Anniversaries Come and Go – January 22, 1973

The fallout from the Supreme Court this week is about free speech and campaign spending limits, the setting aside of McCain/Feingold and other restrictions. I have opinions about that, but I don’t have a firm enough grasp of the issue to voice them, so I’ll leave that to others. And anyway, though I have strong political views, I generally consider them outside the purpose of this blog.

But where I cannot be silent is in regard to the infamous decision made by the Supremes thirty seven years ago today that struck down existing laws against abortion. The Court arbitrarily established a trimester system for pregnancy, but even then, effectively declared all the unborn not sufficiently human to deserve even the most basic right to life, let alone liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  

Fifty million human deaths later, just about the number of deaths attributed to Chairman Mao, and far exceeding the estimated deaths caused by Hitler and Stalin, we still defend the right to kill our children for any reason, even if they are just inconvenient or imperfect.

In 1973, when Roe v. Wade was handed down, an overwhelming percentage of Americans opposed legalizing abortion. But as legalized abortion became the law of the land, only the Roman Catholic Church spoke out in any significant way, calling it “the Silent Holocaust.” The most deafening silence was from evangelicals who ever since the days of Prohibition, had abandoned social justice and political issues, leaving that to the liberal mainline churches, while we preached the Gospel.

The late Francis Shaeffer stepped into the void and called us to become “co-belligerents” with Catholics on issues of such magnitude.  Thus, the evangelical church began to slowly awaken, but seemingly too late, as the majority culture moved to accept what the Supreme Court declared to be the law. But is it too late?

Even if 99% of our fellow citizens accepted abortion, like the prophets of old, we must speak the truth about it, as did Isaiah, he looked for justice, but saw bloodshed; for righteousness, but heard cries of distress. Isaiah 5:7 New International Version

The recorder of divine wisdom tells us, Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work? Proverbs 24:11-12 English Standard Version

What does this require of us? 

That’s been the struggle for the past thirty years – political action, biblical sex education and calls to purity, compassion ministry in crisis pregnancy centers, ministries of hope and forgiveness for post-abortion mothers and abortion providers, protest in the streets and at abortion facilities – all of these are needed in one form or another. 

I have often been saddened by contention within the pro-life community, but in spite of the setbacks, there are signs of encouragement. Marvin Olasky of World Magazine, points to encouraging signs that public opinion is starting to shift back, showing now that “for the first time in two decades… most Americans define themselves as pro-life.” World Magazine, January 30, 2010

What shall we do? Specific actions will be a matter of personal conscience as you listen to the voice of God the Holy Spirit.  But however God calls you to be involved, keep speaking out, teach the truth about life and abortion to the younger generations, support compassion ministry to those in crisis, hold politicians accountable with your voice and your vote. And in the midst of it all, Pray! and Proclaim the Gospel! Ask God to open the eyes of all Americans to the truth about abortion and the sanctity of life; and hold out the hope of forgiveness and transformation found only in Jesus Christ.

Use the link above for related articles from World Magazine.

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