Profiting from Dehumanization

Dred Scott & Roe v. Wade

In the 1857 Supreme Court case – Dred Scott v. Sanford – the majority ruled that black people are, “… so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.”  With those words the racist Chief Justice, Roger B. Taney, attempted to legally dehumanize all black people in the U.S., and thereby, asserted that they had no constitutionally-protected legal rights.  Similarly, in the 1973 Supreme Court case – Roe v. Wade – the majority ruled that, “… the unborn have never been recognized in the law as persons in the whole sense.”

In both Dred Scott and Roe v. Wade, the rights of two kinds of people were stripped away as those two kinds of people were redefined as being less than human.  In other words, the Supreme Court – by judicial fiat – DEHUMANIZED two entire classes of Americans by legal re-definition of what it means to be human. In Dred Scott an entire group of people was legally redefined as being less than human solely on the basis of skin color.  In Roe v. Wade an entire group of people was legally redefined as being less than human solely on the basis of which side of the birth canal they were physically located.

The court, in both cases, upheld the prevailing opinion of large segments of the American public in direct defiance of the Laws of Nature as established by God.  And this is a very significant point to consider when one recalls that the United States is not a Democracy, but is instead a Republic.

In a democracy, majority rule is the final arbiter of the validity of any man-made law.  In a Republic, majority rule is always subject to a higher law – what the Founding Fathers referred to as Natural Law or God’s Law.  As I have noted in other posts on this blog, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. observed quite rightly that,

“An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.  To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.  Any law that uplifts human personality is just.  Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.”

The Supreme Court can say whatever it chooses, but it cannot change the very fabric of nature created and established solely by the Creator.  Every human being is endowed by God with inherent rights.  God created Life.  God alone defines Life.  Any human attempt to understand Life is an attempt to discover what God alone has established.

Conversely, any attempt to re-define what God has established will lead to error – what the Patriarchs of the Old Testament, and the Son of God – Jesus Christ – declared to be sin.  Sin manifests itself in humanity the way rot and decay manifest itself in the natural world.  Sin always leads to destruction, and – followed to its logical conclusion – leads to death.

This is nowhere more manifest than in following the illogical and Godless decrees of the Supreme Court in Dred Scott v. Sanford, and Roe v. Wade.  In both cases, the court sought to re-define what it is to be human – to have human Life.  Both cases upheld pre-existing evils by attempting to codify into legal terms that which defies God’s established order; God’s decrees governing Life; and what it means to be human.  Both cases ultimately upheld one of the greatest evils perpetrated by one person against another: turning other people into a commodity to be bought and sold like so much meat at a market.

A video of Planned Parenthood representatives negotiating prices for dismembered babies’ body parts presents as cavalier an attitude toward profiting from human degradation as any account I’ve ever read.  This is the same sort of financial haggling engaged in by callous slave traders and owners who bought and sold human slaves like livestock.

In fact, it was while watching this video that I was reminded of the sick feeling I had in my stomach when I first saw a picture of a slave trader’s Atlanta storefront advertising “Auctions & Negro Sales.”  The photo was taken in 1864 as General William Tecumseh Sherman’s federal troops marched through Georgia destroying the crops and supplies needed to nourish the Confederate forces under General Robert E. Lee’s command in Virginia.

The sick reality of institutionalized slavery in 19th Century America, and the sickening reality of institutionalized infanticide today, are both rooted in the same lie that one human is at the disposal of another human as so much property to dispose of at will. [Image is in the Pubic Domain and copyright free. The original may be viewed at the Library of Congress website at ]

I teach American History, and I am not one of those who erroneously believes the Civil War was waged by Lincoln against the South in order to end slavery.  All it takes is a quick glance at any map showing slave states and free states in the North and the Confederacy to see that four slave states sided with Lincoln and the North (i.e. Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri).  The Civil War was about many significant issues, and – as is often the case – the causes of the war are not easily summed up in short blurbs or phrases like, “the war was fought to end slavery.”  However, only a fool would presume to suggest that the Civil War would have occurred without all the previous friction in the union over the issue of slavery and its consequences.

All of that is to note this very simple fact:  Sin exacts a price from the one who engages in it.  Individuals suffer the consequences of their sin.  So do nations.  I dread the day on which America pays the price for the national sin of murdering 55 million babies – both in and out of the womb.  That day will not be avoided.  However, we might lessen the blow by repenting – which means to do a one hundred eighty degree turn – from the road we are on, and instead getting on the road God wants us to be on as a nation.

Our nation, and the fate of unborn generations, depends upon it.

Tim Keller
About Tim Keller
Tim Keller loves God, America and his Family. He has taught history, government, speech and writing at the secondary level since 1997.
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