A Culture of Death

When I was in high school I was in a current events class where students debated each other.  One of the topics we discussed frequently was abortion.  Things kept coming back to the same essential question.

Is there a baby inside the mother’s womb or is there just a bundle of cells?

The implication was that it’s no big deal to do away with a bundle of cells.  At varying degrees, every human being kills cells everyday.  So then, what’s the big deal with abortion?  The task for those of us on the pro-life side of the debate was clear – prove that there was a baby, not just a mass of cells, inside of the mother’s womb.  Once that was established, the debate was over.  Nobody wants to kill a baby.

Those days are gone.

Today many mainstream supporters of abortion, including Vice President Joe Biden, admit that life begins at conception.  But the issue today is whether or not that life is precious.  Consider the words of Bill Maher from a recent radio interview.

Say what you will about Maher but his words here, as disturbing as they are, do an excellent job of highlighting the logical conclusion of the pro-death movement in this country.

“I’m just not one of those people who thinks all life is precious, you know.  I bet you a lot of people wouldn’t say that but if you’re pro-choice maybe that’s really what you’re thinking anyway.”

On the surface, Maher’s words may sound compassionate.  After all, isn’t it cruel to bring someone into this world who we know will face severe difficulties because of their disabilities?  Isn’t death much more humane?

However, when we dig beneath the surface of Maher’s argument, we see that this kind of thinking is anything but humane.  If it’s consistency that Maher is after, his argument forces him to admit that the life of an individual who was allowed to be born with Down’s Syndrome or a severe heart condition is, in fact, not precious.  And further, the parents who chose to let them live are cruel to allow another human being to live like that.

If only we could all be as compassionate as the doctors who perform abortions.

The Bible tells us that all humans are more than precious.  We are significant.  Not because of our superior genes or strong immune systems but because we are created in God’s image (Genesis 9:6; James 3:9).  Sick babies, Democrats, Republicans, celebrities and all other human beings carry the image of their Creator.

One of the first books I ever read to my son is Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who.  The book has nothing to do with abortion and I have no clue where Dr. Seuss stood on the subject.  But every time we sat down to read this book I thought about the culture of death that my son will grow up in.

In the story, Horton is an elephant that finds a speck of dust.  He discovers that an entire world exists on that tiny speck of dust so he does everything he can to protect it.  Naturally, his friends think that he’s crazy and try to destroy him and his speck.

As Horton defends his new friends on the tiny speck he keeps repeating, “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

The story ends with Horton getting all of the people on the tiny speck to finally make enough noise so that his friends can hear and be convinced that there is life on that speck.  His plan works brilliantly and everyone is saved.

Today, many of our leaders have been convinced that there is life inside of the mother’s womb.  But that’s not enough.

Because for them, life just isn’t precious anymore.