I recently attended an open discussion about abortion that the Abolitionist Society of Oklahoma put together. During the evening one of the pro-choice people in the room explained why he is okay with abortions and his reasoning was that the unborn do not have a right to life because they are not able to hold preferences. When asked later if he would be okay with the killing of 14 year olds who were mentally retarded he said yes because they too can not hold preferences about their world. What I understood from that is that a person has value only if they are able to have a preference about the way they live and change it if they are not satisfied. I’m sorry if I am misrepresenting you, but this is what I understood from what you said.
I would like to argue that a person, no matter their intelligence level, has value because God made them and gave them value. Several verses in the Bible speak to the fact that man was created in the image of God.
“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” – Gen 1:27 (NAS)
God said this right before he created man and man is the only thing that was created in the image of God.
“For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.” – Psalm 139:13-16
In these verses we see that, even before we were born, God knows everything about us and it stands to reason that if he knows everything about us then he knows which of his creations are going to have a mental handicap. God is able to create people so they don’t have a mental handicap so if He creates them with a mental handicap they must still have value because He created them and every human that God creates has value. There are other verses that explain why humans have value, but for me these verses sum it all up.
Aside from the fact that all human value is found in God I know personally that measuring a person by their mental capacity does not make any person a lesser human. The problem with finding human value in mental capacity is that there are many forms of intelligence that can not be tested by an IQ test. I have a sister, Tami, who is mentally retarded, but I would say she has more intelligence than many people it just looks different. We adopted her when she was 4 years old and since she has joined our family she has never put her shoes on the wrong feet (and we never taught her) and she is able to dribble a basketball as good as most people. She also has great musical rhythm and when she hears a song with good rhythm she can not help but drum along. But she is also tricky and is able to do a lot more than she lets on. She doesn’t talk much but every once in a while she will slip up and speak clearly, but then she tries to act like it was a mistake so that she does not have to work so hard. While she may not be able to say her ABC’s or count to 10 without help I don’t care and I can’t imagine anyone who has met her saying her life has no value just because she is not really able to hold preferences about her life. She is my sister and the fact that God has said her life has value is enough for me.
Tami, 12, who joined my family in 2003.
She brightens my life everyday and reminds me that every person is special in God’s eyes.
I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted, but one thing that God has been challenging me in is the area of integrity. He has also been showing me how important it is. Most of this has been in connection with school and homework. It has frustrated me for the past year or so that some of my classmates don’t actually do the work to complete the assignments, they just make everything up and I’ll do all of the work and we will get the same grade. Of course they don’t tell the teacher this, but they often talk about it with me or other classmates.
It really bothered me, but I just kept telling myself that God saw the work that I was doing and that is really all that mattered. Also, I comforted myself with the knowledge that the hands on practice that I was getting at the time would benefit me later on and some of my classmates wouldn’t have that experience. But even knowing all of this it still bothered me how openly they talked about just making all of their work up or finding all of their answers in the back of the book. But then in class yesterday my teacher was telling us how important it is that we teach our students the importance of integrity and how integrity means doing what is right even if we don’t get a reward for it right away. I heard that and it just encouraged me to hear that the work that I put into my assignments is the right thing to do even though others can come up with the same level of work with out doing the hard work required. Later that evening I talked about it with my roommates and they encourage me even more with the following verse:
“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,” – Colossians 3:23
As the above verse says we are to do our work for God and not for anyone else. I really appreciated them sharing that verse with me because I knew it, but hadn’t been thinking about it.
If you read this post thank you for reading my ramblings and I hope that it encouraged you to always do the right thing even if nobody else sees.
My parents always raised me to be pro-life and to me that meant that abortion was wrong, but I never thought to take it to another level. But my parents not only taught me to be pro-life they also lived out what they believed. See, my family has completed 5 adoptions, from 4 different countries, in the past 10 years. I am now the oldest of 8 children and have 2 biological brothers, 2 sisters from India, 1 sister from Haiti, 1 sister from China, and 1 brother from Guatemala.
We don’t really know anything about my siblings mothers because of the records that the orphanages kept. We know that Fulmaya and Nisha’s mothers were both young and unmarried. We also know that Hannah and Tami’s mother’s died, which is part of why they were put up for adoption. We actually know more about Juan’s mother than any of the others. We know that she was unmarried, young, and already had another son. But even though we would probably never be able to find them, even if we wanted to, I will be forever grateful for the fact that they chose life for their child.
Until recently I did not realize how much God had been watching over all of my siblings, even before they were born. See in India, China, Guatemala, and Haiti it is legal for mothers to get abortions if they want them. In India and China it is almost encouraged by some if you know you are going to have a girl. There is already an article
on the Abolitionist Society’s blog about abortion in China and if you haven’t read it you should check it out. But I’ll explain more about abortion in India. See, more girls are aborted each year, in India, than boys because when a girl gets married their family is required to present her husband with a dowry. But so many families in India can not afford a dowry because they are poor and so it is easier to abort their daughter. Because so many girls have been aborted there is an imbalance in the ratio of boys to girls. In order to help lessen this imbalance the Indian government has actually made it illegal for any woman to get an ultrasound so that they can not abort their child based on gender. While this has not stopped women from finding out the gender of their baby it has started to make a difference.
Also, looking back over my families different adoptions it is obvious that God had picked each child to be part of our family. First, we were actually in the process of adopting a boy from Haiti at the same time that Tami was in the process of being adopted by another family. Well, the boy we were adopting had sickle-cell anemia and ended up dying before we could complete the process. It just happened to work out that the family who had been adopting Tami had to stop for some reason so we were able to adopt her instead. Another example is with Nisha’s adoption story. See, Nisha was born with Aperts syndrome which, if not taken care of within a few years, can cause brain damage. Well, when we found Nisha she had been in the orphanage for 3 years and because of her syndrome no one wanted to take her. But for anyone who knows Nisha they know that she has one of the best personalities of anyone they have ever met, even with all that she has had to deal with. But the most obvious picture of God’s working is with Hannah’s adoption. My mom found Hannah’s referral in December when, Hannah was 13, and according to China’s adoption policy a child must be adopted by the age of 14 or they become ineligible. We started the process knowing that we only had 6 months to complete an adoption that usually takes over a year, but God worked it all out and we finished the process the day before she turned 14. While the others each have a unique adoption story Tami’s, Nisha’s and Hannah’s best illustrate how God worked to put my family together.
I am a big sister. I am an Abolitionist.
When trying to decide what to name my blog I wanted to come up with something that was original, but also something that had a special meaning. Jai Masih Ki is a Hindi phrase that roughly translates to mean God’s Grace. Indian Christians use it as a greeting instead of other normal greetings. It is my hope that everyone who visits my page will understand what the Grace of God is.
Having said that I can not promise how often or what I will right about. This is going to be a place where I can write about what is going on in my life and what the Lord is showing me.
May God Bless you all!