Darrow Miller and Friends

Abuse a Dog and Serve Two Years; Murder a Newborn and Do Community Service

When I read the news item excerpted below, I thought of one of the key themes in Darrow’s forthcoming book, i.e. that the ethos of a society is determined by its worship. (In the book, Darrow points out the link between “culture” and “cult,” a synonym for worship, and shows that worship is upstream from culture which is upstream from practices, policies, and laws.)

The following story from Canada indicates the phenomenal level of erosion in the judicial system of a society once based on Judeo-Christian principles.

Earlier this month, an appellate court judge in Alberta, Canada, ruled in what she labeled a “classic infanticide case” that a mother who killed her newborn infant in 2005 would have “conditions” for a few years, namely that she would have to fulfill community service, but she would not have to serve jail time for her crime.

To recap, the mother, Katrina Effert, was 19 years of age and living at home with her parents when she delivered her newborn boy. Once her son was born, she strangled him with her underwear and then disposed of his body by throwing it over a fence into a neighbor’s yard.

The writer contrasts this verdict with that of Michael Vick, who “was sentenced to roughly two years in jail for animal cruelty” after his involvement in “the nasty business of dog-fighting.”

A virtuous judicial system is necessary and proper component of society. As is fair legislation. But neither will transcend the cultural DNA. Rather, they are the fruit of which the culture is the root. The Alberta court ruling is outrageous. Likewise, laws like Roe v. Wade are evil and must be repealed. But, as Darrow points out in his book (coming soon), we can hardly expect better from a culture that embraces the notion that human life emerged from spontaneous generation.

Atheistic materialism … sees human beings simply as animals; the Darwinian principle of the survival of the fittest prevails. Such a paradigm leads inevitably to abortion: an adult has the power (and deserves the right) to end the life of her weaker baby.

What kind of society tolerates a mother killing her newborn baby? One grounded in Darwinist – atheistic – roots. Only a change in the roots can bring a change of fruit. Christ followers are called to change roots – bringing truth, beauty and goodness into the culture.

– Gary Brumbelow

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Gary is the Disciple Nations Alliance editorial manager. He manages Darrow Miller and Friends and serves as editor and co-writer on various book projects. For eight years Gary served as a cross-cultural church planting missionary among First Nations people of Canada. His career also includes 14 years as executive director of InterAct Ministries, an Oregon-based church-planting organization in Canada, Alaska, and Siberia. Gary is a graduate of Grace University, earned an MA from Wheaton College and a Graduate Studies Diploma from Western Seminary. He lives near Portland, Oregon with his wife, Valerie. They have two married sons and twelve grandchildren. In addition to his work with the DNA, Gary serves as the pastor of Troutdale Community Church.