Civilization Hangs in the Balance
My friend told me a true story about civilization hanging in the balance. It’s a story about the essence of our humanity.
It’s about the inclination that motivated the Samaritan to help the distressed Jew. That motivated Mother Theresa to care for the discarded children in the squalor of Calcutta. That motivated Doctor Albert Schweitzer to attend the sick of Africa.
That inclination transcends politics, religion, and philosophical beliefs. The reality of unselfish compassion is hard-wired into our hearts, and minds, and souls and is what separates humanity from the savage instincts of the animal. Compassion is the significant human distinction with a difference.
The difficulty is deciding what is compassionate. No one chooses Evil over Good. Our choices are more subtle, sometimes choosing “Apparent Good” over “Actual Good”. That’s the basis of the wise Scottish saying, “The Devil’s boots don’t creek.”
So our souls suffer the thousand cuts of compromise and rationalization, often beginning with good intentions. The New York State legislation was originally well-intended: It wanted to provide various humane medical options to the heart-breaking conditions of tormented mothers bearing babies with awful physical anomalies. You could almost hear a merciful God whispering into the legislators’ ears, to ease those mothers’ burden.
But, there is a reason for the astute axiom: “You don’t want to watch how laws or sausages are made.” Along the way, special interests begin to corrupt the pristine good intention, polluting the final draft of the Law passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor. *(What originally starts out to be a magnificent thoroughbred horse, often ends up as a mangy, ugly camel.) Likewise, legislation that provides the needed legal options to assuage the anxiety and trauma of wonderful mothers, also contains some vague amendments that allow some unsavory outcomes not originally intended.
The worst and most extreme, albeit rare outcome, is that a healthy, viable baby is born without any medical trauma to the mother. The problem is that the abortion doctor failed to abort the baby in the mother’s womb, as the mother intended. Now, the baby is a healthy, viable person living outside the mother’s womb. That young person is now guaranteed “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” by the US Constitution. The abortion doctor’s role now switches to provide that healthy person all the reasonable medical care that the Doctor’s oath and existing Law demands.
It was only a few years ago that Doctor Gosnell was convicted and jailed for killing a newborn baby, that he threw into a toilet, before he had the time to kill it. Society was appalled at his depraved indifference to human life. Today, in New York State, Doctor Gosnell could be legally allowed to murder innocent, defenseless infants outside the womb.(That’s the unsavory part of the legislative process that permits some heinous things to happen, while providing the greatest good, for the greatest number.)
Today, we must decide: Either to denounce and eliminate those particular segments of the New York State legislation that allows depraved indifference to human life. Or, do nothing, and let the slaughter of the defenseless innocent triumph. As Edmund Burke warmed, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is that good men do nothing.”
My friend had tears rolling down his cheeks as he was telling me this story.
Perhaps, tears are rolling down the cheeks of God, too.