Editor’s Note: The following is taken from a speech given by Gene Mills Tuesday night at the Louisiana Family Forum’s annual banquet.
June 24 2022 was the day I have worked for my entire adult life.
That’s the day the Dobbs decision came down from the U.S. Supreme Court, righting Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood, effectively saying abortion was never the constitutional right we were forced to tolerate. Dobbs reversed a costly 50 year mistake.
Louisiana became abortion-free as a result of the Dobbs decision. Evicting the abortion industry from our borders was made possible by that decision. The abortionists flailed about, trying to delay the eviction notice, but finally they fled Louisiana.
So many lives will have been saved as a result of Dobbs. I have faith many souls might be as well.
My soul was saved in a movie theater in 1981. I watching Chariots of Fire when I was saved. The character of Eric Liddell, the British champion runner who couldn’t compete on a Sunday because it was the Sabbath inspired me. In particular, a quote from the movie really hit home.
“I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure,” he said.
From the time I heard that line, I began searching for a calling, a means by which I too might feel the Lord’s pleasure.
And I heard the cry of the unborn at a Heartbeat memorial service in 1984.
That cry followed me to bed, on vacation to the pulpit, everywhere I went.
That cry purposed me and brings me to this day, and to my mission field. To government, the place where decisions are made.
My assignment remains to build a Louisiana where God is honored, life is respected and families flourish as liberty reigns.
There’s a quote from Winston Churchill which resonates with me. “Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”
No political victory is ever permanent nor irreversible. Anti-abortion does not by itself constitute Pro-Life.
We have so much more to do in a Post-Roe America.
We must teach believers to think and thinkers to believe.
We’ve got to build a Respect Life Ethic throughout Louisiana and America. Recent events – pick one – make that clear.
We need to fulfill this Matthew 28th charge……“teach them to observe all that I have commanded you”
But as of today, thanks to the Dobbs decision, that journey can begin.
For the folks at Louisiana Right to Life, our many pastors, Care Pregnancy Center directors, sidewalk counselors, businessmen, lawmakers and attorneys who have invested your influence to Respect Life,
Thank you, thank you, thank You!!!!
There is a tradition began in 1996 at the MD Anderson Cancer Center.
A rear admiral in the U.S. Navy, Irve Le Moyne, was undergoing radiation therapy for cancer and told his doctor, Kian Ang, M.D., Ph.D., that he planned to follow an old Navy tradition of ringing a bell to signify “when the job was done.” He brought a brass bell to his last treatment, then, to announce completion.
Le Moyne rang that bell several times and then left the bell as a gift to those who cared for him and as an inspiration for others.
It is mounted on a wall -in the Main Building’s Radiation Treatment Center with this inscription:
Ring this bell, Three times well
It’s a toll to clearly say,
My Work is done
This course is run
And I am on my way!
— Irve Le Moyne
Ringing out is only a sign that this task is completed……many tasks remain,
For four decades, late 1700’s- William Wilberforce fought against the inhumane practice of slavery in his native England.
His life laid claim to two great imperatives;
- The Abolition of Slavery and
- The “reformation of manners.”
In the words of one biographer, Wilberforce “made goodness, compassion and integrity fashionable.” In other words, he returned civility to a nation.
Wilberforce’s work highlights the challenge that Christians face in our cultural moment: a deep brokenness exists everywhere in this fallen world.
But God is still in the business of redeeming broken live and fixing broken things!
His ambassadors are called to a work of reconciling things.
A ministry of reconciliation, speaking words of reconciliation and reaching the broken, forgotten, and lost, giving a voice to those who have none.
Wilberforce engaged the culture of his time by focusing attention on the inherent dignity of every human life.
His work in the “restoration of manners” was a major contributor in changing history, abolishing slavery, and, facilitating a Great Awakening in the early part of the 19th century. Not just in Great Britain, but everywhere.
May we be so dedicated and successful at abolishing abortion by making it unnecessary and unthinkable, and restoring civility to the public square as Wilberforce once did.