Chickens and Babies

On recent trips to the grocery store we’ve noted that eggs and chicken have become expensive.  This is from a combination of general inflation, increased commodity and feed prices, and especially a bird flu epidemic.  Prices will come down when the bird flu abates, but will likely stay elevated, at least where we live.  Colorado, our home, has recently enacted new legislation that will give new rights to chickens and other domestic fowl and specifies for instance that they must have minimum amounts of space.  The governor’s homosexual partner is a rabid animal rights activist, and the legislature is firmly controlled by the Left, so this is not a surprise.  Regulations coming into effect later specify that egg producers must provide perches, nesting spaces, scratching areas, and dust baths, and farm operations face a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per violation of the regulations.  California has similar rules and has enacted laws specifying confinement space and area for hogs, driving up prices, and these are standards that Colorado may end up adopting, as Colorado often allows California to set the pace on legal issues.  Agricultural interests are at best divided on some of these rules, noting for instance that more loosely confined hogs are prone to harming each other, as well as other problems.  Regardless, reasonable people agree that needlessly harming a domestic animal is wrong, and even livestock might rightly be protected from tortuous conditions.

In Colorado, chickens have rights.  Mimicking California, the state also has some of the most ghoulish abortion law on Earth.  In both states, a pre-born child essentially does not exist for legal purposes.  One expects that a child could survive a late-term abortion and be killed outside the womb by the abortionist or be left to die without any consequence.  A woman carrying a full-term baby could be harmed, causing the death of the child, and while the assailant might be prosecuted for the crime against the woman, there is no consequence for causing the death of the child.  In our society, chickens have rights; pre-born human beings have none.

One routinely witnesses the promotion of abortion by politicians and in media.  We can wonder about the rationale behind this; perhaps guilt from past involvement in the practice is often the motivator.  In some states, abortion is paid for at taxpayer expense, while improperly confining a chicken is fined.  It is proclaimed as a good thing, a right not to be tampered with.  The vast majority of abortions are for convenience, and “Eat, drink, fornicate, and be merry, for tomorrow we die” is the post-modern, existential philosophy of the day.  Children, like marriage and family, are no longer considered desirable.  The traditional family is no longer the norm.  Child abuse is almost epidemic, and a child born into a less-than-ideal situation is more likely to be abused, neglected, or become a financial ward of the state.  In some inner-city subcultures, most births are to unmarried teen mothers who themselves were born to unmarried teen mothers.

The birth of a child is a life-changing event.  As a parent to two, and grandparent to one and one on the way, I am very aware of this.  It is time-consuming, sometimes emotionally draining, and financially challenging, even when a child is planned, wanted, and born into a stable one-man-one-woman-for-life marriage.  But surely it must be acknowledged that there is something wrong, profoundly wrong, in a society that gives legal rights to chickens but refuses to give any protections to an unborn child.

The ancient prophet Isaiah wrote (Isaiah 5:20), “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”  Isaiah wrote to a declining, dying society, just like ours.  A society where evil was accepted, and good was disdained.

I recently saw the ultrasound photos from my daughter’s pregnancy.  Just past the mid-point of the pregnancy, one can discern the tiny hands, feet, and head, and the ultrasound revealed the sex of the baby – it’s a girl!  Not yet quite able to live outside the womb, she is a genetically complete human being with a beating heart, to be born in a few months, a human being reflecting the image of God.  David the psalmist wrote in Psalm 139,

For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.

Regardless of race, sex, economic status, or the circumstances of conception and birth, a baby is a human being, created in the image of God, here in one sense by chance, yet by God’s choosing.  To deny that is grievous error.  To use Christian terminology, to intentionally cause the death of the unborn child is sin.

We are all born sinners, members of a race in rebellion against the Creator, but thankfully, any of us – regardless of any sins we commit – can be “justified freely by His grace” if we will but repent and believe the gospel.  The apostle Paul wrote, in Romans chapter 3,

“But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

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