Regarding my thoughts and feelings about the killing of a human being who I find despicable because of his engagement in the butchery of infants, I am torn. How could I support the cold-blooded slaying of a man while he serves in his church on Sunday morning? I've imagined what it might be like to shoot a person. It makes me shiver. It seems so cold and hard-hearted and such a violent, brutal thing.
One must realize that so-called 'abortion' is a nearly identical act, different only in that it is more cold, more hard-hearted, more violent, and more brutal than gunning down a stranger in cold blood. Therefore, we must in fairness to the first question, also ask, how could I stand by with full awareness while such an act is committed? Wouldn't complacent inaction be just as worthy of guilt? But these are the only choices, are they not?
Some may argue that another choice is to lobby for the legal protection of those helpless babies so that the law would then prevent the atrocities committed by George Tiller and so many others like him. This is absolutely a worthwhile effort, but it just as certainly takes time. Any amount of time is more than unwanted babies can afford.
When the alternatives are either to kill a serial murderer in order to prevent him from continuing in the wholesale slaughter of defenseless babies or to stand by and do nothing as the body count of helpless, innocent victims daily grows, continuing to mushroom, ultimately approaching 60,000 babies, how could anyone with even a trace of human compassion be still?
While I'm not quite (perhaps I should say 'not yet') prepared to condone the 'extra-lawful' killing even of a murderer, I would say in defense of drastic action that the law is insufficient to protect us. That's right I said, "to protect US." Even in the U.S.A., where we profess to hold it self-evident that all people are created with equal value and equally endowed by God with certain rights that cannot be denied, our nation has sunk deeply into tyranny of the oppression of those whom our society determined were "not like us".
When our nation was founded, slavery was an accepted institution in most, if not all, of the world. But for the West at least, slavery was not merely economic tyranny, it was also racial tyranny, as demonstrated by the fact there were no White slaves. Our nation could only have condoned slavery and segregation by imagining that people of significantly different appearance and culture are "not like us" and, therefore, not equally endowed by God with rights that cannot be denied. I think it is now generally well understood that this proposition of our ancestors (and even our parents, in some cases) was false. I do believe that cultures can be of greater or lesser value and every person is different with there own strengths and weaknesses. Yet, each person has the same intrinsic value and undeniable rights.
It is a grave mistake for anyone, especially for we who acknowledge the undeniable right for everyone to live, to imagine that little babies are somehow "not like us" and therefore less deserving of respect for their most basic of rights. We must understand, however unlikely it may seem, that when the undeniable rights of any group of people can be universally and indiscriminately violated, then every other group is vulnerable to the same tyranny. But I don't mean to suggest that we should have only cynical motivation. I believe when we correctly and thoroughly comprehend that babies are, indeed, like us and have all the same irrefutable rights as we adults, we will be on fire for their defense, not merely because of the potential implications for our own rights, but also, I hope, because of our compassion for other human beings and our love for justice. They are us!
Some have said, "a fetus isn't fully human. You only think so because of your religion, and you can't impose your religious beliefs on everyone else". I would respond, "what religious beliefs?" First, let's not forget that our national identity is rooted in our acknowledgement of the fact that God has given the same undeniable rights to all human beings. This is a religious belief without which we would have no concept of individual liberty or any opposition to tyranny. If not for the Christian world view of our 'founding fathers', the U.S.A. would have been just another kingdom and would not have propagated hope for liberty and prosperity throughout the entire world. So let's be careful not to so easily object to religious beliefs. After all, should we reject the concepts of equal rights and free speech because the have their origin in religious conviction?
But does my conviction about the beginning of a human life have the Bible as its source? The Bible does very emphatically indicate that human life and its intrinsic value do begin before birth. But my conviction is driven more precisely by science.
- An unborn child at any and all stages of development is genetically human. That is a scientific fact!
- An unborn child at any and all stages of development is genetically unique. He is not mere 'tissue', part of the mother's body. That is a scientific fact!
- The life of an unborn child begins at conception. That is a scientific fact that any honest biologist will tell you!
For those concerned about the imposition of religious values on all of society by a fanatical few, some religions may demand that we reject science and the fact that life begins at conception, but you may rest assured that denial of these three scientific facts is NOT found in the Bible. But, as mentioned earlier, what the Bible does contain is the command to care about the rights of all people.
Considering these scientific facts, we must refuse to participate in the delusional discussion of 'abortion' as if that were the issue. Whether or not to abort a pregnancy is not the issue. I think we can agree that we have the same concern about 'abortion' that we have about embryonic stem-cell research. We cannot hope to address any issue appropriately if we cannot first correctly identify the issue. And no case can be made that justice is served by ending the life of an unborn child. Therefore, the real question must always be, "under what circumstances is it acceptable to murder a helpless, innocent child?"
"What gives you the right to tell a woman what to do with her body?" Nothing gives me the right, and I do not seek to obtain any right of the sort. I know you have heard this question. Such an accusatory question is known as a "Straw Man Argument". When experiencing difficulty arguing an opponent's points, one might attempt to deceptively misrepresent the opponent's points as something different and more easily defeated. It is a dishonest practice relying on trickery and driven by weakness. That is, when it is not merely being repeated by those who have no thoughts of their own.
But since the question is so common, I'd like to address it. First, should it be legal for a man to beat a woman to death with his bear hands? After all, he is doing as he chooses with his own body. What right do you have to support a law against such behavior when doing so would certainly be an attempt by you to tell that man what to do with his own body? Every law that exists is an attempt to control behavior. All behavior is acted out in some way or another with our bodies, whether one is robbing a bank, driving drunk, or anything else you can imagine. Because we all are endowed with the same rights, it is inevitable that our rights must be limited when they begin to infringe upon the rights of others. This is the only way to ensure equality of rights. So that man should be allowed to do with his own body what he will unless and until the exercise of his liberty hinders some else's free exercise of liberty.
This brings me right to the second part of my response to the question. What the woman does (or arranges to have done by someone else) to her own body is of no concern to me. The assertion that 'abortion' is the exercise of a woman's right to do what she likes with her own body is not only false, but also patently ridiculous. Does 'abortion' take the life from the woman's body? Is the woman's body painfully and horribly cut into pieces while she yet lives? Is the woman's brain sucked from her head by a needle jammed into the base of her skull? Considering the effects of 'abortion' on the baby's body, I find wailing and moaning about a woman's right to do what she likes with her own body profoundly offensive and entirely irrelevant.
George Tiller and his ilk are hired assassins. This may sound like inflammatory rhetoric, but the definition is perfectly accurate. Justice can be sought for what has been done, but atrocities cannot be undone by the death of this butcher and justice cannot be achieved by a vigilante killing. However, there is certainty that he would have killed as many more helpless, innocent babies as his lifespan or life plan would accommodate. All of those potential victims have been rescued from slaughter, if not absolutely, then at least from the prolific hands of this particular vicious and demented individual.