205 Murphy Lane
Metamora, Illinois 61548
January 5, 2009
President-Elect Barack Obama
Presidential Transition Team
Washington, DC 20270
Dear President-Elect Obama:
My name is John Riedell. I live near Metamora where Lincoln practiced law,
and in the town's courthouse there's a table
where Lincoln sat, having a
notch that was cut out for his long legs. Lincoln had a sense of humor and
one may wonder whether he might've jokingly remarked, that it accommodated
his "understanding." But in its usual sense, understanding isn't a joke but
something valuable to possess. I hope you'll be blessed with a good
understanding and grasp of the problems you'll be confronted with: what to
do and what not to do.
One of the problems in our country is abortion and its acceptance, and it's
a mountain of an issue: a Kilimanjaro with moral dimensions that rises in
our land. I've read about your positions on it, and I believe youíve been
mispersuaded on the issue. I would like to ask that you kindly re-consider
your stand on it. I ask this not only for the sake of the unborn themselves,
but for the sake of the nation as well.
God will not bless America for abortion nor for things akin to it, like
embryonic stem cell research. There are consequences for our actions, and
we're vulnerable in this matter, if something isn't already happening
through the economy and the weather to wake us up--lesser happenings than
what could or might yet occur.
We should listen to a voice out of America's past. There was a man
influential in the American history, a Southerner who favored freeing the
slaves. He had a part in writing Virginia's Declaration of Rights which
Thomas Jefferson drew upon in writing the Declaration of Independence. He
worked hard at the Constitutional Convention, yet his signature is not upon
the Constitution itself, partly because he wouldn't compromise on slavery.
He was George Mason.
On August 22nd, 1787, during the debates of the federal convention, Col.
Mason said, "Every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant. They bring the
judgment of Heaven on a country. As nations cannot be rewarded or punished
in the next world, they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes
and effects, Providence punishes national sins by national calamities."
Seventy some years later our country was torn apart by the Civil War,
resulting in about a million casualties, and basic to the conflict was the
issue of slavery, which involved a group of people. The unborn are a group
of people as well. It doesnít matter how tiny or undeveloped they are, itís
who they are. Itís that they exist as human. What is happening to them by
the millions is even a greater wrong than those subjected to slavery,
because itís more than an unjust treatment of people; itís the very taking
of their lives.
Itís being done under the guise of a womanís right. The rights a woman has,
do not include a right to kill her child. It's not a right, but a wrong.
Once a child is conceived, the womb becomes his or her own sovereign space,
a kind of enclave not to be aggressed upon from without. For the woman, the
embryo is not part of her, but a being apart from her.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote, "It gradually became clear to me, that the
line between good and evil lies not between states, not between classes and
not between parties, but rather cuts across every human heart." That part
about cutting across the human heart applies to all of us. We are all
confronted by good or evil, and can step across that line either way.
For anyone who might argue that he or she is personally against abortion,
but argues that others should have access to it, is allowing a modern-day
slaughter of the innocents. Abortion robs the unborn of its precious life.
Those governing this nation, should be for protecting the lives of all
American people, including the unborn. To be for access to abortion is
similiar to a watchman in a jewelry store, who is supposed to protect the
precious gems from theft, but who deliberately leaves the door open. He
wouldn't take any jewels for himself, but allows others access to steal the
jewelry. He isn't doing his job and is an accessory to the crime. And in the
case of the unborn child, the theft of life is forcibly done. The unjust
killing of an innocent person has a name to it, and abortion fits that
Even in war, people with a sense of decent humanity, would not seek to kill
innocent children, but abortion seeks to do just that, and it has done it,
by the tens of thousands and millions. How much innocent blood is already
upon us. If FOCA is enacted and embryonic stem cell research and the like
are further promoted, eroding further our moral life by sin, we may be
bringing chastisement upon us.
I pray that you will be guided by good understanding and decide well for our
Sincerely, John Riedell
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