Rally at the National Guard Armory in Omaha, Nebraska
Alan Keyes December 10, 1999
A reporter was going around with us and
apparently had set as a task for himself to find a question where he could
report me as saying I don't know, I'll have to check into that. And we were
in the car laughing because I said that if he really wanted to find an easy
one to stump me all he had to do was ask me what day of the week it is
because often I don't know. I'm here to talk to you though, frankly about
something that even if you don't know what day of the week it is, it's hard
to miss what time we are in for this country.
And I say that if our eyes are open and our hearts are open and we're
actually willing to look at the truth, it's not hard to miss. In other
respects it might be, though, because by the usual external measures, we are
in pretty good shape. And every time we turn on the news now we'll find some
new report that confirms that our material condition is still pretty good and
we're on an even keel and we're controlling inflation and unemployment is
still down and it looks like it's going to continue that way for a while.
Why is it though that here we sit amidst prosperity--our global situation
with our enemies is gone, except for those whose power and might we are
preparing for the next century, it's like we can't do without adversaries so
we've got to go build up another one, but we are in a little hiatus here
where that's not a problem. How come it is then that everywhere I go in the
country I meet Americans who feel as if there is something deeply wrong in
Now, I know that there are those people in our lives who want to pretend that
that's just because some of us look on the dark side of things and we don't
want to be optimistic and so forth and so on. And then I come into a
situation such as the one we find in Omaha right now, and then we realize why
it is that we're concerned. There are still many people in our country who
understand that whatever may be our material condition, and whatever may be
the challenges that we face in the world, if we go back over the story and
history of this country--we've been through our ups and downs, we've had good
times and bad, we've had enormous challenges, we've had times when it looked
like we were teetering on the brink of international destruction. What was it
that got us through all those times?
What was it that made it possible for there to be people of good heart, and
sound judgment, and courage in the face of adversity--who, in spite of
economic circumstances, in spite of challenges and violence and the
battlefields and the dangers and fears engendered by all those things, could
still hold firm and move forward and meet their obligations?
There are things that money can't buy. There are things that are not the
fruit of material success, because they get you through the times when that
success is not certain and not present to all. And those are the things that,
at the end of the day, many of us come to understand to be more important,
more lasting, more permanent, more satisfying, more truthful than the
And I think for most human beings that comes about at some point in life,
among other things, when you reach that point--and I don't know when that was
for you but at some point, it can come early to some, later to others--you
wake up one morning and you realize that you're not going to be Donald Trump or
Bill Gates. That, try as you might, the 30 or 50 billion dollars sort of
eludes you. And if you measure satisfaction in life only in material terms,
most of us would go about extremely unhappy. But we don't. We don't, because
at some point we start to see with different eyes.
I myself believe that at some point we start to open our hearts, not with the
eyes with which we human beings look at one another, but rather to the way in
which we must look to that God--who, in spite of His power and self-sufficiency
is nonetheless willing to acknowledge that we exist. Who, in spite of having
it all, still manages to see something in us, and to have seen something so
important that He was even willing to make the greatest sacrifice of His
heart for us.
When you stop to look at yourself and others with those eyes, that's when I
think you come to an understanding of what is the real foundation of strength
and power and hope and happiness in human life. And it doesn't take a form
that can be measured in our Gross National Product, and it doesn't take a
form that can be destroyed even when the unemployment goes up and the war
clouds loom, because it is a light that is a proof against the darkness.
I want to talk to you today about the fact that--well let me just say, there
are those people who'll say, "Well that's all well and good,"--they
accuse me of being some kind of preacher and they wonder why I'm talking
anywhere but in the pulpit. And I've got to tell you, I think it's very
shortsighted of us not to understand that the insight which understands the
importance of that moral character and life and integrity and sense that we
have, it can't just be confined to some little part of our life that we claim
is going to be devoted to worshipping God. It can't be.
