Rock the Baby

She was naked, terrified, utterly alone, confused, sinking ever deeper into hypothermia.  Initial shivering and body movement slowly diminished.  She hadn’t eaten or had anything to drink all day; in point of fact she had never eaten since she was born – early that morning.  Her cries weakened; the slight rising and falling of her little chest was barely evident.  The baby lay on a ledge outcropping at the edge of the forest; her recently severed umbilical cord was clearly visible.  The cautious female hyena approached tentatively, her head in constant motion looking for the baby’s protector, but there was no one.  Creeping ever closer, the scent aroused the hyena’s hunger.  Jaws opened and snapped closed; the weak cries stopped altogether.  The hyena mother picked up the tiny body and knew what to do, what all mothers should do: back in the cave her babies had to eat.

In ancient Rome and Greece, infanticide was routinely practiced.  Often the murder was by neglect: exposure to the elements or putting babies outside by the doorstep in earthen jars.  Starvation, thirst, asphyxiation, cold, heat or predators would kill them, and the parents could absolve themselves from direct responsibility because a god or another person could have come along and saved them.  Some were more direct.  Burying alive, strangulation, bashing them against a rock or throwing infants into the Tiber, each method had its advocates.

We would prefer to suppose such barbaric practices were abandoned as more enlightened civilizations evolved.  Since the most recent past century was the bloodiest in human history, we should be disabused of our smug pretensions by now. Even a cursory examination will show that infanticide is still common, especially in China and India, but it is a curse in every nation, including our own.  The most frequent victims due to various sociological pathologies and selection have always been baby girls. Link to a brief history of infanticide.  

Outrage and violence, this is all I see,

all is contention, and discord flourishes.

And so the law loses its hold,

and justice never shows itself.

Yes, the wicked man gets the better of the upright,

and so justice is seen to be distorted.

Habakkuk 1: 4 -6

Dr. Peter Singer holds the Ira W. Decamp Chair of Bioethics at Princeton University and is considered by many as one of the premier bioethicists in America.  The guiding light of the animal rights movement, he decries “speciesism” as being as woeful a human failing as racism or sexism.  His premise is that a mature animal capable of suffering is more deserving of our protection than, say, a human pre born or neonate.

Prominent in his post modern ethic is euthanasia for the suffering or disabled, especially if they are infants.  His is a “quality of life” utilitarian ethic, not a “sanctity of life” natural law ethic.  Let him speak for himself.  “We may not want a child to start on life’s uncertain voyage if the prospects are clouded. When this can be known at a very early stage in the voyage, we may still have a chance to make a fresh start. This means detaching ourselves from the infant who has been born, cutting ourselves free before the ties that have already begun to bind us to our child have become irresistible. Instead of going forward and putting all our effort into making the best of the situation, we can still say no, and start again from the beginning.”

Nor is Dr. Singer alone in his cause.  Nobel Prize-winning molecular biologist, Sir John Sulston, who also worked on the Human Genome project, implicitly advocated the extermination of the disabled when he said, “I don’t think one ought to bring a clearly disabled child into the world”.  Professor Robert Edwards, the IVF pioneer who helped bring to birth the world’s first test-tube baby, said, “Soon it will be a sin for parents to have a child which carries the heavy burden of genetic disease.”  Playing God is an adult game as old as humankind and is still in vogue.

Now, we cannot ascribe this position solely to the radical fuming of ivory towered academia; Dr. Singer was the bioethics advisor in the Clinton administration and remains one of the lights (such as it is) to that which informs much of the “progressive” agenda.  Here’s another of his pomposities, “Human babies are not born self-aware or capable of grasping their lives over time. They are not persons. Hence their lives would seem to be no more worthy of protection than the life of a fetus.”   Couldn’t be much more clear, and in this regard, I am in complete agreement with the last phrase.  There is no moral difference between abortion and early infanticide.  It is not the journey down the birth canal and into the light that makes a human being a person.

“After ruling our thoughts and our decisions about life and death for nearly two thousand years, the traditional Western ethic has collapsed.”  Dr. Peter Singer

More disturbing still is the mainstreaming of the utilitarian ethic concerning human life and the insistence of the progressive that irrespective of our profound moral objections, we all should pay for it.  Buried among the 5 gazillion platitudes, the 2012 platform of the Democratic Party Convention included this: The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. That’s “newspeak” for “we want complete access to abortion for any reason at any stage of the pregnancy paid for by the state.” The platform committee included in its members some of the most radical progressives like Barney Frank. **

As a State Senator, Barack Obama opposed a bill protecting infants born alive during a botched abortion.  Ramesh Ponnuro’s recent article in National Review Online wrote of it and quoted Obama, “Granting them protection by requiring that a second doctor be present to treat any born-alive infant would ‘burden the original decision of the woman and the physician to induce labor and perform an abortion.’ Legal protection for these infants, in addition to being wrong on principle, would inhibit abortion.”   (Emphasis mine.) Apparently, drowning them in a bucket like a kitten (as is common practice among abortionists when something goes wrong and the baby is born alive) was perfectly OK with the good senator.  He is the most radically pro abortion president in our history.

