Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ramen Noodles

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27
Did you hear about Rep. Gwen Moore's argument for continuing the funding of Planned Parenthood?

It boils down to Ramen noodles.

She makes the argument that abortion should be available because the quality of life of poor "un-planned children" is very low...not to mention how difficult it is on their mothers. Basically, they are better off dead.

The fallacy of this argument is so clear to those of us who approach the issue of abortion from a Culture of Life. But, what we often miss in the pro-life world is our own responsibility for the "quality of life" argument.

We use it too. We accept the premise and argue that the quality of that poor child's life is not bad, that living on Ramen noodles and mayonnaise sandwiches is not the end of the world, that if we look on the bright side we see that this child could have a happy life. We say "This child has a lot of potential, Who knows what they might do?!"

And, in that sense we are right. We do not know what God has planned for any child. We do not know what they might do with their life. We do not even know the joy that they have in life right now.

But, if we are to truly change our Culture of Death to a Culture of Life we need to make the right arguments. The quality (as opposed to the dignity or value) of any given life is subjective. Many people think their own life not worth living. Many people would judge another's life as not worth living.

Do you remember Terri Schiavo? The argument used to justify starving her to death was that she was in a "persistent vegetative state". It was said that, despite some evidence to the contrary, she could not hear or respond to external stimuli. Experts said she would never recover. The pro-life side said that we don't know this for sure...she just might wake up one day.

Well, both sides were making the wrong argument. Starving her was wrong, clearly wrong. But not because she might wake up someday. Not because she might be somehow experiencing life from her "vegetative state". It is not wrong because of her current or potential quality of life. These arguments are purely subjective.

Her life has value and dignity APART from her subjective experience of that life. She deserves to live even if we KNOW FOR A FACT she would never wake up.

We MUST base the discussion on objective truths.

Each and every human life has intrinsic and unparalleled value because every human life is created in the image and likeness of God. And the loss of any life at the hands of another human, whether through abortion, euthanasia, neglect, or murder, inflicts harm on the human race.

THIS is the argument we must make.

It is the essential value of that child-- that elderly woman--that disabled man--that comatose person--which requires a sincere gift of self from each of us. We are called, as members of the human race, to sit by the side of the Terri Schiavo's of the world and make sure they are fed, and kept warm and safe. We are called, as members of the human race, to welcome into the world every child, helping them to grow and achieve as much as is humanly possible.

To the extent that we refuse this call, the human soul is damaged. We harm the part of our being that makes us truly human--the image of God stamped on our soul---which gives us the ability to rise out of our own selfishness and lay down our life for another.

To accept the premise of the "quality of life" argument is to concede the point. In effect we say to those who would defend abortion "if you can prove to me that the quality of that child's life would be too low, then I must concede your right to end that life."

Lets stop conceding the point!

What do you think? 

1 comment:

  1. I was once shopping in our local Yankee Candle Store. Just me. Somehow, the Pres. came up in subject. I think because both the store manager and myself had been from Illinois. But anyway, the conversation turned to abortion/adoption. She basically had the exact believe that Rep. Moore had. I was so dumbfounded. I have never actually had a conversation with a person who held that belief. I felt physically sick and all I could do was reply, "I am so glad you are not the judge of life and death." Then I informed her that I was the mother of an adopted child whose tummy mommy happened to choose life for her unborn child. Praise God. I put down what I was going to purchase, walked out, and never have shopped there since. (Bed, Bath, and Beyon sells those Yankee Candles as well.)