Lives Worth Living

I remember watching a movie when I was a kid, possibly War of the Worlds (the original, not the Tom Cruise remake) wherein alien monsters were attacking Earth. A family cowered in their home as the killing machines drew closer. The father had a pistol in one hand and his young son in the other.

As they heard they door opening, he cocked the gun. He did not aim for the invaders because he knew it was futile. He was, instead, about to shoot his wife and children to spare them the alien tortures. Fortunately it turned out to be human rescuers, not aliens. All survived. Nevertheless, the very thought that a father might do such a thing shook me up. Was he doing the right thing? What would my dad have done? What would I do?

These aren't easy questions until we remember that life is a gift from God. It is not our place to reject that gift; we must respect it until God brings it to its natural end. I will probably protest if He decides my Earthly ending is to be vaporized by aliens. What I should do, however, is have faith that He will be merciful and bring me to eternal life on the other side, whatever the manner of my death. Likewise for my family. To short-circuit that process is

I recalled that movie after writing this post about a real father killing some of his children under far less noble circumstances. I had also just written about the agonizing death of babies who survive abortion attempts. For some reason, this week there was a small flurry of similar stories. Here is a quick roundup for you.

The Anchoress has a long post about the baby Zeke. I linked to the family's slide show last month. Anchoress adds some touching thoughts and a personal story of her own.

Gazizza shares with us the story of a British clinic that screens embryos for cosmetic defects. Not life-threatening conditions, mind you, but things like hair color and squinty eyes. See something you don't like? Abort this one and try again. Parents who go to this place apparently thing it's worth killing several kids to make sure they get one who is just right. LifeSite covers the same story.

The New York Times had a story about prenatal testing for Down's Syndrome. Fully 90% of unborn children shown to have this condition are aborted. Families of Down's children are trying to fight back by sharing their own experience. Life is different, they say, but no less rewarding. Rod Dreher has more thoughts.

Fr. Erik at Orthometer links to an inspiring video about a baby born with severe disabilities.

Zippy at WWWW has some thoughts on why people choose abortion over adoption.

Finally, the Emilio Gonzalez case here in Austin is still ongoing. This week the baby's court-appointed guardian agreed with doctors that life support is futile. The next hearing is scheduled for May 30th. Austin Bishop Gregory Aymond also agrees. More of his thoughts here. National Review reports there may be more going on than meets the eye. Lot of comments after Mark Shea linked to the story.

My initial reaction on the Gonzalez case was that the mother should let him go. That was two months ago, and his condition seems to have neither improved nor worsened. So now I'm just confused. Please add Catarina Gonzales to your prayers. She needs peace and wisdom to discern the right course - as do we all.

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