Wednesday, February 27, 2008


David's Stone: Personhood

By Michael Hichborn

The ongoing effort to save preborn babies from the culture of death is akin to the epic battle between David and Goliath. While the pro-life movement struggles just to maintain its grassroots support base, the massive and powerful culture of death has access to all of the money, political power and propaganda it could ever want.

At least David had the nerve to show up for the fight. Right now, in Colorado, a 20-year-old law student has taken up David's sling and is prepared to throw the deadly stone while some self-professed pro-life leaders, politicians and clergymen cower because they believe that "now is not the right time."
In November 2007, Kristi Burton, founder of Colorado for Equal Rights, won an important victory in the state supreme court allowing her to move forward with Proposed Initiative 36. The initiative simply states that "the terms 'person' or 'persons' shall include any human being from the moment of fertilization." This initiative is the lynchpin for restoring the right to life for all preborn babies, because in the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, Justice Harry Blackmun wrote, "If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant's case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment."

Over the past 35 years, nearly 50,000,000 preborn babies have been legally butchered in their own mothers' wombs. The most we have to show for our effort to stop this carnage is an alleged ban on the heinous practice of partially delivering a baby, stabbing him or her in the back of the head and then sucking his or her brains out. Hailed by some as a pro-life victory, the so-called ban on partial-birth abortion isn't truly a ban because the Supreme Court decision itself included instructions permitting doctors to circumvent the ban by injecting the baby with poison before completing the grisly procedure. What is so completely baffling, however, is that organizations like the National Right to Life Committee will pop a champagne cork for a ruling that won't stop a single abortion, but will not support or will even directly oppose the personhood initiative – which would directly end all abortions – because they claim that "now is not the right time."

Some may ask, "If now is not the right time to save babies, when is?" But it's more appropriate to ask, "Why not now?' What do pro-life leaders, politicians and clergymen have to lose by acting now instead of waiting for "the right time"? If the initiative fails, do we admit defeat, tell the babies we're sorry we couldn't do better, pack up and go home? How many amendments and legislative measures are voted upon only once before being passed? The answer is less than one percent! If the initiative fails, you start over and try again and you keep trying until it works. It is hard, tedious and frustrating work, but when compared with the suffering of innocent preborn children who face dismemberment and death, the decision is an easy one. Only those locked in their lofty ivory towers, comfortable with merely drawing a salary to do "pro-life" work, remain silent or oppose real pro-life measures while they wait for "the right time."

There is no "right time." David went into battle against Goliath without military or combat training and without a sword, shield or helmet. He carried only a sling and some rocks. He was a mere boy and the timing was as much against him as his size and strength. But his courage and faith in God led to victory. In truth, the victory over the culture of death will not be ours to claim, just as the timing is not ours to decide. Kristi Burton heard the call from God to defend human life and answered it without question, without waiting for "the right time" and without compromise. Her leadership brings to mind the words of a shepherd who slew a giant:

You come against me with sword and spear and scimitar, but I come against you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel that you have insulted. Today the LORD shall deliver you into my hand; I will strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will leave your corpse and the corpses of the Philistine army for the birds of the air and the beasts of the field; thus the whole land shall learn that Israel has a God. All this multitude, too, shall learn that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves. For the battle is the LORD'S, and He shall deliver you into our hands. (1 Samuel 17: 45-47)
When doing the work of God and calling on people to support the defense of babies, can timing really be an issue? While pro-life leaders, politicians and clergymen stand idly by, waiting for "the right time," Kristi Burton puts it all in God's hands, stands in the arena, takes careful aim and throws.
Michael Hichborn is American Life League's media relations director.


Paul said...

Great article, but only a small quibble (but it's important).

"In truth, the victory over the culture of death will not be ours to claim, just as the timing is not ours to decide."


"Kristi Burton puts it all in God's hands, stands in the arena, takes careful aim and throws."

Recently I heard a pro-life leader make a very similar statement in a radio interview. He was asked when he thought abortion would finally end in America, and he responded, "it won't end until it's God's time for it to end." I hear many pro-lifers make comments like these, and it really undermines the motivation of most Christians to get involved in the fight against the murder of the unborn. Ideas have consequences. 50 million kids haven't been slaughtered in their mother's wombs because it just hasn't been "God's time" for abortion to end. It was God's time for it to end as soon as it started!

Anonymous said...

I completely agree. However, it seems to me that the intent of the author was not to say that our actions are ineffective, and only God can end abortion. Given the quote he included from Samuel, I think it's a safe bet that that he is deriding those who would say such things just as much as he opposes the "it isn't the right time" types as well.

After reading the article, I concluded that the author is basically saying that we have to do everything we possibly and humanly can to end abortion, and leave the results to God. I know the author was comparing Kristi Burton to David, but to further the analogy (especially given the title of the article itself) he is comparing the stone to the Will of God; David did the best he could in throwing the stone, but God made sure it hit its mark with the right amount of force. In a similar vein, as we oppose abortion, we are called by God to do everything we possibly can to end abortion (and personhood is the best and surest way to do it), but we cannot control the results.

At least that's my take on it.

Paul said...


I think that's where, for me, the David & Goliath analogy breaks down. Like you said, God made sure the stone hit it's intended target and killed the giant, but I don't believe we're promised victory, even if we're faithful (and I totally agree that personhood is the surest way to victory).

God will help us, sure, but if He was going to intervene miraculously to end abortion - like He did with David killing Goliath - He would have done so 35 years ago. Otherwise, it would mean He had a "purpose" for 50 million babies dying (and counting).