Can we measure the west’s decline? Let me count the ways. Several developments over the past week in relation to death and sexuality have provided a gauge of the decreasing value of life in western nations.
Although a growing loss of Christian faith and values preceded it, the acceptance of abortion in most western nations starkly marked the beginning of western decline. One bright spot this week was the European Union’s refusal to consider abortion a human right.
But that victory was narrow, and may be only a flickering light in the encroaching darkness. The disposal of babies surviving abortions is a step towards infanticide. By withholding personhood from a newborn until about age two would extend, beyond the womb, the period where parents could discard the child. Peter Singer, together with other ethicists, actively debated this idea.
But back to this week. Holland, the cradle of a widening group permitted euthanasia—which has given rise to widespread abuse—has extended the practice of euthanasia to children, adding greater danger to the least defenceless of us.
Last May, the American Psychiatric Association (APA), released the Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Only this week it has come to public awareness, that in this first new edition in 10 years, the APA described pedophilia as a “sexual orientation.”
This parallels pedophilia with homosexuality, the latter now generally accepted as a permissible sexual orientation. But the suggested acceptance of the preferences of “minor-attracted persons,” praised by B4U-ACT, a pedophiliac support program, places underage children at risk for seduction and sexually transmitted diseases.
While the APA responded that the phraseology was “an error,” it will remain in their manual for perhaps another decade fostering continuing discussion of its legitimacy.
It is not rocket science to recognize the creeping culture of death in western “civilization.” It targets the totally vulnerable unborn first, then progresses to the most vulnerable—the aged, infirm and children. Yet criminals, notably murderers, continue to have protection from the death penalty.
The deepening loss of the value of human life parallels the widening acceptance of sexual practices. Both lead to untimely deaths, from humans who are able to dispose of their counterparts, and from sexually transmitted diseases responding to unnatural sexual liaisons.
The Christian roots of law in the west with its sanctity of life approach, has traditionally ensured the protection of all human life, including the unborn. I am not aware of any other religion, philosophy of life, or national structure, which has ever provided this.
By shedding Christian beliefs, our liberal democracies are leading us into a menacing dark age where human life has lost its inviolable status and all human life will be at risk. We have dispensed with the Source of life.
So the words of Scripture become increasingly relevant: “In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it” John 1:4-5.