Excerpt from “A New Birth for American Civil Rights” as featured on Public Discourse

We cannot expect to end racism until we, as a country, value and protect the dignity of every life from conception to natural death. In part, our country still suffers from racism because we are failing to defend the dignity and right to life of every human being, no matter the person’s color, no matter the person’s usefulness, and no matter the person’s stage of development.

Unfortunately, forces within our culture are attempting to co-opt the civil rights movement by destroying its foundation in natural law and replacing that foundation with the bankrupt culture of death. These forces hijacking the civil rights movement seek to replace the movement’s foundational belief in the God-given human dignity of every life with a pro-abortion, anti-family, and anti-faith agenda. This misguided agenda would only further decimate the black community as well as the entire country. If all black lives matter, which they intrinsically do, then the over 15 million black unborn babies aborted since Roe v. Wade must also matter. If we truly believe that all black lives matter, those who seek racial equality should be focused on empowering communities of color, and not on promoting abortion rights, gender ideology, and the destruction of the black family.

I am blessed to lead the Christ Medicus Foundation, a nonprofit that works to protect the dignity of every patient through healthcare policy, defend the religious freedom of healthcare workers, and expand access to medical care, particularly for underserved communities of color and other vulnerable populations most in need. Our commitment to human dignity, safeguarding civil rights in healthcare, and expanding medical access for the materially impoverished and vulnerable comes from the heart of Catholic teaching. We all have a moral obligation to love our neighbor and to share God’s love for each person, no matter their race, color, religion, or condition.

In spite of the obstacles, I believe that a new birth of civil rights can succeed. A new birth of civil rights in our nation will only be possible, though, if all Americans who believe in the God-given value of every life come together to fight against racism, inequality of opportunity, and indifference. It will require federal and state law to properly safeguard the right to life of all people and the right of religious freedom across all arenas. It will require people of faith to come together to pray, act, and witness to God’s love by forming new, faith-based structures that meet the needs of God’s children: from community organizations that heal the hearts of fatherless children, to virtue-based education; from cutting-edge, faith-based medical centers that care for the vulnerable, to health-sharing ministries that build up the communal bonds of society.

Above all else, for a new birth of civil rights in our country to succeed, we must humbly remember who we truly are: children of God, equal in our dignity, and all in need of grace.