No clichés about the slippery slope.  We’re well past the crest and rushing down the icy hill.  The question is: what are we going to do to mitigate the crash at the bottom?

You’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody

Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

Gotta Serve Somebody (From the album “Slow Train Coming”)   Bob Dylan

** The DNC Platform Committee also caused public furor when, unprecedented, they removed any reference to “God”and Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which after a political decision to limit the damage, treated us to the spectacle of God, Israel and Jerusalem being booed from the floor of the DNC.  The Mayor of Los Angeles,  Antonio Villaraigosa, was forced to gavel over the objections of many convention delegates to add those references back in on a voice vote that clearly fell short of the 2/3’s needed. Pretty entertaining though.  (Link to video).

Advertisements

8 Comments

Filed under Culture views

8 responses to “Rock the Baby

  1. Greg

    Jack, Thanks for brightening my day. It’s just one of the many reasons I can not and will not vote for this man. I just wish there was a better chance of getting him out of there. By the way, interesting depicture of our President.

    Like

  2. Rita

    “Soon it will be a sin for parents to have a child which carries the heavy burden of genetic disease.”

    Interesting choice of words for someone who would no doubt claim that secular humanism isn’t a religion. The only difference being that man assumes the place of God. Without God…anything goes. Just look at the 20th century, the bloodiest in human history. We are kidding ourselves if we believe we are making progress since the Gulag and Nazis. Now we just do it with a smily face and soon there will be man made laws that will punish those of us who would dare to bring into the world anything but the governments idea of a perfect human being. The Nazis had a law for everything they did, but that didn’t make it right…

    Going back to the barbaric practices of the Greeks and Romans hardly seems like progess to me.

    Like

  3. She was barely nineteen, thousands of miles away from home, and in many of the ways that matter, utterly alone. She had arrived in country a little more than a month earlier, and had just reported for her new duty assignment as the administrative clerk at the resident office near Nuremberg, Germany, where I, too, was stationed. Being the ranking NCO, as well as closest to her age, I was assigned to orient her to the area and help her get settled into the routines of working in a counterintelligence office. During the first few days we spent together, I learned that she was pregnant.

    Back then a new soldier’s first month in country was spent at the Headquarters Company in Ansbach, where they in-processed, attended classes, and learned a bit about the country, people and culture. During her time there she had attended a party at an off-post apartment where she foolishly, recklessly, youthfully got herself piss-drunk. When she awoke the following morning she knew she’d been violated. She felt ashamed. She felt sick. She had no memory of the incident, or indeed of much of the party past a certain point. This being during the first frightening years of the AIDS crisis, her fear was magnified. She saw the doctor, was tested for STDs, and was eventually determined to be pregnant.

    She shared all of this with me out of a need to feel less alone. And also because she wanted my help. She had decided to abort the pregnancy, not using Army doctors on base, since it was not authorized, but on the German economy. I agreed to keep her secret, but insisted that she seek counseling through mental health services before I agreed to help otherwise. She did. She also met with a chaplain, who advised that she let her parents know what was going on, but she couldn’t do that… She wrestled with the decision, she weighed pros and cons, but still determined to abort the pregnancy, so I acted as her agent; her emergency contact. I dropped her off in the morning, picked her up in the afternoon, and she slept that night at my apartment while I crashed on the couch. The next morning we both reported to the office and never again spoke about the experience. She was a good soldier and an excellent clerk. She was also a good person, and though she kept mostly to herself, seemed to have learned from her mistakes. She even refused to enjoy German beer. A year later I received orders and rotated out.

    A few years back she found me on line and got in touch to say hello. She is married now, with three children, and lives “back home”, where she is an attorney. She seems happy. Does she ever think back to “that time”? Does she ever wonder “what if?”? Does she ever experience regret or anger or self-loathing? Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, it was her decision and she must continue to accept the consequences. As for me? I have no regrets. And I continue to support a woman’s right to choose.

    If I have a point it is this: Some issues are black and white only to the extent that those are perceived as the only colors available. And as for the fallacy of the slippery slope, well, moderate views and opinions do not always lead to the extremes.

