“Any restoration of persons to the divinely intended norm of being valued as image-bearers will threaten a social order that promotes marginalization of the vulnerable…to claim that the unborn deserve a right to life even though such does indeed impede the free choice of the mother is to challenge a social order that discounts the validity of humans. Such discounting of individuals usually occurs in order to maintain or to establish power and control by taking advantage of the socially weakest.”
– James R. Thobaben
A few weeks ago, I created a meme that generated quite a lot of controversy on Facebook (17,000 views and 169 comments on my page alone).
It’s worth checking out the original image, if only for the comments. I was amazed at how flimsy the objections were to the meme. They boiled down to:
1. “Late term abortions aren’t done that late.”
My response: For one thing, the frequency of late term abortions is entirely beside the point. As of 2009, 23% of Americans believe that abortion should be legal “under any circumstances”. So this meme is primarily targeted toward those who 1) believe that abortion should be legal at any point during pregnancy, and 2) believe that circumcision should be illegal. Furthermore, we have to consider the earliest point at which infants can be born alive (22 weeks, give or take). While it’s true that these infants likely won’t be circumcised immediately, it’s worth pointing out that “two weeks earlier” they were at 20 weeks gestation. Which is exactly the stage at which Texas recently banned non-medically-related abortions. Remember how much that restriction enraged the left? If you “#StandWithWendy“, this meme might apply to you.
2. “Circumcision violates the rights of the newborn, regardless of one’s stance on abortion”
My response: That’s sidestepping the point…but there’s solid medical evidence that circumcision has significant health benefits (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/27/science/benefits-of-circumcision-outweigh-risks-pediatric-group-says.html?_r=2&). At the very least, that’s enough to establish that there’s a reasonable trade-off involved, and that there should be room for parental discretion (assuming that we still live in a country where parents, not the State, decide what’s best for their children). More importantly, though, this raises all kinds of concerns about our religious liberties. Has society really decayed to the point that it’s now unacceptable for parents to remove a piece of their newborn’s skin for deeply held religious reasons, but entirely acceptable for parents to pierce their children’s earlobes for mere vanity?
Has vanity, in essence, become our society’s religion?