Did Our Zeal Overshadow Judgment?

Some of the most devoted and loving people I know are in the pro-life movement.  They don’t simply have an opinion but they are on the front lines, helping, lobbying, writing, feeding, counseling and caring.  Sometimes, however, we have allowed our passion to overshadow our reason.

Anyone who did not see a Supreme Court rejection coming for the Texas abortion clinic laws has been ignoring precedent.  Despite calmer (and more reasoned) voices, the passion of some in our movement gets the best of them.

The strategy has been transparent – pass incredibly and morally correct pro-life laws with the intent of forcing a Supreme Court rehashing of the merits of Roe v. Wade.

Well, it happened and it failed.

In private conversations and in more than a few presentations, I warned that this strategy was too apparent and too optimistic.  Proponents of pressing the Supreme Court now on abortion issues have argued “we think we can win.”  Really?  Did anyone take even a moment to read what else Anthony Kennedy has written on this topic.  Calling him some sort of “swing vote” was idealistic at best.

The 5-3 decision further entrenches the Court in establishing case law protecting privacy rights to include the abortion decision.

I advocate that we do what we do best – we demonstrate with action not only our ideological rejection of abortion but our personal commitment to make abortion the least desirable of all options when facing a pregnancy.

As Christians it is especially important for us to keep our priorities straight.  Goal # 1 is the proclamation of God’s Word and his message of salvation through Christ.  Our ultimate goal is to have a nation of Christians who are so faithful to their Savior that they would not dream of walking into an abortion clinic.  It should be an enterprise that dies for lack of customers.

Yes, we want pro-life laws.  We want laws that protect the most innocent and vulnerable among us.  But until we learn the shrewdness of a snake while clinging to the innocence of a dove (Matthew 10:16) we will falter in our passions.  The legal steps to protect unborn children must be smaller and more deliberate.

I commend the zeal of those who want to make this a pro-life nation.  There are much wiser voices than mine who have cautioned against permitting that zeal to get the best of us.  They have cautioned that such full frontal assaults designed to provoke a challenge in the highest court would not work and might even harm future efforts.  We shall see.

Let us heed those voices and place a greater focus on a grassroots strategy of education.  When it comes to laws and court cases, let us consider the place of “baby steps” in that strategy. If abortion clinics cannot be legislated or adjudicated out of business maybe we should pay closer attention to better educating the potential clientele while there still are those who abhor the thought of taking a human life for any reason.

About Bob F.

Born in Pleasanton, CA on October 5, 1956 and raised primarily in Lake Geneva, WI. I am the oldest of four sons to my parents, Bob and Helen Fleischmann who presently live next door to me in rural Wisconsin. I am an ordained Lutheran minister and I serve as the national director of Christian Life Resources.
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