It especially can't be for a people like ourselves. Because, in a way,
everything that we hold dear in this nation, as Americans, everything that we
think we are that is special and that offers a hope to the future and to
humankind, is connected in the end with our moral ideas. That's what I think
has given us a special capacity to endure the ups and downs that history
throws at us without losing our way--because from the very beginning, we knew
that somehow or other we were marked out, we walked a special path. But why
was it special? It was special because we are a people dedicated to somehow
realizing in practice and in life and in the way we conduct our affairs, that
understanding of human life and the human condition which looks at each
person with the eyes of God and that therefore sees in each and every person
a spark of dignity and worth that is not to be discounted and disregarded for
the sake of achieving our narrow little human ends and aims.
From the very beginning this principle was articulated for us, starting of
course with our great Declaration of Independence. I am glad to say, by the
way--though several years ago when I first started talking about some of
this, I kind of did feel a little lonely in America--I have lots of company
now. You notice how many people talk about the Declaration these days? It's a
good thing because it's a great and important reminder of where we come from
that we must never forget if we want to stay on the right path. Because right
there in those words we have the writ, we have the permission from our
history to speak the truth--without which there can be no justice, no
freedom, no hope in human life.
And you know what the truth is? It's acknowledged right there when they tell
us that the rights that we tout and that we hold dear and the sense of
justice that is the foundation for our special way of life, rests on a
simple, clear and unequivocal premise: that our rights come from the hand of
the Creator God.
And that truth, by the permission of
our origins and our history, is not, in America, confined to this or that
pulpit, or to this or that church, or to this or that sectarian element. No,
that's a common possession. It's the ground we stand on as a people. And
therefore it is part of what we have to do if we're going to understand and
acknowledge who we are and what we represent, as Americans--but on behalf, I
believe, of all humankind. Our rights come from God.
Now see, that can provide you with a lot of comfort and confidence because it
means of course that no matter what may be your material circumstances and
condition, no matter what may be your relative position in the world, you can
still stand with confidence to lay claim to that dignity which does not
depend upon the world, does not depend upon its material standards, and
conditions, and choices, and powers but rather comes from a hand more
powerful than any human hand, a will more powerful than any human will, an
authority beyond the reach of any human authority.
I think that our ability to have confidence in that claim and to look to that
transcendent power for our dignity and the basis for our demand that every
life--no matter how weak, helpless, poor, voiceless--must be respected in its
dignity and integrity, I think that that's a wonderful thing, it's wonderful
that we can make these claims. But it also has another side to it, and it's a
side we don't really want to think about these days, some of us.
Because, there's a natural and logical corollary to that notion that our
rights come from God, it's very easy to understand. Our rights come from God,
and therefore, according to our Declaration, all government, all use of power
in society and whatever, has to be based on consent and has to respect human
rights and choices--or at least the human capacity for choice. Why is that?
Well, obviously it's because we respect the source. It would make no
difference that our rights come from God if we had no respect for God.
Obviously. The Creator, that is, the Author of all things, is invoked in the
Declaration as an authority. And it is on the basis of that authority that we
claim our rights and dignity.
As I often ask people, what happens if we deny the existence of God? Then we
deny the authority. What happens if we acknowledge the existence of God but
claim that His authority has no relevance to our public life and our
institutions? Well, if we reject the authority, then you have no reason to
respect the rights that are claimed on the basis of that authority. It's
very, very simple.
But that means, practically and sensibly, that if our rights come from God
then we must use those rights in such a way as to respect the authority from
which they come. Doesn't that follow? Destroy the authority, you've destroyed
your claim to rights. That means you must use the rights in a way that
doesn't destroy the authority, that therefore respects the authority of the
Creator because it is by virtue of that authority that, however weak we may
be, however voiceless we may be, however powerless we may seem in the eyes of
the world, each and every one of us can still lay claim to our dignity. And
that means that that appeal to God is not always something that gives us
comfort when we're making claims, it's also something that has to be for us a
constraint, a guide, an authority, when we are making choices.
