It is fitting that the 40th Anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the single most important governmental decision in bringing about the sweeping legalization of infanticide (commonly known as abortion) falls on the day after the commemoration of the momentous life of Martin Luther King Jr. Reverend King stands as a modern example of a man who saw injustice in his own time, an injustice accepted by the people of America and propped up by the government. He, inspired by his moral compass provided him by his faith in God, took a stand that ultimately toppled much of the institutionalized racism in our nation. Reverend King’s dream is coming to fruition in this nation, slowly but surely, but the murder of the unborn is a great injustice equal to that of segregation, and the Reverend’s primary beliefs on injustice apply directly to the issues of legalized abortion today.
Yesterday, January 21st, not only did America commemorate the life of the great civil rights leader, but also swore President Barack Obama into his second term. President Obama’s election and re-election as an African-American man most likely would not be possible today were it not for the efforts and sacrifice of Reverend King. President Obama has again and again during his presidency championed the cause of care, protection, and nurturing of our children. Just recently, President Obama put into place executive orders addressing gun violence for the express purpose of protecting those same children. In his speech announcing the orders, the President said the following:
“These are our kids. This is what they’re thinking about. And so what we should be thinking about is our responsibility to care for them, and shield them from harm, and give them the tools they need to grow up and do everything that they’re capable of doing — not just to pursue their own dreams, but to help build this country. This is our first task as a society, keeping our children safe. This is how we will be judged. And their voices should compel us to change.”
I wholeheartedly agree with this statement from our President, and find it particularly compelling when considered in light of the horrific slaughter of unborn children taking place in our country today. Raising up children, loving children, guiding children, and providing for children is the great mandate that God has given to the human race. I commend the President for recognizing the importance of children in society, and I believe that his statement that “their voices should compel us to change” draws attention to an even greater danger to the children of America, and the world: abortion.
Legalized infanticide is particularly horrific because the children are not even given the chance to exercise those voices that will compel us to change. A baby murdered in an abortion clinic will never know life, will never have the opportunity to speak up for his or herself. Never will he or she be given the chance to challenge those who would snuff out his or her God-given life, or to confront the lies of those who deceive the mother into believing that the horrific procedure is not only convenient, but morally good. The image of God is desecrated and discarded, without even a cry allowed from that very image. Reverend King spoke to this injustice in his famous letter written from a Birmingham jail. Segregation, he argued, is reprehensible for the exact same reason that abortion is reprehensible: human beings created in God’s image have no ability to make their voice heard. Reverend King says this while discussing the difference between just laws and unjust laws:
“Let us turn to a more concrete example of just and unjust laws. An unjust law is a code that a majority inflicts on a minority that is not binding on itself. This is difference made legal. On the other hand, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow, and that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal.”
Reverend King points out that truly just law is leveled across all of society, and not only applicable to a minority. The whites in power made up a majority, who subjected blacks to degrading and inhumane laws. In the same way abortion subjects the minority, the unborn, to inhumane practices at the desire of the majority, the born. By abortion’s standard, if it were to be fairly leveled across all of society, any child, whether young, grown, or senior, could be murdered and disposed of at the will of their parents. Reverend King goes on to elaborate, putting the issue in plain terms that reflect segregation’s (and abortion’s) incompatibility with our own republican form of government:
“Let me give another explanation. An unjust law is a code inflicted upon a minority which that minority had no part in enacting or creating because it did not have the unhampered right to vote. Who can say that the legislature of Alabama which set up the segregation laws was democratically elected? Throughout the state of Alabama all types of conniving methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties without a single Negro registered to vote, despite the fact that the Negroes constitute a majority of the population. Can any law set up in such a state be considered democratically structured?”
In the same way that Reverend King asks where the Negro voters were, we too can ask where the representatives were for the unborn? Where were the victims of abortion’s wanton destruction when the laws were crafted? Where were they? Abortion is a particularly sickening and cowardly practice because it preys upon those who have no way to speak themselves. Therefore, we must speak for them. Our voices though, have been sadly silent. When Reverend King scolded white Christians for their silence on issues of race he said these words which apply directly to our society today concerning abortion:
“We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. We must come to see that human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and persistent work of men willing to be coworkers with God, and without this hard work time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation.”
Today I urge us all to repent of our silence, and to make our voices heard. Let us call upon our President to extend his fight to protect children not simply to those who are born, but to the unborn. Let us call upon our elected officials to end this holocaust, to follow the example of Reverend King and speak for those who have no voice. Perhaps the miraculous will happen, as it did in Reverend King’s time, and the thunderous cries for true wisdom, justice and love will topple the rotten structure of abortion and we can consider ourselves true adherents to the divine call to protect the young and helpless.