There is something that has puzzled me for a long
time. It is the fact that most people who support a woman's right to
"abortion on demand" also oppose the death penalty under any
circumstances. In other words, it is
okay to kill an unborn baby for any reason at all, even the mere
convenience of the mother, but it is not okay to execute lawfully
even the most vicious murderer under any circumstance. I have been
unable to discover the underlying principle that makes it right to take
an innocent life and wrong to take the life
of a killer. For two thousand years Western men have defined justice
as "rendering to each person what is his due." And it was always
assumed that what was "due" a vicious
killer was death, and that what was "due" the innocent unborn was
protection by all reasonable means. Nearly two
thousand years before Moses, God gave mankind this universal injunction
through Noah: "Whoever sheds men's blood, by man shall his blood be
shed." In other words, God initiated capital punishment for capital
crimes, and He has never rescinded it. But now, by some bizarre
reasoning I do not fathom, it is
considered all right to kill unborn babies; and it has become wrong to
execute depraved killers. Some even quote Moses against the death
penalty: "Thou shalt not kill." But this was a
prohibition against murder, not lawful execution. For Moses commands in the
very next chapter that murderers shall be put to death (Exodus 21:12).
God commands the death penalty for anyone who commits murder. Our
generation is witnessing a strange
inversion of justice. It has become wrong to kill murderers for their
murder, whales for their oil, animals for their fur, and even redwoods
for their lumber. But it is all right to kill unborn
babies for any reason whatever.
Early in this century certain free spirits began
to tout the virtues of free love. What
they advocated was sex without responsibility.
Nowadays the same practice is called sexual
freedom. I'm glad for the change in terminology because it recognizes
that what is going on is sex and not love. When the expression
first came into vogue, G. K. Chesterton pointed out its absurdity.
Love, he said, is never free. Love
willingly binds itself with pledges, vows, and commitments. Love does
not wish to be free, but to be bound to the
beloved forever. To love one woman keeps a man from loving other
women. Free love is an oxymoron.
As complex and multilayered as reality is, it is
no sign of shallowness to have wavered,
faltered, or even reversed oneself on many subjects.
In fact, the person who settles his orthodoxy
early on and never suffers it to be
seriously challenged, just may be the shallow one.
Those we sometimes celebrate as free spirits are
often only immature, self-indulgent,
irresponsible people, who happen also to be charming, talented, or handsome.
If this America is lost there will not soon be
another. But even as I write these words
this America is fast slipping into memory. Another
America is being born, an America in which
morality means saving whales, seals, and
redwoods, but not souls. If the old America is lost, whence will arise
another nation to be to the world what America has
been? This America has almost ceased to be that
America that was? The disfiguring
ideologies of secularism, humanism, and moral relativism have changed
the face, and are rotting the heart, of America. Parties,
policies, and programs can't reverse our
country's slide into moral and civil mayhem. Humanism and
liberal philosophy, while they have contributed the moral
framework of our decline, are not the main cause of our moral and civil distress. These
are symptoms, I believe, of God's judgment on our land. The real
cause lies with us Christians. The confessing church in America
is a flickering lampstand, its voice an uncertain sound, its mission
and ministry practically powerless. Could epidemic crime, disintegrating
families, many millions of abortions, and general moral rot coexist with
a holy, pure, and powerful Christian witness? "When the salt has lost
its savor, it is henceforth good for nothing..." Nothing short of a
tremendous spiritual revival is going to reverse America's decline.
And no revival can be expected when ministers are hirelings, when
members are lukewarm, self-satisfied babes, and when meeting houses are
places of entertainment and self-congratulation. Unless some of us
begin to burn with passionate desire for revival--a purging, convicting
visitation that begins with ourselves, I don't think we need expect much
improvement. Only the repentance of a powerless church and passionate
prayer for revival can save our country from a fatal plunge into anarchy
and ancient night.
A pure democracy would be a totally irresponsible thing. Each man's
share of the responsibility would be so minute that he would never feel
it. Besides, when the public is supreme, there is no law or opposite
public opinion to restrain it. A pure democracy would be as whimsical
and unjust as the maddest monarch.
For Business' Sake
Obviously businesses exist for profit, cannot survive without it.
Profit is not evil, but is the fruit of honest labor. But if any company
exists only for profit, then I say let the Devil take it. If
there is no humane or patriotic purpose, then let its glory go down with
today's sun. When corporate profits are obscenely large and CEO's as
rich as kings, then obviously the corporate giants are not struggling
for survival. Huge increases in profits mean only one thing: greater
productivity. Productivity can be fairly defined as how much work
you can get out of your overworked, underpaid staff; how many older
employees you can squeeze out, how "lean and mean" you can get. The
socialists were right on this one point, even if they were wrong on all
else: capitalism is a kind of economic Darwinism in which only the
strong (and often the ruthless) survive. I'm fast falling out of love
with capitalism. Too bad all other systems are even worse.