By ROBERT MORRISON
(Editor’s Note: Robert Morrison is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council. This essay is reprinted with permission; all rights reserved.)
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I was a last-minute substitute for an international conference on euthanasia, in London! The year was 1998 and I had never been to Britain before. I was so excited I could not sleep. What to see? Where to go?
The conference obviously took first priority. But I wanted to spend every spare moment taking in the sights. “When a man is tired of London,” said the great Samuel Johnson, “he is tired of life.” I planned to walk everywhere. Under my own feet, I wanted to feel the streets where history happened.
From my earliest memory, I had been lulled to sleep with English lullabies. My mother loved to share English poetry and song. My father told me tales of sailing to Swansea, Wales, as an American Merchant Seaman during World War II. Because of stringent food rationing, my dad was able to bring to the children the first oranges they had ever seen. He had tender stories of these little children’s delight as they returned to their bombed-out flats clutching these rare fruits like they were the Crown Jewels.
Long ago, I committed to memory the famous Shakespeare passage from Richard II in which John of Gaunt offers this tribute to England:
“This royal throne of Kings/This sceptr’d Isle/ This earth of Majesty/ This seat of Mars/ This other Eden/ Demi-Paradise/ This fortress built by Nature for herself/ Against infection and the hand of war/ This happy breed of men/ This little world/ This precious stone set in the silver sea/ Which serves it in the office of a wall/ Or as a moat defensive to a house/ Against the envy of less happier lands/ This blessed plot, this orb, this realm, this England!”
With all of this in my heart and my mind, imagine my horror on reading this past week of English people burning the bodies of aborted children to heat their hospitals. “Alongside other rubbish” was the chilling phrase used in the newspaper story, even in the normally conservative Daily Telegraph.
The line instantly brought me back to that first visit to England. Standing in an office in Oxford and wearing a heavy trench coat, I looked out the window at the daffodils blooming in March. But even inside, I was freezing. In a corner office, a bearded young man was showing me the “cuttings” (newspaper clips) his Keston Institute was carefully preserving. Keston was a famous advocate for religious freedom behind the Iron Curtain. I tried to pay attention but my sleepless trans-Atlantic flight left me groggy. The only memory I have of that renowned organization and its splendid work is how cold it was — even indoors.
But heating a hospital with human remains, thus destroying the evidence of thousands of little homicides? England. My England. It sounds like something out of World War II.
How could there not be massive demonstrations in the streets? How could there not be raucous debates in Parliament? How could the prime minister not face furious demands for action during Question Time in the House of Commons over such heinous acts?
Will no one write a letter to the Times?
This is more than decadence. It is defilement. It is biblical. In our own time we see a modern society bending the knee to Molech. That merciless god who demanded human sacrifice, the fiery death of the firstborn, is being appeased here. We know this from Lev. 18:21: “And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the Lord.”
We read this in the Book that our ancestors read, the King James Bible, that treasure the English freely gave to the world.
When Winston Churchill led Britain during World War II, he warned against what would happen if the British people did not meet the challenge of their “Finest Hour.”
“But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.”
It is surely a perverted science that says that unborn children are no more than “products of conception” fit only to be burned alongside other rubbish. What’s next?
We in America cannot play the Pharisee with our English cousins. We, too, burn these slaughtered innocents’ bodies. I have stood in Wichita, outside the abortion facility where a malefactor and his grisly gang worked their wicked will. There, my Christian friends told me of the wind that carried ashes and a certain unforgettable odor into the fair skies of Kansas.
Britain’s Ministry of Health has now issued a directive to ban the burning of the bodies of unborn children for fuel. This is surely welcome news. But not as welcome as the news will be that they — and we — have stopped killing unborn children.