Sunday, March 19, 2017

When Does a Past Life Begin?

Possibly you have already come across this story from a few days ago. It describes a piece of “performance art” conducted by a group of abortion-rights activists in Argentina during International Women’s Day protests. The protesters performed a faux-abortion on a woman dressed to represent the Virgin Mary. They called it an attack on “patriarchy” and “forced heterosexuality,” but it was obviously an assault on Jesus Christ above all.

That could be a source of anger for us, but I am not going to dwell on it. It would not be constructive. They cannot harm Him, we cannot protect Him, and judgment belongs in His hands rather than ours. It is also worth remembering that Jesus Himself said, “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him” (Matthew 12:32). Obviously, forgiveness must be sought, but that is the hope. Perhaps some of these protesters, or those who share their mindset, will see the error in their ways and begin to look for wisdom instead. To that end, this article will serve to point out the faulty manner of thinking that was put on display.

Looking at the Logic

Rather than focus on responding to the attack on Christianity, let’s consider what has been ignored. The abortionists are making an argument. They might not state it this way precisely, but it is the self-evident meaning of their actions: “Abortion is a sacred right of self-determination. Christians are opposed to abortion, which therefore makes their religion an assault on that right. Christianity is therefore evil, so it would have been better for the world if it had never come into existence. Christianity only came into existence because of the life of Jesus Christ. Therefore, it would have been better for the world if Jesus Christ had never lived.”

In spite of comments about patriarchy and forced heterosexuality—whatever that is supposed to mean—this is clearly the point of the symbolism. The logic of the argument is sound enough. One point does follow on another. But that, of course, does not make it true. The premises are false, so the conclusion is wrong. And in fact, by making the argument at all, these activists prove that they are off the mark.

The Unavoidable Conclusion

Another way to state the last line of the argument would be, “We would have been better off if Jesus was never born.” But He was. That is a fact of history, which cannot reasonably be denied. This so-called piece of “theater,” then, is an admission. It is an admission that what was formed in Mary’s womb was a person. They have expressed a wish to stop it, but since it is already past, it is not only an empty statement. It is also an explicit expression of their desire to end a life. They are, in other words, admitting a willingness to murder.

Why does this matter in the case of someone they cannot kill? Because it goes to the heart of the abortion-rights movement, itself. So often, we hear euphemisms about “fetuses” and “clumps of cells” as a way to avoid the truth of the matter. Abortion is represented as the destruction of a useless appendage. But when you go back and talk about killing people from the past before they were ever born, you are saying that their life already existed while in utero. It draws attention to inevitability. Human life cannot start any other way, so necessarily, the moment of conception is when life starts. An individual is its natural conclusion. Stop the pregnancy, and the individual will cease to exist. They are inseparable. That is obvious, when looking back. The implications are obvious when looking forward.

Some pro-choice people are getting more explicit about abortion ending a human life. Maybe these protesters are in that camp. Reason dictates it, after all. But I would be willing to guess that even they would be taken back by being forced to admit it is murder. Even if a few of them weren’t, most people with even a modicum of self-respect would be. We can use this exhibition to show the evil in infanticide to those who are not so far gone. Anyone who is not ok with aborting Jesus needs to be confronted with the fact that aborting anyone else is no less wrong. It always ends a life. They cannot hide behind not knowing what that life will be. Extremists make that clear when they attack lives that have already been lived. Abortion is always an expression of hatred and selfishness. There cannot be acceptance of that. But there is forgiveness, for those who will take it.

Jesus is Still Victorious

One final point worth considering is that the protesters sought to be shocking, but in truth, they were walking a well-trod path. We must wonder what they truly hoped to accomplish. After all, Herod had no qualms about attempting to kill Jesus after He was born, and the wicked king did kill many others (Matthew 2:16–18). Years later, Jewish and Roman leadership actually succeeded in having Jesus murdered, for the sake of their own security (John 11:45–53; John 19:5–37). But Jesus’ death wasn’t enough to stop Him when it actually happened (Matthew 28:1–7). What makes them think their silly playacting amounts to anything now? It is nothing more than having lives so empty that they only find meaning in attempting to harm the sensibilities of others. And they are not even very good at it.

The disciples of death could do nothing to stop the life of Jesus Christ. Their coreligionists in our day can do nothing to change that, or to stop the message of life that He sent and sealed in His resurrection. Instead, they have given the lie to their own way of thinking. The truth is that they place their selfish desires above all else, including the very existence of others. They seek to kill. It makes no difference which side of birth that is on, since life is the ultimate result. Abortion is nothing more than an attempt to hide from consequences. Targeting someone from the past makes that inescapably clear. It also makes their irrational devotion to murder explicit. We have a responsibility to confront them with the foolishness and evil of it. They have to be exposed to the light of clearer thinking and of virtue. That is the only way for anyone to come out of darkness. 

[From The Blaze]

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