It’s always astounded me that people who accuse pro-lifers of being obsessed with abortion are actually some of the first people to mention the subject whenever they think they can win an argument, even when it’s not directly relevant. One example is whenever an act of Islamic extremist terror occurs. “All religions produce murderers and fanatics,” runs the moan. “Look at the all of those Christians who shoot abortion doctors.”
Really? The point is entirely spurious for a whole host of reasons. First, Islamic thugs have murdered thousands of innocent people, whereas only a handful of abortionists have been attacked. Second, the killers tend to be lone eccentrics and, as opposed to Muslim fanatics, have no base of support within mainstream Christianity. But it enables relativists, who are invariably anti-Christian, to defend Islam, cloud the truth and bash pro-lifers all in one sweeping and inaccurate generalization.
It’s worth recalling, for example, what happened at the end of last May, when George Tiller was killed. It was as predictable and tired as a one-sided and tendentious news piece about abortion on the CBC. As soon as this notorious late-term abortionist George Tiller was shot – the alleged killer having no links to the mainstream pro-life movement – the usual pro-abortion zealots and their friends in the media announced that this was typical of opponents of abortion.
“They’re trying to stop a woman’s right to choose,” shouted one woman on American television, “by killing our doctors and frightening the rest of us. This is intimidation and persecution. When will it end?” Truth screams out to be heard. Often silently. More abortionists have been shot on television detective shows than ever in real life and virtually every major pro-life group in the world immediately spoke out against this act of violence, as they have done in other such cases.
In North America and Britain alone, more than 20 of the most prominent organizations that struggle for the unborn condemned, without reservation, the killing of the man. These included Britain’s largest and premier pro-life group, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, as well as Operation Rescue, the Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, the American Life League, Focus on the Family, Canada’s Campaign Life Coalition, Kansas Coalition for Life, the Christian Anti-Defamation League and Priests For Life. It was, they said, “heinous,” “deplorable,” “cowardly,” “senseless” and “unconscionable.”
If only all groups, causes and religions would use such clear-cut and absolute language in such a situation. Sadly, we often hear the “we condemn violence but …” response. Not so here. While Tiller did lucrative abortions so late in an unborn baby’s life that even many, if not most, supporters of abortion would condemn them, he did not deserve to die and his critics did not urge his death.
He did, however, deserve to be arrested, charged, convicted and incarcerated for his crimes. Yet, I and legions of others who are pro-life do not believe in the death penalty. Life is sacred, for all races, genders, religions and sexualities. Old and young, born and pre-born, clever and foolish. Everyone. Life is precious, even if it belongs to a man who aborted babies, small and vulnerable boys and girls, who could have easily survived outside of the womb. Tragically, those who live by the culture of death sometimes die by the culture of death.
Let us be entirely candid here. While this man may have been guilty of terrible deeds, his death played into the hands of those who obsess about the right to kill and the right to die. It was a propaganda coup par excellence for them and a disaster for those who make rational, scientific arguments for life. Once again, emotion and political ideology – the phenomena behind the abortion argument – triumphed over facts and figures.
It’s also worth noting that the man was killed while he was in his church, where he and his wife were regular attendees. A place of worship should be a secure and trusted venue, even a sanctuary. Just as the womb should be the safest place in the world for a baby. Yes, a sanctuary. One man was killed, horribly, in his church; countless have died, horribly, in the womb, numerous at the hands of George Tiller. What an ironic and obscene coincidence.
There will be more such cases. Inevitably. Bloodshed leads to bloodshed and abortion so numbs the senses that the climate around it positively breeds a culture of death and pain. When the next attack occurs – and I wish and pray it doesn’t – be assured that it will be used to condemn you, me and our friends no matter what we say and do. And not a word will be said by these same individuals about the mass infanticide that made it all so likely.
Michael Coren’s most recent book is As I See It (Freedom Press). Coren can be booked for speaking at michaelcoren.com.