Renewing a Culture of Life

“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live…” (Deuteronomy 30:15-19)

“As righteousness leads to life, So he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death” (Proverbs 11:19)

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10)

“We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (1 John 3:14-15)

“He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12)

The revelation this week that Planned Parenthood, as if dealing in the business of infanticide was not enough, has also been trading in the body parts of aborted babies is unspeakably horrifying. To those who embracing a culture committed to death, however, this comes as no surprise. Those who hear, see, and speak no evil are already straining to defend the indefensible.[1] Revulsion is dismissed as mere squeamishness about medical procedures while the concern Planned Parenthood professes to feel (“Care. No matter what”) is nowhere to be found for the smallest participants in any abortion: the baby. Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, matter-of-factly describes crushing infant’s skulls (to preserve specific organs for purchase) over her salad, as if it were an appendectomy.[2] To the Federation and its defenders, truth is a mortal enemy of a much higher power: their religious devotion to a creed of godless “science” and social policy.

Instead of exhuming long-dead Confederates and scouring offensive rock faces, any purging of racist institutions needs to focus on what is inflicting a very real, ongoing harm to life itself: Planned Parenthood.[3] While they are carrying the goals of its founder, Margaret Sanger, to completion, one does not have to look far to see the racism inherent in breeding out what Sanger termed “human weeds” from the gene pool, those born into poverty like Jews, blacks and Hispanics.[4] Reverend John J. Raphael of Howard University calculates 13 million black infants have been killed through abortion since 1973, that is “one-third of our present population,” he notes.[5] Is it any wonder that Planned Parenthood uses birth control as a euphemism for population control, when Sanger said as much?[6] The denigration of marriage and family was central to her objectives for a “cleaner” and “purer” race.[7] That the organization retains policies hostile to strong homes founded on married parents as opposed to complete sexual freedom without restraint, moral or otherwise, is but the fulfillment of Sanger’s dream for America.

Inseparably bound to this fascistic war against the genetically inferior is what Planned Parenthood and its supporters continue to do against those who choose life instead of death for themselves and their children. The Government Accountability Office reported in March that as much as $1.5 billion of taxpayer funding, mostly through Medicaid, went to the Federation and similar groups between 2010 and 2012 alone.[8] The pressure to keep waiting periods off state statute books, prevent third-trimester restrictions on abortion, discourage sonograms for prospective mothers, and confine a woman’s choice to that of abortion only speaks not to a culture of life and choice but of death and coercion. To Sanger’s Planned Parenthood there can be no countenancing an alternative to unlimited abortion. The Business Library reports there are 36 couples for every baby placed for adoption or two million loving families wanting to adopt children, even those with disabilities.[9] Instead, adoption is attacked as equivalent to the worst abuses of the foster care system. For Christians, the truth of the merits of adoption deserves renewed focus. Abortion does not solve problems for self or the baby, and mothers need to know what they are doing when “choice” costs more than the price of the procedure.

Proponents of this culture of death insist the health of the mother demands it. Dr. Elizabeth Johnson of the Lozier Institute in her study of women who have late-term abortions shows otherwise. As she concludes,

The stressful circumstances of unprepared pregnancy, single-motherhood, financial pressure and relationship discord are primary concerns that must be addressed for these women. However, these circumstances are not fundamentally alleviated or ameliorated by late-term abortion.  Indeed, late-term abortion places these women at greater risk of surgical complications, subsequent preterm birth, and mental health problems, while simultaneously ending the life of an unborn child. As a medical profession and society, we rightly seek alternative, compassionate responses for the women seeking late-term abortion procedures for such challenging yet elective reasons.[10]

Dr. Johnson reveals that not only are the women who sought these late-term abortions failing to alleviate the conditions for which they were sought (poverty, financial burden, etc.), they are doing so voluntarily without the pressure of medical necessity. This runs contrary to the decades-long argument that without abortion women would start dying in droves. In place of that fear the deaths of tens of millions of infants both in and out of the womb through abortive actions is supposed to be warranted. It is only tissue, some assert, tissue that can “appropriately” be sold for $30 to $100 “per specimen” through organ harvesting.[11] Others simply make the determination (for the child) that life with permanent disabilities simply isn’t worth living. The living would disagree.

