By now, you've seen it. The stuff with Planned Parenthood and selling body parts and all that. It's pretty nasty stuff.
So then - how do we respond? Is now the time to engage politically, pass laws while the tide of revulsion is rising? Is now the time to fight back - to do some new rendition of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, except instead of it being about killing Johnny Reb it would be taking down abortion clinics? Should we get our Conan on and get to the crushing of our enemies?
Whenever things go south in society, and I see the eagerness to fight, it saddens me a bit. It seems like it would be satisfying - but is it what we are commanded to to by God as Christians? Consider for a moment Romans 12:14-21:
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if
your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to
drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
So then... what's your reaction to all this stuff with Planned Parenthood? You want them to suffer? Is it an opportunity to mix things up and let them lose some political clout? Do you have the great plans of wisdom to make sure that they get their comeuppance? Is this the excuse to take the political gloves off and let the fight get dirty, fight fire with fire, as it were?
Do we try to overcome the world with the world's tools, or do we instead show love and care, crazy, stupid, non-self serving love to the world, over and over and over again, even when they so clearly don't deserve it?
And this is not me saying that there should be no political action or what have you. No, laws can be fine and dandy. But the fact is we've been fighting this abortion debate, like a fight, all my life. Longer than I've been alive. And it's brutal, and at best we put people on the defensive and make them dig in more.
Let's show some kindness to those who are wrong on this. Because you know what - they are to be pitied. They are living in denial. They are taking something that is vile and spinning it and coating it so that it doesn't seem horrific. And they will do one of two things - either dive further into self-denial because we jam the horror in their face... or we can help folks, help our culture come to grips with what is going on.
The rhetoric is there. We've been told it's just a bit of tissue. Tissue doesn't have organs. We've been told it's just a woman doing with her body whatever she wills -- then what are they selling? All the cold and clinical language, all the political posturing isn't going to change the reality of what is happening.
It's a baby. With organs. With a heart, and lungs, and liver, and kidneys.
And we could try to use this to drive home laws and force folks to behave... or we could be kind and gentle with them and be at their side in love as the reality of a harsh truth they don't want to face is shown.
Because then the abortion debate would take care of itself. Very few people want to support killing babies. People like babies, just like they like love. "Lovewins"? Well, people like it when babies win too.
So - what is it going to be? Will this be the time where we get our political licks in, get the satisfaction of smacking our enemies around -- or will this be the time we love our political enemies, show them that we are their neighbor, that there is love and mercy in Christ Jesus for all sins... and yes, we're talking about babies, about people here. And even with the guilty, the "bad" - we are still talking about people. People Christ Jesus loves, people for whom Christ Jesus died and rose again. Wayward sheep He desires restored to the fold, not roasted on a spit. That's the great truth, that's the Good that overcomes all evil, that delivers us from evil.
So, is this a time to confront evil with evil, or overcome evil with good? I'd say the latter. But just in case you want the new battle hymn and to crush your enemies, we already have one.