Josiah Wedgwood was a potter, industrialist and entrepreneur. He was also an abolitionist. He crafted a medallion which bore this inscription - Am I not a man and a brother? It is credited with moving the heart of the United States of America to reject the evil of slavery. It depicted a Black Man, bound by the chains which came from the evil of slavery, pleading for His God Given Right to Freedom. It bore these words, "Am I not a man and a brother?" He sent several of the medallions to Benjamin Franklin in 1788. Franklin gave them to several of his friends and was deeply moved by their response. Franklin wrote back to the designer - I am persuaded it may have an effect equal to that of the best written pamphlet in procuring honor to those oppressed people.
WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - Josiah Wedgwood was a potter, industrialist and entrepreneur. He was also an abolitionist. He crafted a medallion which bore this inscription, "Am I not a man and a brother?" It is credited with moving the heart of the United States of America to reject the evil of slavery.
It depicted a Black Man, bound by the chains which came from the evil of slavery, pleading for His God Given Right to Freedom. It bore these words, "Am I not a man and a brother?"
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He sent several of the medallions to Benjamin Franklin in 1788. Franklin gave them to several of his friends and was deeply moved by their response.
Franklin wrote back to the designer, "I am persuaded it may have an effect equal to that of the best written pamphlet in procuring honor to those oppressed people."
He was correct. That symbol spoke more loudly than words and advanced the abolition movement to its desired result, the end of that form of slavery as an institution.
Remember, that form of slavery was legal - and even protected by the United States Supreme Court. Human Persons whose skin pigmentation was darker than those who held the reins of power were treated as property and allowed to be owned, used and discarded.
The proponents of that form of slavery also called it a "slavery right" and the Supreme Court of that day said it was legal in their 1857 opinion of Dred Scott v. Stanford.
We look back on that opinion in horror, as we should. We insist that the Supreme Court could not make what is always a wrong a right with the stroke of a judicial quill!
Yet, that is precisely what happened in Roe and Doe - the new slavery of abortion on demand was unleashed by the Supreme Court! Another whole class of human persons were rendered personal property to be disposed of or used at the will of one with more power. Their fundamental Human Right to Life disregarded because black robed justices failed to honor the Natural Moral Law.
Ironically, the Justices in Dred Scott applied a "strict constructionist" approach. They did not approach the evil of slavery as a matter of Natural Law - insisting that it is always and everywhere wrong to enslave human persons.
They did not use Natural Law Jurisprudence to again affirm the equality of all human persons and their fundamental human rights as an endowment from a Creator - which cannot be taken away by any governmental branch.
We need to wake up! The overturning of the opinions in Roe and Doe, as important as that is - may not end procured abortion, our current form of slavery. We may simply have another version of "slave states" and "free states" to contend with, if we do not recognize once again the Natural Moral Law and the fundamental Human Right to Life endowed upon all men and women by the Creator.
Our struggle on behalf of children in the womb is a new abolition movement and we need to learn from our history as we engage in it.
A similar jurisprudence was at work in Roe v Wade, Doe v Bolton and their progeny, similar to that which under-girded the Dred Scott opinion. An entire class of persons, children in the womb, have been relegated to the status of "chattel", personal property. They can now be disposed of by those more powerful, and the police power of the State protects the aggressor not the victime in the womb.
Since 1973 over 60 million lives, in the United States of America alone, have been taken by procured abortions. The number throughout the world is staggering and can be viewed here.
The shorthand phrase "abortion rights" is the linguistic tool of a media class which has now become the propaganda tool of the proponents of this new form of slavery, abortion on demand. There is no "abortion right". The true Right is the one which is denied in every procured abortion, the Right to Life.
These children have no voice except our own. They are killed by chemicals and surgical strikes - and it is all protected by the police power of the State. They have no power to resist this new form of slavery without our help.
Medical science has confirmed what our conscience already knew and the Natural Moral Law has long confirmed; the child in the womb is our neighbor. These children are our first neighbors in the first home of the whole human race, their mothers' womb. It is always wrong to kill our neighbors.
Our 3D and 4D sonogram technology has made it possible to take baby´s first picture and send it as a birth announcement or place it on a Face Book or My Space page or send it through our Social Networks.
We marvel at the image of those little babies at the early stages of what is a lifetime of development for every human being. However, we then use that same technology to direct the weapons of warfare which will dismember them in the womb and kill them. We do not want to see those pictures.
With the introduction of "baby's first picture" we watch these children smile, play, feel pain and grow. These 3 and 4d images are becoming more and more prevalent throughout the social media. They are regularly showing up on television commercials.
We surgically operate on these first neighbors in the womb. We then put them back in their home and allow them to continue to grow so they can be healthier upon their birth. We know they are members of our human family.
It becomes harder to deny that the child in the womb is our neighbor. The Orwellian Newspeak of "Choice" is growing stale and tired. Even the proponents of an unfettered approach to procured abortion have now begun rejecting the language of choice.
The wind is out of the sails of those who have tried to hide the evil and irrefutable fact that every procured abortion takes the innocent human life of a neighbor, behind the rhetoric of choice. Some choices are always and everywhere wrong, and the taking of innocent human life in at the top of the list.
One of the many medical advances, the ultrasound, has now "humanized" the child to an increasing number of people who once bought the lie of those who promoted abortion as "choice". Whether a child is "wanted" has now become the sole criterion for whether he or she has a right to life.
Decent people are beginning to recognize this sd simply wrong - and indecent people are having a hard time defending their choice to kill our youngest neighbor as some kind of "right". You can never have a right to take innocent human life.
As I use the expression "first neighbors" for the children in the womb in my pro-life work people inevitably ask the questions that open the door to my being able to explain this truth. However, I have concluded, after studying the profound effect of Josiah Wedgwood's medallion, that we need our own symbol in our new abolition movement, to end the evil of abortion on demand.
I have asked several people to design such a new symbol, using the beautiful 4D image of one of our neighbors in the womb surrounded with these words "Am I Not Your Neighbor".
I will keep you all up to date on the progress. I will use a non-profit organization I began years ago, The Common Good Foundation, to facilitate the distribution of this new symbol and medallion.
Symbols speak more loudly than words. We are part of a new abolition movement and this "Am I Not Your Neighbor" effort may help us our struggle to prevail in ending the new slavery of abortion on demand.
Deacon Keith Fournier is Founder and Chairman of Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance. A married Roman Catholic Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, he and his wife Laurine have five grown children and six grandchildren, He serves as the Director of Adult Faith Formation at St. Stephen, Martyr Parish in Chesapeake, VA. He is also a human rights lawyer and public policy advocate.
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