With a Supreme Court decision regarding Obamacare expected soon, many are left wondering exactly how our society got to this position in the first place. How did we become a culture where only some people matter, where life is so devalued that we could kill a person and barely even think about it? While the Supreme Court's decision will not answer these questions, they are still questions to ponder-and rectify. For, if we do not address the root of the problem, it will only get worse.
Anticipation is building to a fever pitch in and around the nation's capital as various types of leaders jockey for position and posture while waiting for that big moment when the Supreme Court reaches a decision on Obamacare. The questions remain: What will be the fallout and what can we expect?
There are three scenarios that are most commonly debated, but for my money none of them gets to the crux of the problem at hand. The main question that many of us have will not be answered by the Supreme Court. That question is: How did we arrive at a place in America where the government is doing everything but defend and protect the nation's citizens?
As we are already well aware, federal law does not protect all of its citizens. It currently discriminates against a class of persons not yet born and a growing class of persons who are frail, vulnerable, and dependent upon others for their care. Whether you are a preborn American or in failing health, the chances are that the nation's leaders will not protect your human rights. As Dr. Elizabeth Wickham pointed out in her series of articles on the third path in health care,
Today bioethics is embedded in formal governmental regulations, state and federal laws, and medical ethics guidelines around the world. Bioethics is a subfield of ethics that was "created" in 1978 by the Belmont Commission and it quickly became internationally accepted. From its philosophic base has come the utilitarian (and futilitarian) culture that now threatens to permanently change the culture and practice of medicine.
It is this skewed perspective on the actual rights of persons and their intrinsic human rights that will not change regardless of what the Supreme Court rules on Obamacare. The reason is that we reside in a nation where it has become commonplace for people to put themselves before others and for people to devalue life if it doesn't meet some arbitrary standard. We live in a society where abortion is looked upon as a simple medical procedure and where the taking of an innocent life is often the result of chemical contraceptives. We look the other way as overdoses of pain killer or other medicines take our loved ones away "compassionately." This is not a society based on love, selflessness, and respect for all people. And this is a society that is quickly spiraling downward.
In this era of moral free fall, the culture has lost sight of the natural law that is written in the heart of every man. There is nothing the Supreme Court can do about that. But there is plenty that average folks like the reader of this commentary and this writer can and must do about this. We can take our lead from teachers like Dr. J. Budziszewski, who said in an interview,
Very few people know anything about natural law theory. Yet "in our bones" we all experience the reality of natural law, because it is rooted in our creational design, woven into the fabric of the human person. We can't help but notice certain obvious things about ourselves.
This gives Christians a certain advantage in conversation, if only we can learn to rely on it. Who doesn't see that life and innocence are good? Who doesn't know deep down that innocent life should never be deliberately destroyed? Who hasn't noticed that men and women need each other, that there is something missing in each sex which needs to be balanced by the other? Who isn't at least half-aware that marriage is the family-forming institution, the motor that turns the wheel of the generations, the only form of association that can give a child a fighting chance of being raised by a mom and a dad?
Don't start with what people don't know. Start with what they do know. Weave together reminders of the obvious.
And that is where the last word comes from; it comes not from Supreme Court justices, but from the One who has given us the gift of sharing the truth with those around us. God has both the first and the last word. And to effect any change, we need only use and share His words.
Judie Brown is president and cofounder of American Life League and a three-time appointee to the Pontifical Academy for Life. We are grateful to all those who's prayers and donations make our work possible.