It is in some ways the beauty, I believe, of the understanding of freedom and
liberty that our Founders gave to us because it was naturally self-limiting.
They weren't fools, they knew good and well that you couldn't sustain a
society on the basis of an idea of freedom that told people to do what you
please, "Do whatever feels good today"--that it would lead to
dishonor, and murder, and anarchy, and all of the horrible consequences that
come from unbridled passion when those who have the strength, and the will,
and the resources are going to pursue their satisfaction at the expense of
those who don't at some horrible price.
We are saved from that concept of licentious greed by this very understanding
of where our liberty comes from, the understanding that says it comes from
the Creator and is based on the authority of the Creator, in our use of it,
we must acknowledge the limits that are imposed by the Creator's existence
and His will.
And some of you might say, "Oh, it's a good theological
discussion." No, it's not. That's an exposition of the American idea,
that's an exposition of the American principle of justice. Without that
principle, we are not a nation, we're just a disparate bunch of folks who
happen to have fallen together in the same geographic locale for a little
while, and who could very well fall apart because we lose sight of those
things that bind us, in spite of all our differences, into one people, one
And obviously these aren't tangible things. We look different, some of us
talk funny, some of us come from backgrounds of every continent and place on
the globe, we have all different kinds of heritages--I mean, in that respect
we are not one nation. And yet it is possible for folks to come from any part
of the world, as my spouse did (she's originally from India), you come, you
stay a while here, and then you stand before a judge and show your knowledge
of our heritage and you swear allegiance to our principles--and you're an
American, just like that. You're "naturalized."
I've always thought that it was kind of presumptuous of us to use a word like
that, don't you? Like we are the masters of nature and we can suddenly do
what nature did not, we'll make you an American. But the truth of the matter
is, once that whole process is finished, you are an American! As real and
true as anybody else! How can this be?
Well it wouldn't be, if, in order to be American, there had to be some claim
by birth or biology or something else that ties you to the place and the
people in the way of ethnic ties and racial ties--you don't need those
things. What makes us a nation is that acknowledgment of our common moral
principles and beliefs, because we stand on the common ground of our creed,
and are associated with one another by the indissolvable
bonds of that allegiance to truth, of that allegiance to an idea of justice
which respects the dignity of worth of every human being.
Now, I've gone through this kind of long preface because I don't think you
can understand the significance of the issues that we confront today,
deriving from all of these various ways in which the regime of abortion and
the culture of death are working themselves out in our lives, we can't
understand any of these things, in their true implications, if we don't continually
remind ourselves of what I've just said--and therefore of the relationship
between our moral principles and our national identity, between what we
believe to be just and who we are as a people. Once we understand that
connection, we realize that whatever their specious arguments that are used
to justify the abandonment of those moral principles, whatever it is they're
"offering" us in exchange, what we're giving up is far more
precious and important than anything they can offer us.
Now, the offer comes in many forms. One of the major forms which has been
involved in this whole abortion thing is an offer to let people do whatever
they want in terms of sexual activity, without having to deal with the
There have been various forms throughout human history where that offer was
made, and, given our nature in one respect I suppose, it's going to be an
offer that's seconded by many of our passions, right? I mean, the notion that
you're going to live a hedonistic life where you can indulge to your heart's
content, whatever use and abuse of your body you like to make in order to
achieve pleasure, this has even been equated sometimes in places with
paradise itself! It would be kind of short-lived, but there you have it.
So when people come forward and say, "We'll offer you total sexual
freedom, do whatever you please, and all you have to do is embrace this idea
that you have the right to kill off the consequences," see, "of
course nature's going to take its course and these 'inconveniences' will
arise, and we'll just give you permission to snuff them out, wash your hands
of the whole business." That's the offer we're being made.
And I guess maybe, when we're blinded as we have been to the reality of what
we're doing, the notion that we are going to slay an invisible being--one
that we don't see right now, who therefore has no immediate significance for
us--in order to gain a pleasure of the moment that we can feel and touch . .
