Letter: What VP Harris didn’t say demands an explanation

From: The Rev. John Armstrong


Sometimes it is what you do not say that matters.

In a recent speech marking the 50th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, Vice President Kamala Harris quoted the Declaration of Independence as follows:

“We collectively believe and know, America is a promise. … It is a promise of freedom and liberty, not just some but for all. We are each endowed with the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

What right did the vice president leave out?

The text of the Declaration reads, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The unalienable, God-given right to “Life” was conspicuously absent.

Love demands that as Christians, we “defend others, speak well of them and explain everything in the kindest way” (paraphrased from Luther’s explanation of the Eighth Commandment).

Maybe it was an innocent omission or a memory lapse on the part of our vice president.

Love involves assuming the best about her, as we want others to assume the best (and not worst) about us. This is what it means to follow Christ.

But love also demands that we defend the unborn persons who have no voice, and that we call our leaders to account not only for what they say, but also for what they do not say.