Join the Beloved Community
An open letter to America
The Beloved Community and The American Dream
“And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
As our nation pauses to recommit itself to fulfilling the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we invite our fellow citizens to reflect on how that dream touches every human life. Dr. King taught that justice and equality need to be as wide-reaching as humanity itself. Nobody can be excluded from the Beloved Community. He taught that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
In his 1967 Christmas sermon, he pointed out the foundation of this vision: “The next thing we must be concerned about if we are to have peace on earth and good will toward men is the nonviolent affirmation of the sacredness of all human life. …Man is a child of God, made in His image, and therefore must be respected as such….And when we truly believe in the sacredness of human personality, we won’t exploit people, we won’t trample over people with the iron feet of oppression, we won’t kill anybody.”
Scripture teaches, “Seek first God’s Kingdom and His righteousness and all else shall be yours as well” (Matthew 6:33). Dr. King humbled himself before God and became increasingly dependent on Him. Dr. King’s search for the “Beloved Community” was really part of his search for the Kingdom of God. Because “God is Love” (1 John 4:16), His Kingdom is founded on love (agape). That is why, in his search for the Beloved Community, Dr. King discovered God’s love.
The work of building the Beloved Community is far from finished. In each age, this mission calls us to fight against poverty, discrimination, and violence in every form. And as human history unfolds, the forms that discrimination and violence take will evolve. Yet our commitment to overcome these evils must not change; and we must never shrink from the pursuit of righteousness and justice, no matter how unpopular the message and the mission may become.
In our day, therefore, we cannot ignore the discrimination, injustice, and violence that are being inflicted not only on those who are victims of racism in all its forms, and bigotry; we must also protect the youngest and smallest members of the human family, the children in the womb. Even with the return of Roe versus Wade to the states; many preborn children are killed in the wombs of their mothers every day in America ; death by abortion, throughout all nine months of pregnancy.
We declare today that these children, and all human beings are members of the Beloved Community; that our destiny is linked with theirs, and therefore they deserve justice, equality, and protection.
And we can pursue that goal, no matter what ethnic, religious, or political affiliation we have. None of that has to change in order for us to embrace Dr. King’s affirmation of the sacredness of all human life. It simply means that in our efforts to set free the oppressed, we include the children in the womb.
We invite all people of good will to join us in the affirmation that civil rights, human rights and human dignity should be equally enjoyed by everyone, from the womb to the tomb, into eternity. The American Dream begins in the womb.
Dr. Alveda King
Evangelist and Civil Rights Activist
Rev. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life
Mrs. Naomi Ruth Barber King
Founder, A.D. King Foundation
Rev. Derek King
Civil Rights Activist
Pastor Stephen E. Broden
Senior Pastor, Fair Park Bible Fellowship
Walter B. Hoye II
Dr. Johnny M. Hunter
National Director, LEARN, Inc.
Affiliate, LEARN, Inc.
Director, This Race Will Self-Destruct
Dr. Day Gardner
National Black Prolife Union