    Please no flames – We will neither of us change the other’s mind. I respect your freedom to draw your own conclusions and make your own choices, even if I happen to disagree with some of them.

    Like

    • In 1978 or so, barely 19, she was just starting her sophomore year at the University of Maine, Farmington campus. She was to be a teacher and had a complication. The previous summer, while back home in The County (that would be Aroostook, the northernmost portion of Maine and four hours north of Farmington), she had a brief dalliance with a boy that she barely remembered after too many beers at a summer party on the river. She had, as the euphemism goes, been taken advantage of.

      After denying her problem for several months, the clinic at the school confirmed her worst fears. At Christmas break she wore her favored bib overalls and being quite tall, covered up her plight. She didn’t tell her parents over the holidays, still not showing very much. Her older sister had the same problem a few years earlier, and damn near killed her father. She couldn’t bear to do it again to them. The Planned Parenthood clinic in Portland assured her, we can take care of it for you. Simple. Cheap. No problem. She felt utterly alone.

      But she wanted her baby to have the same opportunities her parents had given her. She looked around for help, and the church contacted us. Rita was an obstetrical nurse and a Certified Child Birth trainer. She began her training; a few weeks prior to her due date, she moved in with us. Our kids loved her sense of humor and hugs. One of us would drop her at class in the morning. When her time came, Rita went with her to the hospital and coached her through labor and delivery on a lovely spring morning in Maine. Her baby girl was perfect and perfectly beautiful. Her young mom cried when she saw her, gulped hard and after a tough day surrendered her to a waiting nurse through an agency to a loving, childless, now joyful, couple, who had tried for years to have a child of their own. Now they had a baby girl to love.

      The young Mom returned to her dorm a week or so after the birth, finished school and got on with her life. And the baby got on with hers. She had made her choice, and one both she and her child could live with.

      I am extremely pro choice, even libertarian on many issues, only for me the choice comes earlier before there is an innocent third party. Although my choice has been confirmed through faith, it was the conviction of both Rita and me prior to any religious faith in our lives that innocent lives deserve our protection. For me, it involved a study of embryology and the realization that the only clear, scientific demarcation line between human being and something not yet human was fertilization – the joining of sperm and egg. At that incredible juncture, even that single celled embryo has everything necessary to be a human being except nutrition, oxygen, protection, time and hopefully a little love along the way. Even the love is optional, but preferable.

      After our third child (a baby girl) was born at just over two pounds at 27 weeks gestation, the full impact of the discovery that in the same hospital, babies the same size were being killed, deepened our certainty that something was terribly wrong with compounding one bad choice with a second even worse one. For the baby certainly not a good choice, and more than likely for the mom. Perhaps your friend has no regrets, but far more who chose that path do. We know many, and for most they took years or a lifetime to heal. Like many choices in our lives, they accrue and form us; there aren’t any do-overs when someone’s dead.

      The number of great accomplishments and great lives lived by those who overcame much, were handicapped by physical abnormality or by difficult circumstances in their youth is legion. Who are we to choose for that tiny, defenseless, utterly innocent life and whether she gets to live it? No guarantees for happiness and fulfillment for anyone, including ourselves, but let’s give it a chance. Would this tired old world be better off without even that single little girl born in Maine so many years ago now?

      You tell a great story, Anthony, well written and affecting. Only a fool or a sociopath would not be moved to care for you and the young friend you did your best to help. Your tale is poignant, your sentiments real with your, as usual, kind and thoughtful intent. Our choices, however, were and are very different. No flames.

      Like

  4. Rita

    I have great sympathy for any woman who finds herself with an unplanned pregnancy, but in the case of Anthony’s story, her choice of behavior had consequences. Why should a baby, totally innocent and voiceless, lose their life because of her mistake?

    Even in the case of rape, there is an innocent human life in the balance. Those who use the phrase “a woman’s right to choose” should consider completing the phrase: Choice for what? A woman’s right to choose to kill her baby.

    Adoption is always an option, but many women say they could never do that because it would be too hard to surrender this new life to someone else. By this very statement, the woman acknowledges that there is a natural and deep bond between herself and the unborn baby within her. Consequences attend to ignoring such a deeply seeded instinct that God placed in us in order to assure the continuance of the human race. The mother has transgressed one of nature’s strongest instincts: the protection a mother extends to her young.

    We rationalize the killing of an innocent human being because it would be hard to carry this baby to term and place it with parents who are more than willing to raise him or her. Yes, it does take courage and determination to carry a baby for nine months and then place that baby for adoption. I’ve known several women who have done it, and they have never regretted it as they will always know that they chose life for their baby. And for themselves.

