Some Reason in this Season of Treason

For those of us in the pro-life movement, the current presidential campaign has produced more high-profile traitors and defectors than any other election in history.  In just two of several recent examples, we saw Pat Robertson and Rick Warren abandon both their principles and the unborn children they’ve always claimed to care so much about. 

Now comes Frank Schaeffer, the son of one of the pro-life movements giants, the late Francis Schaeffer.  A few days ago, he announced his undying support for the rabidly pro-abortion and most liberal member of the United States Senate, Barack Hussein Obama.  He says he reached this decision after concluding that the November election should not be about policy but character.  Apparently, Schaeffer got his definition of the word “character” from the same dictionary that caused Bill Clinton to be a little befuddled on what the meaning of the word “is” is. 

In any event, like Robertson and Warren before him, Schaffer attempted to rationalize his betrayal with explanations that ranged from the laughable to the bizarre.  But in the end, his tortured logic was transparent and could not erase the fact that he is a traitor.  You can also be fairly certain that he will not be the last one of these guys to go over the hill before this election cycle is over.  As this phenomenon continues to play out, I think it is important for us to keep two things in mind.

On the philosophical front, while most people in the pro-life movement accurately characterize the effort to save the unborn as a war, we have generally misunderstood its nature.  We see it as a war between the pro-aborts and us, despite the fact that we are not the targets of the enemy’s aggression.  After all, our lives and futures are not on the line and, even if we were to lose, the practical ramifications for us would be virtually zero. 

It is time for us to understand that this is not a war between the pro-aborts and us.  It is a war between the pro-aborts and the unborn.  We are simply soldiers who volunteered to fight on the side of those children.  So when the Robertsons and Warrens and Schaeffers of the world run for the tall grass, they are not abandoning us; they are selling-out the babies.  The only offense they are committing against us is disloyalty. 

That leads me to a more pragmatic point I want to make. 

There is no denying that these betrayals are painful, and they are even more so when committed by people we trusted and loved and whose dedication to the cause we never questioned.  But we should also understand that their acts of treason serve an invaluable purpose. 

As we move closer to victory, our enemies are going to become even more vicious and more brutal and more vitriolic than ever.  In fact, we can already see that happening.  To win in that environment, we have to know who can be trusted and who can’t.  And that is precisely what we are being shown.  Perhaps we need to open our eyes to the possibility that God is preparing the pro-life movement for the final push to victory.  I am convinced that, after the November elections, our movement may indeed be smaller than it is now, but far stronger.  I can assure you that, no matter who wins, if the end result is that we traded quantity for quality, we will be in a much better position to fight the battles that are in front of us.

The choice before us today is whether we are going to be winners or whiners.  We can flap our arms and wring our hands and face the wailing wall over these turncoats, or we can see them for exactly what they are: people who are more to be pitied than scorned.  Pat Robertson is a perfect example of what I’m saying.  Throw out all the rhetoric he used to justify his backing of Rudy Giuliani, we all know he did it because he thought Giuliani was going to win and Robertson wanted “a seat at the table” after the election.  His defenders can sugar coat it all they want, but the bottom line is that Pat Robertson traded his principles for political power and ended up with neither. 

Such is the risk of being a traitor.  It is their fate to discover that disloyalty is seldom rewarded and never respected.  The problem is, they never seem to understand that until it’s too late.        

How Many People Do You See?

I have often observed that, when it comes to defending legalized abortion, the pro-choice mob has more tricks than a monkey on a hundred yards of grapevine.  Of course, this is probably a natural response given that the task they have chosen is to defend the indefensible. 

In any event, among their catalogue of rhetorical gymnastics, one of the most amazing is their contention that the unborn child is simply a part of the mother’s body.  They make this argument hoping that the public will conclude that, since society would never interfere with a woman’s decision to have her appendix out, it likewise has no place interfering with her decision to have an abortion.

The problem is, the underlying assumption supporting this argument is asinine even by the abortion lobby’s standards.  To assert that the unborn is part of the woman’s body is the same as saying that when a woman is pregnant she has 4 arms, 4 legs, 2 heads, 2 hearts, 2 brains, etc.   It also suggests that, if her child is a boy, for nine months of her life she has a penis.

Having said all that, for those of you who truly believe in this “baby as part of the woman” philosophy, I want to raise a serious issue.  I ask you to imagine a photo of conjoined (Siamese) twins and answer this simple question: Is that a picture of one person or two? 

Before you answer, understand that, from a biological standpoint, conjoined twins are far closer to being one person than is a mother and her unborn child.  Conjoined twins are always the same sex, always have the same DNA, are always the same blood type, always share at least one external body structure and often share several internal organs.  And as long as they are joined, if one dies they both die. 

But none of that is true about a mom and her unborn baby.  They are the same sex only about half the time, often don’t have the same blood type, never have the same DNA and do not share any external body parts or internal organs.  Moreover, it is not only possible for one to survive when the other one dies, it is common.

The point is, while it would be biologically incorrect to claim that conjoined twins are not two distinct individuals, even that argument would be more grounded in scientific reality than the claim that a mother and her unborn child are not two distinct individuals.  

The subject of conjoined twins also creates another analogy to the pro-life issue.  It is now common for doctors to perform surgery to separate conjoined twins.  In many of these cases, it is understood that the chances for both surviving is low.  However, no ethical surgeon would agree to intentionally kill one of the twins to increase the chances that the other one would survive.  In every case, the intent is to save both lives and every effort will be made to achieve that result.  It may be true that, prior to the surgery, it is accepted – even anticipated – that only one will survive.  But under no conditions would separation surgery be performed with that as its intended outcome. 

This is the principle that must be applied when the issue is whether abortion is acceptable in those extraordinarily rare instances in which pregnancy poses an immediate threat to the physical life of the mother.  From an ethical standpoint, we cannot say that it is ever acceptable to intentionally kill the baby to save the mother.  Instead, her physician should be required to do everything possible to save both mother and child.  If, as an unintended consequence of that effort, one or both fail to survive, that would be considered an unavoidable – thus permissible – outcome.  However, it is as morally indefensible to say that we will intentionally kill the baby to save the mother as it would be to say that we will intentionally kill the mother to save the baby. 

In the final analysis, the pure “no-exceptions” pro-life position is exactly the same as saying that operating on conjoined twins is never acceptable if the intent is to kill one of them.  In both cases, there are two distinct individuals involved and we must never cross the moral line where we argue that one innocent human being’s life can be snuffed-out for the benefit of another.

Oops, I forgot.  We already did that.  It’s called Roe vs. Wade. 


Mark Crutcher of Life Dynamics