Monday, March 28, 2005
Terri Schiavo and the Culture of Death (Theism vs. Atheism Part IV?)
Terri Schiavo and the Culture of Death
“But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.” (Proverbs 8:36)
America as of late has been inundated with a steady dose of death. Innocent blood is flowing unabated throughout our nation. It appears that the American dream of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness is hemorrhaging and becoming a nightmare right before our very eyes. The nightly news lists the litany of woe and murderous rampages that are savaging our land. “Four dead in Dallas,” “Four dead in Atlanta,” “Ten dead in Minnesota,” “Nine year old girl strangled in Florida” and on and on the headlines churn out the grisly details of America’s illicit love affair with death.
Our churches, schools, streets, and workplaces are not exempt from the carnage and have become targets for homegrown terrorists. America, it seems, has sowed to the wind and we are now reaping the whirlwind. As the prophet Jeremiah lamented, “Death is come up into our windows, and is entered into our palaces, to cut off the children from without, and the young men from the streets (Jeremiah 9:21).”
The culture of death has been steadily marching in this nation since the infamous Roe vs. Wade Decision in 1973. It has become a juggernaut that slays the pre-born, seeks to euthanize the old, and kill off the disabled. In the case of Terri Schiavo, it seeks yet another prey. For over thirty- two years we have taught an entire generation through the practice of abortion that if you can’t exercise personal responsibility, then kill the “problem.” Now we stand in awkward amazement that our society has learned its lesson with a vengeance.
In the midst of this highly publicized and virulent case of Terri Schiavo, certain vital issues have emerged that may well mark a paradigm shift that will impact our future. Through the suffering and intentional starvation of this precious woman, America’s soul that has been deceived and enticed by the culture of death, may be showing signs of an “awakening.” The spell that has been cast over us for decades may be in the midst of going the way of all tyrannies that reject God, abandon His law, and devalue human life. Eventually, it will collapse under the weight of its own sins and crimes.
As hearts break, tempers flare, tears flow, prayers are uttered and pundits speak, the battle lines over life and death, truth and lies, and good and evil are being drawn. A vivid picture and a living parable is being displayed before the world’s stage. Terri’s plight is exposing the competing philosophies, worldviews, and politics that vie for the souls of men, the lives of our children, and the future of our beleaguered nation.
On one side you have those who hold to a secular worldview. Typically, they are the ones that demand, like Michael Schiavo, the death of Terri. The philosophy that underpins this godless worldview is called “quality of life.” In the abortion industry, it would translate “every child a wanted child.” The value of human life, according to this system of belief, is based upon one’s usefulness, productivity, or being wanted in this self-indulgent world of ours.
It was this worldview that ran rampant in Nazi Germany and is a fixed tenant in the philosophy of Eugenics. It is this philosophy that promotes the “Master Race” mentality. It views the world as a place with limited resources that are to be reserved for the elite, strong, and beautiful people of the world. Therefore, the less fortunate, the unfit, the downtrodden, certain minorities, and other outcasts need not apply. They have an obligation not to take up much space or use up precious resources. If these classes of “sub-humans” persist, however, to proliferate and prove a nuisance to our selfishness, greed, and lust, there are ways to handle these unnecessary burdens. Sometimes it is called the “Final Solution, “ and other times, its called abortion or euthanasia.
Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, was greatly influenced by this particular philosophy. The following are just a sample of quotes that inspire her infamous organization to this day. “The most merciful thing that a family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.” “Eugenics is … the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social problems.” “The unbalance between the birth rate of the 'unfit' and the 'fit,' [is] the greatest present menace to civilization… the most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective.” “Our failure to segregate morons who are increasing and multiplying… a dead weight of human waste… an ever-increasing, unceasingly spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all.” “[Our objective is] unlimited sexual gratification without the burden of unwanted children...”
In Nazi Germany, terms like “useless eaters” carried the culture of death to a horrible new low in the bloody history of man. Hitler started with abortion and then swiftly moved to eliminate disabled persons. About 150,000 Germans who were crippled or mentally ill were murdered. They were considered “life not worthy of life.” Sounds strangely familiar, Terri Schiavo anyone? The madness continued to a full blown racial genocide that systematically murdered six million Jews, three million Poles, four hundred thousand Gypsies, etc. It took an entire world at war to end Hitler’s reign of terror. What will be the rising costs today as segments of America are becoming more and more infected with this same deadly philosophy?
Ideas have consequences and a belief system will lead us somewhere. The belief that the pre-born, the elderly, and the handicapped have only value and worth based upon their utility or usefulness is producing a fire in the minds of men hell bent on killing innocent people. Thus what has been Biblically and historically considered unlawful magically becomes “legal” in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Over against these vain philosophies of men, stands the time-honored worldview of life which is called the “sacredness of life.” It is this view that enshrined for Americans our first and most fundamental right, the Right To Life and all the subsequent blessings of liberty. Every human being has intrinsic value for we are made in the image of God. Beyond this common grace, the Savior of the world (Jesus Christ) shed His precious blood to conquer death, hell, and the grave on the behalf of the crown of His creation, mankind. Thus man has worth not based upon what he does or how he performs, but based upon who we are in relationship to our Creator. It is this understanding of life that inspired portions of the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” It is this understanding of the nature of life that also compelled President Bush to declare that pre-born children should be “welcomed in life and protected by law.”
