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“Pro-lifers have long denounced the use of instruments of death against the child in the womb, “Rob Schenck [above] writes at usatoday.com. “We have boldly displayed the bloody photos of post-abortion fetal remains. Yet, we have ignored other victims of violent death. Among them are the real and potential victims of gun violence.” Wait. What? Pro-life = anti-gun? Here’s the President of the National Clergy Council’s line of thinking, such as it is . . .

The pro-life movement must bring its voice of conscience into the conversation and debate over the ominous proliferation of guns — licensed or unlicensed — in our society. Respect for human life means challenging the conscience of every American citizen when it comes to the use of lethal force against those we perceive to be a threat to our way of life, whether they are in the womb or out of it.

Color me confused. I thought pro-lifers drew their support from people who clung to their guns and their bibles. You know: rock-solid pro-gun conservatives. If that’s even remotely true, stretching the pro-life/anti-abortion “brand” into the anti-gun camp is a form of political suicide – which I would assume pro-lifers are also against.

Gun violence should be of particular concern to the pro-life community because it touches us directly, just as it does everyone else, every day. Pro-life activists have been menaced and even shot by gun-wielding assailants. Sadly, a few of our own have even done the shooting, killing doctors and injuring others. We must pray and work to ensure no one is put at risk because someone decides that a firearm can settle political or social differences.

As pro-life activists, we do what we do because we care deeply about the well-being of women and children. The presence of a gun in the homes of women and children suffering the scourge of domestic violence makes it five times more likely that the woman will be killed.

When I write an editorial for USA Today, they fact check everything. When I attempted to cite the NRA as a source, they weren’t having it. But it’s OK for an anti-gunner to link across to Mayor Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety. Go figure. Anyway . . .

It’s time for the pro-life movement and lovers of life everywhere to expand our vision of the sanctity of human life. It’s past time to defend the full spectrum of life, from the tiny unnamed pre-born in the womb, to an oversized Michael Brown, to a New York cop doing his duty, to any young black male who strays into the path of an armed vigilante with a concealed carry permit.

Pro-lifers have been way too loud on some things and way too quiet on others. The time is now for us to bravely overcome our fears and generously lend our voices and actions to protect the whole of the human family — womb to tomb.

What about people who die from medical malpractice? Car accidents? Drug overdoses? Ladder falls? The flu? AIDs? Ebola? As Dan Cannon says, guns save lives. Seriously Rob, get a life. Literally.

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525 COMMENTS

  1. Dear Pastor/Father/Reverend/Rabbi –

    It was either them or me. I may not have won, but they lost.

    I respect the sanctity of life, especially mine and the lives of those I love. Deal with it.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Your (almost former) church/synagogue/temple member,

    Me.

    • Dear Pastor/Father/Rabbi/Reverend/Master/Leader/Whatever:

      You probably make a living telling bad jokes and reading stories out of a book that you and your congregation pick and choose legitimacy from.

      Please stick to helping people through emotional and spiritual crisis and leave opinions on hot topic issues up to individuals. Your degree in seminary school or whatever does not give your opinions any more credibility than mine.

      -Me

    • Same here. As someone who myself believes in the Saving Grace of Christ, it starts with a heart-change, not a tool change. The same scalpels and forceps used to conduct an abortion are also used to save lives. Self-defense and preservation of the family is seen throughout the Bible.

      John 15:12-13
      This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.
      Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

      To ignore this principle is to ignore the Scriptures in their entirety.

      God created man in His image, and I believe in the sanctity of life whether pre or post birth. Sometimes you have to take a life to save others.

      His sighting of the few abortion “fringe” killings is preposterous as they don’t represent true Biblical belief. God also established government and that’s why we have a justice system (less than perfect, but still God-ordained). These unjust killings were not the result of a gun, but instead they were the result of evil people with depraved hearts (both against anti-abortion supporters and the shootings of the abortion doctors).

      One thing that stands out is his use of the phrase, “and lovers of life everywhere . . .”

      John 12:24-26
      Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
      He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.
      If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.

      His phrase is an immediate “liberal theology” red-flag. He definitely doesn’t represent conservative Biblical theology.

      • “The same scalpels and forceps used to conduct an abortion are also used to save lives.”

        There you go! According to Mr. Schenck’s logic, we should eliminate surgical instruments because people use them in surgical procedures (abortions) to kill unborn children.

    • Pro-gun, pro-choice. A fetus is not enough of a separate organism to have legal rights.

      I treat the concept the same way that I do a “chimera”, which is when two fraternal twins merge in the womb to become a single person. It’s a rare instance, but when it does happen generally one of the twins is dominant over most of the body’s functions (or so I’ve read), in a similar fashion to hermaphrodites having only one functional sex organ. They even have detectably different DNA. There was at least one case I read about with a paternity test not producing proper results because the DNA sample was taken from tissue belonging to the recessive twin (I don’t remember which parent it was, but they did not know they were a chimera).

