Thursday, January 27, 2005

A comment on choice

From a religious perspective, I can understand the position that many people of faith take. The stance that I have heard is that any and all life is sacred, and must be protected at all costs. I happen to disagree. Before the advent of modern medical procedures like the C-section, premature births, and hospital emergency rooms, the birth of a child was a wonderous and terrifying time for the mother to be, the immediate family, and their surrounding community. Midwives worked hard and did their best to make sure the birth went smoothly and without too much complication. These wise women learned from their elders and their own experience the signs of distress and what it was possible to do to remedy bad situations. And without the magic of of X-rays, ultrasounds and thousand page medical journals, they brought into the world several thousand generations. But there were many mothers who died in childbirth, or had children that were stilborn. These were accepted as part of life, and the mother and child during the entire event was said to be 'in Gods hands'. It was done with great respect and reverence to the randomness of life. We seem to have taken much of that randomness out of the picture, and we struggle to bring into the world children who would not have survived even 50 years ago. I do believe that the children who were not born over all those thousands of years had souls. But I don't believe that they were lost. I believe that they were taken 'by Gods hands' and given another chance at life at a later time. God does not waste, and according to everything that I have learned about the teachings of Jesus and the Prophets before him, their fondest wish was that we all had the chance to live up to our potential, striving for what is best in life. I don't believe that they want us to simply live for the sake of life.

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