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Apr
15

Owen Strachan – Evangelical Encouragement: What the Gosnell Groundswell Shows

I don’t know about you, but the groundswell of social media outrage at the lack of media attention to the trial of Kermit Gosnell is one of the most encouraging developments I’ve ever seen in the Internet 2.0 era.

If you missed it, the story is basically this: after months of complete inattention to the barbaric narrative of abortionist Kermit Gosnell, pro-life folks – including journalist Mollie Ziegler Hemingway, Lifesite.com leaders, and Eric Metaxas – decided to do their part to raise a ruckus. Gosnell gives us a a window into the gruesome world of killing babies. He frequently induced pregnancies through his abortive methods, causing live births of potentially viable infants, only to (graphic content warning) slice their spines open to kill them. But he didn’t stop there–he cut their feet off and put them in jars as mementos.

The sheer evil of this case is enough to make you push away from your computer and wail and weep. “Rend the heavens,” the Old Testament writers implored the Lord, a sentiment appropriate to cases like this. If you’re reading this and you doubt the existence of evil, read up on Gosnell’s practice and reconsider.

But here’s the thing to note: even if these abortions had happened in the tidiest manner possible, with swarms of smiling, bright-eyed attendants working in crystal-clean conditions and a long-established doctor with a warm bedside manner, they would be no less barbaric. Abortion, we are reminded, is barbaric. Strong word, this–barbaric. Yet it fits our society perfectly. We’re drunk on the fumes of our supposedly morally advanced society, our technopoly with its modern advances, our bright and pampered 21st-century world which seems the apotheosis of social Darwinism. We are the ones human history has been waiting for. We’re brighter, living longer, avoiding cataclysmic world wars, spreading democracy through virtual platforms, humane, tolerant, happy, and whole.

It’s this narrative, you see, that the Gosnell murders destroy. The Gosnell murders reveal the evil heart that beats in the chest of our society. They’re unusually sordid, but the practice at their core–abortion–is pure evil, the perfect flowering of an unbridled narcissism. We’re patting ourselves on our backs, but our elegantly manicured hands have blood on them. We’re eating our young, dumping them in bins, and yet we scoff at ancient societies that–at the very least–trembled at child sacrifice.

We pat ourselves on the back for it.

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