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What Moses Taught Me About Human Dignity

Brent Leatherwood

Recently, our life group at church had the opportunity to walk through Exodus together. As we read those chapters, I was once again reminded of an aspect of Moses that has always resonated with me—he seeks to right wrongs. 

Whether it was defending the honor of Zipporah and her sisters or standing up to Pharaoh, injustice was something that deeply affected him. Moses clearly believed that dignity matters and was worth defending. 

Were he alive in our time, Moses would be aggrieved at the various ways human dignity is being marred across the globe. We touch on several of those instances in this edition, from the devastating inroads made by the predatory abortion industry in the United Kingdom, to the ways technology is being wielded in authoritarian ways. In fact, if we just limited this edition to reviewing the last few months, we would, sadly, have more than enough material to cover.

On Aug. 31, the world watched as thousands of Afghans made desperate attempts to flee Kabul when the Taliban assumed power. The United States was leaving Afghanistan after two decades, and for those who helped our government, the idea of staying under an oppressive regime was enough to cause them to leave everything behind and flee their homeland. The vulnerability of these image-bearers was on full display as news coverage showed fathers passing babies across a wall to waiting soldiers. Families were packed into cargo jets while people clung to the wheels of the plane in a last-ditch attempt to escape their new reality in Afghanistan.

Just a few months later, on Dec. 1, I stood on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court with thousands of pro-life advocates as the oral arguments for the Dobbs v. Jackson Whole Women’s Health Organization case was heard. In this moment, the vulnerable image-bearers we had in mind were the preborn, those who have not yet had a chance to take their first breath. As we listened to the justices ask questions of each counsel, it helped us gauge how the Supreme Court may rule next June on this important case that could overturn Roe v. Wade. 

As we look across this vast world of ours, it is clear that the dignity of human beings is under assault. And Christians cannot stand passively by. 

My hope is that by reading these timely articles, your heart will be moved to learn more and, like Moses, be willing to advocate for a better way. Thankfully, as believers on this side of the cross, we have something Moses did not: a message of hope. Over and over again in Scripture, we see Jesus valuing that which the world deemed as invaluable. And at the core of Southern Baptists’ hearts is a desire to see human beings flourish. By living out the Great Commandment and carrying out the Great Commission, we can help make this broken world a bit better and be an advocate for those who are desperate for a better tomorrow.

Brent Leatherwood currently serves as Acting President of the ERLC, as well as Vice President of External Affairs and Chief of Staff. Before coming to the ERLC, he served as the executive director of the Tennessee Republican Party from December 2012 to December 2016, where he managed the organization’s campaign apparatus at the federal, state and local levels. He also worked on Capitol Hill as a senior legislative aide to former Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fla. Brent and his wife Meredith have three children and are members of The Church at Avenue South, where Brent serves as a deacon.