Anti-Slavery William Lloyd Garrison Instructs Us

Lessons Learned from the Leading U.S. Abolitionist

William Lloyd Garrison

Effective pro-lifers will learn key lessons from the fight in various countries to end slavery. Henry Mayer summarized his definitive biography of American abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, All on Fire, with the excerpts below. In Garrison's day, the political power, money and influence overwhelmingly supported compromise on slavery including the colonization faction that mostly opposed fighting for abolition but instead raised money to ship willing blacks back to Africa. As today with personhood for the unborn child, various "anti-slavery movements" were actually hostile to abolitionists like Garrison who insisted on fighting for immediate emancipation and equal rights for blacks.

Unlike with abortion, the framers had written tolerance of slavery into the U.S. Constitution itself. So by human standards, Garrison's principled fight against all the pragmatic "anti-slavery but anti-abolition" compromises seemed futile. But as Martin Luther King Jr. paraphrased Theodore Parker in his "Of Justice and the Conscience" from 1853, "the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice." For truth eventually wins out. And if pragmatism means "what works," then Garrison's uncompromising moral stand was also the only true pragmatic position. Thus biographer Mayer captured this great encouragement that the personhood movement takes from Garrison, for as he wrote:

Of all the pre-war political conceptions about slavery that contended for supremacy:
- states' rights
- three-fifths clause
- Missouri Compromise
- [colonization]
- toleration but non-extension
- popular sovereignty
it was Garrison's program of immediate emancipation through the repudiation of the proslavery constitutional compromise... that prevailed.

The undeniable parallel to today's battle for the unborn appears as a pro-life industry has arisen which raises millions of dollars but opposes the personhood movement and anyone who fights for the right to life of the unborn child. The force of truth is on the child's side as it was on Garrison's side when, against all odds, his principled view won out over the more popular, compromised alternatives.

In this Garrison biography these abolitionist parallels to today's political struggle fly off every page. Those who don't learn from history repeat it. The battle within the battle, where "anti-slavery" camps fought against abolition, is reenacted today as "conservatives" regulate abortion but oppose personhood. The battlefield is the heart and soul of the pro-life movement.

In the preface summarizing his 700-page triumphal account of America's leading abolitionist, Henry Mayer could have been writing about the struggle between the personhood movement and a pro-life movement which has been hijacked and turned into an industry for financial and political gain by politicians, lawyers, and fundraisers who see opportunity only in morally-compromised exceptions and regulations:

All on Fire is a book about an agitator and its argument can be simply stated, William Lloyd Garrison, 1805-1879, is an authentic American hero who, with a biblical prophet's power and a propagandist's skill, forced the nation to confront the most crucial moral issue in its history.

He inspired... a collaboration of ordinary people, stirred by injustice and committed to each other, who achieved a social change that conventional wisdom first condemned as wrong, and then ridiculed as impossible.

He boldly coupled his demand for immediate emancipation with an insistence upon equal rights for black people, a principled stand whose moral clarity eluded every prominent political figure of his era.

2012 Pro-life Candidate Survey

Dear Pro-life Candidate, please send your answers to AmericanRTL.

Dear Pro-life Organization,
please modify this candidate survey to apply it to your group and the jurisdiction where you fight. A goal of ARTL's Candidate Survey is to eliminate the "wiggle room" common in typical candidate surveys...

 

American Right To Life Candidate Survey

Dear Candidate,

Please consider your responses to these seven questions and then send your answers to us at the contact information below... We hope you will agree and answer "Yes" to each of the following fundamental moral questions. Thanks!

Candidate Name: __________________________; Party: ___________

Office Sought: ____________________________; Election Year: 2012

1.  Will you advocate that the government recognize and uphold the God-given, inalienable Right to Life for unborn children from the beginning of their biological development?

Good and Bad Fetal Crimes Bills

All state and federal unborn victims of crime bills in America as of April 2012 are unprincipled. Sadly they reinforce the so-called "legitimate" intentional killing of unborn children. This is unnecessary. It will take courageous leadership to change the status quo.

Colorado Right To Life and their state's pro-life legislators introduced a principled fetal crimes bill in 2012. The single-sentence bill (see the text just below) passed the House of Representatives. The Democrat-controlled Senate however voted it down. (In 2011 a compromised anti-personhood, abortion-affirming bill was introduced by Republicans but then killed by widespread pro-life opposition led by CRTL.)

Principled UVCA: Working with a county prosecutor, Colorado Right To Life developed this wording (that passed the House), and now American RTL recommends to all states legislation based upon this model:

"If the commission of any crime codified in Title 18 [criminal code] or Title 42 [driving drunk, reckless, etc.] of the Colorado Revised Statutes is the proximate cause of death or injury to an unborn member of the species Homo sapiens, the respective homicide and assault charges for that death or injury may be brought contemporaneously with the underlying charges."

Einstein in His Own Words

Einstein Thoughts from Albert Einstein: His collection of essays, Out of My Later Yearspublished in 1950, presents Einstein's statement that, "science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be," necessarily excluding from its domain "value judgments of all kinds." Thus science could not even prove that the Holocaust or the slave trade were wrong. This raises questions about the approach of some pro-life groups that say: "We don't talk about God because we're going to win this based on the laws of science." But none of the laws of science even use the terms right and wrong. Abortion is wrong because it's a baby, and it's always wrong to intentionally kill a baby, and that's because children are made in God's image and God said, "Do not kill the innocent." (And just as science cannot determine right from wrong, neither can mathematics. This inability exposes the fundamental error in utilitarianism. "The greatest good for the greatest number of people," amounts to moral relativism which has widely infected the pro-life movement.)

Realizing that science does not address moral laws, Einstein wondered even about physical laws and why it should be that mathematical ideas, which are non-physical, should correspond so well to the physical universe. In 1921 Einstein asked, "How can it be that mathematics, being after all a product of human thought which is independent of experience, is so admirably appropriate to the objects of reality?" Even though he was uncomfortable with this concept, fifteen  years later he was still wrestling with the same unshakable observation. For in 1936 Einstein famously wrote that, "the eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility." Then in 1944, remarking about atheist Bertrand Russell, he described the ability to get from matter to ideas as a "gulf–logically unbridgeable," which some scientists and linguists refer to as Einstein's Gulf. For while matter can be arranged to represent data, information itself is not material.