Shoes

It was, however, the shoes left behind the spoke their message so quietly that it was deafening

We have heard the analogies perhaps dozens of times growing up. We should never think of judging anyone until we have walked a mile in their shoes. An ‘Americanized’ version of that is from what is known as ‘an American Indian proverb.’ Never criticize a man until you have walked a mile in his moccasins. I imagine it is the use of the moccasins that makes it an American Indian proverb. Still, the thought is there.
The Bible also placed some tradition upon shoes. It was customary in a Jewish home and perhaps, too, in homes of Arabs of similar times in history; that a guest in the home was to have his shoes removed so that his feet could be washed by the host or the host’s designee. It was not a light issue but one of great importance. To fail to treat someone in this way was to show them disrespect. Jesus instructed His disciples that when they came to a town and were well received, they were to allow their blessing to remain on that town. But, if they were mistreated, they were to remove their sandals and shake the dust off of their feet, symbolizing the removal of blessing. Jesus said it was better for Sodom and Gomorrah than it will be for that town’s people upon the Day of Judgment. Paul and Barnabas, when the irreverent people of the Antioch stirred up the populace against them, took leave of the city. Following the direction Christ gave to his apostles during His earthly ministry, they stopped at the city gate to shake the dust from their feet and then they continued then on their way.
Shoes, in many cultures may define their wearer. My own propensity is to almost always wear a western style “cowboy” boot even when donning a tuxedo for some special occasion. My boots have defined me to some folks. The business man or the sports enthusiast each may be defined by their shoes; as too, the child who cannot get a new pair of shoes before school starts because mother and father are simply too poor. All of these things help to define the wearer. There are, too, the ‘baby’s first shoes.’ Shoes that are bronzed and kept often with a photo of the baby who first toddled about in those clumsily formed shoes that looked like they were more of a prison for those tiny feet than a comforting wrap against the elements.
Twice, I had the inner-peace shattering occasion to view such baby shoes, not bronzed, but still immortalized in a macabre fashion that cried out against the evil that had stolen that small life from this world. Perhaps nothing can speak such a message about a person more than shoes that they have worn in a time or in a way that tells such a horrifying tale. A pitiful message across the years. It is a message that is given to those who happen upon those shoes, either by chance or choice; but in either way, the recipient, not being prepared for the impact those shoes would have upon them will most certainly be taken aback for some time to come.
The first encounter that I had with such shoes was in a stark building, darkened by dust encrusted windows and the absence of any produced light made it even darker. It was darker, still, in the evil that enveloped the building. The long center of the main room was roped off and within it, was a pile of shoes ten feet high at the crest of the pile and more than thirty feet long at this farthest edges. The building was in Stuthof Camp. It was one of the few buildings left in this, the first Nazi ‘relocation’ camp for Jews during WWII built on Polish soil, just about 21 miles NE of Gdansk Poland and less than 2 miles from the Baltic coast. Stuthof had as few as 250 prisoners and grew to a maximum of 52,000 with over 1,000 SS guards by January of 1945. It began not just for Jews but for the undesirable Polish elements. It was, however the shoes left behind that spoke their message so quietly that it was deafening.
Poland Stuthof Shoes

An early photo before the building was used to memorialize the shoes left behind

As difficult as this site was to view, particularly the small children’s and infants’ shoes, it did not prepare me for my next encounter with another such site; shoes whose souls are still speaking their silent message across the miles, the years and into the hearts of all who will stop long enough to listen.
The City of Budapest is one of the most beautiful in all of Central and Eastern Europe; perhaps even further. From Hero’s Square to the Opera House, to the casual promenade along the banks of the Danube River all the way to the base of the Chain Bridge which is known for its majestic lions and massive expanse across the river the cities of Buda and Pest have joined to make an amazing cultural venue. There is one site, though, along the shores of the Danube in the shadow of those majestic lions that bespeaks a horror so intense it will take away one’s breath. I found that it left me spell-bound in the mystery of what the last words, the last thoughts and the last looks between loved ones might have been as they were lined upon the bank of the river and murdered. Their bodies – from the smallest of children in their mothers’ arms to the old and infirm stood, awaiting the sting of the bullets that would dispatch them to their certain death and a watery grave marked only on this earth by the shoes the left behind. Immortalized by the townspeople of Budapest as a defiant call to never allow such a horror to happen again – the shoes are lined up along the banks as if their owner’s next steps would be into eternity.

