by Steven Lopez

Guest Editorial Graphic Schilling Show BlogAt a recent 40 Days for Life event, Jammey Tellier showed up with the image of Malachi – a baby whose life was stolen at 21 weeks. The local community struggled to deal with that image as did many pro lifers. And it’s an excellent teaching opportunity.

One mother said, “I want that image out of my community!”

She told us that her family was on their way to soccer practice and her seven year old daughter saw the image and started crying. And that her daughter was back in her bedroom still crying even as we spoke. And that’s an honest response to the horror of abortion – it takes awhile for our culture to ingrain the rationalizations into the heads of our children for them to turn a blind eye to abortion.

Which brings us back to the mother. She was asked if the image is so horrible that she wanted it out of the community, what was her response to the late term abortionist inside the facility who had killed hundreds of thousands of babies – did she want him out of the community too? Her immediate response was, “No!” and then she caught herself and said she was pro life.

And then she was asked if she ever walked into the facility to express similar outrage to the doctor who was performing the procedures depicted in the image? And she replied that she had not and it was at this point that her husband stopped defending her… suddenly he recognized the hypocrisy of their righteous indignation.

Many Americans are more concerned about their children seeing an image of abortion than they are abortion itself. I can imagine how German citizens would have felt if Christians showed up with images of the concentration camp victims. I am pretty sure they would have complained very loudly, but perhaps some of their hearts would have been changed? Perhaps if the citizens saw the human atrocities they would have stood up to end it?

Instead they all had their list of excuses for their inaction. It wasn’t their problem and I am sure many of them didn’t want their children to see the truth of what went on in their community.

Graphic images are usually not intended for the active pro lifers, many of them didn’t need to see the horror of abortion firsthand to stand up and serve God. And sadly some of them have personally experienced it and so they already know the pain and anguish of abortion. However, there are many Americans whose conscience cannot be pricked by a “Pray to end abortion” sign … some of them need to see the casualties of this war against the unborn.

This is not a new strategy.

The image of Christ on the cross is iconic. Imagine if all Christians ever shared with the world was a black and white sign that that said, “Jesus loved you.” Would that capture it? It might reach some people, but the Christian church decided to share a graphic image. And lest anyone forget many of them carry a cross as a reminder of God’s son being lashed and then carrying a wooden cross on his shoulders which he would be crucified upon with a crown of thorns.

It’s a horrific image to illustrate the humiliation, the pain, and the agony that Christ endured. And yet many of those same Christians complain loudly when the image of another of God’s sons who was brutally murdered is shared with the world, only this time with the consent of the mother and the assistance of a licensed physician. The image of Malachi’s disfigured body is a reminder that his death was not in vain, unlike the millions of other equally valued babies whose names we will never know. Malachi’s body, torn and disfigured, speaks for the millions of voices that were silenced.

Perhaps the reason we’re uncomfortable with the image of God’s children being murdered is because it reminds us of our terrible failure? Christ was not rescued from the cross and Malachi wasn’t rescued from the doctor’s instruments of death. However, there is hope for us and the war is not over, but we must be willing to confront the truth if we ever want the horrible truth to be wiped clean by God. We have to overcome our sensitivity because there is nothing pretty about a man hanging on a cross bleeding to death for crimes he never committed. And there is nothing attractive about a boy who was dismembered during our watch… but this time on an altar of self worship. Malachi had done nothing to deserve his death.

And when we try to silence his last message to the world (his torn and disfigured body) … we side with the same people who stole his life.

12 COMMENTS

  1. And then she was asked if she ever walked into the facility to express similar outrage to the doctor who was performing the procedures depicted in the image? And she replied that she had not and it was at this point that her husband stopped defending her… suddenly he recognized the hypocrisy of their righteous indignation.

