A few weeks back, media-mogul and mega-millionaire Ted Turner (himself a father of five and prominent among the "do as I say, not as I do" liberal elite) garnered some media attention after suggesting that the nations of the world adopt China's one-child policy as a means of curbing global warming. I have to hand it to Mr. Turner: He manages to combine the tenets of neo-Malthusianism and eugenics into one repugnant proposition:
"Mr. Turner – a long-time advocate of population control – said the environmental stress on the Earth requires radical solutions, suggesting countries should follow China’s lead in instituting a one-child policy to reduce global population over time. He added that fertility rights could be sold so that poor people could profit from their decision not to reproduce."
As 2.1 billion people around the world prepare to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, I can't help but wonder how different the world would be today if there had been a similar policy in Judea 2000 years ago. If you think of human life solely in terms of utility, or economics, or carbon footprints (as Mr. Turner appears to do), then there's little reason to endure an inconvenient or unwanted pregnancy. Mary and Joseph weren't people of means, after all, and Mary's pregnancy was a cause of great shame and embarrassment for her and her new husband. It would have been much easier for all involved if Mary had taken steps to get rid of the unsolicited life growing inside her and saved her "child credit," either to try for a baby with Joseph or perhaps to sell to a wealthy family.
But, as the story of Jesus shows us, God has a plan and a purpose for each and every life he creates. The children born to an illiterate tribesman in remote Africa, or an unwed teen mother in America – or an impoverished couple in ancient Palestine – may signify nothing more than an environmental drain to the benevolent Ted Turners of the world, but in the eyes of God they are sacred – they matter.
Thankfully for the rest of mankind, Mary followed her heart and trusted her faith. She chose life, Jesus was born, and His saving work was completed on the Cross at Calvary.
Perhaps no piece of writing illustrates the poignancy of this story better than a poem attributed to Dr. James Allen Francis. In his account of the "one solitary life" that changed the world forever, Francis captures not only the awesome profundity of the Christian religion, but the inestimable value of each and every human life: He was born in an obscure village, a child of a peasant woman. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty, Then became an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never did one thing that usually accompanies greatness. He had no credentials but Himself. While still a young man, public opinion turned against Him. His friends ran away. One denied Him. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. His executioners gambled for His only piece of property - His coat. He was laid in a borrowed grave. Nineteen wide centuries have come and gone. Today He is the centerpiece of the human race. All the armies that ever marched, All the navies that ever sailed, All the parliaments that ever sat, And all the kings that ever reigned put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as that? One Solitary Life.
This Christmas, let us step away from the prevailing cynicism of the world and meditate on the miracle and sanctity of life, especially that most special life that God sent into this world to save all others.