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The Line in the Sand; Siding With God to Abolish Abortion

There is a false dichotomy in American politics and in the media today. The spectrum of political ideas has been divided into two categories - left and right, liberal and conservative, Democrat and Republican. Unfortunately, the line in the sand does not accurately reflect where the true conflict lies. The line in the sand has been drawn in the public arena so that the enemies of the preborn, the opponents to the free market, the traitors to the Constitution, the proponents of the sovereignty-threatening United Nations, the lobbyists for an ever-increasing Federal police state, the advocates for homosexual marriage, and the haters of the Christian God can comfortably stand on either side.

A good example of this false dichotomy is the public's view of the war against Iraq. If one limited his exposure of conservative commentary on the issue to Limbaugh and Hannity, Human Events and the Washington Times, he would likely embrace the impression that the liberals hate the war on Iraq because they hate Bush, while conservatives support Bush because the invasion of Iraq is justified. But this impression is in spite of the stiff opposition to the war from conservatives icons like Pat Buchanan, Joe Sobran, the Constitution Party, the Libertarian Party, and the John Birch Society. I wrote an article entitled, "Refuting Bush's Arguments for an Iraqi Invasion", which is available on my website. Most of the criticism I received of that article assumed that I was anti-Bush and anti-war after the leftist tradition, a criticism without foundation in fact or reason. My critics assumed prematurely that I was on the left side of that line in the sand, when in fact, I'm further to the right than they. Judging the reasons thus far given, many conservatives believe the war is unjustifiable on moral, conservative, and Constitutional principles. The left vs. right conflict in the national media is a decoy from the authentic line in the sand further to the right.

Another good example of the false dichotomy is the pro-life community's support of George W. Bush. When one reads the pro-choicer's rabid criticism of Bush's "pro-life extremism", it is very tempting to defend Bush's pro-life rhetoric simply to infuriate the left. But Bush is clearly to the left of the authentic line in the sand, the left's endorsement of the false dichotomy notwithstanding. Case and point: on the campaign trail, Bush openly and unashamedly professed that abortion was acceptable in cases of rape and incest. That fact alone should have demonstrated for us that Bush was a wolf in sheep's clothing and not truly pro-life in principle. Any ruler who thinks an innocent human being can be executed because his father was a bad person or because of tragic circumstances surrounding that person's conception is disqualified from being called a good person, much less a good ruler.

In spite of Bush's public admission that innocent human beings can be killed with his blessing, challenging the sincerity of Bush's confessed conservative values before the election was anathema to conservatives the nation over! Successful opposition to the Democrats was more important than defending the principles of life and liberty engraved in Scriptures and in our founding documents, and Bush was a means to that end. "If Bush loses, Gore wins!" the pro-life community argued, "and we must stop Gore at all cost!" At all cost? Did you know that most of the Supreme Court in 1973 was appointed by "conservative" Republicans? The Court that handed down Roe vs. Wade was not appointed by liberals but by Republicans who professed conservative values! Christian conservatives campaigned and voted for "the most electable conservative candidates" on pragmatic grounds, and in so doing they inadvertently stained their hands with the blood of the innocent babies. The cost of becoming an accomplice in the American Holocaust is too great to justify such a compromise.

The pro-life community continued to hold out hope that in spite of Bush's failure to respect the sanctity all innocent human life, at least he would appoint judges who would overturn Roe vs. Wade. Question: Did Bush ever once promise to limit his judicial appointments to judges who respected the sanctity of life and would overturn Roe vs. Wade? No, not at all! On the contrary, George W. Bush made it plain that he did not have a litmus test for judicial appointees, even explicitly insisting in a Presidential debate with Gore that one's views on abortion would not be a factor in his appointments. If a judicial candidate thought it was acceptable to kill innocent human beings in deference to Roe vs. Wade, then Bush would not let that stop him from appointing such a one to a judicial seat of power!

Still the pro-life community tightened the blindfold and hoped for the best in Bush. "Oh, but George W. Bush says that he is 'pro-life'," the pro-life community argued, "and he promised that he would only appoint 'constructivist' judges who would interpret the constitution literally."

