The following is quoted from the transcript of the “Death Tape” recorded the tragic day when Jones led more than 900 men, women and children to commit “revolutionary suicide” on November 18, 1978 in Jonestown, Guyana. The transcript was prepared by the FBI, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.
Why the title of this post? Let’s read the quote first and then we’ll get to that.
Jones: It’s never been done before you say? It’s been done by every tribe in history, every tribe facing annihilation. All the Indians in the Amazon are doing it now. They refuse to bring any babies into the world. They kill every child that comes into the world, because they don’t want to live in this kind of a world.
So be patient, be patient … death is … I tell you I don’t care how many screams you hear, I don’t care how many anguished cries … death is a million times preferable to ten more days of this life. If you knew what was ahead of you, if you knew what was ahead of you, you’d be glad to be stepping over tonight.
Death, death, death is common to people … and the Eskimos, they take death in their stride….we laid it down, we got tired. We didn’t commit suicide. We committed an act of revolutionary suicide protesting the conditions of an inhumane world.. … 1
How does the tragedy of Jonestown relate to abortion? Notice I have put parts of this quote in bold letters. Many people, especially those who identify themselves as atheists, summon the Jonestown card, among many others, as the result of religion and belief in God. It is portrayed as the reason why religion is hurtful to humanity.
Objective morality is assumed and thrown around by people who rightly condemn Jonestown as a tragedy. Massacres, murders, crimes, killing unborn animals, all these evoke outrage, even from atheists and naturalists. Jones’ argument that it’s better to kill your kids and yourself in order to avoid living in this “inhumane world” is seen as atrocious and downright evil, and it is.
However, there seems to be no problem and no moral objection raised when the same argument is used in favor of abortion. People say the exact same thing when they arrogantly believe they can decide a child’s future for them. They believe themselves to be heroes for preventing them from living a life of suffering and thus pretend to justify an evil act. It’s not seen as evil, but as kindness. It’s not seen for what it is, murder, but “stepping over,” as Jones argued.
Jim Jones held the people on one hand and the poisoned Kool-Aid on the other while justifying his mass murder; abortionists (that includes the fathers and mothers that consent and proceed with an abortion, not just the ones who perform them) hold the baby in one hand and the vacuum syringe/uterine currette/syringe with spinal needle/forceps/embryotomy scissors on the other while justifying their mass murder as benign and not mortal and evil.
Many abortionists say “Well, this fetus was conceived as a result of rape or incest.” There’s Jones’ inhumane world argument. Let’s take this life because this world is cruel and we don’t want to bring any more into suffering. Others say, “Well, this fetus has birth defects. Let’s spare them the pain.” There’s the Darwinian argument: Only the fittest will survive and we get to determine who is the fittest and who is not.
Tell me, what is the difference between Jones, Hitler, or any of the massacres in history and abortion? The argument is the same: Take a life to spare a life. Only, it’s the arrogance of such a statement that many cannot or will not see, much less acknowledge.
A naturalist worldview cannot help but lead to Darwinian thinking, because it comes from it, it is expressed perfectly by it: We must survive, even if it means eliminating the weak and unfit (even before we know whether they will be “weak and unfit,” but that’s okay because we will make that choice for them).
A Biblical worldview recognizes that we are created in the imago Dei, the image of God. God determines good and evil, right and wrong, not human beings. Why? Because He created everything, and thus has the right to do whatever He wants with His creation. You are therefore subject to Him. You may fight with that truth all you want, but it won’t go away.
“Our God is in the heavens,
he does whatever He pleases.” – Psalm 115:3, NASB.
Thus, the sanctity of every human life is affirmed.
“Whoever sheds man’s blood,
By man shall his blood be shed,
For in the image of God
He made man.” – Genesis 9:6, NASB.