Slavery, abortion, and the Supreme Court

David Epps's picture

This past week marks the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision, Row v. Wade. This year also marks the 156th anniversary of what is known by observers of the Supreme Court as the Dred Scott Decision. One decision has to do with abortion rights. The other clarified and expanded slave holder rights. The rationale of the Supreme Court of both 1857 and 1973 is eerily similar.

The simple background on Dred Scott is that he, a slave born in Virginia, ultimately came to be owned by the wife of the late Dr. John Emerson. Travels took Emerson and Scott to Missouri, which was a free state. Scott filed a declaration on April 6, 1846, stating that on April 4, Mrs. Emerson had “beat, bruised, and ill-treated him” before imprisoning him for 12 hours. Scott also declared that he was free by virtue of his residence in a free state.

For a decade, the case wound its way through the courts, finally reaching the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1857, the court found against Scott in what is believed by many to be the worst decision in the history of the Supreme Court.

Some similarities between the 1857 decision and the 1973 decision (which may be found in several sources on the Internet) are:

The words “citizens” or “persons’’ used in the Constitution were never intended to include Blacks/unborn children.

In the Dred Scott case of 1857 the Supreme Court said: “... a negro, whose ancestors were imported into this country, and sold as slaves. . . were not intended to be included under the word ‘citizens’ in the Constitution, and can, therefore, claim none of the rights and privileges which that instrument provides for and secures to citizens of the United States.”

In the Roe v. Wade case of 1973 the Supreme Court said: “The word ‘person,’ as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn. ... [T]he unborn have never been recognized in the law as persons in the whole sense.”

The right to privacy protects the decision to own slaves/abort unborn children. In the Dred Scott case of 1857 the Supreme Court said: A slave is the property of the master and the Constitution has “provided for the protection of private property against the encroachments of the Government.”

In the Roe v. Wade case of 1973 the Supreme Court said: “This right of privacy ... is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.”

Slavery/abortion is justified because historically the rights of Blacks/ unborn children have been abused. In the Dred Scott case of 1857 the Supreme Court said: “... that unfortunate race ... had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order [and] they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.”

In the Roe v. Wade case of 1973 the Supreme Court said: “... abortion was practiced in Greek times as well as in the Roman Era. ... Greek and Roman law afforded little protection to the unborn.”

And perhaps the most outrageous argument of all,
Slavery/abortion is for the victim’s own good. In the Dred Scott case of 1857 the Supreme Court said: “... the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.”

In the Roe v. Wade case of 1973 the Supreme Court said: “There is also the distress for all concerned, associated with the unwanted child, and there is the problem of bringing a child into a family unable, psychologically, and otherwise to care for it.”

In other words, blacks are better off being enslaved and unwanted children are better off dead.

In the 1857 Dred Scott decision, the Supreme Court ruled that slaves, even freed slaves, and all their descendants, had no rights protected by the Constitution and that states had no right to abolish slavery. The reasoning in Dred Scott and Roe v. Wade is nearly identical.

In both cases the Court stripped all rights from a class of human beings and reduced them to nothing more than the property of others. Clearly, in the Court’s eyes, unborn children are now the same “beings of an inferior order” that the justices considered blacks to be over a century ago.

From our modern perspective, the Dred Scott Decision was a monstrous travesty of justice. However, most, or at least many, people of the day believed that if the Supreme Court said it, then it must be just, moral, and right. We now know that the Court was terribly and horribly wrong.

Today, because the Court has said it, most, or at least many, people believe that abortion is just, moral, and right. They are terribly and horribly wrong. It is monstrous.
Perhaps it will take another 100 or 200 years, as it did with slavery, and the oppression of black Americans on up until the 1960s, before the nation sees clearly.
Wrong is wrong no matter who says it is right.

[David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, 4881 Hwy. 34 E., Sharpsburg, GA 30277. Services are held Sundays at 8:30 and 10 a.m. (www.ctkcec.org). He is also the bishop of the Mid-South Diocese (www.midsouthdiocese.org). He may be contacted at frepps@ctkcec.org.]

