I was reading Eric Metaxas’s Amazing Grace (a book about William Wilberforce), and I came across this passage:
The popular attitude toward abolition was another story [i.e., in contrast to the political setbacks]. Among the nonpolitical classes, abolition was more and more accepted…. The change in popular sentiment toward abolition had been rapid. Just a few years before, there had been widespread and genuine ignorance of the horrors of the slave trade, but now suddenly the trade and all of its varied horrors were on everyone’s lips. Posters of the Brookes [a diagram showing how people were transported on the slave ship] were everywhere, as were images of Josiah Wedgwood’s imploring African in chains. Cowper’s poem “The Negro’s Complaint” was not only well known as a poem, but had been set to music and was sung in the streets; also that year, a nineteen-year-old poet named Samuel Taylor Coleridge won a gold medal at Cambridge for his “Ode Against the Slave Trade.” [Links added.]
The abolitionists worked hard to reveal to people the truth about what slavery was, and public sentiment turned against it as ignorance dwindled. But hearing about their success actually depressed me because I couldn’t help but compare it to our situation today. Never before have we had a more public revelation of what abortion is than this past year’s Planned Parenthood videos (see also here and here), yet we saw no “rapid change in popular sentiment” toward abortion. We saw all of its ugliness laid bare, and we remained frighteningly unmoved. The hardness of our nation’s soul was impenetrable.
Or so I thought. But then I saw this video. Could it be that our acceptance of abortion, like acceptance of the slave trade, is still mainly a matter of ignorance?
If the reactions in that video are typical, maybe we really haven’t done enough revealing yet. I pray that’s the case.