America’s War on Children

by David B Marshall

America's war on childrenLike every great nation, the United States has committed great sins from time to time.  Our first great sin was chattel slavery.  Beginning in part with the Quaker Benjamin Lay in a suburb of 18th Century Philadelphia, an army of Christian reformers in the English-speaking world, then outside it, set their faces against this sin, sacrificing time, money, and reputation to bring about the liberation of Africans, and slaves of all races in every part of the world.  America suffered its worst rending in the course of repentance, our bloodiest and most horrible war. 

Our second great sin, no doubt, was mistreatment of Native Americans.  (Or first, the dates are fuzzy, but clearly we continued robbing Indian land decades after the War Between the States.)  Michael Medved argues, in Ten Big Lies About America, that the extent of that crime is often exaggerated.  No doubt he is right, and certainly far more Native Americans died of Old World diseases than were killed intentionally.  And it would be a gross mistake to portray the indigenous tribes themselves as peaceful noble savages: a rough rule of thumb seems to be, the high the American civilization, the more human sacrifices its gods required.  But that’s no excuse.  Americans often murdered Indians and stole their land, even relatively peaceful, settled tribes like the Cherokee and Nez Perce, was undoubtedly a terrible crime.

Mostly, America has repented of those sins, and the races have made peace. 

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But could we now be committing a sin every bit as great?  Might the repentance required to recover from this sin necessarily be as deep and as heartfelt?  Could it be that, while the church seems to have been marginalized in modern American society, with few prominent public spokesmen (no Augustine, Anselm, Wilberforce, Jonathan Edwards, or even Billy Graham to focus the attention of the public on behalf of the full claims of Christ), the Gospel remains precisely what is needed to keep America from collapsing in on itself, and devouring its children, in our day?  Let me propose that such a role still awaits the Church, as it did in the days of Bartholome De Las Casas, Benjamin Lay, William Wilberforce, and Charles Finney, to preach and model repentance, and lead America, however painfully and expensively, out of its abiding sins of oppression.  But let me also suggest that just as in the days of Wilberforce, because we have deep-seated interests in continuing to sin and oppress, repentance will not come quickly or easily. We will be despised, called names, perhaps even treated with violence.  But it is the duty of the Church to call our nation to repentance, nonetheless. 

That sin is no longer racial, but generational. 

We are gravely sinning against our children. 

The issue that comes to mind for many Christians, when I say that, will be abortion.  But let me propose that abortion, including partial-birth abortion, is not the only or maybe even greatest manifestation of that sin.  In fact, it is part of a coherent pattern, that makes the full extent of the crime even clearer…


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