I read an interesting blog post by Jon Bateman. I invite you to take a look at it as it will put more context around what I have to say. As a child Jon was clearly at peace with his physical circumstance, much more than those who encountered him were. What Jon doesn’t seem to square in his observation is the fact of the discomfort of those who encountered him.
It seems apparent that Jon was a joyful child who revelled in doing all that he could, pushing hard at the boundaries of his disability, yet he repeatedly encountered the words of those around him who would assure him of an afterlife physical perfection. Instead of engaging a child on the basis of what and where he is and accepting the current state as reality, these people chose to look beyond what they clearly see as a ruined present towards an anticipated future perfection. Jon is right in his response to this experience – that to abandon our reality and our lives today in exchange for the hope of a far-away afterlife is a poor idea.
Unfortunately, Canadian society has not learned this lesson, or at least not in a way that is beneficial for those of us who bear any notable imperfection, be it our legs, limbs, mind or sex. About 100,000 Canadian children are murdered every year because they were not deemed perfect enough to deserve to live. Had Jon been conceived in 2013 instead of the 1970s he would more likely than not be murdered before birth. Once his congenital Spina Bifida is discovered, his mother would face a barrage of tests and ‘conversations’ where she would be given repeated encouragements to murder her son because it would be ‘for the best’. Depending on the skill of the doctor, these conversations could be presented as the most logical and compassionate act, after all, who would want to live with such a horrible life-long disability?
If you doubt my words, take a moment to reflect on when the last time was that you saw a young child in a wheelchair, or walking with a form of crutches, the clear owner of some significant physical ailment? How long has it been since you perhaps encountered the drooling face and contorted limbs and shuffling gate of a body entrapped by Cerebral Palsy? (Do you have a sense of revulsion right now at what your mind is conjuring at the mention of these states?) Canadian society is murdering the equivalent of a Thunder Bay or Red Deer of children every year, yet nobody dares to stop it. You can cause the death of a child as she is being born in Canada, and as long as any part of her body (even just a toe) is still inside her mother, the Supreme Court of Canada says that this brutal act is not murder.
Canada is one of the few nations on earth without any form of legal protection for the unborn and our national ‘leaders’ continue to refuse to lift even a finger to provide even the slightest protection for these children. Some may say that this is because the dead don’t vote, or that to take on this issue is to welcome nothing but criticism from anyone with an opinion on the matter. While there is a nugget of truth there, I think that the real reason, the deep down dark soul fact of why nothing has been done in two decades is because the healthy would rather not see us in their midst. The disabled are a cost on society and often never return any net economic benefit above what society has had to spend on them. We are hard to look at sometimes and clearly make those with a perfect physique uncomfortable as their minds and bodies form a reaction of revulsion or fear.
This type of response is nothing new – many societies throughout history have practised infanticide as an expedient way to eliminate the imperfect runts of humanity. It is ironic that Jon’s post takes place in the environment of a church – the very place where the collision of human revulsion and divine requirement meet. If it were not for the enlightenment sweeping Europe and the wide-spread adoption of the three primary monotheistic faiths of Judaism, Islam and Christianity across most modern societies, we could have a rich and long history of infanticide. Unfortunately, infanticide is back, but few wish to even acknowledge it.
The great faiths call upon us to value and protect life, and this has helped to create a historic western culture that, outside of war, has honoured and embraced the dignity of every human life, no matter how damaged or diminished it may be. Unfortunately, like most lies, western society has adopted the belief that to pursue perfection on this earth and in this life is a virtue, and therefore to dare to beset another innocent human being with the scourge of life with a known physical or mental disability from the outset is very subtly presented as a sin. How dare a loving parent do such an evil to a child! So Satan has sold us the lie that it is better to murder our children before they draw their own breath because their lives would never be what we’d want for them. Moloch eats another meal.
So our society seems to flourish, freed from most of the avoidable taxes on our personal liberty and pocket book that attend with the arrival of a child with a feeble mind or body. The rise of Christianity helped to crush the practice of infanticide, but the rise of the Eugenics movement a century ago, married with modern prenatal diagnostic measurements along with the legalization of abortion has once again brought us full circle to where the healthy are once again destroying those who fail to meet their standard for life.
One may think that the eugenic-based pursuit of perfection died with Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party in 1945, but it is now clear that the lull in practice and spoken silence of this attitude was but a speed-bump that is now quickly fading as the eye-witnesses to that raw horror fade away. While we haven’t yet reinstated the open and blatant eugenic practices or promotions of the 1920s, the practice itself has returned and has become all that was envisioned a century ago and more as it has been enhanced, becoming absolutely personal as it is now delivered in a custom measurement of the contents of each and every womb. Today in Canada, every pregnant mother is subjected to mandatory and necessary scans and readings of her child in utero ‘for her safety’. Should the measurements of the child prove to be less than perfect, an active and helpful intervention can be cleanly and discretely performed, and the neighbours will never know that this murder was anything but an unfortunate miscarriage.
The practice of murdering our imperfect children has now had a full generation to take hold in Canada, and the ever rising number of abortions proves out both our improved diagnostic tools and our declining tolerance for the imperfect. It is only a matter of time before the thoughts of eliminating those around us who are deemed defective become spoken words. Yes there will be a proper initial response of revulsion and horror, after all we’re civilized! However, the seed will be sown; there it will lie, waiting for the ground around it to slowly warm. If we are not careful, it will only take the slightest action of a talented gardener to sprinkle the needed drops of water necessary to sprout this weed in the minds of millions.
If we ever reach that point, I for one will be happy to be put out of their misery because such a world will be one of pure Darwinian terror of the survival of those deemed worthy, a category in which I’m sure those like Jon and myself are not included.