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The Reformation of Manners

William Wilberforce took on British Parliament in the early 19th century, not only an end to slavery, but also for the “reformation of manners” – overcoming the coarseness of all of society as exemplified by animal cruelty; child labor practices; the need for prison reform; alcoholism; prostitution – “all this other stuff.”

Several years ago, the Humane Society started a Faith Outreach campaign, believing that “religious values call upon us all to act in a kind and merciful way towards all creatures.”

In the Humane Society’s YouTube video series, Eric Metaxas discusses how Wilberforce passionately fought for the welfare of animals, seeing a direct link between how humans treat animals and how they treat their neighbors. He took his faith into politics because he thought he could do some good. His faith prompted him to take action on issues that today are characterized as both conservative and liberal.

Has American politics in the 21st century become so polarized that we too need to have a “reformation of manners” – to seek to do what is right, regardless of political labels?