Change invites us to Join The King Center and a concerto of partners on Friday, January 17, 2014 for “A Tribute to the Movement: Messages in the Music.” Admission is free.

The event begins at 8:00pm at Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, Horizon Sanctuary. Come and celebrate with King Center. Inc., The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, The King Family Legacy Foundation, The MLK March Committee, Awspire Entertainment Group and Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in a special event acknowledging Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s journey of Civil Rights in America and his 50 year legacy as a recipient of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize.

The lineup with MC Twanda Black of KISS-104 includes famed gospel singer Lydia Pace, Grammy Award Winner Vernessa Mitchell, Dance Makers of Atlanta, MLK Re enactor Stephon Ferguson, Apostle Darryl Winston and Inner Court, Jean Childs Young Dance Troup, Jarrett Ellis, Michael Barnes, Alexis Cierra, Kathy Bertrand, Teresa Olison, Chosen Vessels Dance Company, God’s Girls, Rev. Ben Marshall, David Hammond, Farris Watkins, FLY and Sam Collier, and renowned organist Dr. Gregory McPhearson.

I wish everyone could and would attend. It promises to be a blessing!

Then, on Sunday, January 19, 2014, Father Frank Pavone, my boss will be preaching at my church in Atlanta, GA. Believers’ Bible Christian Church, 3689 Campbellton Road, SW, Atlanta, GA 30331. And then the next day, he will join our family at the MLK Commemorative Service, then it’s on to DC for the National Prayer Service and the March for Life.

Again, I hope to see you along the way. If you can’t make it, check us out on line at www.priestsforlife.org for up to the minute reports on the March for Life events.

God bless you! Alveda

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MLK Family: Musical Tribute: “There’s a Message in the Music!”

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

For Immediate Release140116 blog image

Contact: Eugene Vigil
470-244-3302 or
eugene@vigils.net

Atlanta, GA – The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Social Change invites us to Join The King Center and a concerto of partners on Friday, January 17, 2014 for “A Tribute to the Movement: Messages in the Music.” Admission is free.

The event begins at 8:00pm at Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, Horizon Sanctuary. Come and celebrate with King Center. Inc., The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, The King Family Legacy Foundation, The MLK March Committee, Awspire Entertainment Group and Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in a special event acknowledging Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s journey of Civil Rights in America and his 50 year legacy as a recipient of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize.

The lineup with MC Twanda Black of KISS-104 includes famed gospel singer Lydia Pace, Grammy Award Winner Vernessa Mitchell, Dance Makers of Atlanta, MLK Re enactor Stephon Ferguson, Apostle Darryl Winston and Inner Court, Jean Childs Young Dance Troup, Jarrett Ellis, Michael Barnes, Alexis Cierra, Kathy Bertrand, Teresa Olison, Chosen Vessels Dance Company, God’s Girls, Rev. Ben Marshall, David Hammond, Farris Watkins, FLY, Dr. Gregory A. McPhearson, and Sam Collier.

“This program is a celebration of music, poetry, spoken word, liturgical dance and other art forms of expression with emphasis on the long-standing Civil Rights history struggle for equality,” says National Park Service officer Robert Parker.

“The musical tribute aims to entertain and educate the general public on the importance of “meaning” and “messages” in music connected to historical and contemporary social movements in America,” said Grammy recipient Christopher Capehart of Awspire Music. Chris produced several of the songs for the program, including the Re-Mix of “LET FREEDOM RING,” from the original song written by Dr. Alveda King. Other Awspire songs performed by ICONIC JOURNEY DURING KING WEEK include COME TOO FAR, and AMERICA RECOVERS written with Oga Otamala.

“Throughout the modern day struggle for social change in America during the 1950’s and 60’s songs were used as a universal language that unified groups of individuals and focused their energy,” said King Center Board member Dr. Alveda King.

Event Co-chairperson and niece of Dr. MLK, Dr. Angela Farris Watkins added: “Singing inspired people at church meetings, sit-ins, marches, and other nonviolent demonstrations, and gave activists the courage to keep protesting in the face of serious danger from the opposition.

King Center CEO Dr. Bernice King said: “My father and other leaders and indeed the masses would often pray and then burst into song creating an atmosphere of hope in the midst of terror and confusion. Like Paul and Silas when they were bound in jail, Daddy knew that praise and worship was a powerful weapon for use in the battle.”

“Commonly, the songs chosen for these purposes were traditional hymns and spirituals with adapted lyrics that had several layers of meaning but expressed one consistent underlying message: a desire for freedom from racial prejudice, Said MLK March Organizer Jamida Orange, daughter of civil rights activists the late Rev. James Orange and his wife Cleo. “This event seeks to challenge this and future generations to continue to utilize music and the arts as a form of expression conveying significant meaning to the masses to combat racism and injustices with messages of peace and equality.”