Oh really? Like he appointed "constructivist" judges in Texas?!? Surely, a judge who literally interpreted the Constitution would forbid the murder of innocent human beings on the basis of the fifth amendment, which forbids depriving human beings of life apart from a capital conviction via due process. But Bush's fruit in Texas showed very clearly that what he meant by "constructivist" would not stop or even slow the bloodshed.

Highly touted on the campaign trail as evidence of Bush's commitment to the sanctity of life was the parental consent legislation Bush signed in Texas. Bush argued that a minor should not be allowed to undergo a medical procedure, however trivial, without parental consent. The legislature agreed and Bush signed it into law in Texas, and for this he earned the praise of pro-lifers and civil libertarians around the nation.

However, did you know that a Texas Supreme Court, the majority of whom Governor Bush appointed, overthrew the legislation Bush signed when they allowed an unexceptional 17-year-old to get an abortion without parental consent? Does that 6-3 decision by a court packed with Bush appointees help you understand just how vacuous he is when he promises to appoint only "constructivist" judges? His political savvy is brilliantly pragmatic and utilitarian - he makes the conservatives happy by signing parental consent legislation, then he makes the liberals happy by appointing judges who will overthrow the legislation! That the Christian conservative community in America so vigorously defends George W. Bush is evidence that the line in the sand over which they argue and campaign is artificial and that the Democrat vs. Republican conflict is insincere and counterfeit. Judging by words rather than by works, they have taken off their shoes at a soon-to-be-burning Bush. They fight on the side of those whom God opposes in the name of "the least of two evils". The true war for our nation's soul is on a battle line much further to the right.

True to form, the conservative, pro-life community has been up in arms about the Democratic Senators' filibuster of Miguel Estrada, Bush's judicial appointment to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. This appointment has been a steppingstone for Supreme Court justices in the past, and many have speculated that Estrada would be a good conservative Supreme Court appointment for President Bush. In addition to appeasing conservatives, it would also improve the Republican Party's appeal to the Latino base.

Yoo-hoo! Are your neurons firing right? How do we know he's pro-life? How do we know that he wouldn't tolerate legal murder and enforce Roe vs. Wade? Is there any evidence, other than the fact that the Democrats in the Senate don't like him? Is there any evidence at all, other than Estrada's refusal to inform the Senate judiciary committee what his views were on abortion? Perhaps he's refusing to inform them of his views not because he's secretly pro-life and doesn't want the pro-aborts to know, but because he's secretly pro-choice and doesn't want Bush's pro-life constituency to know.

Last week, I asked a pro-life leader in Florida, who was working diligently to overcome the Senate's filibuster of Estrada's nomination, how she knew that he was pro-life, and she responded, "Estrada's friends have said that he's pro-life."

"Who?"

"Well," she responded, "the evidence that he is pro-life is not being released to the public, because the liberals in the Senate wouldn't let a vote come to the floor if they knew he was dedicated to the sanctity of innocent life."

"So, we don't really know?"

"Well, yes, he really is pro-life," she took offense. "That's why the liberals hate him so much. Besides, we know he's pro-life because George Bush appointed him!"

Oh, that really clears it up! Again, true to form, this pro-life leader was unaware that Bush had appointed radical pro-aborts to the Texas Supreme Court and to lower courts when he was Governor. She was unaware that Miguel Estrada argued a Supreme Court case for the pro-abortion feminist group, the National Organization of Women, successfully convincing the court to use RICO racketeering laws against pro-life activists! She had censored all conservative criticism of her darling, pro-life, "Christian" President and focused on defeating those left of her battleline, never considering that she was to the left of God's! We have no evidence that Miguel Estrada is pro-life, that he would overturn Roe vs. Wade and protect innocent human life from legal murder, and yet do you know how many conservatives are working overtime to overcome the filibuster and get a vote on the floor of the Senate? It makes about as much sense as the hard-fought, expensive battle the pro-life community has fought in order to try to outlaw partial birth abortion, even though they know it is unlikely to save a single life! When will the pro-life community come to its senses and draw the line in the sand where God does?

