The left is reusing the pro-slavery arguments of the 1700s and 1800s. Find out how on Unapologetic.
We often think that the slavery issue is done away with, it’s been abolished to use that technical term. However the arguments from the pro-slavery movement are still in use today. Furthermore, slavery isn’t actually abolished. It is still practiced in many parts of the world and even sometimes clandestinely in America. Racism certainly isn’t dead either.
We’re not actually going to talk about racism or slavery today, but we’re going to focus on the arguments that were used in favor of it. Specifically I want to talk about something you may remember from your grade school history class called The Three-Fifths Compromise. The Three-Fifths Compromise was a compromise reached between the delegates of the southern states and the northern states in 1787. The debate at that time was over how and if slaves could be counted when determining a total state’s population for representation and tax purposes.
What they came up with was that a slave was worth three-fifths as much as a non-slave. Said perhaps a little differently and perhaps more accurately, a black person was worth about three-fifths as much as a white a person. That’s a general representation of the truth. However, that’s an abhorrent idea. That is so incredibly anti-Christian, anti-human. But nonetheless this was the idea was come up with, and some Christians were actually in favor of this, perhaps many Christians. That’s a deplorable state of affairs.
But here’s the thing, all of that verbiage about The Three-Fifths Compromise boils down to the fact that some people were more of a person than other people, some people were more valuable innately than other people. Now we understand from scripture that no person is actually more valuable in that way than someone else. But nonetheless there was a group of people that saw slaves, saw black people, as worth less than white people, worth less than non-slaves.
You know what? We find ourselves in that exact same situation today. There is a type of person, a class of person that is said to be worth less than another type and class of person. It’s not a race thing. Although that’s certainly a part of it. What it is, is a pre-born versus a post-born person divide.
You see, the pre-born person today is very valuable. They’re highly desired and sought after. Couples will work very hard to get pregnant and spend thousands of dollars sometimes in fertility treatments. But then what happens if they find out that they have a child with Down syndrome? Well, that child suddenly is not valuable enough anymore to keep, so the majority of the time it’s killed, it’s murdered.
What about when it comes to planned parenthood and fetal organs? Well, the child once again is valuable enough to sell and they’ll even alter the procedure to harvest the organs and not damage them, but it’s not valuable enough not to kill. The preborn is human. It has human genetic code and DNA in it. It’s the product of two human parents. It’s the combination of two living cells that creates another cell that’s a fertilized egg that then grows which is itself alive. So it’s a human that’s alive.
But what is it? It’s considered to be less valuable than the other humans, just because of its smaller size, or lack of development, or different environment, or the fact that it’s more dependent, all of which we’ve covered in the past and showed to just be ridiculous reasons for saying you can kill someone. Because almost all of those reasons would also support killing a toddler.
But what I want you to see is the logic of the pro-slavery south is very much in play today in sophisticated places like Washington or the Democratic Party or wherever you hear women’s rights as opposed to pre-born rights. It’s interesting, when you substitute “abortion” and “women’s liberation” for “slave ownership” or “the southern economy”, this starts to sound pretty familiar, doesn’t it? “Well, we can’t abolish slavery because the economy of the south will fall.” Well, what’s said today? “We can’t abolish abortion because of women’s liberty.” No one ever really talks about the liberties or rights of the pre-born child. Once again, this is another example of how they’re considered less than so you can kill them.
It’s interesting, if you look at herds of animals on the plains of Africa, predators will separate some animals off into a different group and then they’re easier to kill. That’s exactly what we see literally happening in America. A smaller class of person, the unborn, is being separated out into a different category, “Oh it’s a different type of thing. We can kill it.” That’s what’s said.
But it’s not actually a different type of thing, in the same way that the slaves in the south weren’t actually a different type of person. They were just as innately valuable as their white slave “masters.” They’re both created in the image of God, they both have the same amount of innate dignity and worth, and they’re worthy of just as much respect in the same way that the pre-born is today.
I want to give you some parallels of pro-slavery language and pro-abortion language so you really see the extent of the depravity that’s at play here. A pro-slavery term might be, “One who is the property of.” Well, what’s said today? Fetuses are the, “Products of conception. Until they’re fully grown, they’re products of birth. They are owned. They’re the property of the mother.” Some other pro-slavery terms might be “entirely subject to another person, whether by capture, purchase, or birth.” Well, that’s what’s said today also. “The unborn child’s life is subject to the whim of the mother. The woman can trade her child and pay for abortion, and that’s totally legal.”
