Infant Slaves: The grace that is amazing for the sake of Christ

I just recently saw a movie that has been out for some time, but just recently had the chance to watch.

The movie was Amazing Grace which takes place in Britain in 1781 where William Wilberforce battles his conviction against the slave trade and advocates for anti-slave legislation in the British parliament. It took Wilberforce twenty-six years before parliament would finally pass the Slave Trade Act of 1807. These were, however, bitter twenty-six years for Wilberforce. The movie traces the utterly horrific treatment of Africans shackled aboard slave-ships who, in many cases, didn’t survive the long journey to Britain. Wilberforce and his colleagues were appalled at such a grave violation of basic human rights to the vexation of the rest of the members of parliament. As Wilberforce expressed his condemnation of such treatment, others in parliament continued to support the slave trade. Certainly Wilberforce’s opponents weren’t in favor of treating human beings with such contempt, but they persisted in their condonation of the slave trade because they viewed the slaves as sub-human. Nearly everyone of the day, in Britain as well as the United States, defined humanity in a way that it excluded African slaves, robbing them of the basic rights bestowed to every human being.

The movie is named Amazing Grace from the popular hymn which was written by John Newton, a former slave-ship captain who repented of his sins of mistreating slaves and eventually became an Anglican priest. In the movie he described being haunted by 20,000 ghosts; his way of describing the guilt that followed him from the many slaves who lost their lives aboard the slave-ships under his command.

In reflecting about the movie, I began to think what it would be like to be in William Wilberforce’s shoes. What would it be like to see so clearly an incredible injustice while at the same time being unable to stop it? It wasn’t long until it occurred to me that we deal with that exact same predicament today. As long as I have lived, basic human rights have been denied to unborn babies. Many today have a criteria for humanity that the unborn do not fit into. The human fetus is viewed as sub-human and denied basic human rights. Pro-lifers stand, like Wilberforce, decrying such a terrible injustice to human life with the inability to stop it. In fact, as bad as the human slave trade of the 18th and 19th centuries was, the loss of life is largely outnumbered by the nearly 1 million abortions performed every year. (MMWR, 2008) The fact of the matter is, the unborn deserve the same human rights as anyone else, for the mere fact that they are human beings. That is what you will hear if you ask Bernard Nathanson, the co-founder of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL). Bernard Nathanson is a bit of a modern day John Newton, as he by his own reckoning, performed over 60,000 abortions. Nathanson eventually came to the confession that he was complicit in a great evil upon being troubled by ultrasound images. (Daleiden, 2010)

The contention that life begins at conception goes beyond the human rights that are theirs as human beings. The life that is given to them at conception is a life for which Christ has died. Blood that was spilled to atone for the sins of the whole world. This includes the lives of the unborn, the slaves, post-abortive mothers and abortionist doctors. There is no sin for which Christ has not atoned for, even sins of murder in the flesh. This is the only amazing grace there is; grace that God has for us at the cost of His very own beloved Son. So that by Christ’s death on the cross, eternal life is given to repentant sinners; no matter how long or short their lives may be.

MMWR Surveillance Summaries, November 28, 2008 / Vol. 57 / No. SS–13 http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5713a1.htm
Daleiden, David and Shields, Jon A.. "Mugged by Ultrasounds" The Weekly Standard 25 Jan. 2010. http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/mugged-ultrasound

I love this movie and never

I love this movie and never made this connection. You're so right. It's also so very obvious.

I find it horribly ironic that the first black president of the United States is a mouth piece for an organization that was founded partly to prevent someone like him from even being born at all.