The Wrong Way to Fight

The subject of abortion engenders as much passion as any subject on the American landscape today. For people of faith and for secularists alike, the issue cuts to the heart of what it means to be human, and of how we will balance issues of freedom and responsibility. The battle has been characterized by threats, misunderstanding, and even violence.
As I write this, there is a loser on the loose by the name of Clayton Waagner, who is threatening, via Internet, to murder people involved in the abortion business. This deeply disturbed man, who hails from western Pennsylvania, is willing to kill anyone associated with providing abortions, be it a doctor or a janitor, a nurse or a receptionist.
It is difficult to understand what warped sense of justice would motivate a person like Waagner to murder in the name of life, but there are several items which warrant being said about this volatile issue:
• First of all, let’s make a distinction which you will never see made by the anointed liberal media: there is a significant difference between being “anti-abortion” and being “pro-life”. You see, the biased mainstream media will lump both categories together under the title “anti-abortion”, which of course is not the title by which we in the pro-life movement wish to be called. Funny how the pro-choice side will be given their choice of title–the one they have chosen for themselves–but the pro-life movement will not be accorded the same privilege by an unsympathetic media elite. Thus it falls to such as myself to point out the difference, which is very simple: one might well call a nutcase like Clayton Waagner “anti-abortion”, for he is willing, apparently, to resort to murder to stop what he considers to be murder. On the other hand, those such as myself in the pro-life movement understand the radical inconsistency in Mr. Waagner’s threats. We consider abortion to be murder in that a human life is being snuffed out, and we thus oppose it on such grounds, believing as we do that life is a sacred gift granted by a Creator God. By the same reasoning, murder is wrong when it involves the life of the abortionist. However vehemently we might disagree with a person making money off what we consider to be murder, we cannot countenance this type of response. The end does not justify the means–ever!
• Second, Mr. Waagner unwittingly plays all too easily into the hands of the pro-choice crowd. While I don’t diminish the reality that they must live in some fear, it clearly must fill them with a sense of glee to see people like him come out of the woodwork, because aided and abetted by the liberal media, the pro-choicers will take every opportunity to try to lump this man with those of us who believe abortion is evil. The Waagners of the world set back the pro-life cause every time they slither into the light of day. Clayton Waagner does not represent a tiny fraction of one percent of the decent, God-fearing people who are pro-life, but the pro-choicers will readily make him into the poster child for our movement.
• Third, the violence that Mr. Waagner espouses serves to obscure the violence that takes place inside abortion clinics every day. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran an article which suggested that the head of a Pittsburgh clinic was praying for the safety of everyone involved in the provision of abortion services. How nice. A lady who makes her living by aborting unborn babies deigns to pray. One must fairly ask, “to whom does she pray?” Would she be praying to the God I worship, Who created in His image the very babies whose lives she snuffs out? Will the tragic irony of this ever occur to her? Or will she pray, as so many Americans do today, to a god of her own making, who is unconcerned with such trivialities as the sanctity of life? She might do well to re-think her positions on both abortion and prayer!
• Last, will people like this clinic operator acknowledge that legalized access to abortion contributes mightily to a climate which devalues the worth of all life? I had an email conversation some time back with an abortion supporter, who asked me why pro-lifers were so concerned with unborn babies, while there was so much dehumanizing suffering going on among the “living”. My response–which I believe set her to thinking!– was that we believe that the best way we can contribute to our violence-bent society is to stand for the idea that life is a gift given to us which we treat with disrespect to our own ruination. The very best thing we can do to curb violence in the schools, in other words, is not to put metal detectors in place, but to teach our young people that life has meaning and purpose and sanctity because it is a gift from a Creator. We stand against abortion–and against the perverted values of the Clayton Waagners–because we will not acquiesce to the dehumanizing idea that we are accidents of the cosmos, descended from primordial ooze by mere happenstance. We find our only dignity in relation to One greater than ourselves, and we stand accountable and responsible to this One.
I sincerely hope and pray that this fugitive is captured and brought to justice before he harms anyone. And let us hope and pray as well that the cause of life will not be further harmed by the irresponsible actions of such impostors.

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