No one can hide from the truth that we kill human beings. Early on, Christians spoke of the physical consequences of abortion but also the spiritual consequences to those who defended it. So did Ken Kesey, the 1960s psychedelic drug user who wrote One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and was a hero of the cultural left: He called abortion “the worst worm in the revolutionary philosophy, a worm bound in time to suck the righteousness and life from the work we are engaged in. ... How can abortion be anything but fascism again, back as a fad in a new intellectual garb with a new, and more helpless, victim?”
None of us is innocent. I’ve worked as a journalist and historian to draw attention to the evil of abortion, but I haven’t carried through in my prayer life. I don’t pray every day for the hearts of mothers and fathers to be turned toward their unborn children. Yes, I’ve pointed out the natural consequences of sin, with aging populations facing demographic winters. No, I haven’t come to grips with how abortion has coarsened me, as I happily sit down to dinner and cut my turkey at the moment some babies are ingesting poison or being cut up by abortionists.
So I’m pessimistic when I contemplate the tens of millions killed, and the way that abortion is proof of our universal sin and ability to rationalize or overlook evil. But Time’s distress helps me to be optimistic about what God is doing, in His time. Two decades ago we were one Supreme Court vote away from curtailing abortion. More recently we’ve been one Senate vote away, and then one Supreme Court vote away, from stopping Obamacare, which seems likely to extend abortion. So close. So far. Why, Lord, why? But, as Lincoln learned, “The Almighty has His own purposes.”
Lincoln had the right words in 1865: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds.”
Ah, wounded nation!