Budapest WWII Memorial to those murdered on the banks of the Danube River 1944-1945 by ArrowCross Militia
Budapest WWII Memorial to those murdered on the banks of the Danube River 1944-1945 by the   Arrow Cross Militia

On the night of January 8, 1945, an Arrow Cross execution brigade forced all of the inhabitants of the building on Vadasz Street to the banks of the Danube. Arrow Cross was an extremist socialist party holding power in Hungary’s government in collusion with the Nazis. At midnight, Karoly Szabo and 20 policemen with drawn bayonets broke into the Arrow Cross house and rescued everyone there. Among those saved were Lars Ernster, who fled to Sweden and became a member of the board of the Nobel Foundation from 1977 to 1988, and Jacob Steiner, who fled to Israel and became a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Steiner’s father had been shot dead by Arrow Cross militiamen on December 25, 1944, falling into the Danube. His father had been an officer in World War I and spent four years as a prisoner of war in Russia. The Arrow Cross had usurped the symbol from the ancient Magyar for themselves and was then used it to symbolize their fascist movement known later as Hungarists. They oversaw between ten and fifteen thousand people murdered outright and another 80,000 deported to Auschwitz.

Hungarist flag
.
Dr. Erwin K. Koranyi, a psychiatrist in Ottawa, wrote about the night of January 8, 1945 in his Dreams and Tears: Chronicle of a Life (2006), “in our group, I saw Lajos Stoeckler” and “The police holding their guns at the Arrowcross cutthroats. One of the high-ranking police officers was Pal Szalai, with whom Raoul Wallenberg used to deal. Another police officer in his leather coat was Karoly Szabo.
The memorial along the Danube almost always has flowers or candles laid within the shoes. No one particular pair is identified with an individual victim, rather the sixty pairs that are made from iron are fashioned and welded in place as a lifetime remembrance of the evil which can overtake mankind when he fails to stand for the laws which protect humanity and to stand for the biblical principles that demand one brother look after another regardless of nationality or genetics. Such evil happens when people forget that under the depth of skin lies a heart that beats every single beat only by the permission of God the Creator. The shoes serve as a reminder not only of the brave heroics of the policemen that night who took a stand for what is right and what is fair; for justice and for humanity as a whole but also as a call to all future generations to not allow this to happen again. By Christmas of 1944 when Jacob Steiner’s father was murdered on the banks of the Danube, millions had already died at the hand of demonic forces masquerading as military officers and enlisted soldiers, as well as government officials and ordinary people who simply did nothing.
This short monograph, Shoes was not meant to be light-hearted or lightly up-lifting. However, it is, if the reader allows it to be, a source of encouragement. Our world again faces demonic extremists that have only one desire: to rule and reign by terror and violence, murder and mayhem at the edge of a sword, inflicting the name of Allah upon those they call infidels, as well as, on those who might consider themselves of the faithful.
The encouragement lies within a simple maxim: The darker the room the more luminescent even the feeblest light. The brightness of that light is proportional to the depth of the darkness within which it burns. When the light is that which burns within a believer in Jesus Christ, even though the strength of that believer’s faith may provide only a modicum of power for the light to glow, the darkness that envelopes it enables that light to have an effect far beyond its means. Scientists tell us that under ideal conditions our unaided vision can detect a light as dim as a candle flame or a lit match 30 miles away on a dark clear night. You can perhaps imagine the strength of the light which has the full power of Jesus. In Him there is no darkness. God is truth, life and light. In these darkest of times, may the power of the light of Christ light your life, embolden your witness and may it never be said of this generation of Christians that we stood by while others collected shoes.

Ascension to Royalty

“I have a diagnosis: You’ve come down with a case of Ascension to Royalty – osis!”

Rev. Ross L. Riggs, D Min. True North Ministry

From the days of the earliest kingdoms, in lands far across the globe, intrigue, the lust for power, the plotting of unscrupulous persons and often the murder of those who stood in the way of an elevation to the throne were the hallmarks of the ascension to royalty. When Joseph’s brothers, all sons of Jacob, patriarch of Israel, learned of God’s plan to anoint Joseph as ruler, they plotted to kill him; eventually selling him into slavery and telling their aging father that Joseph was dead, mauled by wild animals. Entire families have been decimated to clear the way for a rival to take over the throne.

