IN GOD WE TRUST
The Pitched Battle for the Soul of
Copyright � 2007 Victor Shane, all
or not to be... to die...
sleep to say we end the heartache and
the thousand natural shocks that
flesh is heir to.
It is a
consummation devoutly to be wished
DEATH ON DEMAND
believe that God created man in His own image, thereby investing each and
every human being with immeasurable worth, value and dignity. Given the
Judeo-Christian worldview, all human life is a reflection of the eternal
Life of God, as such endowed with a measure of the absolute.
atheists believe that there is no God and human beings are here as a result
of random processes. Given the atheistic worldview, there is no absolute worth or value associated with
any human life to speak of. That the cultural swing away from the
Judeo-Christian ethic would nudge America toward a culture of death was
natural, inevitable and derivative.
his book, Slouching Toward Gomorrah,
former United States Acting Attorney General Robert H. Bork catalogs the
events and legal precedents by which America stepped off her
Judeo-Christian foundations and went sliding down the path that leads to
the abyss. Judge Bork concludes the chapter entitled Killing for Convenience (subtitle, Abortion, Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia), by sobering words
that Americans would do well to reflect on:
crossing lines, at first slowly and now with rapidity: killing unborn
children for convenience; removing tissue from live fetuses; contemplating
creating embryos for destruction in research; considering taking organs
from living anencephalic babies; experimenting
with assisted suicide; and contemplating euthanasia. Abortion has coarsened
us. If it is permissible to kill the unborn human for convenience, it is
surely permissible to kill those thought to be soon to die for the same
reason. And it is inevitable that many who are not in danger of imminent
death will be killed to relieve their families of burdens. Convenience is
becoming the theme of our culture. Humans tend to be inconvenient at both
ends of their lives.1
book, Culture of Death, Wesley J.
Smith also documents the insidious results of the swing away from the
to most Americans, a small but influential group of philosophers and health
care policy makers are working energetically to transform our
nation’s medical practice and health care laws. They are turning away
from the “do no harm” model established by Hippocrates more
than two thousand years ago, and towards a stark utilitarian system that
would legitimize medical discrimination against—and even in some
cases, the killing of—the weakest and most defenseless people among us.2
goes on to document the emerging trends: the leveling-down of life and
leveling up of death; the de-gradation of people into “beings”
or “human animals,” and the leveling up of animals into the
moral equivalents of human beings; the subversion of word and language in
the effort to “redefine” life in certain cases (the unborn, the
newly born, those suffering from cognitive disabilities and the terminally
ill); the abomination that is now being called Futile Care Theory, allowing doctors to refuse wanted care on
the basis of their own subjective
assessment of the quality of patients’ lives; intentional killing of
cognitively disabled people via the slow torture of dehydration, per the
tragic case of Theresa Marie “Terri” Schiavo;
attempts to change the legal definitions of euthanasia and assisted suicide
from “crimes” to “medical treatment”; attempts to
rationalize and justify the macabre precedents of Dr. Jack
Kevorkian—“Dr. Death”; attempts to glorify the practitioners
and purveyors of death as “liberators”; attempts to elevate
death and dying to the status of a pseudo-religion; attempts to associate
death and dying with political correctness.
Francis Schaeffer suggested, it was inevitable that the swing away from the
Judeo-Christian culture of life would drag America toward an atheistic
culture of death. Precedent by insidious precedent, the icy tentacles of
the Grim Reaper are now invading and expanding into new moral, ethical, and
philosophical territories. Today “assisted suicide,” tomorrow
an Orwellian “duty to die.” Today “late-term
abortion,” tomorrow Hitler’s eugenics. Today “stem cell
research,” tomorrow human cloning. Today “non-heart-beating
cadaver donors,” tomorrow the organ farms portrayed in the film Coma. Precedent by precedent, inch
by insidious inch, America finds herself being pulled down into a moral and
there are no absolutes, there are no frames of reference. Where there are no
frames of reference, there are no guiding principles, no navigational aids,
no ethical chart, no moral compass, no lodestar, no mooring. Medical ethics
are now rudderless and adrift, blown in this and that direction, swayed by
the political expedients of the moment. All motion and no direction; all
form and no substance; all method and no content; all utility and no
humanity; all pharisaical hypocrisy and not an ounce of genuine morality.
