We have seen much of what the culture of death is really all about this past week, and it looks pretty awful. We had the push for infanticide by some academic ethicists, and we have had the on-going saga of PepsiCo using remains of aborted babies in their products.
This tells us a number of things about our culture. First, as we read in Proverbs – written some three millennia ago – there is a direct connection between our rejection of God and our embrace of death. The logic of abortion on demand naturally leads to the logic of infanticide on demand. And these are not just nice academic discussions here – both ideas come straight from the pit of hell. As Yahweh says, “all who hate me love death” (Proverbs 8:36).
And it also tells us just how far down into the cesspool we have sunk as a culture. We pride ourselves in being so sophisticated, well-educated, civilised and progressive. But there is nothing progressive about making it easy to kill our own babies, and seeking to rationalise these diabolical acts. These are signs of a culture in utter moral freefall.
As to the infanticide situation, I have already penned three articles on this:
Since then a number of others have written about this. Albert Mohler for example has a good piece out today on this topic. A few snippets from that article are worth sharing here. He reminds of just what is being proposed here, and says this:
“Those assertions are as chilling as anything yet to appear in the academic literature of medical ethics. This is a straightforward argument for the permissibility of murdering newborn human infants. The authors make their argument with the full intention of seeing this transformed into public policy. Further, they go on to demonstrate the undiluted evil of their proposal by refusing even to set an upper limit on the permissible age of a child to be killed by ‘after-birth abortion’.”
He continues, “This article in the Journal of Medical Ethics is a clear signal of just how much ground has been lost to the Culture of Death. A culture that grows accustomed to death in the womb will soon contemplate killing in the nursery. The very fact that this article was published in a peer-reviewed academic journal is an indication of the peril we face.
“For years now, pro-life activists have been lectured that ‘slippery slope’ arguments are false. This article makes clear the fact that our warnings have not been based in a slippery slope argument, but in the very reality of abortion. Abortion implies infanticide. If the unborn child lacks sufficient moral status by the fact that it is unborn, then the baby in the nursery, it is now argued, has also not yet developed human personhood.”
Quite right. Given that these academics have said economic reasons alone are grounds for killing perfectly healthy newborn babies, we need to recall the 1729 satirical novel by Jonathan Swift: A Modest Proposal. The full title was: A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People From Being a Burden on Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick.
It was about how the impoverished Irish might get out of their economic woes. He had a neat idea: why not just have all the poor people sell their children as food to the rich people? That way everyone gains; a nice utilitarian solution. Although satirical, this is basically what these academics and others like them are now proposing.
As Denise Hunnell puts it, “Perhaps now those who have thus far seen room for a ‘compromise’ in the areas of abortion and other beginning-of-life issues might recognize the urgency of reaffirming the dignity and value of every human being without exception. No one who allows that some human beings are more valuable than others can honestly be shocked and outraged by Giubilini and Minerva’s argument. These ethicists merely carry this sadly common premise to its logical conclusion, and offer a very ‘Modest Proposal’.”
And even the radical secular left Melbourne Age allowed an opinion piece about this today. Said Barney Zwartz, in part: “But the simple fact that someone advocates an idea does not make it a legitimate concept or proper subject for discussion. Some ideas are simply depraved, and should be met with revulsion. Killing infants because they might be inconvenient is one such.
“English philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe suggested in a famous paper half a century ago that some discussions should never happen. She wrote that if someone thought in advance it was open to question that we should procure the judicial execution of an innocent person, ‘I do not want to argue with him; he shows a corrupt mind’.”
As to the PepsiCo situation, several things should be pointed out. They are not the only ones involved in such activities. Other companies also are involved in these sorts of unethical practices. A good piece outlining this concludes this way:
“Full disclosure is needed. The health conscious are crying for labels identifying genetically modified food. Animal-rights activists successfully lobbied companies for labels and disclaimers that products are not tested on animals. It is time Catholics and pro-lifers demand disclosure for any drug, treatment, vaccine, food or any other product that has used cells from an elective abortion in its development or production. And then we need to object and demand companies use alternatives.
“Without our loud and continuous pressure, the use of aborted fetal tissue to bring products to market will not only continue, it will expand. We live in a culture of death — a reality that means we truly do need labels that warn consumers: ‘This product was made possible by the killing of innocent human life’.”
Also, many thanks to all of you who did write to PepsiCo about their unethical means of making products. But you would have gotten a form letter back from these guys just trying to fob you off, claiming they are doing nothing wrong. They are using weasel words to get out of this. But they still are not dealing with this fact: “Pepsi is funding the research and development, and paying royalties to Senomyx, which uses HEK-293 (human embryonic kidney cells) to produce flavor enhancers for Pepsi beverages.”
We need to keep going back to Pepsi and demanding some unequivocal answers here, and not let them try to twist their way out of this. It is all just so much baloney coming from these guys. And what really gets me is what is at the bottom of their form letters they are sending to everyone:
“DID YOU KNOW … *** All of Pepsi-Cola’s plastic soft-drink bottles contain an average of 10% recycled plastic.”
I don’t really give a rip about that. What I do give a rip about is their unethical means of making their products. What they really should have at the bottom of each email is this:
“DID YOU KNOW … *** All of Pepsi-Cola’s soft-drinks contain an average of 10% recycled babies.”
In sum, we are witnessing the destruction of Western culture. The value and virtue of life is under deep, sustained and relentless attack. Pro-death ideologies reign, and our individual and collective consciences are shrivelling up as a result.
At the end of Romans 1 Paul lists 21 ways in which a God-forsaken culture acts. One of the vices listed is this: “they invent ways of doing evil” (v. 30). In a culture under the wrath of God, simply coming up with new ways of doing evil has become an art form. We sure have seen some pretty graphic examples of this, this past week.