Rarely, if ever, in 7 years have we published an entire article from another author. Today’s post merits an exception. While we have addressed the issue of abortion several times, this well-written and deeply thought-provoking piece by my friend Kenny Chumbley offers a unique perspective and deserves wider circulation.
May it encourage and inspire you to say or do something to protect the most vulnerable among us.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman
In Marc Connelly’s wonderful 1930 play, The Green Pastures—wherein heaven is viewed through the eyes of African-Americans in the Deep South—there’s a telling scene involving Pharaoh and a court official identified as the head magician.
Pharaoh’s order to drown the male Hebrew children has been carried out, but his hatred for the Hebrews hasn’t abated, and he’s still trying to come up with something to make the Israelites’ existence more miserable than it already is. But in response, the head magician says, “there ain’ anything meaner than killin’ babies, King.”
One of the most terrifying passages in the Bible is Matthew 2.16: “Then Herod . . . was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under.”
Pharaoh and Herod have rightly been held in infamy for millennia, but it wouldn’t surprise me if before long they’re the poster boys for the pagans in this country openly advocating the unspeakable atrocity of infanticide.
(1) In 1973, the Supreme Court said women have a right to privacy that allows them to get an abortion. (2) When asked about the fetus’s right to life, the Court arbitrarily decreed a fetus, an unborn child, is a nonperson. (3) The Court further decreed that a person’s rights exceed a nonperson’s rights, reaffirming that a mother can do with a fetus whatever she wants. (4) Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop—in The Right to Live; The Right to Die—pointed out that the Court’s logic, essentially, said that life begins at live birth.
But not anymore. Various state officials, including the Virginia governor, have recently argued born babies can be murdered if the mother doesn’t want the child. God help us.
I believe there’s an equality to sin (Jas. 2.10), but I also believe there’s an inequality to it as well. I believe all sins are equal, but some are more equal than others. “Whereas all sins,” wrote J. W. Montgomery, “receive their just recompense at the last judgment, some sins are such an affront to the divine majesty that they are very likely to trigger imminent judgment in the course of human history as well” (Slaughter of the Innocents, 122).
But what bothers me most right now is not what elected barbarians in this country are promoting, but the sense of outrage I’ve lost over this issue. If—contrary to all Biblical, rational, and scientific evidence—an unborn child can be defined as a nonperson, I’m not surprised murdering a born child is defined as a social good (as Hitler, Stalin, Mao, et al., argued). But I am disgusted that somewhere along the line I lost the virtue of anger and have done next to nothing as what was once a crime (abortion) became a debate that became a practice (legalized abortion) that has now become out-and-out murder (infanticide).
In The Lord of the Rings, the two hobbits, Merry (Meriadoc Brandybuck) and Pippin (Peregrin Took), meet Treebeard the Ent (a giant human-like tree). Treebeard was angry about the evils going on around him but had taken no action. When Merry and Pippin fill him in on Saruman’s treachery, Treebeard comes to understand “there is something very big going on,” and says, “I have been idle. I have let things slip. It must stop.”
When it comes to killing babies, born or unborn, Treebeard’s self-reproach and resolve are mine. I don’t care if what I do amounts to no more than a drop in the bucket or dust on the scales (Isa. 40.15); I’m angry, and in godly, legal ways, I’m going to do something.
Because listen, there’s nothing meaner than killing babies.