Sunday, February 17, 2008

Bad News for the Futrue of the Sanctity of Life Movement

Although it can be depressing to think about how little progress has been made in the fight against abortion and against the slow move toward the acceptance of euthanasia, one thing is encouraging—the debate has remained in the center of the public square. As long as sanctity of life issues are debated and discussed we can hope and pray that the maxim of Justin Martyr might eventually prove to be true, "it is not impossible to put ignorance to flight by presenting truth." Maybe, just maybe, we can persuade the public and influence the government of the atrocities of abortion and euthanasia by sticking to our consistent, rationally defensible and morally superior message of the value of all life. With these issues debated frequently and fervently, it could and should happen.

But our goals will be harder to attain if the debate simply fades into the oblivion of historical curiosity. If younger generations fail to see life vs. choice issues as worthy of sustained public attention, then our message will have not only intellectual, emotional and moral obstacles to overcome, we will have to overcome issues of general knowledge and basic awareness. According to an article in the Feb. 11 edition of Time, we might be facing just such a change. The article focuses on the youth vote in the '08 presidential campaign and the contributors make the following comment,

"Pollster Frank Luntz gathered a group of New Hampshire students on the eve of the primary there, and the hour-long conversation barely touched on the hot buttons of yore: abortion, crime and affirmative action. Their world, after all, encompasses RU 486, lower murder rates and Oprah. What concerns many of them is the nature of politics: the perceived gridlock of parties, conniving special interests and shallow biases of the media." p. 39

I won't dwell on the lack of substance in the group of issues that do concern this particular group when compared with the issues that they supposedly don't care all that much about. All I'll say is that I hope, for the sake of the human dignity issues, that this little sample of youth is not representative of the broader youth population. If it is, our job is going to get harder, not easier.

1 comment:

Mark McD said...

Thanks, Eric for the post. I agree that abortion needs to remain a big issue. One of the things I am wrestling with is coming out of a situation where it seemed that abortion was the only issue. Nothing else mattered. And so I am trying to formulate a Biblical theology of government where pagans are allowed by law to be pagans. Obviously our Biblical arguments are not going to persuade pagans, and so our medical arguments need to be strong. But medically, we are much stronger on the later months of pregnancy than on the earlier months. To many unbelievers, we have not been able to medically persuade people that a six week old baby in the womb should have the legal protection of personhood.