. maybe it seems attractive, I don't know. Seems to be.
But, on the other hand, what if many of the things we hold dear as a people
are going to be destroyed if we accept this offer? That, at the end of the
day, our sexual indulgence and licentiousness is not just being purchased at
the price of that innocent life in the womb that we are willing to turn our
backs on and ignore, it's actually being purchased at the expense of our
allegiance to the most basic principles of our national identity--the ones
that give us a sense of common life and decent community together, the ones
that allow us, in spite of all our differences to see in one another
Americans, fellow citizens, people who we should work with and work for and
comprise with if needs be, to preserve the good things of our common life?
Destroy that, and for the sake of a few moments of pleasure, we're throwing
away the very foundations of our nation. Is it worth it?
But there's more.
And I think that the end result of all of this can be seen right now in the
controversy that's taking place in your community--because it's not only a
death of national identity and abandonment of principle, but it can become
the death of human conscience itself. And what an offer that is, because
they've upped the antes. Instead of just a moment of pleasure in life, they
shall hold out the marvel that promises that we shall be free from harmful
diseases that afflict us, that we shall harness human knowledge and ingenuity
and intelligence in order to unlock those secrets which will relieve the
suffering of people who are subjected to diseases that are dreadful and that
afflict human life. And all we have to do in order to reach for that golden
apple that is out there of cures and health, all we have to do, is give up
our respect for life and throw away the principle that ascribes to each life,
not an instrumental, but an intrinsic worth--not determined by their
usefulness for us or for our hopes and aspirations, but determined rather by
the will of God, independent of us and of anything that we can desire or
achieve by it. All we have to do is give that up.
It again turns out to be the fundamental principle of our lives as a
nation--but it goes beyond that. And you'll have to excuse me if I may be
more mindful of this than some people might be, but I understand that once
you have given up that principle, you start to look at human beings in a
It reminds me of some of those cartoons where Porky Pig would look over at
Bugs Bunny and he'd see him all cooked up and set on the table--remember
those? And what does he say, he doesn't see him as that wonderful, spirited,
jocular rabbit that we all know and love. He just sees him as a good dinner,
something to be used! And once it has been used, to be thrown away without
regard for the intrinsic worth of that life which must be taken in order for
the use to be achieved--of that respect for the wholeness and dignity of
human life which must be disregarded in order for this "useful
purpose" to be served.
There are many consequences of looking at human beings as commodities--one of
those consequences I'm very familiar with: it's called slavery. It's the
system that takes human beings and treats them as if they're commodities of
labor and other sorts of things; you buy and sell people as if they were
cattle on the auction block.
Do you think that the folks who are today presenting to us these specious
arguments about all the good things that will come from fetal tissue research
understand that the logic of what they offer is the logic of the slave
auction? That the logic of what they offer is a logic which looks upon a
human being, not as an intrinsically worthwhile creature of God, but simply
as a "thing" we can value for what we can get out of it. A thing
which can be valued in terms of kind of a calculation we can make, a cost-benefit
analysis. What does it cost over here? We'll be destroying our sense of the
integrity and wholeness of human life--but we can bury that cost, it doesn't
matter! Because over here we're going to get all these wonderful benefits
that will keep other people alive and so what if we're going to lose that
sense of integrity.
Now I understand that, for some people, the issue of fetal tissue research,
they try to dismiss it, "Oh, we're just talking about the dead."
That's not true. When my father died and was honored in Arlington National
Cemetery, some of the most moving moments of my life came in the midst of
those ceremonies when yes, it was just his lifeless body that was there, but
the care we showed for it was a consequence of the respect we had for the meaning
of his life. We weren't in any sense focusing on death, which I in faith
believe to be in any case just a kind of illusion of our fallen condition. We
were focusing instead on the meaning of his life and the care and respect
that we showed for what we call his remains is part of that understanding of
our consciences, of that understanding of the reverence that we ought to have
for this great gift from God, lived out in its fullness.
