A year ago, I looked at what was coming up in 2003: the imminent war in Iraq, AIDS in Africa, the thirtieth anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and human cloning. “The stakes,” I said then, “have gotten higher, but this is our appointed moment.”
As I look back on 2003, I’m amazed and gratified by all that has gone on in each of these areas.
The imminent war in Iraq became an actual war. Using tactics and armaments that reflect a just war standard, our troops rushed from the Persian Gulf to Baghdad in less than a week. And today we are doing all we can to establish order and a democratic government. Of course, on the evening news, you are going to hear a lot of carping about how badly we’re doing. This is not true.
Noah Oppenheim writing in the Weekly Standard after a trip to Iraq notes: “The story of America’s presence in Iraq is the story of ordinary people, with the best of intentions, working ungodly hours, in unpleasant places, with no public acclaim. Their quiet work will never make AP headlines — indeed, it too seldom makes the wires at all — yet they are winning victories nonetheless.” The struggle for freedom in Iraq goes on, and freedom is winning — especially now with the capture of Saddam Hussein.
As to the high stakes of AIDS in Africa — 19 million already dead with 13 million AIDS orphans — soon after our broadcast, President Bush in his State of the Union Address proposed $15 billion for AIDS relief. His bill has been signed into law and maintains an emphasis on abstinence and making sure that faith-based organizations are not denied access to funds. This was a great foreign policy victory for the president and an even greater victory for those suffering from that dreaded disease.
And while legalized abortion is still with us, 2003 saw some stunning victories in the struggle to protect human life. The greatest was the passage of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban this fall. And progress has also been made on the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (or Laci and Conner’s Law), the Informed Choice Act, and the Parental Right to Know Act. And because of the tragic death of Holly Patterson, legislation has been introduced to reexamine the safety of RU-486, the controversial abortion drug.
On the biotechnology front, the United Nations continues to get closer to calling for a worldwide ban on human cloning. Progress is slow, but we’re moving forward.
Yet though we’ve made progress in Iraq, on AIDS, and in the sanctity of human life, we’ve still got lots work to do.
We lost some ground on marriage this year as Canadian courts, the U.S. Supreme Court, and now the Supreme Court of Massachusetts handed down decisions that strengthened the bids of homosexuals and lesbians for marriage and legitimacy. The Federal Marriage Amendment must be a priority in this election year.
And remember, it is a presidential election year. Our laws, our judges, and the direction of the country hang in the balance. Now, I’m not going to tell you for whom to vote. I’ll tell you, however, that to be a good citizen you must become informed about politics, and you must do your civic duty and vote.
And finally, don’t get discouraged in the struggles ahead. Remember, God measures us by what Mother Teresa said years ago, and is engraved on the sign on my desk: “Faithfulness, not Success.”
For further reading and information:
BreakPoint Commentary No. 030102, “2003: The Stakes Just Got Higher.”
Noah Oppenheim, “Flacks and Hacks in Baghdad,” Weekly Standard, 6 December 2003. (Available to subscribers only.)
Charles Krauthammer, “Killing Him Softly,” Washington Post, 19 December 2003, A37.
See also BreakPoint commentaries: “Capturing Saddam“; “Mankind Is Our Business“; “Never Give Up“; “The Other Terrorists“; “Bringing Down the Numbers“; “One Victim, or Two?“; “In Denial“; “Never Too Young“; and “One Consistent Theme.”
Read President Bush’s 2003 State of the Union Address.
See World magazine’s 2003 News of the Year issue.
The BreakPoint “Speak the Truth in Love” kit includes articles, research, and CDs filled with information on homosexuality, gay “marriage,” and how to speak to homosexual friends and loved ones.
See the “Worldview for Parents” page “Why Should I Vote?”
To stay informed throughout the year on various cultural and public policy issues from a biblical worldview perspective, subscribe today to BreakPoint WorldView magazine.
Charles Colson and Ellen Vaughn, Being the Body (W Publishing, 2003).