An interesting book review in today’s Globe:
Mr. Brog, in his In Defense of Faith: The Judeo-Christian Idea and the Struggle for Humanity, concedes that Christians have committed horrendous crimes in the name of theology but sets out to prove that Judeo-Christian beliefs gave the Western and, ultimately, entire world its most important spiritual value: an obligatory reverence for life.
Mr. Brog advances his argument in a series of historical vignettes. He introduces Tacitus, the Roman senator and historian, who (in his major work, Histories) describes the Jews as wicked, stubborn and lascivious and lists the Jewish beliefs he finds most revolting – especially, he says, the belief “that it is a deadly sin to kill an unwanted child.” The Romans were “proud practitioners of infanticide.” As were the Greeks. As were the other nations of the ancient world.
The value we place on life is a values judgment, ever evolving. What was established (life is sacred) can easily be torn down, and one could argue, has been substantially in recent years. Over to you, Tacitus!by