Evolving EthicsAug 09, 2017
What are ethics? According to good ole Merriam-Webster, they are “a set of moral principles or a theory or system of moral values.”
Ethics, principles, values…all words that generally, throughout history, implied something intrinsic, moral, perhaps even permanent.
Of course, we now live in a culture where such notions are something at which many scoff. Everything changes, particularly ethics and morality.
So it came as no surprise in a recent meeting I attended when an “ethicist” with a major hospital association in Virginia voiced his opinion about how health care ethics “have evolved,” attempting to lend credibility to the idea that medical doctors should be allowed to help their patients commit suicide under certain circumstances. Generally, that would be when someone has a “terminal” illness with fewer than six months to live. Simply providing “relief from suffering” (i.e. helping them kill themselves) must be moral, according to this ethicist. The “ethical” argument in favor of this included that, according to some polling, it’s supported by a majority of Americans. (Another member of the group chimed in with, “like with abortion,” the morality has changed, as if one couldn’t possibly have a moral objection to killing an unborn baby.)
Now, never mind the reality that doctors are notoriously terrible at predicting the lifespan of the terminally ill, and that new treatments for many once incurable diseases are helping extend lifespans each and every day.
No, the problem with “evolving ethics” is that today’s physician-assisted suicide (PAS) for the terminally ill is tomorrow’s PAS for the chronically ill. And then those who have a genetic disposition toward a terminal illness. And then those who simply want “relief from suffering,” regardless of the cause of the suffering. And what about those who aren’t really sick but who believe themselves to be sick? I mean, if you can be a biological female but headlines can scream “Man gives birth” because that woman believes themsel to be male, why can’t a healthy person claim a terminal illness?
And of those in the medical profession, including pharmacists, who have conscientious objections to participating in one’s suicide? Well, the ethicists at the table assured everyone that “no one would ever force someone to participate” in this.
Ummm…but ethics evolve, no? Today’s “no one would ever” is tomorrow’s “you’re denying access” to this “treatment” and must be required to do so (see abortion).
If ethics “evolve,” particularly medical ethics, where does that evolution end? Might makes right is a frightening thought in the world of government controlled health care and PAS. The slippery slope in this evolution takes us to some very dark places – places we should have learned from history we do not ever want to return.
November is National Adoption Awareness Month! And we firmly believe that being “pro-life” includes being pro-adoption.
While all adoption-related issues are important, the particular focus of this month is the adoption of children currently in foster care. Consider that Virginia alone has nearly 5200 foster children and not enough foster families. Here are a few other facts you may not have known about foster care:
- 880 foster children in VA are waiting to be adopted right now.
- Virginia is 50th out of 50 states in permanency, meaning more kids “age out” per capita than anywhere else in the U.S.
- 500 children age out each year in Virginia and within 2 years, 89% of them go on to be addicted, incarcerated, homeless or pregnant.
- Nationally, 400,000 children are in foster care, 100,000 waiting to be adopted, with 25,000 of those aging out each year.
To help address these critical issues, a new initiative, Virginia’s Kids Belong will be launching this month. Virginia Kids Belong seeks to unite government, business, creative, faith and non-profit influencers to end the foster care and adoption crisis in Virginia. The Family Foundation continues to partner with other organizations like this and to work to pass legislation that gives every child the best opportunity for a loving home with a mom and a dad. We applaud the great work of so many faith-based child placement organizations like the Bair Foundation, Bethany Christian Services, America World Adoption and many others.
But laws and incentive programs only go so far. Courageous adults must step forward to accept this high call. Maybe you would consider becoming a parent to one of the many children right in your area who needs a family, changing their lives forever. To learn more about how you can get involved with sharing your home with a Virginia child in need – whether that be as a foster parent, or eventually as an adoptive parent – visit the Virginia Department of Social Services website HERE for all the information you need to get started.
As I’ve said often, if just one family in every church in Virginia chose to adopt a child from foster care we would end this problem overnight.
