Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Amazing Thing...

About Amazing Grace (the movie) is not the actors, although they were terrific. It was not the screenplay, although excellently written. It was not even the way the movie looked and felt, which was really, really good--almost fantastic. It took me a minute to ID Ioan Gruffudd, who plays William Wilberforce, as the same guy who played Mr. Fantastic in the much lesser movie The Fantastic Four, but thanks to his role here, I'm now a fan! The movie is filled with great scenes, but this exchange between Wilberforce and Lord Dundas on the floor of the English Parliament struck me like a bolt of lightning.

Lord Dundas: "I am in favor of the abolition of the slave trade. There's no doubt in my mind that this trade in human beings is an Almighty calumny and is a disgrace to this nation. However, I also take the point of my honorable friend, the member for Liverpool, if we were to outlaw the trade tomorrow, this would bring financial disaster to the many great cities and industries of this country. I therefore suggest a period of reflection--"

Wilberforce: "After a year and a half of privy counsel and investigation, what good would it do to delay the inevitable?"

Dundas: "Inevitable? Is my good friend already counting the votes before they are cast?"

Wilberforce: "I didn't mean that."

Dundas: "If the trade were to be abolished, I suggest we do so gradually. Violent storms sink ships. This great ship of state should not be sunk by a wave of good intention."

Substitute "abortion" for "slave trade," and you have what many say today about overturning Roe v Wade: I am personally against abortion, but I believe it should remain legal. Though the economics of retaining legal abortion are strained at best, pro-abortionists do try hard to make a case that unlimited access to abortion is a necessary part of our country's makeup.

As for the gradual part, I believe we are already on this path with informed consent laws, parental notification laws, and bans on late term abortions. I support these laws. It would be better, though, if lawmakers and judges would recognize the inherent humanity of the unborn and extend the right to life the same as the rest of us. That would be the human(e) thing to do.

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