“For whoever is not against us is for us.” Mark 9:40
I am an unemployed electronics technician who works on cars, does home repair, and general handyman jobs. In my spare time I tinker in theology. I can’t read Greek, Latin, Aramaic, or Hebrew, but I know when a house is out of plumb to examine the foundation.
This paper examines the foundation of the pro-life movement which I believe is “out of plumb.” If the foundation is bad, anything we build upon it will crumble.
Therefore, anyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock. The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it did not collapse, because its foundation was on a rock. But anyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapse. And its collapse was great!” (Matthew 7:24-27)
The pro-life movement has been largely ineffectual in ending abortion these past 37 years. Other than the “Personhood Initiatives” in many states, there is no sensible plan to end abortion. I shall point out in this paper the underlying reason why I believe many pro-life organizations do not support personhood initiatives.
Catholic and Protestant world-views differ in their teaching authorities. Catholic teaching authority is three-fold: Magisterium (pope, cardinals, bishops, priests, etc.), Scripture, and Tradition. Though Protestants look to tradition, and the writings of the early church fathers, The Scriptures are the ultimate authority. Christ and His apostles, and the early church fathers always checked heresy with the Scriptures.
Because Catholics were first and are foremost in responding to the legalization of aborticide, the Catholic world-view dominates our current rhetoric, doctrine, and strategy. Protestant opposition to abortion has been slow and feeble. Protestants error when they build upon the foundation and framework of Catholic organizations. Protestants must develop a biblical foundation of their own to oppose child sacrifice.
Protestants should rethink the Catholic “Culture of Life” foundation as it is fundamentally unsound. It opposes the death penalty and accepts unbiblical presuppositions which I shall expound on. I do not point out these differences to cause unnecessary disharmony. I am an aspiring “pro-life righter.” I am attempting to correct the wrong-headed and ineffective efforts to end legalized baby murder.
“If we always do what we always done, we always get what we always got.” (Mark Crutcher, Life Dynamics)
The pro-life movement needs to “reboot.” We need to re-examine and correct the false presuppositions which we build upon.
Catholics call themselves “pro-life” because “anti-abortion” has negative connotations. Pro-life rhetoric and doctrine differ from anti-abortion in that it promotes positive law rather than negative law.
Informed Consent, 24 hour waiting periods, parental consent, partial birth abortion bans, and personhood initiatives are positive law. Positive law regulates rather than outlaws abortion on demand.
Many pro-life organizations oppose, hinder, or refuse to support personhood initiatives as it comes uncomfortably close to negative law, the outlawing of aborticide.
Many in the pro-life movement are not for outlawing aborticide as it would mean punishment for the mother as well as the abortionist. We cannot justify outlawing child killing without imposing penalties on all who are involved. Murder is murder. We must insist on the same penalties for pre-born as for post-born. Today’s culture is far from accepting this, but opinions change when we are consistent and reasonable in our dogma. Where public opinion changes; so changes the law. Political action without a clear worthy goal or standard is useless.
The “pro-life” label does not define us. Many who advocate aborticide in the hard cases call themselves “pro-life.” Like the term “Christian” pro-life has no clear meaning or identification. Many who call themselves “pro-life” are in favor of rape, incest, life of the mother, or fetal deformity exceptions. Those who oppose child sacrifice should refer to themselves as “anti-aborticide;” as it more clearly defines us and our intentions.
We should not concern ourselves with appealing to a popular majority. We should advocate outlawing aborticide in ALL instances as there is NO legitimate reason to kill a child. We should insist on equal protection under the law for born and unborn children. Some argue that abortion will go on even with a pure biblical standard. This is true. Everyday decisions are made by doctors and mothers which fall into gray or dark areas of murder. We do not seek to micro-manage people’s lives and decisions. We want the humanity and worth of the pre-born recognized, and the wanton slaughter outlawed. We must lay a good foundation for ourselves and for others to build on.
National Right to Life (NRTL), formed itself prior to Roe v. Wade. NRTL attempts to have a broad secular appeal, its principles, rhetoric, and strategy reflect popular secular Catholic thinking. NRTL portrays the aborting mother as a victim. “Abortion has two victims,” they maintain, “one dead, one wounded.”
A Protestant, or biblical world-view should declare the murdering mother culpable as the hit-man she hires. They are BOTH guilty of murder. The mother who drowns her post-born child in a bathtub is as guilty as a mother who hires an assassin (Genesis 9:6-7)
Many disagree out of pity for the murdering mom. Hasn’t she suffered enough?
A patient submits to the scalpel of a skillful surgeon carving out her cancer. There is no remedy in denying that the cancer is present. We do the cancer patient no favor by giving a favorable prognosis.
There is nothing to be done to heal “a victim’s” guilty conscience. The guilty conscience of a murderer might obtain remedy from the Great Physician.
