I recently read Ron Chernow’s massive biography of General/President U.S. Grant. It awakened in me a renewed sadness over how long it took for a significant percentage of our citizenry to acknowledge the evil of how Native Americans and African Americans have been treated. Thousands (yes, thousands) of our fellow-humans were murdered, while many more thousands were brutally mistreated and treated as less than human. When I read the details of incident after incident occurring in a period of over one hundred years, I found myself emotionally recoiling at the magnitude and barbarity of it.
Today, nearly every American of every ethnicity would agree that slavery of the 1800s and the Jim Crow laws that persisted into the late 20th Century were dreadfully wrong. Most of us cannot imagine allowing such injustice and cruelty to persist. We are horrified when we watch old film footage of water cannons and police dogs being used on black Americans. We are shocked when we see pictures of black men hanging from trees while white-hooded citizens celebrate.
When I was in high school and early college, I gained the impression that the Civil War was more about “states-rights” and economics than about slavery. But when I read about Fredrick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and Ulysses S. Grant (among many others) I became more aware of those Americans, black and white, that fully understood how evil slavery was and how it was the ONE thing that had to be corrected. They gave their lives (many literally) to changing it. It is striking to me that in the 1860s (Civil War and Reconstruction) and even in the 1960s (Civil Rights movement) the issue of slavery earlier and civil rights later became litmus test issues. No other political issues and no other social issues outweighed the necessity to change that ONE thing. Candidates and incumbents were judged on that issue alone. And I, for one, look back and say that was right! So large was the issue of full human equality under the law that everything else paled by comparison. That was THE issue. And I applaud the effort to correct any ways in which equality under the law is still denied.
Then I ask, “What is THE issue today?” What barbarity is still perpetrated on a whole class of people? Whose equality under the law is completely denied? Who, today, are being chemically burned, literally torn apart and otherwise murdered by the thousands and yes, millions?
Many Christians stood by, intentionally unaware or unmoved to do anything when thousands of African Americans and Native Americans were being murdered. Other issues were deemed more important in selecting political leaders. In the 1960s, many Christians stood by, intentionally unaware or even irritated by the civil rights movement and once again other issues were deemed more important in selecting political leaders.
Here we are again! Tens of thousands of children (disproportionately black) are being murdered each year. Do we continue to stand by and say other issues are more important in selecting our political leaders? Or will we awaken to the reality that there is ONE compelling human and civil rights issue that must be the litmus test of all litmus tests – ABORTION!
We live in a time as deadly serious as 1860 when ONE issue and ONE alone should govern how we act and how we vote in the 2020 election. Will this candidate aggressively pursue a pro-life agenda in all the ways legal to do so? Will they appoint directors, cabinet officials, judges, and everyone else within their power to appoint to carry out that agenda?
DEATH V. LIFE is THE issue of our day! There are only two viable political parties available to us and two candidates to lead those parties. Will you choose a party and candidate for other issues or for THE issue?