What Will (and Will Not) Unite Americans After the Planned Parenthood Shooting

Credit : (By CP Cartoonist Rod Anderson)
(By CP Cartoonist Rod Anderson)

First, let's be clear — wantonly killing another human being in the supposed defense of the sanctity of human life is grotesque and obscene. Everyone espousing the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death must condemn without reservation (as they overwhelmingly have) the heinous actions of Ronald Dear in murdering three of his fellow human beings in the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood Abortion Clinic on November 27th.

Putting a human face on these victims makes the heart break and tragedy even more personally compelling.

Jennifer Markovsky, 35, a mother of two children, Ke'Arre Stewart, 29, a father of two children as well as an Iraq War veteran, and Garrett Swasey, 44, a father of two children, a police officer killed in the line of duty, and an elder at his Evangelical church.

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Three innocent people gunned down in the prime of life, six young children made fatherless by the senseless actions of one angry, deranged, anti-social loner given to fits of rage (sound familiar?).

None of these three victims were in any way affiliated with the Planned Parenthood Clinic. Even if they had been, it would still have been an act of unspeakable barbarity and cruelty to gun them down in the name of the sanctity of human life. An abortion doctor's life is just as valuable and sacred in God's eyes as the life of the doctors' unborn victims.

However, what goes on at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood Clinic and clinics like it across the country is also grotesque and obscene. Innocent human beings, with their whole lives in front of them, are having their lives snuffed out every day in such Planned Parenthood facilities across the nation.

Planned Parenthood (the recipient of $528 million in government grants, contracts, and reimbursements) performs approximately 330,000 abortions a year. That amounts to nearly one-third of all the abortions performed in America each year.

People who believe in the sanctity of all human life, preborn as well as born, have both the responsibility and the right to speak out against the obscenity that is abortion on demand in America, made even more obscene by its public funding.

In the presence of the grievous sin of pervasive racism in America, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. declared, "A time comes when silence is betrayal."

It is not a "smear campaign" to speak the truth about what happens in abortion clinics, although it is certainly understandable that Planned Parenthood would like to throw a cloak of secrecy and silence over its activities. When you can't defend the indefensible, you must try to make it literally "unspeakable."

In the immediate aftermath of the murders in Colorado Springs, Planned Parenthood's defenders immediately blamed pro-lifers' rhetoric for the tragedy, denouncing pro-life speech as "dehumanizing." How ironic, coming from defenders of an enterprise that kills over 300,000 unborn Americans every year.

These "kill the messenger" attacks were followed immediately with the predictable calls for greater gun control, with Hillary Clinton citing approximately 33,000 gun related deaths each year. That many babies are aborted every 11 days in America, with approximately 840 of those being killed each day in Planned Parenthood Clinics across America.

And what almost all of those mass shootings have in common is a mentally disturbed perpetrator or perpetrators. And yet, the collapse of the mental health system and federal mental health policy in America is almost never mentioned. A recent column in the Wall Street Journal ("The Next Mad Gunman," Nov. 30, 2015) explains how broken the system is and how Congressman Tim Murphy has proposed positive solutions to fix it by identifying these potential killers and either getting them help earlier or alternatively, protecting the public from them by institutionalization.

Congressman Murphy has identified a grave and dangerous problem and is proposing positive ways to address it. His opposition is coming from misguided advocates of gun control on the left and those on the right and left who are so hyper-sensitive to patient rights they would prefer, as the Wall Street Journal puts it, "To let those in the middle of psychotic episodes decide their own (non)care."

Surely all Americans of good will should be able to unite around Congressman Murphy's "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act" to stop the deranged among us from becoming mass killers!

On the issue of abortion, Dr. King's wisdom seems most appropriate: "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

Dr. Richard Land is president of Southern Evangelical Seminary and executive editor of The Christian Post.

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