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"If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?"
By Mrs. Chancey
Mar 25, 2005 - 12:30:00 AM

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"In the LORD I put my trust;
How can you say to my soul,
'Flee as a bird to your mountain'?
For look! The wicked bend their bow,
They make ready their arrow on the string,
That they may shoot secretly at the upright in heart.
If the foundations are destroyed,
What can the righteous do?
The LORD is in His holy temple,
The LORD's throne is in heaven;
His eyes behold,
His eyelids test the sons of men.
The LORD tests the righteous,
But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates." ~ Psalm 11:1-5


We've received notes from a few people who wonder why the Terri Schiavo case is so important to a website dedicated to refuting feminism. After all, feminists aren't on the forefront of the fight to end Terri Schiavo's life. In fact, at least one feminist has publicly defended Terri's right to live.

But if you've read LAF for more than just a short time, you know that pro-life causes are very dear to us and that we have not hesitated to speak out against abortion and euthanasia. In fact, these issues strike at the very heart of what we seek to address here. If you check through the articles in our Foundations of Truth section, you will understand that there is more at stake as we defend a biblical view of humankind (male and female) than just the role of women. The real question at the heart of all we attempt to communicate is this: "By what standard?"

Is there an unchanging, eternal foundation for law? Is there a Creator Who gives life, defines justice, and condemns murder? Or are we all products of time and chance, struggling to survive in a race against evolutionary inferiority? If the former is true, then we have a starting place for making moral judgments. We can know right from wrong. If the latter is the case, then truth is relative, and morality is up to the individual to determine. Who is to say that a woman like Terri Schiavo is not just a human weed up for elimination in the game of human evolution? By what standard can we judge her "fit" or "unfit?"

We get lots of letters from angry readers who want to know why we cannot just "live and let live." One person commented, "My choice to do what I want doesn't affect you. I don't even live in your part of the country. Why can't you just leave me alone and let me make my choices based upon my own needs and wants?" This is an interesting question on a couple of counts. First off, I find it fascinating that writers like these find this website a threat. Is anyone from LAF holding a gun to any woman's head, demanding that she reject feminism? Is anyone from LAF personally seeking to eject women from the workforce and drag them back home, kicking and screaming? I hope the answer is obvious. Secondly, the central theme in letters like these is selfishness: "I can do what I want, regardless of what others think;" "Get off my back and let me live my life the way I want to;" "Stop telling me what to do; it's my choice." Where is the regard for the needs and desires of others?

This hyper-individualistic worldview ignores the fact that we are created to live in community with one another (families, churches, neighborhoods, cities, states, etc.). Our actions must and will affect those who surround us, whether we like it or not. We can only do what we want when we want if we live in bubbles, isolated from others. Let's look at just a couple of examples. There are those who protect pornography and believe it is a "right" that people should enjoy ("freedom of speech" and all that). But what about the freedom of women to be protected from men conditioned by pornography to view all women as "available?" Whose freedom is more important--the pornographer's to publish or the citizen's to feel safe from harm? Is there a standard by which we can judge in this matter, or is it just up to "individual choice?" What about pedophilia? There are advocates who say that raping children is healthy and acceptable and that society should endorse such a "right." Who are we to deny them this "right" when we cannot even declare in our our postmodern times that promiscuous sex is unhealthy and dangerous?

We must acknowledge the fact that all ideas have consequences. What we do individually impacts others and directs our culture. Do we really want to live in a culture that upholds the ruling of one judge as the "law of the land" when that ruling means killing someone by starvation? I am ashamed to say that my eyes have not been fully opened to the nature of the battle raging around us until this week. Terri Schindler Schiavo's case has only given us a very visible, public picture of what we do to the helpless by the thousands every week behind the closed doors of abortuaries. Because we are forced to watch the unfolding saga of a disabled woman being denied food and water, we are reacting with anger, disbelief, and grief. It is so easy to become complacent when evil is done in a corner. But when it is on the news all day, we cannot escape the consequences of our ideas. Those consequences are finally catching up with us.

Our schools teach the young that they are products of slime mold who do not have a loving Creator or a purposeful destiny. Our churches teach that the Bible is not authoritative and does not speak to every area of life (especially those areas that we don't like to talk about). Our economy is built upon a hedonistic culture of materialism ("He who dies with the most toys wins"), since that's all there is to life. Our legislators insist that their hands are tied if a single judge declares something "legal." After all, law "evolves," and we can't say that something that was wrong fifty years ago is still wrong today. We are seeing the results of pro-euthanasia advocates like Margaret Sanger (founder of Planned Parenthood). We are cutting away the very foundations from beneath our feet. Where will justice come from when there is no truth and no standard for transcendent justice? What hope is there for anyone if we stand on such shifting sand? Terri won't be the only person sacrificed on the altar of relativism.

