Written by Jerry Engler Tuesday, 30 November 2010 16:39
Babies are hand-held electrical appliances ready for imprinting. Am I right?
Well, if you want to dispute with me, please have some patience about reading clear through this argument. Will you? You see, when we decide to argue, we should define in great clarity what it is we are arguing about.
In Kansas, and in the rest of America, we are great champions at attaching unsolvable emotional issues to our arguments, or in muddying what we are arguing about.
We usually choose lesser clarity for the sake of underlying objectives and beliefs, or to overwhelm those who argue against us.
Sometimes we are afraid at a level that can be deeply subliminal, that if we seek truth and honesty, these values would threaten our well-being or the basis of our lives.
Nowhere do our values, our faith in the basis of our lives, and our well-being come more into focus than on the issues surrounding death.
We usually recognize that government, and specifically in this context, American government, has had a power of life and death over us.
By legislative and executive decisions involving hours of argument and compromise, government has had the power to kill or allow the deaths of soldiers in battle, to kill criminals by execution for various offenses including ultimately murder, and to kill, or allow to be killed, unborn infants.
When I say government, in this case, take great care to understand that in our republic, I am saying us. No matter how small we each are, our arguments and beliefs affect the arguments about government and death.
For the sake of everyone involved, these discussions need to be done in the greatest clarity instead of by euphemisms and misdirection.
In the case of soldiers and war, the issues usually involve when and where our military should be involved, although our society includes persons who believe that any military killing should not be involved.
For most of society, there seems to be general agreement that military killing is justified in direct defense of the United States in the case of aggression from another country.
Disagreements occur in use of the military as a form of diplomacy, or as a form of politics, or in the use of the military against our own people. I’ve seen a lifetime of these agreements and disagreements, from the end of World War II to the Korean War to the Vietnam War to Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention all those conflicts in between.
I’ve seen the use of troops against Americans in cities like Detroit during riots.
Many times arguments about whether our military should have been involved were covered in discussions by observations about the heroism and dedication of our personnel.
Yes, these attributes of our military personnel were true and honorable, but the waters too frequently were muddied to cover the real decisions to be made. For instance, were these uses truly in American interest, would our people support them, and would they have the results wanted?
They needed to be discussed in absolute truth and clarity.
Again, when it is the criminal murderer to be considered, our arguments become muddied by whether the criminal has a soul, attempts at redeeming him or her, whether any execution is motivated by revenge, and whether execution will be a deterrent to those who might attempt such a thing in the future.
I would have added, in a moment of clarity, whether our government could be trusted never to parole this person, and turn him loose possibly to do the same crime again.
As an old farmer friend, perhaps crudely by your taste, put it, “When we had a dog that killed chickens, we tried to break him of it several times, usually tied a dead chicken he had killed around his neck, gave him a beating, and left him tied up for hours that way.
“If that didn’t break him, we killed him. We couldn’t have a dog around that wouldn’t stop killing chickens.”
This all brings me to one of the greater arguments we are having concerning government and death.
That’s the issue of abortion. Or, if you wanted to put an emotional bend to it, or perhaps a clarity to it in your opinion, we could call it the issue of killing unborn babies.
This issue deserves uncluttered discussion if we want our republic’s government to come to reasonable decision.
We have tried to disguise the argument by claiming the unborn child is not a human being until it is out of the womb.
I once was a research writer for the University of Missouri where there were experiments on cloning, cell division, embryo transfer, fertility and lack of fertility. Never once did I hear disagreement among scientists about whether a sheep embryo was a sheep, a dog embryo was a dog, a human embryo was a human, or whether a calf embryo had the potential to become a bull or a cow. Each was clearly defined by genetics.
It is easily defined by precedent that government can be given powers of life or death over human beings according to what’s legal, not what’s moral. An unborn human being is a human being.
Any family that has had a baby born can tell you that the baby seemed to be a unique human being from the moment she or he was born.
Our choices and our arguments should not be about a baby’s humanity, but about what we want to be legal.
We can decide to be truthful about a baby’s death or life. The baby is human whether we decide our choice is done according to health or decision of the mother, or just by convenience of birth control.