I read two terrible news stories today, and I can’t help but play connect-the-dots with them.
A 3-year-old girl from America’s northernmost community died and her younger sister suffered hypothermia after their mother and the mother’s boyfriend left them in a locked bedroom with a window open to a temperature of minus 30 degrees to air out the room because the girls wet their beds, authorities said. More here.
The mom and her boyfriend were just horribly neglectful, and they are facing 2nd-degree murder charges. (Locking kids in a bedroom?)
But are those parents just bad parents? Probably. I don’t think they meant to hurt anyone.
I do wonder, however, how much of their neglectful attitude is absorbed from their culture, which has become if not hostile then at least indifferent to the idea that the custody of children is a sacred trust. Death, increasingly, is seen as only one of several equally valid options.
Consider this article, from England. Experts are telling us that this sort of thing—the death of one’s children—should be a parent’s prerogative:
Parents should be allowed to have their newborn babies killed because they are “morally irrelevant” and ending their lives is no different to abortion, a group of medical ethicists linked to Oxford University has argued.
I find it grimly amusing that these “experts” are now willing to affirm what the right-to-life movement has been arguing for 40 years: that abortion is no different than killing babies.
Now, I know that slippery-slope arguments are weak. People can always say you’re taking something too far. But this is why the slippery-slope argument can’t be ruled out. If abortion becomes a legitimate form of family planning, then it can and eventually will be used to justify infanticide. In four decades, it has become safe, at least for these experts, to demand expanded abortion opportunities: not only in the 2nd and 3rd trimester, but, hey, why not the 4th and 5th as well!
“Politics is downstream of culture.” The culture is what allows people to argue in favor of infanticide. But if they are not resisted at this point, then, ultimately it will become a political issue. If history is any guide, then in about 40 years, the government will pass a law stating that people who work in hospitals will have to kill babies, regardless of their private ethical or religious convictions, in order to “safeguard the mother’s reproductive freedoms.”