Jim Denison: What Do Racism, Sexual Abuse, and Abortion Have in Common?

Virginia continues to deal with scandals engulfing its top three leaders.

Gov. Ralph Northam is facing renewed calls to resign today over a racist photo in his 1984 medical school yearbook. Attorney General Mark Herring has admitted that he wore blackface at a college party in 1980.

And a college professor, Dr. Vanessa Tyson, is accusing Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexually assaulting her at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. He denies the allegation.

Meanwhile, Gucci has apologized for marketing a sweater that appears to mimic blackface. It looks like a black turtleneck that is worn over the nose, with a red-lined cutout for the mouth. After a public outcry, Gucci removed the product.

In other news, President Trump spoke yesterday morning at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. The president stated, “We must build a culture that cherishes dignity and sanctity of innocent human life.” He added: “All children, born and unborn, are made in the holy image of God. Every life is sacred, and every soul is a precious gift from heaven.”

What do these stories have in common?


Russell Moore is an ethicist and president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. In a very perceptive article on the Ralph Northam scandal, Dr. Moore notes that both racism and abortion “are rooted in the counter-Christ idolatry that sees human dignity and lives worth living defined by power.”He states that “abortion and racial injustice are alike an affront to human dignity, and to the image of God.”

The first temptation is the heart of all temptation: “You will be like God” (Genesis 3:5). As philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche noted, the “will to power” is the basic drive in human nature. From Cain’s sin against Abel (Genesis 4) to those who join Satan’s final rebellion against God (Revelation 20:7-9), all of human history can be read as the story of misused power.

The process is both simple and tragic.


Perpetrators of power begin by dehumanizing their victims. Planned Parenthood calls babies in their mothers’ wombs “products of conception.” Racists refer to African Americans and other minorities by a variety of demeaning slurs.

Perpetrators then feel justified in attacking their victims and empowered by doing so.

Racists feel empowered by denigrating and persecuting minoritiesSexual assailants feel empowered by abusing their victims. While pro-abortion advocates claim that they are protecting and empowering women, the fact is that abortion empowers adults to take the lives of defenseless babies.

Every crime is an expression of power at the expense of others. (This is why there are no “victimless crimes.”) Our entire legal system is our consensual attempt to restrict personal power for the sake of the larger community.

Speed limits are intended to keep us from driving as fast as we wish to the endangerment of others. Illegal drugs are illegal because they harm usersdevastate those who care about them, and lead to other criminal activity.

If humans could abandon the “will to power,” how different would our world be?

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Source: Christian Headlines