 

In 2 Chronicles chapter 22 is the story of Ahaziah, Athaliah, Jehosheba and Joash. Ahaziah had been an evil king following in the idol worship by his predecessor, King Ahab. Ahaziah’s kingship was jealously guarded by his mother, Athaliah. When she learned that her son had been killed “…she proceeded to destroy the whole royal family of the house of Judah… But Jehosheba took Joash son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the royal princes who were about to be murdered and put him and his nurse in a bedroom… He remained hidden with them at the Temple of God for six years while Athaliah ruled the land.”[i]

 

The Roman Empire fared no better. The evil among the ruling class was known across the Roman world. The famous line from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, when the ego maniacal Caesar looks into Brutus’ eyes, even as his lifeblood flows from the stab wound inflicted by Brutus; he says,
“Et tu Brute?”[ii] 

 

“Good” King Henry IV of France around 1600 survived at least 12 assassination attempts until finally succumbing to a stab wound by a fanatical Catholic who believed that Henry was too much a ‘Calvinist’ to hold the throne of France. Even so, Henry’s son succeeded him.

 

In the early period of the Turkish Ottoman Empire (from the 14th through the late 16th centuries), the Ottomans practiced open succession, or what historian Donald Quataert has described as “survival of the fittest” not eldest, son.”[iii] The Turks, though not the only group to use violence as the path to the throne, were certainly known for their brotherly approach to it. The practice of fratricide, first employed by Mehmed II, soon became widespread. Both Murad III and his son Mehmed III had their half-brothers murdered. The killing of all the new sultan’s brothers and half-brothers (which were usually quite numerous) was traditionally done by manual strangling with a silk cord. As the centuries passed, the ritual killing was gradually replaced by lifetime solitary confinement in the kafes (“Golden Cage”) from which escape was impossible.

 

In November of 2008, modern science unraveled the mystery of the murder of one of the last emperors of China. The murder, over one hundred years old in its setting, was ready for a resolution. Mystery writers have been ahead of the curve for some time realizing that if the method of doing the dastardly deed is that of poison, one might expect that it will been orchestrated by a femme fatale. And that appears to be the case in the murder of Guangxu who ascended to the Chinese throne in 1875, around age 4. Because of his youth he was under the watchful eye of his biological aunt, the Empress Dowager Cixi who arranged to adopt him just before he became emperor. Even when Guangxu was in his twenties he remained, to a degree, under the thumb of his driven aunt. As he sought to modernize China, she found a way to have him placed under house-arrest in 1898 where he remained the rest of his life and she, Empress Cixi maintained the throne. In 1908 Cixi knew she was soon to die. Investigators believe that she feared Guangxu would retake the throne on her death, so, it appears; she poisoned him! Former Emperor Guangxu was dead at the age of 36. Empress Cixi, however, committed the murder for naught for within 22 hours, she died at the age of 74. Upon her death, a new emperor was named, and Puyi ascended the throne at the age of 2. Within a very short time the Peoples’ Revolution took place and Communism fell to be the lot of the Chinese people. “The revolution ended with the abdication of the ‘Last Emperor Puyi (who was only six years old) on February 12, 1912, that marked the end of 2,000 years of imperial rule…”[iv] (Note on Puyi’s age added by author)

 

In the United States of America, shortly after the Revolutionary War, a Constitutional Convention worked diligently to lay the foundation for the new Republic. There was pressure for George Washington to become the first king or some other fashion of ruling monarch, which he thankfully turned away. The Office of President of the United States remains, however as close to royalty as can be held in the U.S. with the amount of prestige, honor and standing that is given the person who holds that office. Whether it is the total access of the motorcade or a right to supersede any event in the country by executive privilege, the perks of the position are many. According to a NY Times article in 2011 “some analysts believe that President Obama, who raised and spent about $750 million in the 2008 campaign, will come close to $1 billion in the 2012 campaign…”[v] A November 2012 article reported that Romney and Obama combined to spend $2 billion on the campaign.[vi]

 