“There is an old saying. We can’t all talk together, but we can all sing together. I hope that this tribute will pave the way for more victories in nonviolent conflict resolution. Indeed, let freedom ring in our songs and in our music,” she said. Ms. King added “On the national King Holiday, January 20, please join our “Let Freedom Ring: Choose Nonviolence” call to action for people all over the world. We are asking everyone to join in ringing bells as a symbol of their commitment to choosing nonviolence as a lifestyle; and to observe a moratorium on violence for the entire King Holiday, with “No Shots Fired.” This includes not firing with your tongue (violent speech), your fists, or guns.”

M s. King said that the King Center is also challenging young people to participate in the “100 Days of Nonviolence” campaign from January 15 through April 24, a “time to plant and nurture the seeds of a nonviolent world community, starting with our own lives.”

For more information, please visit www.choosenonviolence.org after January 1, 2014.

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Dr. Alveda King joins King Center CEO Bernice King in urging a NO SHOTS FIRED for MLK Day Mandate

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

*MEDIA ALERT*

Contact: Leslie Palma
(347) 286-7277 or
leslie@priestsforlife.org

Atlanta, GA – “What better way is there to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. than to compel people to forsake gun violence, fist violence and verbal violence for at least a day,” said Dr. Alveda King, Founder of Alveda King Ministries and Director of African American Outreach for Priests for Life. Her cousin Elder Bernice King is King Center CEO and daughter of Dr. MLK and wife Coretta Scott King. “I agree with Bernice that nonviolence is a key to social change, and I add that the more lasting change of hearts is connected to this effort,” said Alveda. To listen to an audio by Elder King, click HERE.

In a recent announcement, Bernice King made an appeal to the world to forsake violence on MLK day, and indeed is calling for a 100 Days of Nonviolence Campaign. The King Center is amassing an impressive list of partners in these efforts to curtail violence, including The Atlanta Hawks.

For instance, The King Center and the Atlanta Hawks professional basketball team have joined in a partnership campaign to urge high school students to “Choose Nonviolence” as a way of life and a meaningful way to celebrate the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

Other groups such as the musical Awspire Entertainment Group featuring ICONIC JOURNEY are adding to the effort by contributing the use of original tunes such as LET FREEDOM RING, AMERICA RECOVERS and an inspirational ballad COME TOO FAR to the lineup of artistic entertainment at several events during King Week.

“It is so encouraging that my hometown Atlanta Hawks are partnering with The King Center and providing leadership to encourage young people to embrace nonviolence in commemorating the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday,” said Ms. Bernice A. King, C.E.O. of The King Center. “Professional athletes have unique credibility with young people, and when they take a stand against violence, it resonates throughout the community.”

Alveda is also excited about the Nonviolence activities, adding this: “I’ll be boots on the ground on Uncle M. L.’s actual birthday, January 15, for the Choose Nonviolence: NOW! No Other Way! events, the Launch of 100 Days of Nonviolence and will be addressing the evil impact of genocide on the panel for The State of Nonviolence: From Chaos to Community (A Dialogue on Human Trafficking). Then on Friday, I can’t wait to hear “The Message in the Music” at the Musical Tribute honoring the legacy of my uncle. I pray that thousands will join us, either by attending or at least amping up the social media efforts.”

The ‘Choose Nonviolence- No Shots Fired’ campaign will challenge high school students in the Atlanta Metro Area to participate in the #CHOOSENONVIOLENCE CAMPAIGN by posting on the following social media platforms from Monday Jan. 6, 2014 – Friday Jan. 17, 2014:

  • Change your social media profile to the “No Shots Fired” Logo.
  • Post on Instagram (picture or video) why you believe it is important to choose nonviolence. You can post submissions on Twitter as well.
  • Use the hash tags #ATLHAWKS with #CHOOSENONVIOLENCE

Eligible submissions will be randomly chosen and awarded tickets to attend the Atlanta Hawks vs the Miami Heat game on Jan. 20, 2014 at 5:30 PM.

For more detailed information about the MLK birthday observance program, please contact Bunnie Jackson-Ransom at (404) 505-8188 or via email at bjr@fclassinc.com or call Steve Klein at sklein@thekingcenter.org.

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12 Years a Slave: Man’s (and Woman’s) Inhumanity to Humanity

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

twelve years a slave

Recently I joined members of my family to view the new movie “Twelve Years a Slave” directed by Steve McQueen and starring Brad Pitt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong’o, and an overall stunningly talented cast. Warning: film contains visually graphic images, violence, some nudity. While I actually wasn’t emotionally prepared to see the movie, I am convinced that it should be considered an essential finale to an erstwhile trio of “Lincoln”, “Django” and now “Twelve Years a Slave”.

This could be considered an unlikely combination, these three movies. Yet one could argue that if you see all three of them together, they totally obliterate the cushion of romanticism that movies like “Gone with the Wind” have used to soft sell what is hard core cruelty of one group of human beings towards another. Let us never forget that families are torn apart by racism, reproductive genocide and sexual perversion; together what I term to be the “three headed monster.” All three agents have been at work in America for many years.

