What should we think of the mass shooting at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood office killing three injuring nine? After praying for the families of the victims we can’t help but reflect on the tragedy. Upon his arrest the shooter, Robert Dear, was reported to have said, “No more baby parts” likely referring to the Planned Parenthood summer of scandal revealing their baby body parts business. Pro-abortion activists including the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood executive blamed the violence on pro-life rhetoric and are now even beginning to label it as an act of domestic terrorism. Even pro-life presidential candidate Ben Carson in an interview with Face the Nation about the problem said both sides need to ‘tone down’ the ‘hateful rhetoric.’ Will pro-lifers do as they are told and back off so Planned Parenthood can play the victim and keep their $500 Million per year in Federal tax money? They shouldn’t and pro-life police officer, Garrett Swasey’s example tells us why.
In the carnage of this rogue murder spree we see Officer Swasey’s, who had been an elder at his church, as an example of how true pro-life convictions play out. To be pro-life is to hold all human life equally valuable and worthy of protection, even the lives of those with whom you fiercely disagree. Officer Swasey was willing to protect the lives of people who were doing the wrong thing; either in practicing abortion, or getting an abortion. Valuing each human life equally is the essence of being pro-life, a target the shooter clearly missed.
In fact, the shooter’s worldview is more consistent with Planned Parenthood’s than with any true pro-life position. What is the difference between killing three people with a birthday versus killing three people without? Timing. So in a culture where death is sanctioned by government and lazily called a solution by ‘healthcare providers,’ where can we as a society expect to draw the line? If everyone with human DNA is not fully and equally human who gets to say which kind of murder is good and which kind of murder is bad? Arguing over which type of murder is actually murder is a sign of the schizophrenia of a soulless society.
One man’s immoral act at a Planned Parenthood does not lessen or justify the industrialized immorality of abortion performed by Planned Parenthood. If anything, this situation demonstrates America’s need to dig deeper to understand why certain differences in our culture seem unsolvable. Could it be that abortion and shooting sprees are the same symptom of a much deeper social problem? Is it possible that the real problem driving Robert Dear, Planned Parenthood and every other violation of human dignity whether sanctioned by government or not is that America has forgotten what it means to be human? The problem did not start with Dear, his long gun, pro-life rhetoric, or even Planned Parenthood. The problem started when America began equating liberty with personal license.
Preserving and valuing each human life should be informed by something deeper than a statute or personal opinion. It should be informed by status. Not the status of rank, citizenship, elected position, power or money, productivity, or perceived quality of life. It should be informed by the status we all have as human beings revealed by our Creator; that each of us has innate value as made in the image of God. Any other standard for human dignity is derived from other flawed humans and is by definition lower and susceptible to manipulation by misguided legislators or aspiring demagogues.
What this shooting illustrates is America’s great divide between the secular and the Christian. On one side there are those who have a low view of humanity and think they have the right to destroy human life according to their desires. This side is populated by Planned Parenthood and Robert Dear. On the other side there are those who believe that God made man in His image to reflect His glory, dedicated to protecting the dignity of all human life without exception. This side is populated by people like Officer Swasey and you and me—fellow Christian. The solution to America’s great divide is not labels or more laws but the liberty found only in Christ the LORD. And it is this message that must be spoken even louder now than ever before.