Monday, February 16, 2009

Whatever Happened To The Heroes?

On my personal blog (whose URL I won't share, as it is really just for my close friends and family) I posted a post today about the lack of heroes in the world. I was inspired by this post by events which happened to me on the internet, but it then struck me this topic was very relevant for this blog, and so please allow me to expand on it.

When I talk about heroes, I refer to people who have courage. And I mean moral courage - physical courage is, of course, valuable but it stems from moral courage. Moral courage is the most important thing - can we do what is right, even when it is difficult?

(As an aside, I riff on this theme in this podcast I did once.)

This realization was inspired by a number of people I met on the internet who were being excessively cruel to someone else - telling him to kill himself at the extreme level. And practically no-one spoke up about it but me. And I got vilified for it and have spent a lot of time writing to people and trying to explain my actions, and trying to persuade them that bullying is wrong.

Anyway, this issue struck me as being not only symptomatic of the general malaise in our world today, but also particularly applicable to the issue of abortion.

Surveys always show that the majority of Americans do NOT agree with the current status of abortion laws. Many people say that the majority of Americans are pro-life, but this is not quite the case (the majority of Americans feel that abortion should be legal in some sort of situation). However, the majority of Americans do not hold the pro-abortion views currently enshrined in our laws.

So, why is abortion on the books?

Answer - because there are no heroes any more.

In the same way as people won't speak up on the internet when someone is bullied, or the way people won't interfere if they see a girl being hit in a bar, or whatever - people don't seem to be willing to stand up for what they believe in. Maybe they think they will be hurt or ridiculed or fired or whatever. Maybe they just don't want to be socially different from the "norm".

But at the core of all these reasons is fear - I dare not speak out. I dare not speak up.

And because of this, evil goes unchecked. People who are personally opposed (and are REALLY personally opposed, not just saying they are) might think no-one should have an abortion, but they never do anything about it. They don't speak out against it, they don't tell anyone it's wrong.

And so it continues.

What is my point here? It's pretty simple - but it might be hard to listen to. If we (as people who are GENUINELY personally opposed to abortion) don't actually DO anything, then how are we different from those who just SAY they are personally opposed? What is the practical difference?

Sure - we might know the truth deep down in our hearts, but if we don't act on it? What then?

And, most importantly, if we don't do anything . . . . is it REALLY true in our hearts?

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