Tuesday, July 28, 2015

America's Devaluation of Human Life

While studying at Cincinnati Christian Seminary in the 1970s I took an ethics course. The course considered topics such as the Christian's role in government, divorce and remarriage, war and capital punishment. We dug into issues surrounding the value of human life. The Roe v Wade decision was fresh in everyone's mind and much of the discussion focused on abortion. During the study, Dr. Cottrell pointed out how abortion was an indication of the slippery slope in the national attitude concerning the value of human life. Cottrell predicted with the acceptance of abortion would lead inevitably to the acceptance of euthanasia.

Recent disclosures reveal how far down the path of barbarism America has traveled since 1969. Videos taken at Planned Parenthood allege the organization harvests body parts from aborted infants for use in scientific experimentation. Protests understandably erupted from Planned Parenthood but subsequent videos drove the nail of suspicion deeper and deeper. Surprisingly, a few ostensibly Bible believing Christians also spoke out denying the allegations against Planned Parenthood. With more than 50 percent of the American people no longer supporting abortion on demand, it is a wonder that a closer look hasn't been taken at Planned Parenthood practices. I am uncertain how anyone can ethically support such a barbaric attitude toward life. It smacks of the same attitudes expressed by Mengele in Nazi Germany.

Not far behind the abortion on demand racket is the broadening of support for euthanasia. This is particularly true in attitudes expressed toward those living with birth defects, developmental or mental issues. It is particularly troubling when considering attitudes expressed toward the aged and infirm. Oregon is just one state which has supported the right of terminally ill patients to take their own lives and to reject prosecution for those who assist them. During the Obamacare debate, what there was of it, it was suggested the plan called for the formation of death panels to determine treatment for the aged. While such panels do not yet exist, it is clear that medical plans comprising Obamacare do determine whether or not to provide treatment or life saving operations for those who are considered "too old." There are known cases where aged adults over the age of 70 or 80 are denied treatment, not because the treatment would be ineffective but merely because they are considered too old. The expense of the treatment, we're told, is not worth the quality or viability of life in those aged or infirm individuals.

As assisted suicide becomes more acceptable the possibility for positive action to end the life of an aged person becomes increasingly possible. Such actions are indicative of a growing disrespect for human life. In a day when the life of a snail darter, blue whale, or other endangered species is of greater concern than human life it must be realized that human life has been reduced to mere animal existence.

There are a few hopeful signs. The growth of opposition to abortion on demand, particularly after the few weeks it takes for the fetus to be identifiably human, is one of those signs. Opposition to abortion will mean little, however, unless the national conscience once again recognizes the intrinsic value of human life.

The value of human life matter is not a political issue. It is a moral issue of great significance. While it may not be right for the church, as congregation, to take sides in political issues such as immigration, voter identification, or the like, the issue surrounding value of life issues is another matter. Genesis 9:6 states that human life is of such great value that when unjustly taken, the only just punishment is the life of the murderer. The church must speak out on moral issues and be clear in doing so.