Blazing The Trail To Personhood, California Style!

Things are really heating up in California as Pastor Walter Hoye continues his grassroots campaign to help assure that human personhood makes the ballot in the state. The California Human Rights Amendment makes a simple statement that everyone can agree is logical and should indeed have already been part of the state’s constitution. The language reads,

The term "person" applies to all living human organisms from the beginning of their biological development, regardless of the means by which they were procreated, method of reproduction, age, race, sex, gender, physical well-being, function, or condition of physical or mental dependency and/or disability.

Further, harkening back to the struggle over slavery in the nineteenth century, the CHRA web site quotes the illustrious Joshua R. Giddings, who commented on the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution regarding the fact that human personhood is absolute:

Our fathers, recognizing God as the author of human life, proclaimed it a “self evident truth” that every human being holds from the Creator an inalienable right to live … If this right be denied, no other can be acknowledged. If there be exceptions to this central, this universal proposition, that all men, without respect to complexion or condition, hold from the Creator the right to live, who shall determine what portion of the community shall be slain? And who shall perpetrate the murders?

What is perhaps most stunning however is not that Giddings was focused on protecting every single individual, but that he made his statement based on the facts about the founding fathers of this nation and their perspective on the Creator and moral absolutes.

Rev. Edward J. Melvin, C.M., in analyzing the problematic nature of a secularist Supreme Court, has written, “The Founders placed belief in God and acceptance of natural moral law (derived from reason and corroborated in Judeo-Christian revelation) as the foundation of the American system.”

In fact, Melvin quotes George Washington himself:

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports … In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness—these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens … And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

It is this very point that makes the case for the current struggle to achieve protection for the least in our midst by constitutionally clarifying through human personhood amendments the identity and the rights of the preborn. There is no question that the fact of human personhood is grounded in those very principles that Washington so brilliantly enunciated, that our founding fathers so artfully included in the United States Constitution and which Giddings reiterated during the 14th Amendment debates.

The California Human Rights Amendment proponents are doing nothing less than carrying on with the agenda George Washington and his peers put in place for this nation and her laws. This is why so many individuals and organizations of national repute have joined Pastor Hoye and his colleagues in this effort.

Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; leaders of; the Family Research Council; Frederick Douglass Foundation; Theology of the Body Institute and others endorse CHRA.

These leaders and organizations represent the majority position of Americans. This is why they are lining up to endorse an initiative that is currently reigniting the pro-life movement. By focusing on the human rights and civil rights of every human person, these efforts embrace a different way of looking at abortion and other threats against human beings' lives.

That’s the message of the personhood movement and the California Human Rights Amendment lead by black pastor and civil rights icon, Walter Hoye.

Hoye knows what is at stake and writes in an essay entitled “The Unarmed Truth”: 

When accepting the Nobel Peace Prize on December 10th, 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “I believe that ‘unarmed truth’ and ‘unconditional love’ will have the final word in reality. This is why “right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil “triumphant.”

Today, the “unarmed truth” is that the preborn child is a person not property.

I believe personhood is God-given and not government-granted. It is not offered to the elite and denied to the “least of these.”

I believe personhood, addresses the most important RIGHT of all … the RIGHT to LIVE, without which all other rights are meaningless.

I believe personhood is RIGHT.

The “unconditional love” for the preborn child in my heart, is rooted in the love Christ has for all. While the current conditions may have “temporarily defeated” the personhood of the preborn child I believe the “righteousness of personhood” is stronger than the “evil of prenatal murder” and will ultimately prove triumphant.

I believe personhood is the final word in reality of the pro-life movement.

Hoye is joined by such California luminaries as Dr. Jim Garlow, Proposition 8 leader and founding director of the California Pastors Rapid Response Team. In his endorsement of CHRA, Garlow said,

Is it not amazing that we are forced, in our so-called advanced society, to defend the notion of personhood? Is it not shocking that supposedly bright people will not protect the most innocent and helpless person, the one in the womb? Have we not learned from slavery how to properly define a person? Have we learned nothing from Hitler's Reich regarding the definition of personhood?

Not only that, but the president of the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins, stated in his endorsement: “Other states should draw inspiration from the commitment and perseverance of those behind the California Human Rights Amendment. This is not about party affiliation or ideology. This is about recognizing the sanctity of human life and citizens’ obligation to enact laws to protect it.”

Likewise, Fr. Thomas Euteneuer, president of Human Life International, applauded the California initiative: “Let’s start healing this national shame by affirming the personhood of every human being – in law – and start living as if we meant it.”

“Even as Dred Scott was considered less than fully human, such is the case for the preborn babies in the womb,” said Dr. Alveda King in her endorsement of the CHRA.

Dr. Clenard Childress of pointed out that human personhood is the crux of the nation’s struggle against racism. “Our prayer is that personhood would be restored to its proper place in the minds, hearts and legislation of America,” Childress said.

Other endorsers of the CHRA include La Verne Tolbert, PhD, former Planned Parenthood board member, Georgia; Rebecca Kiessling, family law attorney, Michigan; Kurt Ramspott, founder, Guys For Life, Inc.; Dana Cody, president and executive director, Life Legal Defense Foundation; Kristen L. Chestnut, RN, JD, member, board of directors, California Nurses for Ethical Standards; Dean Nelson, executive director, Network of Politically Active Christians and vice chairman, Frederick Douglass Foundation; Jennifer Roback Morse, PhD, founder and president, The Ruth Institute; David Bereit, national director, 40 Days for Life and the California Republican Assembly.

It is a blessing for American Life League to be part of this remarkable drive that is moving throughout the state of California like a whirlwind. All who have endorsed this project are of the same mind: PERSONHOOD NOW!

To learn more, to get involved or, if you reside elsewhere, to donate to CHRA, please visit

The time is now, the cause is just.