Roe v. Wade turns 42 — what other “moral decline” milestones come to mind?

Supreme Court (cropped)
January 22, 1973. Not the U.S. Supreme Court’s finest day…

Today is he 42nd anniversary of the horrific 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision which created a constitutionally-protected “right” to murder human life in the womb.

I was listening to Mr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, talk about it today in his podcast (worth considering) and his comment than many mainstream Christians of the day — including, in his opinion, the Southern Baptist Convention — sort of shrugged about the matter at the time, with even some arguing that it might be a “lesser of two evils” in some circumstances. Few saw it as the issue it really was: A question of whether the choice to murder innocents, fashioned in the image of God, would be enshrined as a constitutional right. It is now understood to be one of the great turning points in the moral degradation of our country — a point where human life came to be seen as no more meaningful than that of the animals and certainly not something sacred.

I am happy to see that Mr. Armstrong spoke about it years earlier in the March 1969 issue of the Plain Truth, where he noted (with comments where I can’t resist myself):

“Right now pressures arc being more and more exerted in the Western world
to make abortions legal. Under certain conditions, of course. [Note: How sad the “of course” is now no longer an “of course” in our world. — WGS]  Such as requiring the assent of two or three doctors. [Wow. Compared to today? I mean — wow. — WGS]

“The pressures are primarily one-sided. I haven’t heard many indignant, emotionally aroused well-organized protests to prevent it.

“This is in line with the toboggan-slide in morals. Fornication and adultery are fast gaining public acceptance. For several years outright profanity has been accepted on the stage. And now the question of whether legal abortion amounts to legal permission to commit murder does not seem to raise many eyebrows, let alone ignite flames of spontaneous protest.”

Also, the year of Roe v. Wade, 1973, the Plain Truth carried an article titled, “Abortion Now Legal…But Is Abortion Murder?” by Mr. Armstrong. He updated many of the same comments he had written four years before, and he answers the question posed in the title unequivocally: Yes, it is. Just as those of us begotten of God’s Spirit are now His children though not yet born into the fulness of life He intends for us in His Family, the child in the womb is just that: the child of his mother and father. As he puts it in his article, at the moment of conception, mother and father have given that new human being all the “life” they can and, from now it, it is not a matter of “more” human life being added; rather it is simply a matter of that new human life growing and maturing.

As Mr. Armstrong said in that May 1973 article:

“It didn’t get the BIG headlines. It was overshadowed in the news by the ending of the Vietnam war (so far as direct U. S. participation is concerned) and by the death of a former President. Yet the U. S. Supreme Court ruling handed down January 22 may have even a more important and lasting effect on the future of America and the world.”

I believe time has validated that speculation.

Where are we today? Well, according to National Right to Life, 52 million babies have been aborted in the U.S. since Roe v. Wade, and every single day an additional 3,300 lives are destroyed — more human beings than were killed in the September 11 attacks. That’s like 9/11 happening every single day. Sadly, the Tomorrow’s World from 2005 “Abortion: A Modern Holocaust?” is still as relevant today as it was a decade ago. And I take a special sort of pride, hopefully not a carnal pride (let me know–I can repent!), that my very first telecast was banned by WGN because of the manner in which I described abortion.

(Side note: That TW article made a difference, which I note in a later “Letter to the Editor” from someone named E. G. Oromiya in Ethiopia (emphasis mine): “I was sure I would gain a lot when I requested your free literature from the Internet. And it really happened when I received a booklet and the magazine with the cover article ‘Abortion: A Modern Holocaust?’ [March-April 2005]. It didn’t take me more than a day to read the magazine and write you this letter. I am a medical student in Ethiopia, where abortion is not yet legalized. I had been having the view that abortion should be legalized. But now I have changed my mind after reading your magazine. The biblical evidence and the figures for the ‘reasons’ for abortion have changed me much. Thank you very much, and God bless you!” Thank God for the opportunity we have to preach His truth!)

It seems to me that while that wasn’t the event that created the abortion problem in the U.S., it was very much a watershed moment or, to mix my metaphors, a significant milestone in our common cultural decent into moral morass.

That brings me to a question. If we were to create a timeline of such milestones concerning society’s modern decent into moral depravity, it seems to me that January 22, 1973 and the Roe v. Wade decision would be a milestone on that list. But what other milestones would we place there? Concerning homosexual “marriage,” for instance, would there be one, significant milestone? Such as President Obama’s public endorsement of such “marriages” on May 6, 2012? Perhaps another, more significant day? Certainly, if the Supreme Court “discovers” a constitutional “right” to such “marriages” (that’s a lot of “scare quotes” in one sentence!), that would surely qualify as a milestone.

