For people who care about these things, there’s been a bit of a dialogue in the blogosphere over the comparison between slavery and abortion of late. It all started with this initial comparison piece here, and resulted in a rebuttal here, which caught my eye for this statement:
First of all, to be brutally candid, it [the comparison between slavery and abortion] trivializes abortion. Evil as slavery was in practice (especially in its American variety, which broke up marriages, sold off children, and discouraged religious preaching to blacks), it was never remotely as evil as abortion. It amounts, in essence, to the theft of labor—and theft isn’t quite as evil as killing. Of course, one could rightly see it as “defrauding the laborer of his just wages,” and thus a sin that cries out to heaven for vengeance, which would put it in the same category as voluntary murder.
Finally, I choose today to comment on the rebuttal to the rebuttal–which caught my eye for this sentiment which remains encouraging to me, as it should to all who strive for each life to be recognized as worthy:
But the pro-lifer/abolitionist analogy is just that: an analogy that is imperfect and inevitably breaks down somewhere. To my mind, it works best as a cause for encouragement among pro-lifers: If abolitionists could succeed against a moral evil with such deep roots in law, custom, and culture as slavery, they should have some hope of overturning the abortion regime of the past 36 years.
Off to rent Amazing Grace, again.
Brigitte says: Forgive me for barging into a delicate debate with clumsy clodhoppers, but it seems to me the important connection between slavery and abortion is that both deny the full humanity of human beings. It’s the same connection I see with the Holocaust and any genocide you care to mention. When a society accepts that some of its members aren’t fully human, all sorts of evil things happen – including that it makes it possible for otherwise normal and decent people to do bad things and get away with them, at least in the strict legal sense.
Tanya has to agree with Brigitte: It is a denial of the human rights of a human being. That is the parallel. Watching the Prince of Egypt with my daughter yesterday, I couldn’t help but again be reminded that the root cause of atrocities against humanity is always someone, somewhere, believing his rights supersede anyone else’s.