Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Must pro-lifers be more concerned about born children before they save unborn ones?

I was busily working away on a new project this week, mostly doing Oracle database stuff – schema stuff and trigger stuff. Our team lead and I were talking about the problem of fatherlessness and he said that pro-lifers ought to be more concerned with born children instead of being so lopsidedly concerned with unborn children.

So, I decided to quote this little illustration from Life Training Institute to make a point:

Joe found the young girl unconscious in her upstairs closet. By the time he got there, the structure was a raging inferno. No one else dared go inside. Scooping up the girl, he took his only exit, straight out the second story window and into the bushes below. The girl lived. For his part, Joe sustained three cuts and two sprained ankles—and an avalanche of questions. The media wanted to know how he planned to pay for the girl’s food, clothing, and health care now that he’d rescued her. The evangelical pastor asked if the time spent saving the girl from temporal flames might be better spent saving people from eternal ones. The social justice coordinator of the Catholic parish insisted that if Joe truly cared about saving lives, he’d care about all life and spend equal time rescuing poor workers from corrupt corporations. The local Congressman asked if he supported tax hikes aimed at reducing fire risk. Joe just kept looking at the girl.

Remember that next time someone gives you a similar objection.

Filed under: Polemics, , , , , , , , , ,

12 Responses

  1. Jehu says:

    Do anywhere close to a million born children perish of any and all causes each year in America?
    If the answer is no, as it most assuredly is, where is the sense of proportion. Abortion is the elephant in the room. Everything else regarding the health and welfare of children is small fry.

    I get really angry at anyone who professes to be a Christian who doesn’t amen me on the abortion issue. Were I the Pope (and Catholic I suppose), I’d demand a loyalty oath on the issue and I’d excommunicate anyone I didn’t believe had sufficient zeal on the issue.

    • Paradox says:

      I’ll amen on that!
      Probably doesn’t mean as much, as I am non-denominational, but I agree with you anyway!

  2. Matt says:

    Nice illustration!

  3. I always say that I can’t help them get food and shelter or avoid abuse until they are born. Let’s get them born safely first, then we can worry about the rest of the problems (which pale in comparison to the carnage of abortion).

  4. SLIMJIM says:

    Good illustration!

  5. marshalart says:

    Excellent illustration! (which is better than “good” or “nice” ;D) I will save it for future use.

  6. John Moore says:

    How about working on fire safety? If fewer houses burn down, we won’t need so many risky, heroic rescues.

    All those questions they asked Joe are really legitimate questions, but they’re just being asked at the wrong time, so that’s why the story is absurd. Certainly we must honor rescuers! On the other hand, there must also come a time for all these questions.

  7. Joshua Gilbert says:

    Your response will be greatly appreciated.

    The question of one’s lifespan

    This is a question that I have difficulty in answering. When someone has died I seem to nearly hear the statement” His time was up/Her time was up”.

    Do we all have a certain number of days allocated to us by God and then we die? Isn’t this a type of fatalistic thinking. Apart from being a victim of circumstance like a natural disaster or an accident etc, can we prolong our lives by taking good care of our bodies through exercising, good eating habits or do we simply die when our time is up regardless of what we do or try to do to avoid death. If a person commits suicide did he or she die an untimely death or a timely one because his or her time was up.

    Thanks

    Joshua Gilbert

    Durban, South Africa

    • I think it’s pretty clear from scientific observation and experience that a person can live longer by taking care of their body. And it’s even more clear that destructive behaviors (alcohol abuse, smoking, driving recklessly, lack of exercise, etc.) do shorten lifespans. Lacking any Scriptural support for a set number of days that is fated to every person (and lacking any observational support), I see no reason to accept such a hypothesis. I do think that God knows exactly how long we will live, but that doesn’t mean that He necessarily causes us to live a pre-set and arbitrary number of days. We are quite capable of shortening our lives with poor decisions.

  8. marshalart says:

    The “time is up” notion really pertains to natural lifespan, not suicides. The notion that one’s life belongs totally to God and thus for a person to end his own life or the life of another conflicts with that notion and so is sinful.

    That aside, whatever we do to prolong life is in line with the idea of respect for life and cherishing it. We can only do so much on that score and eventually must succumb to God’s call.

    That’s how I’d respond to Joshua.

  9. kbiel says:

    You were much nicer than I would be. When offered a false dilemma such as this, I usually turn it around. “So, why are you working here when there are fatherless children out there who could use your help? Do you hate children?”

  10. eMatters says:

    While pro-lifers do many things with their own time and money to help the poor (go visit a crisis pregnancy center and see all the things they do for free), protesting an immoral act does not obligate you to take care of its victims. Just as you can protest child abuse without having to adopt all the children, you don’t have to adopt children before you can protest the crushing and dismembering of innocent human beings in the womb.

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