Infanticide: The Coming Battle

Yesterday I created a file on my computer marked “Infanticide.” I intend to start making notes, collecting articles, and finding materials about the subject. I’ve been thinking about doing it for a while and I’m convinced that now is the time to start gathering info and getting ready to deal with the subject. Let me tell you why.

I’m no chess grand master. I’ve read a few chess books, I know a few opening moves, some risky gambits – not enough to beat Chris Tilling in a game – but I know enough to hold my own. One thing I’ve learned about chess is that you have to think ahead, usually, at least two moves ahead. As a Christian in an increasingly aggressive secular culture, I believe, much like a game of chess, that we have to start thinking two moves ahead of the game. We have to identify what’s on, what’s next, and what is after that. 

In terms of “what’s on,” that is obviously the same sex marriage (SSM) debate. Now I am opposed to SSM for various reasons, most of which will not convince most people! At the end of the day, SSM is about the attempt to compel government and society to affirm a person’s emotional attachments and choice of lifestyle entirely apart from any kind of sexual ecology. I think I have a solution to that debate which would get religion out of civil unions and government out of marriage – but that’s a different story. In any case, it’s time to face up. While there are some remarkably resistant hold outs – including Australia much to my surprise – the game is pretty much over. I’m convinced that SSM is inevitable. Nearly every non-Christian under 30 that I know is in favor of it. Even rugged beer swilling rugby stars are coming out in support of it. The writing is on the wall.  While there might be a few pockets that hold out for longer, the barbarians will breach the gates sooner rather than later. 

In terms of, “what’s next,” it will be euthanasia. In Australia, the Greens are already aggressively campaigning for it. The situation is probably similar in the UK and USA. There are several societies that are committed to its promotion (e.g., The Hemlock Society). Europe and parts of Asia already have it in places and will legalize it further (I think Holland even has “mobile” euthanasia clinics). In light of western individualism and stories about horrible suffering, euthanasia too, is probably coming. I reckon it will be  an easier win for secularists since it reflects the choice of the individual, alleviates suffering, and does not interfere with anyone else’s relationships. It too is probably inevitable. While I am genuinely sympathetic to euthanasia (who wants to see people suffer?), it will lead to a de-valuation of the elderly, will result in reduced funding for palliative care, and will be used to knock off senile parents by kids who want to cash in on their parent’s nest egg.

Then as regards to, “what’s after that,” I am convinced it will be infanticide. Already we have seen a vast array of philosophical arguments put forward for it by Peter Singer. Last year there was a big hoopla when two Melbourne academics advocated that new born infants are not persons and infants are not therefore not entitled to the protection that personhood conveys. More recently, the spate of “post-birth abortions” performed in Philadelphia has provoked outrage, though much of the media has deliberately muted their response. Added to that, Planned Parenthood has recently defended infanticide: If you pay money, you are owed a dead baby! I think infanticide is a logically consistent corollary of abortion. If you are going to terminate a child in utero, then let’s be honest, going six inches down the birth canal can hardly change the infant’s legal rights or ontological status. So infanticide is just a logical outworking of abortion. But a cruel, bastardly, and barbaric logic is still cruel, bastardly, and barbaric regardless of how internally consistent it is.

Campaigners  for infanticide will make their case in a gradual way. First, they won’t call it “infanticide” (killing infants) but “post-birth abortion.” The reasons are obvious. The word “infanticide” strikes horror into our hearts. But “post-birth abortion” makes it sound like the termination is simply an extension of abortion, which we are culturally adjusted to. Yet the terminology is grossly inaccurate. You can “abort” something in process like a pregnancy, but killing an infant is not an abortion, its an execution. Second, campaigners will advocate the infants born with terminal illnesses should be euthanized so as to prevent the infant’s suffering. That is the compassionate thing to do! Third, then the campaign will shift to children with chronic disabilities and all kinds of generative diseases and then move onto to any minor defect like cleft palates. Planned Parenthood will parade teary-eyed parents wishing they could have terminated their sick child either in utero or soon after birth to prevent the child’s suffering and their own. Fourth, then radical feminists will tell us that women will never be truly liberated until they are given the right to terminate their own infants. Fifth, we will be told that the only reason for not believing in infanticide is that you are a religious whack job. Well you get the picture by now.

