Although part of me wants to say that Colson is sounding an alarm before there is a fire, I sadly cannot. Colson is exactly right. 2008 was a great year for the culture of death. Changes in the culture, society, politics, and debate have shifted. The major events that Colson marks include:
- Washington State Passes "Death with Dignity Act" - this allows physicians to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to their terminally ill patients.
- Freedom of Choice Act - The Obama administration has promised during their campaign to enact the FOCA which would lead to a massive increase in abortion.
- Embryonic Stem Cell Research - The new administration will also do all that it can to promote the use of human embryos for stem cell research.
- “Right to Death” - In Luxemburg, legislators decided that the “right to death” was so important, that they stripped Grand Duke Henri of his constitutional right to veto legislation because he oppose a new euthanasia law.
- Suicide Online - Britain’s Sky Network aired a documentary that showed the final minutes of the life of Craig Ewert as he killed himself.
- Another Online Suicide - 19-year-old Florida man who committed suicide while some 1,500 viewers watched online. The video spread all over the Web like wildfire.
One could certainly find more examples, but these will do. Western culture has chosen death over life. Somehow, we have learned to put words like mercy, dignity, love, and compassion with words like death and suicide. And it seems that the next several years aren't going to get much better.
But I want to add two more to that list. First, the compromise of abortion reduction. I have written a number of articles on the subject of abortion reduction, but what concerns me most is that the charge to limit the number of abortions is being led by many of consider themselves Christian. We were told that the two sides must compromise and agree to give women the right to choose while at the same time encourage the reduction of abortion. The way to reduce the numbers is by dealing with economic issues and other issues.
The problem with abortion reduction, as we have mentioned before, is that this is no compromise. You cannot compromise on this issue. One who wants to defend life must reject this compromise because it still leads to the death of millions of unborn infants. Furthermore, how many deaths aren't too many? Isn't that the goal of abortion reduction. Rather than have the goal of ending murder, we'll just become content with a certain number? What is that number I ask?
It is telling about the change in the culture whenever Christians are leading in this charge. Perhaps it is fatigue and perhaps it is a difference in theology. Regardless, the Church, and the culture for that matter, should never ignore or compromise on the issue of death.
Secondly, the lie that there are more important issues than life. We were told this pass election cycle that issues like the economy, the environment, and foreign policy are more important than life. Again, many who consider themselves Christians led in this charge. Those who defend life were lectured in 2008 that abortion and similar issues are less important this time around. Maybe whenever we fix our economy, we can elect officials that agree with us.
But are they more important than life? There will be no economy without life. There will be no saving the planet without life. Life to culture and society as water is to life. It is telling whenever issues over life and death take a back seat in the public square. It not only reveals our lust for blood but shows that most in the West care more about their bank account than they do about their brother.
Colson is right. 2008 was a great year for right to die advocates. But the war is not over. Christians and those who defend life must not give up. Fatigue is not an excuse for laziness in this regard. Colson calls upon the Church to pray and to continue the fight. Such action is required. Let us pray for repentance and that God might open our eyes to the many sins of our culture. And let the Church lead in the charge in this fight. For the gospel is pro-life. God looked at our miserable state and redeemed us, and He was willing to die so that we won't have to.
In 2010, let us look back and say the contrary of what we must admit today, 2009 was the year that everything changed and life was celebrated once more.