When you die, if in the place you go after you die, you see anything like the Bill of Rights, you know you’re in Hell. Because a Bill of Rights in Heaven would be an affront to God; it would imply that He is untrustworthy. —Dr. Walter E. Williams, Rush Limbaugh Program, September 4, 2009
I read this short passage in a blog post by a fellow named Andy Swan:
Let’s be careful here that we don’t throw away our future liberty in order to avoid present pain. It’s not the American way. In fact, it’s the exact opposite.—http://andyswan.com/blog/?p=147
Exactly. Do you realize how many of the men who participated in the American revolution—men who were very wealthy in their day—died penniless because they sided with the colonists? They never saw the benefits that their sacrifice would bring about. We are hardly following in their footsteps in light of the way our nation appears to be so eager to force our children to bear later the pain that we are unwilling to bear today.
“Not the American way.” It occurs to me that it’s not the human—or perhaps I should say, humane—way. Throughout the history of this world, people of every tribe and tongue have sacrificed their wants, and even needs, to provide a better existence for their children.
The most disturbing crimes that we hear of are the ones in which a parent subjects his/her own offspring to some form of abuse. The only difference in this case is that the abuse is not immediate; it is set in a time bomb that will detonate in a generation, and by then no one will be able to diffuse it.
And they caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire … .—2 Kings 17:17 (NKJV)
I have to thank my buddy Kevan Moore for sparking this thought. We were at the Atlanta Zoo. (By the way, seeing a real, live panda in person is even cooler than you think it would be. But I digress.)
While we were looking at one of the endangered species exhibits (I forget now which), Kevan piped up, asking why, if we subscribe to the theory of evolution, are we concerned when any animal becomes “endangered?” Isn’t that just evolution at work, weeding out the inferior species?
I responded sarcastically, “Oh no! You must understand that these species are only endangered because we—mankind—have hunted them down in our arrogance to make them trophies, or we have disturbed their habitats in our recklessness so that they can no longer flourish. For nature to kill off her own species is fine, but for us to do it is abomination!”
Then it occurred to me. Evolution theory says that mankind—uh, humankind (sorry) is simply nature’s most evolved species. In other words, we’re not outside of nature; we’re very much a part of it. So what’s the harm if our behavior causes other species to fall out of existence—species less capable, less fit, less able to adapt? Such is the binding arbitration of evolution.
So is mankind—uh, humankind part of nature or not? Can we just make up our minds already?
The candidates for Alabama’s 5th seat in the U.S. House of Representatives participated in a debate on May 22. In the debate’s so-called lightning round, candidates were asked their positions on abortion. In his response, Dr. David Maker said, “I oppose abortion, except in very special cases. If you demand that a woman not have an abortion under every circumstance, I believe you’re being cruel.” Unfortunately, given the fifteen-second time limit in which candidates were allowed to answer in the lightning round, Maker did not go into details. I suspect nonetheless, because they are caveats that politicians and political candidates commonly support, that Maker is speaking of rape, incest, or the life of the mother.
First, let me deal with the idea of cruelty. The cruelty in such a situation is on the part of the rapist. It is on the part of the father who abuses his daughter. It is on the part of the near kin who do not think about the consequences of their creepy, consensual relationship.
Second, how do the circumstances of conception change the fact that a fertilized embryo is a life? A distinct human life! That is all it is about: Is it life? Life is all it must be about because as soon as we start making exceptions for what we think are extenuating circumstances, it becomes far too easy make exceptions for simple convenience.
If we all agree that A, B, and C are extenuating (and cruel) circumstances and worthy of exception, some situation D will come along that is almost, but not quite the same as A, B, or C. Still though, D is basically the same as A, B, or C, so surely we can allow an exception for it. Then later case E arises, which bears a lot of resemblance to case D. Yes, it’s a little different, but if we allow for D, no one can argue that E is not also an exceptional case. Before long, the list of things we make exception for is longer than the list we hold the line on.
What about the life of the mother? I mean, the mother’s mental health is one thing, but we’re talking about her physical health, her life here! I could perhaps be persuaded in theory that abortion is the lesser of two evils if a mother would lose her life in delivery. Why bring a child into the world without a mother? Wouldn’t it be better to try again? Perhaps the next pregnancy will go better, and the family unit will be intact.
The problem is that no one can say with any degree of certainty that a woman will, in fact, lose her life if she attempts to deliver a child in situation X. There are odds based on the research we have on the matter, but they are only odds. How many times have doctors given someone no chance of living only to watch the person pull through in the end? For that matter, it sometimes works the other way around: a seemingly routine pregnancy and delivery end up with complications that result in the mother’s death. We just cannot know. It is therefore unjust to choose to terminate a life in favor of another when we are not sure that either life is truly in danger.
Isn’t it just beyond the pale, though, to ask a woman to rear up the child of her attacker? How can a woman look every day into the face of her child, a child begotten by her own father? The answer, of course, is adoption. If seeing that child every day would be too grim a reminder of how the child came to be, the mother need not see the child again after giving birth. There are would-be parents who are not concerned with how a child was conceived. They simply long for a child.
There is no cruelty in preserving life. Still, that is not to say that there would be no difficulties. The emotional trauma would be grueling. The medical expenses could be crippling. Doing the right thing sometimes demands a heavy sacrifice, especially when one suffers the consequences of someone else’s misdeeds. In the end, the truly cruel thing would be to end a life that has come about by no fault of its own.
Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi “quoted” from the Bible on Earth Day:
In her April 22 Earth Day news release, Pelosi said, “The Bible tells us in the Old Testament, ‘To minister to the needs of God’s creation is an act of worship. To ignore those needs is to dishonor the God who made us.’ On this Earth Day, and every day, let us pledge to our children, and our children’s children, that they will have clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and the opportunity to experience the wonders of nature.”
Hm. Can’t say that I remember that one. Must be from one of those modern paraphrase translations. Then again, according to Wikipedia, Pelosi is a Roman Catholic. Maybe it’s a quote from the Apocrypha.
OK, look, it’s got to be somewhere! A public servant of her stature wouldn’t just make something up!