A fellow abolitionist called me the other day to let me know that some representatives of Planned Parenthood were out fundraising in front of a local Starbucks. I was in the middle of preparing both the living room and a bible study for some friends who were coming over, but when my wife told me the news, I laid it aside and got in the car to go speak to them.
By the time I arrived, the reps had moved on, but I decided to stand there anyway with a sign that stated clearly how the world dehumanizes people it wishes to destroy, in past centuries with slavery, and in the present, abortion. Quite a few people walked by and read the sign, but it wasn’t til the three PP reps returned that I got in any conversations. The first conversation was with one of the two college-age girls who had (it turned out) taken the position as a summer job.
We managed to have a very cordial and rational conversation, in the course of which I asked one of them if she believed in God. She said she did not. I then went on to ask her if she believed human beings were intrinsically valuable. She responded:
“Value? What is that? There’s no such thing. No, human beings aren’t any more or less valuable than anything else.”
I told her that this was a very consistent response from a person who does not believe in God.
A Starbucks customer who was spectating interjected that there’s no point talking about “things like this”, and asked if I thought we could actually change one another’s minds. I replied that one conversation may not revolutionize someone’s perspective (though I always hope), but, I asked “how much of what you believe is the result of years of different conversations like this one?” He acknowledged that I had a point. I added that if reasoning and presentation of facts is really as powerless as all that, what use is education or any conversation at all?
Another woman, part of the Planned Parenthood team, said she believed in God and went to a church. I asked her how she could support an organization dedicated to the slaughter of her human neighbors in defiance of Jesus’ commandment, she had no answer.
This is why Abolitionists are not mere pro-lifers. We seek an end to the slaughter of our little pre-born neighbors, in compassion and obedience to what Jesus said is the “second greatest commandment”: Love your neighbor as yourself.
We recognize that the great Moral Evil called abortion is a symptom of a world uprooted and cut off from its Maker, left in despair and without answer for the most important questions of life. A world torn through and rotted by sin.
We know that silence is not an option. God has given us voices and reason and language for a reason, and no speech or reasoning in service of the Truth is vain. If you ask me “What is truth?” I will tell you the story of the Universe.
The eternal God who brought the universe into existence, who made mankind, male and female, in His own image (and therefore objectively valuable) did not leave us where our first parents fell – without God and without hope – but gave us Himself, in His Son, the Man Jesus Christ some 2,000 years ago. He took away sin by His death on the cross, and was declared to be Lord of all creation by His rising physically from the dead on the third day.
We know Him. We have received life from Him, a life from death, forgiveness of sin, renewal and a vision of the world as it is meant to be and one day (by the power of God) will be.
There is a negative aspect to our work, as there is a negative aspect to the work of cutting out a tumor. We will call sin sin. We will call murder murder. We will decry apathy and the hypocrisy of those who call themselves Christians yet allow their neighbors to be murdered day by day. Yet we will not stop there. There is a God. Jesus Christ is a living Lord. Human life is sacred, all creation waits for renewal. There is a future and a hope. There is forgiveness for sin and a new life. There is redemption.
To finish the story, when they finished their paid shift for “Planned Parenthood”, the girls left. The two younger girls & I had a ten minute discussion where they acknowledged that abortion kills a human being and is “unfortunate”. We parted on good terms personally if not ideologically. My new atheist acquaintance professed as she left how she appreciated my position but cared more for a woman than for a “fetus”. I answered: “They’re both human beings, and I care for both of them”.