It seems that today we have competing arguments, especially in the current political environment, in regards to the exclusion and inclusion of the interests of individuals in our society. For example, if you are socially conservative, you may want to deny inclusion to gay individuals who want the right to marry. And so the fight gets picked and while that’s happening, social conservatives are also fighting for the inclusion of the unborn. There are simultaneous arguments happening calling for the exclusion of some and the inclusion of others.
If we look throughout human history, we can see a pattern that indicates that as time moves forward, humans tend to be more inclusive. We’ve shown a consistent willingness to redraw the boundaries in order to protect the rights of “the other” be it differences in nationalities, religious affiliations, races, genders and so on. Aside from the isolated cases of discrimination that is still alive and well today, on the whole, our global consciousness has maintained a course of more inclusion than exclusion.
There are hints of it even today in this election cycle. It’s been widely shown that race is less of a factor for younger voters than it is for older generations. The statistics also show that differences in gender and sexual orientation are less divisive among the younger generation. Even between a spectrum of just a few generations we see a very clear directionality towards inclusion.
I find this to be interesting, specifically in the case of the social conservative movement today. On the one hand, they are very passionate about the rights of the unborn. This is very understandable and admirable and if history is any indicator, regardless of any kind of legislation or court ruling, they will see abortions go down. Since Roe v Wade was handed down, we’ve seen a general decline in abortions. While this may be because of wider availability of contraceptives leading to a lower unwanted pregnancy rate, we cannot dismiss the notion that as a society we have become more inclusive and this goes for individuals yet to be born.
Unfortunately for social conservatives, inclusion is a double edged sword. As we become more inclusive of unborn individuals, we also will become more inclusive of individuals who are out of the womb, living today in all shapes, sizes, colors, genders, races (yes, even those with Arab decent who might be Muslim), and sexual orientations (yes, even when they want the right to marry).
So as time moves forward, so will our willingness to be more inclusive and that’s a good thing. Maybe next time another state legalizes marriage for same-sex couples, social conservatives can at least see the silver lining in that as we become a more inclusive society at least their cause to protect the rights of unborn human beings is still trending in their favor.