Here’s another example of pro-slavery verbiage. “The slave is a servant, completely divested of freedom and personal rights.” What do we see today? There is no freedom and there’s no personal rights in the womb. Birth is the ambiguously defined moment that a child can suddenly claim freedom and personal rights that are equal to its mother. As if somehow going seven inches down the birth canal could transform someone into a full and valuable person. Even though our location is not the determiner of our worth…
(I got these last three sets of examples from thefederalist.com. They have an article on this topic.)
It’s quite interesting and striking, isn’t it, the parallels between the pro-slavery arguments that we consider ourselves way too sophisticated to even countenance today, and yet, when we compare them to the pro-abortion arguments (pro-murder) arguments today, they’re strikingly similar.
You may remember the book by George Orwell called “Animal Farm.” There’s a line in there that says, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Well, it’s interesting, you could ask someone today, “Are all human beings equal?” and they’ll say, “Yes.” Equality is a huge thing today. It’s the cause celeb, it’s the one everyone wants to be in favor of – equality, tolerance, co-existence, all of that. So yes, people would say, “All the human beings are equal. A black person is not worth more than a white person who’s not worth more than a Chinese person who’s not worth more than a tall person, etc. Everyone’s equally valuable.”
Well, what about the pre-born? They’re humans. They’re alive. How come they’re not valuable? We see the pro-slavery argument once again still being true, the Animal Farm quote, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” That is still true today. We’re not more civilized. We’ve just dressed up our depravity more in America.
I hope you see the parallel between abortion and slavery. I think it’s also noteworthy that Planned Parenthood was started as a form of eugenics, of controlling the population, and the ideas of Margaret Sanger, one of the founders of Planned Parenthood, of making sure that the “good genes,” were passed on. Her idea of good genes was white genes, not black genes, as horrible as that is.
This is the foundation of where Planned Parenthood got its start. It was started as a racist organization, using the same type of arguments that led to The Three-Fifths Compromise where blacks and slaves were worth three-fifths as much as white people. Once again, we find ourselves in the similar position today. The same types of arguments are being used. They’re just used by people in Washington in coats and ties instead of farmers in the south.
Why do we cover this today? Well, I hope it re-encourages you to take a stand for life, for the fact that we are all image bearers of God – equally, black people, white people, pre-born, and post-born people are all equally valuable. We are all created in the image of God. We bear his image. That’s why killing someone else for inappropriate reasons is wrong. Abortion does this, it takes the life of an innocent human being without proper justification. That’s what makes it murder.
If you’re equipped to use this type of language, comparing abortion arguments to slavery arguments, I think that will catch people’s ears in a new way. You might be able to hopefully get someone who is pro-abortion to consider their position again. Because most people today are very pro-human rights (or so they say). So if you’re able to point out to them that they’re actually using pro-slavery arguments that are somehow dressed up to be pro-women when they’re actually anti-unborn, well, maybe that might change their mind. Maybe you could contend for the life of the unborn in that way. Because what we don’t want to do is have the next generation and the generation after that look back on us and say, “Wow, when we learned about slavery in history class and then we look around our world today, we see that the same type of ideas are still in practice.” We don’t want that.
Now the last thing that needs to be said is the goal isn’t somehow for abortion to necessarily become illegal, though that would be great. The idea is for it to become unthinkable. Stand to Reason is an organization that has made that its tag line. Yes, we want it to be illegal, but more than that we want it to be unthinkable. It’s not just that people can’t do it legally, it’s that they can’t countenance the idea.
But more than that, we need to understand that the world’s depravity cannot be solved by fancy logic or an argument or pointing out a parallel to something that society has condemned. Society’s problem is it’s lack of Jesus, not his moral teaching, but his saving grace. We need to be careful when we talk about these things that it’s not just that we want to reform culture to be more moral without understanding where that morality even comes from or why we should be moral or more importantly who we’re ultimately accountable for for our immorality.
I hope this has been helpful. I hope you’re equipped to maybe see and analyze some of the parallels between pro-slavery arguments and pro-abortion arguments and see that they’re foundationally the same. I hope you’re equipped to point that out to someone. I look forward to spending this time with you next week on Unapologetic.