- Compassion in Rome and America
- Compassion in Rome and America, part 2
Centuries after the gospel brought compassion to ancient Rome, the context of our world today is equally difficult. I have been told of places in Africa where twins are seen as an evil omen; at birth they are not allowed to live. The reality of people begging on the streets of many nations carries ethical implications. Tourists and others have to decide how to deal with beggars. I saw this in Bangladesh where many people, children and adults, were maimed to evoke pity in passersby. Parents break a child’s leg, or dislocate an arm to increase the child’s begging income. This is happening in Bangladesh and India today.
China’s one-child policy has led to the abandonment of 600,000 children, mostly girls. Orphanages set aside dying rooms to accommodate the high numbers of children nobody wants. Babies are put in cribs in a room and the door is closed and they’re left to die. There is no compassion there, no mercy. The Chinese Communist Party, void of compassion, brutalizes an entire culture with 20 percent of the world’s population.
Thailand, for generations, has abandoned its crippled children because Buddhist culture regards them as bad karma. The culture believes an individual must work out their own bad karma, so they are abandoned on the streets. This is the world into which the Bible speaks.
Back to paganism
As the United States severs its roots in the gospel and the Judeo-Christian worldview, we are returning to a pagan culture and pagan behavior.
In this country we are murdering our children, preborn and postborn. In some US hospitals doctors write “no feeder” on the chart of a child born with a handicap. Put the baby in a crib and do not feed it. Let it die. That’s here in the USA, just as in China.
Two years ago, the Governor of Virginia, Dr. Ralph Northam, stated that an abortion at the moment of birth was the mother’s prerogative. Northam, a pediatric neurologist, is likely compassionate toward the families and children in his practice. While his heart may be in the right place, his statement was the product of the same ideas that shaped Rome’s thinking.
In an interview with a reporter of the Washington D.C. radio station WTOP, the governor was asked if he supported proposed legislation that would allow abortions on a woman in labor. Northam stated:
This is why decisions such as this should be made by providers, physicians, and the mothers and fathers that are involved. When we talk about third-trimester abortions, these are done with the consent of the mother, with the consent of physicians, more than one physician by the way, and it’s done in cases where there may be severe deformities, there may be a fetus which is non-viable. So in this particular example, if the mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen, the infant would be delivered, the infant would be kept comfortable, the infant would be resuscitated if this is what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physician and the mother.
Keep the newborn comfortable while it dies
The baby could be fully out of the womb and “a discussion would ensue between the physician and the mother.” Will the baby live? Will she die by neglect, or be “pro-actively terminated”? It’s up to the mother in consultation with her doctors.
Northam assures listeners that “the infant would be kept comfortable.” Does anyone see the irony? Having established that the life of the child is without value, what’s the point in keeping her comfortable? This is nothing but salve on a guilty conscience.
Recently elected President Joe Biden, quick to point to his Roman Catholic faith, has made very clear his commitment to ensuring abortion’s legacy by establish Roe v. Wade as law. Here’s the Biden administration’s statement from the official White House web page:
The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to codifying Roe v. Wade and appointing judges that respect foundational precedents like Roe. We are also committed to ensuring that we work to eliminate maternal and infant health disparities, increase access to contraception, and support families economically so that all parents can raise their families with dignity. This commitment extends to our critical work on health outcomes around the world.
Wordsmithing like “critical work on health outcomes” does not disguise the cruelty of killing human beings in the womb up to and beyond the point of birth. At many levels, we have become a nation without compassion, operating from a pagan worldview, devoid of compassion, which springs only from the Judeo-Christian worldview.
As God’s people we must embrace and proclaim God’s compassion. We must pray and work toward a more compassionate society, first in restoring a Judeo-Christian culture and then in our daily lives. Christ died to free us to suffer together with other people, not to protect us in our comfort zones.
- Darrow Miller