Dr. Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech is of course
powerful, historical and widely known. We hear it again each year on
his anniversary, and it continues to inspire.
Fr. Richard John Neuhaus marched alongside Dr. King in the civil
rights movement, and brought that great inspiration to the other civil
rights movement….the right to life. In his eloquent style, Neuhaus
delivered an address to the movement last year that was just what they
needed to hear after 35 years of Roe. His comments were exquisite in
articulating their purpose and powerful in encouraging them to carry it
First Things is publishing ‘We Shall Not Weary, We Shall Not Rest’ again today, and every year on this occasion of the March for Life.
We have been at this a long time, and we are just
getting started. All that has been and all that will be is prelude to,
and anticipation of, an indomitable hope.
Good time for that reminder.
He reaffirms the biblical promise that with “Our Lord’s return in glory”, all things will be new again.
That is the horizon of hope that, from generation to
generation, sustains the great human rights cause of our time and all
times—the cause of life. We contend, and we contend relentlessly, for
the dignity of the human person, of every human person, created in the
image and likeness of God, destined from eternity for eternity—every
human person, no matter how weak or how strong, no matter how young or
how old, no matter how productive or how burdensome, no matter how
welcome or how inconvenient. Nobody is a nobody; nobody is unwanted.
All are wanted by God, and therefore to be respected, protected, and
cherished by us.
We shall not weary, we shall not rest, until every unborn child is
protected in law and welcomed in life. We shall not weary, we shall not
rest, until all the elderly who have run life’s course are protected
against despair and abandonment, protected by the rule of law and the
bonds of love. We shall not weary, we shall not rest, until every young
woman is given the help she needs to recognize the problem of pregnancy
as the gift of life. We shall not weary, we shall not rest, as we stand
guard at the entrance gates and the exit gates of life, and at every
step along way of life, bearing witness in word and deed to the dignity
of the human person—of every human person.