Princeton’s Peter Singer describes the obstacles that must be overcome, “If we can put aside these emotionally moving but strictly irrelevant aspects of the killing of a baby we can see that the grounds for not killing persons do not apply to newborn infants.”[12] This is not some obscure line in an academic reference from long ago, it is unquestioningly accepted by “respectable” academics who in turn are teaching a growing number of college-age students that killing infants is hardly unethical, it is beneficial.[13] Combining this with the claim that euthanasia is “merciful” and that Adam Kotsko, still teaching at Chicago’s Shimer College, does represent a larger swath of academia than is openly acknowledged, this amounts to something far more influential than a few fringe voices. This speaks to something larger than abortion, which is serious enough. It is not a distant step, after denying life at its beginnings, to then refuse life at its end and, for that matter, life altogether. The day is fast approaching when America deserves to kill itself for all its “sins,” some are already predicting. When such becomes the norm, the “healthy” option of mass suicide does not seem so outlandish after all. Can a Christian indulge such lunacy with either silence or tax support?

These irrational notions can only take root in a culture compatible with their growth. On the other hand, they cannot survive in a soil cultivated with the respect for life’s intrinsic value. Implementing civilization’s obligation to die – to enter a twisted, guilt-ridden suicide pact – must not succeed. The antidote to this insanity comes in nurturing a culture that supports and sustains a love for truth and a regard for life. The Christian cannot be complacent in the face of such a willful disregard and perverse cheapening of precious human life, however small he or she may be. We, as Christ’s disciples, are the best equipped to confront these poisonous policies. “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.[14]

Christianity’s light of truth is not something to keep to ourselves, secure in our own social circles. The world needs the blessings of God’s light illuminating and brightening every life, however insignificant it may be to Planned Parenthood. “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” But we have, as Paul declares, “this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.”[15] How then, can we accommodate a culture given to death, withholding the very means of its salvation and redemption, allowing it to run its course, decrying its depravity but doing nothing to expose or defeat it? How can we contribute through taxes to organizations willing to trade in life’s eternal value for a few dollars here and now, and regard it as a necessary evil of for “research” or to make a living in a lost world?[16] Are these merely “taxes to whom taxes are due” or does not justice due the smallest human life merit protection? Are we so compromised by fear of making any enemies under any circumstances that we surrender to this false dilemma? Did Christ not affirm, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household’?[17] What did He mean but that Christ would naturally divide those who believe truth from those who give themselves to lies. Is this some license to self-righteously congratulate our arrival at understanding Christ? Hardly! It means all the more getting out in this world and persuading the mind and convicting the heart of as many as can be reached with the truth of the gospel. God wants every soul to come to Him through the power of His Son revealed in that gospel.[18]

We are living in a time that beckons its own destruction, yearning for the suicide of civilization. It only follows that with the death of truth so goes the repudiation of life. Embracing a culture of death, the doctor takes up her instruments to crush the infant in the womb, while government tax policy continues to promote organ-harvesting institutions like Planned Parenthood. That culture, piled high with the corpses of its offerings to the gods of “science” and “modern liberalism” can have no peaceful co-existence with the culture of life Christ gives us and expects us to cherish and protect.[19]

[1] Robin Marty, “That Planned Parenthood Video Isn’t the Scandal Abortion Opponents Are Making It Out to Be,” Cosmopolitan, July 14, 2015< http://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/a43326/center-for-medical-progress-planned-parenthood-abortion/>; Eric Ferrero, “Statement from Planned Parenthood on Undercover Video,” Planned Parenthood Federation of America, July 14, 2015< http://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/newsroom/press-releases/statement-from-planned-parenthood-on-new-undercover-video>

[2] Sandhya Somashekhar and Danielle Paquette, “Parenthood official discussing fetal organs for research,” The Washington Post, July 14, 2015< http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/undercover-video-shows-planned-parenthood-exec-discussing-organ-harvesting/2015/07/14/ae330e34-2a4d-11e5-bd33-395c05608059_story.html>

[3] Steve Deace, “Planned Parenthood: The next relic from our racist past that must be purged,” The Washington Times, July 13, 2015< http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jul/13/steve-deace-planned-parenthood-the-next-relic-from/?page=1>

[4] Margaret Sanger, Birth Control Review, April 1933, where she also said, “Eugenic sterilization is an urgent need…We must prevent multiplication of this bad stock.”

