The London Daily Telegraph (March 4, 2012) ran the headline: “Killing babies no different from abortion, experts say.” In Britain, two “medical ethicists,” Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva, associated with Oxford University, have published an article in the Journal of Medical Ethics contending that, “Parents should be allowed to have their newborn babies killed because they are ‘morally irrelevant’ and ending their lives is no different to abortion.”
Mariette Ulrich comments in an article on mercatornet.com, “‘Killing babies is no different from abortion.’ Never were truer words spoken: groups seeking legal protection for prenatal life have been saying it (though with the syntax reversed) for decades. The real scary part is that now ‘experts’ are using the argument, not to curb or stop abortion, but to normalize infanticide.”
The journal article’s authors maintain that newborn babies are not actual “persons” and do not have a “moral right to life.” The authors maintain that “killing a newborn should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.” Understandably they preferred to use the phrase “after-birth abortion” rather than “infanticide” to “emphasize that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus.”
The Telegraph story quotes Giubilini and Minerva: “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.’” As to what constitutes personhood, they answer; “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.”
What gobbledygook! Mariette Ulrich responds in her article: “There’s a significant percentage of the adult population walking around right now that could not tell you (on first reading) what that sentence even means—including me, before I’ve had my morning coffee. Does that make us insufficiently cogent to merit existence?” She adds, “I am at loss to explain why Oxford-linked medical ethicists are any more ‘morally relevant’ than the average newborn baby. My motto is: ‘Every ethicist a wanted ethicist,’ and with ethicists like this, who needs Nazis? But very much like our former facist foes, these fellows believe that if you repeat a lie often enough, the gullible will buy it.”
“Morally irrelevant”? “No moral right to life”? Only “potential persons”? The Lord Jesus “took them (also infants! MDV) up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them” (Mark 10:16). Jesus says, “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones . . .” (Matt. 18:10a). What blatant rebellion against God’s holy law: “Thou shalt not kill.” It is not a matter of ignorance, but a matter of willful contempt for God’s holy law! What’s next? Life is cheap!
A brief article entitled “Death Knocking,” by Daniel James Devine (World, April 21, 2012, p. 66), reports on special medical teams in the Netherlands that make fatal house calls:
If the patients can’t find death, just take death to the patients: That’s the thinking behind the End of Life Clinic that opened in the Netherlands in March. The clinic will send out mobile “Life End” teams at the request of patients who wish to die under the country’s decade-old euthanasia law. The teams will cater to terminally ill patients whose primary care doctors have refused to provide euthanasia for religious, moral, or other reasons.
A patient requesting a visit from a Life End unit—consisting of a doctor, nurse, and equipment—can choose between a two-dose lethal injection or a drinkable drug mixture. At least 70 patients contacted the clinic’s office within its first month of operation, and its services are free for now, although it hopes insurance companies will eventually pick up the tab.
There are 2,500 to 3,000 cases of euthanasia in the Netherlands annually, representing 2 percent of all deaths in the country, and 1,500 suicides. Petra de Jong, the director of Right to Die—NL, the organization running the clinic, said her workers don’t try to change the minds of people who call for advice on committing suicide: “It would be paternalistic.” Instead they suggest a list of lethal drugs that people can obtain over the counter in neighboring Belgium.
Here too we see a deliberate trampling upon God’s holy law. There is little regard for life, or for God who is the giver of life. That which God calls murder, evil men call compassion and virtue. Life is cheap!
A News Brief in Christian Renewal (February 29, 2012) reports on a rather surprising article in Newsweek by columnist Ayaar Hirsi Ali. The Newsweek article contends that a largely unrecognized global war on Christians is underway. “Christians are being killed in the Islamic world because of their religion,” Ali states. The News Brief continues:
“It is a rising genocide that ought to provoke global alarm.” Ali says that despite the media’s reticence to report on the subject, the fate of Christians—and all religious minorities—in the Muslim world is at stake. In Nigeria, the radical Islamist group Boko Haram aims to establish sharia (Islamic law) and has stated it will kill all Christians in the country. In Sudan, tens of thousands of Christians have been displaced from their homes, subjected to targeted killings, kidnapping and bomb attacks. In Egypt, Iraq and Pakistan, Christians face “incipient genocide or ethnic cleansing,” and in Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and other formerly “tolerant” countries, Christian persecution has only increased. “It should be clear . . . that anti-Christian violence is a major and underreported problem,” Ali writes. “Instead of falling for overblown tales of Western Islamophobia, let’s take a real stand against Christophobia infecting the Muslim world.”
Another example of this is to be found in Syria, though you wouldn’t know it from most of the media. It seems most of the world, including the U.S. and Canada, is demanding that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad step down and avoid all-out civil war. Certainly there have been grievous abuses of power in Assad’s regime. But Syria has been a refuge for Christians in the Middle East for many years because of President Assad’s enforced policy of religious freedom. There are about a million and a half Christian believers—many or most of them refugees from persecution in other Middle Eastern countries—that are living in Syria. And the Islamic militants who are directing the current uprising have already perpetrated atrocities against them.
The Middle East Reformed Fellowship (MERF) recently posted this urgent appeal from Syrian Pastor Serop Megerditchian:
To God’s people everywhere: The armed Islamist Opposition in Syria have murdered more than 200 Christians in the city of Homs, including entire families with young children. These Islamic gangs also kidnapped Christians demanding high ransoms. In two cases, after the ransoms were paid, the men’s murdered bodies were found. Christians are being forced to flee the city to the safety of government controlled areas. Muslim rebel fighters and their families are taking over their homes. We need your prayers and we need them urgently.
Yes, this is to be expected as the end of all things is at hand. Christ repeatedly warned that His people would be persecuted. The times in which we live are very similar to the days of Noah: “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence” (Gen. 6:11). Life is cheap!
The supposedly enlightened world comes up with many labels, euphemisms, for this culture of death in which we live: after-birth abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, death with dignity, compassionate exit, ethnic cleansing, family balancing, pregnancy termination. Life is cheap!
Thanks be to God that He has given us new life, everlasting life, through our Lord Jesus Christ! As Jesus spoke to Martha, “I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die” (John 11:25, 26).