After years of featuring her as a commentator on several of its shows, Fox News Channel has signed pro-life advocate Alveda King, niece of civil-rights luminary Dr. Martin Luther King, as a regular contributor, discussing social and cultural issues across FNC’s daytime and primetime programming.
King — who has an honorary Doctorate of Laws Degrees from the Benedictine Saint Anselm College, and often goes by “Dr. King” — is the daughter of civil-rights activist Rev. A.D. King and his wife, Naomi Barber King. During the Civil Rights Movement, bombers struck her family home in Birmingham, Alabama, and her father’s church office in Louisville, Kentucky; and King herself was jailed during protests for open housing.
According to her biography at Priests for Life (where she is a pastoral associate and director of African-American outreach), “She sees the prolife movement as a continuation of the Civil Rights struggle.”
King is a former college instructor and served in the Georgia State House of Representatives, along with authoring several books. Although she’s heavily involved with Catholics in the pro-life movement, she’s not a Catholic. The 64-year-old mother of six and grandmother is also the founder of Alveda King Ministries, which describes her as a “minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” but doesn’t say she’s formally ordained in any particular denomination (it also says her “church home” is the Believers’ Bible Christian Church in Atlanta, Georgia).
In the FNC announcement, network chairman and CEO Roger Ailes said, “Alveda has brilliantly carried the legacy of the King family to the next generation and has been a source of inspiration for many Americans. Her passion and mission for social change will be a valuable contribution to our network.”
FNC released news of King’s hiring on the eve of the 50th anniversary of of the historic March 7, 1965, march by hundreds of civil-rights activists from the Brown Chapel AME Church in Selma, Alabama, to the state capitol in Montgomery, 54 miles away, to bring the cause of social justice and voting rights directly to segregationist Gov. George Wallace (also a two-time Democrat presidential candidate).
The march erupted in a violent confrontation with state troopers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, leaving 50 activists beaten and hospitalized. Televised live, the incident galvanized the Civil Rights movement and revealed the realities of the segregated South to the nation at large.
Speaking on Saturday, March 7, to FNC, King took note of President Barack Obama’s speech at the Bloody Sunday commemoration, which called attention to the Voting Rights Act, passed in 1965.
As quoted by CNS News, King called to mind the number of abortions since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision:
What the president did not say, there is a whole group of people — over 55 million — who have been denied the right to vote, because they’ve been denied the right to live. … What has changed in the last 50 years? Fifty-five million babies have legally lost their lives and denied the right to vote, and yet the largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, is getting $2 million of our tax dollars every day. That’s one thing that has changed. ….
The doors of opportunities are open. We must vote to ensure that every American — born or unborn — can come through those doors.”
Not everyone is happy about King’s hiring. Left-wing watchdogs Media Matters released a story entitled, “Meet Alveda King, the Fox News Contributor Who Blames Natural Disasters on Gay Marriage.”
Clicking through the link in the story, this is what she said at the Priests for Life site in 2012:
This past weekend, there were storms in and around the DC metro area. Power to two million was lost. No lights, no computers, no phone access for days. Food shortages and general anxiety, arrested plans were all in the mix. All this amidst record high temperatures in many eastern states reaching as high as 104 degrees, breaking records set over 70 years ago. Is it just me, or does anyone else wonder if when human behavior goes against the natural order of things, if nature doesn’t become confused as well?
I bet you know where I’m going with this. Abortion, abortion drugs, homosexual marriage and other life defying practices are all the rage in DC while the storm is literally raging. How do abortion, abortion drugs and homosexual marriage defy life? They are actually connected! An aborted baby is a dead baby. Abortion drugs attempt to make sure that babies are not born. Finally, two men’s sexual connection or two women’s sexual connection do not a baby make. No baby, no life.
Hardly a perfect analogy on King’s part. Although she frames it as a question, the underlying assumption is not a Catholic one, which is to see natural processes as just that, part of nature, the world functioning as God created it, not a direct response to sin.
As Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said on March 7, 2010 (coincidentally, another anniversary of Bloody Sunday):
The Pope said that it is unwise to think of natural disasters as God’s way of punishing sinners. He said that “calamities and tragic events must not arouse our curiosity or our desire to find the supposedly guilty, but should be occasions to reflect, to reject the illusion that we can live without God.” A wise man, reflecting on tragedies, seems them as a reminder “about the precarious nature of existence,” the Pontiff said.
Per the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
310 But why did God not create a world so perfect that no evil could exist in it? With infinite power God could always create something better.174 But with infinite wisdom and goodness God freely willed to create a world “in a state of journeying” towards its ultimate perfection. In God’s plan this process of becoming involves the appearance of certain beings and the disappearance of others, the existence of the more perfect alongside the less perfect, both constructive and destructive forces of nature. With physical good there exists also physical evil as long as creation has not reached perfection.175
King’s determination to respect all human life from conception to natural death is worthy of praise and support, but one hopes she’s more precise about her theological language in future now that she has a regular platform at FNC.