Letter to the Editor: Moral agency involves consequences

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    Dear Editor,

    God has given us moral agency as a necessary part of our probationary state.

    However, moral agency is not choice without consequence. God allows each one of us to choose whether we will obey His laws, but he has not given us the freedom to choose the consequences for our obedience or disobedience.

    God will punish our sins in his own due time, but that does not mean that all punishment must be reserved until the next life, allowing us to act with impunity here. Without punishment affixed to law, law — and thereby society – would cease to exist. Too many people’s consciences do not guard them from violating the lives and liberties of others; thus, societies make laws to preserve peace and others’ liberties by punishing those violations.

    Often those committing crimes against the law of heaven have also violated the rights of others — rights that society and government created to maintain and protect. If one wishes to be part of any society, one must obey that society’s laws and accept the punishments affixed to those laws. Thus, those that rape and murder, those that evade taxes and those that abuse their children are punished under the law.

    To many, abortion as a means of birth control is not just an act against the Lord’s commandments. It violates a child’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They believe that a baby is not a fetus, human tissue or any other name devoid of moral content and implication. It is a baby, a child, a human being with the right to live. Legally prohibiting abortions and punishing breaches of that law suppresses no person’s agency. They may still make their choices, but society has a right to punish them for violating a child’s right to live. If someone wishes to avoid both punishment and the responsibility of a child, that person should not act initially in an irresponsible and immoral manner.

    Owen Yeates

    Chapel Hill, N.C.

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