Living up to the Declaration of Independence
By Michael Moriarty
On the heels of my tribute to Sidney Poitier in Big Hollywood, I had the wonderfully challenging, good fortune to see, for the second time in my life, Raisin In The Sun. The richness of that film's script by Lorraine Hansberry, the uniform warmth and brilliance of its cast and that story's messages rang even more deeply with this viewing than it had with my first.
Raisin In The Sun is, to my mind, about the entire American dream, regardless of race, creed or color.
The challenges to a black family on the South Side of Chicago in the 1960's are more extreme and dramatic than, say, those faced by my grandfather in a turn of the 19th century home near the Chicago stock yards but the obstacles were, indeed, the same.
To add an even further, personal note, Claudia McNeil, the great actress who played "Mama", looked exactly like my beloved Ardelia, the maid who helped me through the worst years of my parents' unspeakably ugly divorce. The nightmare began when I was six-years-old and my sister was nine … and … well … Ardelia's own, great and generous bosom, like that of Ms. McNeil, was the only reliable comfort I had, as the madness in a profoundly alcoholic house would drive me down to the basement and into Ardelia's arms. The hours I spent sobbing in her lap were part of my most formative experiences. They convinced me of not only the unity of the human race as one family but the colorless nature of human emotion and, yes, of the human soul.
With my Irish – or as my father used to refer to our "background" – shanty Irish origins, tales of the struggles in Chicago led from my great grandfather's employment as a streetcar conductor to my grandfather's feisty triumphs in American League Baseball. Coming out of an Irish-Catholic family with five other brothers, George Moriarty strove unrelentingly to succeed in over 50 years of American, Big League Baseball from 1903 to 1956, as a player, manager, umpire and finally as a scout for the Detroit Tigers.
Such struggles, as the great actor Jose Ferrer once told me, "puts muscle on your soul!"
What this American has been handed with such struggles is the knowledge that we citizens of the United States have yet to live up to the Declaration of Independence.
With legalized abortion and the Roe v Wade decision we are still as out of touch with the words "all men are created equal" as we were in the days of legalized slavery and both the Dredd Scott and Buck v Bell decisions.
The presumptions of the pro-abortion, pro-embryonic stem cell research and pro-euthanasia "Progressives" define a kind of "Progress" that leaves both traditional civilization and humanity in the dead remains of human life, the reality of which has been more than revealed to us in the recent, mass graves of Haiti.
Can the Progressive Executions of gestating infants possibly be progress of any kind?
Or is it ultimately a suicidal leap off the Cliffs of Science and into an era vastly more dangerous even than the one we still find ourselves in, the Atomic Age?
Death as an increasingly popular solution to the challenges of life?!
Have you ever thought of the earthquakes in Haiti as a savage mirror to the earthquakes of abortion in the African-American community?
With abortion most rampant in African-American communities and Planned Parenthood encouraging even more such quick solutions to the inconveniences of pregnancy in the white community, are the struggles so well portrayed in dramas such as Raisin In The Sun all for naught?
A child is saved in that play from abortion. A struggling family chooses, instead of despair, life and the American Dream.
With Supreme Court decisions such as Dredd Scott, Buck v Bell and Roe v Wade, it is obvious that we are not any closer to the meaning of human equality than we were in Pre-Civil War America.
While the bipartisan Progressives urge us to March On Into Change We Can Believe In, we are walking further and further away from the very principles that no other country had even considered to be "inalienable" – the "right to life" being the primary one.
Yet, our so-called "best and brightest", those know-it-alls of the Supreme Court, the Progressive Congress and the White House declare that an infant can be destroyed because it is not "viable" during its first six months of gestation.
The gestating infant, and all of us for that matter, are not "viable" for many years without the "womb" of a mother or family of some sort to nourish us and keep us safe.
When an abortion clinic nurse and a Congressman like Barack Obama can let a viable, breathing infant die of neglect and starvation on some table in an operating room, what in God's name has become of America?!
Barack Obama voted against an Illinois bill that would institute life-saving efforts for those gestating infants that, indeed, survived an abortion.
Dredd Scott, Buck v Bell and Roe v Wade are three homicidal and tyrannical strikes out for Americans that the Declaration of Independence, as a set of rules, actually forbid!
Yet here we are, still pretending that we've grown up to the Declaration of Independence, now that we have such wonderful examples of racial equality.
The over fifty-five million dead gestating infants from legalized abortion might have another opinion.
Meanwhile plays like Raisin In The Sun are here to remind us not only of how hard it has been for Americans to live up to the Declaration of Independence, but how far away we still are from its central faith that, indeed, "all men are created equal", not gestated as possible candidates for abortion.
Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby and Deadly Skies. Contact Michael at email@example.com.
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