[5] John J. Raphael, “Silent No More: A Major Crisis in the African-American Community,” The National Black Catholic Congress, visited July 16, 2015< http://nbccongress.org/features/abortion_silent_no_more_01.asp>

[6] Sanger said: “Birth control must ultimately lead to a cleaner race,” Woman, Morality, and Birth Control (New York: New York Publishing, 1922), 12; It is no coincidence that Sanger opened her first full-service facility in Harlem in 1929, what many consider the original center of the African-American community.

[7] Sanger, “[Our objective is] unlimited sexual gratification without the burden of unwanted children…to live…to love…to be lazy…to be an unmarried mother…to create…to destroy”; “The marriage bed is the most degenerate influence in the social order”; and “The most merciful thing that a family does to one of its infant members is to kill it,” The Woman Rebel, Vol. 1, No.1 reprinted in Woman and the New Race (New York: Brentanos Publishers, 1922).

[8] Dr. Susan Berry, “GAO Confirms: Planned Parenthood and Other Groups Use Taxpayer Funds to Promote Abortions,” Breitbart, March 25, 2015< http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/03/25/gao-confirms-planned-parenthood-and-other-groups-use-taxpayer-funds-to-promote-abortions/>; Genevieve C. Plaster, “You’re Paying for Abortion Advocacy, The National Review, March 27, 2015< http://www.nationalreview.com/article/416119/youre-paying-abortion-advocacy-genevieve-c-plaster>

[9] Kristi Burton Brown, “Abortion vs. Adoption: why so many choose the first and what we can do,” Live Action News, May 15, 2012< http://liveactionnews.org/abortion-vs-adoption-why-so-many-choose-the-first-and-what-we-can-do/>

[10] Dr. Elizabeth Johnson, “The Reality of Late-Term Abortion Procedures,” Charlotte Lozier Institute, January 20, 2015< https://www.lozierinstitute.org/the-reality-of-late-term-abortion-procedures/>

[11] Mollie Hemingway, “Blackout: Media Go Dark On Planned Parenthood Organ Trafficking,” The Federalist, July 14, 2015< http://thefederalist.com/2015/07/14/blackout-media-go-dark-on-planned-parenthood-organ-trafficking/>

[12] Peter Singer, Practical Ethics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979)

[13] Reading material for Princeton courses includes overcoming the ethical hurdles for aborting infants advocated by Michael Tooley, “Abortion and Infanticide,” Philosophy and Public Affairs 2 (1):37-65 (1972); and Alberto Guibilini and Francesca Minerva, “After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?” British Journal of Medical Ethics, 2011, the latter two authors pose the question rhetorically: The baby should not live in their view; Reported by Gene Tarne, “Post-Birth Abortions: An Idea That’s Gaining Ground on Campus,” Aleteia, November 5, 2014< http://www.aleteia.org/en/education/article/post-birth-abortions-an-idea-thats-gaining-ground-on-campus-5783779297722368>; Ramesh Ponnuru, “After-Birth Abortion, a.k.a. Infanticide,” National Review, February 24, 2014< http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/371826/after-birth-abortion-aka-infanticide-ramesh-ponnuru>

[14] John 3:20-21

[15] 2 Corinthians 4:6-7; cf. Ephesians 5:8-14

[16] Dan Calabrese, “Makers of Planned Parenthood video expose brochure proving profit motive in sale of fetal body parts,” Caintv.com, July 16, 2015< http://www.caintv.com/makers-of-planned-parenthood-v>

[17] Matthew 10:34-39

[18] 1 Timothy 2:4

[19] Deuteronomy 30:11-20; Exodus 5:6-7; Jeremiah 32:35; Deuteronomy 18:10-14; Psalm 127:3;Matthew 22:32; John 1:4-5; 5:21; Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 15:45; 1 John 1:1ff; We echo what Peter said two millennia ago: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also, we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6:68-69, emphasis added).

One thought on “Renewing a Culture of Life”

  1. Your article was very informative and thought provoking, Mr. Wright. Keep up the good work. Kelli Wright

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