“Dignity — that basic idea that by virtue of our common humanity, no matter where we come from, or what we look like, we are all born equal, touched by the grace of God. Every person has worth. Every person matters. Every person deserves to be treated with decency and respect.”
You may be surprised to learn the person who said this statement is someone who persistently seeks to establish abortion as a basic right in America and around the world. The speaker is President Barak Obama.
On July 28, 2015 Obama delivered a speech at the African Union Headquarters in Ethiopia. The speech is laden with rhetoric of about the equality and dignity of all human beings. I say rhetoric because I have my doubts that these words spoken by Obama carry the gravitas that they are supposed to carry by their very definition.
Time and again Obama has demonstrated his lack of concern for sacredness and the dignity of life. He has continually appointed pro-abortion people to positions of influence in Washington D.C. He has repeatedly advocated for tax funding of organizations such as Planned Parenthood. By supporting abortion, he helps deny the right of life to the unborn.
In his speech in Ethiopia, he talks about the importance of respecting the rights and freedoms that are due to every human being. “I believe Africa’s progress will also depend on democracy, because Africans, like people everywhere, deserve the dignity of being in control of their own lives.” Where was this respect for individual freedom in 2010 when the Obama Administration admitted to trying to rescind conscience protections for medical professionals that do not want to be involved in abortion procedures? Notice that a president who advocates for the acceptance for those who are different at the same time undermines those with different beliefs than his.
He then makes America sound like a big brother just trying to guide his younger brothers. While he admits America is not fully matured, it is still able to give constructive criticism.
“Our American democracy is not perfect… No country is perfect, but we have to be honest, and strive to expand freedoms, to broaden democracy. The bottom line is that when citizens cannot exercise their rights, the world has a responsibility to speak out. And America will, even if it’s sometimes uncomfortable…”
However, the reality of President Obama and African countries is a lot more complicated than an older sibling, younger sibling relationship. In the instance of social policy alone, this speech does not really convey the reality of Obama’s social policy. He later on remarked,
“We think because somebody’s skin is slightly different, or their hair is slightly different, or their religious faith is differently expressed, or they speak a different language that it justifies somehow us treating them with less dignity. And that becomes the source of so many of our problems.”
He is making an emphasis that all people should be treated with respect and not acknowledging the dignity of others is the source of much of the world’s problems. For him human rights is absolutely huge and is one area he wants to really guide Africa in.
“Just as other countries championed your break from colonialism, our nations must all raise our voices when universal rights are being denied. For if we truly believe that Africans are equal in dignity, then Africans have an equal right to freedoms that are universal — that’s a principle we all have to defend. And it’s not just a Western idea; it’s a human idea.”
While he is eager to be a champion for Africa, the rights he is so eager to protect are not the ones he mentions in his speech. On a daily basis, he is not as concerned with defeating groups, such as the Boko Harem, from singling out Christians and terrorizing them. No, Obama’s social policy in regards to promoting human rights in Africa and around the world is concerned with gay rights and abortion.
Earlier, this year the position of envoy for LGBT rights was created. The position’s goal is to help promote and defend the human rights of LGBT persons and according to Secretary of State John Kerry this “is at the core of our commitment to advancing human rights globally.” Obama’s administration is also fighting to make abortion a basic right worldwide; this is accomplished through subtle strong-arming. Back in 2010 while Kenya was preparing to put a new constitution that included reforms concerning abortion. Vice President Biden told a crowd of Kenyans, “We are hopeful, Barack Obama is hopeful, I am hopeful that you will carry out these reforms to allow money to flow.” The word coercion comes to mind.
This is an example of how Obama understands America to be a big brother to African nations. He sees that African nations might not agree with his social policy, but he is determined to push his agenda on them and to open their eyes. For him, unless they do, they will not really be protecting their citizens’ rights. The constructive criticism that is offered is more then just that. Obama wants African countries to develop in the way he thinks is the best, which if he read his speech he would know that goes against democracy. African countries should have the freedom to decide whether or not they want to legalize abortion or support gay rights, they should not be pushed or bullied into it.
I cannot speak for those that this speech was intended; however, I can say that Obama’s rhetoric should be taken in light of his understanding of what is good for the world and the reality of who and what he actually respects.