Thursday, April 17, 2008

While we're talking about it

As Barbara Boxer today embarrasses our nation by altering the language of a Senate resolution to welcome the Pope-- in order to remove any semblance of language that might be interpreted as opposition to abortion-- I'm reminded that I should make this effort now and then. So here goes:

When does a human being become a human being? Forget the ambiguous 'life', I want to know when it's a PERSON.

Because it's illegal to kill a person.

Nobody has ever positively identified the moment, day, week even, when a tissue mass becomes a human being. That 'scientific discovery' has yet to be made. There is much negatively identified, as in "it doesn't even have eyes, how could it be human? It doesn't even have a brain, how could it be a person?"

But no positive ID. No medical statement saying "in the third week of the third month, at midnight on the 78th day, a tissue mass is officially, or medically, or reasonably, a human being."

Yes, it is impossible to know, to agree. We don't even agree on what a human being IS. What is a soul? Does the soul define a human being? Or is humanity only Darwinian randomness, an accidental conglomeration of DNA and goop, something that could just as well have looked like an octopus or an amoeba, breathed helium or CO2?

Is it possible that we are no more than a cosmic accident?

And yet murder is not only against the Commandments ('Thou shalt not kill' in the original language is contextual and means 'don't murder anyone'), it's also against the law.

When the constitutional right to life was established and laws were made against murder, of course, abortion was not even on the horizon of possibility. That particular level of depravity was not among the dreadful things our founding fathers considered when crafting the documents intended to limit government's ability to tyrannize. The "right to life" was not added to the founding documents in order to prevent abortion, but it does argue against that practice if the personhood, the humanity, of the unborn child is agreed.

And of course American law was not the first to proscribe murder; it was generally illegal and almost universally wrong for thousands of years, even among societies which had not the benefit of the Old Testament. For example, in ancient Egypt the Book of the Dead lists the claims to a righteous life that a man might make before the Gods on his judgment day, and one is "I have not slain men."

So forget about the far end of the argument; mankind more or less universally recognizes that we shouldn't just arbitrarily or for personal benefit take the life of another person. And you can't claim an actual human being isn't a human being-- even though some proponents of abortion recognize this particular tension and actually try to go that direction, saying infants shouldn't be declared human until they've lived six months, or nine months, outside the womb. They want to not only have the right to kill the unborn child, but to retain that right for months after the birth. Sickening.

Fortunately that bloodthirsty subset of the far left has yet to gain any real influence, not that they're not trying.

No, the issue is this and only this-- IS AN UNBORN CHILD A HUMAN BEING?

And if not, at what point does the 'tissue mass' assume 'personhood'?

One would think this was dreadfully important, given the emotional commitment to the pro abortion side; how could they even make the case for abortion without first assuring themselves and the nation that in fact they were not advocating the killing of human beings?

Of course they knew this problem well, but were never willing to address it.

This is why the argument was, from the beginning, framed as 'women's rights'. It could never be about the BABY. Because the practice of abortion is indefensible without a national agreement on whether or not an unborn child is a person.

So they made it about 'a woman's right to do as she wants with her own body'. I'm told that when the meetings were held to agree on this deception, some participants actually had a laugh about how easy it would be to fool the public. Call that story apocryphal for now, as I cannot confirm or link it. But I know I have both heard and read this.

Logic demands we reject this 'women's rights' argument on the grounds that it begs the question. The question is 'what is a human being? When does it become human? How do we know?' The 'woman's right to choose' argument is simply a sidestep of the principal objection to the 'choice', that it is possibly the choice to murder someone. If an unborn child is a person, the proper comparison to a pregnant woman is that of a homeowner with a guest, a minor guest whose needs the homeowner is obliged to meet until such time as the guest leaves the house. If you're pregnant and an unborn child is a person, you are not the only one with a claim to rights related to your body. Your 'guest' is subject to the decisions you make about your own health, and you are obliged to meet the guest's basic needs.

And to anyone who makes the claim that an unborn child is not a person, I simply say prove it.

There is no argument presented by the left that conclusively, medically, logically, rationally proves that an unborn child is somehow not yet a human being, especially an argument that shows rationally at what point in the timeline 'humanity' somehow establishes itself within the tissue mass.

If they had such an argument, you can bet it would be universally known and extensively repeated in the media. The fact that even now, more than thirty years after the Supreme Court finding, they still speak of it in terms of 'a woman's right to choose' reveals the dishonesty inherent in the argument of the left.

A woman does not have the right to 'choose' to murder someone, any more than a man has it. If an unborn child is nothing more than a tumor, no rational person would try to prevent her from choosing to have it removed-- but the left does not make any attempt to prove that the tissue mass has no personhood.

