Sunday, March 02, 2008

Civilized?

Pastora was a young Ye'kwana woman who had gone into labor. After 36 hours, she had still not delivered and was beginning to run a fever. I went in and checked on her, but I could tell things were not quite right with the labor. After asking many questions, she admitted she had not felt the baby kick or move for at least 3 days. I could not hear a heart beat.

We began to monitor her and planned to call the plane for a medical evac the next morning as she was running a fever, most likely from an infection due to the death of her unborn child. However, in the night, the child was delivered. A beautiful little girl, perfectly formed and of a good size, but dead at birth. I could also see why Pastora had an infection as the child had been dead a few days. I delivered the child and placed her in a metal basin.

We had not lived among the Ye'kwana very long at this time and I was not sure how to proceed or culturally how we should dispose of the baby. I asked her brother in law what we should do. Imagine my surprise and shock when he took the basin with the dead child outside and gave it to the dogs! The hungry dogs of the village began to fight for the meal and soon nothing remained.

I was abhorred! Appalled! Disgusted! How barbaric! How inhuman! How primitive! How could I understand such a people!?!?! How could I ever love them? I wanted to scream and shake and yell out my disgust! I was sick to my stomach!

Then I realized... my own culture, my own people do something much worse and much more barbaric, and we assume ourselves to be educated, enlightened, cultured, civilized! We have the understanding of science and we have used to to our 'advantage'. We can 'choose' to end the life of an unwanted child at any time. This 'right' is even upheld by our courts.

Sure, we are too advanced to throw the corpse of a child to the dogs, a child that died in the womb, a child wanted by her mother. We would never do such a thing! But... we would end the life of an unborn child if the mother finds it to be inconvenient. We would then dispose of the child in a scientific, hygienic manner and pat ourselves on the back for being so superior to other primitive cultures which would deny this right for a mother to choose whether to keep the child or dispose of it.

Yes, dress the doctor up in a white lab coat, it makes all the difference! One is the picture of depraved humanity at it's most primitive while the other is enlightened science at its most evolved.

But, which is the more evil?

23 comments:

The Localmalcontent said...

The latter of your two examples, the abortion process, oughtta simply be called what it is, "infanticide". The term abortion is misleading; lipstick on the pig or windowdressing.

Maybe I've been swooped up by the left's incessant images, but I can't take the idea of a woman in a back alley, and some quack with... well, you get the idea. I don't want that for expectant mothers- so, does there have to be some safe alternative?

But anyway, I abhor abortion. I believe fully, that the birth of a child is a glorious thing, when said child is conceived by two in love.
As for the examples most often cited by Progressives, incest, rape and/or coercion, I think that an adoption option is all too often dismissed.

As Neal Boortz states, nobody's minds are going to be changed, on the topic of abortion.

So believing that, to me, it all comes back to lust. Defeat that formidable enemy successfully, and there is no pregnancy to contemplate in the second place.

Amanda said...

That was hard to read but you made a very good point.

redneck preacher said...

This is a wonderful example of the savagery of abortion. Very good lesson Jungle mom

Pick a VP yet?

HTOITA

Gayle said...

Yes, that was indeed hard to read, but I think the brother-in-law's culture - probably because of having lived with much depravation - had decided that dead equals meat, at least meat for their animals. It sounds disgusting, but it's not as disgusting as supposedly civilized people killing babies on purpose! That's actually worse, as far as I'm concerned. We should know better!

I hope you are not ill with the flu as you mentioned it in the last comment you left on my blog. If you are, I pray it will quickly run it's course.

Jungle Mom said...

gayle,
yes, I have the flu, but seem to be doing a bit better.

Nicholas Z. Cardot said...

Our nation is savagely barbaric. What a powerful and well-written article. Wow. I don't even know what to say after reading that. How moving and challenging. Wow. Thank your for sharing this story with us. It only goes to make me appreciate your work down there even more!

Bar Kochba said...

Amazing post. Something to think about. We're no different from the ancient Spartans who disposed of week babies by leaving them to die on mountains or in the forest.

Mountain Mama said...

I was horrified when I read this, but you certainly said it like it is. Doctors who perform abortions are taking a life. It morally and Biblically wrong, and no different than what that man did with the body of that little dead baby. Like you said, a white lab jacket does not make it acceptable.
You know Rita, the more I read your blog the more I learn about the life of a Missionary. God Bless You And Yours!

Deedra said...

I agree that was really hard to read, but a good point.

Susan said...

Very well said, Rita! I was shocked as I read, but you made your point very well.

Judith said...

Thank you for reminding me that sugar coating what we do with (as you said lab coats for doctors) or calling murder aborting, does not take away the wrong of it.

Oh God, how America needs the simplicity of the Bible to measure what we do to.

Your life work is an inspiration to me.

Webutante said...

When liberals assure us that mankind has "evolved" this is the kind of message we need to point to. The depravity and fallenness of man has never evolved in spite of technology and sophitication and is only transformed individual by individual as we come to Christ. Mankind as a whole will have to wait until our Saviour comes again. Thanks for a poignant post.

jennifer said...

But which is more evil? Well when we are dead does it matter what happens to the shell?

This is why I write often about abortion, as we as a society try to carry ourselves off as a leading civilized nation.

My heart aches when I think of just those today who will be tore apart like wolves....all inside the *safety* and *security* of mothers womb...disgusting.

Pat said...

