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The “smell of death,” the shock of recognition, and the legacy of William Wilberforce

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It is not uncommon for God to accomplish His work through the gentle drizzle of a few drops of rain, rather than through a more intense storm. A gradual and continuous process of precipitation. A gradual and continuous process of precipitation is observed. “Drip.” — John Newton, as depicted in the film Amazing Grace. Newton, who had previously been a slave trader, wrote that hymn following his conversion.

It is worth noting that The celebrated abolitionist William Wilberforce was born on this date, August 24, 1759, in Yorkshire, England.

William Wilberforce is not as well-known today as he should be. In a modest yet significant manner, the 2006 film Amazing Grace served to address this historical lacuna.

As some of our readers may be aware, the film in question was a profoundly inspiring account of the British abolitionist who spearheaded an audacious campaign to end the British slave trade in the latter years of the 18th century.

The scene in Amazing Grace that I will never forget was Wilberforce’s ingenious and provocative conveyance to a small assembly of MPs and their wives of the misery, brutality, and sheer inhumanity of slavery.

The elite of the elite are on a ship, enjoying the finest foods and pastries while being serenaded by a four-piece string quartet. The attendees presumed that this was an expression of gratitude on the part of the MP who had arranged for this ostensibly educational excursion.

The ship’s course is altered without the passengers’ awareness, bringing it into proximity with a docked vessel. Wilberforce suddenly appears on the deck and informs them that the Madagascar is a slave ship.

He proceeds to elucidate the circumstances of the voyage, elucidating that hundreds of slaves had set out from the Caribbean, but that half to two-thirds of them had perished during the passage. As he speaks, the assembled members of the aristocracy begin to cover their noses with handkerchiefs.

Wilberforce informs them that the putrid odor is the scent of mortality, a slow and excruciating demise. He requests that they remove their handkerchiefs from their faces.

“It is imperative that you recall the odor.” It is imperative that we recall the tragedy of Madagascar. “It is imperative that we recall the words of God, who created us all equal.”

What relevance does this have to our contemporary context? Those men and women of privilege were unaware of the brutality of slavery and the “smell of death,” which is comparable to the lack of awareness of the humanity of their unborn children among the general population.

However, it is evident that the majority of individuals, both then and now, recognize the humanity of a born child, even if it is alive due to the failure of the abortionist to kill it. Regardless of one’s position on abortion, it is evident that the abortion survivor is entitled to the same level of medical care—not more, not less—than a “wanted” child born prematurely at the same gestational age.

One might inquire whether this perspective is shared by pro-abortion Democrats.

William Wilberforce confronted the most elite members of the British Parliament with the ugliness of slavery. They could avert their gaze from the slave ship. They were unable to evade the overpowering odor of decomposition.

It is to be hoped that the odious practice of abortion on demand and the equally odious practice of infanticide will be rejected by those who are opposed to the value of human life. It must be acknowledged that there is only a slim chance that their hearts will be softened.

However, for the remainder of the United States, which is not invested in the annual killing of nearly 900,000 unborn children and the subsequent abandonment of those who survive abortion, there is greater reason for optimism.

Paramedic & Registered Nurse at University of Florida | Website
Stephen Esposito has accumulated 11 years of experience in the healthcare sector, having worked as both a Paramedic (NRP) and Registered Nurse (RN). He has gained experience in a range of settings, including ground and helicopter ambulance (CCP-C, CFRN), emergency room, ICU, primary care, specialty care, psychiatric, and wilderness medicine. Additionally, he has a long-standing interest in preventative medicine and contributes to the healthcare industry through content marketing. He is a meticulous and methodical writer, who is attentive to deadlines, accuracy, and ethical considerations.

Chelsea Garcia is a political writer with a special interest in international relations and social issues. Events surrounding the war in Ukraine and the war in Israel are a major focus for political journalists. But as a former local reporter, she is also interested in national politics.

Chelsea Garcia studied media, communication and political science in Texas, USA, and learned the journalistic trade during an internship at a daily newspaper. In addition to her political writing, she is pursuing a master's degree in multimedia and writing at Texas.

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