The past few weeks have, once again, brought a great deal of conversation concerning life and death. Our country has been faced with another school shooting, a generational type flood in SC, hearings on abortion and assisted suicide for the terminally ill, and a Doctors Without Borders hospital being bombed. Sadness and destruction continues to penetrate the depths of our society. I am no longer shocked at anything I see or read in the news. My heart hurts and my spirit aches as so many try to explain the harshness of this world.
The topics mentioned above are only a snippet of what is going on. I could list page after page of atrocities and death. I could devote every post for the next year to the destruction around us and I would never run out of new material. This is a very sad truth, but one that does not have to saturate our reality. Why do we focus so much on the negative? Why do we focus so much on the death and not the life? Why are we spending time dabbling in the evil when there is goodness all around us? Because, the truth is, I could also devote every post for the next year on uplifting stories and I would never run out of new material. The truth is the same, yet our airwaves seem to embrace the evil around us instead of the good.
It is this truth that I want to focus on today. For it is this truth, I believe, that drives the darkness and evil in our world. Now…I understand that theologically this can all be explained by Genesis 3 and sin. I am in no way denying that. However, I think a great deal would change in our society if we spent more time celebrating life instead of glorifying death. I am not calling for us to neglect reporting the news. We need to know if a murderer is on the loose. We need to know if a school is under attack. We need to know if a flood is coming our way and people are in danger. This does not have to change. I am simply asking for real debate among people in our society on life. It is this life debate that answers my next question. Why do we need to know a murderer is on the loose, a school is under attack, or flooding is coming our way? We report this because we value life. This must be the driving force behind what we do. When this is not a priority then we become a society that either celebrates death or, at the very least, devalues life.
Let’s take some time to dive into this truth. We currently live in a country that tells everyone, through laws on the books, that a woman can choose to terminate her pregnancy at a time of her choosing for just about any reason. Think about that for a second. The current law allows for women to terminate their pregnancy based on a rape, incest, or health of the mother. But…we tend to neglect that the law also allows for abortion based on gender, race, father, convenience, or for simple birth control. I know that the media would prefer to not discuss this truth or the reasons why pregnancies are terminated. I realize that this is taboo, but we must come to grips with our laws that not only allow for termination but celebrates termination for ANY reason.
Many of those that support the current laws concerning abortion also are making a push for laws to allow doctor assisted suicides for terminally ill patients and those that have reached an old age and are less “productive”. We have seen this in Oregon, and more recently, in a hearing in one of the most conservative states in the country…Tennessee. A culture of death is being pushed and one must wonder…what is the end game? Why are we devaluing life at the first and last stage? Why are we championing a culture of death decisions?
These questions are not attacks on those that disagree with me. These questions are simply being put forward to garner conversations and answers. I truly want to know where others are coming from. I want to have these conversations because I am deeply concerned about the future of our society. I am deeply concerned about the world my kids are inheriting. I am deeply concerned because I know that a culture that devalues life at its first and last stage (conception and old age) via abortion and doctor assisted suicide is, ultimately, a culture that devalues life at every stage. I realize that this is not a belief agreed upon by the majority, but it is one we must look at. We are a society in conflict and confusion. We are deeply saddened when a child goes missing or loses its battle with a disease yet we care not if that battle would have been lost in the womb. We are deeply saddened if a drunk driver kills a mom and her unborn baby, but we care not if that same mom made it to an abortion clinic and ended the life of that same child. We are deeply saddened if a person is attacked in their old age, but we care not if that person takes his life with the help of a doctor. We celebrate the fight and courage of a cancer patient yet we embrace a doctor going against his or her oath and administrating poison to take that life that so many fight for. The conflict is clear, and I actually think, for the most part, comes from a decent place. A place where people are trying to love without loving too much or to get involved without overstepping. I get it. I understand your stance, but I urge you to do more.
Life is not something that should be devalued. We should truly celebrate it at every stage. What a gift we have in this life. A gift that must be stewarded well. Seek to make an impact. Seek to step out of conflict and confusion and step into consistency in celebrating life. Life is precious and deserves our care. We at HOPE have made it our mission to stand boldly for all life. We care deeply about the unborn, moms, and dads. Our work is difficult at times, but the payoff, seeing life valued, is worth every single wrinkle. Put the conflict to the side and watch as life becomes contagious and celebrated. For we know that life is never a burden, but always a blessing.
posted by Andrew Wood, Executive Director of Hope Resource Center