Every position of royalty that has ever been filled by some personality, whether obsessed with themselves or serving gallantly on behalf of the people they represent, has commonalities. Each is temporary, finite and restricted by the ruler’s own mortality. There is but one, and only one, who has ever deserved all of the honor and glory of the highest of all royals, ever in time. And it was that one, the single highest of all royalty, the King of kings and the Lord of lords who loved and cared for his people so much that he was willing to give it all up so that he might save them. The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Philippi explaining that of Christ Jesus, “Who being in the very nature of God did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in the appearance as a man, humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross. Therefore God exalted him to the highest place, and gave him the name that is above every name.”[vii] The Apostle Paul used the example of Christ to encourage his readers that they should consider Christ’s example and “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interest of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.”[viii]

 

Can you imagine, if just for a moment, what our world, our nation, even our cities would be like if those who hold powerful offices took on the humility of Christ? He loves His people so very much that He was willing to turn His back on every great joy of being the exalted God, Creator and Master of the universe and beyond so that He could reach out to the lowliest of the low and give them His righteousness, to impute upon them His holiness. And He did it all so that each person who accepted His gift could live throughout eternity with Him, enjoying all the abundance of every spiritual blessing!

 

As citizens of our country, our local cities or states, we cannot even get an appointment to speak to most of those in public office much less to have them seek us out, in our home, at our employment (unless they are campaigning en masse for our votes) to learn how they can be of service to us. That brings to mind a term that one does not hear much any longer, public service. There are accounts as to how, as recently as President Lincoln in the 1860’s, the Chief Executive of our nation would hold sessions each week, if not sometimes daily, where his office door was open and, though still in an orderly fashion, citizens could come and present their concerns or questions directly to the president. It was expected that this public servant was there to help them and, more often than not, each received a response if not immediately, within an appropriate amount of time.

 

Sadly, some of our mega-churches in the U.S. and abroad have become so large that it is difficult, if not impossible, to gain time to speak to the senior pastor. Mission organizations have become so modeled after the hierarchy of the world business model that you cannot get an audience with the president or CEO without jumping through several hurdles. Even some in the mission who have some responsibility of supervision or administration have elevated themselves in such a way that even getting a reply to a letter or e-mail is difficult. When Christians have done that in such a way within their organizations, how can it ever be expected that those same folks will do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit and focus on reaching out to the most humble of the lost? Hopefully, the percentages of these folks in organizations are smaller than those who are still there with a desire to help.

There is a child’s television program that features a young cartoon girl whose mother is a doctor.  The child imagines herself a doctor to her stuffed animals that seem to come to life and talk to her as she plays make-believe. In the  process, this young ‘Doc’ will usually come up with an interesting diagnosis for whatever is ailing a given stuffed animal or toy. The diagnosis is then recorded, with the help of her stuffed hippopotamus nurse, into the Big Book of Booboos. Well, when it comes to many in the church today and for some mission agencies, as the cartoon ‘Doc’ would say, “I have a diagnosis: 

            You’ve come down with a case of Ascension to Royalty – osis!”

 

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

A quick view across history, as we have taken here, has shown that selfishness, ambition, malice, ego and just plain ol’ pride has led to the most horrific of results in the worlds wherein the ‘royals’ reside. How awful to consider that rather than living out the example that Christ gave us, some in Christianity have fallen into the trap of what the world sees as power and authority. It comes to light as avarice and a loss of vision for service above self. We must follow the admonition of the Apostle Peter to “Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God so that He may exalt you in due time.”[ix]


[i] II Chronicles 22:10-12 The Life Application Bible (NIV) Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton IL 1991

[vii] Philippians 2:6-9 The Life Application Bible (NIV) Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton IL 1991

[viii] Philippians 2:3-5 The Life Application Bible (NIV) Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton IL 1991

[ix] http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Peter+5%3A6-9&version=NASB

 

 

Life Lessons from the Chicken Coop

There was murder in the hen house one night sure as death itself. To this day they say that the ghost of that hen haunts the chicken coop.

