Whether you realize it or not, America tends to follow the trends and cultural issues of the United Kingdom and other European countries. The decline of Christianity and churches in Europe has spread to the U.S. Barack Obama pointed to the U.K.’s national healthcare as a model for Obamacare. (Just a side note – their national healthcare program is having severe financial problems which has led them to cut coverage on a number of issues and placed the costs of those cuts on those who suffer from the items no longer covered.)
Abortions also became legal in some European nations long before it was legal here in the U.S. Some European countries have legalized some euthanasia, such as assisted suicide, before it was legalized in Oregon.
One of the countries in Europe that has influenced American culture and law more than many people realize is Switzerland. Known for their watches, chocolate and banking system, the Swiss may now be known as one of the first nations in the world to officially recognize the dignity and rights of plants.
The Switzerland Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology (ECNH) met several years ago and drafted a document titled The Dignity of Living Beings with Regard to Plants. In this document, they determined three different concepts of value in regards to plants – instrumental value, relational value and inherent worth. They give the following example of these three different values:
“These three concepts of value can be illustrated using the example of a rosebush:
– The rosebush has an instrumental value, because a rose hedge protects against undesired intrusions.
– The rose bush has a relational value, because its’ beautiful flowers remind you of your dead grandmother.
– The rosebush has inherent worth, independently of whether it is useful or whether someone ascribes a value to it.”
In their conclusion on page 20, the Swiss committee states:
“1. Arbitrariness: The Committee members unanimously consider an arbitrary harm caused to plants to be morally impermissible. This kind of treatment would include, e.g. decapitation of wild flowers at the roadside without rational reason…
3. Ownership of plants: For the majority here too, plants – as a collective, as a species, or as individuals – are excluded for moral reasons from absolute ownership. By this interpretation no one may handle plants entirely according to his/her own desires.”
In Switzerland, abortions are legal during the first trimester following counseling and for medical indications such as physical or psychological damage to the mother. They estimate that about 15% of all pregnancies in Switzerland are aborted.
In Switzerland, assisted suicide is also legal and does not require a doctor’s involvement, nor does the person need to be a Swiss citizen. A person can use lethal drugs for their assisted suicide provided the drugs were prescribed and the person must take an active part in their suicide.
So it’s okay to murder an unborn child, an old person or someone who is terminally ill, but it’s not morally permissible to cut off the head of a rose or wildflower along the roadside. And before you think that it has nothing to do with us here in the U.S., think again. Have you ever been driving down the road and you see a car with a bumper sticker supporting abortion and another saying save the whales? I have.
If you poll most animals rights groups in America you will find that many of them approved of abortion and even assisted suicide but also feel that animals have rights and that we should never kill them. Some people have already tried to get legislation passed to give protective human rights to chimpanzees and other primates. It’s only a small step to go from animal rights to plant rights.
Underlying the whole topic is the lack of biblical principles which lead to no regard for the sanctity of human life. If we are not made in the image of God as the Bible says, then there is nothing that makes us special, so why not kill unborn children, the elderly, the mentally ill, the terminally ill, and anyone else that is a burden to society. But remember, we need to save the whales, the spotted owl and wildflowers along the roadside.
The only thing that really makes us special and different from animals and plants is our creation by God and our relationship to Him. Only man has a spiritual relationship with the Creator. Only man has the chance of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. That’s what makes man special and our lives worth saving and protecting.