Sunday, April 28 2019
One of the most remarkable stories you’ll read is that of John Newton, author of the globally famous song Amazing Grace. Newton was a slave ship captain who repented of his sins, became a minister, and whose personal testimonies of the horrors of the slave trade were used effectively by the great William Wilberforce to prosecute the practice before Parliament.
But here’s what few people realize about Newton’s life: his conversion to Christ did not lead to his immediate deliverance from the life of a slave trader. In fact, he persisted in that occupation for years after coming to faith in Jesus. He would actually study his Latin Bible in his quarters while hundreds of slaves suffered just below him in the ship’s hold. For the longest time, Newton failed to even note that slavery was immoral and evil.
From our vantage point in 2019, that seems incredible. How can a civilized man, ingrained with the natural rights theory of the West, and whose soul had been converted to Christ, fail to see not only the glaring sin that continued to encompass his society, but continued to find sanctuary in his own mind? It makes you wonder what sins we abide that our posterity will one day look back on us with the same sense of sickening bewilderment and ask, “How did they not know that was wrong?”
Karen Swallow Prior offered her answer to that question in anthat was printed, remarkably, in the left-wing publication Vox:
That’s right, Vox ran an opinion piece that suggested 50 years from now abortion – the great sacrament of the “progressive” left today – will be considered unthinkable. Perhaps that fact alone is reason to believe that Prior is on to something. Who would have thought the editors of Vox would even allow such blasphemy to be published, after all?
And while the pessimist in me wants to point to the recent efforts to expand the scope of abortions (even in the last trimester) as evidence that this sick chapter in our history is far from concluding, Prior sees it otherwise:
She’s not wrong. In the early days of legal abortion in America, there was a prevailing sense of scientific mystery that surrounded pregnancy and human gestation that necessarily clouded the issue. Human development was not readily understood, and certainly nothing like 4D ultrasound technology existed. This offered convenient blinders to those who argued for the right to end the life of the unborn.
Our modern era offers no such respite, and so there is an emerging belligerence on the part of abortion apologists to either ignore the fundamental question of when human life begins as Barack Obama did so notably (“answering that question with any specificity is above my pay grade”), or to acknowledge life in the womb but justify abortion regardless (think Joe Biden, Tim Kaine, Pete Buttigieg). But how long can these strategies truly persist?
Prior thinks not long, and she may just be right. And if she is?
It’s a convincing case, which is why I remain shocked that Vox published it.