The Value Of Life In The 2016 Election

The Value Of Life In The 2016 Election

The 2016 election is about far more than a president. It is about the very core values of who we are as a people and a culture.

The 2016 presidential election has proven to be much more than just another election in a long string of presidential elections. This election is not simply a matter of choice between two candidates with equally disagreeable characters, which is an illusion the left-oriented mainstream media would love for the common citizens and low-information voters to believe. The election, not only for President of the United States, but for all of the other political offices up for grabs, is about the respective platforms of each of the major political parties.

At the beginning of the 21st century, Americans are facing a truly definitive choice over who we are as a people and as a culture. And although this is an interesting perception, many voters may not easily  grasp that their vote can be indicative of the kind of human being they are, as well as the kind of culture they create. It is sometimes a bit easier to understand when the values evident in two cultures are compared. In the comparison between values evident in two cultures, people are often able to get a better or broader perspective on reality.

With the intent to gain a better or broader perspective on contemporary American culture, it may be convenient that the month in which the American citizens cast their votes is a month that has been designated as American Indian (or Native American) Heritage Month by a joint resolution of Congress which was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1990. It is quite useful for the Native American culture to serve as a basis for a  comparative, and it may be helpful for those who care to gain a much broader perspective. Such a broader perspective may help Americans in 2016 because the election seems to be defined primarily in terms and within the parameters dictated by the Left-oriented MSM.

Specifically, the respective platforms of each major political party reveal significant differences with regard to many decisions regarding the future of the United States. However, one very controversial issue stands out in 2016 as quite a divisive cultural issue and that is the debate over abortion rights and the continuance or curtailment of abortion upon demand. The GOP platform leans toward curtailment of Roe v. Wade mandates, while the Democrat’s platform appeals to the young women of America who have grown quite accustomed to such support.

The two parties also have divergent values regarding the value placed upon mothers and motherhood. Today, an increasingly prevalent or acceptable societal perspective is that becoming a mother and motherhood in general holds less value than remaining unmarried and without children. In addition, an even more alarming view is that unwanted pregnancies are easily dispensed with, and even unwanted babies can be disposed of through abortion.

Although It may not be clear whether a majority of Americans are unaware of the ongoing reality of abortion in America, some concerned representatives in the U.S. government reveal that over 4.000 babies are being aborted in the U.S. every day. This is over 1.6 million babies every year. Tragically, this single reality expresses a great deal about how contemporary American culture has devalued bringing a human life into the world. This stark reality says a great deal about the lack of regard for the value of human life, period. Essentially, the true “progressive” view of womanhood has diminished the value of motherhood.

On the contrary, Native Americans and American Indian peoples held a much deeper regard for motherhood. Looking back at the so called “savages” one can recognize a different reality regarding the value of life in the native societies. Unfortunately, many European descendants in America did not have the desire to take much of the native culture seriously, and in turn, the Indians had little desire to share their innermost attitudes toward life and beliefs with the white population for a number of reasons.

Only over time have some of the innermost beliefs of American Indian peoples seeped out into the wider American culture. Unfortunately, relatively few have had actual exposure to such spiritual beliefs or ways of living. In stark contrast to prevailing contemporary societal perspectives on the value of life, the Sioux Indian perspective is a bit different, and also quite refreshing. And while it may be a bit rare to consider an American Indian view of the value of life or bringing new life into the world, some Americans may find it to be enlightening. Especially since most American Indian cultures throughout the Americas respected life and   all living things, and from their view, humans were a special part of the Creation.

More specifically, one beautiful expression of high regard for the value of motherhood and the special respect for bringing children into the world in particular is found in the writings of Ohiyes’a, a Sioux Indian whose English name became Charles Alexander Eastman when he converted to Christianity. Ohiyes’a was born in 1858 into the Santee Sioux tribe of the Dakota nation. He eventually became the first American Indian doctor after graduating from Boston University in 1889. Encouraged to write of his culture, he became a well-known Indian author and from his writings can be gleaned a great amount of insight into Sioux culture.

Ohiyes’a wrote numerous books concerning the perspectives of his people about life, and in 1911, he had one of his books published which was entitled The Soul of an Indian: an Interpretation. Here is a representation of some of the deeper aspects that can be linked to the Sioux or Dakota nation’s perspective on the value of motherhood:

The Great Song of Creation

Our education begins in our mother’s womb. Her attitude and secret meditations are such as to instill into the receptive soul of the unborn child the love of the Great Mystery and a sense of kinship with all creation.

A pregnant Indian woman often chooses one of the great individuals of her family and tribe as a model for her child. This hero is daily called to mind. Gathers from tradition all of his noted deeds and daring exploits, and rehearses them to herself when alone. In order that the impression might be more distinct, she avoids company. She isolates herself as much as possible, and wanders prayerful in the stillness of the great woods, or on the bosom of the untrodden prairie, not thoughtlessly, but with an eye to the impressions received from the grand and beautiful scenery.

To her poetic mind the imminent birth of her child prefigures the advent of a great spirit – a hero, or the mother of heroes –a thought conceived in the virgin breast of primeval nature, and dreamed out in a hush broken only by the sighing of the pine tree or the thrilling orchestra of a distant waterfall.

And when the day of her days in her life dawns – the day in which there is to be new life, the miracle of whose making has been entrusted to her – she seeks no human aid. She has trained and prepared in body and mind for this, her holiest duty, ever since she can remember.

She meets the ordeal of childbirth alone, where no curious or pitying eyes might embarrass her; where all nature says to her spirit: ‘It is love! It is love! The fulfilling of life!’

When, at last, a sacred voice comes to her out of the silence, and a pair of eyes open upon her in the wilderness, she knows with joy that she has borne well her part in the great song of creation!

Ohiyes’a is considered to be the first American Indian to write and publish American history from the Indian viewpoint. His words open up a deeper insight into the Sioux culture, and more specifically into the indigenous people’s respect and love for life itself. Such a reverence sharply contrasts with the thought originating from the “Progressive” Left, which denies undermines the values of Life with the Pro-Choice devaluation of motherhood and dehumanizes the unborn baby in the mother’s womb. The Progressives are the ones who view the unborn baby as a “thing,” and not a human being. It is a sad commentary on American contemporary culture. Now after over 100 years from the days of Ohiyes’a, Americans should wonder who we are as a people and what is meant by “progress?”




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by Dennis Jamison

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