So, what milestone events and dates do you think should be listed on such a timeline of societal moral decline? And while I’m U.S.-centric in my considerations, I would like to consider society on a broader scale, so if there are some outside America, feel free to suggest those, as well.

I’d love to know what you think — just let me know in the comments below.

13 thoughts on “Roe v. Wade turns 42 — what other “moral decline” milestones come to mind?

  1. obeirne

    One evil which is certainly a milestone is legalized euthanasia and there are countries where it has been permitted – Holland [ the Netherlands ] being one. I believe Belgium and Quebec in Canada have also passed laws permitting this abomination. Yesterday for Ireland is significant because the proposed wording for a change in the Irish constitution defining marriage was made public. ” Two persons ” will be allowed to marry one another. The referendum on which the electorate will be held next May. Unfortunately the liberal and left-wing political parties and electronic and print media have done their work in persuading the majority of Irish voters to accepting same-sex marriage. The latest opinion poll shows that 80% will vote in favour.

  2. 52 millions human beings… That is very nearly the official population size of my country, South Africa. That means in 41 years abortion has murdered the equivalent of an entire country – and very few voices bothered to protest. I was born in that same year of 1973, so I am a grateful survivor. No wonder the Bible says, “And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man.” And no wonder Genesis describes the time of Noah by saying that “the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence.” (Luke 17:26 and Genesis 6:11). That’s where were are now – as violent as we were nearly 4,500 years ago.

  3. obeirne

    I couldn’t resist watching you first telecast to which you referred. It was first class and you certainly made clear what is facing the people of the United States and Britain – and indeed the other tribes of Israel, as well as the world, if they do not repent. And your reference to abortion? Well, I can see why the powers that be [ or were, in this instance ] in relation to broadcasting content were taken aback and banned it. But was it aired outside of the United States?

  4. Robert Petry

    To me abortion is not just a form of murder. In reality, it is genocide of future generations of people. It is not just one child destroyed, but untold numbers of future generations that could have come from that child.

  5. Shelby

    I think as far as America is concerned (and I guess the other nations involved), WWI and WWII (and pretty much every war we have been involved in in the 20th century) are times in our history that led to huge moral changes. Even though we won against a great evil in WWII, the morality of our nation declined a little (or a lot) more after every war. The more I read about war, the more astonished I am at how it affects every single aspect of society. There is nothing left untouched. And not in a positive way.

  6. Thomas

    Thinking about milestones led me to thinking about the various trends those milestones represent. Roe vs Wade and denying that humans are made in the image of God; the Scopes Monkey Trial being used to perpetuate the myth that God and science are mutually exclusive and ultimately that humans are again not made in the image of God; the rise of religious fundamentalism in the Middle East and it’s anticipated Christian backlash particularly in Europe – but what ever religious stripe they wear they would deny that Jesus Christ now lives within His own; the rise of anti-semitism – the repudiation of the Jews and ultimately anything that looks Jewish (Sabbath and Holy Days).

    The common thread here is us. We are at the epicentre of all these converging trends. Of course these trends will do a lot of collateral damage along the way but we are the ultimate target here.

    As the scriptures say and as our ministers have taught us, the only sure defence against the overwhelming powers arrayed against us is to have our whole hearts committed to the Work and to the coming Kingdom. There is no middle ground – it’s eternal life or destruction for us.

  7. Norbert

    I’m reading, “Thelyphthora, or A Treatise on Female Ruin, in Its Causes, Effects, Consequences, Prevention considered on the basis of Divine Law, 1780” and it strikes me that the author is dealing with morale decline in his generation.

    In the author’s day he was dealing with under population. Where divorce, extramarital affairs, sex outside marriage are being seen as contributing factors to his nations problems at the time. Nowadays we’re seeing the problems with morality due to over population.

    I’m getting the impression it’s less of a linear escalation marked by milestones as time goes by and more of placing unique morale boulders in front of the straight and narrow path as the present time goes by. It seems to me it would take several volumes of books to do the topic justice and I’m not sure what the CliffsNotes would look like. At what year does one start with at placing “modern society”? I’m older so 1780 seems pretty fresh to me. 🙂

    The book is free to read online. Here are the links if anyone is interested:

  8. sarah

    New Zealand legalising Prostitution and making it a viable career choice for our young school leavers that should do it. (sadly that’s one of many things we are famous for. If you want to see moral decline in all it’s ‘glory’ you need not look further than our shores).

  9. Kinnear Penman

    It may be encouraging, for those who do not know, to learn that the baby at question in the Roe vs Wade case was not aborted. The ‘Jane Roe’ of the case is Norma McCorvey and she has gone on to become a staunch advocate of the pro-life cause and an opponent of abortion.

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