Life - The Great Non-Negotiable
One of the most moving and inspirational books I ever read was written by a football coach. It wasn’t about football. Coach Gene Stallings, a successful and now retired NFL and college Coach, wrote the book (Another Season) about his son, John Mark Stallings. John Mark had Downs Syndrome. Tests indicated to them before his birth that he might be severely handicapped. The doctors urged them to abort. They chose not to take that course. The book is about how John Mark transformed the lives of his parents and siblings and just about everyone else who got to know him. It is a story of how a family came to view a handicapped child as the greatest blessing they ever received. The book changed my view of and appreciation for handicapped children. Their lives are of infinite value – to man and God.
The sad thing is there are many in our society that believe all would be better off if children like John Mark were never born. And these days, pre-natal testing allows doctors, insurance companies, and prospective parents to determine which babies in the womb will be so-called “normal and healthy,” and which will be born with handicaps. Which is why more and more of them identified with handicaps, like Downs Syndrome, are being aborted. A society with a warped value system makes judgment calls based on social and economic factors and not on the value of a soul. The result is the use of modern technology to eliminate the “imperfect” – those who will be financial and social burdens.
This isn’t a new idea. This practice even has a name – Eugenics. It involves the evaluation of people based on the value to society and deciding who to eliminate for the good of the race. It was an idea even advocated in this country in the last century by such well known people as Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes and early birth control and abortion advocate Margaret Sanger. Its ultimate expression in modern times was carried out in Nazi Germany by Adolf Hitler. Most do not realize that Hitler was eliminating mentally and physically handicapped people long before he started killing Jews. But he was doing it for the good of the Master Race. Onward and upward to a better world!
An American today can choose to eliminate any baby in the womb through abortion. They do not have to give a reason. When a society allows such choice to exist it does not take long for people with a soulless value system to choose only the perfect ones to live. How sad they will never know the joy of a Downs Syndrome child. I believe every Downs Syndrome child I have ever known was among the happiest and most loving people I ever knew. And their parents loved them with all their hearts. Yes, they were a tremendous challenge for the family but they were also a blessing.
In God’s eyes every person is of infinite value. Each has a soul that comes from God. As Christians we must never forget that. We are “his offspring” and must respect each and every life. Anything less leads to a heartless and cruel society. Value life. Yours may eventually depend on it.