To say that the movie “Twelve Years a Slave” is brutally graphic is to minimize the shocking scenes that stun the heart, soul and spirit. In my prolife vocation, showing graphic images of abortion victims are part of what I do. Every time I see a woman on a gurney after a botched abortion, I shudder. Every time I see a picture of an aborted baby, my heart thumps and I feel sick. It was all rather eerie in a way, as I experienced these same sensations as I sat glued to my cushy leather theater chair watching “Twelve Years a Slave.”

I was so relieved to experience the heart of the abolitionists that was there in three of the movies mentioned above. If not for that, I would have left the theaters after viewing each a very angry woman. Yet human compassion arose victorious. We must always pray and give thanks that truth crushed to earth will rise again. God’s truth and grace will always win.

In just a few months, America will observe the 50th Anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights. The 50th anniversaries of the “I Have a Dream Speech,” “The March on Washington,” and the 150the Anniversary of “The Emancipation Proclamation” are now recent history. And yet the babies are not free. We are still lost in the cloudy veil of deceptive “women’s rights” and “human rights” campaigns while the weakest of all human beings – the little babies in the womb and their vulnerable mothers – are being desecrated on the altars of harmful chemical and surgical “birth control” agents and abortions.

What the whips and nooses did not do to desecrate the sanctity of human life during slavery and segregation the abortion mills are doing quite effectively today. Lynching a person on a tree or in the womb brings about the same results, inhumanity towards our brothers and sisters.

There is a reason that films of this type are being produced, against the odds in some cases. God desires to stir the hearts of men and women. It is time to listen while there is still time.

Watch this video as my mother, Naomi King, recounts a firsthand experience with racism.

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Put the Political Strife Out to Pasture

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Martin and Billy

I have few regrets in my life. At the top of the list is the demise of two children in my womb, and one miscarriage. Next to that, I regret having said to a group of peers that my Uncle M. L. (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) was a Republican. I said that without having all the facts. My Grandfather, Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr. was a registered Republican. Uncle M. L. was an independent, who in his own words tended to vote Democrat. I assumed that since Granddaddy was a Republican, Uncle M. L. was too. After all, before the election of President John F. Kennedy, the majority of African American voters were Republicans. Granddaddy convinced a large block of Blacks to vote for President John Kennedy after he helped to get my uncle out of jail during those turbulent days. Uncle M. L. tended to vote Democrat, but remained independent because he found weaknesses in both parties. The truth of the matter is that God isn’t a Republican or a Democrat or a Tea Party voter. God doesn’t vote. The squabbling and division among the parties is tragic.

Wise Christian leaders such as Dr. Billy Graham and others who have visited the White House over the years to advise sitting presidents have focused on the times and not the parties. I’m beginning to understand the wisdom of such. As a result, I am no longer endorsing political candidates, choosing rather to vote responsibly and to follow the Bible instructions that we must pray for all people, including those in authority.

Pray for All People: 1First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy chapter 2)

Please review below for Uncle M. L.’s perspective:

As a Christian leader and civil rights activist, Uncle M. L. followed a pattern of not publicly endorsing a U.S. political party or candidate. He wrote: “I feel someone must remain in the position of non-alignment, so that he can look objectively at both parties and be the conscience of both—not the servant or master of either.” In a 1958 interview, he expressed his view that neither party was perfect, saying, “I don’t think the Republican party is a party full of the almighty God nor is the Democratic party. They both have weaknesses … And I’m not inextricably bound to either party.”

He also assessed both parties’ performance on promoting racial equality:

“Actually, the Negro has been betrayed by both the Republican and the Democratic party. The Democrats have betrayed him by capitulating to the whims and caprices of the Southern Dixiecrats. The Republicans have betrayed him by capitulating to the blatant hypocrisy of reactionary right wing northern Republicans. And this coalition of southern Dixiecrats and right wing reactionary northern Republicans defeats every bill and every move towards liberal legislation in the area of civil rights.”

Although he never publicly supported a political party or candidate for president, in a letter to a civil rights supporter in October 1956 he wrote: “In the past I always voted the Democratic ticket.” In 1960, like my grandfather, he privately voted for John F. Kennedy: “I felt that Kennedy would make the best president. I never came out with an endorsement. My father did, but I never made one.” He also went so far as to consider making one endorsement: “Had President Kennedy lived, I would probably have endorsed him in 1964.

Surely it is possible to be a Republican, Democrat, Tea Party Member, Green Party, Libertarian, Christian Party Member or affiliate with any party one chooses, and not hate our brothers and sisters who choose another path. Church denominations and political divisions make too many enemies when we need to be united in this one human race that dominates this planet. As one who has been elected to office as a Georgia State Representative (D), served as a presidential appointee (R) and who have often voted as an Independent, I can truly say that we would all be better off without the political squabbles that tend to divide us.

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