It appears that millions of evangelicals, especially younger ones, are experiencing fetus fatigue. Tired of the abortion issue taking center stage, they are moving on to newer, hipper things—the sort of issues that excite Bono, such as aid to Africa, the environment, and cool tattoos. Abortion has been legal since 1973, before they were born; it is the old guard that gets exercised about the millions of abortions that have taken place over the years. That Barack Obama and the entire Democratic Party leadership are pro-choice is a secondary concern. After all, these young people believe, Obama could not do that much damage concerning abortion. They may be thinking, “No, he wouldn’t enact pro-life policies, but he says he wants abortions to decrease.”
In the midst of such casual sentiment, I’m compelled to say in no uncertain terms, “For God’s sake, evangelicals (if that word has any meaning), please wake up and consider the acres of tiny, bloody corpses that you cannot see.”
Yes, the Christian vision is holistic, and we should endeavor to restore shalom to the whole of this beleaguered planet under the Lordship of Christ (Matt. 28:18–20). That includes helping Africa, preserving the environment, combating human trafficking, and much more. The leading domestic moral issue, however, continues to be the value of helpless, unborn human life. Since Roe v. Wade, over one million unborn humans have been killed through abortion each year. That puts the total well over thirty-five million. The Russian Marxist-Totalitarian Joseph Stalin said, “One death is a tragedy. A million dead is a statistic.” Too many evangelicals are Stalinists on abortion, since the numbers apparently mean nothing to them.
The vast majority of these abortions were not done to save the life of the mother or in view of other extreme conditions. Before Roe v. Wade, abortion advocates argued that hard cases—such as rape, incest, or severe fetal deformity—justified more lenient abortion laws. But thirty-five years later, abortion is deemed simply a matter of the mother’s private, relative, subjective preference—despite the fact that two human beings are involved in this matter. Things have declined to the point where bumper stickers say, “Don’t like abortion? Don’t have one.” How about, “Don’t like slavery? Don’t own slaves”? The two cases are exactly parallel. If slavery is not a private issue, then neither is abortion, since they both involve questions of the value of human lives.
The biblical argument against abortion is direct and powerful:
1. The fetus from conception is a human person made in God’s image (Gen. 1:27; Ps. 139:13–16).
2. Murder is the unjust killing of a person and is sinful (Exod. 20:13).
3. Abortion is the unjust killing of a person in almost every case. I believe there is an exception when life of the mother is directly endangered, but this is a condition that rarely occurs.
4. Therefore: (a) abortion is morally wrong and sinful before God.
5. Therefore: (b) abortion should be illegal and stigmatized socially (Rom. 13:1–7).
One can build a strong pro-life argument apart from the Bible as well, but I will not address that here. Robert George and Kevin Tollefsen make this case in their book Embryo: A Defense of Human Life (Doubleday, 2008).
Senator Obama is militantly pro-abortion, despite whatever religious beliefs he claims. He even failed to support a bill that would have saved the lives of infants born alive after a botched abortion. If he wins the U. S. Presidency, he may appoint several Supreme Court judges. If so, we can forget about overturning Roe v. Wade any time soon. If this piece of legal deconstruction were to be overturned, it would return abortion law to the discretion of the states, a much better situation.
If Obama wins, he would also fund stem-cell research on human embryos and provide as much federal funding as possible for abortion. The President also issues executive orders with tremendous power. President Bill Clinton issued four pro-choice executive orders a few days after taking office in 1993. Another Democrat would do the same.
Again, I say, “Evangelicals, for God’s sake, please wake up!”
Remember the least, the last, and the lost: the millions of unborn human beings whose lives hang in the balance (Matt. 25:31–46). This is not the only issue of moral significance, but it is a titanic issue that cannot be ignored. Rouse yourself to recover from fetus fatigue. God is watching and waiting, even as the blood of the innocent unborn cries out from the ground (Gen. 4:10).
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Douglas Groothuis is a professor of philosophy at Denver Seminary and a frequent contributor to the Christian Research Journal.