Some might think that I’m paranoid on this issue, but I think time will prove that I am more likely to be prophetic. The building blocks for the debate are already here and it is time to get our stuff together on this.

The introduction of SSM will be a confirmation that Christendom is truly over. The introduction of euthansia will mean that secular humanism is now the default philosophical setting. The advent of infanticide will mean that our culture has returned to paganism; returned to a time when ethics were simply a matter of power and aesthetics. Don’t believe me, consider this famous line from P.Oxy. 4.744, it’s a letter from a man to his wife about her pregnancy.

Hilarion to his sister Alis, many greetings, also to my lady Berous and Apollonarion. Know that I am still in Alexandria; and do not worry if they wholly set out, I am staying in Alexandria. I ask you and entreat you, take care of the child, and if I receive my pay soon, I will send it up to you. Above all, if you bear a child and it is male, let it be; if it is female, cast it out. You have told Aphrodisias, “Do not forget me.” But how can I forget you? Thus I’m asking you not to worry. The 29th year of Caesar, Pauni 23. (verso) Hilarion to Alis, deliver.

Pagans routinely killed infants by exposure, just dumped them out in the wilderness to die from the elements, to be eaten alive by wild beasts, or else to be picked up by slave traders. Modern infanticide is just a variation of an old theme. This is where some want to take us.

It is time to plan our response. When I was in the Army I worked in a military headquarters in the Intelligence Branch (S2). The S2 branch would work closely with Operations (S3) especially when it came to planning the future of the battle. The key to winning a battle was to get inside the opponent’s decision cycle by being able to identify and respond to events quicker than one’s adversary could. In military terms, this is what is called the OODA loop. That stands for Observe, Orientate, Decide, and Act. If you can do the OODA loop faster than your opponent then you can win the conflict.

In the coming battle, we need to do the OODA loop faster than advocates of infanticide. We need to observe cultural trends and public opinion on the subject, orientate ourselves to the debate by analyzing what might sway people for or against the subject, decide how to confront the issue and create a rhetoric that will induce prejudice against infanticide, and then act (God willing) will the full weight of moral authority and argumentative power to make sure that the pagans don’t win. Christians can respond a number of ways to this issue: establish an Infants Defence League, debate in the public square, books, articles in the popular press, through academia, church movements, public protest, and the like. I very much like Derek Rishmawy’s suggestion for how we might respond to this issue:

Our persuasive efforts in cultivating a culture of life must not be confined to the political or intellectual realm—it must be rooted in a persuasive practice of life in the Church itself. Contemporary post-birth abortion advocates want to take us back to the ancient pagan world where the practice of infant exposure of the weak and the inconvenient was sanctioned by law and advocated by philosophers as a means of proper state-craft. In response, Christians must find creative ways to imitate their forebears who made a practice of rescuing the discarded lives their pagan neighbors tossed to the trash. Either through greater support of adoption and foster-care agencies, communities that intentionally create space for and welcome young mothers in difficult situations, or efforts such as those of Korean pastor Lee Jon-Rak, who created a drop-box for unwanted (due to sex, defect, etc.) children to be left safely and cared for through the church; the Church must give a beautiful witness, in word and deed, to a gospel of life that captures the moral imagination of our culture as it did in those early Christian centuries. 

I have written very emotively on the subject above, and I don’t apologize, for it is a subject that should prompt great emotion in us all. If infanticide ever becomes permissible it will mean the death of western culture as we know it. No longer a light in the darkness, but a greater part of the darkness. It will mean that we are ruled by Barbarians with Law degrees from Harvard. I believe that the one group with the resources and testicular fortitude to stand up for the defenceless, to be a voice for the voiceless, is the church of Jesus Christ. It’s what we do. Whether that was stopping gladiatorial contests in the arena or setting up hospices for the dying. In a world, like the Roman empire, that is often cold, brutal, and dark, where the weak are exploited or expendable, Christians are to be lights against darkness and a force against evil.

