Listening to U2’s 2009 song “Magnificent”, I am repeatedly struck by the following lyric: “From the womb my first cry, it was a joyful noise.” Although the authors apparently did not intend it, I think of God’s creating each human life, ultimately for the purpose of making a joyful noise praising Him (Genesis 4:1 and Psalm 95:1,2; 98:4,6; 100:1).
Those so created are human beings from the moment of conception, but that fact is lost on those who are in favor of abortion, who wrongly think that “mothers” (but not “fathers,” except maybe in Alabama) should personally be able to decide whether their “embryos” live or die. New York State’s recently passed law, which permits the murder of children both later in pregnancy and even after birth, is just the latest example of society’s depravity evident in infanticide.
After President Trump’s State of the Union pro-life remarks, the U.S. Congress failed to pass a measure to protect those born alive. Some state legislatures are having success defending unborn persons, while other state legislatures are following New York in permitting their slaughter. How any of those state laws will be affected by what seem to be inevitable U.S. Supreme Court rulings on a number of cases headed to the Court will depend on the rulings.
Although they are equally persons, New York State’s law prioritizes mothers and de-prioritizes children, especially those children whose deaths are seen as inevitable. From at least a theological perspective, the deaths of every child, every mother, and every one of us are eventually inevitable, on account of both our being conceived and born sinful and our actually sinning (Psalm 51:5; Romans 6:23). But, the God-man Jesus Christ was crucified to redeem each and every one. When we repent, then God forgives our sins and gives us eternal life.
Each human life created in conception, redeemed on the cross, and at least potentially, if not actually, sanctified by faith is valuable to God and should be equally valuable to us. Appalled by the barbarism of virtually unrestricted abortion, we plaintively cry, Lord, have mercy on us all!
The Rev. Dr. Jayson S. Galler is Pastor of Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Kilgore. You can reach him through the congregation’s website: www.pilgrimlc.org.