November 2006

If a respected British medical school has its way, British doctors will be routinely killing babies born with serious disabilities. The Times of London reported in a page one story this weekend on the shocking proposal from Britain's respected Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecology. The College has called on doctors to consider permitting infanticide in the case of seriously disabled newborn babies. According to the paper, geneticists and medical ethicists supported the proposal – as did the mother of a severely disabled child – while a prominent children's doctor described it as "social engineering." (Source: NewsMax)

The issue is, of course, who decides who lives and dies under such a proposal? What qualifies as "severely disabled"? Steve Wagner of STR gives his thoughts on the issue here: Ob/Gyns in England Want Debate about Killing Newborns. As one commenter notes, "I'm curious who gets to decide what an appropriate level of "pain, distress, and discomfort" is necessary to make a baby a candidate for killing. What if the family is just poor? There's a certain level of distress and discomfort that come from that."

I was thinking of this issue and that comment as I read the following news story today, found on Google News Canada's front page:

A 16-year-old girl is facing a charge of second-degree murder as well as six other criminal charges after her newborn boy's body was found in a wood north of Montreal. The girl gave birth to the baby over the weekend at the home of her mother's boyfriend in Ste-Sophie, about 50 km north of Montreal. (Source: Ottawa Sun)

Under the proposal of legalized infanticide, would the above act be considered a crime? The idea that inconvenient babies should be killed is immoral and should not be tolerated; here is an issue in which tolerance is not acceptable.

Further reading: Greg Koukl's articles regarding abortion

Was reading for my History of Christianity class today (phenomenal class, consistently interesting) and came across this passage:

How [is] one to be a true Christian … when the church joins the powers of the world, when luxury and ostentation take hold of Christian altars, when the whole of society is intent on turning the narrow path into a wide avenue … how is one to resist the enormous temptations of the times? How is one to witness to the Crucified Lord, to the One who had nowhere to lay His head, at a time when many leaders of the church live in costly homes, and when the ultimate witness of martyrdom is no longer possible? (Justo L. Gonzalez, The Story of Christianity)

Sounds like he is describing our current situation in North America, but he is actually referring to the time of Constantine in the 4th century. This isn't to say that "money = evil". The often misused quote actually says "the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil" (1 Tim 6:10), not that all money is evil. But still, our situation here in North America is very different from that of the early church, to which people often wistfully wish to return to, as if that were possible. Maybe this is one reason why Jesus spent so much time talking about money and possessions. He had the wisdom and foreknowledge to know we'd need the advice!

HandsNo highbrow philosophical commentary today, instead here's some of the lyrics from a powerful song by Christian pop/punk/rap/whatever band Superchick called "Hero (Red Pill Remix)". I got the song from one of those compilation CDs, so I don't know a lot about the band, but this song is great so I'm interested in hearing more of their stuff. Here's something for everyone (myself included) to think deeply on today:

Hero (Red Pill Remix) – By Superchick

No one sits with him, he doesn't fit in
But we feel like we do when we make fun of him
Cause you want to belong do you go along?
Cause his pain is the price paid for you to belong
It's not like you hate him or want him to die
But maybe he goes home and thinks suicide
Or he comes back to school with a gun at his side
Any kindness from you might have saved his life

Heroes are made when you make a choice

You could be a hero
Heroes do what's right
You could be a hero
You might save a life
You could be a hero, You could join the fight
For what's right for what's right for what's right

No one talks to her, she feels so alone
She's in too much pain to survive on her own
The hurt she can't handle overflows to a knife
She writes on her arm, wants to give up her life
Each day she goes on is a day that she's brave,
Fighting the lie that giving up is the way,
Each moment of courage her own life she saves
When she throws the pills out a hero is made

All of us just sat back and watched it happen
Thinkin' it's not my responsibility to solve a problem that isn't about me
This is our problem
This is just one of the daily scenarios which we choose to close our eyes
Instead of doing the right thing
If we make a choice and be the voice for those who won't speak up for themselves
How many lives would be saved, changed, rearranged
Now it's our time to pick a side
So don't keep walkin' by
Not wantin' to intervene
Cause you wanna exist and never be seen
So let's wake up and change the world
Our time is now

You could be a hero
Heroes do what's right
You could be a hero
You might save a life
You could be a hero, You could join the fight
For what's right for what's right for what's right

Heroes are made when you make a choice

Related reading: To Show His Love for Us – What does Jesus' self-sacrifice for us tell us about God?

(Lyrics listed in part; full lyrics available here, sorry 'bout the popup it's not not my site)

God?If God exists (here I am referring to a monotheistic God) then God would necessarily be in a wholly different category from every created, materialistic thing we see and study around us. Thus, God couldn't be studied in the same way as we study rocks, or trees, or calculus. What kind of "God" could be comprehended merely by using the same methods used to study everyday objects we can hold in our hand or under our microscope? No "God" that anyone has every believed in for very long, that's for sure. Of course, science and philosophy and critical inquiry have an important place in the discussion of religion. But perhaps in addition to those there is more to it.

Brian McLaren put it this way:

But what if … [a certain viewpoint]'s preferred type of knowledge is not the appropriate medium of experience? … What if all forms of knowledge, which are appropriate for every single other entity in the universe, are in this one case inappropriate for "knowing" God – since an uncreated God would, by definition, be in a separate category from every created thing? What if, simply because God is in a category apart from every other thing or force or entity in the universe, another medium of experience is required, and what if this medium of experience requires faith of some sort? And what if this sort of faith is not an example of "bad faith" (i.e., make-believe, self-hypnosis, and so forth) and not an unwarranted claim of certainty, but rather an honest kind of good faith, worth of the self-investment of intelligent people, an act of integrity and humility, not escape and self-deception? (McLaren, Finding Faith, p.103)

Again, this isn't to belittle at all the role of rational, philosophical, historical and scientific inquiry. Those methods are all important as far as they go. But instead I am suggesting that rigidly applying the same methodology used for studying mundane things would be in some sense deficient when considering divine things.

Further reading:

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