Freedom Rides for the Unborn
Whenever the issue of achieving full equality for gays and lesbians in America comes up, especially as it relates to marriage equality, someone from the Right inevitably plays the "Homosexual marriage is not a civil rights issue" card:
Defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman would not deny homosexuals the basic civil rights accorded other citizens. Nowhere in the Bill of Rights or in any legislation proceeding from it are homosexuals excluded from the rights enjoyed by all citizens--including the right to marry. However, no citizen has the unrestricted right to marry whomever they want. A person cannot marry a child, a close blood relative, two or more spouses, or the husband or wife of another person. Such restrictions are based upon the accumulated wisdom not only of Western civilization but also of societies and cultures around the world for millennia.
But you know what is apparently so much like the civil rights movement that is warrants it own reenactment? Abortion:
The pro-life movement is all about freedom. That’s why Priests for Life, with the leadership of our Pastoral Associate Dr. Alveda King, is launching “Freedom Rides” for the unborn to galvanize pro-life activity across the country.
During the Civil Rights movement, the “Freedom Rides” constituted a distinctive moment of resolve and unity. The Supreme Court, in its 1960 decision Boynton vs. Virginia, had outlawed segregation in bus terminals and restaurants serving interstate travelers. So the following spring, thirteen people – seven African-Americans and six whites – decided to travel by bus from Washington DC to New Orleans to test the enforcement of that Supreme Court decision.
Along the way, particularly in Alabama, they encountered opposition and violence from those who did not want desegregation. But having been brutally attacked, and some lying with wounds in hospital beds, the “Freedom Riders” vowed that the journey would continue. That’s when others joined in, and the initial Freedom Ride became 60 rides across Southern states in the summer of 1961, with some 450 riders participating. And by the fall of that same year, the government issued orders for the enforcement of desegregation at the bus terminals.
The Civil Rights movement and the Pro-Life movement have the same heart and soul: a longing for equal justice for everyone, based on the inherent dignity of every human life. That’s why, when Dr. Alveda King first walked with me at the annual March for Life and I asked her, “Does this remind you of the marches in the civil rights movement?” she declared, “Fr. Frank, this is the civil rights movement!” Both movements are movements of freedom.
It is therefore time for Freedom Rides for the unborn. The pro-life movement is more ready than ever to proclaim freedom…
Freedom from the lies and the deceit that allow abortion to continue…
Freedom from the fear of speaking up and taking action for the unborn…
Freedom from the shame and guilt of past involvement in abortion, so that those called to speak up and share their testimonies may do so as people who are “Silent No More”…
Freedom from the political oppression that tramples on human rights and denies equality before the law…
Freedom from violence and death itself.
People will be invited to participate in the Freedom Rides themselves. The bus rides are a symbol of the journey we are on, of the fellowship we share with each other, and of the fact that we are a movement. Major events in cities along the bus routes will be held, in which all the different facets of the pro-life movement will be invited to participate.
Among the scheduled participants are Alveda King, Frank Pavone, Clennard Childress, and Day Gardner.
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