December 2, 2004

Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin

Originally uploaded by octopod.

"Weighed weighed measured counted." The handwriting on the wall, interpreted by the prophet Daniel at Belshazzar's feast.

Interpretation: ""This is the interpretation of the matter: MENE, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; TEKEL, you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting; PERES, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians." (Daniel 5: 26-28, PERES being a pun on "Persian.")

The blogosphere is alive with discussion of the Groningen Protocol, which sets the bureaucratic standards by which doctors can murder children. This in a country that abhors the death penalty for people like the fanatic who killed the filmmaker Theo Van Gogh and almost decapitated him.

This is not only an evil in itself but also an ominous trend.

I remember a few years ago that in reference to Holland among others, I outraged a discussion list on psychology and law about capital punishment by disdaining the views of the "decadent social democracies of Europe." How prescient I was, alas!

Here are some links to discussions of this issue.

Although like most Americans I am neither 100% anti-abortion nor an abortion maximalist, it must be asked, does a society that not merely tolerates but constitutionalizes abortion, including late-term abortion, open the portals of the abyss? Or more broadly, is there a moral pattern the includes the constitutionizing of abortion, the trivializing of marriage, the abandonment of parental responsibility, that opens those portals? And are the Muslim fanatics the Assyrians, come down like the wolf on the fold, the destroyers of a culture that is rotting from within?

And what are we to make of a "philospher" and "ethicist" lionized by the literati, who holds that raising a human child to harvest its organs for another is not particularly disturbing, as this critique contends?

The handwriting may be on the wall. Will we soon be where Kipling's Recessional suggests we may be headed?

Far-called, our navies melt away;
   On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
   Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

Perhaps this abomination evokes Biblical language for a reason, though you don't have to be a religious believer to find the Groningen Protocol abhorrent.

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