Modern-Day Slavery?

30 06 2011

(Original date was Jan. 21, 2009)

On Monday we celebrated the birthday of a great American. Martin Luther King, Jr. challenged us to live better, socially, ethically, and spiritually. Tuesday, we witnessed the swearing in of our first African-American as President of the United States. As I contemplate these things, I can’t help but think about the battle that was raging in the middle of the 19th century. It was a time in which these men would not have even been allowed a public forum. In many ways, we have come so far as a country. Yet in many ways, we remain the same.

The aforementioned battle, the issue of slavery, was fought with muskets and with gavels. At the heart of this issue was the “perception” of people with different colored skin. Those who wished to abolish slavery understood that these men and women were humans created by the same God. Others, who wished to continue the practice, saw these people quite differently. They understood them to be property. To view them as humans meant that they too were “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights.” To view them as property meant that they had no rights.

In America today, as we celebrate the accomplishments of people like Rev. King and Pres. Obama, let us also recognize that there is still a group of people who do not have the chance to experience “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Again, it is essentially a “perception” issue. The unborn child is either seen as a human with rights or as property with no rights. My prayer is that one day our nation will awaken to this great tragedy and that this form of slavery will also be abolished.

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