It's probably been about 15 years since I read the book "The Giver" by Louis Lawry, which has only recently been made into a major movie (2014) and as these things often do, when I was reminded of the premise of the story a gawd zillion neurons on my admittedly burnt out brain started to fire off like fourth of July fireworks, connecting that fictional story with events in my only too real life - and it got me to thinking.
This past week I then read the editorial in the USA Today (newspaper) entitled "Eerie Ethical Questions of "The Giver" by Arina D. Grossu" (director of the Center for Human Dignity) in which Dr Grossu posed a thought provoking question of whether we as a society today, are really "that far off from the atrocities in the movie "The Giver". Dr Grossu focuses on the morality of aborting unwanted children and quotes from Atheist writer Richard Dawkins, who apparently once tweeted in regard to an as yet unborn child diagnosed with Down Syndrome, "Abort it and try again, it would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have a choice", a position Dr Grossu finds unequivocally unconscionable, as "we must value life, even the unwanted", as (and I again quote) "The voice of the human life does not derive from being perfect or even useful, but simply from being human".
Again, drawing from the words of dr Grossu's thought-provoking editorial, it goes on to say "in the most disturbing scene in the movie (The Giver), Jonas' father, whose job is "releasing" babies" (i.e post birth "abortion"), takes a needle and inserts it into the head of a sickly baby to kill him. The Washington Post reported the line from the book that was "too dark" to add to the scene, was the father Cheerfully saying "Bye, bye little guy", while placing the dead baby in a box. As Jonas puts it "they hadn't eliminated murder, they just called it by a different name"
Imagine that - a society that advocates the commission of a deliberate act of murder, but to appease the moral conscience of its apathetic citizens conveniently calls it by a different name, and once so easily relabeled and clothed in that dark veil of moral obligation, it is miraculously transformed into an act that should be cheered by all.
Doesn't that sound an awful lot like the continued use of capital punishment today? When it comes down to it, by imposing the "death penalty" under the pretense of administering "justice", aren't we really simply relabeling the intentional act of murder by inflicting a "post-birth abortion" on the unwanted? If the value of human life is truly derived from that miracle od simply being human, then by what moral measure can we justify the death penalty?
Like everyone else, my opinion is tinted by my own agenda as I am a condemned man, and my days are numbered. With pre-death warrant clemency counsel being recently assigned to my case, I expect that sometime towards the end of this year the Governor of Florida will sign his name to that black-bordered document entitled "Death Warrant", instructing the warden of Florida State Prison to put me to death within that following month.
I will then be transferred to the bottom floor of "Q-wing" into the very cell that I have previously occupied and confronted my own mortality as I counted down those last few hours until my appointed "post-birth abortion" (please read: "The Day God Died"and "Facing my own Execution"), only this time there won't be any last minute stay of execution.
With a measure of indifference comparable to Jonas' father, the faithful agents of the state of Florida will gather around me, strapping my still breathing body to a gurney as just a few feet away behind a wall of glass a panel of witnesses will watch as those agents of death insert a needle into my arm and a few short minutes later an unseen executioner will deliberately push down a series of plungers that will then force a lethal cocktail of chemicals into my body and if all goes according to plan, it will at least appear that I have peacefully drifted off into a deep sleep and they will call it "humane", as the emotional and psychological torment so deliberately inflicted not only upon me but upon all those who love and care for me will not matter.
And just as that unwanted child in the movie "The giver", my life will be extinguished and there will be those who will adamantly insist that by inflicting my death they did society a great service - and then, there will also be those who will celebrate my death as that value of all life does not apply to those we want to rid society of.
But how many will dare to confront that greater moral question? How many will have the courage and moral integrity to stand up and question the taking of yet another human life? Funny how our moral compass really works - how we can so easily (and so willingly too!) find those convenient justifications to circumvent that perception of a deliberate act of murder by simply convincing ourselves that ending that life we choose not to value because it has been irrevocably tarnished by that transgression is now the right thing to do.
* Please read "Petition for Clemency", encouraging the Governor of Florida to grant clemency in the case of Cary Michael Lambrix. Your support can now make the difference between life and death
Petition will be soon available - Please check back!
Michael Lambrix #482053
Union Correctional Institution
7819 NW 228th Street
Raiford, Florida 32026-4400