Thursday, August 16, 2007

Who is Historicus?

Where did I get the blogsite name ModernHistoricus? I expected someone to ask, so I was saving this for a time when curiosity got the best of my readers, but I couldn’t wait any longer. :-)

I really wanted to get the site, but it was already taken by someone who never uses it. Bummer!

But the idea for the name came from a bit of American history. I really enjoy listening to audio books, and a couple of years ago, I borrowed Founding Brothers from our local library. A quick summary of the book is that America’s Founding Fathers fought amongst themselves like, well, brothers. There were political, personal, and value differences that caused them to squabble and compromise to create this great country in which we live today. None of the differences were as massive as the issue of slavery. When drafting the constitution the founders were purposefully vague on the issue of slavery knowing that it would asphyxiate the infant nation if slavery were abolished or embraced with totality. Some members of the founding brotherhood fought for slavery to continue based on the economical importance of states rights. Others, mostly from the north, recognized the moral hypocrisy of building a nation on the strengths of personal freedom while enslaving a particular people group.

One champion of abolishing slavery was Benjamin Franklin. The author, inventor, ambassador, and statesman wrote many things using aliases. One of his aliases was Historicus. In 1790, Franklin’s last public essay was submitted to the Federal Gazette signed as “Historicus.” The article was a rebuttal to Georgia’s senator, James Jackson, who had recently argued for the continuation of African slavery.

Franklin’s keen wit was on display in the response to Jackson’s case. The article cleverly agreed in its entirety with Jackson’s argument, but from the opposite point of view. Historicus told the story of Ibrahim, who was an Algerian slave-trader. Ibrahim was rationalizing to his superiors how important it was to continue to enslave the white Christians.

If we forbear to make Slaves of their People, who in this hot Climate are to cultivate our Lands? Who are to perform the common Labours of our City, and in our Families? Must we not then be our own Slaves?

How far the rationalizations of the southern politicians must have been to see the parallels in Historicus’ paragraph:

Here [the slaves’] lives are in safety. They are not liable to be impressed for soldiers, and forced to cut one another’s Christian throats, as in the wars of their own countries.

Here’s the full text, if you’re interested:

The content of the article was so intriguing to me that I began to understand that slavery in America still exists today…in the form of abortion. Politicians waft left and then right to avoid being labeled as pro-life or pro-choice. The motives are no longer as noble as birthing a nation but to attract other waffling voters.

How is slavery anything like abortion?

  • Only specific people groups are targeted. In the 1700s it was Africans. Today it’s unborn children.
  • Economic convenience is sited as a major factor for rationalizing both slavery and abortion.
  • Slave owners and pro-choicers would both say, “The slave/fetus is better off enslaved/aborted than be in the situation they would otherwise have been in.”
  • Both issues are the primary political concern of their respective cultures.
  • Both problems degrade the value of human life and influence society to devalue humans beyond just their respective issue.
  • “States rights” are championed by slave owners. “Personal liberty” is shouted as justification for murdering one’s offspring. While both states rights and personal liberties are important to the survival of the country’s republican government, the immoral justifications are a pollution of the noble causes of states rights and personal liberties.
  • It may very well take a war to remove abortion from our society like it took to eradicate slavery. I hope abortion can be vanquished without another domestic war, but it is not looking likely to end anytime soon.

That is not a comprehensive list of the commonalities (feel free to add more in the comments), but it is a reasonable comparison.

In short , this is why I chose the name Historicus. I hope to spur change in my own culture to end the barbaric practice of abortion, and engage the pro-abortionists with the powerful truth of God’s Word.

God made each and everyone of us in His image, and He loves enough to have sent His Son to die for us. Every human life is valuable to Him, and I desire to live in a culture that values people…all people, like He does.


steve mitchell said...

Also, people will go to any length to justify their position. The slavers ignored the crys and pleas of those they bought and sold, and convinced themselves that the slaves were just animals (not yet evolved into real man). The abortion practioners convince themselves that the unborn child is just tissue, and has not yet evolved into a real human/

Woe be unto those who practice either!! at the Judgement

Historicus' wife said...

Now that I stop and think about it, I am surprised we have not discussed the origin of your reputable name . . .

I was impressed with your insight and wit 10 years ago and continue to be so today. You have an unexpected and humorous way of combining and contrasting ideas. You are a man of great convictions that well up from the depths within you.

Your mysterious ways make me smile. I am proud of you.

Wilhelmine Mitchell said...

It was interesting to learn about the history of Historicus. You are well read.

Jonathan Mitchell said...

How about the 3/5 compromise? If I'm not mistaken, it was used as a way to measure the value of a slave's life. I think it said that each slave is only worth 3/5 of a person (for economic reasons).

That's strikingly similar to saying that a fetus is, well, 0/5 of a person.

Also, in both cases, the degraded class of persons was/is unable to represent themselves in decision-making discussions. It required(s) those outside of that class to come to their rescue.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, forcing a woman to not have control over her own body is so much like humans being forced into slavery. Oh, and you forgot another one. Both slavery and abortions have been happening since the beginning of civilization and both still go on today. How about trying to help some of the billions of people on this earth that are currently suffering?

Historicus said...

Dear Anonymous,

I'm afraid that you do not understand the science of anatomy. A woman's body is her body. Her child's body is the child's body. The child could have a different blood type than the mother and could even be male. Obviously, a male child is not part of the woman's body. For a mother to decide to murder her own child with an abortion is devaluing the child far below that of a slave in order to kill it.

The mother has control over her body. She has control over with whom she chooses to sleep and under what conditions.

Yes, slavery and abortion have been a scourge of pain and ignominy upon civilization for a long time. For the most part, slavery has bee eradicated, and I am working to help end the tyranny of abortion.