They stand on the 'woman's right to choose'.

So rational thought here makes a sensible stand; given mankind is more or less universally opposed to murder and has been from earliest history, if we cannot know, for certain, sufficient to dismiss the question, that an unborn child is not a person, shouldn't we extend the benefit of the doubt to this little would-be person? At least temporarily, until such time as society might agree on what a person is and when it is?

If you were hunting in a field and saw something that might be a deer and might also be a person, would you say "I have the right to hunt!" and pull the trigger?

If you were driving at night and saw a lump ahead in the road, and it might be a trash bag but might also be a person, would you simply hold your course because you have the right to choose what lane you're in?

Society has, regrettably, chosen to blind itself to this, chosen to charge ahead and run over whatever's there, to pull that trigger even though the thing in its sights may be a person.

Because nobody is capable of making a genuine argument that an unborn child is NOT a person.

The Judeo-Christian view is that God, who has always existed and who created all things, also created us. The Bible teaches that God invented each of us first as an idea, a personality, a soul, and then later as a human being with a physical body. "I knew you before you were born", Jesus said. Each person is, therefore, complete and finished eternally, meaning certainly before sperm meets egg. We have always been persons, and we are still persons before we are born and afterward. We are born in the infinitely creative mind of God, who imagined the universe and then said "BE!" and it was.

We are created by God, and he made us like Him, according to Moses. In His image and likeness. That's why man has morality, a knowledge of right and wrong, and is the only creature on earth who has this. God said he made animals like animals and man like Himself. This, if you can make yourself believe there is a God, answers all the questions science cannot answer, about what and who we are, how we came to be this way.

And when God took the opportunity to answer mankind's deep questions about who He was and what He wanted from us, one of the first instructions given was that we shouldn't murder each other.

In this light, we who understand and accept the JudeoChristian version of events know from the beginning that abortion is murder, that it is wrong.

The other side, the activists, the liberals, have nothing but contempt for this set of beliefs. But they also have nothing to offer as counterbalance; they cannot explain what a human being is, when it becomes a human being, cannot answer the questions that ought to be settled before any more abortions are done.

Instead they talk of women's rights, forgetting even the words of the founding fathers concerning such things, that we are 'endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, among them LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

If God did not grant us rights, we don't have them, according to the founding documents of this nation. Where do rights come from if not the Constitution? And the Constitution says they come from God.

So where does that leave the pro abortion side, many of whom reject God entirely and all of whom are disinterested in whether God sees abortion as the murder of a human being?

If there is a God (and there is), if there is a judgment for every human being (and there is), I pity the fool who selfishly supports abortion because it's a convenient way to avoid the consequences of bad decisions. Or because performing abortions makes him or her a good living. Or because people in need of abortions vote for the people who support them.

Over forty million abortions have been performed in this country since the early 1970's.

If you wonder why we are moving toward a welfare state imbalance, toward having too few workers and too many retired, think about forty million more people in this nation who would be working now, for the most part. More than forty million, since enough time has passed for them to have had children who would now be joining the workforce. It is the left and their determination to continue and increase abortions which has robbed this nation of millions upon millions of citizens in these current generations, a colossal loss of human capital whose contributions cannot be overestimated.

Or see it as God does, as a tragic display of casual selfish brutality, another in an endless line of proofs that man has a sinful nature and indulges it, and that Christ's sacrifice was necessary to absolve them of a universe of sins.

And if you can't get past this business of women's rights, think for a moment of all the women who chose abortion as 22 year olds or 18 year olds, or 14, and then had to spend the rest of their lives seeing children of various ages and crying silently to themselves, "my son or daughter would have been this age now". I have known more than one woman in this terrible position; there is massive guilt over the choice to end that life, longing for the child that should have lived, regret at a selfish and foolish decision made at a young and naive stage of life. They never recover fully; the guilt and shame and anguish are lasting. And these are only the women who admitted it to me. Imagine how many cases of depression and illness and suffering for middle aged and older women can be properly blamed on this incredible guilt and shame, unspoken, unadmitted.

Some women I've known still defend it even as they suffer. They are not willing to speak the truth plainly; "I killed my child". But they know. And some say it outright, through tears.

I cannot imagine their plight. But one thing is certain; the moral responsibility for what they've done is shared in great measure by the people who defended abortion, argued for it, convinced them to abort. Told them it was their right. Made it seem like a simple medical procedure, a wart removed, or a cyst. A tissue mass.

Those people are in God's crosshairs. Now or later.

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