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Racism, abortion and the implications of the sanctity of human life

abortion pro-life baby newborn
Newborn baby |

At the writing of this article, there has been another horrific mass shooting, this time in Buffalo, New York. I am convinced that one of the primary reasons for this deluge of mass shootings over the past decade is the generational desensitization of human life in general, especially with the legalization of abortion.

After all, if a nation can legalize shedding the blood of the most innocent and vulnerable among us, this can subconsciously segue to the shedding of the post-birth blood of fully formed adult humans. (A nation’s conscience and boundaries are established by what it allows through its laws and ethics.)

Since true Christ-followers believe that all humans were made in the very image of God, they have historically valued the sanctity of life (Genesis 1:27). The first divine act of establishing human government was centered around the moral implications of being made in the image of God as it related to the shedding of human blood (Genesis 9:6).

According to a news report I saw on television, the shooter was allegedly a white supremacist who had a conversation with a black man the day before the shooting in the same parking lot of the supermarket where the shooting occurred. They spoke about race. The black man interviewed said he told him “there is only one race.” However, the young white man said, “there are many races.” This belief that there are many races goes along with the evolutionary perspective of Charles Darwin, who wrote On the Origin of Species and the Preservation of Favored Races (1859), which purported that some species of humanity evolved more than others.

Future white supremacists like Adolf Hitler and abortion advocate, founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, utilized this evolutionary theory of various races to justify discrimination against others. While Sanger attempted to use abortion as a legal way to exterminate the so-called “negro race,” Hitler utilized gas chambers to preserve his view of a pure breed of humanity.

Biblically speaking, since all humans are made in the image of God, there is only one human race (Acts 17:26). Hence the biblical position of the imago Dei (image of God) is the most significant ideological position to hold against racism and all forms of human degradation, including abortion.

Regarding abortion, one of the seven sins God abhors is the shedding of innocent blood because the (human) life is in the blood (Proverbs 6:17, Leviticus 17:14). Consequently, throughout church history, Christ-followers have always fought for and advocated for the sacredness of human life, including humanity in its “pre-birth” and “post-birth” stage of development. (This is why the church spoke out against abortion, infanticide, and slavery from the beginning of its existence. This is evidenced in documents like the first century manual, The Didache, as well as numerous other historical records of early church practice.) More importantly, biblical passages in Jeremiah 1:5, Psalm 139, and Luke 1:41 give the Hebraic perspective that human life begins in the womb.

Furthermore, in Exodus 21:22-23, we have an instance of biblical case law in which harming a child in the womb carries the same penalties as when harm is inflicted on a post-birth human. Ultrasound also gives incontrovertible scientific proof that a baby just a few weeks old in the womb already has a beating heart and all human biological features in its embryonic stage. (If every woman were required by law to view the ultrasound image of their baby in their womb before they had an abortion, this horrific practice of infanticide would rarely occur!) When the United States legalized abortion in 1973, it desensitized people regarding the sanctity of life. Thus, having less cultural regard for the rights of the most vulnerable in society (a human baby) can easily project less value to all other humans. After all, if you justify killing an innocent human baby in the womb in the name of “women’s rights,” the overall regard for humanity quickly goes downhill like a domino effect.

Hence, the equation goes like this: A culture with less regard for innocent unborn babies can equal less respect for all other humans. (This results in more post-birth racism, crime, murder, rape, and sexual harassment.) Therefore, this erosion of societal mores makes it easier for people to objectify one another for their ends (like a mother terminating her pregnancy for economic reasons or to avoid embarrassment).

Does this mean that a pro-life individual will never murder, sexually harass or abuse another individual? Of course not. Since all humans are born in sin, we are guilty of living duplicitous lives and compartmentalizing truth. However, a pro-life person who intentionally murders or harms another person is going against his core belief system, which should make it harder for them to act on their deviant sexual impulse. Conversely, pro-choice people who are against the mistreatment of humans are inconsistent with their worldview since their ideological position fails to protect the most vulnerable humans.

In conclusion, I believe that the current conversations regarding mass shootings, sexual harassment, sex trafficking, and slave labor should also lead us to dig down further and reexamine the abortion debate. All these issues are inexplicably connected through the implications of the imago Dei which should frame our view of the sanctity of human life, both pre-birth and post-birth.

Dr. Joseph Mattera is an internationally-known author, consultant, and theologian whose mission is to influence leaders who influence culture. He is the founding pastor of Resurrection Church, and leads several organizations, including The U.S. Coalition of Apostolic Leaders and Christ Covenant Coalition.

To order his books or to join the many thousands who subscribe to his newsletter, go to josephmattera.org

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