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Keyes rallies supporters at Kentucky Right to Life banquet

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–The abortion movement represents the first step towards an era where humans will feel free to abuse all forms of life, according to Alan Keyes, a two-time presidential candidate.

Speaking to the annual Louisville Right to Life banquet recently, Keyes warned that advanced technologies can be evil when controlled by those who do not acknowledge the existence of morality.

“It is through the abortion issue that those who seek great power and profit in this future manipulation of humankind wish to disabuse us of the notion that there are any limits to what we can do to one another with this power,” he said.

The 1996 and 2000 Republican presidential hopeful pointed out many eagerly anticipate multi-billion-dollar profits from cloning, growing new organs and other genetic experimentation.

The only thing standing in their way is the idea that just because someone brings a life into the world, it does not give them the right to abuse that life, he said.

“Don’t you get it?” the speaker asked. “What they are doing with abortion is the prophylactic work of evil. It is the work that is necessary to poison our conscience against the truth that power does not legitimize injustice and abuse.”

This was the one-time assistant secretary of state’s second appearance at the group’s annual banquet, with his speech attracting the largest crowd (1,400) in its history.

Margie Montgomery, executive director of the organization, credited Keyes with sparking the turnout. But she also believes pro-life forces are gaining momentum because of President George W. Bush.

“I think people are upbeat with the new administration,” she said. “They feel there’s more hope. [Bush] is promoting a culture of life. More young people are getting involved, too. You go to Washington [D.C.] and see the numbers from around the country who are marching; that has escalated substantially.”

Despite this enthusiasm, Keyes remarked that the nation is headed “down the road of perdition.” The lies of self-indulgence, materialism and convenience are worming their ways into people’s hearts and perverting their conscience, he said.

Speaking without notes and sounding more like a preacher than a politician, he said that time is running out.

Citizens can lie to themselves and think there is a way of escaping the consequences, but unless they wake up they will be overwhelmed by anti-liberty forces, he commented.

Referring to the Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling that established abortion as a legal right, he said it must be recognized there is no right to life in America.

“The great principles this nation was fought on have been cast aside, thrown on the trash heap of history by a judgment that has withdrawn our allegiance from that first and greatest principle of our nation’s life,” he said, echoing a theme from his campaigns.

“(Namely), that our rights come not from human judgment, power, will and decision, but from the hand of almighty God. It was that truth the nation was founded on,” he added.

Keyes, who has a doctorate in government from Harvard University, said America’s principles of individual rights and dignity were new in human history. Previously, absolute power dominated world governments, he said.

Yet, the United States’ philosophy of basic human justice also relied on a willingness to surrender to God’s authority, he argued.

This is at the heart of the foundational principle that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, he said, referring to the Declaration of Independence.

“Because that principle is true, we have a claim to be treated with justice and dignity,” he said. “We have a claim to participate in the great decisions that shape the future of our community and our nation.”

Pro-abortion forces argue that government shouldn’t be involved in such a personal decision, he said. But Keyes called the idea of a mother in absolute charge of the life in her womb a return to a philosophy of might makes right.

Despite turning away from its founding principles, the nation’s way of life has continued for nearly three decades, he said. But he questioned how long America can survive in its spiritually-dead state.

Many weaknesses that people lament, such as violence and the undermining of families, are signs of a rotting corpse, he said.

“Of course, there is a way around this, because all things are possible with God,” he said. “But, you know, it becomes more and more difficult to expect those possibilities when we no longer acknowledge the power, existence and authority of God.”

After concluding his remarks to a standing ovation, Keyes waited to greet hundreds of well-wishers who lined up to shake his hand.

Looking over the crowd, Montgomery predicted the organization will become such a formidable force nationwide that it will be able to pass a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to life.

For now, its goals are to continue educating the public about the sanctity of life and supporting several pieces of pro-life legislation.

While an estimated 70 percent of Kentucky Right to Life members come from Catholic backgrounds, Montgomery said she welcomes participation from all faiths.

For example, the winner of its 2001 educational foundation award is from an evangelical church. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, will speak at the state’s Right to Life convention in Covington this fall.

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  • Ken Walker