Last week I received an article, written by Todd Starnes, that aroused my anger once again. The article was published at Townhall and was titled, "Shocking! College Student Argues in Favor of Killing Newborn Babies." (www.townhall.com/columhnists/toddstarnes/2018/01/06/shocking-college-student-argues-in-favor-of-killing-newborn-babies.)
Allow me to share a portion of this article with you. "From the University of Tennessee-Knoxville comes word of a shocking video of a student arguing in favor of infanticide - killing babies up to two-years-old. The video was filmed by Students for Life of America on the campus of Tennessee's flagship taxpayer-funded university. 'The idea that someone could support infanticide is incredibly disturbing. Yet, it reflects the kinds of attitudes our staff members and students can face on a daily basis on high school and college campuses,' Students for Life of America president Kristan Hawkins said.
"Brenna Lewis, SLA's Appalachian regional coordinator, recorded one of the encounters in early December with a young man who said he had no problem with aborting two-year old babies. 'The face of the matter is without communication, we have no way of knowing if you are sentient or not,' the unidentified student said. 'It's no different than this tree. It's alive, but is it sentient? I don't know. I cannot communicate with it.'
"But what if the baby is two-years old? 'Can the two year old talk to me? In some instances I'm fairly certain that is,' the student said. 'But generally speaking the child still has the inability to communicate. And until we determine that as such at what point does sentience become an issue. We can't really debate whether or not that is the situation or not.'"
Now, as shocking as that thought is, here is what really angered me. "In 2015 the Washington Times reported on a controversy surrounding a statement allegedly written by a Princeton University professor on his faculty page: 'Newborn human babies have no sense of their own existence over time. So killing a newborn baby is never equivalent to killing a person, that is, a being who wants to go on living. That doesn't mean that it is not almost always a terrible thing to do. It is, but that is because most infants are loved and cherished by their parents, and to kill an infant is usually to do a great wrong to its parents."
The prevailing philosophy behind such thoughts is utilitarianism. Life has value only if it can contribute to the betterment and advancement of society. If we legally allow for the murder of a child within the womb because it has insignificance, then why not the murder of a child who, aside from the love he/she might receive from his/her parents and other extended family, certainly has communicated no significance to the larger social structure. He cannot communicate with clarity of speech. She cannot create. Why should the precious resources of earth be used to feed and cloth someone who has yet to contribute anything productive to society? This is the heartbeat of utilitarianism.
But, why stop there? What about those who are elderly and can no longer contribute to society as they once did? Why should they be allowed to continue to live? Perhaps we should allow for their murder as well. Why should we continue to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide medical treatment or nursing care for someone who is just a "has-been" and can no longer be productive? If all we have is the spirit of utilitarianism, then those questions must be answered in the affirmative.
But, babies do have value. Two-year olds do have value. Those in the nursing homes across America do have value. They have value in the eyes of God. There was and is a special purpose for their being here. This month where we remember one of the worst decisions the United States Supreme Court has ever made - Roe v. Wad, in January 1973. We remember a certain passage of Scripture that reinforces the value of all in the eyes of God. It is Psalm 139:13-16 where we read these words: "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My name was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."
What an incredible text! You and I have been wonderfully made by God. Perfect we are not! Some of us have poor eyesight. Some of us have poor hearing. Some of us have congenital diseases that prevent a normalcy of life. But, you are as God has designed you to be! You are special. And God has a purpose for you. Sometimes we know that purpose. Samson knew what his purpose was. The man born blind discovered what his purpose was. You will discover what your purpose is. God created you to be more than a mere servant of society. God created you to be an instrument to receive God's blessings and an instrument through whom God's blessings can flow to others.
Jesus spoke of our significance when He said, "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart form the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows" (Matthew 10:29-31). I am so special that God knows the number of hairs on my head! By the way, He has to subtract a few from that count each morning. But if God is concerned about your hairs, don't you think that He is also very concerned about every aspect of who you are? Of course He is!
For the utilitarian philosopher to say that it is okay to kill a two-year old because she is not sentient certainly is not what Jesus would say. All life has value. That utilitarian student at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville simply has it wrong. The Princeton University Professor simply has it wrong. Jesus Christ has it right.