To whom nothing is sacred, nothing is profane, not even the cold-blooded
murder of fully grown babies or helpless elderly patients. Once the
sanctity of human life has been violated, anything goes; once the principle
has been admitted, there is no limit to its application.
see in all this the terrible price that man pays when he takes the smallest
step away from God. The “banality of evil” that Hannah Arendt ascribed to the cold-blooded and utilitarian
efficiency of Nazi butchers is slowly invading the halls of medicine and
hospital wards. How did this happen? Well, it happened the same way that
abortion and same-sex marriage happened. This is what happens when a nation
gives the primacy
to the created thing instead of the Creator.
by the Ten Commandments, inspired and informed by the Christian ethic,
America’s Founders deemed it wise to safeguard human life by founding
the Republic of the United States on a Judeo-Christian worldview that gives
the primacy to the Creator and relative subordinacy to the created state.
hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that
they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the
pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights,
governments are instituted among men....
(Declaration of Independence)
Founders knew all too well that what Caesar “giveth”
today, Caesar can “taketh away”
tomorrow. By giving the primacy
to the Creator, and relative subordinacy to the state, America’s Founders rendered the
rights of man immune to manipulation by Caesar and the state. Unlike
elsewhere in the world where the rights of man can be granted or withheld
at the drop of a hat, here in America the rights of man are immutable,
inviolable and unalienable precisely because they are endowed by the
Creator of the universe.
was only by giving the primacy
to the Creator that America’s Founders succeeded in rendering
Americans immune to the caprices of Caesars, Czars, emperors, kings,
queens, pontiffs, priests, pashas, dictators, despots, oppressors, tyrants,
pretenders, autocrats, tycoons, magnates, moguls, politicians, bankers,
academicians and bioethicists.
America’s Founders been atheists, the rights of Americans would have
been subject to the political expedients of the moment, now granted, now
withheld, here respected, there violated, as in the former Soviet Union.
Without these Founders’ belief in God, and without the primacy that they accorded the Creator,
the rights of Americans, along with everything that we hold near and dear
in America today, including life itself, would have shared the fate of a
candle in the wind. So we say again, and for the benefit of those who seem
to be in denial, or hard of hearing: It
was only by giving the primacy to the Creator that
America’s Founders were able to secure the God-given rights of
Americans in perpetuity.
upon a time America gave the primacy
to the Creator and Supreme Judge of the universe. Once upon a time America
believed that God had created man in His own image, investing each and
every human being with immeasurable worth, value and dignity. Once upon a
time doctors in America were guided by a Judeo-Christian ethic such as
this. With the cultural swing away from the Judeo-Christian ethic, doctors
increasingly find themselves brow-beaten into adopting a more nihilistic
and utilitarian ethic, one that no longer asks “how can I save this
life,” but “is this life worth saving?” How did that
all considerations of God and Judeo-Christian morality. Exclude the Ten
Commandments. Strip the human condition of the protective coverings of
divine law, spiritual restraint, imperative, and discipline, and you will
have reduced human beings to physical systems. Now apply the rule of
general physical law to their behavior, and you would expect to find a cultural
bias toward euthanasia. How so? Why would the derivative orientation of man inevitably take America down the path
that leads to death and dying?
understand why, we must once more retrace our steps to beginnings.
According to the Bible, God formed Adam from the “dust of the
earth” (physics of this universe, oriented toward more probable states). Our physical constitution (the
atoms that make up our DNA, our cells, our flesh, our sinews, our bones,
our nervous system, our neurons, our synapses, etc.) is “wired”
into the behavioral field of a cosmos that makes general selections in
favor of more probable states—a universal selective process that
feeds back into our physical constitution to produce an attraction toward, and
preference for, more probable states.
probability of finding non-life (dust) in the universe is very high. The
probability of finding living cells (life) in the universe is relatively
very low. This is partly because non-life (the dust from which God formed
us) is more “stable” than living cells. Dust is stable. Life is
unstable. Dust came first (high probability). Life came afterwards (low
probability). In the universe at large, the greater order of change is
moving away from less probable states (life) toward more probable states (non-life). This may be an over-generalization and an oversimplification
of what scientists call increasing
entropy, but it isn’t too far from the truth.
didn’t come from life. Life came from dust. If we may again
anthropomorphize for the sake of edification: the dust of the earth does
not “feel an urge” to return to life; rather it is life that
“feels an urge” to return to dust. Given the nature, property
and orientation of the physical world, you would expect to find a general
tendency on the part of life to “desire” to return to the
stability of dust. Dust to dust and ashes to ashes. Granted, under normal
conditions this “death urge” would be superseded and suspended
by the survival instinct that the Creator has programmed into all species;
but it would exist as a generalization
of experience nevertheless.
