As I reflected upon our recent abortion discussions, my raving lunatic reaction, and some of the reactions to my reactions, I have asked myself this question. If I really believe that abortion is murder, what should I do about it? I mean, say the government is taking away Jews, or gays, or political dissidents, to jail them, or worse. What do I do? There’s a range of responses, the lighter of which seem totally lame and weak, while others seem too reactive. How do we decide?
Here’s my ideas about the range of responses, from light to severe.
- Do nothing and keep my morality to myself
- Raise public awareness by asking questions, debating, or even condemning the behavior publicly
- Get involved in politics to change things
- Get involved in social organizations that help people avoid being arrested
- Be subversive – undermine the government or system by helping people escape
- Non-violent resistance – you know, sit ins, block entrances to buildings, whatever
- Vigilante resistance – decide to take matters into my own hands – kill my opponents, or at least harass them
- Organize a militia to overthrow the powers that be.
I guess that most of the pro-life movement is at stages 2-4, though many activists like Operation Rescue are doing steps 5-6. What would it take to get them to jump the divide to steps 7 and 8? Christians are forbidden to be violent vigilantes, so step 7 is not going to happen.
But step 8? Unsure. Christian forces defeated slavery without taking up arms – well, I mean, during the Civil Rights movement. But we did have a Civil War before that. One of the principles we may not be able to avoid is that, when a nation sins so badly by taking and abusing lives (like during slavery), sometimes civil war and death MUST come upon them to cleanse them. It’s part practical reality when unseating such deeply embraced wickedness, and part judgment from God.
"Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that
offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we
shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in
the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued
through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives
to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by
whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from
those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always
ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this
mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it
continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and
fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of
blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the
sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said
"the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."
Now, at the end
of three years struggle the nation’s condition is not what either party, or
any man devised, or expected. God alone can claim it. Whither it is tending
seems plain. If God now wills the removal of a great wrong, and wills also
that we of the North as well as you of the South, shall pay fairly for our
complicity in that wrong, impartial history will find therein new cause to
attest and revere the justice and goodness of God.
– Abraham Lincoln