- (Photo: REUTERS / Yuri Gripas)
One day after President Barack Obama praised Martin Luther King Jr.'s accomplishments which paved his way to the White House, Alveda King said the president must now show America the content of his character through his political policies.
Alveda C. King, pastoral associate for Priests for Life, attended the Sunday celebration of her uncle at the newly unveiled Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial at the National Mall. Several people – including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Martin Luther King's remaining family and President Obama – spoke honoring the fallen civil rights leader.
She said of King, "My Uncle, of course, would have been pleased to see someone with brown skin holding the office of president."
But the president must not rely too much on appearances, she told The Christian Post on Monday. Rather, she said, "it is time to get back to the business at hand now and deal with those issues that will advance life, liberty and pursuit of happiness for all people from conception until natural death."
Hundreds gathered in Washington, D.C., Sunday to officially dedicate the statue of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. The official dedication ceremony was delayed for over a month due to Hurricane Irene.
Obama, America's first black president, thanked King for paving the way for his election. He also noted details of King's life that could be comparable to his own life. Obama observed that King, a Georgia native, rose to prominence from humble roots, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and was at times "attacked by his own people."
Alveda King stressed that her uncle was much more than a civil rights leader. He was, she said, a dedicated preacher and teacher of God's Word.
Martin Luther King Jr. pursued theology studies at Crozer Theological Seminary in 1948 and Boston University in 1955 before joining the fight against racial inequality.
Following his ordination, King served at his father's church, Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, as assistant pastor. After finishing his doctoral studies at Boston University, he became the senior pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala. He remained the pastor of that church even as he became a civil rights activist.
Obama, a Hawaii native born to a single mother, worked his way through college and moved to Chicago, Ill., where he worked with a group of churches to help rebuild communities devastated by the closure of local steel plants.
He completed law school at Harvard and became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. He served in the Illinois State Senate and the U.S. Senate. He was elected president in 2008 and then won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009.
Despite some similarities in their life journeys, Alveda King said "there is no comparison" between the president and her uncle.
"My uncle was a man of God; he was not a politician," she stressed. "Even though my uncle and President Obama both were recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize, they were very different men."
Martin Luther King Jr. believed in marriage between a man and a woman and the protection of life in the womb, she highlighted to CP. She said that she does not know what Obama personally believes, but says his policies support the abortion agenda and the gay rights lobby.
She hopes that for the remainder of his first term Obama will focus on helping the American people secure jobs and protecting traditional marriage and the unborn.
"People need jobs, people need happy and successful lives; there should be marriage between one man and one woman, there should the value of person from conception until natural death," she said. "It's time for America to come to grips with these issues and I pray that they will do that."
She acknowledged that the president is facing a number of issues and said she is praying for him.
She commended Obama and the other speakers for laying aside politics in their Sunday tributes. Though Alveda King did not deliver a speech at the dedication ceremony, Martin Luther King Jr.'s sister, Christine King Farris, and his children, Bernice King and Martin Luther King III, did speak.
Alveda King was able to contribute to the time capsule. She and her mother, Naomi Barber King, contributed a metamorphosis video about the Monarch butterfly (which Alveda King believes shows God's presence in nature), a letter regarding Martin Luther King's beloved community and her book How Can the Dream Survive. The capsule will be opened in 15 years.