Fr. Ernesto has again brought my attention (and I hope yours) to an important but greatly underreported event. Alveda King, the neice of Dr. Martin Luther King, spoke pointedly and right on point at Glen Beck’s “Honoring Rally”. Below is Fr. Ernesto’s post from September 6, 2010. You can go to his site via my blog roll.
One of the people who spoke at the Glenn Beck rally, “Restoring Honor,” was Alveda King, the niece of the famed Pastor Martin Luther King of civil rights fame. She is an evangelical minister, was a Democrat representative in the Georgia legislature, and leads an outreach program for the Roman Catholic group, “Priests for Life.” During the rally she spoke of her “Uncle Martin’s” dream and she asked when his dream would be fulfilled:
We will know when prayer is once again welcome in the public squares of America and in our schools. We will know when our children are no longer in mortal peril on our streets and in our classrooms, and in the wombs of our mothers.
We will know when righteousness rolls down like waters, and justice like a mighty stream. Yes, I too have a dream … that America will repent of the sin of racism and return to honor. I have a dream that white privilege will become human privilege and that people of every ethnic blend will receive everyone as brothers and sisters in the love of God. I have a dream that America will pray, and God will forgive us our sins and revive our land.
I found myself wondering how many people had really heard (or read) those two paragraphs. She had barely any write-up in the newspapers, and tended to only be used as a punching bag by both sides. In fact, the way Pastor Alveda preaches is often in a way that infuriates both sides. You see, though she was at the Beck rally and though she is with Priests for Life, she also supports ideas and themes that are propounded by the “other side.” In fact, to my ears she sounds like that rare creature, a true independent, and also a good Christian.
Look at the two paragraphs above. The first one could be said by anyone at any “Tea Party” rally and get cheers. The second one would likely draw boos at the same rally. The reverse would be true in many gatherings of “progressives.” The second paragraph would be cheered and the first paragraph might get boos. But, here is the interesting part. I have before quoted the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to point out that the Catholic bishops, in their formal statements, are not either conservative or liberal per se (and neither is the Pope). Rather, they support a culture of life that goes way beyond the limited culture of life propounded by all too many in the “pro-life” movement.
Pastor Alveda King, like the Catholic organization for which she leads an outreach program, proposes a full culture of life, not the limited product presented by all too many “pro-life” groups. Her two paragraphs above mesh quite well with the statements of the Catholic bishops previously published on this post. And, I will argue that they mesh quite well with the stance of our Orthodox hierarchs. My regret is that all too many Roman Catholics (and Orthodox) are not listening to their own bishops and are deciding that their opinions are better than the considered thought of Patriarchs, Pope, and bishops. And so, they proclaim that they are upholding Orthodox or Roman Catholic pro-life stances when they are really only presenting a watered-down version of an insufficiently pro-life stance.
For the enjoyment of it, let me quote Pastor Alveda one more time.
We are still suffering from the great evil divide of racism. Our children are suffering in failing school systems. Our sons and daughters are being incarcerated at astronomical rates. Sickness, disease and poverty of the spirit, soul and body are plaguing our communities. The procreative foundation of marriage is being threatened, and the wombs of our mothers have become places where the blood of our children is shed in a ‘womb war’ that threatens the fabric of our society. …
Yet, we are not without hope. Faith, hope and love are not dead in America. Hallelujah.