A listener by the name of John writes in to ask, “Pastor John, can we reasonably draw moral parallels between abortion in America and the extermination of Jews by Nazis in World War II?”
There are non-parallels and there are parallels. And it might be good just to name a few, because evidently the question is coming out of a sense that there are people that get upset about this correlation, and there are other people who feel it is natural.
Non-Parallels Between Abortion and the Holocaust
So let me try to get inside the skin of both people. There are non-parallels: The Holocaust was overwhelmingly a hatred of Jewish people — not only, but overwhelmingly a hatred of an ethnic group and a religious group. And this is generally not the case with the unborn. The unborn are killed across all ethnicities and religions.
Secondly, there is a non-parallel in that the Holocaust was carried out mainly by one nation, while babies are being killed in every nation of the world.
There is a non-parallel in that the Holocaust was mainly carried out on mature, rationally aware human beings rather than pre-rational babies. And so the horror of contemplating their end was vastly greater for those who were killed in the Holocaust.
And there is a non-parallel in the Holocaust in that the Holocaust had a beginning and it had an end — though ethnic persecution, of course, hasn’t ended — while the killing of babies goes on. So those are a few. And I am sure there are more that we could think of if we just spent time.
Parallels Between Abortion and the Holocaust
But here are the parallels that I think are, in fact, completely valid.
One, there is a parallel that both involve precious human beings created in the image of God — Jewish people and others that the Nazis despised, and then the unborn. They are both human beings.
“Both involve precious human beings created in the image of God — people the Nazis despised, and then the unborn. They are both human beings.”
There is a parallel in the fact that they were slaughtered. And I am not even going to say like animals, because it was worse than animals. In both cases it was worse than animals. It happened in the concentration camps with medical experimentation.
And I have been to Dachau three times because it was right outside Munich where I lived for three years. And I have read and seen the pictures of people frozen to death to experiment with how quickly people would freeze to death, or hanging, or asphyxiation, or all kinds of horrible experiments that were done. It was a kind of slaughter that was worse than the killing of animals. And so it is with babies in the womb. Most of them are dismembered limb from limb.
There is a parallel in scope. The numbers are in the millions, and they are unimaginable in both cases.
There is a parallel in rationale: the diminishment of personhood and dignity. The non-Aryan race was deemed increasingly subhuman, or at least not the kind of human who was worthy of life. And that is exactly the same rationale for the killing of the unborn. They are subhuman or, at least, they’re not the kind of human that is worthy of life.
And I would add one more parallel. The time will come when the generations will look back on ours with even more unbelief that we could have let it happen than we look back on Germany in the 1930s and 1940s and marvel that it happened.
God hates murder then, and he hates murder now. He condemns it in his word, and so that is another parallel that God will make everything right in the end. He will settle accounts. Nothing will be swept under the rug in this universe.