Happening now is the #INHUMAN TweetFest, from 8am-8pm in whatever timezone you happen to inhabit. The goal of this event is to raise awareness about late-term abortion.
A legitimate question was raised on the event page by Sandra: “Is this supposed to be ‘Inhumane’? It just seems a little strange to call another person inhuman when he is indeed human. It is his behavior that is not human.”
“Tolerance applies only to persons and never to principles. Intolerance applies only to principles and never to persons.”~ ~ Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
I had the same feeling when I first heard that, in closing statements, the prosecution asked Gosnell if he was human (WhoIsGosnell?). Gosnell giggled. Hearing that felt like hearing the anti-story to the parable of the Good Samaritan.
In that parable, Jesus doesn’t make the injured man the example of a neighbor…he makes the man who helped him (the Good Samaritan) to be the example of a neighbor (of how a human ought to be). It is better to value the stranger (out group, marginalized, other) on the same level as we value our own self. If the balance is tipped either way, we need to reevaluate. It is better to err on the side of too much compassion…to consider fully human our enemies, the outcast, the unborn, the innocent-until-proven-guilty, et cetera…so that we do not lose our own humanity. Part of being fully human, is acknowledging in others their full humanity–that which is shared between us.
With that understanding, it is not easy to justify abortion. The only way it would ever be justified is if the mother would die if she didn’t end the pregnancy (because their lives are equally valuable). However, to clarify, I have heard of cases where it was said a mother’s life was at risk if she carried a baby to term, but she chose to go through with it, and both baby and mother survived. That is not the sort of risk I am talking about that would justify abortion…and it should never be an abortion doctor who should determine that risk. Always seek a second, third, et cetera, opinion. And if there is no one else depending on the mother, she would be equally justified in taking that risk (giving her baby a chance to live) if she so chooses.
Also with that understanding, dehumanizing Gosnell is not justifiable. In an ultimate demonstration of the Good Samaritan neighbor, Jesus switched perspectives with us on the cross, taking our sin and giving us his spotlessness. God’s love is limitless and without condition, but it will not be forced upon those who reject it. Refusing to extend (without condition) to others what we received (without condition) is the same as rejecting it.
Back to Sandra’s question. Is this Tweetfest supposed to be named #INHUMANE rather than #INHUMAN? Jill Stanek points out: “Definition of ‘inhuman’: 1. Lacking human qualities of compassion and mercy; cruel and barbaric. 2. Not human in nature or character.” So, “inhumane” is about moral behavior, whereas “inhuman” is about moral character. It is not only his behavior we are concerned about, but his character. He is a human, a person, or we would not be concerned at all. To suggest that he behaved with inhuman character is not to suggest that he is not a person (not a human)–it is to suggest that he did not fulfill his obligations as a human. Yes, Gosnell in that sense lost his humanity. But lest we lose ours…we dare not dehumanize him.
Jill Stanek clarifies: “For the purposes of this investigation, ‘inhuman’ carries a double meaning: The treatment of these babies is inhuman, while meanwhile the babies themselves are considered inhuman by the other side.”
So, please don’t misunderstand. The #INHUMAN TweetFest is not about dehumanizing Gosnell or anyone else. There is no way that would be justified, despite how inhuman the character of those who fail to acknowledge the human status of the newborns murdered at 3801 Lancaster, and of the thousands of babies murdered every day out of mere convenience. May justice be done.
We hope you will join us in crying out on behalf of those considered #INHUMAN today.
Read more & watch the videos: http://LiveAction.org/