Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Abortion and Genocide

from a thread comparing abortion today with the violence in the Old Testament:

I don't think Hammerud or I are anywhere close to saying slaughter is something to be emulated today "in some circumstances". While Old Testament faith, like Gideon's, is clearly to be desired, the Holy Spirit empowers us to use Gideon-like faith in OUR situation, on this side of the Cross, in the third millennium, not to see how many soldiers we can cause to be slaughtered in one day. As for justifying it, I'm saying it's a mystery to me, while Hammerud seems to be throwing out one or the other of the various less than satisfactory explanations of “Why in the world did God command that?!” But command it He did! Am I to judge God? It is certainly OK for you and me to scratch our heads and say “I don't get it” and to ask God why He did so, either now or in Heaven!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Suffering and Education

I'm a wimp when it comes to pain—physical and mental. I won't bore you with examples. How can we avoid pain? Education, perhaps: Which sports are the most likely to cause painful injuries? Should I look both ways before crossing the street? [umm, where I live, that's a lifestyle choice, by the way—last week, while driving slowly and quietly through a residential area, a man stepped out between parked cars in front of me on a diagonal path, such that even his peripheral vision had no chance of including me. He finally noticed my car after I slammed on the brakes, and cast me an annoyed (or was it bored) look, as if I had no business driving on the street he intended to wander across. Perhaps I should commend his chivalry, as he took this risk rather than his wife/partner/girlfriend/sister/business associate/?, who was following him at a safe distance. I guess she's the smart one!] Should I smoke to look cool, taking on the distant risk of spending the last years of my life struggling desperately to breathe against my emphysema? Education is great, and answers all of the above questions rather definitively. I've been to grade school, middle school [ugh], high school, college, and even what some folks call a rather distinguished graduate school [see above comment about middle school.] More questions: what do my chromosomes say about the kind of children I might have? Amniocentesis anyone? Fetoscopy? Wow, I can avoid the pain of spending my life tending a dying child; just educate me! Now, I do not have a special needs child, and it is a dreadful prospect, this pain-avoider admits it. Check out www.pwsausa.org for some difficult yet hopeful details on the child two of my friends are raising. So, education will make sure Dean will never be taunted in school, right? Well, maybe—I'm an optimist. But kids also know that kids who are different can be aborted before they ever take up space in a classroom. For every adult who genuinely tries to appreciate human differences, there are a score who are “glad it's not me” or, worse still, wonder why the stupid parents didn't use amniocentesis to, well, nip this problem in the bud! Kids aren't stupid—they pick up these cues from adults. And the do-gooders that inevitably populate groups like my school's “Respect for Human Differences” committee may be sincere, but can they be effective? How many Prader-Willi babies and children are featured in Gap commercials? Abercrombie? American Eagle? Let's see, clothing stores and movie studios spend billions every year to promote “cool.” The Respect for Human Differences committee has a budget of, oh, a few hundred dollars—is that going to outweigh Hollywood and Madison Ave.? Now, there is common grace for every human of every religion. Some things are just wrong, and people know it. So there is a chance that the well-meaning RfHD folks will strike that cord of of grace and do some good. But they are fighting against original sin. Sadly, most RfHD committees are dominated by folks who deny sin, and have a totally unrealistic view of the power of education. In fact, they may be engaging in mis-education in that they promote lifestyle choices as genetic conditions. Or they may promote innate conditions as neutral or positive that are, in their own way, as damaging and destructive as Prader-Willi Syndrome. So, what makes my friend's child valuable? What makes those with poor lifestyle choices valuable? All are made in the image of God. Yes, that comes under “education”—sort of—but it's not a tenet of the ruling elites, so it won't be featured in any educational presentation by the “Respect for Human Differences” committee. And in the background is the not-so-subtle roar of “beautiful is better” “cool is cool” and “life begins when the baby is wanted.” Unwanted babies don't leave the hospital in car carriers festooned with balloons; they leave in medical waste containers.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

More or less Priceless

In an online forum, I was taken to task vigorously for my initial posting, pointing to Planned Parenthood's origin in the eugenics movement. Finally, neuro_nurse asked what Planned Parenthood does that I oppose [not that whether or not I personally oppose something is particularly important]
Let me tell you a story first, from one of the many missionaries to Haiti supported by our church over the years. Her biggest challenge in preventing “risk taking” behavior among young women in Haiti is convincing them their life is worth preserving from the danger of AIDS! If your life is of little value, why not have fun while you can? How profoundly different from my friend's attitude is the raison d'etre of Planned Parenthood—their consistent purpose year in and year out is to measure the value of individual lives, created in the image of God, and to prolong or terminate that life based on a scale of worth that is inimical to my values and I suspect to yours as well. Nothing has changed except the increasing sophistication of their slogans. The main value that is placed on an unborn life is simply “is this baby wanted” and that, of course, correlates with everything BUT that child's value in the eyes of God. I'm glad rich parents decorate nurseries for their wanted babies, and pass around “baby's first picture” even if it's just an ultrasound. But the unplanned pregnancy looks the same to the baby whether it's wanted or not. We're told there will be less suffering if these lower class babies are “terminated”—that is, there is no intrinsic worth in the baby or ultimately in anyone. So the link to decades past is clear, with no repentance. “Every child a wanted child” “Family Planning” are just better slogans. So that's what I don't like about them—they seem to have fooled many well meaning folks, including you.
Blessings for peace, SHALOM—God's wholeness for all of his creation,