When Murder is no longer considered murder

Oh, falsely, falsely murdered!

By means of preface, I will be refraining from naming any of the persons involved in the story and from entering into particulars of the case, as this is an ongoing police investigation and because this concerns real people. My heart goes out to the family of the victim. I cannot imagine their pain and grief, and I pray that in the midst of tremendous loss they might find some solace.  While I will try to avoid personalising commentary for the above reasons, we must not forget that we are talking about real faces and names and lives; it is because of such that the issue being raised in the New York Post is all the more saddening and needs telling.

One of the most fundamental notions of being human is that murder is wrong. There are many dreadful things that human beings do to each other, but the most serious and base sin is surely murder.

Over the weekend a New York man murdered his girlfriend and her baby (she was 5 months pregnant). He was initially charged with 2 counts of murder, but the second charge has since been dropped by the police. A spokesman for the District Attorney told the New York Post that the abortion charge ‘was repealed by the Legislature, and this is the law as it exists today.’

While the murder charge remains against the man for killing his girlfriend, New York State’s new and controversial Reproductive Health Act has now come into effect and thus protects the accused from being charged with killing the 5-month-old unborn child.

How is killing an unborn child defined by the State as murder one day, and okay the next day? Like flicking off a light switch, one moment it was illegal to take the life of the child, but now, even while acknowledging the gruesome way both mum and child died,  the perpetrator has nothing to answer, at least in relation to this young one. The situation is even more morally absurd given the new abortion laws rely on permission being given by the mother and a doctor.

According to the Daily Mail, Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown says that the man showed “no mercy and no regard for human life.”

NYS coat of arms.jpg

New York State coast of arms


When murder is no longer considered murder, what have we become? When a man can stab another human being to death and then have a charge dropped because the law no longer considers the act unjust, what have we become?

There is an obvious disjunction here. It is as clear as last week’s comments that were made by Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam, who advocated a position for infanticide. And yet society is forced to close its ears and suppress the conscience in order to maintain and the unfettered and indefensible mantra of a ‘woman’s right to choose’.

Let the reader understand, this program of dehumanisation is far from finishing its course. Not only is infanticide now on the table, but murder charges can be expunged when society deems a person outside the protection of the law. The evolving sitz im leben in New York State is one example of a movement that is taking hold across many Western societies where it is no longer possible to even assume let alone uphold the basic laws that gave rise to the very notion of justice and righteousness.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught,

 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”

The Apostle Paul reinforces Jesus’ point,

“The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Romans 13:9)

Our modern sins, like those in the ancient world, are a matter of failing to love our neighbour. The wonder and attractiveness of sacrifice and giving for the sake of another is losing traction as the new morality stamps out opposition with newly fashioned laws and with civil intolerance.

We desperately need to return to the message Jesus Christ preached, to hear both the mercy of God and the righteousness of God. Love is not killing our neighbour, or slandering them or cheating them, but rejoicing in inconvenience, preferencing generosity over greed, protecting unexpected life, and valuing those who are sometimes more challenging because they carry with them disease or disability. Recent days have given us great insight into the direction Western cultures are heading, and the question must be asked, do we like what we see? Is this where we wish to be directed?

Pink is for Death

Pink has become the colour of death. When a baby girl came into the world, friends gave gifts of pink shoes or a pink outfit. It may be a social convention, but does that matter? Pink was the colour for girls. Like so much else, another insidious social movement has replaced something good with the representation of evil.

Last night in Manhattan, the skyline changed to a pinkish glow, as New York State celebrated the passing of a law which will enable the killing of babies up until birth.

pink new york.jpg

As the vote was counted and announced on the floor of the legislative powers in the State Capital of Albany, exuberant applause and cheers went up from the crowd who present to witness the proceedings. One American news outlet has likened scenes to winning the Super Bowl. It is telling when there is greater public joy over the sanctioning of killing human life than over the birth of a child. Surely society has plummeted to a new moral low.

Such scenes are not unique, they are becoming commonplace as abortion laws are relaxed across the world. There were similar scenes of jubilation in the Australian State of Queensland when abortion was legalised late last year. Brisbane’s night sky turned the colour purple in celebration of the right to take the life of a baby. Much of Ireland became a street party when their national referendum heavily favoured the legalisation of abortion.