Where is the line in the sand? Some would postulate that we must oppose any political candidate who is not truly pro-life. We must diligent oppose any candidate who would consider appointing judges who respected Roe vs. Wade, we must actively campaign against candidates who endorsed Planned Parenthood or any thing that would perpetuate the shedding of innocent blood in our land. Soon after the election, James Dobson publicly repented in writing and on the air for endorsing political candidates who would tolerate the shedding of innocent blood, and he promised to never again support a candidate that would allow the killing of one innocent child. This is praiseworthy, and it would be a step in the right direction for the entire pro-life community to follow his lead. But this alone does not mark the line of conflict.

How about overturning Roe vs. Wade? Is this the line in the sand where the true conflict lies? Contrary to popular belief, overturning Roe vs. Wade would not win the battle against the American Holocaust. Might I remind the readers that hundreds of thousands of innocent preborn humans were being slaughtered annually before Roe vs. Wade overrode state restrictions against abortion nationwide in 1973. Conservative judges the likes of Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, who would overturn Roe vs. Wade if they could, would not adequately protect the innocent as they are obligated by God to do but would just send the matter back to the states to decide. They wouldn't send the issue of rape, or slavery, or murder of already-born human beings back to the states, so why in the world do they think that states can on constitutional grounds ever legalize child-killing via abortion? Under a Supreme Court full of Scalias and Thomases, the bloodshed would continue. Scalia and Thomas are to the left of the line.

We must draw the line where God does, beginning with "Thou shalt not murder." However, restoration of the commandment alone is not enough to protect the innocent preborn and avert God's judgment, because law without sanction is not law at all, just advice or suggestion. Sanction is the teeth of the law. There must be consistent application of a sanction to enforce the law. Abortion was outlawed in many states before 1973, yet when they occurred, the criminals were not punished appropriately and swiftly.

What sort of sanction is fit for the crime of child-killing? At this point, many professing Christians who have gone to the Bible to cite "Thou shalt not murder" as the basis for outlawing abortion now resort to a democratic consensus or cultural tradition or personal opinion in order to determine the punishment. The same humanism that pervades our culture's ideas about abortion also affects pro-lifers in their ideas about the punishment that should be endorsed for abortionists. But God's Word is clear: "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed" (Genesis 9:6). "Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses" (Numbers 36:30). Jesus endorsed the death penalty in Matthew 15:3-6 by reproving those who failed to execute it. Romans 13 in the New Testament says that "higher powers", or governing rulers, are obligated to be "a terror" to evil works and a sword-bearing "revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil." Even more particularly, when an unborn child is killed, "life for life" (Exodus 21:22-25). Murder is a capital crime, the murder of living human beings in the womb not excepted. God's Word forbids letting murderers live.

Furthermore, God informs us in His Word that the unavenged blood that is shed on the land brings a curse upon the land and the people (Deuteronomy 21:1-9, Numbers 35:30-34). This curse of innocent blood can only be cleansed by the shedding of the blood of the murderer. Moreover, judges were forbidden to extend leniency to murderers. God can forgive a capital criminal, such as when He forgave David for adultery and murder. But judges were forbidden to extend mercy to capital criminals. God promises to destroy nations that do not justly execute murderers. On the other hand, when capital criminals are executed swiftly and publicly, God promises that the entire nation "shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you" (Deuteronomy 13:11). Enforcing the God-ordained punishment upon capital criminals is the God-ordained deterrent to keep the people safe from capital crimes and avert judgment on the entire nation.

