As news unfolded of the rampage at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, I prayed there was only a coincidental connection. My heart sank to learn the shooter muttered something about "baby parts" upon his arrest.
Life Matters Worldwide and other pro-life groups disavow violence against abortion providers. By its very nature, being pro-life does not permit killing in the name of life. We've had a policy against violence since 1993, and we highlight it every time a murder is perpetrated by a self-proclaimed pro-lifer. (NOTE TO OTHER WOULD-BE VIGILANTES: SAYING YOU'RE PRO-LIFE DOESN'T MAKE YOU PRO-LIFE ANY MORE THAN SAYING YOU'RE A CHRISTIAN MAKES YOU A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST.)
Is it enough, though, for us to publish position papers? Or should we do more to prevent violence? Let's take this opportunity to again emphasize biblical truth:
• Violence separates people from God. (Psalm 11:5, Isaiah 59:2-8)
• Violent people are not like God. (Ps. 54:3, 86:14; Is. 53:9)
• Violent people should not be envied or imitated. (Proverbs 3:31)
• Violent people often meet a violent end. (Prov. 21:7)
• Violent people will be judged by God. (Ezekiel 7:11, 23; 8:17; 12:19; 28:16; Joel 3:19; Obadiah 1:10; Habakkuk 2:8; Zephaniah 1:9)
• Victims of violence are precious to God. (Ps. 72:14, 140:1)
• God redeems violent people. (1 Timothy 1:13)
• One day, God will bring violence to an end. (Is. 60:18)
While it's doubtful someone who is a bit deranged and bent on destruction would first check with us before shooting up an abortion clinic, we can and will repeat these words: The pro-life movement does not "persuade" opponents by pointing guns at their heads.
Yes, we call abortion murder, and yes, we shared the links to the Planned Parenthood "baby parts" videos. We also said this at the time: God is the Avenger of innocent blood, PP workers need Christ, we need to continue working through legal means to defund PP, and we need to pray our government will do the right thing.
Pro-life rhetoric is not responsible for these murders any more than organizations that hold police departments accountable are responsible for the killing of officers. Abortion clinic violence does, however, give our movement a black eye.
In response to the Colorado shooting, Abby Johnson (former Planned Parenthood director) said, "I am so thankful that the anti-abortionists who made threats against my life when I worked at Planned Parenthood never made good on them. I'm thankful that I have been able to repent from my past and find mercy in Christ...and with God's help have hopefully saved more lives than I took."
And Carol Everett, the former director of an abortion clinic, said, "Thank the Lord that I was not killed before I came to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and what He did for even me on that cross!"
Yes, let's keep praying for abortion providers and sharing the Gospel with them.
Related reading --
Noah: Violent or Righteous?
Should We Use Violence to Fight Abortion?
Photo credit -- CTRLF5