The horror of Kermit Gosnell and the value of children

The beautiful baby that captures your heart as he or she sleeps in a crib could be traded in for a brand new shiny Ferrari, to paraphrase Sam Hananel of the Huffington Post. Are you willing to make the deal? Probably not.

The government reported in 2012 that, for children born in that year, it will cost a middle-income family $235,000 to raise a child to the age of seventeen. In other words, according to this report, a person can choose to raise a child, or buy one of the most expensive cars made.

It is true that children are a society’s most valuable commodity.

I imagine most people who have known the joy of raising a child would choose the child over the car every time – snotty noses, poor decisions, late nights, and all. 

Why do I say ‘most’ people? Because it would not be true to say ‘all’.

One of the most horrific stories of murderous child abuse has been avoided by most news organizations. On April 11, 2013 Kirsten Power in USA Today reported that the “sickening accusation” against Dr. Kermit Gosnell of West Philadelphia has had “precious little coverage” though it should be “on every news show and front page.”

Why should this story have been front page news? Because it exhibits the horrors that await a society that chooses self-advancement over investment into the next generation.

 They would rather buy a car than raise a child.

Gosnell is not simply a family doctor. He is an abortion provider who was arrested in January 2011 for eight counts of murder. One was the death of a mother when the abortion procedure went horribly wrong. 

The other seven were babies who were born and quickly put to death because the procedure was unsuccessful. Since the mother had paid up front for the abortion, Gosnell felt morally obligated to finish the job. It would have been a travesty to have had to give a refund for failure to adequately render service.

The procedure used to correct the failed abortions was to snip the spinal cord, or “literally a beheading,” according to a former employee of Gosnell’s clinic. The technique was simply known as “snipping.”   

Further horrors are described in the USA Today story. But this is enough to beg the question, “how can a society allow this to happen and not be up-in-arms at the failure of the media to report on this crime against humanity?”

I would offer three reasons this story has been largely ignored. First, the value of children has been largely forsaken in a society of selfishness. Raising children is hard work. Not only does it cost $235,000 but it makes you stay awake on some nights to care for fevers, tummy aches, and broken hearts.

Second, this case is offensive to our politically correct society and leaves no opportunity to lay the blame at the feet of the common culprits. The tragedies of public shootings have been blamed on guns or mental illness. Anything to avoid blaming the person responsible for the murderous evil.

But where can you lay the blame for a successful medical doctor who got rich by preventing the inconvenience of children? Is he mentally ill for the murder of these eight? Are the mothers mentally ill for seeking to rid themselves of the baby? Is it the society’s fault for allowing abortions? Perhaps it is the scissors’ fault for severing the spinal cord? 

I would argue it is the fault of people who kill others.

The third reason for the silence is that the mainstream media, which is largely pro-abortion, is concerned about a public who is becoming more pro-life. Gallup reported that 59 percent of people polled said abortion should be legal only under “few” or “no” circumstances. This is an increase from 51 percent in 1994.

In other words, there has been an 8 percent increase in people identifying themselves as pro-life rather than pro-abortion in the last eighteen years. Yet the media remains largely pro-abortion.

A transparent article written by Megan Mcardle, a pro-abortion correspondent to Newsweek magazine, reveals that one of the reasons she did not report on the Gosnell horror was, “those of us who are pro-choice must worry that this will restrict access to abortion:  that a crackdown on abortion clinics will follow, with onerous white-glove inspections; that a revolted public will demand more restrictions on late-term abortions; or that women will be too afraid of Gosnell-style crimes to seek a medically necessary abortion.”

In other words, she fears that if the public knew the truth about the Gosnell trial, the abortion industry would suffer.

The current silence of the mainstream media seems to be “ignore the problem and you do not have to answer the question.”

Even though most of us have little to no influence over the mainstream media, there are at least three lessons we can learn from the terror of Kermit Gosnell.

First, make a conscious effort to invest in your children in such a way that they are made aware of their value to you. Let them know that they are worth more than your car.

Second, realize that abortion is not about the right of a mother to pursue her own self-interests, but is about the right of a baby to have the opportunity to pursue life.

Third, know that there is always grace and hope through the mercy of Jesus Christ. He not only provides peace for the young mother who fears the future, but he offers forgiveness to the mother who has chosen abortion in the past.

If you want to stop the horrors perpetrated by Kermit Gosnell then help to change the society by loving a child more than a possession.


Chrysostom on Humility

ChrysostomJohn Chrysostom was no stranger to the attack of others who proclaimed the word of God, often out of selfish pretense. Thus it is fitting that his homily on Philippians 1:18 would be endued with the power of experience. In Concerning the Lowliness of Mind, Chrysostom argues that humility is the irreducible minimum in theological discourse among brothers and proclamation of the Word within the world.

“For humbleness of mind is the foundation of the love of wisdom which pertains to us. Even if thou shouldest have built a superstructure of things innumerable; even if almsgiving, even if prayer, even if fastings, even if all virute; unless this have first been laid as a foundation, all will be built upon it to no purpose and in vain; and it will fall down easily, like the building which had been placed in the sand.”

For Chrysostom, this form of humility will be manifest in the missionary endeavors of the ministry. A humble ministry will be evident, first, by the audience to whom the Gospel is proclaimed. In sum, the Gospel is to be proclaimed to all. Failure to proclaim the Gospel to any one person was the manifestation of pride demonstrated in a refusal to acknowledge the value of the individual to Christ as demonstrated in the Cross.

“For do not tell me that this or that man is a runaway slave, or a robber, or a thief, or laden with countless faults, or that he is a mendicant and abject, or of low value and worthy of no account: but consider that for his sake the Christ died: and this sufficeth thee for a ground of solicitude. Consider what sort of person he must be, whom Christ valued at so high a price as not to have spared even His own blood.”

Not only is humility demonstrated through the broad proclamation of the Word, but humility is demonstrated by the means through which the Word is proclaimed; namely, the suffering one is willing to endure for the sake of the Word, both in propagation and discipleship.

“For also Paul, dwelling in the whole world just as in one house, thus continually took thought for the salvation of all; and having dismissed every thing of his own; bonds and troubles and stripes and straits, watched over and inquired into each day, in what state the affairs of the disciples were.”

Chrysostom further argues that the means God used to bring such humility to Paul was the bonds which imprisoned him. “Hear at least what comes next, that thou mayest learn that the bonds not only proved no hindrance, but also a ground for greater freedom of speech.”

These chains were not only beneficial to Paul because they caused him to realize that the enemies may “chain his body, but not his tongue,” but they were also beneficial to his disciples. “For the leader of the army was bound, and the soldiers became forward in spirit; and the confidence with which they sprung upon their adversaries was greater: the shepherd was in confinement, and the sheep were not consumed, not even scattered.”Concluding with an admonition to prayer, the ultimate evidence of humility, the golden-mouthed preacher reminds the hearers

“For even if God at any time delay the giving, it is not in hatred and aversion, but from the desire by the deferring of the giving perpetually to retain thee with himself; just in the way also that affectionate fathers do; for they also adroitly manage the perpetual and assiduous attendance of children who are rather indolent by the delay of the giving.”

For Chrysostom, humility was demonstrated in the proclamation of the Word to all, suffering in the proclamation of the Word for all, and praying for the reception of the Word by all. This will result in the fulfillment of Chrysostom’s shortest sermon, “In all things, glory to God, Amen.”