Today, the Declaration of Independence isn’t living; it’s dead. It’s a historical document encased under bulletproof glass in Washington, D.C. It’s something we tour to see, like all the relics of the past. It reminds us of the valiant time when men fought to gain our independence from Britain. Unfortunately, we have rejected the timeless values it upholds. Gone is its present power to aid us in the fight for equality – to remind us of one another’s value and challenge us to treat one another fairly.
Do we still need the Declaration of Independence? More than ever. Honor is out the window. Disrespect, disrepute and slander are commonplace. Vitriol is vomited all over news and social media. Antagonism has turned to militancy. Violent crime is now justified patriotism. Shopping has turned to looting. Employees and employers with disloyalties abound. Friends backstab friends. Family members take one another to court. Gangs kill for sport. And the government involves itself in every type of overreach, subterfuge and coercion imaginable.
And we sit back puzzled, asking: How did it get this bad?
We’ve abandoned the past. We’ve left our core values. America has lost her way. We’re too busy fighting for ourselves to fight for others. We’ve traded in the Good Book for our pocketbook. We value positions, possessions and perceived quality of life. We’ve completely redefined and revalued human life. The way we treat one another proves it.
And our endless debates over when human life begins and ends haven’t helped. Neither has so-called “science.” We’re now a product of random chance and selection, or so we’re told. Naturalism and scientific theory have oddly convinced most there is no God, even though they can do no such thing. Humans have gone from the pedestal of creation to the trash piles of evolution. And the blue-book value for humanness has gone from a Mercedes to a monkey. We’re ultimately no different than cockroaches. We’re just fortunate to have broken the endless caste systems of creative chaos.
Even the late Stephen Jay Gould, America’s well-known Harvard paleontologist and evolutionary biologist, once confessed, “Before Darwin, we thought that a benevolent God had created us. … Biology took away our status as paragons created in the image of God.”
What Dr. Gould may not have realized is that such statements represent not only the monumental shift of humanity’s condition and value, but also serve as a new beginning point for how we treat one other.
Human value is out. Human disposability is in. Abortion is the quintessential example – a total abandonment of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Abortion isn’t simply a woman’s right to choose her own “health care.” It’s an assault on and abandonment of the baby’s “right to life,” which is one of three specifically identified unalienable rights clearly set forth in the Declaration (and the Constitution through Article VII and the Bill of Rights). And it is a violation of government’s primary purpose: to protect this unalienable right to life.
Actually, the issue of abortion shouldn’t even be dealt with on a federal level, except to protect that right to life. According to our Constitution, the debate and legalities of abortion should remain on the state level. That is why 21 states are poised right now to ban or severely restrict abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned, according to NPR.
Americans are terminating life outside of the womb with equal callousness. Look around, from school shootings to euthanasia. From the cradle to the grave, we are justifying the termination of human life with softened terminology (“abortion” or “health care”) and moral and medical justifications.
The beginning of life has not always been questioned as it is in our day. The value of human life has not always fluctuated from person to person. In early America, and even when I was growing up in school in the 1950s, there were two codes that shaped most people’s view of humanity: that God created us, and that we were created equal.
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; … And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Most early Americans believed humans were the highest creation of God. Their views were based in the Bible and expressed in the Declaration of Independence. That is why our forefathers called all Americans to uphold the worth of all men, women and children in our founding documents and their writings.
America’s founders believed equality would give legs to freedom, even with slavery, as professor Thomas West documented well in “Vindicating Our Founders.” As John Adams said, “We should begin by setting conscience free. When all men of all religions … shall enjoy equal liberty, property, and an equal chance for honors and power … we may expect that improvements will be made in the human character and the state of society.”
If we don’t fight to give human life its original value, we will continue to devalue it with reckless abandon. As my friend and prolific author, Randy Alcorn, wrote in his free online book, “Why Pro-Life? Caring for the Unborn and their Mothers”: “Abortion has set us on a dangerous course. We may come to our senses and back away from the slippery slope. Or we may follow it to its inescapable conclusion – a society in which the powerful, for their own self-interest, determine which human beings will live and which will die.”
This Saturday, Jan. 22, marks 49 years since abortion became legal across the United States.
On Jan. 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court declared their decision regarding the case of Roe v. Wade, when the highest court in the land ruled that individual state laws banning abortion were unconstitutional. From that point onward, abortion-on-demand was legalized in all 50 states.
Eleven years later, on Jan. 13, 1984, President Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation designating Jan. 22 as the first National Sanctity of Human Life Day. (Ever since, tens of thousands of churches continue to recognize the third Sunday in January as a day to commemorate the high value of human life from the womb to the tomb.)
It is staggering to think that, since 1973, over 63 million humans and Americans have lost their lives in the womb due to being aborted or killed by their parent.
As long as Americans are re-examining how to respect and get along with one another (and even agree to disagree agreeably), maybe it’s high time we re-evaluated the worth we give to the voiceless in wombs, too. Whether in the U.S. Capitol or in cities across every state of our union, we shouldn’t defend unjustified violence to humans outside the womb or inside the womb. Instead, we should esteem all human life from conception to the grave.
Reclaiming the value of human life is not merely a challenge for all Americans but the primary calling and purpose of government. As Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1809, “The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government.”
(For those who are thinking of having an abortion or if you want to help someone who is thinking about it, please read this free e-copy of Randy Alcorn’s fantastic book, “Why Pro-Life? Caring for the Unborn and their Mothers.” You will also find help in Dr. James Dobson’s online article, “How to Help a Friend Who Wants an Abortion.” Further personal help and counseling can also be found HERE. )
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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.