A remarkable result
Last Friday Ireland decided to set in motion wheels which will undoubtedly lead to the legalisation of abortion in that country, soon. Turnout was 64% with 66% of the turnout voting for abortion and 34% against.
The result was a triumph for a propaganda crusade and a tragedy for millions of people who will now be silently massacred in the one place a human being should feel most secure - the womb.
The stark biological fact is that when sperm and egg come together in the womb, from that moment onwards an independent human life begins, distinct from both parents and connected to the mother only by virtue of the fact that it requires warmth, space to grow, nourishment and protection.
What on earth happened in Ireland?
Did Ireland revolt against false religion?
That is one real possibility. Ireland is mostly Roman Catholic and this makes the vote even more remarkable since the Catholic church to its credit is staunchly against abortion. Did all the recent scandals in the church result in weakened authority and rejected dogmas?
Was Ireland bamboozled by hard cases?
Hard cases make bad law. I heard of one case where the mother had cancer but was not allowed any treatment because she was carrying an unborn child - the commentator was enraged that the life of the child was put at a higher value than the life of the mother. These sorts of cases are incredibly rare and painfully difficult: in them, all involved should view whatever happens as a rescue mission. If two people are drowning and only one can be rescued, the other is not being killed, just one is being rescued - which is better than none being rescued. Such rescue is not to be called abortion at all, should the life of the mother be the chosen option.
But in the case above, why wouldn't the mother freely give up her life - or perhaps a foreshortened length of life - for the sake of her precious child?
Was Ireland duped into believing false politically correct slogans?
One of these slogans was "Our Bodies, our right to Decide." On the surface it looks persuasive and conclusive. But a baby is not part of a mother, it is a completely separate living identity relying on the mother for nutrients, warmth, etc - no differently dependent than after it is born. A baby is not a wart or carbuncle, a baby is as human as any living person. Women should indeed have the right to decide about parts of their bodies such as warts and carbuncles, but not the right to decide about a totally and utterly separate human being, who by virtue of the course biology takes happens to be living inside them when it begins its precious journey of life.
Did the slogan "Equal Rights" win the day?
On the surface it again sounds superficially persuasive: a mother's rights should be equal to a baby's rights. Until you unpack what that means. It means the mother's rights to kill her baby should be the same as the child's rights to live. The equation is somewhat unbalanced when examined in detail. How can "the right to kill someone" be made equivalent to "the right to live"?
The clever use of words?
Another tactic was the use of words. In the debate the Yesers never use the term "baby" but resort to the word "fetus." They use the word "termination" instead of the word "kill". Psychologically this allows them to say and believe things that no one with a conscience could ever say or believe, such is the power of words.
Was it a loss of conscience?
We live in world which has lost its moral compass. And yet there are everywhere flickers of what should be. In the same hospitals where surgeons cooly tear babies apart to remove them from the womb, parents fight tooth and nail with those same hospital authorities for their little baby to be taken to another country for specialised treatment. In the one case the parents know that human life is infinitely precious, in the other, they suppress their God-given consciences and set about to murder.
A nation with a hard heart
Perhaps most tragically of all, the vote last Friday revealed a nation with a hard heart. When Lord Shaftesbury was trying to prevent chimney boys going up the chimneys of England to clean them out, risking their lives every time, housewives were up in arms. They had become so accustomed to their chimneys being cleaned this way, so upset that this convenient tradition would come to an end, that they opposed the bill.
It is tragically possible to develop a hard heart which no longer is able to feel for the pain of a fellow human being.
Since David Steel's 1967 abortion bill, more than 8 million children have been killed before they were able to see the light of day. Hitler "only" killed 6 million Jews. The comparison is outrageous someone says. Yes indeed it is: in one case it was the killing of men and women and children who theoretically could have fought back - and occasionally did. In the other case it is the murder of children who have no strength to fight back, no voice and no name.
It is nothing short of rank hypocrisy to call our nation "more civilised" than Hitler's Germany, when the murder of abortion is allowed, and of all places, allowed in our hospitals.
Lord, have mercy upon us. It is only the Gospel that can save a people. Only the Gospel that opens closed eyes and softens hard hearts. Our task is to preach it with greater passion and in the power of the Holy Spirit.