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Thirty Pieces of Silver

By Judie Brown

“Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?’ They paid him thirty pieces of silver, and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.” – Matthew 26: 14-16

This stark example of money being the root of all evil is made manifest in our world even today.

In the United States Senate, Rhode Island Democratic senator Sheldon Whitehouse, chairman of the panel, said that reproductive rights “are intrinsically tied to economic opportunity.” Or to put it another way, he is saying that the expectant mother who kills her baby by aborting her will be more successful than the mother who chooses life for her baby. This suggests to me that the senator believes babies are burdensome and abortion is a good; yet we know that quite the opposite is the case.

The same type of illogical thinking occurred in Virginia where a law has been proposed that would hasten the death of patients suffering from a “lingering” illness.

In discussing the legislation, the National Association of Pro-Life Nurses stated that “Virginia’s bill SB280 offers no real protection for vulnerable patients. . . . Instead, it embraces a profit-driven industry that seeks to exploit patient suffering. This extreme, out-of-touch legislation erodes the trust of the heath care profession.”

Packaging assisted suicide as a panacea for those who are ill is among the most repugnant tactics we have seen of late. Asking medical professionals to help kill a patient rather than care for her ranks right up there with the likes of what happened in German hospitals during the Third Reich.

Yet in a nation where some think that a baby conceived in rape can bring cash into the coffers of the demoniacs who promote abortion, we are left with a sinking feeling that no human being’s life is of value in our day. One insightful commentator wrote, “Instead of talking about how to get more victims of rape into abortion clinics, we should talk about how to prevent rape from happening in the first place.”

And though this is wise and very true, those who grovel after 30 pieces of silver as the price of killing an innocent child of God never think that way. There is no financial profit in such thoughts!

Whether we are talking about the hazardous experiences of those who market in vitro fertilization to the infertile or the reality of trashing those babies who are left over after the IVF cycle is completed, few argue in defense of the embryonic child.

The common denominator that entwines the jeopardized lives of those who are not yet born, ailing, or dying is that each of them is a child of God, not a child of the state. Thus, we are called to defend them from the evils that appear to exist beneath the profit margins among those who make their money marketing or acting to create an enterprise that thrives on the imposed death of others.

Accursed are those who devalue the human person for any reason, but far worse it seems to me when they profit from it. Which brings us back to Judas and the 30 pieces of silver.

As Matthew explains, “Then Judas, who betrayed him, seeing that he was condemned, repenting himself, brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and ancients, saying: I have sinned in betraying innocent blood. But they said: What is that to us? Look thou to it. And casting down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed: and went and hanged himself with an halter.”