      There have been a few cases where the recessive twin has some health issue that causes problems for the dominant twin (one of these cases was dramatized in House MD), prompting the need to physically remove the tissue of the recessive twin. In a religious sense, this is two souls sharing a single body, and the physical removal of the tissue could qualify as killing the twin. Said twin is literally alive, but you can’t meaningfully call it murder, especially when measured against the dominant twin’s life.

      Abortion is admittedly not quite the same, inasmuch as the fetus does not _remain_ part of the mother’s body. This is why I draw the line at the point where the fetus _could_ survive and complete its development outside of the womb, without the aid of machines. From what I understand this is around month 7 or so. Hence I endorse the late-term abortion ban.

      • So a baby ,that if allowed to be born could live over eighty years, might be murderered because a few months if its life it can’t survive outside the womb. So at six months thus being is less than human and can be “aborted”, but at seven months it is suddenly human and it now would be murder to abort this being.

        This is why I came to realize that at conception, live does begin. That this genetically destinct and unique being is not property, is not less human than can be discarded like a piece of trash just because it’s not old enough.

        • Everyone has different reasons for there beliefs, none are right. I respect everyones view on this. Scratch that I recognize it would be tyranny if I made everyone live according to my beliefs.

        • Why draw the line at conception? What makes a fertilized egg distinct from an unfertilized one?

          Some of pro-life people say that it’s different because an unfertilized egg won’t “naturally develop” into a baby all by itself on its own. Well, let’s remove the fertilized egg from its mother’s womb without damaging it, and see how far it will naturally develop on its own.

      • A newborn who has just passed through the birth canal and had its umbilical cord cut can no more survive on its own than it could moments prior, when still in the womb.

        Such philosophies tread dangerously close to some very nasty conclusions.

        • Chip, I completely agree with all your points I have been seeing on this today. Here is one example of a 21 week, 5-day premature baby: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1380282/Earliest-surviving-premature-baby-goes-home-parents.html.

          Nobody seemed to argue whether or not that there was a child before them! If someone had walked up to that newborn and chopped off its head, they would have been guilty of murder, yet if they had “aborted” it five minutes prior to birth, it would have been fine.

          This isn’t a “women’s rights” issue, it is a “child’s right to life” issue. Considering every medical text for hundreds of years (including current textbooks) states that “life begins at conception,” it is interesting that people want that definition changed when it becomes “inconvenient.” It’s no different than euthanizing elderly parents that one has to take care of when they become “inconvenient.”

          We live in a society that has developed a standard of “convenience” over “morality” (life in this case). I noticed that someone else stated further down in this discussion that pro-lifers are about “control.” Control (v), as defined by Merriam-Webster is:

          1. to direct the behavior of (a person or animal) : to cause (a person or animal) to do what you want

          2. to have power over (something)

          3. to direct the actions or function of (something) : to cause (something) to act or function in a certain way

          The “Pro-Choice” movement is in all reality the one that wants to control. It is this narcissistic idea that “just because I decided to have a little fun and now have an inconvenience (pregnancy), I can kill that child that has no say (or control) in the decision.” During the political season, I remember one commercial that kept playing on the TV. It showed a mom with her teenage daughter saying that she wanted her daughter to grow up having the same “options” (referring to abortion) that she did. Does that teenager realize what her mom is really saying about her??? She was glad that she had the option to possibly end her life for her own selfish reasons, all for convenience and “my rights.”

          Your actions have consequences. Sleep around, and you may have a child. That action is not the child’s fault, and therefore they child shouldn’t be punished.

          Until someone can PROVE that a fetus is NOT human life, I will ALWAYS error on the side of human life!

          • “Slut shaming”?

            Either you have no clue what that term means, or you do know, and have intentionally misused it in ad hominem. You can keep your own advice about staying classy.

        • Let me put it plainly for you; accusing women seeking an abortion of “sleeping around” is slut shaming.

          You have ZERO idea of her circumstances or what she is going through or how she came to be pregnant. But phsyco hyper-religious nuts love to slut shame women without any goddamn clue as to what they are doing.

        • Grindstone,

          I don’t see anywhere in my 2nd to last paragraph that used the phrase “sleep around” where I directed my statement at women. For that matter, where did I call anyone a slut? There’s that old phrase, “it takes two to tango.” With the exception of pregnancies due to a sexual assault, the pregnancy happens by consequence of choice with a male and a female. Whether they intended to “get pregnant” or not is immaterial. It is no different than, “Your honor, I just meant to rob the store. I really didn’t mean to shoot the clerk. I flinched and hit the trigger.” Even if the discharge is unintentional, there is still consequence for your actions. If you sleep with someone, you risk a pregnancy. In this case, it may be a good consequence, but it may also be a bad consequence. It is wrong to take out that “inconvenience” from your actions on the child.

          In one of the Guttmacher studies on abortions in 2004, they found the following:

          “The reasons most frequently cited were that having a child would interfere with a woman’s education, work or ability to care for dependents (74%); that she could not afford a baby now (73%); and that she did not want to be a single mother or was having relationship problems (48%).”

