In the past couple of days I have found myself becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the way some pro-lifers have opted to use the horrifically tragic events of the Connecticut elementary school shooting as a platform to draw attention to another horrific act – the killing of innocent unborn human beings via abortion.
As far as I am concerned, the truly pro-life response to this crisis is to mourn the loss of these innocent lives, to grieve with the survivors and relatives left behind, and, if you are so inclined, to offer up your prayers for all involved.
I am firmly convinced that this is NOT the time to be making comparisons between this tragedy and the act of abortion, and the thousands of innocent US children that it claims on a daily basis.
I say this not because I don’t think that there is some logical connection between these types of events, but rather because now is not the time for lobbying, now is the time for grieving, caring and loving.
Perhaps there will be a time in the future for such comparisons to be made (because, as I said, I do believe that there are logical connections that can be made between these events), however, by making such comparisons at this present moment in time we are effectively hi-jacking one tragic killing in order to highlight another.
By using the Connecticut shooting as a platform for activism I believe that we are trampling on the memory of those innocents who were killed, and we actually end up creating the impression that:
a) the Connecticut deaths are not as important as the deaths of children killed by abortion
b) the Connecticut deaths are not worth mourning, or shouldn’t be mourned while abortion goes unmourned in America
c) the Connecticut deaths only have meaning in comparison to abortion
I am absolutely of the mind that the first thing to cross our mind, or our Facebook wall, in the wake of such a tragedy as this should NOT be a self-serving comparison to another tragic killing (abortion). The first things that should cross our mind, and be expressed by us are horror at the events, sorrow for those lost, and solidarity with those who are left behind to mourn.
These were human persons, and of all people, we as pro-lifers should understand that their intrinsic value and worth, and the awful magnitude of their murder has nothing to do with whether or not America sanctions the killing of other human persons.
These were not objects to be used as springboards for pro-life activism, they were innocent persons. Persons just as innocent as those unborn ones killed that same day in abortion clinics across America, and we fail in our cause when we treat the victims of this shooting as anything less by our speech and conduct.
I would also suggest that we fall into a Utilitarian error when we start comparing the number of innocent lives lost in the two different acts (abortion and the Connecticut shooting), which is what I’ve seen some pro-lifers subtly doing (probably without realizing it) in the days since the killings.
The deliberate killing of several thousand innocent human beings is no more worse or terrible than the deliberate killing of 26 innocent human beings, or even the deliberate killing of just one innocent human being. Their value and worth is not found in their volume, but in the unique and profound dignity that each and every human person possesses by virtue of their unique and exceptional nature.
For me it’s pretty simple, hi-jacking someone else’s tragedy and grief in order to draw attention to our own tragedy and grief lacks a certain authenticity and humanness that should be the hallmark of genuine pro-life expression.
Like I said earlier, there will come a time when drawing the comparisons between the killing of innocents at Connecticut and the killing of innocents in US abortion clinics is appropriate, but that time is not now. Right now the truly compassionate and pro-life response is to mourn those precious innocents who were lost while standing in solidarity with those who grieve their unjust killing.
By doing that we show to the world that we truly do mean it when we say that ALL human lives have a profound value and worth, and that the spilling of ANY innocent blood is a grave injustice which must not go unnoticed.