There are many ways that we can practically promote Biblical punishments for murderers and fight on God's battle-line. A truly pro-life President has the constitutional power to stop abortion all by himself. How? you ask. Through at least two means. One, vow to not sign a single bill until a Human Life Amendment which outlaws all abortion and treats violators as capital offenders, is on your desk. Not a budget, not Congressional pay raises, not pork projects for constituents back home - nothing is signed until the American Holocaust comes to a halt and the bloodshed stops. A second way is to offer a preemptive pardon to any Americans accused of breaking a law in order to try and stop abortions. A pre-emptive pardon for "rescuers" who perform peaceful sit-ins at abortion clinics would stop abortion immediately, as thousands of pro-lifers would descend upon the clinics without fear long prison terms for violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (F.A.C.E.)! Through these two means alone, the executive could bring the Abortion Holocaust to a screeching halt in America. When George W. Bush stands before God, he will have the blood of the innocent on his hands, because God doesn't judge like the pro-life organizations in America. God's going to judge him by his works, not his rhetoric.

Congress has the power to stop abortion through a Human Life Amendment that acknowledged the personhood of the preborn child. A majority is not required to do this, just a minority who was prioritized the defense of the preborn. If just 10% of conservatives threatened to leave the Republican party and make it the minority party unless the Human Life Amendment was passed, we'd see it on the President's desk before the end of the month! Of all the Republicans in the House, don't we have at least forty who have the guts to "hijack" Congress in order to save 4,000 Americans daily from legal slaughter? Haven't we heard enough pro-life rhetoric and sanctity-of-life lipservice? When are the pro-lifers in Congress going to prioritize the end of the American Holocaust? Must the gavel of God's wrath crush us into the third world first? Must he chasten us with terrorism, invasion, tyranny, economic depression, and plague in order to bring us to repentance?

The judicial system also has the power to stop abortion in America. It is obvious in what sense the Supreme Court could stop abortion - by admitting that the fetus is a living human being and therefore is protected by the fifth amendment. But even the Supreme Court is subject to the people by way of the jury. The jury of United States citizens has the power to stop abortion in America all by itself? How? By refusing to enforce it! For example, the jury has the power, via its jury nullification powers, to declare someone who breaks a law such as F.A.C.E. to stop abortion "Not Guilty!" This would cripple Roe vs. Wade. We have freedom of the press and freedom of religion in America through such jury nullification decisions, when the jury overthrew bad law by refusing to condemn those who transgressed it. Jury nullification may also be the means by which the preborn will be protected from legal assault.

State governments also have the obligation to protect innocent life within their jurisdiction. States should immediately move to outlaw all child-killing within its boundaries, in defiance of the Federal justification of the American Holocaust. If the Federal government subsequently invaded to enforce Roe vs. Wade and keep the abortion clinic doors open, then the Governor would be justified in calling out the National Guard to protect the state's posterity from the despotic army. Even state secession and civil war would be justifiable in order to stop the Federal slaughter of the innocent preborn.

These are just a few of the practical ways to fight the battle that matters, the battle which victory would actually abort the American Holocaust and quench the wrath of God Almighty. Nothing less than outlawing abortion and executing murderers will secure the innocent in their God-given rights and restore the United States to the favor and blessing of the God of our forefathers. If we rest content with less then we are on the wrong side of the line in the sand. We can spar all we wish with those who are further to the left than us, but the fact remains that God is on the other side of the line and we are on the side of His enemies. Lesser legislation and less aggressive means very well might save lives, but the battle for the preborn and for the soul of our nation ultimately will be lost or won here, where God draws with his finger in the sand. Murderers should be executed, and that speedily. There will be no mercy from Him without justice from us. Barring repentance, prepare for wrath!

Unfortunately, the political maneuvers I mention to end abortion will not succeed as long as the salt of the earth, the church, the body of Christ in the earth, remains lukewarm and committed more to personal comforts than to the ways of God. As long as our allegiance to Him and His Word is tempered by the state's dictates and subordinate to our culture's wavering opinions, wrath will be our lot. The church is the salt of the earth and is the ordained means by which God disinfects and preserves His righteous standard in society. If we have lost our saltiness then Jesus said that we are good for nothing but to be cast out to the dunghill to be trodden under the boot-heels of wicked men (Matthew 5:13). Judgment must begin at the House of God. The outcome of this battle of contrary kingdoms depends upon whether the saints will get on the right side of the line in the sand and be abortion abolitionists. Then, rather than be recipients of His judgment, we can be tools of His judgment.

Patrick Johnston