A Convenient Murder

Watching movies and television dramas over the years has made us all witness to the vicious act of ending another person’s life simply to create convenience. Who doesn’t remember the wife who killed her husband for a large sum of insurance money? It’s been the plot in hundreds of shows. We can all recall the overlooked employee who kills a co-worker in order to ensure he receives a promotion and the coveted corner office with a view. These characters are seen as the bad guy without exception. We want to see them brought to justice. We want them to pay for what they have done to the innocent. If we are completely honest we watch the big screen hoping they’ll be dead by the time we finish our popcorn. We would accept a scene (or two or a hundred) where the killer is tortured, hurt and made to go through at least some of the anguish he/she has caused. We’d revel in it in fact.

Who in their right mind would want to see the cereal murderer get off scot-free and let loose on the public to victimize and he/she pleases?

Nobody! That’s who.

We want justice and we want it now! The bad guy/gal must pay, period. The innocent must be avenged and future innocents protected at all costs. The way to do that is to be sure the killer is no longer free to commit the vicious act of murder again. This highly emotional response is socially accepted. We do not ponder to ourselves, “Well, should we really punish the ones who dragged an innocent boy behind their truck until he was dead?” Nor do we think “Yeah, he’s definitely guilty of child molestation but, maybe we should let him go just this once.” That kind of thinking would be a sign of insanity. Society would respond with an adamant “Let him go free? Are you kidding me? Absolutely not!”

Let’s bring this to our own back yard:

I was sitting in a café the other day and heard a conversation that irritated me to no end, so much so that I was relieved when the two young adult ladies having this conversation got up and left. At first they were speaking innocently enough about parties, boyfriends, engagements, etc. The conversation then turned to the topic of the pregnancy of one of these ladies. As the father of two precious fourteen-year-olds, I smiled as they talked about seeing the child mature, his first steps, first words, etc. I reflexively prayed for wisdom, patience, and sanity for the parents of this soon-to-be-born, precious gift. As the conversation went on the mother expressed how grateful she was to have this child on the way and how she planned to be an amazing mom. She mentioned activities she wanted to share with her child in the future and talked about how the father was looking forward to holding his child’s tiny hands. It was so pleasant to hear the dedication and joyous anticipation that filled these first-time parents.

My heart was shattered when the conversation then took a dark turn.

The mother’s friend replied with something to the effect of “I’m so glad this came at a time when you wanted it and it’s not an inconvenience. So many women choose to keep the kid knowing they’ll have to sacrifice all their plans. I just don’t get that”.

Did you notice the word inconvenience? I was screaming in my own head, amazed that this woman was completely okay with the idea of killing an innocent life for the sake of convenience! The conversation got even worse when they both spoke about the methods of aborting a baby. I heard gruesome details of babies being ripped apart, born alive in pieces- and of course in agony- yet, these two ladies fully approved of these methods if it meant the mother could move forward with the plans she had for her life, marriage and career.

What happened to protecting the innocent? Why is it that we want the bad guy in the movie arrested and brought to justice for hurting innocent people but we are completely okay with killing an innocent child so we don’t have to give up on our dreams of the big house, best vehicle and the freedom to party all night long? Do we show compassion only when it’s someone else who should pay for their actions? Does it become okay when WE are the ones killing? Is innocence no longer an important factor when our futures are at stake? Are we not the bad guy when we harm the innocent?

The Bible clearly shows that God cares deeply for the innocent. Exodus 21: 22-25 tells of what should happen if two men are fighting and a pregnant woman is struck in the scuffle. If there is harm done to the baby, the man who stuck her should be punished according to the degree of injury done to the baby.

Let me take a second to say I hold no animosity towards a man or woman who has chosen to abort a child or children. The act is completely separate from the person who committed it. Though God does not approve of murder, He eternally loves the murderer. He disapproves of child molestation but loves the molester. The same goes for liars, thieves, gossips, slanderers, adulterers, and backstabbers. God loves them all but hates the sin itself.

One of my favorite movies is “Courageous.” I love it because it displays the lengths fathers will go to in order to protect their children and wives. In the very beginning of this movie a criminal jumps into a truck attempting to steal it. The owner of the vehicle refuses to allow the theft and moves into action. He leaps towards the moving truck, holds onto the steering wheel fighting the thief. His feet drag along the asphalt as the truck speeds down the road while the would-be thief battles him for control of the vehicle. Eventually the vehicle owner manages to steer them off the road and jumps from the vehicle just before it slams into a tree, releasing the air bag and injuring the criminal. Passers-by stop, offer assistance to the vehicle’s owner and also call the police. The scene is wrapped up when the vehicle owner crawls back to the truck and opens the back door, retrieving his child out of the car seat, and holds her to make sure she’s okay. Hearing her cry was sweet music to his ears.

Later in the movie a criminal attempts to grab an adolescent girl as a hostage as he runs from a police officer. The girl runs into her tree house yelling “Daddy! Daddy!” The police officer catches up to the suspect, pulls him away from the tree house onto the hard ground and the fight is on. Daddy, hearing his daughter’s screams, runs from the house, sees the officer in battle with his child’s attacker and offers assistance, playing his part in keeping her safe. The criminal is cuffed and taken away and the father embraces his daughter, happy to hear her cries on his shoulder.

These men didn’t hesitate in giving their all to ensure the safety of their offspring. The first father didn’t consider how inconvenient it would be for him if he were to lose his grip on the steering wheel and falling under own vehicle. Nor did the second father ponder what would happen to him if the criminal had a knife or a gun. They both simply acted in love, setting aside their own personal safety, willingly putting their lives on the line for their children. They saw the danger, heard the pleading cries of the ones they cherished, and acted.

Can we not employ this same mindset when it comes to the innocent lives in a mother’s womb? Why didn’t the young ladies in the café think along the same lines as these fathers and so many other parents who decided their baby’s life was much more important than their own convenience? Where are the mothers who are willing to have their babies and go to night school so they can accomplish their dreams while raising “Courageous” men and women of the future? Where are the men and women who say “I know it will be tough but I will fight for this child even before it’s born. I will stand up, have a back bone, work the long hours, be disciplined and refuse to be selfish!”?

Make no mistake, babies are screaming from the womb as their bodies are covered by flesh-eating acid. They fight against the pain and pressure they feel as their bodies are invaded by instruments ripping them apart. They fight for life just as you and I would. Thousands of times per day these screams go unheard, unnoticed and frankly ignored so that the adults who should be fighting to protect them can, instead, continue enjoying their lattes, free time, partying, money-making careers and freedom from personal responsibility.

Let me reiterate, I am not condemning anyone who has chosen abortion in the past or anyone who will in the future. My intention is to cause us all to stop and ponder a few points.

1. What does God say about harming those who cannot fight for themselves?
2. Why do we cheer when the murder is brought to justice in a movie yet remain silent concerning the murders of innocent children the world over?

Another Bible passage we should all consider is Matthew 25:40-46 wherein God addresses the entire world telling us that whatever we do to “the least of these” we also do to Him. So, how do you feel about what you do to or allow to happen to your fellow-human? For many of us, it is time to finally stand up for the innocent. It is time to speak out in love to anyone considering abortion. We must tell them of God’s love for them and their babies. We must offer our assistance in raising the children so that abortion is taken off the list of options. As Christians it is our duty to lead the charge in defending the innocent – the least of these – while embracing the hurting parents who feel trapped and overwhelmed by a pregnancy they didn’t plan for or expect.

It is time we say ENOUGH to these convenient murders once and for all.

Photo credit Peter Chinn.