What happens if we don't have that anymore? I think myself, as a Christian,
that's why we are enjoined as one of our fundamental obligations to bury the
dead, to show respect. To show respect for that which was, in our world, a
temple of God's breath and that has been, therefore, touched in a way we
cannot fully understand by the fullness of his power in the universe.
You're going to tell me that all of that's no longer true just because what
we're dealing with is the seed and not the corpse? Why is this? I would think
that it makes no difference. And because it makes no difference, when we
withdraw respect from the seed we ARE withdrawing respect from the whole. We
coarsen ourselves, we toughen our consciences, we deaden that reverence and
sensitivity we ought to have toward one another. And in the process
therefore, by accepting this argument that offers so much hope for the cures
of the diseases of the body, we in fact inflict the greatest wounds on the
moral heart and spirit, wounds that can be far more painful in the end and
far more devastating than all the diseases of our flesh.It's a bad bargain. But sadly, that's the
bad bargain that we've already started to live with in
its consequences in our society.
In all these years that we have been
killing off our babies in the womb, we have seen increases that shock us in
the levels of coarse violence and brutality and the utter disregard for human
life that has now seeped more deeply into our population, until we see it
manifested in the youngest hearts and in the actions of people who are a
little more than babes themselves, murdering and killing for the sake of
THINGS that they desire, and passions that they feel they cannot control.
We don't understand yet that these are just the consequences of that deadness
of conscience and heart which we have produced when we countenance and
tolerate the taking of that life in the womb. It's a little bit, in some
ways, like lessons we learn in other respects in life. You ever notice that
when you have a cold, your taste buds don't pick up the delicate flavors, in
fact everything is kind of lifeless when you taste it? That's because very
often, that refined sensitivity, that ability to detect even the most
delicate nuances is the source of the richness of our lives. I think that's
true in the moral sense.
I think that's why our Savior said that if you're faithful in the little
things, you can trust in the great things. Because in fact it's the little
things that are the fabric of greatness. It's the little hopes that we do not
dash. It's the little feelings that we care for. It's the little traces of
fear that we counsel that ultimately teach the greatest courage. And I think
it's also, in the end, an ability to disregard the claims of those who seem
to have so little claim upon our care that produces hearts capable of the
So if we withdraw our reverence and respect for the seed of life, then I
believe in the end that we set the stage for those evils, such as we have
seen in the 20th century, that result in the greatest taking of life.
I've been saying this to some of the reporters who ask about the fetal tissue
issue because, I can't help it, my little knowledge of the kinds of things
that went on in places like Nazi Germany--we talk a lot about the death
camps, and the terrible things that were inflicted upon Jewish folks and
opponents of fascism and other folks who died at the hands of the Nazis and
other great and terrible evils that have really impressed themselves on our
minds. Do we realize that those great and terrible evils had their seed in
the very same kind of instrumental logic that we are now being asked to
People who say that it's okay to practice euthanasia on the disabled, that
it's okay to practice experiments on those who really aren't fully human in
some sense, because of all the things we'll get out of it, all the lives
we'll be able to save as a result--sad to say my friends, that was the logic
of Mengele and those people, when they were doing
those awful experiments on various things that they thought were going to
save the lives of German soldiers.
One more problem there, of course. It means that they thought that some lives
were worth more than others. But that's where we are, isn't it? We think some
lives are worth more than others. Today it's a statement that, "Well,
the life of the mother, and the choice of the mother, and the convenience of
the mother, and the career of the mother, and the feelings of the mother, and
the situation of the mother--that is what is important. We don't have to pay
attention to that child in the womb." That's what we're telling
But don't we understand that once we have withdrawn that fundamental
principle of moral equality . . . today we deny the equality of that babe in
the womb, tomorrow they will deny the equality of your gray hair, and your
low performance, and somebody else's failure to live up their standards of
what is great and beautiful. It's the way it has always been. And if we care
about that justice which avoids the greatest atrocities, then we ought to
care to preserve that sense of moral equality which does not promise that
everybody is going to have the same things, and enjoy the same homes, and
drive the same cars; it just promises that everybody is going to be treated
with the same respect. And that we can do, whatever the condition. And that
we ought to do, and not only here amongst ourselves, but in that equation of
moral purpose that puts the future in the balance against our present hopes
and desires. There, too.
