Wednesday, February 2, 2011
When I was about 5 years old, I remember learning that there was once a time in our country's history when we enslaved other human beings. I remember feeling personally guilty for this hideous crime. I felt that I, as a white person, was in a way responsible for the actions of what those white men did in the past. But I felt consoled when I could confidently tell myself that if I had lived in that time period that I would have been a part of the small percentage of people who stood up against slavery. At 5 years old, I told myself that I would have been a person who stood up for the freedom and lives of slaves even when it was unpopular. I told myself that I would have given my life to defend the lives of those who were enslaved and killed because of slavery.
I think it is easy for most of us to have that same mind-set in modern times. I think a lot of people say that they would have opposed slavery. But I don't think we always realize what opposing slavery would have been like in the 1700's and 1800's. Most people accepted slavery and would openly ridicule you if you tried to suggest that it was wrong. It was not common sense to anyone who seriously considered it that slavery was wrong. There were many seemingly legitimate arguments for the acceptance of slavery.
For example, they would tell you, "The Bible itself gives directions on how to treat slaves." Or, "The economy would crash from the lose of plantations if slavery were abolished." Also, "Freeing the slaves would only make them poor and miserable. It would be better to just keep them as slaves." Along with these arguments, Pro-Enslavers would tell you that blacks were less human, and that there was a biological difference that makes them not full persons. Some would probably tell you that since the law permits slaves that slavery is not wrong. They would also tell you that the slave owners have a right to their slaves because they are their property and have paid for them, and that taking slaves away from owners would be violating their privacy.
I have been contemplating these thoughts on slavery this past weekend in Washington D.C. on the March For Life. We still have slavery in our country. And, like in the 1800's, it is completely socially acceptable. Abortion has taken more lives in the last 38 years than slavery did in 200 years. Once again, our laws tell us that we "own" another person. We say that, because of biological factors, a baby in the womb is less of a person than a baby outside the womb. We say that it would be better to kill a human being than to allow them to be born into poverty. We say that we cannot financially afford to outlaw abortion. We say that keeping a life alive is a violation of privacy. DO THESE ARGUMENTS SOUND FAMILIAR TO ANYONE?!?!?!
I believe I am now fulfilling that promise I made to myself when I was 5 years old. I will give myself to defend those who are defenseless. I understand that the other side has arguments it tries to make, but I believe in what is right. I hope and pray that all people who see the unborn child as a person will rise up with the same intensity and energy that I feel now. Regardless of how unpopular or difficult it is. I believe that anyone who believes they would have opposed slavery should answer this call.
I do find it extremely ironic that our first African-American President is one of the strongest supporters of abortion in our country's history.