A Reader Writes…

A Reader Writes… January 28, 2011

I am currently ill, and am happy to say a certain Paul Fahey has taken up the task of actually writing something. It is reasoned, wonderful and far more structured than anything I’ve managed to put down. Enjoy the second guest post BadCatholic has seen, and remember I’m always willing to put up anything reader’s write, unless they are advocating liturgical dancing.

Martin Luther King Jr. famously said, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

This article rests on the foundation of that major premise; the universal equality of every living human being. This is a very reasonable premise, for if we deny it then we have no grounds for defending our own lives or the lives of others. If we deny it then we allow a dictator to decide who is worthy or unworthy based on arbitrary preferences like skin color or land of origin. However, if we dare to accept the premise that all living human beings are equal to one other, do we know what follows? Do we really understand the necessary implications of human equality?

If all human beings are equal then every human being has the same dignity as every other human being. This means that the intentional violation of one human being’s dignity by another human being is a negative action because both individuals are equal. Contrast this to the fish or the beetle. Such creatures are not equal to human beings, and while they deserve respect, they do not inherently deserve the same respect as a human being. The more sever the violation of one’s dignity by another, the more negative the action is. The greatest violation of a human being’s dignity is the intentional destruction of it, an action that society has named “murder.”

Humanity is driven by a need for justice, especially in cases where the dignity of one or more individuals is ultimately violated. This is seen very clearly at the Nuremberg Trials in 1945 and 1946. In this instance there were individuals prosecuted for murder, even though their own country condoned and encouraged this destruction of human life. This demonstrates that mankind’s need for justice even crosses national borders and legal systems. Furthermore, during these trails the men who were charged with “crimes against humanity” were not just the one’s pulling the triggers. Rather, the generals and politicians who orchestrated the killings were also being prosecuted, even though they may not have directly killed anyone. The politicians and statesmen who endorsed the mass murder of the Jews were deemed culpable for the deaths of millions.

This raises an interesting and very controversial point. If we accept the premise that all living human beings are equal, then we must act as if all human beings, no matter their race, age, religion, wealth, or capabilities, are equal. If this is the case, then pre-born living human beings are just as dignified as adolescent living human beings, and adult living human beings. That is, unless one can demonstrate that a pre-born human being is either not human or not alive. If that cannot be done, then the pre-born child is morally equivalent to a 1940s Jew.

If one accepts that all living human beings are equal, then the United States has legally murdered over 53 million innocent people. Furthermore, if you include abortifacient birth control, the worldwide number is well over 1 billion. If our society seeks justice, and in turn holds those who violate the dignity of others accountable for their actions, who is culpable for these murders? If the Nazi politicians and statesmen were responsible for the holocaust, then are not American “pro-choice” politicians responsible for the deaths of over 53 million children? And what about the individual citizens who voted for these politicians because they were “pro-choice,” are they in some way culpable? If one truly believes in human equality, then the answer is an unequivocal yes.

In his second inaugural address, in 1865, President Abraham Lincoln said this, “Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

Lincoln prayed for the Civil war to end, yet he also saw it as an atonement for the monstrous injustice that was slavery. If it took a Civil War to end slavery, what will it take to end abortion? If justice is to be wrought, then what can possibly atone for the legalized and systemic murder of hundreds of millions of innocent children? If humanity has historically always sought to prosecute those who have committed grave injustices, whose blood will be spilled in retribution for the deaths of over 1 billion people?

May the Lord have mercy on us all.

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