FREUD’S “DEATH INSTINCT”
disturbed by the horrors of war, Freud spent much of his life trying to
develop a thesis that would provide a scientific explanation for the destructive
tendencies of man. In the latter part of his life he zeroed in on something
that he referred to as a death
instinct. In a 1933 letter to Albert Einstein he described it as
a result of a little speculation, we have come to suppose that this
instinct is at work in every living creature and is striving to bring it to
ruin and to reduce life to its original condition of inanimate matter. Thus
it quite seriously deserves to be called a death instinct.3
his Outline of Psychoanalysis (published
in 1940), Freud described it in similar terms:
may suppose that the final aim of the destructive instinct is to reduce
living things to an inorganic state. For this reason we call it the death instinct.4
it for a deficit of scientific clarity, or be it for a confusion of the
emerging new concepts of his time, among them relativity and so-called
“quantum indeterminacy,” or be it for some other reason, Freud
died before he could complete his thesis.
Given our knowledge of the cosmos today, Freud’s so-called death instinct can now be understood
in terms of the general tendency of matter and energy to move toward higher
probability equilibrium states. The word “death” may ring
ominous in human ears, but in the ontology of the cosmos EVERYTHING boils down
to the stabilization of energy.
the ontology of the cosmos, “stability” becomes a function of
change. A dynamic system that is alive and undergoing rapid change can be
said to be unstable. A static
system that is dead and beyond change can be said to be stable. Before the creation of the
temporal universe, there was no change and no instability. When God created the universe, He also created
temporal change and instability.
scientists say “universal entropy is always increasing,” they
imply that the universe as a whole is gradually winding down to a state of
rest and stability. And if the
entropy of the universe were to reach a maximum, the universe would reduce
down to pure undifferentiated energy—the end point of all energetic
striving. Unfortunately we would all be dead. So then what does
“death” have to do with “stability”? In the
ontology of man, nothing. In the ontology of the cosmos “death”
is another word for “maximum entropy,” “plenary
equilibrium” or “maximum stability.”
life depends on a myriad of mind-bogglingly complex micro-arrangements and
regulatory mechanisms working in perfect harmony and orchestration. Any
deficit, weak link, failure or compromise can throw the whole thing out of
kilter, short-circuiting health into disease, life into death, survival
into extinction. Human life is an extremely rare and low-probability phenomenon in the universe, requiring highly
ordered, highly strung, highly tensed, highly stressed, highly complex and highly unstable arrangements of
informational, material and energetic elements. The magnitude of the
complexity of a single living cell, the brief and tenuous nature of life
itself, the fine line that separates health from disease, and the rapid
rate at which flesh will decay after death, all testify to the instability of human life. From a
cosmic perspective, at least, human life represents a low-entropy,
low-probability unstable state of
the point of conception, human life embodies an enormously complex, rapidly
developing, highly strung, highly tensed, tightly-wound knot of instability; at the point of demise
(from miscarriage, from abortion, from privation, from violence, from
disease, from accident, from euthanasia or from old age), death embodies a
return to former stability—dust
to dust and ashes to ashes.
us return to the subject of “euthanasia” and ask the pertinent
question. Would the ontology of the cosmos tend to make selections in favor
of the instability associated
with human life, or would it tend to make selections in favor of the stability restored by way of
abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide? Question (stated figuratively):
If cosmos had a mind of its own, and if it could think thoughts, would it
tend to favor the pro-euthanasia agenda of the liberal left, or would it
tend to favor the pro-life agenda of the conservative right? Well, again,
if it were trying to make general selections in favor of more probable states, it is reasonable to assume that it would tend to favor the
pro-euthanasia agenda of the liberal left.
then it would seem that here also Francis Schaeffer’s hypothesis was
consistent with reality. Given a mindset derived from the ontology of the
cosmos, you would expect to find derivative cultures and civilizations making selections in favor of
abortion, infanticide, suicide and euthanasia. The veneration of
“death” is nothing new. From the worship of Baal and Marduk, to the blood sacrifices of the Incas and
Aztecs, to the words “crave death” found in the belongings of
911 terrorists, the culture of death has been intrinsic to derivative worldviews since time
immemorial. Let us recall the words of the wise Solomon:
is a way which seemeth right unto man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
first Amendment of the United States Constitution reads thus:
shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting
the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the
press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the
Government for a redress of grievances.
