A report from the so-called 'Journal of Medical Ethics' has caused quite an uproar across the web. The authors of this report argue that 'what we call
A number of blog posts and other commentaries have been authored in response to this report. I have read them with great interest, first as a Christian citizen who is watching western society be systematically destroyed by secular liberalism, and then, as one who has done some research on the subject of child sacrifice in the Old Testament and its connection to abortion in the modern day.
First, I would like to point the reader to several helpful articles that examine this issue more in-depth. These articles contain excerpts from the report, as well as biblical analyses.
Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis has provided a blog entry here: More on After-Birth Abortion: Why Should the Baby Live?
His colleague, Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell, has also written a commentary on this, here: Ethicists argue in favor of 'after-birth abortions' as newborns 'are not persons'.
Dr. Jonathan Sarfati of Creation Ministries International has authored an incisive critique, here: Abortion 'After Birth'? Medical 'Ethicists' Promote Infanticide
Dr. Albert Mohler weighs in: Something Deadly This Way Comes: 'After-Birth Abortion'
Chuck Colson comments here: Whoville vs. Sparta
Second, something unexpected happened when I saw pictures online of the authors of this report: Alberto Giubilini, who works with the Centre for Human Bioethics at Monash University in Australia, and Francesca Minerva, who works with the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne, Australia. They looked just like anyone I go to church with, or one of my neighbors. I thought: it is sobering how people who appear to be just like my friends and neighbors can endorse such monstrous evil.
The pictures brought back to my memory a sermon I once heard by Dr. Erwin Lutzer. The topic was about the breadth and depth of the wickedness and evil of the human heart. At the beginning of that sermon, he shared a historical nugget from the end of World War II. At the end of the war, the Allies discovered some film footage of Adolf Hitler that had not been seen previously by the Allies. In this footage, Hitler could be seen playing with his dog, kissing Eva Braun, laughing with his comrades, and doing a jig. The Allies determined that they could not release this footage to the public. He did not appear as the monster who unleashed six years of murderous hell on Poland, the devil who exterminated 6 million Jews, the barbarian who sent children to the gas chambers, or the mass murderer who sent his killing squads into Russia on a war of extermination. No...the film revealed something else entirely. The film revealed that Hitler was all too human, reminding us of the all too familiar words of the prophet:
'The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9 ESV)
And, of the Apostle Paul:
...as it is written: None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes. (Romans 3:10-18 ESV)
While we must staunchly stand against such monstrous theories, we as the church must also remember that it is the Lord God who has delivered us from our own wicked deeds by purchasing our eternal salvation with the precious blood of His innocent and holy Son.
Third, the litany of morally repugnant rationalizations in this study are breathtaking. The proliferation of legalized abortion on demand and the culture of death, combined with a rejection of the authority of the triune God of biblical revelation, inevitably leads to moral destruction. Redefining the meaning of what it means to be a 'person', the authors argue that a newborn is not a person because he/she has not reached a 'level of mental development' that is 'capable of appreciating her own being alive.' 'Merely being human is not in itself a reason for ascribing someone a right to life.' Only an 'actual person' has a 'right to life.' 1
Fourth, this report affirms an argument that ABR has been making in recent days concerning the parallels between abortion and child sacrifice. There is certainly no moral difference between the two. This 'ethics' report articulates reasons why an infant can, and should, be killed. The authors argue that 'if economical, social or psychological circumstances change such that taking care of the offspring becomes an unbearable burden on someone, then people should be given the chance of not being forced to do something they cannot afford.'2
At Carthage, one of the main reasons a child was sacrificed to the pagan gods was to obtain some sort of favor or to avert a crisis. In the modern day, most abortions take place because of the difficulties associated with caring for a baby. Instead of turning to God the Creator and Redeemer in repentance and asking for His provision to care for the child, modern people turn to the god of secularism for provision by conveniently killing their child in a sanitized abortion clinic. The authors of this report go even further by advocating the killing of the child after he/she has already been born. Turn the child over to the modern day high priests of Molech, and rid yourself of the inconvenience of caring for a baby. Whether in ancient Canaan or modern America, the child is killed so that the parent can have more autonomy and prosperity. Andrew White explains further:
Whenever men disregard their Creator's wise judgment by destroying His innocent creation, they are serving another god. They are, in fact, spiritually prostituting themselves to the idolatrous self whom they believe is wiser in its value judgments. Some values which are put forward to justify abortion are clearly idolatrous, e.g., the mother's right to choose, which is placed at the top of the pyramid of values by those who call themselves pro-choice. Other idolatrous values are more subtle, e.g., empathy for a mother's suffering in the midst of the crisis arising from an unwanted pregnancy or concern for the quality of life of a defective fetus. Both of these later values are good in themselves but become idolatrous when they abrogate the Creator's wise judgment in creating human life.2
In our recent research, we trace child sacrifice at Carthage back to Canaan. The OT contains several references to this practice, which is specifically prohibited and condemned by God, and condemned in language of no uncertain terms;
Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing such disaster upon this place that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. Because the people have forsaken me and have profaned this place by making offerings in it to other gods whom neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah have known; and because they have filled this place with the blood of innocents, and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or decree, nor did it come into my mind- therefore, behold, days are coming, declares the Lord, when this place shall no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter. -Jeremiah 19:3b-6
While these passages are specific to the covenant people of Israel, the broader teaching of Scripture makes it abundantly clear that God's wrath will come upon those who destroy the innocent in such a manner as abortion or after-birth abortion. To the Christian who is conscientious of the consequences of ideas and one's worldview, the trajectory of this report should come as no surprise. It is the logical result of a virulent cultural secularism informed and tyrannized by Darwinism, philosophical naturalism, moral relativism, post-modernism, and ultimately, a wholesale rejection of the Christian worldview. We have even seen this influence reach to the highest office in our nation. President Clinton twice vetoed bills which would make the practice of partial birth abortion illegal.3 Our current President, while an acting state Senator in Illinois, could not bring himself to endorse a bill that would protect the life of a fetus who survived an abortion. Through a labyrinth of rationalizations that eerily mirror this ethics report under examination, then state Senator Obama apparently thought it was morally appropriate for abortion doctors to effectively toss a living fetus onto a shelf to subsequently die.4 We should all be horrified that our public officials are afflicted with such spiritual and moral blindness, regardless of party affilliation.
As Christian influence continures to erode in western civilization, moral decline and spiritual blindness will proliferate in an even darker way. The only remedy is for the Church to proclaim that truths of Scripture to our fellow citizens, and pray the Holy Spirit brings forth a revival that sweeps across our lands. While we must continue to tirelessly oppose such horrific ideas and shine the light of truth upon them, we must also humbly beseech the King of Glory to have mercy upon us all, and revive the people of this land before it is too late.
For more on Child Sacrifice and Abortion, please see:
- Editor's note: This article was available online when this article was posted, but has apparently been removed since. This is the link: http://jme.bmj.com/content/early/2012/02/22/medethics-2011-100411.full.pdf html
- Andrew White, Abortion and the Ancient Practice of Child Sacrifice.