  • Luis Padron

    I agree that that SSM is over. Actually, it’s been over for years and
    all we’re seeing now is the cleaning of the battlefield. Still, in
    discussing/debating SSM with friends and advocates of the position I’ve
    run into a rather curious link between SSM and infanticide. The reaction
    to the end of their logic chain gives me hope that we may never see
    infanticide as a legal option.
    So, the reasoning in favor of SSM goes something like this:

    “We
    have no right to tell two people who love each other how to live their
    lives or deny them the right to marry. Therefore, consenting adults
    should have the right to marry and do as they please.”

    My
    response to this is to ask whether adult siblings and/or parents and
    adult children should be afforded the same right. Without exception the
    reply is “no!”. Pressing further is an amusing affair as they’ll avoid
    admitting their own moral bias. They know they’ll sound exactly like
    opponents of SSM if they’re not careful. But eventually they all give
    the *same* answer: “sibling and parent/child marriage or sexual
    relations should not be condoned because they will produce handicapped
    children”.

    As my friends/opponents also support abortion rights
    on the grounds that women have a right to do with their bodies as they
    please, I first point out the irony of their position. Now they’re
    telling women who they can have sex with AND what kinds of children
    they’re allowed to have.

    My final step is to ask why the
    handicapped shouldn’t be born. Again, but this time with much
    trepidation as what they’re saying sinks in the reply is usually along
    the lines of not wanting the children to suffer.

    And it’s at
    this point that I point them to someone they know personally or a public
    figure with Down’s syndrome and ask “so he/she shouldn’t be born”? If I
    really want to press the point home I also ask what kinds of handicaps
    should be allowed in children before deciding to kill them.

    There’s
    not much of an answer after that. And what is said usually has a note
    of shame attached to it. And that note of shame gives me hope
    infanticide will always be reviled.

    • Patrick

      I think the church needs to get squared away or a whole lot worse than infanticide is coming to us. If you take the chapter 2-3 admonitions in Revelation as literal edicts to those 7 churches, imagine the one you attend right now.

      All of us. We’ve all compromised with Caesar, I know I have. We’re most willing to go along to get along, that’s why lots of believers are buying into SSM, it’s chic with the zeitgeist.

      We in the US and Australia have had it fairly good, that’s not guaranteed to us and I for one see a dead church a whole lot in my areas.

      I see lots of believers who would walk right over that guy in Jesus’ parable about the good Samaritan, lots more than would stop and care for him. Instead of loving the poor guy, I see believers who think he’s a nuisance to them.

      Until that largely changes, we are heading south and culture with it to whatever pagan standards are chic that day. Including child sacrifices and that’s all infanticide and abortion are, we just aren’t acknowledging the lower god promoting it. We’re so close to ancient practices it’s laughable. Except it ain’t funny.

  • Caio Peres

    Important message. I would add that pedophilia is even closer to be defended. I greatly appreciate if you could share with us the news on infanticide that you are adding up in this file.

  • Richie

    Though I agree with much that you say here Mike it is a huge mistake to accept and say that same sex marriage or anything else is “inevitable” – that is an idea that was introduced by and promoted by the homosexual community itself. To accept it as “inevitable” is to allow its victory and to give up the fight for the godly design that God has for true biblical marriage. To say publicly over and over as you continually do that it is “inevitable” is actively help promote its accomplishment wherever it is promoted. Rather than claiming to be prophetic on such matters you are instead simply recognizing trends; however, as history has shown over and over trends can be withstood, overcome and even reversed. The greatest example of that is the Christianization of so many of the very pagan practices that the Roman empire represented. As then, so now, ungodly and pagan ideas can be overcome and those attempting to do so should be encouraged to do so by continuing the fight rather than be discouraged by people in influential positions who promote false ideas of “inevitability”.

