P. Andrew Sandlin
Philadelphia last month, the Republican Party, to its credit, retained
the firm pro-life plank in its platform. The pro-choice Republicans
were pacified by the reassurance that the platform would have very
little relevance to George W. Bush’s actual beliefs and actions,
though the candidate has identified himself as pro-life. The Republican
Party on this issue as on others is something of a political
(and ethical) hodgepodge.
so the Democratic Party. At their Los Angeles convention, we heard
again and again assurances that their party is decidedly for "choice."
Republicans support the "big-tent" theory let’s
keep those pro-aborts close at hand. By contrast, the Democrats
are principled: they keep the minuscule number of pro-lifers in
their midst (like Pennsylvania’s Bob Casey) at arm’s length. Democrats
are serious about protecting the right to murder. Republicans are
tepid about protecting the lives of unborn children.
Bible and Abortion
Bible implicitly teaches that unborn children are humans no less
human than children outside the womb (Ex. 21:22-25; Ps. 139:13-16).
For this reason and others, the Christian church historically has
opposed elective abortion. The same Christian church, which in its
first few centuries rescued abandoned children legally cast into
the drainage ditches in ancient Rome, could scarcely be counted
faithful to its heritage if it today dismissed concerns over legalized
the unborn child is as fully human as an adult, elective abortion
is murder. There is no other word for it. This puts the issue in
sharp perspective. Libertarians are still in a fight about over
legalized abortion. All of us want to keep the state out of people’s
lives. We also want to keep murder out of people’s lives. The state
should be authorized to protect life one of its few, precious
few, legitimate tasks. (We don’t want a society of vigilantes.)
Among libertarians, the issue related to abortion is simply when
life begins. If it begins at conception, it does no good for certain
libertarians to argue that criminalization of abortion conflicts
with libertarian principles. If the unborn child is human, he deserves
the same legal protection as adults. To suggest anything else is
to deny libertarianism.
live in an age dominated by information and, in particular, the
battle of ideas. These ideas come in the form of words. The battle
over abortion is as much a battle over words as it is a battle over
human life itself. Those who support legalized abortion speak of
their position as "pro-choice" or simply "choice."
This is the sort of damnable euphemism employed by Hitler’s genocidal
political machine from 1933-1945. In today’s world of information
warfare and media saturation, the easiest way to get away with doing
evil things is to describe them in pleasant, even seductive, language.
Dope addiction becomes "chemical dependency." State stealing
becomes "compassion for the poor." Adultery becomes "an
affair." Sodomy becomes "an alternative lifestyle."
Sexual intercourse with a young female intern becomes "an inappropriate
relationship." This debasement of language is an indicator
of a decaying, putrid culture.
come Al Gore and the Democratic Party championing "choice."
Why don’t you start something? Every time you hear the word "choice"
used in relation to the abortion issue, just mentally or verbally
insert the word "murder." Imagine this from the podium
at the Democratic National Convention: "The Republicans will
not protect the woman’s right to murder, though we have stood uncompromisingly
for the freedom to murder"; Or, "You can be sure in an
Al Gore administration that we will protect the woman’s right to
murder"; Or, "Pro-murder is more than just a plank in
the Democratic Party platform; unlike the Republicans’ treatment
of their platform, our candidate, Al Gore, really embraces our platform
of liberty to murder." If you think this sounds unpleasant,
the primaries, pro-choice, that is, pro-murder, was one of the three
main issues on which Al Gore ran his California campaign: environment,
education, and "choice," Al Gore’s Great Unholy Trinity.
His environmentalism means stealing private property, his educational
policy means brainwashing impressionable children, and his abortion
position means murdering babies. The pro-murder Republicans are
no better; and if they gradually gain the upper hand in the Party,
it will reach the destination toward which it has been traveling
the last few decades: a gutless, toothless political machine just
a few years behind the principled, uncompromising Leftists. Harry
Browne’s Libertarian Party is wishy-washy on this issue, though
it creditably wants to get the federal government out of the abortion
conflict. Ralph Nader is a left wing, socialist pro-abort all the
way. Pat Buchanan is vocally pro-life, but the Reform Party on which
he has pinned his political hopes has no interest in protecting
unborn children from murderous mothers and physicians. The only
leading third party that stands uncompromisingly for the life of
the unborn child is Howard Phillips’ Constitution Party. Unfortunately,
Phillips’ support among the electorate is only a fraction of a single
left wing, in collusion with a largely liberal media, has employed
its euphemisms to desensitize the American public. The abortionists
and their collaborators have become the respectable murderers. They
frame the debate as a "democratic social issue," a crusade
for freedom against a moralizing conservative tyranny. They thereby
support the routine murder of unborn children by employing high-sounding
phrases. In the womb of a mother about to get an abortion, these
euphemisms are particularly repellant. Soon these people will support
on a wider scale the routine murder of the aged. Then, perhaps,
as in Germany earlier this century and Rwanda in the early 90s,
they will advocate the extermination of a particular race or religion.
(Do not scoff. Nobody in 1950 predicted that by 1980 the United
States would annually suffer the scourge of 1.5 million legal abortions
things do not change, all this too like abortion will be culturally
murder becomes culturally respectable, that culture has descended
deeply into the abyss.
P. Andrew Sandlin is Executive Vice President of the Chalcedon
Foundation which since 1965 has been dedicated to applying
historic, Biblical Christianity in today’s world. He is the author
of Christianity: Bulwark of Liberty and several other works.