Vice President Joe Biden, traveling in China, didn’t just stick his foot in his mouth. He laid out his moral view very clearly: pragmatism.
A philosophical idea that, according to dictionary.com, stresses “practical consequences as constituting the essential criterion in determining meaning, truth, or value,” pragmatism bases its values and morals on what works. If it works, it’s right.
Biden, in a speech at Sichuan University, made a wide detour around morality and moved straight to pragmatism. In speaking of China’s one-child-only policy, he said, “Your policy has been one which I fully understand — I’m not second-guessing — of one child per family . . .” What’s wrong with it? Not the murder of millions of babies; he adds that “one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people. Not sustainable.”
In other words, their idea of keeping their population in control is understandable, but it’s going to pose a problem when the population ages and there aren’t enough young people to take care of the older ones. It’s just not practical.
Biden ignores the vicious, forced abortions performed by the millions. He turns away from the repugnant practice of preferring males over females, thus leading to selective abortions of baby girls simply because they are not sons. He looks the other way in light of savage imprisonment of women for the crime of pregnancy, and the tortures and beatings of their family members if the women go into hiding to conceal their pregnancy.
No, for Biden, what’s wrong with China’s one-child-only policy is that it is not economically sustainable.
China’s brutal system comes home when you meet Western families who have adopted Chinese girls. One such family got a call from a missionary friend who came across a little girl left to die in a Chinese orphanage. At 18 months, she weighed no more than a 3-month-old baby. Malnutrition had begun to shut down her body: she could not walk, and she was deaf.
The missionaries rescued this little girl and called their American friends to get the wheels turning to adopt her. They nourished her, loved her, and helped as best they could to begin adoption procedures. Soon the missionaries turned little Amy over to her new family, and she joined three brothers, who doted on her and lavished her with love.
Little Amy regained her health, her weight, and her hearing. She had joined a very musical family, and Amy’s talent on piano grew leaps and bounds. She amazes audiences when she plays in recitals and in church. One shudders to think how much longer this dynamic, brilliant child would have lasted in that orphanage had she not been rescued.
Her story is not unique. Tragically, countless babies never make it to orphanages; they are simply ripped from their mother’s wombs and tossed into the garbage. Their offending mothers are then sterilized so this kind of crime against China–pregnancy–cannot be committed again.
Though Biden’s staff later used the word “repugnant” to clarify the administration’s view on China’s policy, they still referred to it in pragmatic terms rather than moral, repeating the “unsustainable” phrase he had earlier used. Yes, it is economically unsustainable, but when seen in light of a biblical worldview, the stark, savage, bloody criminality of this policy is heinous because it sheds the innocent blood of millions of babies and their mothers. The policy is practiced by the most brutal government on earth today, and it does not seem to be abating.
As Mona Charen puts it, “The Chinese communist government, which has killed more people than any regime in the history of the world (65 million according to the Black Book of Communism), regards human beings as widgets to be manipulated or destroyed in the service of the state. Yes, they’ve developed an expanding economy by adopting free market practices. But the regime remains one of the most vicious on the planet. It is deeply shameful that the vice president needed to be reminded of that.”