          If you look at more recent studies from multiple sources from the last two to five years, the results are staggeringly similar. Basically three out of four abortions are admitted as due to being and “inconvenience.” It is going to “interfere” with life. Once again, all actions have a consequence (positive or negative). If two people decide to engage in sexual intercourse, then they need to be prepared for the consequence of a pregnancy. Based on this premise, we should allow the killing of the child at six months old if things become “inconvenient” or the child would “interfere with a woman’s education, work or ability to care for dependents.” This isn’t about a woman’s body; this is about a child’s body and their right to live.

          This also goes back to the question of why it is wrong to decapitate a premature baby that is born at 21 weeks (as in being charged with murder) yet it is ok to kill it on the other side of the birth canal??? I’ve yet to hear with one of these preemies, “Wow! Look at that cute fetus!”

          As mentioned before, I will ALWAYS error on the side of life, especially when it is the life of the truly innocent child.

        • For those who think women who get abortions are sluts:

          I’m married. I am not a slut. But if I ever got pregnant (very very low risk), I would have an abortion. You could call me whatever the hell you wanted to, but you would not stop me from maintaining control of my own body. I don’t care about your cute little theories about what rights I should have over my own body.

          Pregnancy is not a mere inconvenience and no woman should be forced to endure it for 9 months as well as childbirth just because you value a fetus more than a living, breathing woman.

          In this country no one can be compelled to have their organs used for someone else’s survival. If you are an exact kidney match for someone who needs one, even if you were the only person on the planet who was a match you could not be compelled to give up a kidney. We do not even take organs from DEAD people because we respect the dead. Apparently corpses are more valuable and more human than women. Clearly, to some, a fetus is.

        • @ Summer “We do not even take organs from DEAD people because we respect the dead….”

          I think most states allow individuals to voluntarily donate their organs upon death. Then again, I don’t understand why you brought that up to begin with.

        • Yellow Devil, because it is a very similar case. A fetus can’t develop outside of its mother’s body. It demands that said body provide nutrients, a protective environment, and so forth.

          In essence, when people talk about “right to life”, there are two rights at play. One is a negative right to not be killed. One is a positive right to be sustained. Most conservatives reject the latter (and all that goes along with it, such as social welfare) for adults. But for fetuses, somehow that right is in place, and they effectively demand that the mother provide all those things that the fetus needs to survive and develop.

          If we’re truly only talking about the negative right not to be killed here, then an abortion that would remove the embryo/fetus from the mother without harming it would satisfy that criteria. Of course, it would then die shortly after, but that’s a different story. Somehow, I don’t see the pro-life crowd being happy about it.

          • False. Since you plainly assert that the fetus would die if removed, your removal violates the right to life (not to be killed). Cutesy rhetoric does not change reality.
            If I immersed you completely in a pool of water for a few hours, I clearly have not violated your right not to be killed. Your inability to breathe the water would definitely result in your death in a short amount of time, but, no violation of your right not to die, correct?

            • So you’re okay with forcing people to do something to keep other people alive? Like, say, forcing them to pay taxes to feed those who’d otherwise die from starvation? Or forcing doctors to give medical aid to those who need it even if they don’t want to? Should a guy who observes a drowning man but refuses to jump into the water to rescue him be charged with manslaughter?

              Or are you, like the state of Alabama, all for defending the rights of persons only up to the moment they’re actually born?

              http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/ouq3mw/the-unborn-ultimatum

              • False equivalence.
                A woman who gets pregnant as a result of consensual sexual relations is fully aware of the purpose and expected outcome of such actions. One should not be surprised or drawn to murderous tendencies when the process works as planned. Just as the man should not be surprised at being saddled with 18 or more years of support, the woman should not be surprised at 9 months of pregnancy.

        • Paul… fvck the fetus.

          Look, you religious nuts… if God wants the fetus to have full rights, then he should incubate them himself with his own goddamned equipment. I am not “equipment for rent” to incubate another person against my will.

          Screw that noise.

          • Actually, if you are following along, the only one making this about sex is the woman who would have an abortion no matter what. Hardly a religious person I would think.
            For many, to include religious folks, it is about morality and human life. Even a secular world has constraints on people, like murder is wrong.

        • Yeah I know. They EXPECT women to have sex with them (at some point.) Women en masse cannot opt out of this activity unless we are lesbians or cat ladies. We all KNOW pregnancy makes babies and no birth control option is 100% (except not doing this one activity we aren’t allowed to opt out of). But then the onus is somehow on women for “consenting to sex.”

          Almost all these fvcks would “allow” for a woman to get an abortion if she were raped. Somehow that’s a “virtuous murder”. Because it’s not REALLY about the fetus. It’s about controlling women’s sexuality and reproduction. Full stop.

          Give women no options to be in a romantic relationship with a man without doing the one activity that… if precautions fail… her life is basically ruined (for women who don’t want to be pregnant), but then blame HER for the activity the man demanded.

          Sounds reasonable. /sarc