    You seem to be imagining what he thought, since you don’t quote him. After decades of protests outside of abortion clinics, has outrage ever made an abortionist quit for reasons of conscience? Have you ever shamed anyone into quitting? So is it the baby you love most (and the sinner), or the shame game? You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

  2. There is no easy answer for this!. There is no easy answer for this! Over my life time, I have seen abortion go from beng medically necessary to being used as birth control especailly here in U.S. It is not to say in other part of world that abortion isn’t use as birth control. It has and alway going to be a moral issue. If woman in this article is pissed because her daughter got upset, than do right thing and sit down and talk to her. But it seem in allot of family it is easier to sweep the problem under the carpet. It is easy to do something and turn the moral part of the mind off. It is easy to look at this and say so big deal. it is just to change the frame of reference from human being to a bunch of cells, view it as cancer. What do we do with cancer kill it. But it is harder to do the right thing in today world with the brain and heart that GOD gave us.

  3. Mr. Lopez,

    Will you also go on record in opposition to the murder of born and unborn children by US drone aircraft and other military interventions around the world? Will you go on record in support of airing the sound and images of children mutilated by US military operations around the world? Are you also opposed to the censorship of those images by the media?

  4. You are all such a bunch of whiny crybabies!
    What is WRONG about abortion is turning it into a political issue just as with any moral issue.
    The idea to make abortion legally available with any description of “public money” is unquestionably WRONG, much more so than children being killed and injured as a result of military activities (which is just one of the many horrors of war.)
    It is NOT “murder.” Its just too bad…for THEM.
    Be sure you understand how sweet it is to be able to say and live that bit of truth!…for them!

    This is just one of the many reasons why it is not only healthy but CORRECT to develop the “us and them” mindset when dealing with those who are not part of YOUR group.
    Abortion and all the “unpleasantness” that comes with it has nothing at all to do with running a country and dealing with other countries. It was/is wrong to make it so.

    There are plenty of places in the world where just talking about these things out loud or in public can get you beaten, jailed and/or killed.
    When the thought police finally have FULL control of this country (instead of just the media, the gov’t bureaucracies and the “progressives,”)it’ll be the same here.
    I wonder which you’ll decide you are then…us or them!?!

  5. @ Tim,

    Exactly my point, this is a moral issue. You make a moral distinction between murdering an unborn fetus by abortion and murdering a child (born or unborn) with a bomb. Do you think Christ would agree with you? If so, why?

    You call me a “whiny crybaby.” Well, I believe that is because the US military does not allow you to see the mayhem and suffering the it inflicts upon non-combatants around the world. If you think all of this murder by the US military is “just too bad” and morally justified, then you ought to be able to see, hear and smell the results of it. Why do you think the US military (and US media) won’t let you see and hear what is going on? Because they know that most Americans could not stomach the carnage and would demand an end to it.

    I never said abortion was a political issue or was relevant to running a country. It is a moral issue, as is war. So, if Mr. Lopez wants us “to confront the truth” by the use of images, then let him apply the same standard to war. If he is not willing to do so, then he is a moral hypocrite.

    While the “thought police” are in full control of your thoughts, they will never have control of mine. I am free of the matrix that owns you. I am not one of you or them, I am a free.

  6. You make a moral distinction between murdering an unborn fetus by abortion and murdering a child (born or unborn) with a bomb. Do you think Christ would agree with you? If so, why?

    I don’t think we can know what Christ would say. The issue just isn’t that simple. But there is one big and clear difference, and it’s that the point of an abortion is to end the life of a child while the point of the drone is not. The point of an abortion is to end the life of a person who happens to be innocent, and the point of a drone attack is to end the life of people who are guilty of trying to end our own lives.

    The fact that drones often do kill innocent people makes using them extremely problematic morally. But it hardly puts them on the same plane morally as abortions.

  7. @ Ken,

    “I don’t think we can know what Christ would say.”

    You are dodging the question, Ken, because you don’t want to face it. Of course we cannot know what Christ would say. That is not what I asked. Do you think Christ would condone the use of drones and bombs ? Any Christian who is familiar with the Bible ought to be able to answer that question and provide a basis for their answer.