And if you are already serving as a foster or adoptive parent to a child in need, we simply want to say thank you for your invaluable sacrifice and investment into the life of a child in need. We hope you will encourage others around you to do the same.
Judge: Ultrasound More Harmful Than Abortion
Judge: Ultrasound More Harmful Than Abortion
A federal judge in Kentucky just struck down a state law requiring an ultrasound to be performed and an opportunity for the woman to see the image and to hear her baby’s heartbeat before an abortion.
According to the judge, "Requiring physicians to force upon their patients the information mandated by HB2 [the law] has more potential to harm the psychological well-being of the patient than to further the legitimate interests of the Commonwealth.” (Never mind that no woman is required to actually view the image or listen to the heartbeat.)
Wow. That’s some kind of legal reasoning. Which is to say, it has nothing to do with legal analysis at all, but is instead prudential and therefore a political judgment reserved exclusively for the legislative body. But shucks, who concerns themselves with federalism anymore?
So let me get this straight. According to this federal judge, it is more harmful for a woman to see and to hear that there is baby in her womb than for the abortionist to skip all that, rip the child apart inside her womb, and then send her on her merry way (since apparently, the latter is the state’s only “legitimate interest”)? Unbelievable though it may be, that appears to be what this judge is saying.
Then again, I suppose he may be right in one sense. It absolutely must be more psychologically scarring for a woman to see her formed child and to hear its separate heartbeat and then to give assent for the “doctor” to terminate her baby, than it would be if she and her abortionist just simply avoided any acknowledgment of her baby to begin with. On the other hand, it seems not to have occurred to this judge that the woman may be inclined, after seeing a 4-D image of her child and listening to its heartbeat, to choose life for her child and motherhood for herself. Did Judge Hale factor into his seemingly omniscient judgment the incomparable joy of motherhood for the many women who would carry their child to term as a result of the information provided to them by this law? It appears not.
But the judge didn’t stop there. In his decision, he wrote that HB2 "overtly trumpet[s] the anti-abortion preference of the legislature and is ideological in nature." Alright, what law school did this guy go to? Or better yet, who appointed him to the federal bench? (Hint: Judge Hale assumed his seat in 2014.)
So according to Judge Hale, laws apparently can no longer demonstrate a preference for life over abortion OR be ideological by nature? By the latter standard alone, this would necessarily eliminate the possibility of passing any more bills ever, since all laws are premised on certain ideological precepts. While the idea of preventing legislative bodies from passing any more laws is tempting, it is clearly untenable. (Though perhaps not for Judge Hale, who seems perfectly comfortable to assert himself as the maker of law by judicial decree.)
And then there’s the ACLU who, to no one’s surprise, filed this suit on behalf of a Kentucky abortion center, arguing in its complaint that "HB2 requires physicians to subject their patients to these images, descriptions, and sounds, when the patient is in a particularly vulnerable and exposed position."
Well of course the patient is in a particularly vulnerable and exposed position. And that’s precisely why Kentuckians felt it was important for a woman to know as much as possible about what it is she’s about to do before she makes such a life-altering decision for herself and a life-ending one for her child. But what the ACLU is saying – and Judge Hale apparently agrees – is that for women “in a particularly vulnerable and exposed position” inside an abortion center, they cannot be given any reason to change their mind and choose life. No, they MUST choose abortion, because that’s what women NEED in their time of particular vulnerability. Trust us. We know best.
Now is that not about the most twisted and patronistic thing you’ve ever heard? I might say “you just can’t make this stuff up,” but then, clearly they did.
So much for being “pro-choice.” It’s become increasingly clear that the forces on the left couldn’t care less about being either pro-women or pro-choice, even as they claim to be the champion for both. Incidents like this expose them as the champion of only one mantle: “pro-abortion.”
But it’s okay, you see, because that’s not “ideological.” It’s amazing how blind some have become to their own inherent biases.
