If the Gosnell and Castro sagas teach us anything, and there are lessons to be learned, please let us remember that the lives of human beings are hanging in the balance of what comes next.
In a letter from the Apostle Paul, the Bible tells us this:
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”
It’s the interests of those who are unwanted, unseen, and forgotten that we must learn to look out for. It’s the command to love our neighbors as we love ourselves that we must learn to obey.
Agape Love can ultimately redeem America and restore life. We just have to get past human depravity, such as has been depicted in the case of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell and Ariel Castro, the man charged with kidnapping and raping three women for more than 10 years.
Through their horrible and heinous deeds, we learn that humankind’s deprived nature is saturated in selfishness.
Selfishness blocks out love. It causes people to serve their own desires without consideration for others. It causes people to see others not as equals, but as pawns or obstacles.
A look at the recent headlines tells us that mankind is capable of all kinds of rationalizations for treating others in ways that can be less than human.
Castro is accused of using his fists to abort his own children. Gosnell ripped and snipped the lives of thousands of babies away, and even caused unspeakable pain — in at least one case death to an adult patient.
Such men not only regard women as disposable chattel, and in the case of Castro, his slaves; they also dehumanized their victims in unimaginable ways. Castro allowed one child to grow up bound in a dungeon, while he killed other babies by beating their mother and causing miscarriages.
America is being challenged to learn that situations like abortion and human trafficking are all part of a greater over-arching problem that’s been plaguing our world since the beginning of time — our selfish tendency to dehumanize those whose humanity is in the way of what we want.
In my lifetime, I have seen how our culture embraces dehumanization in various forms. I see very plainly that there are common threads in these manifestations.
When I was growing up, some of my schoolmates were killed by a bomb blast during the civil rights struggle. Some white folks thought that people like me and my friends were somehow less than fully human.
My house was firebombed because my daddy worked for the basic human rights that were denied to people because of the color of their skin. My daddy, the Reverend A.D. King, later died under very suspicious circumstances — and many believe he died because of his leadership in the civil rights movement.
My uncle, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated because he refused to accept the dehumanization of African Americans.
Countless others were beaten with pipes and baseball bats, fire hosed, jailed, and lynched just for the color of their skin.
African Americans were regarded as inferior because we had been treated as less than human for hundreds of years.
When you’re treated as less than human, it’s easy to appear that way in people’s eyes. If people see you being abused decade after decade, your mistreatment becomes — in a sense — the natural order of things.
All of this makes human mistreatment somehow palatable if not acceptable — and thereby the lives of those who oppress the most vulnerable easier. If the American public learns to accept everyone from natural conception or fertilization as brothers and sisters, the exploitation of all human beings would become much more difficult to justify.
Those who exploit and oppress fellow human beings under the cloak of racism, reproductive genocide or human trafficking are motivated by selfishness, greed, hunger for power, and the plain old bigotry that comes from pride and fear. All too many people take cover in denial that these problems exist, not wanting to look or care.
Out of sight, out of mind is a much too familiar mantra.
Friends, we are dealing with a three-headed monster; one that devours the weakest of our society. The thing about such a beast is that you must sever its source of power by eliminating all three heads; racism, reproductive genocide — which breeds abortion — and sexual perversion, which breeds human trafficking.
Cut off the heads and the monster will die.
One of the defining moments of the civil rights movement came when national newspapers and magazines showed pictures of peaceful demonstrators being clubbed and beaten. For the first time for many white people, racial discrimination and oppression were not just concepts. Americans in every part of the country saw segregation as the dehumanizing force that it was. They saw the faces of its victims.
Surely the Kermit Gosnell trial, which may only be the tip of the iceberg for the abortion industry, is a defining moment in the 21st Century civil rights movement to defend the humanity of unborn babies and the dignity of their mothers. Because Gosnell did his killing outside the womb instead of inside it, America — at least that part that has seen news reports about the Gosnell case — has now seen some of the victims of abortion.
The rescue of three girls in Cleveland who escaped their prison of depravity is another tip of the iceberg, reminding America that young and vulnerable women are at risk of being secreted away in broad daylight to become abused and misused in a form of human trafficking in their own communities.
This too is a defining moment where we can charge ahead to stop such inhumane victimization.
We cannot save the victims of abortion or human trafficking — or prevent innocents from becoming new victims of other nefarious deeds without public awareness. Public awareness only happens if the public cares. And the public will only care when it loves the unwanted.
With love, children are adopted — not aborted. With love, children are cherished — not abused. With love, there is less room for the human trafficker because his hunting grounds are smaller.
There is much to be done to set the captives of human trafficking free. But if we can help create a culture that values others, we will have begun to break the chains of captivity. We must learn this lesson if we will ever truly win the battle to redeem America —using weapons of truth and love.
Truth liberates and love never fails!
Dr. Alveda C. King grew up in the civil rights movement led by her uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She is a pastoral associate and director of African-American outreach for Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries. Her family home in Birmingham, Ala., was bombed, as was her father’s church office in Louisville, Ky. Alveda herself was jailed during the open housing movement. Read more reports from Dr. Alveda C. King — Click Here Now.
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