A Perspective on RU486 and a Call to Action

Filed on 24 February 2006 in Food For Thought category. Print This Page

  1. We can thank God for Senator Harradine’s motion of 1996 and that access to RU486 has been restricted for almost a decade. We can thank God for faithful servants.
  2. We have lost control of RU486 to a scientific body set up to assess evidence and standards and not at the morality of the drug, but it was always going to be at risk with a change of Health Minister or change of Government.
  3. We lost the truth battle. Logic went out the window.
    Doing what is right in our own eyes was expressed as
    how dare you deny us power and control and freedom.

    Issues of right and wrong and who should determine morality were expressed by many but seemed to mean nothing when it came to the vote. A sad reflection but no surprise. We need more Christians in government.
  4. We have had a setback in the battle that the moral direction and values of our nation should be determined by government and not by committees. Not even medical and scientific committees that may only look at ‘evidence-based medicine’ and not morality of outcomes. Not even by committees with representatives from academia with an ethical input.
  5. We are descending into medicine without morality. This has huge significance with respect to embryo research, cloning, mixing of animal and human genes, and euthanasia.
  6. The ‘science’ of ethics has been hijacked. We are descending into relative ethics and the weighing of rights. We are losing any sense of Natural Law and moral absolutes. This is well illustrated by the findings of the Lockhart Review Committee.
  7. Back on the positive side we have had a parliamentary debate that was probably not possible ten years ago. Importantly we have had MPs being bold in their stand for a moral Australia. It has been encouraging to witness the outspoken defence of human life from so many.
  8. I think – and I pray – that we have had a huge gain in awaking the public conscience. There is much less denial that that the embryo is a real, living human being. We can praise God for the debate, that a conscience vote was allowed, and that so much time was given.

At the heart of these matters is what it means to be human and to be created in the Image of God.
This is critical to our thinking with respect to abortion, destructive embryo research, cloning, eugenics and euthanasia. I believe that the manipulation of life and death is the most significant issue of our time.
It is time for God’s people to make a stand.
It is time for Christian doctors to unite behind a call to Medicine With Morality.
It is time for church leaders to be bold and proclaim God’s righteousness. We can thank God for the many who have done so, but now we need a greater unity of purpose.

We have just celebrated the Centenary of the birth of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I have been reminded of the ‘silent’ church and the ‘confessing’ church. I can almost hear what people were saying:
this is political, keep out of it;
our purpose is evangelism – let this one go;
there’s no point – what chance do we have when
there is such support for this man?

Niemoller and Bonhoeffer and others realised they could no longer be silent. At what point will we be louder in our confrontation of evil?

They came for the communists,
and I did not speak up because I wasn’t a communist;
They came for the socialists,
and I did not speak up because I was not a socialist;
They came for the union leaders,
and I did not speak up because I wasn’t a union leader;
They came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak up for me.

In October 2002 I presented a paper to Baptist Union assembly walking in when announced with a big placard that read SHAME and asked that, if the Senate passed the legislation to allow stem cell research on embryos then who would come with me on a march into the city carrying similar placards. To my huge relief only a few people put up their hands, and I said:

No, for the sake of respectability and because of my public Christian stand I must not compromise what I have tried to achieve all these years in educating on matters of grief and death & dying and depression and sexual abuse and infidelity and persuading people to become Christians – think of thedisrespect I could cause to the message of God – so I will shrink back into my ‘sanctuary of private virtuousness’ that Bonhoeffer talks about and keep my mouth shut and not wave my placard that Australia most desperately needs to see. Well, it would almost be like walking into town with no clothes on. How embarrassing!
There! Having made that decision I feel more comfortable and no doubt you do too.
But, how and when will we know that that is what we have to do?
What will it finally be that drives us to that conclusion?

  • 80-100,000 abortions per year as a means of contraception? Too late.
  • Third trimester and ‘partial birth abortion’? Too late.
  • Experimentation on embryos? Almost too late
    (addendum 2003: too late)
  • Euthanasia? Too late in other places
    (getting closer here).
  • Euthanasia without consent? Too late in Holland.
  • Cloning? We’re getting close to it, although not here
    (2006: now we’re getting really close)
  • Cloning for reproductive purposes for infertile couples? It’s only a matter of time.
  • Harvesting of organs from clones? (2003: possible in New Jersey legislation)
  • Cloning for special purposes? Once we’ve gone as far as the above, this is inevitable.
  • Termination of life according to certain criteria – states of self-awareness, personhood, quality of life, ability to be productive for society, or just age? Only a matter of time unless God intervenes.

So, what will it finally be that drives us to walk into the city carrying our placards?
And will we still be able to?

Although things have changed for the worse since 2002 as the italicsindicate, we can praise God for increased Christian activity in the public square. This was particularly evident in 2004 with a partial neutralisation of anti-God forces working on the federal scene. However, as we have seen with the RU486 bill, these forces will not go away and there is more to come. The gulf between Christian and non-Christian is being highlighted in a way that is new to our generation. It is not only less possible to stay neutral – it is also less possible to remain silent.
When will we march into our cities? Will that march be metaphorical in just having a louder voice or will it be literal? But march we must.
Lachlan Dunjey. Friday 17 February 2005.

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