Michael Bray

Author of A Time To Kill

Use-of-Force Apologetics

23 December, 2016
Anno Domini

How is a Pro-lifer to Repond to Questions about “Acts of Violence”? “How can he justify the destruction of property to save a baby?” they say behind my back – I know.

Well, it really isn’t that difficult, but it seems we need to offer something wordy for some folks.

In our tumultuous times of Lawlessness with their attendant Holocaust in which millions (Is it about one-point-something million per annum now?) are murdered in the nation’s abortuaries from Sea to Shining Sea, it behooves “prolifers” to consider their responses to Deeds of Deliverance or “rescues” – as they have been called by some on “the fringe” of the Pro-life movement – which may be forthcoming.

I correspond irregularly with those who have been jailed for many years. Some, such as Shelley Shannon (23 years), have continued steadily and quite “unrepentant,” strong-willed in confident affirmation of certain truths: 1) the unborn child is worthy of protection whether forceful or otherwise, 2) a  human life may not be taken without due process and conviction of a capital crime, 3)  an innocent life threatened with death may be rescued by any means necessary.  These are fundamental principles of love for fellow man.   They are affirmed, as well, by the Law of God.

These simple truths are in need of reiteration, it seems, reminding me of the liturgies of churches which the people, apparently, are in constant need of having pounded into their heads – weekly.  It is long past time (43 three years into the current Holocaust) to repeat the truth,  to call people to renounce false doctrine, and  amend their murderous ways,  but never too late.  We must always love the truth and obey it the moment we recognize it.

The truth is that when we are confronted by the bold and radical and violent deeds of those who rescue the innocents from mechanized, legalized, and systematic murder, we are obligated to make accurate pronouncements upon the ethics of such “rescues.” Are they right or wrong?

It is not our first concern to judge the motives of the one who executes a given deed.   We are ignorant of the matters of the heart: the intent of the rescuer.  Nor may we judge the purposes of God behind the historical situation in which we find ourselves!  For example, we speculate in vain when we ponder as follows: “What long term good or evil will come from a given action I take?  Will the forceful liberation of slaves through war be worth the bloodshed that leads to a long-term period (about a hundred years until the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s) as second class citizens amidst a resentful upper class?

Or is gradual liberation through education and political reform less costly than the immediate emancipation through the devastating cost of war and social upheaval? Is the pursuit of the immediate remedy always the best solution?  Are all deeds which bring about an immediate good justifiable because of the result.  (Do ends justify means, sometimes?)  This seems to be the wisdom behind the doctrine of war.

There may be political consequences which redound to “the good” or to “the bad” depending upon the calculations of different historical and tactical analysts. Indeed, sometimes ethical questions have unclear answers.   Ought the North to have to have allowed the South to have their choice and maintain slaves and avoided the shedding of blood of 618,000 Americans in the Civil War?  Was the bombing of Pearl Harbor a good thing or a bad thing in consideration of bringing the U.S. into the war and giving up 405,399 soldier deaths?  Was the defeat of racist Nazism of Germany and the dismantling of Japan’s statist Shintoism (which had divinized Hirohito, their emperor) and the evangelizing of the Japanese by Christian missionaries, as encouraged and facilitated by General McArthur, a good thing?  What good and what justice came out of the war?  And was it worth it?

The soldier in the battle and the conscientious objector who stays home both have choices to make in any given day-to-day, life-or-death decision:

 “What is the right thing to do with regard to the life or death situation in front of me.”

“Do I risk my own life to save my fellow soldier who is wounded and under fire ten feet away from me?”

“How about the one who is 1000 feet away?”

Thinking for a moment as a soldier and taking a clue from him let us consider this:

In choosing to risk his own life or that of others in his company to save another (or others), he must take into account the risk he poses to his own life as well as that of the others who might then be putting themselves at risk for him should he be caught!  The rescuer may become himself a victim and then put other rescuers at risk.  There is both the dependent one and the primary protector whose lives are in consideration.  Both the injured soldier and the medic caring for the injured soldier are to be beneficiaries of the  rescuer’s service.

So it is with the bomber of abortion facilities – I would imagine. He must consider both the lives of the innocent child in the womb (the target of the abortionist)  and that of the wayward mother who brings her own child into the death camp (a.k.a. “clinic”).   (Let us leave out for the sake of parallel, the concern for “the perpetrators” – the enemy in former, the abortionist in the latter.  We shall concern ourselves with the lives of the victims:  in this illustration, the mother and her child.)

He must rescue them both. And the rescue may involve the killing of those who stand in the way of the rescue.

Political set backs?

There has been much speculation in the realm of political consequences regarding “violent” rescues of persons in the womb. For example:  “Violence makes the movement look bad and sets it back.”

That was the mantra we heard back in the 80s when abortuaries were being burned and bombed, driving, in the wake of such “attacks” the rate of abortions down drastically in the weeks and months following.

Sounds quite stupid three DECADES later and counting. But some are still holding onto hope for a political meeting of the minds.  Sorry, but the slavery parallel makes me a bit pessimistic.  Maybe SCOTUS will come to the rescue after Trump “fixes” it!  Well, he may!  Perhaps the spirit of Wilberforce will be with him!

I am not one to give up hope. I follow a God who is unfathomably forbearing. I don’t know how He puts up with humanity, but while I am still a member of that class I am glad He does.

Let us give full attention to the deed: the deliverance of the innocent from death (if not certain harm). And let us respond and pronounce accurately an ethical evaluation of such deeds of love and pity and deliverance.  It is not the “pro-life movement” and speculation as to means of political success which must preside in one’s judgment as to the proper course action.  It is, rather, what is right.  And while consideration of the preferred political strategy has a place in course of the pursuit of justice, devotion to politics alone is – well, heretical.  We are called to do justice and show mercy and love our neighbor.  Not simply legislate and proclaim such. Talk, as they say, is cheap and unaccompanied by action is deadly.

Let us remember Shelley Shannon and others who are still imprisoned “for Life” – some for life. And  when the next bombing of an abortuary hits the news, I hope Lifesite News and the likes of any other “prolife” groups, if they will not “go and do likewise,” will gird up their loins and at least say, “Amen.”




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