One Like Myself

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.

 

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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?”

 

For The Love of Women

Most people have an awareness of the amazing power of a seed.

 

Within one small apple seed lies the potential for generations of fruit and produce, enough to supply a family for decades. Such power should never be made little of, for without the seed there would be no tree.

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Within human beings a similar process plays itself out again and again. The seeds in human beings, however, are not physical objects, but thoughts, beliefs, and actions. The woman who wonders what change might be possible in society one day, may find herself years later at the head of a national movement for change. A man observing with openness the suffering of the poor today, may be inspired to create in his now unseen future, an organization that will feed thousands of the hungry over generations to come.

 

But, as always, with the good, comes the possibility for the bad.

 

Murder is the perfect fruit of hatred. It is the greatest hope and aspiration of what hatred is capable of achieving. As the seed of hatred grows and overcomes all other emotions, it becomes more and more capable of its final production: death.

 

In the same way, the perfect fruit of pornography is rape.

 

Lust, the antithesis of love, is a sexual taking, as opposed to giving. It is claiming that I have the right to take and use another human being. This taking can occur solely in the mind, or externally as the act of rape. The person with hatred in their heart claims the right to end the life of another, and the person with lust in their heart claims power over the body of another.

 

In the same way that idle gossip or anger directed towards an individual has the possibility to become the seeds of darker and more fervent hatred. So in the same way, sexual fantasies about another individual, or perusing pictures on the internet, can lead to the mindset that sex is my right, not a gift I receive. As the activists on my campus have pointed out, rape doesn’t always appear to be violent on the surface. It can be taking advantage of an intoxicated person or forcing our way with subtle coercion and emotional pressure. These less obvious forms are the most common fruits of lust.

 

Since lust is something which grows from a seed into something larger and more formidable, I must ask the question: Why is lust wrong? What law does it break, or what harm does it cause our fellow brothers and sisters?

I believe an apt analogy can be made between lust and slavery.

 

The reason slavery was abolished is because men and women are not objects.

 

If human beings could be objects, then no one should have any qualm over the practice of slavery. Owning a slave would be no different than owning a dog. So why, if we detest slavery so much, do we happily support the use of other human beings as objects through pornography? What is even more bizarre is the modern reckoning of pornography. The slaves were willing to fight, to give their lives to end slavery, as was seen in the later years of the American Civil War.

 

There are many feminists who fight for the right of a woman to be a prostitute, or to work in the pornography industry. This is akin to a black slave fighting and giving his life to ensure that the blacks would forever be slaves and considered to be a lower rung of humanity.

 

Few things could be quite so backwards.

 

Just as slavery was destructive to the lives, the spirits, and the hearts of the blacks, so pornography is causing the decay of both the users and of those who participate in its making.

 

One cannot work as a slave, being denied basic human rights, and come out of the experience without great wounds, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. So why do we expect that women should be unscathed by the objectifying process of pornography; or that men’s minds won’t be warped by the use of it? The reality that this is occurring is present for anyone willing to take a sober look at our societal values versus the worth of a human being. Everywhere you see examples of human worth being equated to one lonely attribute: beauty. To equate a human being to beauty alone is like saying the only value of the entire earth and all its creatures, is its oil reserves.

 

Pornography may feel like it’s right because it exploits this one God given gift, our capacity for beauty. Pornography’s use of beauty is no different than a slave owners abuse of his slave. We pretend to be the masters of beauty, we subject it, whip it, dirty it, and make sure it is so degraded and shamed that it will never have the strength to break free. Maybe then, and only then, will we finally have complete control over beauty for our own purposes. Such a life, however, is a cage. Instead of capturing beauty, we imprison ourselves. We become slaves to beauty, it becomes our master as opposed to the other way around.

 

This is not a prison unfamiliar to humanity however, because it is the prison of addiction.

 

One may recognize the futile logic of an addict in the voices of the men who make claims like, “I have needs, and my woman can’t fill my needs, so I use pornography.” This statement is rotten, decayed, and completely devoid of love. It makes as much sense as a drunk claiming that he needs drink, and cannot function without it. In fact, the exact opposite is true. He will never be free to function until he gets sober.

 

Now, I want to make something completely clear. There is a vast difference between a man who is addicted to pornography and is struggling to become free, than a man who openly uses it without a concern. The man struggling for freedom will stumble, but he recognizes the truth, even though he does not have the strength to live it out, yet. Like an alcoholic trying to achieve sobriety, he will falter in his pursuit and pick up the bottle again, but he must never lose hope. In our efforts to be free of our addictions, in our weakness, strength grows.

 

There is always hope.

 

My prayer is that all feminists, male and female, will come to understand the destructive nature of pornography and fight for its abolishment as the blacks did to destroy the practice of slavery. Any man or women who claims to support feminism, and at the same time supports pornography, is simply a liar. I do not mean that in a condescending way, but as a statement of fact. The two are completely incompatible, and the gains of feminism will continue to be reduced and shoved backwards, so long as the other remains.