We must have solutions, not compromise on life issues

Columnist and Columnist

What is the value of a life? This is the question we are asking ourselves across a spectrum of issues in society today.

Historically, we have questioned whether the value of one’s life is based on race, creed, or gender. While these questions are still raised, American culture has largely recognized the equal value of these human lives. We are now questioning whether this value is based on ability or opportunity. We further consider if suffering makes life lose its value.

Perhaps you have seen the film, “180.” In this film, Ray Comfort interviews a variety of individuals and, among other questions, he asks them all the following:

“It’s 1943. A German officer has a gun pointed at you. He wants you to get into a bulldozer and drive it forward.

In front of the bulldozer is a pit in which there are 300 Jews who have just been shot. Some of them are still alive.

He wants you to bury them alive! If you don’t do what he says, he is going to kill you and do it himself. If you do what he says, he will let you live. Would you drive it forward?”

What would you do? What is the value of the lives involved in this scenario, and how do you determine this?

Comfort also reworked this question and asked if his interviewees would be willing to shoot the Jews, as opposed to burying them alive, if prompted in the same way by the German officer. Does this change the situation?

I viewed this film for the first time this past weekend, in a bus of more than 50 individuals headed to the March for Life in Washington D.C. This march marks the anniversary and protests the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision of 1973. On Monday, an estimated 400,000 people marched in Washington to demonstrate a belief in the inherent value of every human life, beginning at conception.

Comfort’s film deals with the Holocaust as well as with abortion. In both cases, people must grapple with the issues of life and its value.

Watching this film, we witnessed individuals grappling with issues of life and how, through Comfort’s questioning, a number of those who had been for abortion did a 180 and determined they are against it. (You can watch the 33-minute film online at www.180movie.com.)

We can offer many reasons for abortion, such as the lack of support for the mother, the stigma a young or unmarried mother may face, lack of funds to support the child, or the developing child’s disabilities.

However, these problems should be addressed themselves rather than compromised with abortion. We need to support the mothers and families who are struggling to support their born and/or unborn children.

We must encourage loving adoptions.

We should love everyone, including young and unmarried mothers, rather than stigmatizing them. We must, again, offer support for all those with disabilities. These are real solutions to the problems that we face.

Regardless of the reason offered for abortion, we are left with the bottom line question: what is the value of a human life? Is it ever justified to kill that life?

The questions about the value of human life are not going away without answers.

Let us live our lives answering these questions, not hiding from them. Naturally, it will not be easy to face these issues.

Even so, we can live to help each other, including growing and learning from any mistakes we have made, if we will recognize the inherent value of every human life.

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