You brought tears to my eyes--I am sure you had a flood of emotion when this happened...

I have counseled girls who aborted their babies---they NEVER get over the act!!! Forgiven, but not forgotten---God only knows the curse upon those taking these lives!!

I am reminded of the "traveling crosses", where churches place thousands of crosses in memory of those babies aborted......the sight evokes chills and tears!!
All in the name of inconvenience!!

How heartbroken this young mother must have been to have lost her child!! What a huge amount of grace God bestowed upon you as you worked with these peoples you grew to love!!

Farmer John said...

But, which is the more evil?

I think you made that amply clear, jm. For to hide what is really going on during an abortion behind painkillers, anesthetics, and sterile drapes is an act designed to psychologically separate the woman's conscience from the act being performed. In that sense, it is a crime against the conscience.

In the great classical liberal philosopher Isaiah Berlin's letter to George Kennan he states...

"...you say (and I am not quoting) that every man possesses a point of weakness, an Achilles' heel, and by exploiting this a man may be made a hero or a martyr or a rag. Again, if I understand you correctly, you think that Western civilisation has rested upon the principle that, whatever else was permitted or forbidden, the one heinous act which would destroy the world was to do precisely this--the deliberate act of tampering with human beings so as to make them behave in a way which, if they knew what they were doing, or what its consequences were likely to be, would make them recoil with horror and disgust. The whole of the Kantian morality (and I don't know about Catholics, but Protestants, Jews, Muslims and high-minded atheists believe it) lies in this; the mysterious phrase about men being "ends in themselves," to which much lip-service has been paid, with not much attempt to explain it, seems to lie in this: that every human being is assumed to possess the capacity to choose what to do, and what to be, however narrow the limits within which his choice may lie, however hemmed in by circumstances beyond his control; that all human love and respect rests upon the attribution of conscious motives in this sense; that all the categories, the concepts, in terms of which we think about and act towards one another--goodness, badness, integrity and lack of it, the attribution of dignity or honour to others which we must not insult or exploit, the entire cluster of ideas such as honesty, purity of motive, courage, sense of truth, sensibility, compassion, justice; and, on the other side, brutality, falseness, wickedness, ruthlessness, lack of scruple, corruption, lack of feelings, emptiness--all these notions in terms of which we think of others and ourselves, in terms of which conduct is assessed, purposes adopted--all this becomes meaningless unless we think of human beings as capable of pursuing ends for their own sakes by deliberate acts of choice--which alone makes nobility noble and sacrifices sacrifices. "

"All this [the praise of our choicemaking volk] may seem an enormous platitude, but, if it is true, this is, of course, what ultimately refutes utilitarianism and what makes Hegel and Marx such monstrous traitors to our civilisation. When, in the famous passage, Ivan Karamazov rejects the worlds upon worlds of happiness which may be bought at the price of the torture to death of one innocent child, what can utilitarians, even the most civilised and humane, say to him? After all, it is in a sense unreasonable to throw away so much human bliss purchased at so small a price as one--only one--innocent victim, done to death however horribly--what after all is one soul against the happiness of so many?

Nevertheless, when Ivan says he would rather return the ticket, no reader of Dostoevsky thinks this cold-hearted or mad or irresponsible; and although a long course of Bentham or Hegel might turn one into a supporter of the Grand Inquisitor, qualms remain."


Sparing these women the horror and disgust of their actions is not an act of compassion, but a crime against humanity.

The Ye'kwana way does not spare anyone involved in the process any psychological pain. And feeding the corpse to the dogs may not appear to us a civilized act, it is still a much more inherently honest one.

The Hermit said...

That's pretty barbaric, I have to say. I've been in 33 foreign countries, in some pretty bad times, and I've never seen anything like that.

Glenn Bartley said...

I look at both things as less than desirable.

As to abortiion, it is not the answer to a man or woman being sexually active and refusing to use condoms or other borth control, or to be responsible if a pregnancy does take place. It is sad that such unwanted babies are aborted, they would be wanted by someone. of course as i always add, I do see a legitimate place for abortion to save the life of the woman, to abort severley deformed fetuses and in cases of incest and other rapes.

As to the feeding of the dead fetus to the dogs - this is a very bad idea if only because of two things - the possibility of the spread of disease to the dogs and then back to humans; and the fact that the dogs are now uised to eating human flesh. Dogs should not be fed dog flesh nor human flesh, if humans want to remain in control of them.

All the best,
GB

MK said...

"We would never do such a thing! We would then dispose of the child in a scientific, hygienic manner..."

The Ye'kwana threw the dead baby out to the dogs, but they wouldn't have done it to a living baby right?

Some of the proponents wouldn't mind throwing the unborn to dogs JM, it's a very thin veneer.

"But, which is the more evil?"

The one that is told it's wrong but carries on anyway.

jennifer said...

Rita I linked this post. This post is right on.
Jennifer

MightyMom said...

good post.

very nice.

Sarah Joy said...

I can't imagine how shocked you must have been. Your point is very well made.

groovyoldlady said...

I'd say it's more like dressing up the DOG in a lab coat!

Excellent post on a very sad topic.

Susan Kelly Skitt said...

What a truly sad story. My sister-in-law had to deliver their stillborn baby at eight-months pregnant. What a difference when people know Jesus, how precious each life is, an eternal soul. Praise God for those who go to the lost with the Gospel of the grace of God. Where would we be without Jesus?

(Here via Pen of Jen)