The Beloved Community and the Unborn






Dear Friend of Life,

In the midst of our nation’s commemorations this week of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and on the eve of the anniversary of the tragic Roe vs. Wade decision legalizing child-killing, three members of the family of Dr. Martin Luther King issued a statement (below) declaring that the Beloved Community includes unborn children.

Mrs. Naomi Barber King, who married Martin’s younger brother, Rev. A.D. Williams King, was joined by Dr. Alveda King (niece of Martin) and Rev. Derek King (nephew of Martin) in articulating the position that a philosophy of non-violence must oppose violence in all its forms. Therefore, it cannot ignore the violence of abortion. The work of justice and equality, by definition, means justice and equality for everyone, and therefore cannot ignore the tiniest children.

As our nation marches, preaches, and prays against abortion this weekend, Priests for Life urges clergy and all pro-life activists to echo these words of the King Family on behalf of the unborn.

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

“As our nation pauses to recommit itself to fulfilling the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we invite our fellow citizens to reflect on how that dream touches every human life. Dr. King taught that justice and equality need to be as wide-reaching as humanity itself. Nobody can be excluded from the Beloved Community. He taught that ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’

In his 1967 Christmas sermon, he pointed out the foundation of this vision: ‘The next thing we must be concerned about if we are to have peace on earth and good will toward men is the nonviolent affirmation of the sacredness of all human life. …Man is a child of God, made in His image, and therefore must be respected as such….And when we truly believe in the sacredness of human personality, we won’t exploit people, we won’t trample over people with the iron feet of oppression, we won’t kill anybody.’

The work of building the Beloved Community is far from finished. In each age, it calls us to fight against poverty, discrimination, and violence in every form. And as human history unfolds, the forms that discrimination and violence take will evolve and change. Yet our commitment to overcome them must not change, and we must not shrink from the work of justice, no matter how unpopular it may become.

In our day, therefore, we cannot ignore the discrimination, injustice, and violence that are being inflicted on the youngest and smallest members of the human family, the children in the womb. Thousands of these children are killed every day in America by abortion, throughout all nine months of pregnancy.

We declare today that these children too are members of the Beloved Community, that our destiny is linked with theirs, and that therefore they deserve justice, equality, and protection.

And we can pursue that goal, no matter what ethnic, religious, or political affiliation we have. None of that has to change in order for us to embrace Dr. King’s affirmation of the sacredness of all human life. It simply means that in our efforts to set free the oppressed, we include the children in the womb.

We invite all people of good will to join us in the affirmation that children in the womb have equal rights and human dignity.”

Dr. Alveda King
Director, African-American Outreach, Priests for Life
Niece of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Mrs. Naomi Barber King
Wife of the late Rev. A.D. King (brother of Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Rev. Derek King
Pastor
Indianapolis, Indiana
Nephew of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

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