 

MINISTRY MINUTE pocket watch

An outreach of TRUE NORTH MINISTRY – Rev. Ross L. Riggs, D Min.  True North Ministry logo

It was just this past spring. We had been raising chickens for a few years now. Over those years we have lost chickens to local coyotes who thought that the Riggs’ was the place to get a free chicken dinner, one to an overzealous play-date with our Rottweiler/Boxer, and a couple to drowning because you see as much as you might not want to believe it, chickens are stupid. They are not as stupid as turkeys who can drown in the rain from looking upward. These chickens forgot their water wings when they leaned too far over the horse trough. And then there was the murder… Yes, that is what I said murder. There was murder in the hen house one night sure as death itself. To this day they say that the ghost of that hen haunts the chicken coop. Mysteriously when no hen is in there, the obvious clucking of a hen laying echoes out the door and sure enough, an egg lying right there on the floor. The ghost chicken had struck again. But that is not the source of our tale this time. The ghost chicken will have to wait. This was the story of learning a life lesson from a set of hens who had their world greatly disrupted.

As I mentioned, it just this past spring and we were down to three hens, all of them getting on in years. My wife and daughters had determined we needed to replace our dwindling flock so to the nearest TSC they went and came home with just twenty four more chicks, all promised to be hens. Promises are meant to be broken, particularly when trying to guess the sex of baby chicks! Three of our new brood were roosters and as they grew quickly, they soon took on their roles as protectors, guides and barnyard crowers. Each trying to out crow the other and out strut them too. It was funny to watch as each one developed their own following and, too, how they each treated their small harems differently. None would allow the other roosters anywhere near them. One rooster was a non-stop baby maker or at least he tried to be, never seeming to give his hens time to just chat with the girls. But, in these roosters, I found a life lesson and a lesson on leadership; as odd as that may sound.

Each rooster had different ideas on how they should treat their hens. All were very protective but one much more so; even to the point of micro-managing. If you want to know how to micro-manage free ranging chickens; let me know and I will spell it out for you. Our micro-managing, over watchful rooster, I’ll call him ‘Red’ because, well, he was, took a completely different tack than his com-padres. The other two roosters would stand in amongst their girls while they were foraging and usually kept their heads up most of the time, constantly turning their heads; alert for danger. Remember, we have coyotes nearby and forever circling birds of prey, not to count my two idiot dogs that love to chase them (and catch them) when they can (refer to paragraph one, re: losses of chickens)!

Red did not stand in with his hens. He stood off from them. Extra vigilant and moving the girls from one place to another. At first it appeared that he moved them on a whim, but I could see he almost had it down to a time clock. At just about five minute intervals, he would strut into the group and direct them elsewhere.

Just different ways of managing, right? Perhaps. But managers, especially those who are constantly correcting, directing and not taking input from those being supervised just doing it one way because ‘that is the way it’s done here’ are not doing their employees any favors.

Last week the roosters were finally gone. No, they were not headed to meet the Colonel nor even the fast talking southerner at Louisiana’s Pride. They were going to a farm that produces baby chicks! A good career move!

It was by the second night we realized something was wrong and it took another couple of days for me to figure it out. Prior to the roosters’ departure every night right at dark, we would go in to count the chickens make sure everyone was in; and secure the hen house from the coyotes. The hens and the roosters were always inside, already on their roosting bars, or snuggled in with each other in a nesting box. After the roosters were gone however there was one group of hens that were not inside the first night and for an entire week now. They all stand outside the door and wait for someone like me to come and shoo them into the hen house. They were completely unsure of what to do on their own. They are obviously completely incapable of protecting themselves if a bird of prey comes after them or God forbid, a coyote.

Guess which group cannot think for themselves? Yep. The dynamic, ‘I have this under control – just do what I tell you’ is the one who left his ‘family’ defenseless without him.

As far as gun control in your home, protection from intruders, or what to do if there is a fire, do you take command and do it all? You say, ‘but my family doesn’t care about safety I have to take care of it…’ Do you? If you give them responsibility and not lord it over them, do you think they might pick up the ball? Maybe they won’t every time but just often enough so that, even if they seem to blow it off, they might pick up on one or two things. Just that little bit could save their lives even if you are not there to be the hero? Don’t sell your family short; they are smarter than you think.

I know one thing for sure. If some night, God forbid, my hen house catches fire… there will be at least five or six chickens who will be extra crispy by morning because they won’t know how to think for themselves and get out.

PLEASE, take a moment to think about your management style whether at work or at home. At work are you supervising your people or are you preparing them to take your place when you move up? At home, should you someday not make it home from work, will your family be completely lost without you or have you prepared them for that day? I hope you are preparing all those within your sphere of influence to be all that they can be and not dependent on you.

That is a lesson I learned in the hen house.

