Diagnosis: Murder

    A colleague of mine named Kelley was trying to help her son, 15-year-old Rand, bring up his grade in civics class. Students were supposed to read one newspaper each day. Every Friday, the teacher gave a current events test, and every Friday, Rand missed about half the questions -- not surprising, since all he ever read was the comics. To bring him up to speed, Kelley began bringing newspapers along in the car on the drive to school each morning. During the half-hour commute, she quizzed Rand about Anthrax, the war in Afghanistan, politics, and how the Redskins were doing. After a few weeks of drill, Rand was ready to be a contestant on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" His test scores improved dramatically. But he and his mother learned something else, something even more important. They learned that knowing about stories in the news is far less important than learning to identify the worldviews that undergird them. For example, the Washington Post recently ran a story about a new prenatal test -- one that determines in the first trimester if a baby has Down syndrome. The test would replace amniocentesis -- a procedure administered during the second trimester. Doctors hailed the new test a "major step forward." Why? Because it could bring the Down syndrome detection rate from 65 to 98 percent. Kelley began asking her son about the story -- not about what it contained, but what it left out. "Does this new test lead to a cure for Down syndrome?" she asked. "No." "If not, then why do doctors think it's good to use it to diagnose Down syndrome in as many babies as possible, as early as possible?" Rand re-read the story, but couldn't figure it out. So Kelley told him: "It's so the mother can have an early abortion -- before anyone knows she's pregnant -- and avoid a riskier second-trimester abortion." The story offered no quotes from people questioning the morality of using research dollars to fund "search and destroy" missions against the unborn. No arguments defending the intrinsic value of all human life at every stage and condition. No reminders that in some cities, there are waiting lists of couples wanting to adopt Down syndrome children. Instead, the story assumed that the lives of these children aren't worth protecting -- and that you'd have to be out of your mind to give birth to a Down syndrome child. Was the reporter allowing a pro-abortion bias to affect her work? You bet she was, and even worse, she didn't know it. Her presupposition was that anyone would get an abortion if she were pregnant with a Down syndrome child. This little story offers a sobering warning: If we want our kids to defend and live out God's truth, we must help them identify the worldviews that lie at the heart of cultural conflicts. We must take advantage of every opportunity -- including rides to school each morning -- to help them grow in their awareness of unbiblical biases in films, newspapers, textbooks, and songs. Biases that quietly deny the authority and presence of our Creator God.


Chuck Colson


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