The sheer evil of New York State’s law is reviling and should cause us to weep openly. Two of my children were born prematurely; two healthy beautiful little boys. Yet in places like New York and in my own State of Victoria, it is legal and even morally acceptable to have these children put to death. In Victoria, abortions can be legally attained until the pregnancy is 23 weeks and 6 days, after which, two Doctors are then required to sign a permission form. While late-term abortions are still considered ‘rare’ in Victoria, rare has become another malleable term, for in Victoria alone hundreds of unborn babies are subsequently killed every year after 24 weeks of pregnancy, many have no diagnosed medical condition and could be safely delivered alive.

25 years ago Hilary Clinton initiated what became the popular mantra, “abortion should be safe, legal, and rare”. That slogan has been abandoned for there is no longer a need to hide the realities. The new hashtag is “ shout your abortion”. This shift in public rhetoric less reflects a changing ethical system, and more echoes greater confidence to express what many people in society have long believed.

I still remember Jane Caro’s words in 2016,

“Shout out about your abortion any way you see fit — if the subject comes up in conversation, perhaps, or there is a story about it in the news.”

“If you have had an abortion, do not be ashamed of it. You are in good company. Shout it out and help lift the shame for all the other women who have also decided that every child should be a wanted child.”

Like a 21st Century prophetess, Caro’s sermon has been heard and adopted by the culture, as piranhas gathering around the carcass of a dying system of morality.

Long gone are the old excuses, for example, a fetus is not yet a human being.  With growing scientific and medical knowledge such nonsense is no longer sustainable but that does not matter. In full recognition of unborn babies being fully human and with the knowledge that their life can continue outside the womb,  the moral belief is, ‘their deaths are justified’. In other words, human life is not inherently valuable and untouchable but is subject to the worth we attach. A life is worth preserving only because personal interest declares it so.

The sadistic irony amidst the arguments of a woman’s right and health is that the majority of aborted babies are girls. In this age of advocating gender equality, most children who are killed in the womb are female. It is also the case that many other babies are aborted because they have been deemed as having some kind of medical condition, as though a disability or illness gives him less right to live.

In 2018, The Age (a secular Australian newspaper) reported a story concerning new research conducted by a secular Australian University, finding a link between abortion and the mistreatment of women.

“A phenomenon of “missing girls” could be afflicting Victoria, as a study of more than a million births suggests some parents could be aborting unborn female babies or undergoing embryo selection overseas in order to have a son.

If nature was left to take its course, it is expected that for every 100 girls born, about 105 boys will be brought into the world.

But in findings researchers say indicate “systematic discrimination against females starts in the womb”, mothers within some key migrant communities are recording sons at rates of 122 and 125 for every 100 daughters in later pregnancies.

Lead researcher Dr Kristina Edvardsson from Melbourne’s La Trobe University said it showed gender bias persisted in Victoria, despite laws banning people from choosing the sex of their child, other than for medical reasons.

“We believe that some women may be terminating pregnancies after discovering they are expecting a girl and in other cases are travelling overseas to access non-medical sex selection services through assisted reproduction,” she said.

These children have no grave, but they are not forgotten. I believe that one day there will be justice for these little ones, for not one act of injustice will remain unmet and without due consequence. I also remember that the miracle of life can only be equaled by God’s miracle of mercy. Christians ought to grieve over the insane and out of control dehumanisation project that is sweeping Western nations, and there is a righteous anger to be spoken. Our shouts, however, must center on a cross and declare good news of forgiveness. Despite the furor of public cheers and political congratulations, many women do regret their abortion and carry with them guilt and shame for many years to come. We, if we are truly Christian, have come to know and experience the mercy of God in our own lives, and we mustn’t let our anger rob our hearts of God’s mercy.

The story we speak is better than those cries to kill. Appropriately, t is a story about another unwanted child. At his birth, the Government attempted to interfere by sending local authorities to his town in order to find the newborn and have him killed. He was saved by his mum and dad fleeing, leaving the country and finding asylum in another land. Thirty-three years later, the feverish shouts could be heard all over the city, ‘Crucify him, Crucify him’. The public wanted it, and the Government approved. Little did they know that through this one death, God was bringing justice and mercy. The perfect Son of God was heaping on himself the sin of the world so that God might remove our sin and shame.

This is an age of outrage, and at times with some justification. In all the noise, hearing shouts to take the lives of innocence, the Christian message is about One who gave up his life for the guilty. We may not shout, but we can speak His name with love and kindness, with clarity and grace.