Thursday, January 14, 2010

Abortion and Social Justice

As I have written many times before, abortion is not just one issue among many other equally important issues. It is a foundational ethical issue. To be "pro-choice" concerning abortion is to betray a fundamental flaw in one's moral reasoning. It is also to strip all meaning from the notion of social justice.

Chuck Colson weighs in on the connection between social justice and the dignity of human life:

This month marks a tragic date: the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, when our “robed masters”—the Supreme Court—discovered a constitutional right to kill innocent babies waiting to be born.

The good news is that polls reveal that Americans are more pro-life than ever. The bad news is the culture of death is making ominous inroads on many other fronts.

A few months ago, as most of you know, theologian Timothy George, Princeton scholar Robby George, and I co-authored a document called the Manhattan Declaration. Two hundred Christian leaders and hundreds of thousands of lay people have signed it online. Some younger evangelicals, however, demurred. Why limit the agenda to life, family, and religious liberty, they asked. What about social justice and the environment?

What these well-meaning folks fail to realize is that a strong pro-life commitment is absolutely essential for social justice. For 34 years I’ve gone into America’s prisons to witness to the most marginalized among us, precisely because I believe every human being is made in God’s image. When I walk through the vile-smelling cell blocks, I don’t see tattooed inmates; I see children of God.

There is no social justice, you see, without respect for the innate dignity of each human being created in God’s image.

Many of us will learn this truth afresh should any of these health care bills pass. They all contain provisions which will result in medical services being rationed. Decisions historically made between doctor and patient, and maybe clergy, will now be made by government bureaucrats.

Under the bill’s provisions, prescribed treatments of Medicare patients must be approved by a government commission. Medicare is publicly funded. So the government decides which services it will pay for and which it won’t. Older Americans will be hardest hit.

Imagine you’re 85 with a chronic heart condition and you experience renal failure. Should you receive dialysis? Who decides?

If we don’t have a consistent ethic about the sanctity of human life, decisions will not be made on the basis of what care we need, but on what the government can afford. Patients will be judged, not by their innate worth, but by their perceived value to society. Do the elderly and infirm have a right to life—or a duty to die?
Read the entire article HERE.

1 comment:

Harley A. said...

This is interesting in that some very notable and respected evangelicals (Sproul, MacArthur, Piper) have also decided not to sign this document as well. They fully agree with the social message but not with the implied solidarity of faith with Roman Catholics. And I'm sure they all respect Colson. Tough call, but I think I agree with their decisions.