Those who disagree hold to a double standard. They have one standard for post-born children, another for pre-born children. If the life of a pre-born child is worth less than a post-born child, the pre-born must be subhuman! If the pre-born are not fully persons, the mother DOES have a right to “terminate her pregnancy.”
From the onset, NRTL allowed for “life of the mother” exceptions. Many pro-lifers act as if the mother’s life is worth more than her baby’s life. Biblical doctrine equates them. The same Greek word is used for John the Baptist in the womb and Jesus in the manger.
Pro-lifers believe that by winning the mother they are saving the baby. There is often a conflict of interests. Baby’s life, though dependant upon the mother, is separate. Mother has no claim on baby’s future years, and nor his destiny. There is no reason to pit one life against the other. If the mother’s life is truly in danger we should try to save both (Exodus 21:22-25; and 22:22-24)
It is unthinkable to kill a post-born child conceived in rape, or incest, or to suggest that a handicap person be killed. Yet this is what NRTL is advocating by allowing for life of the mother exceptions. This ungodly principle allows for NRTL supported politicians to permit rape, incest, and fetal deformity exceptions.
Pro-life rhetoric is also problematic in that it builds upon pro-aborticide rhetoric. The term “abortion” describes a legitimate medical procedure. Abortion is the removal of a DEAD unborn baby. “Aborticide” is the legal term for killing a LIVING unborn child. By equating the two we demonize what is legitimate and lend credibility to what should be unlawful. We SHOULD NOT oppose abortion; we oppose aborticide or feticide!
Planned Parenthood and their ilk are not about “reproductive rights,” nor are they about parenting. We should never use these terms or feed into them. We should not refer to human pesticides as “birth control,” nor should we refer to aborticide as a “reproductive choice.” One does not reproduce by killing their children. We should use harsh terms such as “fornicating pills” and “baby-murder” and put pro-death people on notice.
Another area of inconsistency is the justification of the use of force. We do not advocate force, but neither should we condemn it. Whatever force is necessary to protect a post-child should be legitimate in protecting a pre-born child. By taking a position different than this we fall into one of two categories: We are either pacifist or we tacitly deny the humanity of the pre-born. Pacifism is a heresy. A true pacifist would not use force to protect his mother or his daughter from being killed.
Double-standard reasoning on the justifiable use of force varies from person to person. Most do not realize that they have a double standard as they never thought it through. Others have bizarre, inconsistent, or unsatisfactory explanations.
It really isn’t complicated. Pro-lifers are afraid of the implications of admitting to the justifiable use of force. If force is good and acceptable are we not obliged to use force? Yes and no.
The Bible clearly allows for the death penalty, just wars, and defensive action. Baby murder certainly warrants the use of force. One does not have to resort to force because he believes it is right. We do not have to smuggle bibles into China because we believe it is right.
I personally find it abhorrent to kill another human being no matter how deserving of death. I have had nightmares of killing people while I was a pagan in the Army. I have learned to accept my limitations and have discovered many others like me. I agree with God’s word, but realize that I fall short of obeying it. I do not love God with all my whole heart, my whole soul, my whole mind, and all of my strength, nor do I love my neighbor as myself. Many are more loving than I. Some are so loving they are willing lay down their lives for pitiful strangers. Scott Roeder, Shelly Shannon, James Kopp, and MANY OTHERS have sacrificed, and suffered greatly on behalf of the pre-born. I AM NOT the gold standard of love! I am somewhat selfish and cowardly as are most people. The aforementioned are not perfect people; their motives were more or less pure, their actions MIGHT be questionable. Still, I believe these people were FULLY justified in using force to protect the pre-born. I am not going to condemn them because I wouldn’t do it. Nor would I encourage other people to do what I would not do. I would not encourage others to make a greater sacrifice than I would make myself.
We are committed to change through non-violent means by preaching, writing, and public displays. Those who choose other battlefronts to fight aborticide are with us though they be weak or strong, right-headed or wrong-headed, though they love us or hate us, accept us or deny us. If they are friends of the babies they are our friends too. Not always the kind of friends you want to kick back and hang with, but we do not want to waste powder and shot in fighting them. We are not likely to change our minor differences. We have a common foe and a common goal of protecting the weak and the helpless.
We do have to constantly police our own as corruption and error creep in. We should overlook harmless offenses and take the proper steps of confronting that which is not so harmless (Matthew 18:6-20).
Let us lay a new foundation, based firmly on God’s word. Let us come up with practical solutions for saving the unborn with this thought:
If I were a pre-born child slated for death, what kind of help would I want from others?
By so thinking and doing we should eliminate much of the futile busy work which has wasted our limited time and our resources, at the cost SO MANY lives.