    “The issue just isn’t that simple.”

    I will note that God did not include any exceptions or qualifications when he commanded “Thou shalt not murder.” His commandment could not have been simpler or clearer.

    “The fact that drones often do kill innocent people makes using them extremely problematic morally. But it hardly puts them on the same plane morally as abortions.”

    God does not agree with you, nor did his son.

    “ . . . the point of a drone attack is to end the life of people who are guilty of trying to end our own lives. “

    So as long as my intent is to murder someone who I believe is intending to murder me, I am justified in killing innocent bystanders. By your logic, a murderer could take refuge in a school, house, or other building, and you would be justified in dropping a bomb on the building in order to kill him. The fact that you would murder anyone else in the building is not a problem for you. Police officers could spray a crowd with bullets if a suspect fired a shot at them then ran into the crowd. And a Christian should have no problem with this because God’s sixth commandment is complicated.

    How do you know any of the people killed by drones are trying to end your life? No evidence is presented by our government to confirm it. You merely trust that your government is telling the truth. You also trust that the informants it uses are telling the truth. When were these people found “guilty” of trying to end our lives?

  8. Jack, are you a pacifist? Otherwise, your argument that God made no exceptions or qualifications to his command not to murder is inconsistent. And if indeed you’re arguing that any kind of killing is “murder,” then God was inconsistent when he led Israel to institute the death penalty for certain crimes, and when he led Israel into war – in fact into genocide. As I said, the issue isn’t at all simple. It’s not one we can solve by quoting one verse or another, or one Biblical principle or another, in isolation. “To murder” in the Old Testament was clearly not synonymous with “to kill.”

    Do you think Christ would condone the use of drones and bombs ? Any Christian who is familiar with the Bible ought to be able to answer that question and provide a basis for their answer.

    I’ll be glad to answer. We’re told to love our neighbors. How can we say we’re loving our neighbors if we don’t do all that’s necessary to protect them from people who want to kill them? Yes we’re also told to love our enemies. But when the two commands are in apparent conflict, which should we go with? If the president has a choice of sending innocent American soldiers to risk their lives to kill terrorists, or instead trying to kill the terrorists without putting American lives at risk, which is the ethical choice? If the president can save the lives of innocent American soldiers but can only do so by putting innocent Pakistani civilians at risk, which is the ethical choice? Please provide evidence from Biblical stories.

    Like I said, there are no easy answers.

    The fact that you would murder anyone else in the building is not a problem for you.

    Don’t do what Rob does and make stuff up about what people who disagree with you think. That’s boring and it sheds no light. I hardly said I don’t care. I said it’s morally problematic. As a matter of fact, even apart from the practical point that our use of drones is probably inspiring more young men to become terrorists, I tend to think their use is unethical. But I don’t arrive at my conclusion simplistically, as you seem to do.

    How do you know any of the people killed by drones are trying to end your life? No evidence is presented by our government to confirm it. You merely trust that your government is telling the truth. You also trust that the informants it uses are telling the truth. When were these people found “guilty” of trying to end our lives?

    Get real. What are we supposed to do, parachute in Judge Judy? I don’t trust any government to tell the truth all the time or even most of the time. But no serious analyst doubts that there are terrorist camps in Pakistan and elsewhere.

  9. Ken,

    Before I give a full response to your post, could you please define “terrorist” or “terrorism.”

  10. Jack, instead of defining it, I think I can address your point better by noting that the exact definition doesn’t matter for my point. The drones are aimed at people who are trying to kill us. We don’t have the option of arresting or otherwise neutralizing those particular men without violence. So the question is just the old one of whether or not we have a right to use violence to defend our own innocent people. And I think to answer that we may have to look at the numbers too – how many bystanders we kill by accident, or at least unintentionally, vs. how many innocents those we kill might succeed in killing intentionally.

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