“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” So said Solomon close to three thousand years ago. A just principle, declared well and at the proper moment, he argued, is of exquisite beauty, of surpassing worth. It is so because such a word speaks truth, justice, and mercy to us in our own circumstances.
In the midst of the slavery debate, President Lincoln found such an apple: the principle of “liberty for all,” as displayed in the Declaration of Independence. This principle, he asserted, “clears the path for all — gives hope to all — and, by consequence, enterprise, and industry to all.” It provided the fundamental argument against the system of human bondage then infecting our country; all human beings, by virtue of their humanity, equally possessed the right to freedom, regardless of immaterial distinctions of skin-tone. The Constitution, he continued, was the frame of silver, meant ultimately to display and enhance this principle.
So has the Declaration spoken a word fitly to us now. That apple of gold is found in its assertion “that all men…are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life.” This word, this principle speaks to the debate raging in the states—and soon in the courts—regarding the legal status of abortion. In this calendar year, five states have banned abortion at the detection of a fetal heartbeat. One—Alabama—effectively prohibited it from conception.
In passing these statutes, states have not ignored the Declaration’s fitness for this moment. Of those six, four appealed to the Declaration in defending their effort. Missouri’s law, for example, states that it acts “[i]n recognition that Almighty God is the author of life, that all men and women are ‘endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life.’” Kentucky’s statute similarly articulates that “the Declaration of Independence recognizes the fundamental truth that all people have been endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” In other words, these states have sought new silver frames to adorn and to enhance the Declaration’s golden apple of the equal right to life.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Adam Carrington