It should be natural to look in the eyes of a loved one and see one like myself.
Provided this gaze is authentic love, it permits a moral awareness of the dignity, the inviolability of the other.
Slavery, existing throughout human history, has been/is possible due to the human capacity to stop seeing the other as myself. The Europeans saw the Africans as a “sub-race”, as non-human, which permitted them to enslave the latter without losing their feeling of rectitude. In response, the Civil Rights Movement made repeatedly one principal claim: we are equal in dignity.
Once equality is truly achieved, no honest person can continue such horrible violence towards his brother or sister.
The degradation of human beings is seen worldwide: the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany, the attempted eradication of the Tutsi by the Hutu in Rwanda, the enslavement of millions of children in, as is done in India or various countries in Africa, or the use of child soldiers, as was seen during the Sierra Leone Civil War. Today, Islamic extremists, whether from Isis, Boko Haram, or various other groups, spread a wave of death, hatred, and enslavement across the middle east and other inspired acts of violence spanning several continents.
What shocks is that human beings are capable of doing such things to other human beings. All made possible by a lack of empathy, compassion, and love.
Sadly, we are not free from this very dehumanization.
Abortion is the ultimate act of dehumanizing another person.
The duration of a life lasts from its beginning until its end, from conception to natural death. To stop that process from continuing at any point is to end a life. Thus, to stop the beating heart of a eighty year old man is no different than to stop the beating heart of a baby in the womb.
A life has been ended.
Ending a life arbitrarily is an act of murder.
Today a baby in the womb, who doesn’t have the qualities that we recognise as being fully human, can be killed, not only without repercussion, but even with financial aid from the government.
Abortion is only viable if we continue to say that a developing child is not human.
Consider if we replaced a “foetus” with a one hour old child. Would any of the Pro-choice arguments make any sense at all?
Does a woman have the right to end her one hour old child’s life because she gave birth to that child, and it’s her body? Even if that child causes her stress and financial problems? Should a one hour old child be killed because they came from the unfortunate circumstances of a rape? Should a one hour old child be euthanised because they were born into poverty? If a woman harms herself in trying to end the life of her one hour old child, should we create programs to do it for her?
The conclusion of these questions evoke disgust, who could possibly support them?
Yet the only difference between a baby who is still a foetus and a one hour old child is whether or not we attribute humanity to them.
Apparently, the foetus is too undeveloped to be human.
Apparently, the foetus doesn’t have enough sensation or intellectual processing to be human.
Today we look back at slavery and are astonished at how it was possible for one person to look at another and ignore completely their humanity and, as a result, treat them with brutality and indifference.
I pray for the day when we will be human enough to look back and say, “How could we have murdered our own children?”