My wife and I would really like to get rid of our dog. We got him nearly 7 years ago as a bribe or our daughter. I’d ripped her out of the only home, the only school, the only church she’d ever know and dragged her across Iowa to Sioux City and it seemed like fulfilling her longstanding request for a canine companion might be a way to mollify her.
A friend arranged for us to adopt a 6-year-old, overly-friendly, odoriferous, and incredibly lazy black lab named Tubbs. He’s been a part of the family ever since – and a pain in the neck. He’s made messes (of various kinds), chewed things he shouldn’t chew, eaten things he shouldn’t eat, sniffed visitors in ways that are just not proper, and generally made a nuisance of himself.
And now my daughter is off to Cedarville University and the dog is left to Jenni and I. Neither of us want him. We don’t have time to take care of a dog and so we ignore him. He needs affection and neither of us has the time or inclination to devote ourselves to meeting his needs.
He has some growths on his side and we convinced ourselves he was so sick we’d probably have to put him to sleep. My son from Virginia visited last summer and after a few days looked at us with a just a little disdain and said, “There is not a thing wrong with this dog except that you don’t want him anymore.” He’s probably right.
We’ve considered having him put to sleep in a humane way. We might feel a little sad about that, but we wouldn’t feel guilty. Tubbs is a dog and does not have an eternal soul. He is not a human being. We wouldn’t be cruel to him, or torture him or seek to make him suffer. But one of these days we are going to take this aging animal to the vet and say our goodbyes.
Tubbs is an inconvenient intrusion on our busy lives, but we are not going to be anything but humane to him. Decent people don’t treat even animals cruelly.
I say all this to observe that we treat a dog we don’t want better than some people treat a baby boy or girl in its mother’s womb. Because they find a baby inconvenient or expensive, because they don’t want their lives interrupted, because it would cause them some hardship or embarrassment, parents will hire a doctor who has sworn an oath to “do no harm” – an oath he now regularly and egregiously ignores. The doctor will do into the mother’s womb, the place designed by God to nurture and protect human life, and will brutally kill that little baby and remove it from the womb.
I wouldn’t treat a dog the way some doctors treat babies. America has come to accept an ethic that devalues human life and treats it as something of small value.
It is beyond disgusting that some defend this act as a woman’s right and a matter of “healthcare” – Orwellian doublespeak of the worst sort.
It is not humane, it is not even human, to enter a mother’s womb and kill the life that her body is nurturing. It is brutalizing and soul-destroying, victimizing not only the condemned child but also the mother who agrees to an act of such cruelty.
It may be okay to get rid of a dog because it is too expensive or inconvenient or unwanted, but babies are not dogs and should not be treated as such. A human being must be honored and treated with respect, as a being created in the image of God, with infinite value and divinely loved.
Years ago, my mom took me shopping for a pair of pants. That was back before price tags were computerized and bar coded. They were just little glue-backed pieces of paper with a price listed on them. That day we found a pair of pants that were my size and had an incredible price. We snatched them up and took them to the front to purchase them. The cashier looked at us suspiciously and started looking things up in her book. Sure enough, the great price on the pants was an error. Someone had switched the price tags. Someone had taken something expensive and labeled it as cheap.
That is what our culture has done with human life. Our courts have declared the killing of babies in the womb as a constitutional right. Many of our politicians proudly proclaim their support for the killing of babies in their mother’s wombs (called it abortion if you’d like, but that is what it is). Life comes pretty cheap in America today. If a baby is too expensive, or too embarrassing, or too difficult, it is treated as something cheap, something to be discarded casually.
Our job, as God’s people, is to replace the proper price tags. God created man and woman as the pinnacle of his handiwork and he called that creation very good. He breathed into mankind the breath of life and infused us with an eternal spirit – something no other creature on earth has. By our words and our actions we need to reassert the infinite value of human life and defend it against its enemies – those who treat it casually and take it cheaply.
We live daily in a world where all the price tags have been changed. Light is dark and dark is light. Life is cheap. In the power of Christ and with the weapon of his Word, we must go into this world and replace the price tags where they ought to be.
I don’t know what is going to happen to Tubbs, but I believe that if our nation continues to ignore the sacredness of life, we will lose a bit more of our humanity every day.
Let’s put those price tags back where they belong.