  • jeff miller

    “Christendom”?, “Western Culture as we know it”?, are we playing on the wrong chess board? The obedience of loyalty to Jesus is repugnant to “Christendom” and “Western Culture”. Jesus did not start a campaign to raise the moral temperature of Jerusalem by a few degrees, even though Herod had been able to commit infanticide in Israel’s earlier moral climate. Why? Jesus’ gospel of the Kingdom, all at once addressed both infanticide and the killing (hate) of one’s enemies. People can certainly develop ways of arguing against social evils while ignoring Jesus. The Sanhedrin was just like western culture as we know it, the Word of God over the traditions of men? They said, “no thank you”. Like western culture with its “just war theory” and its pseudo-vindication of persecution, the religious leaders of Jesus day rejected Him, His teaching, and His cross. The Same Sex Marriage debate could draw you in, but so could the debates between the Scribes and the Pharisees over things like a resurrection. What matters is loyalty to Jesus. Take up your cross and follow Jesus,that is where my real challenge is. I do appreciate the overlap between religion and loyalty to Jesus. Those that are loyal to Jesus, like some who are religious, will take up the infants. The off-scouring of the earth will be loved by those who love Jesus. Thanks for your post.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sophie.duffy1 Sophie Duffy

    Jesus commanded us to love each other. I don’t see much talk of love in your post. You’re not a prophet. You are possibly paranoid. Fix your eyes on Jesus. For example, what did Jesus say about homosexuality? ……. That’s right. He didn’t say anything because in the grand scheme of things, it isn’t important. But he did tell us not to judge others. He did tell us not to have a love of money. He told us not to divorce. He surrounded himself with people who were outcasts. He even surrounded himself with women and appointed Mary Magdalene as the first evangelist. Don’t get caught up in religion. Get caught up in God’s love. Look at the bigger picture. Sorry if this is a rant. I am not responding to your finer points here, just asking that you keep Jesus in the centre of your thoughts, not the church. God bless

    • Alan Stanley

      Sophie, the essence of what you have said here is well stated. But just to reassure you, I am pretty confident, knowing Mike, that it’s precisely because he has been and is fixing his eyes on Jesus that has led him to write this post. I feel pretty sure about that. Personally, this post was a challenge to me and has caused me to ask my self the question, “Am I focusing on what’s important?” Jesus indeed does desire mercy and not religion, something that I see that Mike is trying to put into practice here.

    • Lozza

      Where do you get the idea that Mary Magdalene was the firs evangelist?

  • JD

    Indeed I fear you will turn out to be prophetic, Mike.

  • AlanCK

    I recommend you read one of our best novelists over here (USA) from the 20th century–Walker Percy. He foresaw the world of euthanasia as far back as 1971 when he wrote “Love in the Ruins: The Adventures of a Bad Catholic at a Time Near the End of the World” (just seeing that title made me read the book). He foresaw infanticide (what he referred to as “pedeuthanasia”) in “The Thanatos Syndrome.” Both are laugh-out-loud funny and disturbing as hell at the same time.

  • Bernard

    This has too many “nots”:
    “..new born infants are not persons and infants are not therefore not entitled to the protection that personhood conveys.”

  • Kenneth Chew

    “And it came to pass, that at midnight the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.

    And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.”
    Now there’s infanticide for you!

  • JD

    Have you been following the news of Kermit Gosnell the ‘abortion’ provider? It would not surprise me if you haven’t because, curiously, it has not really made big news. But it is evidence that this ‘coming battle’ has come already!

  • Lozza

    Have you heard of Canada? We are that country that shares a border with you. We already have same-sex marriage and no abortion law at all. Legally a woman can have an abortion up to the day before the baby is due. But I am quite disappointed that you mention other countries in the Western world and completely ignore Canada. The Catholics (and evangelical Christians) here are fighting those battles as well.

  • Martin Shields

    Have you read Philip K. Dick’s short story “The Pre-Persons”? It was written in 1973 but seems quite relevant at this point.

  • http://twitter.com/SlackMusings Jon Slack

    I’m curious to know if you have any books you’d suggest about the near-future of our largely “post-christian” world??


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