Some think the inauguration of Barack Obama fulfills the goal toward
which Dr. Martin Luther King drove the civil rights movement.

Not yet.

King did not fight tirelessly and ultimately give his
life so African-Americans could take office; he fought for the
disenfranchised and downtrodden, no matter their color, said Charles
Steele, president and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership
Conference, which King and Steele’s father helped found.

“President-elect Barack Obama is just a piece of the puzzle,” he
said. “This tells us that we are at a station, but it’s not our
destination. We’ve got to get back on the train.”

A station. One place along the road. But what’s the destination?

“Back in the ’60s we were fighting for President-elect
Barack Obama; we just didn’t know it was him,” Steele said. “It was
civil rights, not politics, that got us to this position, and we can’t
forget that.”

Civil rights for all human beings in America is the goal. And the
struggle continues until that is achieved. Dr. Alveda King, niece of
the civil rights leader, is an activist in the pro-life movement for
that reason…..because of laws denying an entire class of human beings
their rights. In fact, designating them as ‘life unworthy of life’ if
someone chooses to end it.

In his ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail’,
Dr. King warned that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was ‘legal’
there, and everything the Hungarian freedom fights did in Hungard was
‘illegal’ there.

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.

King said the early Christians were called to obey God rather than unjust laws, and

…by their effort, they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide….

which some of today’s civil rights leaders have dropped from their social justice causes.

There’s some talk in this CNN piece about the coincidence or
providence of the moment, “the mysticism of the movement” with today’s
commemoration of Dr. King and Tuesday’s inauguration of the first
African-American president. Add to that Thursday’s anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and the symmetry is even more cosmic. And consequential.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....