Abortion Group: Free Abortions for Flood Victims
Abortion Group: Free Abortions for Flood Victims
Do you live in or near Houston, TX? Do you feel especially vulnerable and desperate and want an abortion but lack the means to get one because of the extensive flooding in your area? No worries…just come on down for your easy no-cost abortion on demand!
That’s the way at least one group has decided to step in and “help” (read: take advantage of) the victims of Hurricane Harvey that has left much of southeast Texas flooded and many people displaced from their homes and families. The Lilith Fund for Reproductive Health, according to its website, “assists Texans in exercising their fundamental right to abortion by removing barriers to access.”
Typical of the abortion industry, they are seizing this time of great need and desperation to prey on vulnerable women and men who are even less sure about how they will be able to provide for their families’ needs. ‘Why worry about how you’re going to care for yourself and your child when we can help you make it all go away,’ they whisper deceitfully in their ears. It’s their “bread and butter” play.
Insidiously, the Lilith Fund also states that “Our vision is a Texas where all people have the means and opportunity to plan their futures and families with dignity, respect and community support.”
What they don’t explicitly state is that their help in planning for your future and family only includes planning a future in which the family you would otherwise have does not exist. They don’t plainly admit that the extent of the “dignity” to which they refer is access to a largely unregulated abortion clinic, which after the Supreme Court’s 2016 Whole Women’s Health decision, is no longer required to comply with many basic health and safety requirements – exposing women to substantial risks.
If this group truly had in mind “respect and community support” for “all people,” then at the very least, they might also try offering financial support for them and their unborn babies prior to and after their child’s birth. The fact that this is not an option offered to the women and men in need exposes the group’s real purpose. Clearly for this group, “community support” can only mean providing the means to destroy and dispose of your unborn child.
It is quite ironic that the pro-life community is often told that it isn’t really “pro-life” because it allegedly doesn't care what happens to the baby after it's born, and yet it is the churches and pro-life Christian organizations are who are rushing in to help during Texas’s time of need. But notice how the abortion industry is never challenged to support a woman who chooses anything other than abortion. Yet even in times of great crisis, like Hurricane Harvey, it's abundantly clear they won't.
Thanksgiving Transcends Our Political Mayhem
Thanksgiving Transcends Our Political Mayhem
“Behold, now, the providence of God”- William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation
This Thursday, millions of Americans will come together for a strange little holiday we call Thanksgiving. Regretfully, the current climate of American politics means too many celebrations across the country will end in bitter resentment between family members, and a deepened divide in our public discourse. Our commemoration of the 1621 harvest feast between Native Americans and Protestant Separatists is often misconstrued, and seldom understood. Americans themselves remain ignorant to the purpose of the holiday, and it is that failure which helps devolve family gatherings into political bickering.
The legacy of the Pilgrims ought to have ended in the winter of 1620. Undersupplied and thinly clothed, the small band of English settlers was on the verge of annihilation. Those that escaped the cold starved to death. Those who had food were taken by disease. William Bradford described their first winter with grim resolve.
“But it pleased God to visit us with death daily, and with so general a disease that the living were scarce able to bury the dead.”
Their numbers reduced by half, the Pilgrims, by miracle, endured. Frankly, they should have died in the insufficient and cold settlement of Plymouth. All reasonable indicators pointed to this being the only eventuality; that the settlers would go the way of the Roanoke Colony, and disappear entirely. The Pilgrims credited their survival to Divine Providence. Many today would call it luck. Whichever one’s view, the importance of the “miracle” of 1620 should not be lost.
Given today’s politics, Thanksgiving is a distinctly important reminder for the American public. It is not a celebration of material or familial blessing. Nor is it a profound metaphor for the value of diversity. Rather, Thanksgiving serves to commemorate the necessity of Providence in the winter of 1620. Without it, the values of the Pilgrims, ideas of faith and freedom and personal responsibility, may not have survived on the continent. Certainly America, which has done true good across the world, would be a radically different nation.
In those of faith, Thanksgiving should inspire reverence. In those without faith, Thanksgiving should inspire, well, thanksgiving.