can calculate the sum of mischief that these few words have prevented in
the last 200 years? Here are a few words, written on a piece of paper, and
yet in all the annals of body politic you would be hard-pressed to find a
single blow more accurately delivered into the ribcage of the derivative idol that has been competing
against the labor of man and seeking to deprive him of the dignity of his
origins since time immemorial.
also, a few additional words, written in a latter day Constitutional
Amendment, will serve to indemnify future generations from untold mischief
when it comes to the misuses of modern medicine. Without presuming to
dictate the exact wording, an addendum to the First Amendment of the United
States Constitution might read as follow:
shall make no law respecting a definition of human life, or denying the
personage or personhood thereof, or denying the dignity thereof, or denying
the value thereof, or denying the quality thereof, or denying the equality
of all human life.
Christ died for all men, how great the worth and value of every human life!
As did America’s Founders, let us resolve anew that all men are
indeed created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable
rights, foremost among them being life
itself, and the only legitimate reason that governments have for existing
in the first place is to secure those rights.
being the case, governments must now do their duty by doubling their
efforts to preserve, protect and defend their citizens'
basic right to live. One way to
do this would be to require an up-to-date version of the Hippocratic Oath
to be taken by physicians before receiving a license to practice medicine.
presuming to dictate the exact wording, we may nevertheless submit the
following draft, based on the original Hippocratic oath of Circa 325 B.C.,
and the revision of Louis Lasagna in 1964:
HIPPOCRATIC OATH (REVISED)
hereby swear, in the witness of God and man, to fulfill, to the best of my
ability and judgment, this covenant:
will, henceforth and to my dying day, do hand-to-hand combat with my
ancient adversary disease, so help me God.
will preserve the sanctity of human life, abiding by the primum non nocere
principle of the Hippocratic tradition, respecting the hard-won scientific
gains of my peers, freely sharing such knowledge
as is mine with those who are to follow.
will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of my patients, recognizing
that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, remembering the words
of Hippocrates: “Let food be your medicine, let medicine be your
will neither administer a deadly drug to anyone who asks for it, nor will I
make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly, I will not administer to a
woman any abortive remedy or procedure, except to save her life.
will not view any human life subjectively, nor make any presumption about
the value or quality thereof. I will not discriminate between my patients
on the basis of race, gender, age, religion, culture, nationality,
condition, or status. I will treat all human life as equally valuable.
will not betray the trust of my patients. I will not violate the principle
of physician-patient confidentiality. I will empathize and sympathize with
my patients, always striving to preserve their God-given and unalienable
rights, dignities and autonomies under all circumstances. In sincerity, in
truth, and in purity will I guard the integrity and sanctity of my
I remain faithful to this oath, may God grant that my name be written in
the Book of Life; should I transgress it and swear falsely, may my name
never appear in it. Amen!
is time for Christians to get off the fence and take a resolute stand for
the superlative order of life, even as the derivative world reverts back to the ways of death. It is time for
the salt of the earth and the light of the world to get off the couch and
fulfill their destinies by using the virtues of the American political
system to turn back the evil tide in due process of law.
goes America, so goes the world. Let these wholesome restraints and lofty
standards be instituted here in the United States, and the world will
emulate in due course. Such measures of law must be instituted, and soon,
otherwise the American people will have no ground to complain of the evils
that may follow. Today is the day for lawful action. Tomorrow may be too
life is a precious gift from God, a sacred endowment that is now under
full-scale attack by the Grim Reaper. The rider on the pale horse of the
Apocalypse has thrown down the gauntlet and we are threatened by death on
all sides. Let all believers, Christians, Jews and Muslims alike, contend
valiantly before the throne of the Creator, by faith, by prayer, by
fasting, and by their lawful presence at the voting booths, to stem the
tide of elemental conformity and to restore the United States of America to
the dignity of her origins in God.
the pages of In God We Trust you
will learn how to affirm the necessity of Judeo-Christian ethic, stem the tide of elemental
conformity and reinstate belief in the sanctity of human life throughout
1. Bork, Gomorrah, 192.
J. Smith, Culture of Death (San
Francisco: Encounter Books, 2000), ix.
Sigmund Freud to Albert Einstein in 1933, quoted by Eric Fromm in Anatomy
of Human Destructiveness (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1973),
Freud, quoted in The Great Quotations compiled by George Seldes
(New York: Pocket Books, 1976), 253.
Back to top
- Back to Home