By quoting from one of our founding documents and founding father, Thomas Jefferson, it naturally raises the next crucial issue surrounding the plight of Terri Schiavo. And that is, what is the role of government as this woman deteriorates? There are many from all political persuasions that believe government has no role whatsoever in Terri’s case. It is a “private” affair that government need not meddle with. Isn’t it strange how much the culture of death has grown under the banner of “privacy?” Abortion is a “private” decision. Sodomy is a “private” decision between consenting adults, and now starving a vulnerable woman to death based on the hearsay of one man is a “private” decision. It may start out “private,” but it ends up public with horrific consequences. Jesus would call those who use the Constitution to legitimize its evil as blind guides who strain at gnats and swallow camels (Matthew 23:24).”
Thomas Jefferson made this statement about the role of civil government. Pay close attention to his words. He stated, “The care of human life and not its destruction is the one and only object of good government.” Hubert Humphrey, in recent years, echoed the same mentality concerning the role of civil government. On November 1st, 1977 he stated, “The moral test of a government is how that government treats those who are at the dawn of life -- the children; the twilight of life -- the elderly; the shadows of life -- the sick, the needy, the handicapped.” Currently, the sitting President, George W. Bush declared, “We will defend the rights of the aged. We will defend the rights of the infirm. We will defend the rights of the unborn.”
What do these quotes from civil leaders that cover the spectrum of history and politics in America have in common? They all had a Biblical worldview concerning the role of civil government. Biblically, the main function of civil government is to protect life and to stop the shedding of innocent blood. Civil government is to carry a “sword” to punish evildoers (as God Almighty defines evil) and protect those who are good in God’s sight (as God defines good.) With the advancement of abortion, sodomy, and now the execution through starvation of Terri Schiavo, the civil government of America continues to betray its sacred trust and deny the very purpose of their existence.
Because our civil government rejects their Biblical and historical role, Americans are being taxed to death to support a civil government that is out of control. They have their laws, rules, regulations, and influences in places they have no business or jurisdiction. They are supposed to carry a sword to defend the weak, vulnerable, oppressed, and victims of crimes. They are not to carry a teacher’s ruler nor a spoon to feed the poor. These aspects of life are to be left to the public sector, families, and churches. Thus, the one area where they are supposed to be, they are missing in action. On the other hand, they intrude where they need not be and have become a bureaucratic blob that is suffocating the life’s support system of liberty that is to sustain the United States of America.
The culture of death has flourished for two primary reasons. The silent consent of the church and the misuse of our courts. Perhaps, the plight of Terri Schiavo will finally build some backbone into our Executive and Legislative branches of government once again. They need to arise and place the “Constitutional Chains” back on the tyrannical courts of our day. For decades, judges in black robes have ignored the Constitution, thwarted the will of the people, and pretended the other branches of government did not even exist. They have made a mockery of our Representative Republic. They have become an Oligarchy that has unleashed a torrent of bloodshed and perversion that is drowning us in a sea of perdition. Their reign of terror must end or America will continue down the primrose path to ruin!
Perhaps, also through this travesty, the Church will once again reassert herself in the market place of ideas. We can no longer afford to be ashamed of God’s word nor the Christian worldview that has served us so well in our country’s history. It was this godly legacy that gave us the freest, most prosperous, and blessed nation upon the face of the earth. Church, we must find our voice once again and return to provide the moral guidance our nation desperately needs. We must come out of the caves of our church buildings and reawaken the conscience of a nation that has been taken captive by the culture of death. This stranglehold must be broken if we are to pass on the blessing of life and liberty to future generations. And if Terri Schiavo dies, let us make sure she does not die in vain, but let the culture of death die with her.
I’ll end this article with a quote from the great theologian A. A. Hodge. He stated, “The Kingdom of Christ is one, and cannot be divided in life or death. If the Church languishes, the State cannot be in health; and if the State rebels against its Lord and King, the Church cannot enjoy His favour. If the Holy Ghost is withdrawn from the Church, He is not present in the State; and if He, the only “Lord, the Giver of Life,” be absent, then all order is impossible, and the elements of society lapse backward to primeval night and chaos...I charge you, citizens of the United States, afloat on your wide sea of politics, THERE IS ANOTHER KING, ONE JESUS: THE SAFETY OF THE STATE CAN BE SECURED ONLY IN THE WAY OF HUMBLE AND WHOLE-SOULED LOYALTY TO HIS PERSON AND OF OBEDIENCE TO HIS LAW (Evangelical Theology pp.246-248).
IN KING JESUS’ SERVICE,
Rev. Rusty Lee Thomas
Founder and Director, Elijah Ministries
Assistant Director, Operation Rescue/Operation Save America
Founder and Director, Kingdom Leadership Institute
Founder and Director, Rachel’s Park Memorial
P.O. Box 3126
Waco, TX 76707
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.mttu.com/elijahmin