I have been thinking about the "Black Lives Matter" movement that has evolved into an international phenomenon over the last few weeks. In Aotearoa New Zealand, alongside the movement discussions about institutional racism, colonialism and colonial monuments have hit the headlines. All topics to mull over and respond to.
However, my thoughts have been on another track. Last week WCC received an email from Voice for Life to take part in a silent vigil as part of "Unborn Remembrance Day". This is a nationwide vigil. There is a notice advertising it in this Newsletter and on the website. For Southland, it remembers the 262 unborn children lost to abortion in 2019, and the 12,595 others through our lovely country.
Abortion has always been part of human society or as it was called before "safe" medical procedures, infanticide. Infanticide is when unwanted children are left to die at birth. A few weeks ago I came across an article by Canadian Christian Jonathon van Maren on Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the World by historian Tom Holland and the views of other secular writers on the decline of the Christian faith in the West. Van Maren is producing some provocative commentary on the fall of the American Republic at the moment.
Back to Tom Holland. He is not a Christian; he is a confessed atheist, so what he writes is astonishing. In studying the ancient world, his field of expertise, he concludes that the ancients were cruel and their values totally foreign to the western world. The Spartans routinely murdered "imperfect" children, for example. The bodies of slaves were treated like outlets for the physical pleasure of those with power. The poor and weak had no rights.
I know from my studies that in the city of Rome at the time of Christ life was cruel and harsh and baby girls, in particular, were the subject of systematic disposal as they were unwanted in their thousands, as with babies with birth defects. Rome had "parks" where babies were left to die with the bodies removed with the city refuse each day if the stray dogs and cats hadn't already taken them. From Church history, you learn that the early Roman Church began to care for the poor, collect and bury the dead with dignity, and pick up the babies left to die and look after them. The last Emporer of Rome to follow the gods of Rome was Julian, who reigned in the mid 300s. He hated Christians and wrote in a letter to one of his priests:- "when it came about that the poor were neglected and overlooked by the [pagan] priests, then I think the impious Galilaeans [i.e., Christians] observed this fact and devoted themselves to philanthropy. [They] support not only their poor but ours as well, all men see that our people lack aid from us." Julian recognised that the Christian practice of compassion was one cause behind the transformation of the faith from a small movement on the edge of the empire, to cultural ascendancy.
Holland writes that Christianity revolutionised sex and marriage, demanding that men control themselves and prohibiting all forms of rape. Christianity confined sexuality within monogamy. These are the standards Christianity is despised for nowadays. Christianity elevated women in society and in short, utterly transformed the world. He goes on to say, at some cost to his academic reputation, that without Christianity, the Western world would not exist. He claims that when the social justice warriors, and even the call of a Prime Minister in a time of national crisis, to love, be tolerance, and compassionate; they are borrowing the Christian ethos, even though they may despise the Christian foundations of our culture.
Douglas Murray is a right-wing author and columnist, another pronounced atheist. He is warning that the decline of Christianity in the West is a dangerous thing. Even the now elderly Richard Dawkins who once called for Christianity to be destroyed is now begrudgingly saying it has sound effects on society. Back to Murray, he is observing that as Christian influence on morals and ethics declines in the public square, the move to reject the idea that all human life is precious is gaining momentum. He sees the end of western society, democracy and the high ideal of individual freedom.
The atheist scholars are warning us. Without Christianity, "we are heading back into a thick and impenetrable darkness". When I saw the invitation to join in the vigil on Saturday, I thought, yes, The Labour Coalition Government has taken us into a dark place concerning the 12,000 plus abortions that are now happening in New Zealand. I know the abortion issue has many roots feeding in like poverty, domestic violence, sexual inequality, colonialism, inadequate sex education - so many things that need to be addressed that will alleviate the need to take the lives of unborn children.
On March 3 2020, Parliament passed some of the most liberal abortion laws in the Western World, meaning we have lurched towards the kinds of policies countries like China where the unborn, especially girls, are genuine survivors if they are born. The pro-abortion ideologues use the same process everywhere showing the thicking darkness. Redefine what "life" means and when the law protects it. In the West, chop men out of the debate because it is solely a women's issue. Redefine abortion as purely a medical issue with no other consideration. Attack with the power of the State those who oppose abortion because it is not just a medical issue, attempt to legislate against freedom of speech and protest, call opponents all the derogatory names you can think of them to discredit them.
The picture above represents the views of some of the pro-abortion supporters in our Parliament. Taking an opposing view and doing it publically is harassment and an abuse of the freedom of speech, and such people should be silenced as much as possible - those uninformed bigoted women's rights abusers that is.
I have decided, for the first time in my life, stand in silent vigil on a street corner this coming Saturday hoping to upset the Emporer, not that s/he will be told because the media supports this present darkness. Hope to see you there. Evil perpetuates when good people do nothing: Saturday, Corner of Kew & Elles Rds, 1-2pm.