Tuesday, January 23, 2007
The Hideous American Crime of Abortion
The title printed above was taken from a sermon by Dr. David Scaer in 1989. He was preaching on the occasion of the Slaughter of the Innocents, and indicated that the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade shoud really be "commemorated on December 28, the Day of the Holy Innocents. On that day, churches should be decked in black for the hideous American crime of abortion, which compares in its brutality to Stalin's extermination of the Ukrainians in 1930's, Hitler's destruction of Jews in Germany and Poland in the 1940's, and the near obliteration of the Cambodians by the Kymer Rouge in the 1970's Our slaughter is even more thorough and long lasting, covering the 1970's, 1980's, and now the 1990's."
While the debate rages in this country, many have lost sight of the real crime at the heart of it. Politicians will bandy about the topic as election time fodder, using it as a way to characterize one's political leanings. But this is much more than whether one believes there should be prayer in the classroom or a monument of the 10 Commandments in the courthouse. This is a travesty of culture-wide proportions. We are, in a very real sense, killing ourselves as a nation. Many will point to the loss of life in Iraq, bemoaning the sacrifice of our young men and women, yet so few, in turn, realize that a loss of life several times this size looms in dark shadows right in the midst of our own nation.
Over the years I have participated in a variety of activities to promote life against the crime of abortion. Still, how easy it is to say we disagree and make a few gestures to show our disapproval, such as one might over a controversial school board decision. In churches across the land there will be pulpits which will have been silent on this issue, with certain clergy fearful of their parishioner's reactions, some indifferent, and others who think such matters are best left out of church affairs.
Dr. Scaer, at the beginning of his sermon, writes about an upcoming "pro-life" march that will be taking place there in Ft. Wayne and what that march means. He says: "You may call it a 'pro-life' march; you may call it an 'anti-abortion' march. You may call it anything you want. We are simply against murder, especially the murder of helpless, defenseless infants. At some other time you will have the freedom to discuss whether this kind of protest belongs to the kingdom of the left hand or the kingdom of the right hand, or whether we are mixing church and state. But we do not have the freedom to sit back and do nothing about the perpetual slaughter of the holy innocents. There can be no moral neutrality in the matter of infanticide. It might be legal, but it can never be moral."
You are right, Dr. Scaer. We do not have the right to sit back and do nothing. In our area we run a signature ad in the newspaper on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade (Jan. 22), showing our support for the rights of the unborn. It may not be much, but it's something. We need to make it crystal clear to our children as we catechize them, that the fifth commandment governs the protection of their future unborn children, and that there is no gray area here regarding whether abortion is an option. My sorrow, though, is that the so-called Christian community is so divided on this. Shouldn't this be something over which even the most liberal-minded person would become outraged? May the voices of these, our brothers and sisters from the dead, call up to those who might still hear. And may Cain be aroused to repent and change his ways, even as that Cain lives within the church.
In memory of the unborn dead, 1973-2007. May the Lord have mercy on those yet at risk.
[Note: For those interested in reading Dr. Scaer's sermons, see In Christ: The Collected Works of David P. Scaer, Lutheran Confessor - Vol. I, Sermons (Concordia Catechetical Academy, 2004). Go here to order. ]