The Wisdom Of Honest Abe

We will be in Washington DC for the Annual March for Life so visit Wednesday for a full report. Saturday I am scheduled to give a short talk in Cincinnati where they are having their annual march and prayer vigil in Fountain Square.

Here’s a “sneak preview” of the talk:

Abraham Lincoln’s Wisdom

When Abraham Lincoln spoke in Cincinnati in 1861 he said, “I have spoken but once before in Cincinnati — that was a year previous to the last election.” I have Lincoln beaten on that score. I have spoken in Cincinnati many times.

Lincoln, in his first talk here in 1858, was loath to address the issue of slavery. It was for the most part a no-win issue, especially in the southern areas of the Midwest states, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, all bordering slave states.

In fact, although Lincoln knew slavery was intrinsically unjust, and on occasions called it wrong, immoral and evil, it was not until the middle of his presidency that he made his beliefs clear. He wrote,

[N]othing stamped with the divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on and degraded and imbruted by its fellows. In the founders’ enlightened belief they grasped not only the whole race of men, then living, but they reached forward and seized upon the farthest posterity. They erected a beacon to guide their children and their children’s children and the countless myriads who should inhabit the earth in other ages.

Wise statesmen as they were, they knew the tendency of property to breed tyrants and so they established these great self-evident truths, that when in the distant future some man, some faction, some interest, should set up the doctrine that none but rich men, none but white men, or noble but Anglo-Saxon white men were entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, their posterity might look up again to the Declaration of Independence and take courage to renew the battle which their fathers began, so that truth and justice and mercy and all the humane and Christian Virtues might not be extinguished from the land.

Later, in his “House Divided” speech, Lincoln made it clear that we could not preserve the nation “half slave and half free.” He was right. Slavery was tearing the nation apart.

Lincoln’s Words Apply to Abortion

And so it is with abortion. It is clear that we cannot exist by trying to balance this issue of killing the innocent under the law.

The country is solidly divided on abortion. It is the issue every legislator must face. It is the issue that holds up judicial appointments. It is a matter even more serious than slavery. It is a matter of life and death that has been destroying the conscience of the nation.

But it is as clearly wrong as was slavery, and Lincoln’s words can be applied to it. A nation cannot exist half pro-life and half pro-abortion. So we are in fact fighting a civil war but with peaceful protests and prayerful gatherings and sidewalk counseling and truth tours and peaceful marches such as yours today.

And we are winning. We are winning because we are right and they are wrong, and the truth will out. We are fighting a winning battle and whenever the victory comes we will all have been a part of it.

We may not all live to see the day when abortion is once again illegal. But that day is coming, and I say with certainty that some day abortion will be as unthinkable as slavery is today.

So stay the course. We are part of a victory yet to come but on its way. God bless you for all you are doing to win this inevitable victory.

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