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intrinsic value

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Depending on which way I take to go home, I sometimes pass the large Planned Parenthood building.

There is a Catholic church on the left, then shortly after, the Planned Parenthood on the right, and during these several days: a bit further and there's a billboard on the left with the message "He is Risen!" advertising a Christian radio station.

On this particular day, my mind stayed on the thought of abortion as I pass through that corridor. I was reminded of a sermon by Joel Osteen of Lakewood Churh on what I will call "intrinsic value." I will summarize the idea here, but I assure you that his presentation was much better. As an example, he asked if he were to take a $20 bill (or some such money) out to the parking lot, throw it on the ground and stomp on it and get it dirty, how much is it worth? Would you still want it? What if he were to then crumple it up and get it all wrinkled, what is it worth? What if that bill went through the laundry became all faded? What if it had a small piece of the corner torn off? In fact, what if it were torn to several pieces and then were carefully taped back together? (or like some bills I once received as change: What if it reeked of cigarette smoke?)

The point is that the value of the $20 bill is backed by the US Treasury and it holds it value regardless of what it looks like (within limits, of course). We humans have a value that is backed by God. Regardless of how beat up we may be, our value does not diminish. The same value holds for that child in the womb.

In the story of Jonah, God raised a gourd plant that shaded Jonah for a day but then the plant died. Without the plant to shade him, Jonah then suffered from the scorching heat. God made the following point with Jonah:
But God said to Jonah, “Do you have a right to be angry over the gourd plant?” Jonah answered, “I have a right to be angry—angry enough to die.”

Then the LORD said, “You are concerned over the gourd plant which cost you no effort and which you did not grow; it came up in one night and in one night it perished. And should I not be concerned over the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot know their right hand from their left, not to mention all the animals?”
We may have people, pets, plants, and so forth whom we love and care much about. But so much greater--"beyond our imagination and understanding" greater-- is God's love and concern for every one of His children. I believe that we wound Him when we harm each other; we wound Him when we have abortions.