Steven Spielberg’s movie “Lincoln” tapped into a lot of sentiment and nostalgia for the Civil War era and the many foundational changes (for the better) that resulted from that conflict. The movie portrayed what strong principled leadership can accomplish and the movie itself was rewarded with twelve Oscar nominations, eventually taking home Best Actor award.
In the shadows of the Civil War, our Constitution was amended in a most fundamental way. Not only was slavery outlawed –an issue our Founding Fathers punted on – but the Constitution was also amended to insure that no governmental entity within the United States could deny a U.S. citizen their fundamental rights as enshrined in the U.S. Constitution nor take away life, liberty or property without due process of law. With the passage of the Civil War era constitutional amendments, our legal system finally lived up to the promises of the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal.
Our society took a while to catch up to these ideas but we have advanced so far that the current occupant of the White House is a black man. This shows what principled leadership can accomplish even after multiple generations have passed from the defining event.
Although not the only issue to drive the South into insurrection, slavery was the cause célèbre. Today we have many issues that divide us as a nation but there is one that stands above the rest and that is the issue of abortion.
Since being legalized in the controversial decision of Roe v. Wade, there have been over 56 million abortions performed in the United States. And most of those abortions involve minority babies; especially black children who make up a third of all abortions despite the fact blacks represent only about twelve percent of the population. One prominent black leader, Rev. Dr. Clenard Childress, Jr. has likened the black abortion rate to genocide.
Abortion in many circles is so accepted that it matters not when the abortion takes place, even if it is performed after the child has escaped the womb. In Philadelphia, a trial is taking place where employees of Dr. Gosnell spoke of the routine slaughter of children born alive after a failed abortion attempt. All it took was a snip of the spinal cord and little Johnnie or Janie was gone. Yet such news barely registers in many a mind as those children are not seen as human; thus, they are not entitled to those rights (such as life) enshrined in our Constitution.
This view is shared by President Obama. He is such an ardent supporter of abortion rights that when he was a state senator in Illinois, he voted against a bill to afford legal protections to children born alive from a botched abortion. To him, these children should be left to the hands of monsters like Dr. Gosnell despite the Fourteenth Amendment and the protection it affords all persons born in America. What would those slaves freed by the Civil War think of such a callous disregard to the suffering of those seen as less than human?
Monumental issues take monumental leaders to resolve. Abortion like slavery is such an issue. Our country during the Civil War had Lincoln. Who will fill the void in today’s battle against abortion?