And lately, I've been thinking hard about this because some folks try to
pretend that when we speak of our great Declaration principles, we're talking
about something that's kind of there like an exhortation to be good, but, it
doesn't have anything to do with our laws and Constitution. It's just a
statement of abstract principle that if we like it, fine, if we don't, they
don't matter because they're not part of our law, the Constitution--that's
what they try to tell us.
Now, I would like to remind you in case you didn't realize this, that that's
a lie. The Declaration IS part of our law. It was made part of our law by our
first Congress I believe, and they declared it to be part of the organic law
of the United States and therefore to be taken into account when we are
making judgments about the meaning and implication of all our other laws.
That makes perfect sense.
But there's also more to it than that, because how we think through the
obligation that we have to our future is also right there in the
Constitution. But as we have done with so many things, we conveniently forget
those parts of that great document we don't want to apply--or don't we? I
mean, I certainly know this to be true with the Second Amendment: nobody
wants to talk about that one anymore, except me.
But it's also true of other things. Because the great Preamble to the
Constitution--parts of which have been used or abused by the courts down
through our history to justify all kinds of things. When they're talking
about implied powers and what the government can and cannot do, they will
invoke the purposes that are stated in that Preamble--making it clear that
you must construe the terms of the Constitution in such a way that those
purposes can be achieved. That makes sense doesn't it? It does. Why would you
declare them and then write an instrument in which you ignore their
And therefore, you deal with legislation having to do with the military,
knowing that it is the purpose of the Constitution to provide for the common
defense, right? You deal with those issues that arise in which we are trying
to promote over all the security and peace and prosperity because we are
suppose to work together to "promote the general welfare."
These are phrases that have run down through our history, in our courts, in
the reasoning of our law, and they have been taken seriously because they
precisely indicate what are the goals and the purposes of this frame of
government under which we live. But it seems that in some ways in recent
years we forgot one or at least have been unwilling to consider its
implication. Because the culminating goal and purpose that is stated in that
Preamble to the Constitution is to "secure the blessings of
liberty," we all like that part, "to ourselves," I'm sure
we're happy with that part, "AND OUR POSTERITY." That's the part
we've forgotten about for all these thirty and forty years.
And it seems to me, as far as I can tell, that word "posterity"
means those who will come after us. A phrase that was often used by our
Founders with respect to it was, "generations yet unborn." That
seems pretty clear doesn't it? So when people tell you the unborn aren't
mentioned in the Constitution, you tell them they lie. And not only are they
mentioned, but those who aren't here yet, the folks, some of whom won't be a walkin' the streets until 2050, and others of whom will
come along in 2010, and some of whom are asleep right now and won't cry out
their presence for another few months, they are all of them our posterity,
they are all of them the generations yet unborn.
And our Constitution, our Constitution
puts them on a level equal with ourselves.Do you understand this? Does anyone in America care anymore? That
means that we cannot hope to preserve our liberty, we cannot hope, in fact,
to realize the purposes and intentions even of this type of government under
which we live, if we pretend that we simply have the prerogative selfishly to
serve ourselves at the expense of those who are not yet born.
And it means above all that there is no way, no way on God's green earth,
that anyone can make us understand how it is compatible with securing the
blessings of liberty to the posterity who lie sleeping and unborn in the womb
when we snuff out their lives and disrespect their humanity. It is not
We violate our principles, those principles by which we ourselves would claim
our rights, and we violate the culminating purposes and aspirations of our
Constitution itself. And in the doing of these things we destroy the
integrity of our national soul, of our institutions, of our way of life. Why
does it surprise us when we see the consequences of that?
