Can a writer visit the same topic too often? I suppose it depends on the issue, but as some politicians are learning, hammering the same point over and over is not as effective as in the past. We just have too many sources of information today. Still, some topics are too critical not to revisit. Abortion is such an issue, and I was reminded that was the case just a few days ago.
“On the Altar of Convenience” was written in response to the celebration surrounding the passage of a law legalizing late-term abortions in the State of New York. This piece is the result of an effort to read the Bible cover to cover instead of hit and miss. One-third of the way through the book of Ezekiel the message was loud and clear. I was not through with this late-term abortion thing.
The convicting passage read, “On the day you were born, no one cared about you. Your umbilical cord was not cut, and you were never washed, rubbed with salt, and wrapped in cloth. No one had the slightest interest in you; no one pitied you or cared for you. On the day you were born, you were unwanted, dumped in a field and left to die. But I came by and saw you there, helplessly kicking about in your own blood.” (Ezekiel 16: 4-6, NLT)
All right! I can almost hear the naysayers arguments. First, they would say, what does the Old Testament have to do with the modern world. Then, those with any knowledge of the OT would complain this is an allegorical piece, as God is speaking of Israel, not a baby. Of course, the passage is not saying God actually found a baby left to die in a field!
On the other hand, the author of Ezekiel, inspired by God or merely trying to make a point, would not use something utterly foreign to his audience. Everyone in that culture was familiar with unwanted babies being abandoned in this manner. If they were not, the simile would be meaningless!
In “Convenience” I wrote late-term abortion laws placed our society dangerously close to the practices of such ancient cultures. Those cultures I opined, treated unwanted infants as if they were trash, and the Bible seems to confirm that thought.
I am sure any pro-choice, pro-reproductive rights person reading my comparison considered it to be stupid hyperbole. I do the same thing when an open borders advocate claims walls are medieval. After all, for many people the idea of child sacrifice, placing unwanted babies in the woods to die, and other such claims about ancient societies are the stuff of myth, legend, horror movies, and scary bedtime stories.
Whatever one believes about the scripture, it got my attention. That is precisely what is, or will be, happening to babies who survive abortion under the laws currently being passed or discussed in many areas. No! They will not be abandoned in a field to become part of the food chain for microbes, ants, and scavengers. They, to paraphrase one governor, will be made comfortable until the decision to dispose of them humanely is made. Then their bodies will go into hazardous waste containers.
Folks, the only difference between disposing of the unwanted newborn humanely and dumping it in a field to die is the methodology used. I take that back! As advanced, well-meaning, open-minded humans we can sleep better knowing the newborn died without suffering a slow and agonizing death. Of course, as with the ancients, if we really cared about the baby, it would not be dying in a field or being tossed out with bloody gauze, used needles and yesterday’s uneaten snack.
By now, some readers are ready to string me up for making such vile comparisons between the humane termination of an unwanted potential burden on society and a poor helpless baby left to die in a field. While I understand their disdain, it is they who are missing the point.
Both the modern and ancient versions of societally accepted infanticide make the same statement. The life of a newborn, or soon to be born, human being has no value.
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