Over the last few weeks, I have forced myself to watch every single one of the Center for Medical Progress videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s sale of fetal body parts to StemExpress. I was shocked by the cavalier conversations about “tissue” and “procurement.” The most recent video was the most horrifying of all: a fully intact male child, still clinging to his last moments of life on a metal dish, awaiting his final resting place in a bio-hazard bag.
At this point, I’m sure many people will simply close this browser window and numb the pain of that mental image with a funny article at the theonion.com. But that says something about us. As much outrage that has registered over the past few weeks about this video, some might say that we should chill out for a moment. Dana Milbank of the Washington Post calls this “antiabortion extremism.” Some might be really bothered by all the outrage over Planned Parenthood and hope that the videos and the moral noise would turn down to a reasonable level.
What bothers me, however, is the lack of outrage.
Our society’s collective conscience has been seared, and these videos are, if we’re willing to watch them, forcing us to acknowledge that we are now living in Nazi Germany, 2015. Of course, that seems over the top. It’s easy to condemn the Nazis. The view from our moral perch in 2015 makes those crimes against humanity easy to see. You can tour Auschwitz and see for yourself.
How is it that we can universally condemn the death camps of 1944, but not the death camps of 2015? How is it that a single politician can openly support and defend the practice of abortion and still get elected? How is it that an entire political party can make pro-abortion part of its platform?
It’s because our collective consciences have been seared. A seared conscience lacks moral clarity. A seared conscience has been worn down through continued exposure to evil to no longer see it for what it is. Things that are undeniably right or wrong get buried with obscurantist language like “tissue” and “specimen.” Voters morally relativize when they support pro-choice candidates because “he’s good on economic policy” or “he cares about the poor.” Many Christians are eager to voice their concern for the poor and oppressed in 3rd world countries, but not eager to voice their concern for poor and oppressed unborn children. Many pastors love to talk social justice, but only about trendy causes.
There is no greater or more pressing social justice issue in our country today than justice for the unborn. God’s heart in the Bible is continually concerned for four groups of people: the poor, the stranger, the widow, and the orphan. Is anyone poorer or more vulnerable than the unborn? Is anyone more of an orphan than the child of an unwanted pregnancy?
You simply cannot support abortion and claim to be about social justice. This is the greatest social justice issue of our time.
In so many ways, we have reached a cultural moment. The Center for Medical Progress has given us a personal tour of Auschwitz. But, unlike Auschwitz, this tour is not a “never forget” matter of history. It’s still happening, right under our noses. I live only six blocks from Cincinnati’s Planned Parenthood clinic. It’s happening in my own neighborhood.
Many have not watched the videos yet. They’re painful and abhorrent. But we must know what’s going on. We don’t have to pay a fee or listen to a tour guide. Simply enter and pray for God to inform your conscience.
I plan on participating in protest Planned Parenthood tomorrow. Details can be found here.
To watch the videos and more information, go here.