Wow. How did this one get past the censors? It was incredible. And moving beyond words. What am I talking about? Sally Phillips most extraordinary documentary, A World without Down’s Syndrome, which screened on the BBC this week. Sally is well known as the TV comedy actress from TV shows like Miranda and the Bridget Jones films. She is also a Christian and her oldest son Olly has Down's syndrome.
At the beginning we were warned that the documentary contained some upsetting scenes. (Warning: likewise this article contains some passionate language and may upset some of a more sensitive nature – I don’t know how to be dispassionate on this one!). Little did I realize how much impact they would have on me.
I’m not ashamed to admit I wept – not just a wee cry, but sobbed. I don’t know when I last saw something so moving, profound and world revealing. It moved me - to the apparently contrary emotions of anger and compassion. It caused me to cry ‘how long, O Lord, how long?”
Why? Because it was a most revealing portrait of what a world - or to be more accurate - what the West will be like, without God. Take the following quotes:
1) "Protect yourselves from the doctors – refuse screening"
There is a large proportion of the medical profession who think that people with Down's syndrome have lives that are not worth living. And they put pressure on pregnant women to have an abortion. How can people who are supposed to be devoted to saving life be so callous about taking it?
2) “If we have a society that is unable to care for people, then the problem is not the person”
Indeed. The words were spoken by Sally in response to a health professional who quizzed her on whether she had considered the fact that her son Olly would one day need to be looked after when Sally herself is gone. The real question is, do we really want to live in a society where the weak, the vulnerable and those who are considered a ‘burden’ are to be cast aside? In regard to this there are many things that puzzle me – not least those who passionately and in my view justly bemoan government cuts to disability benefits, who then just as passionately argue for the right to kill the disabled in the womb! In what world does that make any sense?
3) “People with Down's syndrome should not exist…who is perfect? Who should decide that we do not have the right to exist? We have lives just like everyone else”
This was from Halldora (pictued above with Sally), a lady with Down's syndrome from Iceland, where screening has now resulted in the 100% killing of all children with Down's syndrome in the womb. Her testimony was stunning.
4) "Our angle is that it is about choice….they can’t know how their child is going to be affected”
This was from the only NHS charity which offers pre-natal counseling. The goddess of choice (at least for those things that liberals think we should have choice about – there are things that they don’t think we should be able to choose) is the religion of our cultural and political elites today. But it was clear from the programme that there is considerable pressure on people to make the ‘right’ choice in the eyes of the professionals. The counseling seemed to have a primary focus of letting people know that it was ok to abort the baby in the womb.
5) “We felt this was the best thing for the baby….they injected the heart….one minute you could feel him wriggling around and then the next minute he was gone…it’s every parents right to decide what’s right for their child”
This was spoken by a woman who at 25 weeks had her baby aborted because of Down's syndrome. Really? Really? Stop and think about that statement for a moment. Can you not see how chilling it is? Killing the child is the best thing for them? Why limit that to babies in the womb? As Peter D Williams has written - this is simply a form of eugenics in utero. Why not go the whole Peter Singer route and state that it’s every parent's right to kill their disabled child outside the womb too?! The illogicality of this is exceeded only by its cruelty and callousness.
6) “Greater choice does not lead to greater happiness…is choice all its cracked up to be. Where are all these individual choices going to take us? What kind of world will Olly be living in when he is my age?... If we are heading towards a world where we choose more and more who gets born then we need to think about it a whole lot more"
So let's think about that. What kind of world are we creating with this goddess of choice? What is this Godless world?
What kind of world?
It’s a world in which right wing libertarians and illiberal liberals unite to defend their core belief that humanity is God and choice is the only absolute. When you have the Guardian and Katie Hopkins of the Daily Mail allying together you know that something fundamental and foundational about our society is on the line.
The Guardian told us that a woman’s right to terminate her baby is non-negotiable. Why? Why is this a fundamental part of the liberal creed? Is it ok to terminate a baby because they will have ginger hair? Because they are female? Or black? What if their IQ is not sufficient? After all, the right to choose to kill your own baby is ‘non-negotiable’! And what exactly is the rationale for stopping at the child in the womb? Why does the mother not have the right to kill their child outside the womb, if they can’t cope? Or if the child’s life is going to be a burden? Or too disruptive to them?
Then in weighed Katie Hopkins – yes, the very same columnist who has called immigrants and refugees vermin and cockroaches. She states: “to flinch from the very real truth that giving birth to a severely disabled child can prevent you from living your own life is cowardly in the extreme." As an example of post-modern newspeak that one is hard to beat. The primary thing that matters to the Katie Hopkins of this world is that you must be able to live your own life and any denial of that is ‘cowardly in the extreme’.
Again stop and think about what that means. Myself and my wife have three children. Each of them has meant that we were not able to live our own lives as we pleased. Love has responsibilities. We could not sleep, eat, drink, play, work, go on holiday as we pleased – because our own lives were inextricably bound up with others. Whether they have Down's syndrome or not is irrelevant. Killing children because they are inconvenient and limit our capacity to live our own lives as we wish is one of the most barbarous doctrines known to humanity.
A world where love is sidelined
Another column in The Guardian complains that Sally’s documentary is too emotional – “Feeling is not fact, and being pro-choice means supporting all women’s choices, not just the ones you agree with.”
