Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church in Dallas has questioned the attempts to stir up outrage for the Syrian chemical weapon attack in August that killed hundreds of children, yet no such compassion is shown for the millions of aborted babies in the U.S. every year.
"Why is genocide in Syria intolerable while infanticide in our country is not only permissible but considered a constitutional right? By what moral authority do we deny the leader of another nation his 'freedom of choice' to exterminate his own people, yet empower our own citizenry to kill their children and even provide hundreds of millions of tax dollars to Planned Parenthood to carry out the executions?" Jeffress wrote in a column for Dallas News.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stands accused of using chemical weapons on his own people, with an attack in August killing 1,429 Syrians, including 426 children. The Obama administration has insisted that the use of chemical weapons needs to be punished by military strikes aimed at taking down the Syrian regime, which has been engaged in a civil war with rebels that has resulted in over 100,000 deaths since 2011.
Jeffress, who leads a 11,000-member congregation, has long been a supporter of the pro-life movement, and has criticized President Barack Obama for his refusal to stand against abortion-allowing policies.
"I think that it is a spiritual imperative that we unseat Barack Obama," the First Baptist Church leader told CP in October 2011 ahead of the 2012 general elections. "He is the most pro-abortion, most pro-homosexuality [president] in history."
In his article for Dallas News, Jeffress insisted that despite liberal objection, there is a moral equivalency between the genocide in Syria and abortions.
"Both the Assad atrocities and abortion represent attacks against the most vulnerable members of society: children," the pastor continued.
"We are understandably horrified by the pictures of endless rows of Syrian children's corpses. But if we laid side by side the remains of the millions of children who have been aborted in the last 40 years - many during the second and third trimesters with discernible features - I imagine there would be an even greater outcry from the American people."
Jeffress further questioned why progressives who insist that choice when it comes to abortion is a fundamental human right are not willing to give the same freedom of choice to Assad. He reminded readers that although the Geneva Conventions prohibits the use of chemical weapons, Assad "obviously does not believe" in those rules and follows his own moral code.
While 189 countries have signed the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention that prohibits the use of such weapons, Syria are among the few that have not.
Jeffress did not say whether or not the U.S. should go ahead with military strikes on Syria to take down Assad, and instead encouraged Americans to pray for Obama to make the right decision on the matter. He suggested, however, that it is time for the nation to abandon "moral relativism" and stick to God's moral law in the 10 Commandments: "Thou shalt not kill."
Abortion remains a controversial topic in the U.S., with a May 2013 Gallup poll finding that 58 percent of Americans believe most or all abortions should be illegal, while 39 percent are in favor of most abortions being legal.