Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Today as our nation honors a man heralded as a champion of civil rights, it would benefit us to hear his words again, as applied to the unborn. Dr. King’s life is a model to rhetoricians and politicians, to civil rights champions and literary historians, but today, as we honor this man, we must also take up his cause, but this time for the unborn.
Dr. King did not live to see much of the change he was instrumental in bringing about, but he certainly would roll over in his grave if he could see the mass destruction of the unborn.
In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness… But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.”
His words could just as easily be about the unborn. African-Americans have long fought for rights to live as they should—equal citizens with equal rights. Our nation still battles racism, but as the voices have rung out over the years, as the courageous have stood in the face of despair and violence, slowly we have grown to understand that we have no right to prevent other from having their rights.
Today as we celebrate a champion of civil rights, it’s time to speak up for the civil rights of the unborn. Dr. King was a defender of the oppressed. He took up for the greatest injustice of his day, but today there is an injustice that has stolen the rights of almost 53 million oppressed by death before they emerged from the womb.
We proclaim choice and freedom and the American dream, and yet we hinder the choices and freedom and dreams of those not yet born. We desensitize and euthanize our feelings so we become blind to a culture of death because we feel helpless to change it.
We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed… We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."
Again, consider his call to action in light of the plight of the unborn. How can these oppressed demand action unless we adhere to what Proverbs 31:8-9 says:
8 Open your mouth for the speechless,
In the cause of all who are appointed to die.
9 Open your mouth, judge righteously,
And plead the cause of the poor and needy.
[T]here are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws… Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.
So on this day that we celebrate Dr. King and his advancement of civil rights, consider taking up the cause where his niece, Dr. Alveda King
has continued her uncle’s quest to save the oppressed and fight for the rights of the unborn.
In a tragically ironic twist in our society, now it is the African-American baby who is in the most danger. The CDC reports the abortion rate for African-American is three times the rate of white babies and twice the rate of other races combined. Once again, the African-American is the target of segregation and injustice, but this time it’s in the womb and isn’t exclusive to a race. Instead, a society that values convenience and choice gets to legally choose who lives and dies.
Today there is no greater way we can celebrate a champion of civil rights than to fall on our knees and pray for the ending of abortion, and to pray for strategies to help end abortion. Let’s stand and declare with Dr. King:
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."