Thursday, June 4, 2009

More on Tiller murder.

Well, she's topped it: Elizabeth Scalia over at First Things has improved upon Reno (see yesterday's post), so please give her a read. She ties in all sorts of ideas, including Dietrich Bonhoeffer's involvement in a plot to assassinate Hitler as well as our understanding of Humanae Vitae, Paul VI's 1968 encyclical on human sexuality. It's not an easy read, but it worthy of our time. Here is an excerpt:

"Most people have not read Paul VI's short, prophetic encyclical Humanae Vitae, but everyone has an opinion on it. But all who identify themselves as pro-life should read it. It demonstrates with startling clarity the way in which small ideas that some may call "unpleasant but necessary," grow ever larger. Once you read it you can see how the seeds of the culture of death can reside in the tiniest tools doing what some would call the least damage. A pill grows to an IUD, an IUD grows to a suction or curette, that grows to a row of ever-larger forceps, all to deliver death, death, death-death with which we have quickly become so comfortable that we don't even realize the tools of destruction have grown so large or become so light in our hands.

We are all currently watching the inexorable creep from the largest of forceps to the next step: large human beings who will be refusing medical treatments to the expensive-to-keep-alive elderly, or injecting "compassionate" needles to the terminally ill or the children whose quality of life they deem insufficiently productive, or to people with an extra chromosome.

Slippery slope is a useful cliché, particularly on this issue. The same slippery slopes that call for the manufacture of those ever-increasing-in-size forceps exist in the idea that Bonhoeffer or Tiller's murderer, Scott Roeder, should be emulated. They should not. George Tiller's life may not have been a life any of us would have wanted, or admired, but it was the life he had, and he was entitled to it."


julieunplugged said...

Did you happen to see my blog on this connection (Bonhoeffer and murdering abortionists)? I've studied Bonhoeffer for years, wrote my MA thesis on his Letters and Papers from Prison. You might find the insights there fit with yours on some level.

e2 said...

Thanks, Julie! I missed your post originally, but I'm so glad you mentioned it here. I am fascinated by Bonhoeffer, although I've never had the chance to read much more than Cost of Discipleship and some letters.