I returned from Washington D.C. this past weekend following a series of meetings, media interviews and special ministry sponsored events that culminated with the 46th annual March for Life.
It’s an inspiring experience to stand on the stage and look out over the sea of humanity sprinkled across the National Mall, hundreds of thousands of pro-life stalwarts, many of them young – all of them united in an un-equivocating devotion to working together towards a day when every baby’s life, in every state, is protected under law.
In the midst of Friday’s rally, I was thinking about a recurring theme that seems to be in short supply these days, especially in Washington D.C.
At the root of the tragic Roe decision, at the heart of the ongoing social debates raging white hot across the nation, there is a general spirit of disrespect manifesting itself from liberal camps, and in several different venues and forums.
Just over a mile from the stage on which I was standing at the March for Life Rally is the headquarters for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a government sponsored agency that began as an outgrowth of the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Prior to the agency’s creation, less than six months before his assassination in Dallas, in an Oval Office address to the nation about the importance of equality, President John F. Kennedy stated:
We are confronted primarily with a moral issue. It is as old as the scriptures and it is as clear as the American Constitution. The heart of the question is whether all Americans are afforded equal rights and equal opportunities, whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated …
Ironically, over a half-century later, the issues we’re debating remain inherently moral in nature. Up until recently, one of the EEOC’s most vocal commissioners was a law professor from Georgetown University named Chai Feldblum.
Professor Feldblum, who describes herself as a lesbian, agreed about 15 years ago to serve on a panel discussion that I was present for at an event with the Family Research Council (FRC). The topic was homosexuality in the culture.
I was impressed with her courage and boldness. After the event, I introduced myself and expressed my gratitude for her willingness to address the group via the panel.
I asked her, “If you could wave a magic wand, what does your world look like?”
She responded, “That’s easy, my rights trump your rights every time.”
I asked for examples.
She said, “If my lesbian partner and I could not receive in-vitro fertilization from a Christian doctor, that doctor should not be allowed a license by the state to practice medicine.”
She went on to say, “Anywhere the state licenses a professional and that person is a Christian who refuses services to me, they should not be allowed to practice.”
At the time, I was stunned by her candid admission, especially given how radical her viewpoint was in contrast to the prevailing popular belief at the time.
Fast-forward 15 years, and Chai Feldblum’s radical point of view has become widely accepted and embraced by many in the culture.
In short, Chai Feldblum is not willing to extend even a modicum of respect for people of faith, nor respect their convictions as Christians following the teachings of their faith.
Sadly, she is not alone.
Case in point – two major developments that unfolded while I was in Washington D.C. last week:
By now you’ve probably heard that Mrs. Karen Pence, the wife of our Vice President, announced plans to return to work as an art teacher at Immanuel Christian School in northern Virginia, an evangelical institution that employed her for a dozen years during her husband’s tenure in the House of Representatives.
Well, last week, liberals raged at her, furious that the Second Lady would be working at a school that requires its staff and students to adhere to biblical behavior, including limiting sexual activity to heterosexual marriage.
Imagine that – a Christian school establishing biblical boundaries!
A CNN correspondent even questioned whether her Secret Service protection should be suspended. Lady Gaga, the pop star known for her vile act, called Karen Pence the “worst representation of what it means to be a Christian.” I would gently encourage Lady Gaga to read the New Testament.
I have had the privilege of interviewing the Vice President and Mrs. Pence, and they are among the finest people that I’ve ever had the pleasure of talking with. Their faith is resolute but their spirit is gentle.
Whether from the media pundits, the liberal politicos or the pop star pontificator, the missing ingredient is, again, respect.
Why can they not respect Mrs. Pence’s deeply held religious beliefs while disagreeing with her political point of view?
Which then brings us to another high-profile event on Friday – the brazenly misreported confrontation at the Lincoln Memorial between the young men from Kentucky’s Covington Catholic High School and a Native American man who claimed to have served in the Vietnam War.
In Washington for the March for Life, the boys, many of whom were wearing “Make America Great Again” caps were confronted and harassed by two separate groups.
The first contingent of harassers, consisting of four black men, called the boys, “‘racists,’ ‘bigots,’ ‘white crackers,’ ‘fa**ots,’ and ‘incest kids.'” Other expletives too. According to Nick Sandmann, the Covington junior at the center of the controversy, the men also taunted a black student in their group, threatening him that they’d “harvest his organs” for being part of the gathered.
At the same time, the Native American veteran came barreling into the group of kids beating a drum. Sandmann, in an attempt to de-escalate the confrontation, stood silent, and simply smiled at the agitator while his fellow students began a recitation of school pep rally cheers.
The media, thinking they had a clip of pro-life Trump supporters taunting a Native American, went wild. It wasn’t until a day later when the truth came out and was then weakly reported by some of the same press that had enthusiastically fanned the false story for more than 24 hours. Many of them quietly deleting their hate-filled stories.
Meanwhile, many of the Covington students, along with their parents and teachers, had received an avalanche of vile criticism, including death threats.
Yet, the root cause of this debacle is disrespect and an outright disdain for the people many in the press think those MAGA cap-wearing boys represent.
From babies in the womb to the Second Lady in the classroom to high school boys wearing red caps, there is a dangerous and coordinated campaign ongoing to diminish human dignity in order to advance a particular political point of view.
For the good of everyone, left, center or right, it needs to stop.
In a week when we commemorate the 46th anniversary of the tragic Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in all 50 states, it is important to be reminded that all people are deserving of dignity and respect.
President Kennedy was right then and he is right today, when he said, in concluding his remarks championing the Civil Rights Act, “They (the enslaved) are not yet free from the bonds of injustice. And this nation, for all its hopes and all its boasts, will not be fully free until all of its citizens are free.”
And, I might add, we will not be fully free until every citizen is respected.