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The New Theocrats at Mother Jones

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American Vision has received some interesting emails and phone calls about the December 2005 Mother Jones that takes on numerous Christian ministries and their varied roles on social and political change in America. It shows we are making progress. The underlying flaw in every argument that proposes to divorce religion from government is that its advocates can’t offer an alternative that is not god-like itself. What replaces the void left by the ouster of the Christian God from politics? Of course, some other god. This is rarely admitted by the secularists. They claim that they are not anti-religious. They just want religion to be “privately engaging but socially irrelevant.”  The people at Mother Jones are as theocratic as any Christian group they criticize. Theocracy is an inescapable concept even when man is the new god and reason replaces revelation. Man-made theocracies have written history in blood, justifying their actions in the name of a better society built on its victims.

The reason-only logic of the secularists is as cold, unyielding, and indifferent as the uncompromising steel of the Guillotine’s blade. Consider the latest ruling by the Supreme Court of Hawaii that declared a pre-born baby is not a human being even when fully developed and just two days from birth. The ruling came down after a woman had been found guilty in 2001 in connection with the death of her newborn son. The dead infant’s mother had been smoking crystal methamphetamine just days before his full-term birth. He died two days later with high levels of methamphetamine and amphetamine in his system. According to court records, the mother admitted she had used the illegal drugs for three days before giving birth and took a “hit” the morning her son was delivered. No laws were broken and no crime was committed against the “fetus” because the drugs were taken before the “fetus” was born. The sanctuary of the womb has become a possible death chamber based on the indiscriminate choice of the “mother.” The decision by the court is impeccably rational and logical based on the law as it is written.

In 1973, the United States Supreme Court declared preborns to be “non-persons” when it ruled in a 7–2 decision that the United States Constitution guarantees a woman’s right to an abortion any time in the first trimester (the first thirteen weeks). The opinion stated that the word “person,” as used in the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause guaranteeing life and liberty, “does not include the unborn.” The trimester system proved to be irrational given the premise of the court. Subsequent decisions concluded that if a preborn baby is not a person, then it stands to reason that “it” can be killed as long as “it” doesn’t see the light of day. The Hawaiian Supreme Court followed the logic of the Supreme Court without flinching: “The proscribed conduct must have been committed at a time when Treyson ‘qualified’ as a ‘person,’ defined by the Hawaii Penal Code as ‘a human being who has been born and is alive.’”1 The ruling was cold blooded and rational.

This same “logic” was used to defend slavery and the Nazi holocaust. If the law says that slaves are not “citizens” as defined by the Constitution, and Jews are not persons according to the laws written by Nazi lawyers and sanctioned by the State, then slaves are property and Jews can be sterilized and exterminated at will. What crime did Hitler commit? What German laws were broken? Can anyone from Mother Jones answer these questions using materialistic first principles devoid of any transcendental basis?

In the Dred Scott case of 1857, the Supreme Court ruled that “a negro, whose ancestors were imported into this country, and sold as slaves . . . were not intended to be included under the word ‘citizens’ in the Constitution, and can, therefore, claim none of the rights and privileges which that instrument provides for and secures to citizens of the United States.” In the Roe v. Wade case of 1973, the Court said: “The word ‘person,’ as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn. . . . [T]he unborn have never been recognized in the law as persons in the whole sense.” Without a law above the law, as John Warwick Montgomery describes it, there is nothing fundamentally unreasonable in either of these court decisions.

But why stop at legalized abortion up to the point of birth? How can the anti-God worldview of Mother Jones stop the legalized and constitutional right to kill preborn babies from sliding off the rationalist road into infanticide and beyond? With God removed from civil-government decision making, where are the moral guardrails and brakes? One could argue rationally that since “the word ‘person,’ as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not specifically include infants,” killing infants is not restricted  by the Constitution.

Peter Singer, professor of bioethics at Princeton University’s Center for Human Values, has moved beyond the restrictions of the United States Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of Hawaii. Their pro-abortion rulings are old school. Singer wants to take things a step further and include a rational standard for doing away with infants if parents so choose. Raimond Gaita, Professor of Moral Philosophy at King’s College, the University of London, and Professor of Philosophy at the Australian Catholic University, shows by the general acceptance of Singer’s views by the intelligentsia that the moral boundaries have already been moved with few objections:

It used to be unthinkable that we should kill children four weeks old or less merely because we didn’t want them. You might, for example, have been offered the job you had always desired and your newly born child stands in the way of accepting it. Rather than pass up the opportunity you could kill it . . . without wronging it. Peter Singer believes that we would not seriously wrong the children if we did it. That belief is undisguised in his book, Practical Ethics, and he is right to believe that the extent to which people are now seriously prepared to consider his reasons for it marks a shift in the moral boundaries which partially define our culture. . . . It appears not to have troubled an intelligentsia which generally accords Singer untroubled esteem . . . because what he says are [sic] thought to be views that anyone should take morally seriously. Examples such as these show that in the cultural realm, . . .  the morally unthinkable . . .  is a barrier whose breach is not always dramatic. Singer breached it without much protest.[2]

The critics at Mother Jones who are attacking Christian activists who want to establish a moral center in America do not offer a workable alternative. How can they? There is nothing inherent in their anti-God worldview that can say that this action or that action is right or wrong. In fact, there is no social theory outlined by the editors and writers at Mother Jones other than the one that declares man to be god. Let’s pray and act so they never get a chance to manifest their theocratic aspirations.

Endnotes:

[1] Joe Kovaks, “Ruling: Pregnant moms can harm babies at will” (November 30, 2005): www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=47661
[2] Raimond Gaita, “Forms of the Unthinkable,” Part 2, Ethics Education 5:4 (October 1999), 6–7. Quoted in Gordon Preece, “The Unthinkable & Unlivable Singer,” ed. Gordon Preece (Rethinking Peter Singer: A Christian Critique (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), 23–24.

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