SPQR
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Guess what

We now have a supreme court that makes decisions based more on perceived moral concepts rather than a strict interpretation of the constitution. Big improvement,right?

Davids mom
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A question:

There is a question between spirituality and materiality and 'man'. There are those who believe that man is nothing more than 'matter'. There are those who believe that man is a combination of spirit and matter. There are those who believe the spiritual interpretation of The Bible "and man became a living soul" after he received the breath of ' life' to be moral and true. The medical profession tells us that the 'matter' in the womb is alive. This is a country that professes freedom to be religious or non-religious by choice. The slaves were alive and functioning human beings. There was no question of their 'breathing'.
The question of 'life' and when it begins in this world is open to moral and religious interpretation, and should still be the choice of the individual and family involved - not the government.

PTC Observer
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Question - DM?

Did you pose a question? Never mind, I have question of my own.

"The slaves were alive and functioning human beings. There was no question of their "breathing"."

So, in your opinion life starts the moment we take breath?

Davids mom
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PTCO - my reply
Quote:

The question of 'life' and when it begins in this world is open to moral and religious interpretation, and should still be the choice of the individual and family involved - not the government.

To those that believe that 'man' is just matter, the medical definition may apply. In our country, I think I'm entitled to my belief as long as I don't break the law.

PTC Observer
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So....just so I understand DM

"...should still be the choice of the individual and family involved - not the government."

Now, for me this is hard to argue with DM, but coming from you this is kind of.....well, funny.

So, you are the same DM that supports the intervention of the government in all aspects of our lives, because individuals can't or won't make appropriate decisions about their lives and how they interact with others?

However, suddenly you have the notion that when it comes to protecting the unborn, well then people are perfectly capable of making this decision on their own and government should stay out of it.

Let's sum it up, we can't decide what light bulb we want to buy, or chose our own health care, but we can make a decision about terminating a pregnancy (read a life).

How do you make these distinctions in you mind DM?

Did you take logic lessons from Al Gore?

Davids mom
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PTCO - LOL
Quote:

So, you are the same DM that supports the intervention of the government in all aspects of our lives, because individuals can't or won't make appropriate decisions about their lives and how they interact with others?

What???? No intervention in who I marry; no intervention in taking away my voting rights; - what in the Sam Hill are you drinking tonight? LOL

Quote:

However, suddenly you have the notion that when it comes to protecting the unborn, well then people are perfectly capable of making this decision on their own and government should stay out of it.

You betcha!! We have morals, religious/non-religious beliefs; etc. that should govern us - and not a 'government' like the 113th Congress. The Supreme Court has spoken. Man has decided through the medical profession when life begins - and that became the law in the US. You and your family have a choice under the law.

Quote:

Let's sum it up, we can't decide what light bulb we want to buy, or chose our own health care, but we can make a decision about terminating a pregnancy (read a life).

I buy what ever light bulb I think is practical and safe. You have a problem with that? I have chosen my own healthcare since I left college. What's your problem? If you have one, solve it - but you have no say-so over my decisions. Right?

Quote:

Did you take logic lessons from Al Gore?

You know, I was asking the same question about you. What grade did you get in Algebra 1?

I hope you're having as much fun with this nonsense as I am!!

PTC Observer
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DM - Having fun

Just keep posting, I will continue to have fun!

DM, the last person to see our flaws is ourselves.

The question is which of the two of us has the most?

Perhaps we just need to keep asking one another and let the readers decide.

Davids mom
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PTCO

Having a different opinion or perspective is not seen as a flaw by most people who see learning as a life long activity! IMO

PTC Observer
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DM - well

Flawed thinking, is flawed thinking and learning is simply an assumption. Some of the oldest people I know have learned little during their life, most get stuck in one of their formative decades and never grow out of it.

Wisdom is knowing when you are wrong, maturity is admitting it.

Davids mom
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Lol-PTCO

You're so right! Can't wait until I reach the age when I'm always right! I'm still on my lifelong learning journey.

Davids mom
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