Christian 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.
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.