Humans never 'too expensive ... too
Christians must defend the sanctity of life from conception to natural
death, Southern Baptist ethicist Richard Land said in a chapel message
at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
That includes combating government policies assaulting the sanctity of
life, Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious
Liberty Commission, said, making specific reference to legislation
backed by President Obama's administration titled America's Affordable
Health Choices Act, H.R. 3200.
The health care bill permits government-funded abortions and could pave
the way for euthanasia, Land stated.
He also decried a federal manual for military veterans that he said
"focuses on death."
Drawing from Matthew 4:1-11, Land said Satan seeks to entice people
toward evil and opposes the intrinsic value God has placed on the life
of a human being.
"It is sometimes easy for us to forget that the world is not a good
world," Land said in his message at the seminary's Fort Worth, Texas,
campus Aug. 27. "It is not a neutral world. It is a world that is
racked with spiritual warfare."
Land read Article Three of the Baptist Faith and Message, a statement
of generally held convictions in the Southern Baptist Convention. The
article addresses the Bible's view on man as "the special creation of
God, made in His own image."
The article concludes: "The sacredness of human personality is evident
in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for
man; therefore, every person of every race possesses full dignity and
is worthy of respect and Christian love."
Land described human beings as "different from any other part of
creation, because it is human beings who are designed and created in
the image of God."
"So, there are some things that must never be done to a human being.
Our civilization is based upon that founding belief."
Land said America's founding fathers operated under the presupposition
that human beings are special, guaranteeing in the nation's founding
documents that men have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of
"If you are a human being, you have the right to life," Land said.
"That is the sanctity of life ethic upon which Western civilizations
and the civilization of the United States have been based." But, he
noted, "It's been under serious challenge throughout most of the 20th
century by a so-called quality of life ethic."
Land cited "Your Life, Your Choices," an advice manual published by the
Department of Veteran Affairs during President Clinton's administration
that veterans have derisively nicknamed "The Death Book." The manual,
recalled by President George W. Bush's administration but reinstated
under President Obama, instructs veterans how to prepare a living will.
"The book fosters dark thoughts about a difficult life somehow being
less of a life," Land said.
"On page 21, the death book poses questions to veterans on which they
are to answer whether life was 'difficult but acceptable,' 'worth
living but just barely' or 'not worth living.' The most positive choice
is 'difficult but acceptable.' ...
"I thought about many words to describe this book -- atrocious,
outrageous, disgusting, immoral, unethical, wrong, pernicious -- but as
I spun the wheel on my moral compass, I kept coming back to the same
word: evil.... To give this book to any fellow human being is evil, and
your tax money paid for it and is paying for it. There's no attempt to
ask people, 'What would it take for you to want to live?' Instead, the
book focuses on death."
The Veterans Affairs website reports an online version of "Your Life,
Your Choices" is being revised and will be released next spring.
Voicing concern about the public health plan associated with H.R. 3200,
Land said while abortions are not listed as an essential benefit, they
are allowed under the benefits.
"If abortion is not specifically excluded, it's covered," Land said.
"That means that you will have, for the first time since the passing of
the Hyde Amendment, not only abortion on demand, but you being forced
to pay for the abortions with your tax money."
Land noted the bill also includes 8 percent revenue penalties for
companies with group plans and a 2.5 percent income tax increase for
individuals with private plans that do not provide for abortions.
"Baby boomers have killed their unborn babies in record numbers -- one
out of every three babies conceived -- because they considered them too
embarrassing, too expensive, too ill or too inconvenient," Land said.
"But unless we turn this tide of death around, Boomers, Busters and
Millennials will be allowed and assisted in dying before their natural
time because the government has made the decision that they are too
expensive, too embarrassing, too ill or too inconvenient."
Land advised Christians to pray for God to change the hearts and minds
of lawmakers. He also encouraged Christians to inform family and
friends about the proposed legislation. A document analyzing the health
care bill can be found on the ERLC's website at
Encouraging Christians to contact their congressmen, senators and the
president, Land said individuals must make it clear they want the
government to promote a sanctity of life ethic rather than a quality of
Land said, "Our Baptist Faith and Message tells us that we're to defend
the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death, not a
government-imposed death because you're too expensive, too ill or too
Contact: Keith Collier
Date: September 3, 2009
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The IFRL is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in
Illinois. A non-profit organization, that serves as the state
coordinating body for local pro-life chapters representing thousands of
Illinois citizens working to restore respect for all human life in our
society. The IFRL is composed of people of different political
persuasions, various faiths and diverse economic, social and ethnic
backgrounds. Since 1973 the Illinois Federation for Right to Life has
been working to end abortion and restore legal protection to those members of the
human family who are threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Diverse though we are, we hold one common belief - that
every human being has an inalienable right to life that is precious and must be protected. IFRL is
dedicated to restoring the right to life to the unborn, and protection
for the disabled and the elderly. Click here to learn more about the IFRL.