Dad's response to "(Wo)man the trenches":
I’m puzzled how the pharmacist, Karen Brauer, relates to either a Taliban person or a soldier fighting against the Taliban.
This pharmacist clearly values innocent human life. Some people in the Taliban do not. But it brings up a reasonable question of “Rule of Law” and value of life.
We are a nation of laws, like most nations in the world these days. I like that. It keeps us organized in our behavior and, as important, organized in our thinking.
Among the laws are laws that protect the sanctity of innocent life. We have laws in our books against murder of innocent people, and in the same book laws that ask for deliberate killing of non-innocent people who are guilty of killing others.
After I checked out the USAToday website, and read the article to the end, I think the drug she’s talking about is the “X-Pill,” intended for abortions. At the end we see the issue with which this pharmacist struggles: killing human fetuses, not contraception.
Suicide is another matter, I feel. I struggle with the legal issues of suicide, because it involves the personal choice of the “victim” themselves, not another person. The victim and killer are the same person. I can’t decide if that’s a crime or not. That’s not the issue here.
But I think it’s clear that the victim of murder is not the killer; the murderer is the criminal who killed an innocent human. Let’s assume Ms. Brauer is talking about that issue, murder: one person taking the life of another innocent person.
It seems to me this pharmacist is trying to reconcile how we can allow killing of innocent humans: living fetuses in their mothers’ wombs. In the same regard we need to ask, “Is killing innocent human fetuses the same as murder?” Why do we punish the murder of innocent adult humans — and then expect to glorify the killing of innocent human babies?
That’s the essence of the right-to-life movement:
A. “Is it my free choice to kill a human being?”
B. “Is that free choice the same as murder?”
C. “Is there a time when killing a human being is not murder?” And, “What in the law defines that time?”
There’s a great and disturbing inconsistency of the arguments of those who say, “Keep your hands off me! It’s a personal choice.” What’s the difference among these personal choices?—
1. “It’s my personal choice to kill my human fetus. It’s my baby! I can choose to kill it!”
2. “It’s my personal choice to kill my wife, my husband, my 2-year-old daughter, my 22-year-old son, my uncle, my grandfather!”
3. “It’s my personal choice to kill my classmate, friend, my 7-11 clerk, my bank teller, my drug dealer, my prison guard, a stranger, a random person on the street!”
The same books of law guide us in “lawful killing”— an awful concept that we must have in our law books, because humans can be such awful creatures at times:
a. We deal out the death penalty for criminals convicted of murdering innocent people. We execute murders in the “First Degree:” “deliberate, purposeful killers of other humans.”
b. We kill the enemy in times of war, as fast as we can in order to finish the battle and ultimately to resolve the war. We kill enemy soldiers, whether they are guilty or innocent of civil crimes, because they have been sent out to kill us and others in war.
c. In the same way, we capture alive all the enemy soldiers we can, and we don’t execute enemy soldiers whom we capture, unless we know they committed acts of killing innocent civilians — guilty of “civil murder” — in which case we are supposed to try them in “courts martial,” the same wartime court of law in which we try our own soldiers for unlawful acts in war.
I realize that over time there have been many times when we have broken our own laws in these 3 areas — executing innocent people, killing enemy prisoners, etc. We abhor those times of broken law because, once again, they take innocent life…contrary to law. These breaches truly break the law, and there’s no excusing them: “Well, it was in a time of war, in the heat of battle!” No, they’re still breaking the law, and justice under law must prevail. We can’t use that as a diversion from the rule of law — either way in this argument.
But do we abhor those breaches of law more than, say, killing fetuses and other relatives, bank tellers and 7-11 clerks? Aren’t they all broken laws — laws intended to protect the sanctity of life?
The difficulty is to keep law straight. Do we keep it, or ignore it? Do we keep it all, or ignore a few parts? Do we make exceptions for people who kill in order to become richer? To make their life more comfortable? To preserve peace in the family? To enable them to keep working, so they don’t have to care for another living person? To avoid inconvenience in my life? To advance science? To preserve the lives of sick adults? All these reasons are popular excuses given today for killing human beings — human fetuses.
Do we know the law, understand it, and respect its underlying principles? Or do we carelessly ignore parts of it, and then wonder what’s so wrong about breaking it?
Of course, it’s an open question in a nation of open law — subject to change by the will of the people. We can change our basic law. But we do so at our own peril. And the peril in changing laws regarding human life is twofold:
Human life loses its sanctity, a subject that recognizes a Power higher than ourselves.
We engage the state in “whose life we value, and whose we don’t?” The 20th Century was a mess of nations who got into that — Nazis, Soviets, Cambodia, China, others. Do we want to follow them?
Thursday, November 11, 2004
Dad's response to "(Wo)man the trenches":