The following is an article written by a good friend of mine, Amy Gerwing. Amy is an amazing wife and mother to 7 sweet children. She and her husband are deeply involved with Online for Life, and she has quickly become someone whom I respect and admire. I hope you are as encouraged by her words as I was and that your resolve is renewed as we cry, "Life for all!"
July 9, 2011, Amy Gerwing
Now that I'm a week removed from our family trip to the great historical sites of Philadelphia, I've had some time to reflect on our tour of some of the most historically profound sites in the world. Although I came away with many thoughts - thankfulness, enlightenment, wonder- especially after standing in the room where the 55 courageous and in some cases nervous men signed our Declaration of Independence, the one overwhelming thought I left with was that of encouragement.
These men were not perfect nor were they always united. However they did unite to sign a perfect document which stated, for the very. first. time. in world history, that a people, endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights, were to rule themselves. A decade later this Declaration would inspire a Constitution making us a nation of laws not men.
There was one glaring contradiction in this document declaring all men free and that was that not all men in the colonies were free. Slavery had been introduced in the 1620's and was now a firm institution in this land. The debate over slavery among our Founding Fathers nearly tore the Continental Congress apart. Not because they believed slavery was right. In fact many of them went on to free their slaves after signing the Declaration of Independence. The debate over slavery nearly dissolved the Congress because for so many years slavery had been an integral part of the colonies' economy. The colonists for many years had been fed the lie that a man from Africa was not even a full human being and therefore not created with the same inalienable rights as a white man. The colonists were fed the lie that if slavery were abolished, our economy would go down in flames and the freed slaves would suffer and die in poverty and hopelessness. They were fed the lie that slaves were better off as slaves than free men as they would surely never survive outside the lands of their masters. They were fed the lie that their individual right to posses a slave superseded that slave's right to be free. And finally they were fed the lie that the state not our Creator could grant rights such as life and freedom to individuals.
We look at these arguments now and we find them absurd. But compare them to the lies being fed to us today. An unborn child is not a full human being and therefore not given the inalienable right to life. An unwanted child is better off aborted as he will merely be born into poverty and hopelessness. A woman's individual right to destroy her child's life supersedes the child's right to be born. The state (meaning any government) can grant rights to individuals that elevate the right to murder over the right to life.
When drawing up the Constitution during the hot summer months of 1787, there were men who argued that slavery would never be abolished in their lifetime as it was too engrained in the culture. But in their desire to see the spirit of the Declaration of Independence lived out in the new nation - that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - they set in place the means for the Constitution to be amended in the hope that one day the right of one man to posses another would be abolished.
In the same way today, there are many who say abortion will never be abolished in our lifetime. That it is too engrained in our culture. However, if we look to our Founding Fathers for inspiration, we will not give up the fight to extend Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness to all persons, both born and unborn. And just as the abolition of slavery did not happen in a vacuum but came as a convergence of legislation, education and prayer, so too will the end of abortion be brought on by these same actions. The Founder's battle cry was freedom for all. Our generation's battle cry is life for all
"I believe a time will come when an opportunity will be offered to abolish this lamentable evil."-- Patrick Henry, letter to Robert Pleasants, January 18, 1773