As we entered Lafayette Park on May 28, Timothy McDonald, of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, led us in verse after verse of This Little Light of Mine. "Shine all around the White House, I'm gonna let it shine...." The verse was repeated for every place we would be taking our witness that day.
It was Peace Pentecost, and our lights were shining bright and bold. Vincent Harding led the commissioning of those who would march, pray, sing, and engage in nonviolent civil disobedience all over Washington, D.C. In preacher's cadence he named each site where our prayerful protest would be offered and then exclaimed after each, "Tell them we are coming!"
It was a day for the movement of the Spirit, a day when political stereotypes were shattered and ideological labels were swept aside to make room for the new wind of Christian conscience blowing across our land. The selective and inconsistent morality of both the Right and the Left was challenged by a simple message—all life is sacred. "We are here today to love God," said Harding, "and to love all of God's children."
We acted out of the firm conviction that wherever and whenever life is threatened and under attack, Christians must not remain silent but must act to defend God's gift of life. In that spirit we offered our prayers for justice, for freedom, for mercy, and for peace at places where human life is now undergoing such a terrible assault. At each site our civil disobedience was an act of prayer.
We prayed at the White House for the twisted priorities of a nation that reverses the biblical wisdom by busily beating plowshares into swords. Our prayer was for an end to the arms race and for a beginning of justice for the poor who are already the victims of our military madness.