By Irene F. Starkehaus -
For the record, I believe that the reported actions of accused gunman Robert Lewis Dear in allegedly gunning down three people at a Colorado Planned Parenthood facility were an act of extravagant and slothful evil that must be condemned vehemently at every opportunity.
Abortion is also an extravagant and slothful evil that should be condemned, but it is a legal one and a civil society will not overcome the barbarity of abortion through even more outrageous acts of barbarity. It's simply not possible.
Also for the record, I am using qualifiers such as "reported", "accused" and "allegedly" not because I have any personal doubts about Dear's actions or the evil that was unleashed in Colorado, but because at the time of this posting, Robert Lewis Dear has not been convicted of any crime. At this point in the event line, Robert Lewis Dear is a bit like Schrödinger's cat and therefore I prefer to treat him as innocent until proven guilty. As a private citizen, I don't have to. I simply choose to. As extraneous as that may sound to some, I think that the custom should be respected.
It won't be, but it should be. This is the problem, I think. People are too often political, and politics will demand that pro-abort Americans will use the convenience of this evil to condemn all pro-life displays of opposition to Planned Parenthood as an institution and as a consumptive force of taxpayer funding. Politics will also demand that pro-life advocates will readily throw the civil rights of Robert Lewis Dear under the bus to distance themselves from the evil actions that took place in Colorado for fear that they will be branded sympathizers of the evil.
We're in an election cycle where abortion on demand is being hotly contested, so this latest Colorado shooting will prove to be one more example of how incapable people can be of blind, consistent, unemotional justice.
Consistency is perhaps the biggest hurdle to overcome. Allow me to quickly redirect your attention to make that point. Take Jeb Bush as a for instance when it comes to contradictions regarding the value of human life. Jeb Bush is running for the presidency as a prolife conservative, yet the Huffington Post asked Bush in an interview whether he would be willing, if given the opportunity, to kill a baby Adolph Hitler in his crib. Quoting from HuffPo:
"'Hell yeah, I would!' the former Florida governor told HuffPost. 'You gotta step up, man.'
The question initially arose when The New York Times Magazine polled its readers last month and found that a plurality of respondents said they would, in fact, kill Hitler as a baby."
…a decidedly populist and gratuitous response especially in light of the fact that it isn't possible. Whether that hypothetical could unleash unintended consequences as Jeb Bush himself postulated before he dismissed the concern in favor of the greater good finishes second to the philosophical conundrum at work within his words (and yes, within Robert Lewis Dear's alleged actions as well.) To Bush it is only logical. You remove Hitler retroactively from the known outcome and millions of lives would be saved. To Dear it is only logical. You remove an abortionist from the equation and hundreds of lives would be saved.
The logic, of course, lacks any kind of moral substance. Fundamentally speaking, until Hitler orders the invasion of Poland, he too is like Schrödinger's cat. His evil exists only as potential. Free will is at play until his evil is actualized. He can't be blamed for what he hasn't done yet…not even retroactively. Can you imagine a world where due process could be seized and kept at the mercy of potentiality? Would you want to live in a world where anyone emotionally capable of committing a crime could be exterminated? Talk about a Margaret Sanger dream come true.
But stepping beyond that horror of a possibility into actuality, while what Hitler did was absolutely evil, it wasn't illegal in terms of German law because by electing a fascist dictator with a master race in his sites, the German people arrested their own liberty and conclusively altered their expectations of what law and justice should look like.
In that space and time, truth and justice became mutable and discriminatory just as the legalization of abortion on demand altered our expectations of what life and justice should look like. Both Hitler as a leader and abortion as a legality have coarsened our understanding of what the value of human life is. The moral of the story…the only way to truly stop evil is to never give it power in the first place.
The fact that a plurality of Americans would kill Hitler or that even one person would play vigilante at a Planned Parenthood means too many Americans number themselves as moral relativists by demonstrating their inability to understand what justice looks like:
"Never pay back evil with evil, but bear in mind the ideals that all regard with respect. As much as possible, and to the utmost of your ability, be at peace with everyone. Never try to get revenge: leave that, my dear friends, to the Retribution. As scripture says: Vengeance is mine -- I will pay them back, the Lord promises."
We love to talk about the importance of a secularized legal system and the irrelevance of morality in our system of justice, but that precise quote is the preemptive strike against the Hatfield and McCoy tendencies that exist within the human experience. Defend, yes. Seek revenge, no.
I submit that the examples I've offered demonstrate precisely why our liberties were purposefully based on the external standards of natural law and the Ten Commandments rather than the capriciousness of human whim. Justice must be fixed and immutable. Rationalizing murder is a pathway to self-destruction. Logic without virtue begets injustice.