Monday, November 22, 2010


"Bombing the railway lines to Auschwitz and other camps would only have achieved a temporary respite for the Jews, and distracted attention and resources from the larger purpose of overthrowing the regime that was killing them."
--Richard J. Evans, The Third Reich at War (New York: Penguin Press, 2009), p. 560
Ah, yes. Of course, we saw the point: Larger purposes for a greater good.

We understand.

We agree those “larger purposes” meant attempts to secure justice for the Jews had to be delayed. God forbid we got distracted by the immediacy of saving of innocent lives. After all, we had something bigger in mind.

Of course the Jews had to wait. Wait until they died.

How many times have the voiceless and oppressed heard similar arguments?

Frederick Douglass was told by Lincoln that political exigencies were of more importance than the immediate freeing of slaves. Lincoln was concerned about border states loyalty and feared his higher goal of saving the union would be jeopardized if he freed the slaves at the outset of the Civil War. He later capitulated to Douglass’ and other abolitionists demands, but not until he had reasonable hope of victory. Doubtless the ethics of his decision will be debated for decades to come.

Regardless, slaves had to wait for their freedom.

In a similar manner, women were told for decade after decade their quest for eaulity would have to wait until circumstances were more favorable. Voices of caution counseled incremental and timely steps. Susan B. Anthony heard such voices and drily noted, “Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputations…can never effect a reform.”

In the meantime, however, caution and care were thrown to the wind when other priorities dear to the hearts of those cautious about women’s rights were emphasized. There was infrastructure to be attended to-- railroads that needed to be built to grow the burgeoning economy. Reconstruction demanded the attention of the government. The growth of the United States as an economic power dictated attention to the military. In these matters, all of which generated money and poltical power, caution need not apply.

Butthe enfranchisement of women had to wait.

Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote his famous letter from a Birmingham jail, and included it in his book Why We Can’t Wait. Told by authorities that other matters were more important than ridding the US of the glaring injustice of apartheid; told that interminable, fruitless negotiations should continue, he wrote:

“For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied...We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God-given rights. “


How many times during our nation’s history have the disenfranchised, the politically impotent been told to wait until more important matters are addressed? How often have “priorities” left the voiceless at the bottom of the pile of more “pressing” concerns? How many times have those at the bottom of the totem pole been told, “We will address your concerns as soon as we”—(fill in the blank.)

For the pragmatists, the long time politicos, those caged in economic apartheid, the utopian idealists who look to the “larger vision,” no time is now or ever will be right for protection of the unborn. After all, the little ones have no votes. They have no voice at all except those who would speak for them. They are helpless.

Fiscal conservatives tell us that until economic matters are addressed and solved, abortion must be placed on the back burner. And what happened during the last forty years since Roe vs. Wade when times of prosperity returned after recession?

Still the issue of abortion had to wait.
ragmatists, politicos and utopians all have their reasons for delay as well. They have been busied themselves with more important matters.

In the meantime, over 50 million lives have been lost and still the carnage continues

Still the answer is, “wait.”

The September 5th discovery of 35 late term infants who were aborted by a doctor at an Elkton clinic and thrown in a freezer has provoked little sustained outrage.

“Wait,” some counsel. This matter can be addressed later. We need to deal with the foundational reasons for abortion first. We need to look at the larger picture.

In a similar manner, the grainy photos of Jews being shot and dumped unceremoniously into a ditch were disregarded for the sake of more pressing military and political concerns.

“Wait,” was the counsel. There’s a war to be won first. There are broader issues at stake.

The time for waiting is over. There is a war going on against the unborn.

Our nation is in the midst of a war for the definition of our culture at large, a war that crosses many fronts. As that cultural war is fought for the survival of our nation, it must be also be fought on many fronts, not the least of which is moral and ethical. In fact, it is not too much to state that unless the gross moral distortions of the national character are not addressed with immediacy, the rest of the national health—including economic health--is vitiated beyond restoration, for the health of a nation depends on its attitudes toward the helpless, the innocent, the victims—those regarded as sheer refuse of society.

As people like Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Martin Luther King, among thousands of other less noted voices, some now silent and others now just being heard, when a nation loses its moral compass, and that compass is not readjusted to the due North of life, liberty and justice for all, then that nation is on its way to disintegration.

Those who seek to refocus and to change the direction of our country should recognize the necessity of fighting on many fronts, including justice for the unborn, in order to achieve restoration and vitality to our beloved nation.

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