I teach the teen girls at Cedar Springs (located in Louisville, Kentucky, where my husband and I moved over a month ago, for those who missed my Facebook updates about it). This past Sunday, all our hearts were heavy due to the recent shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. In our class book, Straddling The Fence by Anita Whitaker, we were ready for the chapter on abortion. Rather than deviating from the book to discuss our feelings and reactions to the shootings, I thought the subject topic all too fitting, considering that brutal murder was the theme on all of our hearts already.
I opened by asking what their feelings were about the shooting, and they were very much ready to talk about it. Their responses, as I expected, ranged from statements like, “I just don’t understand why” to “It’s the most terrible thing I’ve ever heard of.” Their feelings, after all, match the entire world’s right now.
I then slowly asked the question, what is the difference between what happened at Sandy Hook and what happens when a baby is killed through abortion?
They were silent, they glanced at one another, and then unanimously responded, “There’s no difference. It’s the same thing.”
I asked them if they would feel differently about what happened if all the mothers of the children who died approved of what happened. If the mothers KNEW what was going to happen and approved it ahead of time, would the girls feel differently about it?
Naturally, their faces turned white with horror at the thought. “That would be horrible.” They responded.
I then said, “Okay, let’s say that, for some reason, an elementary school shooting like that wasn’t illegal. Let’s say it was just a common, accepted occurrence. Would you feel any differently about it then?”
Their horror increased as one girl replied, “I don’t even want to think about living in a world like that!”
I then asked them why then, do we (the world) all respond so appropriately (with grief and tears and overflowing respect for the dead and their families) to a group of children in an elementary school dying but not to the other children who were murdered in Connecticut that day, who made no national or local news. No celebrity tributes. No mournful Twitter posts.
The children I’m referring to are the babies of Connecticut who were murdered through abortion—around 38 of them. Each year, approximately 14,000 abortions take place in the state of Connecticut alone. It’s not really our fault that we don’t grieve about that as we should. Abortion has become so accepted and common by the world’s standards that we barely even think about it. Many of us understand the brutality of it, but we feel helpless as individuals and don’t know what to do about it, so we just shut it out of our minds as much as possible.
I took the girls to Luke 1:41 where it mentions that when Elizabeth saw Mary, the babe leaped in her womb. I then took them to Luke 2:12 where it mentions the babe in the manger. What I brought to their attention was that in the original inspired language in which both of these passages were written, the word “babe” is translated the exact same way (“brephos” meaning “baby”). In other words, God sees no difference between life inside the womb and life outside the womb. You see, in God’s eyes, what’s inside your womb when you’re pregnant isn’t a “blob of tissue” or a “fetus,” but a baby, just like a one-year-old being rocked to sleep in his mother’s arms. No difference.
I then had them turn to I John 3:15 where it states (and I’m paraphrasing) that no murderer can go to heaven. I asked them what they believed murder to be. They replied, “Killing someone.”
So I asked, knowing they weren’t thinking this through, “Is all killing murder?”
Some of them nodded. I asked them if they’ve ever eaten a hamburger. They nodded. “Then, according to your definition, you’re all murderers, because someone, sometime, killed that cow for your burger.” They laughed and admitted, “Okay, not ALL killing is murder.”
We then discussed the definition of murder. Murder is the deliberate taking of innocent human life. We cut that into sections and examined each part. “Deliberate”—Is it murder when you accidentally hit someone walking in the road when you can’t see them? No, that wasn’t deliberate. It was accidental. “Human”—is it murder when you shoot a deer and make venison jerky out of it? Gross maybe, but not murder. Animals are not humans. God intended for us to kill and eat animals. “Innocent”—When people are electrocuted for heinous crimes, is that murder? No, that’s the deliberate taking of life, but not innocent human life.
What about abortion? Does that fit the definition? Let’s look at it again. Murder: The deliberate taking of innocent human life. Is it deliberate? Absolutely. It doesn’t happen without the mother’s consent, and the doctor knows exactly what he’s doing when he takes the life of the baby. Is it innocent? Nothing in the whole world is more innocent and perfect than a baby. Everyone knows that. Is it human? By all means.
There were more massacres that took place in Connecticut than the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School, you see. One just as brutal and heartbreaking and WRONG as the other. The difference is, one was a complete and utter horrific shock and the other was planned, approved, and quiet within the four walls of an abortion clinic white-walled room, or of several such rooms—not just in Connecticut, but all over the world.
My goal wasn’t to cloud those girls’ minds with graphic scenes of doctors ripping off the limbs of living babies, though it was brought to their attention that this is what happens during one type of abortion. My goal was to combat what the world was telling them about abortion. That it’s simply “terminating an inconvenient pregnancy.” That it’s simply “removing the unwanted blob of tissue from the womb.” And the biggest lie of all, that it’s practically “painless.” Nothing could be more physically painful for the baby, and nothing could be more emotionally painful for the mother, for years to come, once she comes to terms with what she has done.
It’s my prayer that these girls, and all of us, will see the devastating truth of abortion (every bit as devastating as an elementary school shooting) for what it is, and that we will not be silent in our efforts to thwart society’s attempt to deceive us into thinking of it as anything but savage, merciless murder.
In the meantime, may we all remember to keep the families of the Sandy Hook victims in our prayers, especially during the holiday season, as they are experiencing unthinkable grief.