What if you heard that a new law was passed that said that anyone named Bill could be legally put to death? Certainly, you would protest the “law” and say it was wrong.
Wouldn’t we all come together at once to restore legal protection to all Bills?
We could certainly say that this new law was against the Constitution, which claims to protect the rights of every person. But suppose that even the Constitution were changed to say that it’s okay to kill Bill. Would we then say it was really okay? No, it would still be wrong.
In other words, there is a right and a wrong no matter what the laws or even the Constitution says. Every law must obey a Higher Law that is written not on paper but on our hearts. That Higher Law says that every human person, no matter what his/her background or condition, has the right to life. Killing the innocent is wrong, and no law or Constitution can ever make it right.
The imaginary story about the “Bills” is not as imaginary as we think. Just change the word “Bill” to “Jew,” and we have what happened in Nazi Germany. The power of the State under Hitler declared that these human beings were not persons and therefore could be killed. Those who were involved in these atrocities were eventually tried before an international court at Nuremberg and convicted of crimes against humanity. Laws must obey the Higher Law.
Then again, change the word “Bill” to “slave,” and you will see the same mistake occurring in America in the last century. The Supreme Court in 1857 said that these people were not really full “persons,” and could therefore be treated like property. It took a Civil War, 600,000 deaths, an amendment to the Constitution, and a century of struggle to correct that mistake.
We are again falling into the error of saying that some human beings are not persons. Just change the word “Bill” to “pre-born baby” and look at what the Supreme Court said on Jan. 22, 1973: Children in their mother’s wombs are not considered persons under the law, and therefore may be destroyed by abortion.
The numbers of babies lost by this mistake are far greater than those lost under Hitler. Some 1.6 million a year are destroyed by abortion. That’s over 56 million in the United States alone. By comparison, some 6 million Jews were killed in World War II with a global death toll of 50 million.
There were free men who said, “Slaves are no concern of mine.” Some Germans said, “Jews are no concern of mine.” If we are decent, caring members of a civilized society, then anyone who suffers in that society is our concern! The more defenseless the victim is, the stronger is our obligation toward him/her. The pre-born baby is certainly the most defenseless of all victims.
When we start taking the lives of one another, then nobody is safe. If society tolerates the killing of one group of human beings, what is to keep it from moving on to another group? If you can kill an innocent, unwanted child, then why can’t you kill an innocent, unwanted grandparent, or an innocent, unwanted neighbor? And what is to keep the neighbor from killing an innocent, unwanted You?
Either the right to life belongs to all, or it belongs to none. No government has the right to limit it and say it belongs only to some. Even our Declaration of Independence states that “All men are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights ... Among these are life ...” The Creator gives the right to life. Governments exist to protect those rights.
The current laws on abortion, therefore, are seriously wrong. Every human being is a person. You cannot exclude slaves, or Jews, or pre-born babies. The babies destroyed by abortion are human persons. God said, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you...” (Jeremiah 1:5). Whatever the nations’ laws say about slaves or Jews or unborn babies, God said that “he knew them” before they were even formed in the womb.
This weekend is the 39th anniversary of a very bad and horribly immoral decision that allowed the legal execution of a new classification of persons who were declared by the State to be “non-persons.” The death toll is 4,000 babies every single day.
God is the Giver of Life, and we have no right to take an innocent life any more than we have the right to kill every Bill.
[David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, 4881 Hwy. 34 E., Sharpsburg, GA 30277. Services are held Sundays at 8:30 and 10 a.m. (www.ctkcec.org). He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Thanks to Father Frank Pavone for the inspiration for this article.)]