By Cameron Dominy
Cameron is a Master’s Student at Cevro Institute in Prague, Czech Republic and a former Family Foundation Intern.
While the shockwaves continue to reverberate after Tuesday’s dismal election results, pundits and politicians alike have more than their fair share of opinions as to the reasons. That’s all well and good and an important exercise. You likely have a strong opinion about why Virginians voted the way they did. I know I do. But while a deep and painful discussion must take place about why things played out that way and what needs to be done in the future, it's unlikely that a constructive conversation can take place on the pages of the Washington Post, where too many seem willing to share their view.
In the meantime, we have to deal with the immediate consequences of the election.
You see, Virginians didn’t just send a bunch of new Democrats to the General Assembly. They sent some of the most aggressive, extreme leftist politicians Virginia has ever seen. From staunch, self-proclaimed socialists to pro-abortion zealots, we can expect them to introduce some of the most dangerous anti-life, anti-faith, anti-freedom legislation in Virginia history beginning in January. And with both chambers controlled by Republicans only by the narrowest of margins, the fight to stop those proposals will be extraordinarily difficult. But that is what we must do all the same.
We will be happy to work with members of both parties where we can, in particular in areas like fixing foster care and adoption law, eliminating human trafficking, addressing school discipline and any other areas where we can find common ground. But make no mistake, the so-called “progressive” liberals who were elected on Tuesday didn’t run on any of those issues. They ran to force you to pay for abortions at any point during pregnancy; they ran to force your children into public school showers and locker rooms with kids of the opposite sex; they ran to crush religious freedom in the public square; and they ran to create a far more dominant, centralized government.
If media stories are correct and thousands of voters literally “didn’t care” who was on the ballot and didn’t have a clue who they were voting for - only that they were voting against Republicans - then perhaps this is a “wave” election and can be corrected in short order. I find it bizarre that people would act so irrationally, but we live in an age where reason and common sense are obliterated by emotional outbursts, so such a possibility exists. Dislike the President? Fine. But to turn around and vote for people you know nothing about and not care what their agendas might be is irresponsible and dangerous.
In the meantime, however, that’s all the more reason why we need to stop anything and everything they try in the next two years. We look forward to working with both Senate and House leaders on preventing leftist extremism in Virginia.
Unfortunately, on Tuesday, The Family Foundation lost some key, strong leaders and key allies to our principles. Men like Scott Lingamfelter, John O’Bannon, Jackson Miller, Rich Anderson, Tag Greason, Jim LeMunyon, Bob Marshall and others were defeated. The General Assembly not only lost key pro-family conservatives, it also lost men of great experience, principle and intellect who worked hard for every Virginian. They will be greatly missed and I for one am truly saddened by their losses.
I recognize that today you may be discouraged and dejected. I am, too. But we must resist the temptation to retreat. Regardless of whether Virginia is blue, red or purple, the principles you and I share are the only hope for a thriving culture. We have no choice to but advocate for truth and righteousness even in the face of such devastating elections. And, we have no choice but to do all we can to resist the agenda of those who seek to take away our God-given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
In the long term, those of us who understand that social, tax, health care, and welfare policies that have torn families apart, prevented families from forming, or stressed families to the breaking point are contributing to the destruction of the one and only entity that gives people a deep identity, stability, security and – as John Adams (the original one!) once said – forms the moral foundation for people. The extreme left that now dominates the Democrat party believes the opposite – it believes the family is the problem and not the solution. Until we are able to once again persuade younger generations that it is only in the formation of strong families with a mom and a dad where they will find the security they so desperately seek in government, I fear for not just future elections but the future of our nation. Simply put, our society will not survive the continued assault on the family unit.
