by Pedro C. Moreno
Suppose that in a given nation three-year-old children are being killed at the rate of 4,600 per day at the countrys legally established care centers. Suppose that although the killings occur with the approval of the childrens parents (or at least their mothers), a great percentage of the population has voiced opposition to the activitybut has done little to stop it.
Suppose, further, that the killings have been going on for close to 20 years, meaning that almost 33 million children have been eliminated since the practice began. Now suppose the killings continue, 4,600 of them daily, with no indication that they will stop soon.
According to the statements made by Christian pro-life groups, is this not the situation with abortion today in the United States? Have they not been saying that the unborn child is a human being, no different in value from a three-year-old or an adult?
Then how can we explain that 50 million Christians in the United States have allowed the killings to go on for more than 20 years without doing much to stop it?
Of course, it must be acknowledged that some Christians have fought abortion by direct means (picketing, demonstrations, adoptions, counseling) and others by financially supporting pro-life organizations active in law, government and education. But we should also recognize that those Christians are a small minorityand some of them have even been considered by other Christians as extremists, fanatics and anarchists.
Pro-life organizations such as The Rutherford Institute use legal and educational means to combat abortion and thus may have more credibility than some groups that use demonstrations; yet even more credible efforts are far from sufficient for the task. I cannot help but wonder, with so many Christians in the United States who believe that abortion is murder, how it is that abortion has become a normal, daily occurrence; a family planning method; and a convenient way to terminate a pregnancy.
How is it that abortion is acceptable as one of the most lucrative industries in America? How do we explain to our children the fact that abortion is freely encouraged and advertised in newspapers and in the Yellow Pages?
Could not Christians, by their sheer number, drastically change things around just by demonstrating weekly on the streets of the major cities of America? Could not even 10 million of them flood any governmental institution with letters of protest or provide mass education about what abortion really is? Could they not elect pro-life candidates who, by speaking out, would change the laws of the land or soften and sensitize the conscience of pro-abortion Americans?
What are the reasons why most Christians are inactive concerning abortion?
Sadly, I see that there are several possible explanations:
1. Christians do not really believe what they say about abortion. The rhetoric that the unborn has the same value as the adult is just that: rhetoric to appease their conscience. This makes them hypocrites.
2. Christians believe that abortion is sinful, but they reason: Who are we to tell that to others, especially non-Christians? We are not of this world anyway.
3. Christians agree with the pro-abortion view that the fetus is not really human; therefore, abortion is not wrong. Or even if they believe that the fetus amounts to some kind of human life, somehow the quality of that life is inferior and not really worth protecting.
4. Even though fully convinced that abortion is murder, Christians have become intimidated by society at large and have chosen their convenience and security over their convictions.
5. While believing abortion is a crime, Christians have become inoculated by politically correct dogma that, added to their natural inertia, has made them hardened, insensitive and passive. This brings to mind the situation in Germany earlier in this century when Christians were callous in the face of the Holocaust.
One prominent evangelical leader I know has publicly supported abortion in cases of incest, rape or when the fetus has deformities, though he opposes abortion for convenience or as birth control. It is not difficult to see how other Christians can also rationalize and accommodate this view in its next logical consequence: abortion on demand.
There is hope that the dormant majority of Christians will one day awaken to the terrible reality of abortion as murder. In the meantime, Christians continue to share the blame with the pro-abortionists for making possible one of the most abominable tragedies of humankind.
Pedro C. Moreno, a Bolivian attorney, works in Charlottesville, Virginia, as the international coordinator of The Rutherford Institute. In 1994 he represented the pro-life view at the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, Egypt. This article originally appeared in Charisma magazine.
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