    For the woman, the decision to go ahead with the abortion also can lead to Post Abortion Syndrome. Unfortunately, there are millions of women who have had abortions who suffer from this syndrome, which has a plethora of sometimes disabling symptoms, including depression, substance abuse, higher risk of infertility and more.

    Here is a link (http://postabortionsyndrome.org/) to a wonderful website that explores this tragic syndrome and offers help to women who have bought the lie that an abortion is a simple solution to a difficult problem. The law teaches. Since the law has made abortion on demand legal, it is tempting to assume there will be no ramifications for someone who makes this difficult decision. That assumption is a dreadful error. There is nothing simple, without risk, or free from consequences about abortion. I hope that anyone who is reading this post who has had an abortion will check out the above link. God wants to forgive you and give you the freedom you need to continue your life in His peace.

    Like

  5. Jim

    When I read such thoughtful and articulate comments I usually shy away from a public post and send something directly to Jack, who greets my simple comments with great charity. But this one hits home, from several angles, so here goes …

    She told her little red headed brother first, then Mom and Dad. My sister was pregnant. She and Mom and Dad suffered immense heartache at the time because of the stigma attached to an out of wedlock pregnancy. Great heartache, but never a doubt about having the baby. This decision was then followed by the impossible to fathom, forever life changing decision to give the baby up for adoption. How my sister and new grandpa and grandma made the decision and have lived with it is a testament to their faith.

    Within the same year my close friend got his girlfriend pregnant and had an abortion. Life changing for all three. Years later I moved back to the area where I grew up and spent some time with my friend and his wife (the former girlfriend), who did get married and have three beautiful children. They explained how they regret and grieve for the loss of the baby. Their faith has guided them since that decision and they now seek peace and forgiveness. Rita’s comments properly explain where help can be found for this.

    This year my daughter delivered a beautiful full term baby girl, our first grandchild, stillborn. My daughter, without a negative word, worked 25 hours to deliver Sarah after she found out her little heart had stopped beating. Such grace is found in motherhood. There were so many meaningful ways Margaret and I felt touched by God’s graces in this tragedy. We know how Blessed we are to have had Sarah in our life if only for a short period of time.

    As I travel I wonder if the 30ish year old red headed young man waiting on me at the rental counter could be my sister’s son. My friends can only wonder about the child they never knew. Having had the chance to see and hold my grandchild Sarah at birth, I know two things for certain — Sarah is with the Holy Innocents in heaven and I am truly Blessed with a granddaughter I need not worry about here on earth.

    I do wonder however, if the Grandpa’s and Grandma’s, brother’s and sister’s, aunt’s and uncle’s know how many grandchildren, niece’s and nephew’s, they have not had the good fortune to hold, nurture and watch grow because of a life never realized. In a world with so many challenges and problem’s needing to be solved I wonder how many Albert Einstein’s, Jonas Salk, Mother Teresa, and Thomas Edison’s we will never know?

    Like

    • Jim, please never hesitate to post your comments on the blog; they are consistently articulate and insightful. And I love to hear from you. Most families have experienced among their members the crisis of an unanticipated pregnancy, which are resolved with a terribly difficult decision. I’ve known babies born and raised by grandparents, babies born and adopted by loving families long unable to have children of their own and babies not born and regretted for the rest of the parent’s lives. I have not known, except in rare instances, of babies not born without long term emotional, physical and spiritual consequences. Thank you for sharing your stories.
      As to the unborn Jonas Salk, with 53 million aborted babies since Roe v Wade just in the US, we have definitely lost some great ones who would have made a difference, perhaps a deciding difference, but every one of these children was known and loved by her creator from the beginning of time. The loss of each precious life is incalculable.
      Best always, j

      Like

  6. Rita

    Thanks Jim for your beautiful witness.

    This is such a difficult topic. It almost becomes the untouchable topic of our time because we don’t want to hurt the feelings of millions of men and women who have choosen abortion. But these people are hurting anyway and if we don’t point out the reasons why this happens and ways they can deal with the hurt and regret of that seemingly “simple solution”, we miss the opportuintiy to help them deal with their pain and gain the freedom they crave from their suffering. We also miss the opportuinity to warn others in the midst of making this difficult decision to look beyound the “law” and realize their are consequences to the decsion to abort. We also would miss the opportunity to educate the public in general.

    In Washington DC, there is a march each year in January on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Recently, the head of NARAL, whose name escapes me, arrived in the DC train station on other business and was amazed at how many young people were there for the march with pro-life signs. That was just a small sampling of how many young people actually attended the march arriving in buses from all over America. Each year that number grows. People in America are becoming more pro-life. It is slightly above 50% now. The pro-abortion advocates are a dying breed. Demographics rule…

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s