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September/October, 1999 Volume XIII Number 8
When rhetoric comes back to bite youby Cathy Ramey
There are times when our bold declarations come full circle and we end up with bite-marks. I’ve had that happen myself on more than one occasion. That may be because some rhetoric has an oath-like quality to it that begs for more than we are willing to give.
For example, how many of us who blocked doors doing sit-ins during the 80s and early 90s reacted to those first jail sentences with a declaration like the following:
“I’ll spend the rest of my life going in and out of jail like this, if that’s what it takes” to abolish child-killing.
Let’s be honest. When doing sit-ins/rescues became really costly, most of us redirected our passion or, hopefully, had it redirected for us by God.
I struggle to say that, but it’s true. No doubt I’ll get a few angry letters telling me that abortion is now the fault of weak sisters like me who just didn’t suck up enough abuse. And that may also be true in some measure as well. Few of us have bled yet in an effort to save Unborn children.
But the point is that whether the hasty rhetoric falls from my lips, yours, or the lips of an abortion-promoting zealot, our bold but careless declarations have the tendency to come back and haunt us.
So it has been for you, and me, and so it is even now for pro-abort factions, though they suffer a form of spiritual death preventing them from realizing it.
The rhetoric I speak about in particular is that taunting little line that has been plastered on bumper stickers, shouted at protests, and quoted by nearly every media source in the country.
“My Body, My Choice!”
Yah . . . . right.
There is a sort of intellectual disconnect for those who chant this dirge. Part of that disconnect has to do with their own failure to read and understand history. Biblical history.
No doubt those who promote abortion and yet read this column are guffawing about now. After all, what does “biblical history” have to do with them?
Biblical history is all of our history. It pertains to Jews and Gentiles; prophets, pagans, and priests of every religious or irreligious persuasion. It is God’s report on the human condition. He created the worst and the best of us, so whatever He determined to record about us in our earliest stages of growth is important for any one of us to consider.
In the case in point, a study on idol worship comes readily to mind.
In Deuteronomy, chapter 7, God repeats a command amounting to absolute intolerance of those who are committed to the sin of rejecting Him. The Israelites are to drive out the nations, totally destroying them. They are warned against making treaties and accommodating false worship in any form, because by doing so, “they will turn your sons away from following Me to serve other gods” (v. 4,16).
Repeatedly, Scripture makes the point that false worship results in harm. In chapter 12, verses 30 and 31, the Israelites are told that among the detestable things that result from it, is the tendency to sacrifice what is most near and dear to one on earth. Those caught up in such practices “even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices.”
It is a narrow and unenlightened assumption to believe that such a sacrifice came with minimal pain to those who gave it. Those parents struggled every bit as much and more as a woman who crawls onto an abortionist’s table to have her Unborn baby killed.
But wait, the “struggle” doesn’t end there.
False worship—and make no mistake, abortion is a form of worship—will always result in the false god demanding more. As we read elsewhere, death is never satisfied (Pr. 30:15-16). So, the debate over organ procurement suggests an interesting paradox. The latest policy of “choice” which is being promoted is one called “Presumed Consent” (PC). And ironically, it presumes no choice at all unless one is proactive in exercising a single option.
Under a nation-wide PC policy, every individual, no matter what gender, age, or religious persuasion is considered a potential organ donor.
Presumed Consent would do away with that niggling requirement that one designate oneself as willing to be an organ donor. It eradicates that trifling nuisance of having to deal with grieving family members in order to gain permission to gather up the dying person’s organs.
It is, by federal law, a fait accompli. Each person standing in line at the supermarket or riding the bus with you is simply an organ donor whose heart may beat for him today, and for another tomorrow.
I did say there was an option.
Individuals can formally “opt-out,” thereby becoming part of a national database.
You arrive in the emergency room, they determine that you are as good as dead and ripe for the harvest, but first they check a database to see if you are one of those “ignorant,” “uneducated,” “superstitious” fools who has elected to covet his own organs.
But the problem becomes manifold in so many ways. Most people who are the best organ donor candidates are the young and those least educated about exercising any option. According to studies conducted by organ procurement advocates, youngsters involved in violence—whether by gunshot wound or car misadventure—are prime cut on the Organ Procurement market. They are also the least likely to have entered an objection.
“Oh well,” the pro-abort contingency may say. After all, even if it is not “my body, my choice” for some, it is still part of a noble sacrifice. No doubt, if they had lived long enough to have been enlightened to the degree that humanistic liberals are, they would have wanted to donate anyway.
Part of the reason that Death, never being satisfied, moves beyond one extreme to another is that those who indulge in false worship are increasingly deceived to believe that what they are doing has moral merit, even when their god has upped the ante.
It may be that pro-aborts and other humanists will concede that their bodies really are not their own. Like me, they may have a hard time admitting their rhetoric fails in the end, but if I can eat humble pie, so can they.
But for the Christian, the paradox of Presumed Consent in an age of so-called autonomy for the individual is something to consider. While those who have rejected God may swallow state ownership of their organs with apathy, it will concern those who live in the Light of our day.
The opening chapter of the book of Judges remarks on Israel’s failure to obey God and live in security. Instead they “forsook the Lord….They followed and worshipped various gods,” implying that they also made appropriate sacrifices—their own sons and daughters. And “the Lord handed them over” to the evildoers of their day.
We are not a theocracy, as was Israel, but don’t fool yourself that God no longer cares about our accommodation to an evil culture. We have tolerated false worship among us to the degree that we find ourselves continually ensnared. We have allowed the sacrifice of children, and many have offered up their own to the illusion that such forfeiture will result in security, self-governance, and social approval in our culture.
Some Christians will gladly embrace a new body-ethic that makes their organs part of a communal bank in a medical-era where abuses are all too common.
Others may resist without affect.
Perhaps it is time to pray that God would send a righteous judge or two to deliver us. But then, maybe He already has and we’ve locked them away in prisons for the crime of being intolerant to the small sacrifices that we have acceded to already.
You may want to keep your eyes and ears open, “opt-out” when you have the chance, but be aware that when God turns a nation over to its own depravity, the righteous and unrighteous may suffer together.
“My Body, My Choice” . . . . indeed.
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When rhetoric comes back to bite you