Abortion is an absolute Evil
Scott Klusendorf has written an excellent book entitled the Case for Life.
He makes an excellent point, both in the book and in this on-line interview, about the fact that abortion is an absolute evil, in comparison with “unjust” war which is a contingent evil. We must be careful in making moral equivalents where there is none. Here is an important part of the interview:
In the recent election we know that many Christians voted for Obama. Why do you think that more people don’t consider a candidate’s position on abortion to be a “trump card” issue when voting?
SK: Simply put, they wrongly assume moral equivalency. For example, Just prior to the 2008 elections, a kindly nun at a Catholic high school pulled me aside to thank me for speaking to 400 of her students on the theme, “The Case for Life.” In fact, she couldn’t say enough good things about my talk. “I agree with everything you said. It was exactly what our kids needed to hear,” she beamed.
However, a moment later it was clear we didn’t agree when it came to applying pro-life principles. In fact, her moral reasoning was deeply troubling. She began our conversation by lamenting that her students were not pro-life on all issues. She then said, “I am consistently for life, and that’s why I’m voting for Senator Obama. Most people focus too much on abortion.” To which I replied, “What do you mean people focus too much on abortion?” She said that ending war is a pro-life issue like ending abortion, and at the moment, the war in Iraq was even worse than abortion. So I asked her, “To be worse than abortion, how bad would an unjust war have to be?” She replied that war, abortion, and poverty were all equally bad and Obama was right on most of those issues, so she was voting for him. “But are those issues bad in the same way?” I asked. “Correct me if I’m wrong,” I continued, “but doesn’t church teaching distinguish between moral absolutes and prudential judgments? In other words, the decision to wage war is not intrinsically evil, though it must be morally justified and prudently considered. But the deliberate killing of unborn human beings is an absolute evil and laws permitting it are scandalous. If I understand you correctly, you are willing to overlook Obama’s pledge to uphold an absolute evil because he might help us avoid a contingent one?” Her reply: “I just know war is worse right now.” I left her with this question: “To be worse than abortion, wouldn’t an unjust war have to kill more innocent people than abortion does each year? The war in Iraq has resulted in 100,000 deaths total (all sides) while abortion kills 1.2 million each year! In short, the evil of abortion is immeasurably worse, but she refused to see it.
This is also an excellent (biblical) way of arguing from lesser to greater. If we were to consider the war in Iraq to be a worst case scenario of a total unjust and evil war (most would not), it still would not rise to the level of an absolute evil, or even if it would in some minds, it would still not be equivalent in numbers of innocents who die due to abortion. If we were to concede that there was some justification for this war, even if we were deceived into entering the war and that it has created some good (for the Iraqis and others), and if we were to consider that there is in the end little difference in how either major party candidate would have dealt and is dealing with ending the situation there. And if we add into the mix the Bush-like policies that Obama has instituted in Afghanistan, then we must conclude that there clearly was never even the slightest moral equivalency on the issue. And we have continued to sacrifice our children to Molech for the sake of political expediency and political correctness. I highly recommend this book.
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