- Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle
Last week the director of a neighboring state's Right to Life Political Action Committee sent our church an e-mail saying that, while he was reading internet discussions between baby-slaughterers, he came across accusations that some of those sidewalk counselors witnessing against the slaughter here at the Bloomington abortuary had insulted the serial murderers' helpers by telling them their actions were "vile." Not using these words with the mothers, but the abortionists and their assistants.
He e-mailed our church because his google search turned up our church's name as the church home of some of those active in offering help to the mothers outside the abortuary. He said the abortionist's accomplices were claiming someone doing sidewalk counseling had told them they were "vile" and "wicked." He added that he hoped this was not people from our church because we seemed like "a strong Christian church committed to God's Word and sharing the Gospel." But if some member of our church had, in fact, said such offensive things, this is "not a productive way to show God's love."
To which I responded...
Dear (John Doe),
Our secretary was on leave for a week and we missed your e-mail until just now. Thus I'm sorry we didn't get to responding earlier.
I appreciate your writing to express caution concerning the method the souls of our congregation employ in exposing and warning against the slaughter of unborn children down near city center. Hear me out as I respond, first saying things that will jolt you and second, at the very end, things that you will find reassuring. So now my response:
It seems ironic that this e-mail arrives during Holy Week when the events beginning with the Triumphal entry, moving directly to the cleansing of the Temple, cursing of the fig tree, many explicit and deeply offensive public condemnations of the religious leaders through parables and direct declarations (including calling them all manner of extremely offensive names—see the bottom of this e-mail) all were carried out by our Lord in His final living offensive campaign.
I wonder whether you think anything negative our Lord did or said is exemplary to us?
Taking another tack, I wonder what you think is going on in this abortuary and whether you think what is going on is a truth that must not be spoken? Murder? Wholesale slaughter? Savagery? Genocide (yes, it fits the strict definition of genocide)? A holocaust of Biblical proportions? Molech sacrifice (Leviticus 20:1-5)? Or are we to equivocate concerning the nature of the crime against God and His little ones, focussing instead on trying to save each baby by being really really really nice in public? Maybe you think such words, though true, are counterproductive—that language is simply a question of strategy and naming sin and saying "no" and condemning sinners is never effective?
If so, where have you learned your strategy? I can't think of any war that's ever been won by men fearing above all any perception that they're not gentlemen. Certainly not the war our Lord came to fight, rescuing us from God's wrath. Certainly not the war to end slavery. Certainly not the war that liberated Auschwitz.
On the other hand, if your only concern is strategic, your e-mail doesn't say what you mean because you claim that using such accurate and spiritual language of naming the crime and calling souls to repentance (as every last Biblical prophet did, including the Apostle Paul condemning the men of the Areopagus for their "ignorance") is "not a productive way to show God's love."
Seems to me that about half the exhortations of Scripture would fail by your standards of what does and does not constitute a productive way to show God's love. Was Jesus showing God's love to the Pharisees when he denounced them calling them all those horrible names?
Sir, I likely precede your entry into pro-life work by a decade or two. Father Paul Quay was a dear friend and I knew... (content listing pro-life history tht was pertinent to private correspondence is removed) I could continue in this vein, but...
I'll simply say it's my judgment such timidity as you demonstrate in this e-mail—such fear of anyone anywhere seeing you angry or speaking accurately concerning the vile slaughter of little babies all over this green earth which in China alone has meant the death of many more than two-billion unborn souls since 1971—is the reason no one cares a whit about the blood-drenched soil we all live on now, nor has the slightest fear of God's return when all that blood will rise the surface and name names.
But back to your question and the second and reassuring part of my response: in my twenty years of being close to those who witness against the vile cowardice and bloodthirsty cruelty of every man and woman carrying out the slaughter at the Bloomington abortuary; after picketing there myself many times; I can testify I have never heard anyone saying anything remotely similar to the lies this murderer you are listening to has claimed.
But then, murderers lie. It's a funny thing how vile character bleeds from murder to lies, isn't it?
Explicitly, no one pro-life ever yells anything personally insulting at the vile murderers and their accomplices here in Bloomington. Roman Catholics click their rosaries silently and Christians call out offering love and money and help to the women, asking them not to kill their little babies. Pleadingly, not threateningly. We never have and likely never will say God's "no" to the vile murderers paid by the mothers to kill their sons and daughters. (Of course, pro-aborts issue a constant stream of profanity and obscene gestures and threats at us.)
But maybe our avoidance of speaking the truth about the nature and character of the crime and its perpetrators is to our shame and will result in the continued banality of the assault upon Christ's "least of these" in our fair city.
Our reputations mean more to us than Christ's "little ones."
[Jesus said] Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.]
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
Woe to you, blind guides, who say, "Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple is obligated." You fools and blind men! Which is more important, the gold or the temple that sanctified the gold?
And, "Whoever swears by the altar, that is nothing, but whoever swears by the offering on it, he is obligated." You blind men, which is more important, the offering, or the altar that sanctifies the offering?
Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and by everything on it. And whoever swears by the temple, swears both by the temple and by Him who dwells within it. And whoever swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.
You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, "If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets." So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.
Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers.
You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?
Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.
Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, "BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!" (Matthew 23:14-39)