A few years ago, we visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. A different year we visited The World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem. Neither visit was fun, but I recommend the experiences for everyone. The history and perspective they provide are priceless.
I noted how the US museum set up displays such that the most gruesome pictures or artifacts illustrating the horrific results of the Nazi’s genocide of Jewish people could not be seen by simply walking past the display. An adult could only view these worst examples of cruelty by choosing to walk near the display, look over the upraised boxed edges, then look down at the display. This architectural precaution was implemented to protect children and to allow for the fact some adults simply did not want to engage the gore and ghastly images and objects of the Holocaust, even though they wanted to tour the museum and learn about this history.
I’ve also noted that articles about the holocaust, particularly those discussing the conditions Allied troops found in Nazi prison camps in 1945, are often prefaced with what today we might call a trigger warning, a note saying horrid information is included herein. This brings me to my point.
I think abortion, which is by definition the killing of an unborn human baby in the womb, is for most people a distant, abstract, at times even sanitized concept. It’s a legal idea or a political cause or a court case, not an actual physical and emotional human experience.
People of course know abortion happens. They understand it as one option now available for dealing with an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy. Many people consider it a woman’s civil right if she so chooses. Yet the vast majority of Americans do not actually interact with the back end of the operation. They do not see blood and human body parts, they do not see the actions taken by doctors a la abortionists, they do not usually even read about this, though sources are available, they do not have any direct personal experience with this thing called abortion.
Americans don’t “see abortions,” we don’t understand this ugliness any more than the Allies really understood the Holocaust until the camps were finally breached, the gas chambers and furnaces were opened, thousands of bodies lay before them stacked haphazardly like cordwood or tossed into pits, and thousands of emaciated survivors were liberated who testified of their experiences.
I recognize that some pro-life groups make the physical images of this surgical procedure available to those who wish to view them. These images are gut-wrenching. I confess that when I’ve seen tents at county fairs sponsored by pro-life groups I did not want to see the images any more than others might. Sickening is not a strong enough term. Most people have never “seen an abortion.”
But here again is my point. Americans don’t “see abortions” like we’ve seen the Holocaust, so it is easier to not really feel this issue at an emotional level or to not grasp the barbarity of this “final solution.”
I understand that some within the American Church have not always demonstrated or may not yet be demonstrating appropriate empathy for the women involved, and in fact at times has been judgmental toward the women rather than seeking to help them. I understand that some Christians may not be as informed or engaged with myriad reasons women end up in an abortion clinic. To this I say, let’s do more.
But I don’t see why demonstrating Christian love for the women involved is an either/or, a versus, toward the pro-life cause to end abortion. Why can’t we, why shouldn’t we, do both?
Abortion is an American holocaust, and I say this with utter respect for the meaning and history of the Jewish Holocaust. The human tragedy of the Jewish Holocaust came to an end. The human tragedy of the unborn baby holocaust must come to an end as well.
Abortion was foisted upon the American public by Roe vs Wade (1973) and it may yet be codified into law via legislation in the US Congress. God forbid this would ever happen and pray for the day abortion can be stopped forever.
© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020
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