“Resolved…it is both the right and the imperative duty of Congress to prohibit in the Territories those twin relics of barbarism – Polygamy and Slavery.” (American Minute with Bill Federer, MAR. 11 – Senator beaten at his desk with a cane for opposing slavery)
These words of Charles Sumner and the price he personally paid for opposing slavery (per the title of the article) are history become present day issues again. The “twin relics of barbarism” have returned in the slavery of legal abortion and socioeconomic class dependence of the Black community as a whole on the Democrat party. Polygamy is an arm’s length distance away but drawing steadily closer through the portal of reimagined ‘marriage,’ made possible by your friendly neighborhood mentality of moral relativism.
There was only one way to reverse the progress of Sumner’s principles and that was to erode the philosophical foundation of moral realism for moral relativism through public indoctrination. To remove prosecution for the crime of abortion, society had to be convinced that women have a right to cause the death of their own preborn babies. Now, to remove opposition to polygamy, notions of the one-man, one-woman marriage paradigm are openly attacked as bigotry and inequality as gay-rights activists press to legalize same sex ‘marriage.’ Once society embraces the dissolution of the meaningful structure of marriage, polygamists will take up their struggle against “inequality” as well. Then Sumner’s twin relics of barbarism will have returned fully with a vengeance.
Human civilization constantly experiences this almost inevitable slide into barbarism and and anti-humanity. The triumphs of Wilberforce and Lincoln are ever outnumbered by lovers of tyranny attempting to undo what has been accomplished in the name of moral law and liberty. For every Bonhoeffer there are a hundred German National Socialists committed to an artificial vision of utopia. For every Cuban who remembers the tyranny of Che Guevarra, there are a hundred twenty-somethings who are wearing his face on t-shirts here in the US. Barbarism will always be contextualized, and when contextualized, made socially acceptable.
The solution is not just to resist this latest slide of our own civilization into the pit of educated barbarism and tyranny, for educated barbarism must be fought with an educated conscience. What are the reasons that slavery is naturally, morally, and politically abominable? What are the reasons to define marriage as a very specific social institution? Unless the public arms itself with reasons and leads with superior conduct, no weak appeals to tradition will suffice.
People must learn while there is still time to learn. One day, someone may also viciously attack you behind your desk for opposing our contemporary slavery. The measure of your success will be how long you can prohibit in the Territories our relics of barbarism today and beyond.