ELLIS: The pandemic shows that we all value human life

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The inestimable value of human life presents a constant policy debate between liberals and conservatives. Christians understand that because all human beings are made in the image of God, we each have inherent dignity and worth. There is no scale or metric determining who is more or less valuable, but simply because of the fact we are human, we therefore all deserve the fundamental right to life and government should protect that most basic right.

 

The Christian worldview is unique in recognizing that our common humanity provides the moral basis for the right to life, and our American law was built upon that basic premise. Other worldviews and social structures stratify or distinguish between persons based on some quality or criteria, whether that is race, gender, age, education, intelligence, physical or mental health, financial demographic, or something else. Any moral devaluing of a class or individual person begins with a fundamentally wrong view of what it means to be human.

 

These policy debates are present in legislation like physician assisted suicide, completed life bills, and abortion. If any policy argues for the intentional ending of human life at any stage of life from conception to natural death, then that policy’s underlying rationale has a fundamentally wrong view of humanity. Every life is a precious gift from God and every human being reflects the image of God and therefore has inherent dignity and worth.

 

In Romans 2, the Apostle Paul speaks about God’s desire to give eternal life and salvation to every person, and that God is “no respecter of persons” and that there is no partiality with God—meaning, most basically, that every person shares the common element of humanity. There is so much more to unpack, but the foundational truth is that being human sets us apart from and therefore distinct from and unique in all of creation.

 

We humans actually all know this because we bear the image of God. To argue otherwise is suppressing the truth that cannot help but surge to the front even in the most liberal deniers during times of individual or collective crisis. We fight for life instinctively because we know humans morally deserve protection.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic is evidencing this for our elderly communities and most vulnerable populations. No one would dare argue in America that some of us don’t deserve protection from this horrible virus based on any status or characteristic—in fact, even atheists and the most extreme progressive leftists are arguing for universal healthcare and more hospital equipment so that every person affected has access to lifesaving help. America will not pick and choose who is “more deserving” of lifesaving care (which is ironically the reason we debate so strongly healthcare policies).

 

While we can certainly debate the best implementation of healthcare policies, why would we need to—if life is not inherently valuable and deserving protection? America, rooted and founded in the Christian worldview, emphasizes the need and necessity to protect life and shows that even liberals understand the right to life and the inherent value of each and every human being, though they would never call it that.

 

Isn’t it interesting that even the most hardened denier of God cannot suppress His truth written on their hearts? Isaiah 55:8 and 11 says of God, “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. … ‘So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the purpose for which I have sent it.’” Indeed, “The grass may wither and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever,” Isaiah 40:8.