Others suggested that it was wrong for Sally to use her own story – which is more than ironic from people who continually use emotive stories to push their own political/social agendas. However I would agree that it is right to have facts. But is it a fact that choice is absolute? Surely that is an opinion, a feeling, an irrational doctrine even, not a fact. It is a fundamental doctrine of the contemporary secularist creed, but fact it is not.
A world where amoral science can be used as the rich and powerful determine
When the geneticist George Church (Professor of Genetics at Harvard) was interviewed on the programme, he stated that science had no morality and you could do what you want with it. He pointed out that ethics change from year to year. And in the godless world he is right. Science is amoral and can be used by the rich and powerful as they determine. It’s the same with morality. In a world with no absolutes except that of the political powers, then an absolutist state (or corporation) gets to make the rules and the morals. All of them. There are no checks and balances. Corporate Christ-less fascism/communism is the ultimate triumph of atheistic secularism.
A world where some lives matter more than others
This is a world where equality and diversity are political soundbites used by those who rarely practice them and who think that some people’s lives are less worthy. A world where French cartoonists matter more than Syrian refugees. A world where the disabled, the elderly, the unborn, the poor and the terminally ill had better beware.
Of course, humanity has tried this before. Mao and his ‘Cultural Revolution’, Stalin and his super Russians, and Hitler and his Master race, were all atheistic Social Darwinists who believed that ‘science’, genetics and eugenics could all contribute to the perfecting of humanity. In the West we would have gone the same way.
‘Liberals’ like HG Wells argued that for the good of the human race, it was not just those with ‘defects’ like Down's syndrome who would have to go, but the Chinese and the Africans! Others like Bill Hamilton (Richard Dawkins' mentor) believed that the useless and the weak should be filtered out. He argued for a radical programme of infanticide, eugenics and euthanasia. He declared that spectacles were a symbol of decadence, that he would grieve for the death of one Giant Panda more than he would the death of one hundred Chinese and that the handicapped should be killed at birth!
Eugenics and euthanasia were extremely popular among the elites in the West, so why have we not gone that way until this generation? I believe that there are two reasons. The Nazis/Stalinists/Maoists showing us where such ‘progressive’ thinking leads, and Christianity acting as a brake. With the passing of history the former reason is being forgotten. Now, with the weakening of the impact of Christianity on the collective consciousness, the door is now opening for a second attempt to be made.
A world where personal autonomy reigns
Libertarian right-wingers and illiberal liberals share the same creed. They are god and the only thing that matters is personal choice. Don’t want the ‘burden’ of a child? Kill them. Don’t like your wife or husband? Divorce them. Don’t like your children? Leave them. Don’t like your country? Trash it. Don’t like your gender? Change it. Don’t like your life? End it. The only thing that matters is you, your comfort and your choices. Everything else is optional, flexible and dependent.
Human autonomy (which translated means 'human divinity') is the be all and end all of the godless society. The only trouble is that in such a world, its not only God we lose, but humanity. The most inhumane thing that we can do is make human choice the absolute arbiter of all that is good and beautiful.
This is a doctrine of demons. It is from the pit of hell. It is the original lie of the devil, who seeks to destroy all of God’s good creation, and especially the part that He declared to be ‘very good’ – that part made in his image. The father of lies whispers the greatest lie of all into our ears: ‘you shall be as God’. If we listen, we are damned.
Traudl Junge, Hitler’s secretary, gives us a fascinating insight into where this all leads.
“Sometimes we also had interesting discussions about the church and the development of the human race. Perhaps it’s going too far to call them discussions, because he would begin explaining his ideas when some question or remark from one of us had set them off, and we just listened. He was not a member of any church, and thought the Christian religions were outdated, hypocritical institutions that lured people into them. The laws of nature were his religion. He could reconcile his dogma of violence better with nature than with the Christian doctrine of loving your neighbour and your enemy.
‘Science isn’t yet clear about the origins of humanity,’ he once said. ‘We are probably the highest stage of development of some mammal which developed from reptiles and moved on to human beings, perhaps by way of the apes. We are a part of creation and children of nature, and the same laws apply to us as to all living creatures. And in nature the law of the struggle for survival has reigned from the first.
Everything incapable of life, everything weak is eliminated. Only mankind and above all the church have made it their aim to keep alive the weak, those unfit to live, and people of an inferior kind.” (Until the Final Hour –p108)
So – yes – I’m angry at the grotesque and evil route that our society is being driven. But I’m not despondent nor will I give up. It is our aim to keep alive the weak, those unfit to live and people of an ‘inferior’ kind. How can we stop this evil tide?
Spread the Word
One statement was made in the documentary that gives us a big clue as to the way ahead.
‘If you want to instill certain values spread the word that these are valuable members of society…”
We have to spread the Word. All human beings are made in the image of God. All have a right to life. All lives matter. Any society which wants to survive must, in recognizing these facts, care for the weak and vulnerable in their midst. All societies need to realize that righteousness exalts a nation and sin is a reproach to any people. And all individuals within that society need to acknowledge that we as human beings are fallen and sinful.
Unless we as individuals are changed for the better, society will not be changed for the better. Unless the image of God is restored in all its glory we too are individually and collectively lost. And that of course, is where Jesus comes in. His work of re-creating the whole cosmos, begins with re-creating us.
A world without God is hell. A world with him is heaven. Make your choice. Watch and Weep. Learn and Love. Preach the Word, in season and out of season… and let's turn the world upside down!