Is Popularity the New Prosperity Gospel? Millennials, Abortion, and the Power of God’s Word
Is popularity the new prosperity gospel for millennials?
The answer is yes, according to Relevant magazine.
The Great Recession and high student debt have driven many millennials to abandon hope of financial wealth. But the ubiquity of mobile phones and instant access to social media are luring them to redefine success as popularity. Viral videos and massive numbers of followers are how many measure significance.
Yesterday we discussed the growing trend of celebrity endorsements for abortion. Connecting the dots: celebrities are popular; popularity attracts millennials; and millennials are the most likely demographic to consider an abortion.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, 60 percent of women who choose abortion are in their twenties. If having an unplanned child impedes their ambitions, many are making the same decision Alyssa Milano famously chose: career over children.
For those of us who believe God’s word on the sanctity of life from conception to natural death, choosing career, finances, popularity, or anything else over a child is abhorrent. But many in our culture obviously do not share our biblical convictions.
What non-biblical reasons for choosing life can we offer our millennial children and grandchildren (and the larger culture as well)? Let’s consider three facts.
One: Abortion is dangerous for the mother and deadly for the child.
Last March, a woman went in for an abortion in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but was sent to a hospital for emergency surgery and a hysterectomy after the abortion was botched. According to the CDC, 437 women died from abortion complications between 1973 and 2014.
The American Pregnancy Association warns that women who undergo an abortion may experience “abdominal pain and cramping, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and spotting and bleeding.” The website then lists what it calls “serious complications,” including “heavy or persistent bleeding, infection or sepsis, damage to the cervix, scarring of the uterine lining, perforation of the uterus, damage to other organs, and death.”
And abortion has ended the lives of nearly sixty-two million babies in the US since 1973. That’s more than the population of twenty-six American states, combined.
Two: Science increasingly shows that a fetus is a child.
Fox News reports that at least forty babies were born alive after botched abortions across three states since 2016. Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 143 cases between 2003 and 2014 of infants born after attempted abortions. These numbers are likely very low since many states do not report such births.
Here’s the irony: the doctors who were trying to end the lives of these babies through abortion are required to save their lives if they survive the abortion. President George W. Bush signed the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002 after it was passed by the House and Senate (the latter by unanimous consent). The law recognizes the legal status of a child who survives an abortion.
Here’s the point: the child is the same entity, whether its doctors are trying to kill it or to save it. Nothing about its physical status changes. How does this not show that a fetus is a child?
New technology underscores this point. Scientific advances make it increasingly obvious that a fetus in the womb is a human child. Doctors can perform surgeries on fetuses in the womb, many the same age as fetuses who are aborted. Research indicates that late-stage fetuses respond to environmental information just like newborn infants.
Science and Scripture both show that abortion ends the lives of children.
Three: Abortion threatens our future.
The current edition of Foreign Affairs warns that we are facing “demographic decline and the end of capitalism as we know it.” Zachary Karabell writes that “most parts of the world are witnessing sharp and sudden contractions in either birthrates or absolute population.” As nations around the world are now seeing birthrates below replacement levels (the number of people needed to keep population levels stable), the economic consequences are dire.
Said simply: “A world of zero to negative population growth is likely to be a world of zero to negative economic growth, because fewer and older people consume less.” As a result, the future may be “one in which capitalism at best frays and at worst breaks down completely.”
I could not find the word abortion anywhere in the article. But it plays an enormous role in this critical problem.
There are roughly five billion people in the world today under the age of forty. There would have been 6.5 billion in this age group, but there have been more than 1.5 billion abortions since 1980. This means that abortion has cost the world nearly 25 percent of our forty-and-under population.
Now consider the economic cost of abortion: the US Department of Transportation identifies $9.1 million as the value of a statistical life. Multiplying this figure by the 61.5 million abortions in America since 1973, we learn that Roe v. Wade has cost America nearly $5 trillion in lost productivity and value.
“I am fearfully and wonderfully made”
Choosing life is best for the mother, best for the country, and obviously best for the child.
David spoke for us all when he testified to God: “You formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:13-14).
You are alive because your mother chose to give you life. How will you pay this gift forward today?
NOTE: What did Jesus really mean when he said we’re to be “salt and light”?
Did you know that, before he said those memorable words, he delivered the Beatitudes?
Those eight world-changing sayings tell us how to be salt and light to our decaying, darkened culture.
In my latest book, Blessed: Eight Ways Christians Change Culture, I discuss each of the Beatitudes and how they ought to affect our lives today.
For more from the Denison Forum, please visit www.denisonforum.org.
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Publication Date: August 23, 2019
Photo Courtesy: Jakob Owens/Unsplash