In a conversation on Sunday, the question was raised (which is not new but certainly pointed),

“We believe that abortion is murder of innocents. We would not stand quietly and non-violently attempt by political action or consciousness raising to stop the Holocaust. Why should we not be bombing abortion centers? When we are called to account before the dread judgment seat of Christ how will be judged for not letting using violence to stop this?”

I’d like to attempt to answer this question. Before we jump before the fold, I’d like to remark on one thing. Holocaust is a thing which is in the common imaginary, the common symbol for things of this nature. One might ask, why not Holodomor? 4 million died in the Holodomor which number significantly in the 20 million killed by internal purges and famine enacted purposefully just as 12 million were killed by Hitler in the Holocaust (of which just over 6 million were Jewish).

The World went to war to stop Hitler, we in America crossed the Atlantic to voluntarily take part to end his evil. Stalin and Lenin’s evil was occurring en mass prior. If there was a moral imperative to go to war to stop Hitler because of Holocaust, was there not the same need to stop Stalin, Lenin, Mao and so on. Should we put an end to the regime North Korea? Now!? But one thing these things share, which they don’t share with local abortion clinics is that the political process works intra-state, not inter-state. 

The early church, which has the advantage over us of being closer in time and witness to the Apostles and Christ, lived in cultures which included those which considered abortion and infanticide not morally questionable. The early church however acted and spoke against these things. They preached against abortion. They snuck in the dead of night and stole exposed infants away and raised them as their own. They did not … resort to violence to stop this killing. I recall no evidence or writings that speak of Christians confronting those who practice abortion. Might we be chastised and tempered by the notion that we are wrong to even confront those who abort if they did not?

One might argue that the reason they did not, was that they were weak. That their movement was fragile, which is debatable, and was being actively persecuted, which is not debatable. Could the early Christians have confronted abortion and those who practiced the same with violence? The example of Islam teaches that this might have been an alternative that would not have meant an ending of the Christian faith. It would however meant that Christianity would be and mean something very different. That difference has a name. That name is heresy.

If the use of violence by Christian history, practice, and tradition to oppose abortion is not right, the question arises. What is right? What should one do? It seems likely we are not to confront young pregnant women accusing them of being wrong to abort. But what should we say. It seems that answer at least is obvious, in part given the lead of those who came before. We can, and likely should, say “Can we help? If you can’t have this child, could we? Could we raise it as our own in your place?” We are failing in this regard, I think and I’ll put myself at the front of this queue in regards to failing at what is needed and what is necessary. If half this nation were Christian and 1 million abortions occur per year, if every Christian family adopted one or two … then even if the number of abortions didn’t change, each of those children could find a home.

One that last thought, my wife and I are going to think and pray over the coming months.  What will we say at before that seat?

Filed under: AbortionMark O.

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