For What It’s Worth,
Let’s Consider the Sanctity of All Human Life

By E. J. Bradshaw

Today and tomorrow, we Americans observe three significant events. President Obama is to be inaugurated for his second term; some religious groups are observing Sanctity of Human Life Sunday; and tomorrow is the 84th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s birth.

Whether we agree with his political views or not, the beginning of the President’s second term reminds us of our blessings and responsibilities as citizens of this great country. One, we are blessed to be able to choose our leaders by ballots and not bullets. Any law abiding citizen can be elected. Two, we have a Biblical responsibility to pray for our officially elected leaders and to be submissive to the decrees of government. 1 Peter 2:11-17; 1Timothy 2:1-2.

Dr. King’s contribution to all Americans deserves our appreciation and a dedicated time of celebration. In 1964 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, I had the privilege of hearing and seeing Dr. King preach. The Southern Baptist Convention and its counterpart in the north were both meeting at the same time in the same city, and Dr. King had been invited to preach for the other convention. I was one of several that skipped our own session and availed ourselves a front row seat and the opportunity to hear him preach. I was impressed by his humility, sincerity and brilliant presentation of the gospel message. America shall ever be blessed for his “peaceful protest” against the prejudice and injustice against black people and awakening us to our sins and the equality of all ethnic groups. His untimely death by assassination was and is a great loss to our country. God help us to continue to build upon the principles by which he lived and preached!

The most recent incidents of mass murders in our schools and other public places has drawn our attention to our ever growing disrespect for our fellow human beings and has ushered in a renewed interest in gun control. No doubt, this will be a prominent issue before the new Congress. Public discussion of my conviction on this issue is not my purpose today. I want to broaden our concerns for the sanctity of all human life. Murder is murder whether it’s committed in the school class rooms or in the sanitary conditions of some doctor’s office or clinic. Our concerns and our efforts ought to be consistent! After the Sandy Hook tragedy, I did some research, and according to the information from the 2012 Death Mortality Statistics, these alarming facts. From January 1 until 11:03 a.m. on December 17, 2012, one million one hundred sixty seven thousand, four hundred twenty eight babies were murdered by abortion – that’s 1,167,428! Deaths attributed to tobacco, which is legal and taxed by the Federal and State governments, totaled 337,017. Accidents accounted for 104,662. Drunk driving claimed 32,954; texting while driving killed 5,767; domestic violence deaths numbered 1,406; smoking in bed was the cause of 751 deaths; malnutrition claimed 2,269 deaths; mass shooting deaths numbered 57; there were 4,815 pedestrians killed by traffic on our streets and highways; homicide – murder by all means numbered 16,176 of which 11,067 were inflicted by gun shots; deaths from alcohol numbered 96,291 and abuse of drugs claimed 24,077 lives and obesity was the cause of 295,612 deaths. The dollar cost in all these deaths is immeasurable.

When will we become really convinced of the sanctity of all human life and the dignity and worth of every human being and fetus. Murder is murder and death is death whether by guns or scalpel – poison or taxed legalized liquor, powder or pill.

The answers are too complex to fit into my allowed space for print; but we need to begin with the 4th Commandment, “Thou shalt not kill,” Exodus 20:13 and the Master’s comments on the subject found in Matthew 5:21-22. A return to these precepts as the center of our core values and a firm reliance upon the wisdom and power of God for their implementation in our society would be a good place to start! Join me in prayer for God’s help!

You may contact E. J. Bradshaw at 337-238-0440;