Consistent Ethics for the Value of Life

in 1983 President Ronald Reagan signed into law the observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, to be celebrated every year on the third Monday of January. The following year, 1984, the same president signed a proclamation to observe the Sanctity of Human Life Day on the third Sunday in January to coincide with the Jan. 22nd anniversary of the Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion. Ever since, Sanctity of Human Life Sunday and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day have almost always been a single day apart. As one author recently stated (see article link below), these two days can be seen as two sides of the same coin – the value and dignity of human life regardless of skin color, body development, socioeconomic status, political opinion, etc..

Today 5 men gathered together to strengthen their bodies, and hopefully their minds and hearts as well as we intermixed exercises with poignant quotes from MLK and a couple from his niece, Dr. Alveda King, who had some things to say about the sanctity of unborn lives.

After warmorama, we got to it with a sequence of Swings, Curls, Triceps, Lawnmower Pulls, and Goblet Squats. After each set, we would mosey and then read one of the quotes aloud. People’s Q for MARY and COT with a challenge to be extremists of Love and Justice. I had led a similar beatdown with cinder blocks at Skywalker last Friday.

YHC read MLK’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” all the way through this past weekend and that’s where the majority of these quotes came from. If you haven’t read it, do your soul a favor and take 15 minutes to read it THIS WEEK. It’s easy to find online, but here’s a LINK to make it even easier for you. I also encourage you to read THIS article written last week entitled “Two Sides of the Same Coin: Sanctity of Human Life Day and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.”

Below are the quotes read aloud today. Read…ponder…act.

Quotes from Martin Luther King Jr’s. “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”:

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice

One has not only a legal, but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was “legal” and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was “illegal.” It was “illegal” to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler’s Germany.

Time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.

We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with.

Over the past few years I have consistently preached that nonviolence demands that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. I have tried to make clear that it is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends. But now I must affirm that it is just as wrong, or perhaps even more so, to use moral means to preserve immoral ends.

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. If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century.

The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or will we be extremists for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice ― or will we be extremists for the cause of justice?


Quotes from Dr. Alveda C. King (niece of MLK):

We have been fueled by the fire of “women’s rights” so long that we have become deaf to the outcry of the real victims whose rights are being trampled upon, the babies and the mothers. Of course a woman has a right to decide what to do with her own body. Thank God for the Constitution. Yet, she also has a right to know the serious consequences and repercussions of making a decision to abort her child.

King once said, “The Negro cannot win as long as he is willing to sacrifice the lives of his children for comfort and safety.” How can the “Dream” survive if we murder the children? Every aborted baby is like a slave in the womb of his or her mother. The mother decides his or her fate.