Defying our creator’s design for family will prove as successful as attempting to defy gravity. You can for a while, but eventually, you come crashing to earth. In America today, we are reaping a generation of broken families and family fragmentation. It isn’t just economic and it’s not just political; it’s moral and cultural as well. We ignore this to our own peril. At The Family Foundation, we are committed to restoring the family as the foundation of our society. It may only happen when the policies endorsed by the secular left come crashing down around us, but it will happen. I hope we don’t have to wait for the destruction of our culture before we rebuild. I hope the church gets serious about standing for the truth of God’s design for family and morality in a powerful and persuasive way. Teaching how to balance a checkbook is nice and all, but it isn’t why the church was created.
In the meantime, we fight on, politically and culturally. We can’t stop. The future depends on it.
Diversity = Uniformity
Diversity = Uniformity
All around the country, in public high schools like this one, school boards and administrators are doing away with separate-colored graduation gowns for senior boys and girls on their big day – a practice that, for many schools, has been a long-cherished tradition. But long-cherished traditions, as we know, are increasingly unwelcome in our enlightened culture, and in many cases even considered harmful or discriminatory.
Of course, multi-colored gowns are just one of the many necessary casualties in the Left’s zealous quest to stamp out all gender norms and distinctions. A lot of students and parents aren’t happy about the change, you say? Bigots! You mean, parents and communities actually kinda think there’s something special about their girls wearing one color gown and their boys wearing another? Narrow-minded transphobes!
Yet I get the impression that most school officials aren’t changing the gown tradition simply so that they can actively champion the new gender-neutral orthodoxy. For the most part, the monochromatic gowns are a reaction – a move they see as a necessary solution – to requests by boys to wear the girls’ color or by girls to wear the boys’ color. These are generally students who self-identify as being the gender opposite their own, and who obviously feel justifiably entitled to have long-established cultural and biological morés transformed to meet their latest teenage desire, even at the expense of everyone else’s reasonably justified desires.
We have to empathize with the school officials here. They’ve been put in a no-win situation. They can:
1) Say no to the “transgender” student and continue with their long-established tradition, but face a lawsuit in federal court, and worse, the concentrated scorn of the cultural Left (and possibly lose their career within education).
2) Allow the student to wear the colored gown designated for the opposite gender, and thereby give credibility (and undue attention) to this gender theory that says there is no functional difference between girls and boys (and thereby undermine the entire reason for separate color gowns). OR,
3) Opt for a “middle ground,” a “compromise,” a “silver bullet” that can avoid the negative consequences of a yes or a no (or so they think). They can just scrap the whole two-color gown thing and make everyone wear the same gown.
Faced with these choices, many high schools are opting for Option #3. And who could blame them? So there we have it, problem solved!
Not so fast. We must be very careful not to miss what’s happening here. It’s the classic tactic of “two steps forward, one step back.” And frankly, it’s brilliant, because it’s working.
As society attempts to formally recognize every possible viewpoint and identity as having equal validity among all others – all in the name of “diversity” (as if diversity is somehow intrinsically good) – the inevitable consequence is that we go from real diversity to uniformity and then conformity. Without fail, you can bet the farm, this happens every time. "Diversity" is now being overshadowed by "inclusiveness." Yet what results is "sameness." Forcing everyone to wear the same colored graduation gowns is just one recent example.
When school officials decide not to stand up for the truth about human nature (in this case, with gender differences), they will predictably be seen doing what thereafter naturally flows: rushing to establish a one-size-fits-all standard for students based upon the “least common denominator” (instead of striving for truth and excellence), avoiding potential conflicts at all costs (instead of addressing the underlying factors creating the conflict), and eradicating all traces of actual or perceived “inequalities” (instead of challenging students to excel and holding them accountable for their actions).
When this happens, the good and healthy forms of diversity, as well as excellence itself, become necessary casualties. Uniformity is exalted as the greatest value. And then, well, you know the rest. All you have to do is take a look across the pond at most other places in the world, whose people by the way will do just about anything to get into the "land of the free" and the "home of the brave."
Be very careful not to miss what's happening under our noses. We’re a frog in a pot, and the water is already simmering. The path of least resistance is often the path to our own undoing.