Point of Reference
by Fred Price
Sure they do. As individuals, we are all inclined to respond to certain situations differently and at times instinctively react to circumstances we are confronted by; but we are just as likely to “act out” at the end of a thought process in response to ideas both familiar and foreign. Going from exposure to new ideas or reinforcement of old ones to participation may take days or mere moments, the smaller the amount of consideration given an “opportunity” usually leading to worse results.
The point here being the distinct possibility – or likelihood – of things we think or say growing into something vastly different than what we meant or thought they would. An example being found in the pro-abortion and assisted suicide movements that have swept across our land; an epidemic not of illness or disease but an affliction of the soul, sickening us all the same.
For example, two well-educated young people and a dead baby; who did what and why never fully discovered. At the very least, they conspired to deliver an unwanted child secretly and do something with it; appearing dispassionately unconcerned, they disposed of the body in a dumpster and returned to school.
Desperate women, believing they have nowhere to go for help have done irrational things to themselves and their children. One shot her unborn child through her stomach to escape the burden of raising a child she believed beyond her ability; another tied her two-year old up and hung him with an electrical cord. In deranged outbursts, one mother drowned her children in the bathtub while another crushed her kid’s heads with stones!
In my own hometown, a baby was delivered, bundled up and thrown into an outside toilet at a park; dumped into human waste. And why not? Many have come to view themselves and others as disposable beings. My first inclination is to grab and shake them, screaming, ‘What are you thinking?’ In more reflective moments, I feel a need to gather them in an embrace; asking how and why but embracing all the same.
Why would I do that? In realizing the stupefying desperation that triggers such action; the panic of ruined dreams, the gut-wrenching fear of disappointed family, the uncertainty of giving birth alone, the pain of childbirth by a child, the utter lack of hope for the future. Not to mention those who are totally self-absorbed, seeking to “merely” protect their rights and opportunities as individuals – unencumbered by the needs and “rights” of others. Paul describing such individuals as, “ Having lost all sensitivity, (who) have given themselves over to sensuality…”; with no desire or intent to face the consequences or accept the responsibility of their actions. (Ephesians 4:19) Which applies as well to the violence in our schools and the self-inflicted “final solution” of suicide across our land. These are desperate acts by desperate people. Excuses? Certainly not. Rather a warning: Be careful of the activity you participate in or condone (even passively), the advice you listen to and give. Things casually discussed or practiced in moderation by some are often taken to excess by those desperately seeking relief. An idea, however illogical, may appear as the only viable alternative in a thought process skewed by panic, peer pressure and depression; virtually all action originating as a thought or idea.
This generation of young people may be the best educated our country has seen, being introduced to numerous principles and disciplines at an early age – including human sexuality. The problem being, they haven’t been taught the responsibilities and consequences of their acts to the same degree they are being provided the tools to act with. Who’s responsible for the consequences of disease and pregnancy if not the couple having sex? What do you do with a guilty conscience, a too late wish for respect from that special someone who has gone their own way, or the decisions of life and death concerning a newly created being (especially if that being is somehow less than expected); which will impact many lives regardless of your choice. Some coping with such questions by convincing themselves that if there are no consequences, there is no fault; if there is not fault, there is no guilt; if there is no guilt – no problem!
The same appears to apply to our sick and elderly. If life is hard, pain intolerable, the benefits of life difficult to ascertain for the individual and their care-givers – why not end it all? The ideas of not being a burden, saving money and ending the suffering all seem like logical ideas. The problem is that as these ideas are discussed and people become comfortable with the right-to-choose issues of abortion and euthanasia, others have begun advocating a right or even duty to die. How far are we from setting standards of positive, productive living from which if one varies appreciably they have not only a right to die but an obligation to do so?
Check back next week for some startling proofs of the progression of these very ideas to reality.
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Fred Price - married (48 years), father of two grown children, grandfather of six.
Fred retired earlier this year after 42 years as a factory worker. He has always had a heart for young people and the challenges they face today. Over the years Fred has taught Discipleship Groups for High School and college students.
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