Sunday, November 23, 2014
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Morality in America

Morality in America

When studying the founding of the United States, you can’t help but encounter the faith of the nation’s forefathers. Time and again they recognized God’s hand in the shaping of America. You will find Him repeatedly mentioned in their words and documents. And you will find Him having an active, vibrant role in the country’s early history.

Today, God continues His work in America – but it’s in a nation that has clearly lost its moral compass. Every week, “Morality in America” will address the myriad of moral concerns facing the United States and undermining its Godly heritage.  After you read, remember to intercede in prayer for America – that this nation will return to the Christian standards that once defined it.

The Value Of Human Life

Morality in AmericaEuthanasia door opens wider

By Holly L. Meade

 “You shall not murder.” Period. This verse in the Ten Commandments clearly states that unlawful and premeditated killing of a human being is condemned by God. Yet, what has happened to make it acceptable?

In 2012, just over one million abortions occurred in the U.S. That rate is similar to those of Australia, New Zealand and Sweden but higher than those of other Western European countries. Thirty-seven percent of women obtaining abortions identify themselves as Protestant.

Americans recently watched the story of Brittany Maynard unfold. This 29-year-old woman diagnosed with brain cancer started researching “death with dignity.” Brittany and her newlywed husband moved from California to Oregon since Oregon is one of only five states where death with dignity is authorized. Brittany said, “I do not want to die. But I am dying. And I want to die on my own terms.” Brittany ended her own life on November 1.

In the United Kingdom, 12-year-old Nancy Fitzmaurice was born blind and diagnosed with several non-life threatening disabling disorders. Nancy’s condition required 24-hour hospital care, where she could only be fed, hydrated and medicated through tubes. Recently her mother, Charlotte Fitzmaurice Wise, petitioned the U.K. High Court for authorization to euthanize her daughter. Justice Eleanor King empathized with the mother and granted her request because she ruled that Nancy had no quality of life.

Justice King's decision marks the first time that the British court system has allowed for a child, who was not on life support or diagnosed with a fatal illness, to be euthanized through the medical system. Fourteen days after the court gave its approval, Nancy died after Charlotte ordered doctors at London's Great Ormand Street Hospital to pull Nancy's tube and withhold her nutritional fluids.

Not surprisingly, this decision is drawing strong criticism from disability advocates. For example, Joni Eareckson Tada, who is a quadriplegic, author and founder of Joni and Friends International Disability Center, said that the court's decision to allow Fitzmaurice Wise to euthanize her daughter based on Nancy's poor quality of life will “open the door" for other guardians to euthanize their loved ones based on something as subjective as "quality of life.”

“The judge's statement sets a precedent that quality of life now becomes a measuring rod as to whether or not a child with a disability should live or die. That's horrific. That's terrifying,” said Eareckson Tada. “In the future, I wonder how many other subjective issues may sway another judge's opinion in the life of somebody like Nancy, or perhaps even less disabled physically and mentally than Nancy. I have many, many friends, whose functioning ability, is much like Nancy's: they cannot talk, eat, walk, they are on ventilators. They are happy people. Now we are going to look at somebody whose functioning ability is limited and say that their life is not worth living?”

Fitzmaurice Wise said that she doesn't think she will ever be able to forgive herself for euthanizing her daughter. “I miss my beautiful girl every day and although I know it was the right thing to do, I will never forgive myself.”

Eareckson Tada said, “It seems to me that the only people that were speaking into the mother's life were right-to-die advocates and I am convinced that [had] she had the proper resources, the proper support, the proper peer counseling, the proper networking with other parents, it would have been a different story.”

In the first verse of the Bible, God presents Himself as Creator. He is the author of human life. Therefore it is precious. The expression of holiness in the majesty of God reveals humanity's dignity. Scripture states, “Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.” (Psalm 8:5)

All people are entitled to respect and honor simply on the basis of their status as human beings. This dignity is God-given and not earned, awarded, or subject to being withheld by anyone.

Because He loves humanity, God began a rescue mission with one goal—that of saving human life. Not only did the Lord create the image, Christ has provided for its restoration. Pray that people across this nation see the value of all human life…through the Creator’s eyes and heart.

Holly Meade is a communications specialist, writer, speaker and teacher with a master's degree in mass communication. She has extensive experience in creating and producing content for radio, television and the Internet.

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