2015 | Week of January 19 – #1081
In case you don’t think elections matter, consider this. On January 13, 1984, then-President Ronald Reagan issued Proclamation 5147, entitled “National Sanctity of Human Life Day, 1984.” Here is the text of President Reagan’s presidential proclamation. It’s too good not to share.
“By the President of the United States of America: A Proclamation
The values and freedoms we cherish as Americans rest on our fundamental commitment to the sanctity of human life. The first of the ‘unalienable rights’ affirmed by our Declaration of Independence is the right to life itself, a right the Declaration states has been endowed by our Creator on all human beings — whether young or old, weak or strong, healthy or handicapped.
Since 1973, however, more than 15 million unborn children have died in legalized abortions — a tragedy of stunning dimensions that stands in sad contrast to our belief that each life is sacred. These children, over tenfold the number of Americans lost in all our Nation’s wars, will never laugh, never sing, never experience the joy of human love; nor will they strive to heal the sick, or feed the poor, or make peace among nations. Abortion has denied them the first and most basic of human rights, and we are infinitely poorer for their loss.
We are poorer not simply for lives not led and for contributions not made, but also for the erosion of our sense of the worth and dignity of every individual. To diminish the value of one category of human life is to diminish us all. Slavery, which treated Blacks as something less than human, to be bought and sold if convenient, cheapened human life and mocked our dedication to the freedom and equality of all men and women. Can we say that abortion — which treats the unborn as something less than human, to be destroyed if convenient — will be less corrosive to the values we hold dear?
We have been given the precious gift of human life, made more precious still by our births in or pilgrimages to a land of freedom. It is fitting, then, on the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade that struck down State anti-abortion laws, that we reflect anew on these blessings, and on our corresponding responsibility to guard with care the lives and freedoms of even the weakest of our fellow human beings.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Sunday, January 22, 1984, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. I call upon the citizens of this blessed land to gather on that day in homes and places of worship to give thanks for the gift of life, and to reaffirm our commitment to the dignity of every human being and the sanctity of each human life.”
President Reagan issued a similar proclamation every year thereafter that he was in office. His successor George H.W. Bush did as well. Then along came Bill Clinton. Think he continued the voluntary practice or proclaiming the third Sunday in January as Sanctity of Human Life Day? Not a chance. Not once over his 8 years did Bill Clinton issue such a statement. But George W. Bush did—every year he was in office. And what about Barack Obama? I’ve found nothing but statements extolling Planned Parenthood from him the last six years.
You may say, “Well, a proclamation doesn’t do anything. It’s not law. It’s not even an executive order. It’s just so many words.” And that’s true, but a proclamation tells you something about the heart of the leader, the elected official, who is issuing the statement. Perhaps even more telling is the decision by those presidents who have refused to issue a Sanctity of Human Life proclamation.
The heart is maybe the most important aspect of an elected official. When presidents such as Reagan, George HW Bush, and George W Bush are in office at least we don’t get celebrations of January 23 and the Roe v. Wade decision, complete with parties and commendations of pro-abortion groups, which is what we’ve gotten with the current president. Instead, we get solemn denouncements of this heinous life-taking decision and procedure and a clear statement that human life is sacred, is a gift and deserves our protection from the moment of conception through natural death. That’s the kind of election consequence I can live with—and so can unborn children.
This is Julaine Appling with Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”