Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"The Past Offers No Refuge"

From Jay Watts, via Zach Nielsen:
I have been studying the history of abortion for about a year now, and one thing that I have confronted is that there are no “good old days” when people treated other human beings, unborn or born, with the dignity and respect those bearing the image of God deserve. Our history is filled with violence upon the young for the sake of the mature, it is just a different kind of violence to a slightly older human being. If anything, modern abortion is a sanitized version of an old evil. If the garbage bins of public streets were littered with the bodies of newborns rather than the “medical waste” of the unborn perhaps it would be unnecessary to explain to a self-professed “pro-life” gentleman why that identification impacts his daily life as I recently had to do. Perhaps the grim reality of the world we live in would be clearer to him. Seeing the daily killing of newborns is harder to live with than hearing about the statistics of the daily deaths of the unborn.

Though the past offers us no refuge to which we can point and say,“if only we could get back there”, we can at minimum remind our friends and adversaries that the laws once served to limit evil and inform our people of the nature of abortion. It would be easier to say that abortion has always been around so lets make it safe, but we would scoff at the person that made the same claim about infanticide, rape, or slavery. So we move forward calling the people around us to become something better than what we are even as we acknowledge that we do not fully know what that will look like. The alternative is to walk away and let the practice of abortion move forward without restraint or protest. If the unborn are fully human, that is just not an option no matter how much easier it would be.
Good words here.

The past offers no refuge. There is no golden age. The golden age is still to come, the day of the new heavens and the new earth, the day when "I am making all things new" becomes past tense. Our call in battling for the civil rights of the unborn, then, is not to hearken back to some good ol' days, to whip up a militant sentimentality, a stubborn nostalgia. No, we must forge ahead into a time that has not yet come, loving and preaching and caring and supporting and adopting as if the day of safety of unborn children is rushing towards us as we rush to it.

1 comment:

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

Ecclesiastes 7:10 will always be there. To go by the massive spam forward volume of my parents' generation on the wisdom of old people it seems I shall have to remember this verse when I am that age.

One of the depressing things I have considered (aside from job hunting without results) is that every generation has found some way to commodify life. It seemed that as major steps forward happened in getting past racial segregation and getting past the legacy of commodifying humans on race a bit then we jumped both feet into commodifying life in other ways. Abortion is merely the most ostentatious example. Fertility clinics are in many respects yet another way of commodifying nascent life. I don't say this to discourage Christians from getting fertility treatments, just to say that the problems of how we buy and sell lives merely reaches its apex in abortion.