ISIS and the West

The difference between ISIS and the West just got smaller.

I was reading an article on (I know that on most days it seems like a cross between Cosmopolitan and a ‘lads mag’ with a bunch of news headlines thrown in – the sad state of on-line news providers

) which headlined the despicable new low that ISIS has just sunk to.

Apparently ISIS aren’t content to throw homosexuals to their deaths from roof-tops, teach children to behead prisoners, or institute a policy of slavery and rape with the women they deem infidels.

Do you know what the new terrible low is?

They are apparently killing disabled children and people with Downs’ syndrome.

This is indeed a despicable thing.  The idea that some human beings aren’t worthy of life is a terrible corruption of what it is to be human.  Our value as humans come from the fact that we are created in God’s image.  There is no human being who isn’t worthy of protection, love and care, whether they are physically or mentally disabled in some way, or whether they are hateful and murderous like ISIS followers themselves.

The life of a human is valuable not for what they may achieve, nor for their quality of life or choice of lifestyle, nor because they adhere to a particular view of society, but purely because they are human, created in the image of God.

Yet the thing that struck me in the article is that we do the exact same thing in Australia, and every other western nation.

We test babies in utero (before they are born), usually with the express purpose of killing those who are deemed to be disabled – and not just those who are disabled, but also anyone who carries a ‘faulty’ gene or extra chromosome.  That is the whole purpose of prenatal screening for Downs’ syndrome.  To get rid of the disabled.

It wasn’t that long ago that Peter Singer, the Australian-born ethicist, was making the ethical case for allowing the post-birth abortion (killing) of disabled children.  His case (from memory) rested in large part on the fact that there is pretty much no difference between a newly-born baby and a baby in utero, and so if the termination of one is acceptable, there was no logical reason why the other should not also be.

There was a big outcry about it at the time, and then it all sort of went away.  But I think his case was entirely logical, based on his premise that aborting babies is currently deemed ethically acceptable (whether disabled or not).

I have heard of people who had their babies tested in utero for Downs’, decided to keep their child, and then feel pressured by medical professionals for ‘not making the right choice’.  They were told about how hard their life would be (both theirs and their child’s), how their child wouldn’t have a ‘fulfilling’ life, about the added expense, and their ‘selfishness’ in wanting to keep their child.

The whole aim of prenatal Downs’ testing is to get rid of people with Downs’ syndrome. On a personal note, this was the reason my wife refused to allow a nuchal fold test be performed during the ultrasounds during her pregnancies.

ISIS, by their reported actions, are merely following the Western world’s accepted view of the disabled (particularly those with Down’s syndrome).  Despite the news headlines proclaiming the despicable new depths ISIS have plumbed, on this point their values are very much in sync with our culture’s.

The lack of self-awareness of the reporter, their editor, and (I presume) the vast bulk of their reading audience, is a sad indictment of our culture and the morally superior attitude we adopt.

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