Op-Ed: The Principle Of Life
Today marks the 37th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that shook the very principles upon which our nation was founded. Amidst the number of pressing challenges we face today, from the tragedy in Haiti to difficult economic times at home, I urge every American to set aside time this week to reflect for a moment on the sacred gift of human life. The Pro-Life movement is deeply rooted in the culture of life that has been here since America's founding. The Declaration of Independence itself lists a series of "first principles" that proclaimed for the world the basic truths that justified the revolution and formed the bedrock of the new nation they were forming.
Each time I read the Declaration, I'm amazed at the wisdom of the founders and the vision they had for what this nation would offer its citizens. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Next to scripture, I believe those are the greatest words ever put on paper.
Consider the wisdom the founders had in choosing the order to mention these "first principles" of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Can you truly pursue happiness -- can you chase down the goals and dreams you have for you and your family -- if you don't have the liberty or freedom to do so? Can you ever have true liberty if the government doesn't first protect your most basic, fundamental right to live? The founders made an even bolder statement by saying that these unalienable rights were given to us, not by the government, but by our Creator. No other nation in history was established on such a premise!
To this day, woven into the fabric of our nation is the underlying "first principle" that Americans recognize life as a sacred gift from God, and that we believe protecting the lives and liberty of our people must be the primary responsibility -- the first principle -- of both our government and our people. This is where you begin to see the uniqueness of America, both throughout history, and in today's world.
I still remember the story of Wesley Autrey, a Navy veteran and construction worker who in 2007 risked his life by jumping in front of an oncoming New York subway train in order to save the life of a perfect stranger.
He deserved and received great recognition for heroic act, but I think this story depicts more than just an everyday American hero. Contrast Wesley's willingness to risk his life in that subway station to save the life of a stranger, with others in this world who dream of taking their own life and the lives of others, perhaps in that very same subway station, in the name of their radical terrorist ideology.
Contrast the unconditional love shown by moms and dads across America who support their children's decision to serve in the military, risking their lives in defense of others, with others in this world who have used their own children as unwilling pawns in terrorist plots to take the lives of others.
Contrast the outpouring of love and support from across America these past two weeks for Haitian orphans in need of adoption or other support, with the so-called "one child only," and "abortion on demand" policies mandated by other governments on their people.
In America, we believe our right to life is granted by God. The peaceful and positive Pro-Life message being shared by people across the nation is working, as we now once again live in a Pro-Life America. We have had some challenges and setbacks on Pro-Life issues in the Obama and Pelosi regimes, but I am convinced that with the steadfast effort of regular Americans across the country, we will win.