California High Court Wrong Again

By Wayne Jackson

The California Supreme Court again has demonstrated what an inept conglomerate of jurists it is. In an August 18th decision that once more assaults religious freedom, the court came down with a “wrong,” not “right,” decision. In its unanimous judgment, the Court determined that doctors may not refuse, on a religious basis, to artificially inseminate lesbians who want to bear children.

The Issue

This is not a matter of a physician refusing treatment to someone whose life is in jeopardy. This circumstance involves an elective procedure that can be secured readily by a host of physicians who have no reservations about this bizarre practice. It also is an action to which a Christian physician would have an intense moral objection.

If the government should pass a law permitting euthanasia (or requiring it in the case of one in a permanent vegetative condition who can no longer contribute to society), would a physician be obligated to put someone to death upon demand? Is this where our nation is headed? (See I-1000: The Euthanasia Poison Pill for the Disabled, Elderly in Washington
.) Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt recently declared: “People should not be forced to say or do things they believe are morally wrong. Health-care workers should not be forced to provide services that violate their own conscience" (Stein 2008, A01).

God is the Creator of the human family and only he has the right to establish the guidelines concerning human reproductivity. The divine plan is that a man and woman be joined in the union of marriage, and from that relationship of oneness and love should children be conceived. Any innovation is a violation of the sacred pattern.

Moses, on behalf of God, wrote: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one. . . . And the man [Adam] was intimate with Eve, his wife: and she conceived” (Genesis 2:24; 4:1a). Jesus Christ endorsed this holy arrangement (Matthew 19:5-6), and no humanly-convened judicial body has the right to alter it. Women are authorized to conceive children only when they marry a man (cf. 1 Timothy 5:14).

The homosexual relationship is wrong. Paul, an inspired apostle, described same-sex activity as “vile,” “against nature,” an expression of “lust,” “unseemly,” an “error,” and deserving of just divine “penalty” (Romans 1:26-27). Elsewhere he depicts it as an abuse that will prohibit one’s “inheritance” in the “kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). It is “contrary to the sound doctrine” (1 Timothy 1:10), “ungodly, “lascivious,” “wicked,” “lawless” and worthy of “condemnation” (2 Peter 2:6-8).

To deliberately bring a baby into such a pronounced environment of moral degradation is an abuse of terrible magnitude. No Christian could ever, in good conscience, assist in accommodating such a base arrangement.

A Time for Courage

Morally sensitive people always will be thrust into situations where they are forced to make decisions that will test their faith and fortitude. Men and women of dedication and courage will say, “No!” to occasions that challenge their moral integrity. Such was the case in the days of the apostles, and increasingly similar circumstances are confronting the devout today.

In the early days of the Christian faith the apostles were commanded by certain rulers to desist in proclaiming the message of the resurrected Christ (Acts 4:18). But under that intimidation they did not wilt. Rather, they exclaimed, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you, rather than God, you judge! We cannot speak anything other than what we saw and heard” (vv. 19-20). Again, under a similar threat, they declared, “We must obey God rather than men” (5:29).

The Purpose of Government

God’s providential tolerance and use of civil government is for the welfare of humanity and the implementation of the divine plan (Romans 13:3-4). When the civil powers act in irresponsible ways, antagonistic to the sacred ideal, and attempt to force Christians to do evil, they have an obligation not to submit to arrogant civil demands. Rather they must speak words of truth in opposition. And, when such becomes necessary, they will take whatever consequences might follow.

Dangerous Territory

One final point is worthy of reflection. When doctors venture into fields of medical practice that are cluttered with highly questionable ethical issues (which are plentiful these days), such as in vitro fertilization, embryonic stem cell research, attempts at human cloning, etc., they increasingly make themselves vulnerable to legal action on the part of those who value neither the sanctity of human life nor the moral guidelines by which humanity ought to operate. Physicians who respect the “Great Physician” would do well to avoid arenas of unethical pursuit.

America is in the midst of a litigation plague. People file lawsuits with reckless abandon. Insensitive, immoral, anti-God activists take delight in manipulating the court systems to assault religious people. Progressively (and digressively), the courts seem willing to accommodate radicalism. There is a crucial need for those who subscribe to Christian principles to stand firm for ethical conduct in an age of moral chaos.

Sources/Footnotes
  • Stein, Rob. 2008. Protections Set for Antiabortion Health Workers. The Washington Post, August 22.
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About the Author

Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.