Theists and Judeo-Christians believe in the inherent value and worth of human life because they believe human beings are made in the image of God. The sacredness or sanctity of life, therefore, is a derivative. It is a given. We owe it all to God. We are not self-existent. In order to safeguard the sanctity of life, a Moral Code was given to mankind by the Creator. As such, the loss of a human life is always a tragic and traumatic occurrence. Any form of violence against another human being violates that sanctity.
However, the publishing of Charles Darwin’s book titled, On the Origin of Species in November of 1859, brought with it a different teaching and perspective regarding human life. Darwin postulated that humans are only different from animals to a certain degree, but that they are really similar in kind, and that humans are merely evolutionarily advanced. The new teaching gained ground in academia, which is the training and preparatory ground for future politicians, legislators, physicians, educators and scientists-individuals who are entrusted with steering the course of their societies. The emphasis on Darwin’s theory was meant and is still meant to repudiate belief in a Creator and Law Giver. Miraculously though, in spite of the vociferous attacks against it, the sacredness of life has refused to be completely eradicated. It continues to tenaciously survive its ferocious attackers and has impressively withstood attempts to completely erase it from the human consciousness. As a matter of fact, the litmus test for the level of civilization of any society is largely dependent upon its response to flagrant violations of its human lives. But flagrant violations are not the only way that the sacredness of life can be betrayed. It can also be betrayed by the way we think and speak about our enemies; those who are from low socioeconomic statuses, those who think differently from us, the strangers in our midst, the poor, the sinners, those struggling with certain addictions, and the unborn. Against the screams of our consciences, we tend to deliberately exclude them from our fellowship because we are too embarrassed to be seen “hanging out with them.” To scream about the rights of the unborn is a good and laudable, noble thing. But we must also examine our hearts and their posture toward certain population groups and individuals in our midst. When Jesus said love your neighbor as yourself, He did not single out neighbors who are easy to love. As a matter of fact, our level of spiritual growth can partly be measured by how we treat those obnoxious and insufferable people (the annoying bosses and workmates and in-laws) who always rub us the wrong way because we also could be those people to someone else. Those who insist that mankind carries the image of God have an obligation to treat and view all people from that vantage point. Within each human life, regardless of its depravity or strange-ness, glows a luster, no matter how dimly, emanating from the glory of the image of God. That’s why Jesus could cross over a stormy sea to go and restore, and reclaim a single life so terribly ravaged by demons. That’s how valuable life is to Him…and so it must be to those who claim to be his followers, in spite of Darwin’s claims to the contrary…..

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