As Christians, we must realize that what we do to the "least of these," we do to Christ. This is the essence of the gospel. When the lawyer in Luke 10 asked Jesus, "Who is my neighbor?" he was looking for wiggle room. He wanted to know just exactly who he was expected to treat well. Jesus answered with the familiar parable of the Good Samaritan. Your neighbor is the one in your path--the one right in front of you who needs help. Yes, that annoying relative who burdens you with complaints about her health. Yes, the coworker who mocks the gospel. Yes, the church member who holds grudges. Yes, the ailing grandfather who takes a lot of care. We don't have the luxury of declaring that certain people aren't worthy of our loving concern or our patience. Christ has shown us the model for care, and it is paradoxical in the world's eyes: The first shall be last. The least shall be greatest. The weak are strong. To be free, we become slaves. To live, we must die. My life for yours is the essence of the Gospel.

Then the King will say to those on His right hand, "Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, "Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.' ~ Matthew 25:34-40


You see, "the least of these" is what we lose when we insist that everyone is the same and that differences are nonexistent. "Abby," who recently sent an e-mail to LAF, commented, "[F]eminism is the new wave, and anti-feminists are a dying breed. We are entering an age where men do not see it as their responsibility to provide for their women, as well as an age where women do not want to become completely dependent on their men.... Women are not the weaker sex--they are able to do anything any man can do." Indeed? If men and women are the same, then why are we even having these arguments? Why haven't women been just as oppressive as men allegedly have been? Why are there not just as many stories about women raping men or exploiting men as there are about wicked men doing these things to women? And, more to the point, if evolution is true, why do we even have male and female? If it was all about survival of the fittest, we would never have evolved beyond bacteria. What could be more fragile than hanging the continuation of life upon something as complicated as human courtship, procreation, and the care of the young? "Women...are able to do anything any man can do?" Like father children?

The differences between men and women are things that cannot be lightly set aside without putting the human race at peril. Why would we want to advocate a culture where we pretend these differences do not exist? After all, if men and women are the same, then there is no such thing as brutalizing a woman (she should just "take it like a man," right?). There is no such thing as sexual exploitation, since there isn't sex to differentiate us. When we redefine the weak out of existence, we do away with their special, protected status at the same time. Because women are the life-bearers in our world, they deserve greater protection. Because women bear children and children are the future, societies should do all in their power to protect them from harm (and Christian cultures have, indeed, made "women and children first" a living reality for centuries). To give up our differences or shrug them off as immaterial is folly. This is the heart of the war upon the weak in our society. One thing leads to another. First we throw out the moral foundation that defines law. Next, we decide men and women are interchangeble and neither sex deserves special status. Finally, we say "yes" to killing those who get in our way. After all, it's all about me, right? I can do what I want, and no one should be able to tell me "no." And when someone gets in the way of what I want to do...?

Another e-mail writer states, "You might consider in your future thoughts and considerations, to allow humans to move forward into the new world that awaits and keeping your restrictive and encumbering ideas for the history books. Because, the stories told over 2000 years ago in a series of highly edited books,are not relevant any longer. They belong to a different time and place. Why not ask your god to dictate to you a new set of rules and regulations that are pertinent to our current condition? Have a lovely day. Ezra" Funny, but I thought all law was "restrictive and encumbering." Law is to restrict evil and encumber wickedness. It doesn't do this to rain on our parade, but to stop us from destroying all that is good, beautiful, and holy. The Bible's standard is "not relevant any longer?" Then what standard is? And who will get to make that decision--Michael Schiavo? If there are no transcendent "rules and regulations," then we are at the mercy of whoever is currently in power instead of under the protection of unchanging justice. And if we can rewrite the rules with each new generation, who is to say that oppressing women is wrong? The feminists don't have a leg to stand on if there is no transcendent rule of law. Christians can proclaim that abusing women is wrong, because we have a standard that protects the weak and does not change at the whim of public opinion on the matter. We can proclaim that abusive husbands should be denied custody of disabled wives because we have a standard that clearly protects the innocent from the wicked and provides refuge to the oppressed.

"Who is my neighbor?" is not just the starting point for a good story, it is foundational to the meaning of law: the protection of the weak and innocent and the punishment of the abusers and the guilty. Without a defining moral foundation for right and wrong, who gets to declare whose life shall be protected? Who can declare that the weak deserve a position of special care at all? Why not just eliminate the "unfit" of this world, as Princeton professor Peter Singer has advocated? Who will be next?

May God have mercy on us. May we wake up to see what we are losing as we deny the moral absolutes that give law the force to protect those in danger and punish those who harm life. May we never forget that, without an unchanging standard, we cannot even define what is "relevant...to our current condition." In denying the transcendent law of the Creator, we have asked for the very judicial dictatorship we cry out against today. "If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?"

© Copyright 2002-2009 by LAF/BeautifulWomanhood.org

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