President Obama's Second Inauguration and the Unfinished Work of Freedom for our First Neighbors in the Womb
The child in the womb is our neighbor - and we all know it.
This is why, after the crowds disperse from the Second Inaugural of President Barack Obama, hundreds of thousands will gather in Washington, DC to demand freedom for our first neighbors in the womb. Because their voice cannot be heard, we will give them our own.
The Inauguration platform
WASHINGTON,DC (Catholic Online) - On the day when our Nation remembers Dr Martin Luther King Jr., President Barack Obama will publicly recite his oath of office for a second term. The actual oath and swearing in was administered on Sunday, January 20, 2012, in order to comply with the requirements of constitutional law.
The public Inauguration ceremony is being held on January 21, 2013. In 2013 this is the National Holiday honoring Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. The Holiday is observed on the Third Monday of January in order to be as proximate to the day of his death, January 15, 1968. The symbolism is rich and America's first African American President understandably seized the moment.
He will take the public oath of Presidential on two bibles. One belonged to Dr. King and was used in his early ministry. President Obama, known for his lofty rhetoric and strategic use of symbols, will face the Lincoln Memorial as He recites the oath. Fifty Years ago Dr King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech before that same Memorial. Dr. King's speech which will live on in history as one of the most profound ever given in US history. This President's speech, no matter how well delivered, will ring hollow.
Dr. King's speech concluded with stirring words which still bring tears to my eyes. They rise within me every time I witness the denial of freedom and the failure to respect and recognize fundamental human rights. Like millions of people my age, I memorized much of that speech when I was young. It is still inscribed in my aging brain and heart. Here are portions:
"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. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today! And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring."
"And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
President Obama will take his oath facing the monument dedicated to Abraham Lincoln. The words of the Gettysburg address are inscribed on the wall behind the statue of the seated President. They include the promise, "that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom-and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
The prophetic words of Lincoln's second Inaugural address, warning the Nation of the consequences of the offense of slavery, are also on those walls: "If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him?"
"Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said 'the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether'."
This Second Inauguration of President Obama should hold promise and hope, as should every inauguration. The word inaugurate is derived from the Latin verb augurâre, which communicated something to be hoped for based on good signs. Like many words, it's meaning evolved as it has wound its way into western language. Interpolated through the French and Anglicized, it has come to mean installation and consecration. It is now rendered "to induct into office with suitable ceremony".
Sadly, the signs accompanying the Second Inauguration of President Obama are ominous. He is one of the greatest opponents of the fundamental human right to life in United States History. He has closed his ears to the cry of an entire class of persons, our first neighbors in the first ...
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