Last week my wife and I went to see the new Steven Spielberg movie “Lincoln”. It is an outstanding film based on a book by Doris Kearns Goodwin titled Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. Daniel Day-Lewis gives a stunning portrayal of the 16th president of the United States in his last year of life. The Civil War was winding down and Lincoln was confident the Union would be victorious in the war against the Confederacy. Therefore, Lincoln decided he would muster all his political power to press the U.S. Congress to pass the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and abolish slavery in America forever.
Watching the movie I could not help but see the irony of present day America. In my opinion, the parallels between slavery in the 18th and 19th centuries and abortion in the 20th and 21st centuries are striking. The issue of slavery focused on who society and the law recognized as a human being with all the rights due to him or her. The abortion issue likewise ultimately zeroes in on the question of who is a human being. In the present time, as with black people in the past, many in government take the position is that an embryo is not a human being and has no rights even to life.
Sadly, that position was firmly set as the law of the land by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973. Today, nearly 40 years and 50 million legal abortions later, we are no closer to overturning Roe v. Wade than when it was first decided. Tragically, it took American society almost 200 years to finally abolish slavery, and that came at the price of more than 700,000 deaths in the Civil War. Perhaps that was God’s way of forcing our nation to come to grips about tolerating dire evil in our midst. I pray it won’t take us that long and that kind of judgment to wake us up to another horrendous evil in our midst today. I just pray it is not too late. Maybe we need another Lincoln.