anti-abortion activists announced a plan Tuesday to chalk the sidewalks
near 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with "pro-life messages and pictures" to
greet the new first family as they settle into their White House digs.
The scheme by the Christian Defense Coalition purports to be a
modern day civil rights tactic in the vein of Dr. Martin Luther King
Jr.’s historic "Letter from Birmingham Jail" that advanced nonviolent demonstration strategies against racial discrimination.
According to a written statement by the Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, the
not-your-mother’s-hopscotch- art-project will be part of a "major pro-life witness":
As part of ‘The Birmingham Letter Project,’
we are inviting the pro-life community from around the country to the
‘front yard of President Obama’ and leave a message of change, hope and
compassion. As we sidewalk chalk on Pennsylvania Ave in front of the
White House, we will be publicly asking President Obama to follow the
teachings of Dr. King and end the discrimination and violence against
these innocent children.
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Equating abortion opposition with the nation’s epic struggle for
racial equality has been a long-held but recently intensified tactics
in the "personhood" movement. Proponents raise the specter of the
infamous Plessy v. Ferguson case that denied equal protection to blacks as evidence of the lack of inalienable rights for the unborn.
Except, at least in Colorado, that political maneuver was thoroughly
repudiated when Amendment 48, a controversial state ballot measure to
confer constitutional rights on fertilized human eggs, failed by a 3-to-1 margin.
Despite the crushing loss, Colorado for Equal Rights and its allies vow to fight on by mounting personhood campaigns in 16 states over the 2009 election cycle.
Meanwhile, the Christian Defense Coalition organizers are sure to be praying for dry weather in Washington, D.C., during presidential inaugural week lest the chalk art be swept away by rain or snow.