I know there are folks who like to look at the mess we've been through in the
last couple of years and pretend that it's one person's fault--and as you all
know, I haven't been adverse to putting the blame on his head when I've had
the opportunity--but I always tell people that we shouldn't kid ourselves.
This whole business hasn't been a reflection on this individual or that; it's
been a reflection on all of us. It is the result, not of one man's weakness but
of the destruction we have wrought on the conscience of this entire people.
And until we are willing to confront that truthfully and to turn around our
consciences and restore our allegiance to our moral and Constitutional
principles, the shadow of this crisis will not pass. And for all our
prosperity and all the peace and this and that, we will have to live with the
gnawing sense that we hurdle over the brink of our destruction. And I hate to
say it because I don't want to sound like too much of a Jeremiah, but it will
come. I have a deep sense that we are here in this era in a kind of calm
before the next storm. I can outline chapter and verse what I believe that
storm will consist in, and I know what one of its instruments will be:
We will likely face the most serious threat to our existence that we have
ever faced from an adversary that wants nothing from us but our destruction;
these are the hardest to face. See, the Russians wanted our approval, they
wanted to be part of "The West," in spite of all the great violence
done to authentic Russian culture's history and achievements. The Chinese
don't, the Chinese don't want our approval, they approve of themselves. They
still look upon most people in the world, I deeply believe, from a culminant
sense as if they are all "Johnny-come-lately" barbarians. And they
may be a little down in the material sense, but we're quickly helping them to
remedy that. And once that remedy is administered, I think we're going to
face some serious dangers.
There will be a call for courage, and fortitude, and patience, and
discipline, and wisdom; there will have to be a willingness to understand
that material sacrifice can be needed in order to sustain moral goods. These
are all things which as a people we have displayed in the course of our
history. And at great crisis's of our eternal moral heart, like the Civil
War, or our external security and challenges to justice in the world, we have
found in the ordinary breasts of ordinary Americans an extraordinary ability
to rise to the occasion. Courage that once was a proud boast only of knights
and aristocrats was found in plough boys who had been plucked from their
peaceful ways, and clerks that had been taken from the stores, and laborers
that had been taken from the fields and the mines. We proved that there is no
blessing of birth that is essential to human nobility, but that God has given
a little bit of it to each and every one of us, if we are willing, through
all our fears, to rely upon His will.
That has been the fruit of the moral heritage we have been destroying. And
when the next test comes, if we do not have that heart, if we do not have
that faith, if we have thrown away that heritage, then believe me, we will
fail. And in that failure we will cease to be what we have been in the 20th
century: a light against the darkness encroaching upon man's hope once and
twice and thrice in this century. It will encroach again as it has in every
age and every generation. What will become of humankind when we are no longer
the light against that shadow but maybe even, maybe even the body casting it.
This is the choice before us. And as you consider the issues of fetal tissue
and abortion, I hope you'll keep this in mind. For, this is a faithful
struggle about many things. It is about whether we still have hearts that
hear the cries of the voiceless, the little ones that you cannot hear with
your ears because they only come in your conscience and your willingness to
hear the small still voice that God can sound inside your heart. But it's
also a fight for all those intangible truths and all those sources of
spiritual strength that have made this nation possible, that have given us
some hope of greatness. We can, we are, about to lose it all if we do not
reawaken in ourselves our allegiance to the truths that have made us free.
This is what is at stake. I think it is important, I think it is a great
responsibility for this generation.
I think we are up to the test, but only if we are willing to reassert in
ourselves, in our choice and in our lives, that one truth that still remains
the source of all the others: there is a God, and it is by His will that we
can claim all hope, all justice, all liberty. If as a nation we are willing
once again to go down on our knees before our Creator's will, then we shall
rise up as we always have, in liberty and decency. Let us pray that it may be
so. God bless you.