Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Dignity of Human Life

I recently read a disturbing story. It was a firsthand account of an African American man's experience. The thing that most disturbed me wasn't that it happened in recent years--though that in itself is quite upsetting. But the thing that bothered me the most was that it happened at all.

It seems he was dining with another gentleman. In the midst of their conversation, another man, unknown to both of them, called the author "boy." In the African American experience, for a man to be called "boy" by a white man is a very derogatory and demeaning statement. It is to say, "I am white, so I am a man. You are not, so you are just 'a boy'." Even as I read the words, I was angered. I was ashamed. I wish I could apologize to the author for words spoken by another of my race. The author handled the situation with the utmost dignity, and, consequently, preserved his own Christian testimony in the midst of a very trying situation.

The point of it all is that, no matter the color of a person's skin, they are a PERSON. They are created by GOD--and in His image! That alone is enough to give them dignity!

I hear the terms "pro-life" and "pro choice" tossed around a lot these days, especially in terms of political stands. But what does it really mean to be pro-life?

To me it means that we honor the dignity of all human life, no matter the color of the person's skin, their age, their mental capabilities, their religious preference, etc. I do not condone the homosexual lifestyle. But I do recognize that every single person entangled in it was still created in God's image. I do not agree with adultery. But I still recognize that both individuals are still worthy of dignity. I did not enjoy seeing my husband's grandmother go through the years of sickness, memory loss, and deteriorating health. But we still loved and honored her for the very life she had lived and the fact that as long as He gave her breath, God had a reason for her continued life. I don't agree with the tenets of the Muslim religion of Islam. But I still realize that every one of those men, women, and children was created in His image, too. I am appalled by the tragedies caused by murderers. But their times are still in God's hands. Do I believe they should be punished? Of course. Do I believe they should be murdered? No. My skin is lily white. Yet I know that every human being on this planet, no matter the color of their skin, was still made in the image of God. (Besides, God is spirit. Who decided He was white???)

I know that these could be considered controversial statements. It's sad to me that it is so. As a mother, I know how much I care for my two boys. So how can I think any less of the God who created them, me, and all other people? Why should I think that He cares more for the preservation of my life than He cares for the life of any other single person on earth?

When we say we are pro-life, it should mean ALL life. It doesn't just mean the life of the unborn or the elderly, though it certainly does mean them. It means ALL human life.

Just some thoughts of my own...I welcome your thoughts, too.

"...as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men."
(Romans 12:18)

"The Golden Rule" by Norman Rockwell
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