Feb. 23, 2019
Subject: Abortion Part 5: The #1 Human Rights Issue and Its Devastating Effects
Jeremiah 31:15 “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”
Worldometers publishes data for a wide range of subjects such as population growth, births, level of Co2 emissions, and on and on. They are known for their credible data sources, which include the World Health Organization and International Monetary Fund. They recently published data on global deaths. As of December 31, 2018, they reported 41.9 million abortions in 2018, making abortion the overwhelming leader worldwide (8.2 million people died from cancer, 5 million from smoking, and 1.7 million died of HIV/AIDS).
Dr. Thomas Williams, Professor of Philosophical Ethics at the University of Saint Thomas in Rome and 2018 Visiting Research Scholar at the Center for Ethics and Culture at Notre Dame University, responded to the Worldometers report: “This data means that globally, just under a quarter of all pregnancies (23 percent) were ended by abortion in 2018, and for every 33 live births, 10 infants were aborted. There were more deaths from abortion in 2018 than all deaths from cancer, malaria, HIV/AIDS, smoking, alcohol, and traffic accidents combined. The staggering number of deaths from abortion, has led some to call abortion ‘the social justice cause of our time,’ since other human rights issues pale in comparison.
The year 2018 also saw the repeal of Ireland’s 8th Amendment, one of the last laws recognizing and protecting the right to life of unborn children. And the UK Department of Health revealed that in 2017 — the last year for which it has revised abortion statistics — the number of UK abortions hit a 10-year high.
The 2018 Worldometer figures were released just before the Christian celebration of the Feast of the Holy Innocents Holy on December 28, commemorating King Herod’s decree that all male children under the age of two were to be killed.” This ties into our verse this week from the Old Testament book of Jeremiah.
The prophet Jeremiah (dated 620-580 BC) uses this reference to Rachel, as the mother of Joseph and therefore of Ephraim, as the ideal representative of the northern kingdom of Israel. Her voice is heard in Ramah weeping for the children who have been slain or carried into exile as Israel has been taken captive. God’s intention is to show that Rachel, from her grave near Bethlehem, weeps for her children.
This Old Testament passage that points to the slaughter of innocent children by the marauding invaders of Israel gained a special significance in the New Testament as Matthew cites this very verse as being fulfilled in Herod’s massacre of every male child under 2 years old in Bethlehem. He did this to ensure that Jesus Christ, just born in Bethlehem, would be murdered (see Matthew 2:13-18). Dr. Williams’s point was that the 2018 abortion statistics were released right when the church commemorated the historical event of the slaughter of little children. The real tragedy is the world looks on in indifference.
In Japan, the government has set up Buddhist Temples with a unique solution for women who mourn over their dead children. Women pay a fee to get her own “water baby”, known as “mizuko jizo”, that personalizes her aborted child. They come to stand before their water baby to express their grief, fears and hopes of forgiveness. In her article ‘In Japan, A Ritual Mourning for Abortions’, Sheryl Wudunnjan’s interview with a young couple revealed how devastating abortion is in Japan: “The fact that you have murdered someone will be with you all your life — it will not disappear,” said a 27-year-old salesman, whose words prompted a swell of tears from his girlfriend as they stood before a mizuko jizo.”
About 40% of Japanese practice Buddhism, which is a subtle form of atheism. It denies the existence of a living, personal God. It denies the need of a Savior, thus denying the true God of the Bible and the gift of His grace. Buddhism exalts self. There is no supernatural intervention. You bear responsibility for our actions. This explains the intense mourning over abortions. There is no place to go to be forgiven. The intense guilt you carry is yours, regardless of how many trips you make to see your mizuko jizo.
Christianity stands alone in providing complete forgiveness for your sins, through God’s love for you. This is the essence of the most popular verse in the Bible, spoken by Jesus Christ Himself: “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, the whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16). If you’ve had an abortion, Jesus Christ stands ready to forgive you completely. All you must do is ask Him, and surrender your life to His control.
Ed Croteau is a resident of Lee’s Summit and hosts a weekly study in Lees Summit called “Faith: Substance and Evidence.” He can be reached with your questions through the Lee’s Summit Tribune at Editor@lstribune.net.