After learning through news reports of the gifts President Donald Trump gave to Pope Francis during his visit to the Vatican on Wednesday, Priests for Life National Director Fr. Frank Pavone and Dr. Alveda King of Civil Rights for the Unborn noted the significance of gifts related to King's uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"How appropriate that two world leaders who seek peace should pause again in the shadow of another leader who showed everyone how to make it happen," Pavone said. "Dr. King said that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
"Both the President and the Pope have warned the world about the ongoing injustice of abortion, which, as President Trump pointed out in the third presidential debate, rips babies out of the womb. Both the president and the pope know that peace demands an end to that violence."
King, who had gifted the president a King Family Tribute book at the National Museum of African American History and Culture earlier this year, said, "It's interesting how things come full circle." She noted the pope frequently cites her uncle's teachings in his own, and that when she first met Pavone at a pro-life rally in the 1990s, he was quoting from the late civil rights leader's Christmas sermon:
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.
"President Trump is redirecting our funds while draining the swamp," she added. "By cutting abortion funds and redirecting public assistance away from entitlement to empowerment, POTUS is helping everyone; not robbing the poor as some media reports.
"Now our families can begin to breathe again and work again and live in dignity. I'm just glad that in the midst of all of the 'fake news,' President Trump has delivered something real again with this MLK book gift; the six principles and steps to nonviolent conflict resolution espoused by my Uncle Rev. MLK are always good for America and the world."
Pavone said "it's no accident" the president's first trip is to the key religious centers in the world.
"He is convinced that peace in the world depends upon religious leaders and their people freely and vigorously practicing their faith," he added. "Both he and the pope have warned against the abuse of religion, which happens when people invoke God's name as a cover for violence."
Both Pavone and King said they are prayerful and supportive of the president's agenda to address the problem of abortion in America and are in favor of a "sanctity of life" agenda. They are working to advance the sanctity of life message from a Bible perspective.
"When POTUS says we are all Americans, and our blood runs red, that's true," King said. "Acts 17:26 says that God created all humanity as 'one blood.' Uncle MLK said, 'we must learn to live together as brothers [and sisters] or perish as fools.' It's time for us to lead the way. America, return to God!"
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