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"You Can Fairly Judge the Character of Society by How It Treats the Weak, the Vulnerable, the Most Easily Forgotten".



Editor's note Editor's Note (foaled in 1993 in Kentucky) is an American thoroughbred Stallion racehorse. He was sired by 1992 U.S. Champion 2 YO Colt Forty Niner, who in turn was a son of Champion sire Mr. Prospector and out of the mare, Beware Of The Cat.

Trained by D.
. For the most part, commencement addresses come and go, making nary nar·y  
adj.
Not one: "Frequently, measures of major import . . . glide through these chambers with nary a whisper of debate" George B. Merry.
 a ripple. I remember the speech at my own college graduation mostly for the weather: the heavens opened up about two-thirds through a thoroughly arid ar·id  
adj.
1. Lacking moisture, especially having insufficient rainfall to support trees or woody plants: an arid climate.

2.
 speech.

That surely wasn't the case when President Bush (as a reporter for Knight Ridder
For the unrelated television series, see Knight Rider.


Knight Ridder (IPA: /ˈrɪdɚ/) was an American media company, specializing in newspaper and Internet publishing.
 put it) urged new college graduates at Concordia University "to promote `a culture of life' in America as part of a lifetime commitment to serve the weak, the vulnerable and `the most easily forgotten.''' His speech, according to according to
prep.
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

3.
 reports, was repeatedly interrupted in·ter·rupt  
v. in·ter·rupt·ed, in·ter·rupt·ing, in·ter·rupts

v.tr.
1. To break the continuity or uniformity of: Rain interrupted our baseball game.

2.
 by standing ovations.

Speaking at the largest Lutheran university in America, President Bush challenged graduates of Concordia to "protect and honor life in all its seasons." Located just north of Milwaukee, Concordia graduates many who go on to become ministers.

Alluding to abortion and lethal stem cell stem cell

In living organisms, an undifferentiated cell that can produce other cells that eventually make up specialized tissues and organs. There are two major types of stem cells, embryonic and adult.
 research, the President told the approximately 500 graduates, "Our worth as human beings does not depend on our health, or productivity, or independence, or any other shifting value the world might apply." Mr. Bush added, "Our worth comes from bearing the image of our maker."

Referring to America's long record of compassion, the President said, "We believe that everyone has a place and a purpose in this world, that every life matters, that no insignificant person was ever born." He told the graduates that "America needs your good heart in meeting a basic responsibility: to protect and honor life in all its seasons." A compassionate com·pas·sion·ate  
adj.
1. Feeling or showing compassion; sympathetic. See Synonyms at humane.

2. Granted to an individual because of an emergency or other unusual circumstances:
 society, Mr. Bush said, "shows a special concern for those at the beginning of life, those at the end of life, and those who struggle in life with disabilities."

What follows are excerpts that pro-lifers will find of particular interest. You can read the President's entire remarks at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/05/20040514-4.html.

President Delivers Commencement Address at Concordia University

THE PRESIDENT: ...

Many of us find that there is much more to life than getting and keeping. True fulfillment ful·fill also ful·fil  
tr.v. ful·filled, ful·fill·ing, ful·fills also ful·fils
1. To bring into actuality; effect: fulfilled their promises.

2.
 comes with the responsibilities we assume: to care for our families, and to love a neighbor as we want to be loved ourselves. This is more than a familiar saying; it is the foundation of a meaningful life.

A person shows his or her character in kindness and charity. And what is true in our lives is also true in the life of our nation. You can fairly judge the character of society by how it treats the weak, the vulnerable, the most easily forgotten. Our own country, at its best, strives to be compassionate, and this isn't easy. Compassion is not merely a vague feeling of empathy empathy

Ability to imagine oneself in another's place and understand the other's feelings, desires, ideas, and actions. The empathic actor or singer is one who genuinely feels the part he or she is performing.
, it is a demanding virtue. It involves action and effort, and deep conviction - - a conviction as old as Scripture and present at the founding of our country. We believe that everyone has a place and a purpose in this world, that every life matters, that no insignificant person was ever born.

America rejects the ethic eth·ic  
n.
1.
a. A set of principles of right conduct.

b. A theory or a system of moral values: "An ethic of service is at war with a craving for gain" 
 of sink or swim. America rejects social Darwinism social Darwinism

Theory that persons, groups, and “races” are subject to the same laws of natural selection as Charles Darwin had proposed for plants and animals in nature.
, because strength is not the same as worth. Our greatest failures as a nation have come when we lost sight of our compassionate ideals - - in slavery, in segregation segregation: see apartheid; integration. , and in every wrong that has denied the value and dignity of life. Our greatest strength as a nation is that we bravely face our flaws and do our best to make things right. Our greatest successes as a nation have come when we broadened the circle of protection and inclusion. And this work is not finished. We will press on until every person shares in the promise of our country. ...

Second, America needs your good heart in meeting a basic responsibility: to protect and honor life in all its seasons. A compassionate society shows a special concern for those at the beginning of life, those at the end of life, and those who struggle in life with disabilities. Most of you, at some point, will be called to care for a dying relative, or a frail frail 1  
adj. frail·er, frail·est
1. Physically weak; delicate: an invalid's frail body.

2.
 and aging parent, or someone close to you with a terrible sickness. Often, in their pain and loneliness, they will feel they are nothing but a burden, and worthless to the world. And you will need to show them that's not true. Our worth as human beings does not depend on our health, or productivity, or independence, or any other shifting value the world might apply. Our worth comes from bearing the image of our Maker. And the hardest times of your life may be the most important, when you bear witness to this truth by your sacrifice and loving kindness to another soul.

This commitment to the value of every life also challenges our society. Technologies that have extended life also make treatment decisions harder at the end of life. New methods of research hold promise in treating disease. These innovations show the resourcefulness Resourcefulness
Buck

clever and temerarious dog perseveres in the Klondike. [Am. Lit.: Call of the Wild]

Crichton, Admirable

butler proves to be infinite resource for castaway family on island. [Br. Lit.
 of humanity, and they must be guided by all the wisdom of humanity. Our standards must be high, and clear, and fixed. Life is not just a tool, or a commodity, or a means to other ends. Nothing good or just can be built on the destruction or suffering of others.

These convictions have deep roots in our nation's founding. Our Declaration of Independence calls life an endowment of the Creator, and on earth, an unalienable UNALIENABLE. The state of a thing or right which cannot be sold.
     2. Things which are not in commerce, as public roads, are in their nature unalienable.
 right. Applying this belief has always been a test of our democracy. Your education has prepared you to add to these debates with respect for others, and with confidence in your own beliefs. By your voice, and by your example, all of you can help to build a culture of life in America.

The great events of these historic times can seem remote, and beyond the control of individuals. Yet, we have recently seen how much difference, for good or ill, the choices of individual men and women can make.

One person can do so much harm, or so much good. One person can show the compassion and character of a whole country in an hour of testing. Never doubt that you can make a difference, because the call that comes to you is yours alone. And a great deal depends upon your answer. By bringing care and hope into other lives, you can fill your own life with purpose. By caring for life at every stage, you can make our country a more just and welcoming place. By showing the generosity of America, you can help change the world. ...
COPYRIGHT 2004 National Right to Life Committee, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:National Right to Life News
Article Type:Editorial
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2004
Words:1078
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