Friday, March 23, 2012

After-Birth Abortions

I recently read a disturbing article in the UK Telegraph. You can find the link below.

This article is from a couple of medical ethicists associated with Oxford University. Their premise is that since newborn babies are “morally irrelevant” that ending their lives is no different than aborting these babies while they are in utero. 

They argued: “The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus in the sense that both lack those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual.” Rather than being “actual persons”, newborns were “potential persons”. They explained: “Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life’.”

 “We take ‘person’ to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her.”

Now I understand the need to debate beliefs to determine what society believes but this seems to be seems to be similar to arguments used by the discredited German ethicists during the 1930s and 40s. Revisiting flawed and failed policies of the past seems to be a recipe for repeated failure in the present or the future.

Unfortunately, some well meaning people have threatened to kill the authors of the article. While this might sound ironically appealing to some, it lowers our moral position down to a similar level that they are on. We who claim to love life are willing to take a life because someone disagrees with our belief system. People who are only discussing an opinion, people who have not acted out their suggestion are threatened with death. Hummm sound suspiciously like conquerors who demand of the defeated “convert or die.” Very high moral ground to stand on, isn’t it?

So as a follower of Jesus what should our reaction to this discussion be?

First, Jesus is interested in children as seen in Matthew 19:14 where He says “Let the little children come to me.” The fact that he encourages the littlest ones to join him says that they matter to Him and to God the Father.

Second, God through the Psalmist tells us that God is intimately involved in the creation of a person while in the womb.

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV)
When one looks at a DNA helix one can see how the writer with poetic license could say that we are knit together. And remember this was written 1000s of years prior to mankind discovering DNA!

God knows all and has recorded not only our past but also our present and future in His book. Prewritten prior to our creation. This would indicate that not only does God care about people who are persons (according the journal article) but that he cares about us and knows our potential long before we are “viable humans!”

So glad I was not only fearfully but also wonderfully made…exactly the way God intended!

Pastor Val

1 comment:

Dwight said...

huh, when I read this in my rss reader, there were lots of spaces missing, but it seems fine in my browser. odd.