Alveda King’s Appeal To President Obama
Delivered at White House Gates
January 23 at Noon for Birmingham Letter Project
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
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
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
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!