LEADER TIMES WEEKEND RELIGION ARTICLE FOR
January 16, 2016 by William H. Scarle, Jr. 813-835-0129
How old should a child be when we can legitimately consider murdering him or her? This was not exactly Herod’s question when he asked the Magi when the star first appeared. He was not sure whether the star announced Jesus’ conception or his birth, so he decided to be safe and get rid of all the male children up to age two. This would certainly eliminate the inconvenient threat to his dynasty.
The Supreme Court of the United States had a similar but backward question before them on January 23 of 1973. When is a child too old to murder? This is the philosophical game of “when does the potential become actual.” The potential child is actual unless it dies or you decide to kill it. They decided that the unwanted child may be killed when it is three months old if the mother can get a doctor to say it’s OK. Up to six months the baby can be murdered if the mother can find some reason for it. Up to nine months the baby can be murdered if there seems to be a “good” reason for it. In practice it often comes down to convenience.
Herod, of course, did not have to justify his decisions in light of a constitution. His word was law. He had his adult sons Alexander and Aristobulus murdered because they threatened his dynastic legacy.
Please know that I am very much aware of the difficult and tragic circumstances that sometimes accompany an unwanted pregnancy. These situations require difficult decisions. However, these kinds of situations represent a tiny fraction of the 60 million lives that have been taken in the last forty years. We have learned to murder for the sake of convenience.
Killing babies is not a unique phenomenon in the history of civilization. The Greeks sacrificed their children to the gods. The Romans took their unwanted children out to the forests as fodder for the wild animals. The Canaanites offered their children alive on the burning alters of the god Moloch. Excavations at Carthage have uncovered the bones of children stuffed in to up to 20,000 urns sacrificed by worshipping Phoenicians (c. 750 BC).
Ethical decisions can be difficult, but the difficult decisions cannot be the norm for common practice, and clearly this is what has taken place in these United State. When the Living God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, or general guidelines for case law, he kept it simple. The Hebrew text reads, “No murder.” Our founding fathers understood this when they included as the first “inalienable right” the right to life.
This year, as every year since 1974, there will be a huge “March for Life” rally in Washington, DC on January 22, the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision. Contrary to the party line of those who support the unrestrained murder of children by abortion, this is not an anti-feminist rally. Girl children have been the victims of abortion in far greater numbers than males.
America needs to deal with this issue as a moral problem. We need to listen to those calling for the right to life which was lost by millions due to Roe v. Wade. Redefinition and redirection are not answers. We are killing our children and that has got to be addressed if America is to retain any residue of reputation as a nation of “freedom and justice for all.”
(Bill Scarle can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org). END-whs