A LESSON from BOSTON

“…we will not be cowed, we will not be terrorized, we will not be shaken, we WILL come and find you and when we do, God help you!”

Can the Police Protect Us? This is a question that was now been asked since the Boston Bombings and now a MIT Police Officer Murdered. I authored an article which was published by THE COUNTERTERRORIST magazine last fall titled: “The U.S. Citizen, the Second Amendment and the U.N. Small Arms Treaty.” Being a retired chief of police, I argue that:

   “When crime happens in your neighborhood, in your family, on your front porch, there is only one  person responsible for stopping that criminal before he commits the crime he intends to commit. Many criminals attempt crimes regardless of how many patrol cars are out or how high the risk of jail time might be. The only person who can be responsible for any individual’s safety is that individual.”

Police officers bravely and unselfishly respond but it is a response, something that happens after an event has occurred.

Next week is National Crime Victims’ Week. I hate that! Not that I would disparage anyone who has faced the insult of a criminal attack. What I hate is the title ‘Victim’ – it speaks of one who is powerless under the circumstances, that one must forfeit their freedom to act, to think, and to protect their own. When someone comes through a criminal attack, they are not victims, they are SURVIVORS. If a person succumbs to injuries from an attack, they are not victims, they are HEROES.

We, as Americans are not victims and one of the ways in which we show that is we do not allow Americans who are, by their circumstances, alone to face such criminal attacks. If one is debilitated by disease whether physical or mental, is elderly or is homeless, they are still Americans. We must take a page from the Boston story, as we have from 9/11 and New York, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania and share to the world that Americans will not be terrorized; we will not be cowed. We will find those who attack us and when we do, may God help you.

May God bless America and Americans bless God.

Capture2

Suspects in Boston Bombing and MIT Cop Murder

When Is It Murder?

Rev. Ross L. Riggs, D. Min.            Riggs Ministry Minute    www.docriggs.com         15 March 2012

Perhaps it is appropriate that today is March 15th. You may recall that the oracle warned Julius Caesar to “Beware the ides of March” and that it was on this day in 44 B.C. that he was murdered by Brutus and Cassius while in the Roman Senate[i]. Surrounded by co-conspirators, he was stabbed 23 times with daggers. So, today, we should ‘beware the ides of March’ because of the horrendous story well reported this past week in the Weekly Standard.[ii]

Vincenzo Camuccini, Mort de César, 1798

 

The title of the article being reviewed from the Journal of Medical Ethics was “After-birth Abortion: Why should the baby live?” written by Alberto Giuilini and Francesca Minerva. It was an essay on the logical understanding as to when a ‘post-birth abortion’ can be legitimized. Some examples are: any type of deformity or mental defect, non-mentally disruptive physical appearance issues, or when the mother’s circumstances have changed so that it is no longer the mother’s desire to keep the child.

The option of adopting the child to a family willing to take him or her was contemplated logically, too.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       It was reasoned by these two ‘medical ethicists’ that this option was not good for the mother’s mental health. The issue, in this case, was that the loss of the child would never have closure. The birth mother could always be wondering if the child might someday seek her out and then there would be a renewal of relationship. In the eyes of the Journal of Medical Ethics, this was not a viable option so the child could be killed because with death comes closure.

The authors did stress that it was important for the ‘termination of life’ to take place as soon as possible after birth so as to  prevent the child of reaching a mental state where it has a ‘sense’ that it has a life and therefore has some ability to know what it would be like to be deprived of it. They went on to say that the same is true for some animals. Once they have reached a stage of development where they sense that they exist within a relationship with others, then their death is inappropriate. Oh… and as to when a child actually develops this sense of awareness there is currently no way of knowing. That argument seems to reaffirm that the child does have life, it’s just its own sense of that life hasn’t developed so it is okay to end the life. Basically, the child would never know what it is missing.

Under extreme pressure from those who wrote in to voice their horror or disbelief in this stance by supposed medical professionals. The authors posted more of an explanation than an apology. Their response was basically that they were sorry for the outpouring of emotional letters because truly the article was meant for medical ethics professionals who would understand the logic of the concept and not meant for the unwashed masses who could never grasp such high topics.

I suppose they are right. I don’t get it. To me, it’s just murder.


[ii] Ferguson, Andrew Declaring War on Newborns, The Weekly Standard, March 19 2012 pp 12-13