We Need Tender Hearts—and Hard Foreheads

nullThe other day my daughter contacted me, quite upset over her bioethics class.

She has been studying the human experimentation the Nazis performed on prisoners and was totally overwhelmed by the evil. Knowing that I deal on a regular basis with the gruesomeness of abortion and the profound evil in the abortion industry, she called looking for answers in how to deal with this immense evil and what to do about the desire some have to use the “knowledge” gained from these immoral experiments.

This is my reply to her.

The Golden Rule

The first rule of bioethics is the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” That is why, as a nurse, I could never recommend the birth control pill—I would never use it, so how could I recommend it to others?

There are many things I find unacceptable, and how terrible if I were to recommend them to others.  That would be treating them as less worthy of good solutions to their problems. Of course, as a grown woman, there are many situations I will never be in. I will never be a man or a child. In those cases I consider if I would recommend actions for my own husband, son, father, daughter, grandchild, sister, brother, best friend, etc.  If I wouldn’t recommend it for someone I loved, then I should not recommend it for the stranger I don’t know—or even my enemy. They deserve better.

Heart and Forehead

In order to consider how people should be treated, it is important to have a tender heart toward God and toward that person. (cf. Psalm 95:8, 1 Kings 3:9, Ephesians 4:32).  But having a tender heart can work against you unless you have a hard forehead (cf. Ezekiel 3:9).

I have many friends who are pro-life. Their hearts go out for the women and the babies in abortion. They hate abortion and wouldn’t wish it on their worst enemy. But they shy away from the details. They don’t want to see the pictures of abortion victims, watch the Center for Medical Progress videos, or even talk about how abortions are done. Their tender hearts are good, but their foreheads are soft, too. They cannot enter into discussions about abortion without getting upset.

I told my daughter that it’s important to harden your forehead, but not your heart. A hardened forehead detaches the emotions from the situation for the sake of being able to do a great good. A hardened forehead does not care about acceptance by others, only about speaking the truth.

It’s important to understand what’s going on in human experimentation, be it the Nazi type or the fetal stem cell research type. Only by being able to discuss it with a hard forehead can one work to soften the hearts of those hardened to the humanity of others.

Those who can identify with the weak and oppressed through their tender hearts can see the ruthlessness of those who would exploit them. But only those with hardened foreheads can adequately defend them.

We cannot allow ourselves to be overcome by the immense evils around us to the point of being immobilized from action. The weak and oppressed need us to defend them.

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