Our society has taken something which ought to be a meaningful gesture and unintentionally turned it into a predominantly token gesture. Continue reading
So yeah, it’s been about three months since I posted anything here. I had a nice summer hiatus, did a lot of reading, some drafting, got an internship, and now I’m back!
Before I get into the usual grind of writing about books I have read, I’d like to address another topic, one which will likely either instantly grab your attention or cause the bombarded newswatcher to sigh and say ‘this again?”. Either way, please read through what I have to say! You just might hear something unexpected.
A friend recently challenged me to take part in the ALSA Ice Bucket Challenge. You know the drill, once someone calls you out you have 24 hours to either make a $100 donation to ALSA, or have a bucket of ice water dumped on you. The goal is to raise awareness of ALS and money for researching new treatments. This has been going on about all summer, and definitely has brought a lot of impromptu education on the disease. The modern social media culture has caused this to go viral, showing up on many sites and flooding Facebook feeds. Here’s where I start to see problems. How many of you know people who actually donated to the organization, versus just submitting to having water dumped on them and laughing about it with friends? Yes, people are taking part and raising awareness, but it has gotten as big as it can beneficially, and now people are just doing it so that they don’t feel left out. Which raises the question, does it matter what people’s reasoning is if it’s all for a good cause? Well, maybe maybe not. My biggest concern is that the ethics of this organization do not match my own, and I would expect do not match those of many of the people who have been participating. The ALSA supports at least one trial specifically researching embryonic stem cell research, utilizing electively aborted fetuses to find new treatments. Since taking this stance I have heard many arguments for this, from “giving their short lives meaning” to the ever-popular ‘they aren’t actually alive”, but none of these can possibly justify the truth I believe that life begins at conception, and any action taken to intentionally end that life is wrong. Another thing I have heard several times is that it is possible when you donate to say exactly which studies you want your money to go towards or not go to. That is still supporting the institution, though, and misses the point.
But, you may say, that is just one study, surely there are hundreds of other research studies funded by the same organization which you could approve of. This might be true. However, I have become convicted that I cannot support a partially good cause, and look the other way when I disagree with their methods. I do not look down on anyone who has taken this challenge and paid either with money or their personal comfort; rather, I am glad they are making an effort to make the world a better place, but I cannot in good conscience take part. I hope that a cure for ALS will be found, but I also hope that charities, foundations, and all organizations would take a look at their standards of ethics, and reevaluate where they stand on the issue of harming one life in order to help another.
It is my intent with this post to get people to think about what they are supporting any time they give money, time, or their word to someone or something. My conscience has grown strong about this issue. I hope you will listen to yours.
Here are links to some of the articles I have read prior to this on the topic:
Also, here is the ALSA website so you can do your own research into what they support: www.alsa.org
The distorted sense of right and wrong in the world today is extreme. So much truth is hidden, not allowed to be spoken lest it “offend” someone else…but if it is truth, how can it be offensive? If truth is really what is being spoken, then people need to know and hear and see! Yes, there are many different perspectives on what is truth, and whether knowing it is more important, or being comfortable. I choose to be uncomfortable. I choose to stand up for what I believe, and put my perspective on display for all the world to see.
It is usually one’s worldview that determines their definitions of truth, morality, and the importance of other values. My worldview has been shaped by growing up in a Christian family, in a medium-sized town, attending a large school, and many other things. I have not relied solely on the influences around me to tell me what to think or believe. Also being an honors student in school, a major emphasis was critical thinking, and while I may have scoffed at the topic then, I can see that I did develop it and have used it in everyday life. My beliefs are not a mirror of any one other person or doctrine, they are the expression of my life. Everything I do either validates my beliefs or calls them into question, and both strengthen them. I believe that I have found some fundamental truth in this crazy world.
When I say I believe I have found truth, I mean that I believe my beliefs are justified true beliefs for all people, in all places, in all times. I cannot accept the theory of “what’s right for you may not be right for me”, because then there is no truly objective standard to say what is true! I believe in absolutes in nearly every moral situation because without them, there would be no base on which to build a society. Without natural truths, who are we to say something like murder is wrong? There is no standard for this if truth is deemed subjective or unattainable altogether.
So, what is this “fundamental truth” which I proclaim to have? Salvation through faith. I believe in a triune God, the fallen nature of humanity, and God’s ability and willingness to redeem us. I hold this belief based on personal experiences and its consistency with the world I see. There is not one truth claim of the Bible which I do not see reflected in the modern world. People do bad things when left to themselves, and the only way to turn that around is by coming to faith in Christ and respecting His authority.
I morn when I see the rejection of this throughout the world, and believe it my duty to display my beliefs as I am here. I am not going to try to force my beliefs on anyone, obviously if you read this blog it was by your own choice. It is my job to speak the truth, and I have done that. The rest is up to God (yes, I objectively make an appeal to God, but that may be a discussion for another post). This is my perspective, and in it I stand firmly.