Mark Zuckerberg wants to have a conversation about miscarriages. His timing is ironic given that we’re also having a conversation about harvesting of fetal tissue for scientific research.
Many couples wish for there to be more public recognition of miscarriages, in some cases memorial rituals, etc. Others want their actions regarding identical fetal tissue to not be exposed, to be destroyed or harvested in secret.
What is the difference? One fetus is wanted, the other rejected. The public status/value of the fetus is the will of the parents. If the fetus is desired you could be charged with murder if you end it. If the fetus is unwanted the parent (or the government) pays to end it.
This means that our status is determined by those with status and power. Human life isn’t seen as a thing in itself, but something that has value only if conferred by someone with status and power.
This is at the heart of “black lives matter”. When people of status or power do not recognize a life’s value that life is at risk. The difficulty is we struggle to have a public framework to solidify value apart from someone recognizing and protecting the status of the weak and vulnerable. Political pressure is flimsy and fickle.
Religious Liberty and Imagery
Religious Liberty is a hot topic:
- In 2001 the Taliban destroyed two Buddhist statues that were on the historic Silk Road. This destruction was condemned throughout the West but the action is part of a long line of what we call iconoclastic behavior. More recently ISIS has been destroying ancient religious statuary in Iraq and Syria.
- After the Supreme Court decision legalizing same sex marriage many conservative religious communities including Christians have concerns about infringement of religious liberty. Christian colleges are facing the possibility of the loss of accreditation and Federal financial aid if they don’t remove sexual behavior morality guidelines that conform to traditional Christian sexual norms.
- “We are under attack by Muslims at home and abroad,” Franklin Graham, head of Samaritans Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, wrote on his public Facebook page on July 17. “We should stop all immigration of Muslims to the US until this threat with Islam has been settled.” At press time, more than 167,000 people had “liked” the post. CT
- Ideas about religious liberty developed in the West after hundreds of years of warfare between Protestant, Catholics, Muslims and waves of persecution against religious minorities like the Jews.
The Bible and Religious Freedom