How is trying to stop abortion different from physically intervening to stop child abuse?
It may not be.
But I don't think, all things considered, that shooting abortionists accomplishes what you want to accomplish. And you've got to be careful here, because people have done that, not recently, but several times. Guys are sitting in jail right now who killed abortionists.
I was involved in rescuing in the late eighties and early nineties for two or three years. "Rescuing" simply meant that passively you would sit down in front of an abortion clinic, a hundred of you, so that nobody could get in. So you're putting your body on the line. It's based on Proverbs 24:11 where it says, in essence, "When you see somebody being taken to the slaughter, rescue them." And so we called it a rescue.
So you would sit down and just stay there. You wouldn't fight. You wouldn't go tackle anybody. And they would haul you away to jail. They'd pick you up, take you to the buses, and carry you away. We did it over and over again. I spent one night in jail. They didn't want all of these people in jail so they would just give them a ticket and send them home.
Now the philosophy behind that was something like this: They're killing kids in there. They're killing kids. What are you going to do about it? And I was just gripped with the rescue movement, that it seemed logically consistent, just like this question is saying that it is logically consistent to put yourself between the killer and the child.
And I think it was wise for us to put ourselves passively there. Because as soon as you take up violence, they're going to say, "You're doing the same thing that the abortionists are doing." And, therefore, you would never make any headway in this.
What brought it all crashing down was that it proved to be impossible—at least here in the Twin Cities—to maintain the kind of humble, meek, lowly, lamb-like demeanor of suffering that would win the American conscience like the Civil Rights Movement. The Civil Rights Movement got traction and was sustained because pictures of Bull Conner and fire hoses and dogs biting black people and mowing down children with fire hoses took the American conscience. "That we will not do!"
But Martin Luther King and the black resistance movement were able to do the miraculous work of not fighting back. King was the key. If others had taken to the streets and done it the other way, we would not be the way we are today. Everybody would have risen up and made war, and it would have been horrible.
But King was able to maintain the control. And the black church had a huge influence. And the blacks themselves had such a long experience of suffering as it was that they had learned how to do passive resistance. And when the hostilities broke out against them, the media caught it and everything turned around.
That did not happen in the pro-life resistance, because pro-life people got mouthy. They were always doing and saying stuff that was ugly. So that's what the media captured. They didn't capture people who were meek and loving and kind being mistreated. They captured pro-life people mistreating. So the whole thing fell apart.
So I haven't gone back (yet) to that strategy, because it seemed to be so counterproductive at the time. I don't know whether or not there should be more today. Maybe a time will come when the nation will be ready and hundreds of thousands of people will be sitting around Planned Parenthood. And there would just be no turning back, because the conscience of the culture will have turned.
But I think, given the place that our culture is now, the attempt to do this—that is, to violently restrain an abortionist—will backfire culturally. You will be the one who will go to jail, not him. He'll just go back to work the next day, do the abortions; and it will all be on TV, and you'll look like the jerk.
You might have done what your conscience says is right, but you won't have accomplished what you're out to do.
Abortion remains a moral issue of such huge consequence that, I believe, our grandchildren will look back in a hundred years and condemn us. Me, they'll condemn me. "Why didn't you do more?" Just like we look back now on all the complicit involvement with slavery.
We think we're doing the best we can, but we're probably not. We are so incapable of mounting a full-blown conscientious resistance to the greatest evil in our culture, that all of our strategizing to do political, educational, and crisis pregnancy things will all look inadequate a hundred years from now. They'll just say, "You were killing babies!"