Robert Jeffress

Yet, President Obama is unapologetically the staunchest defender of abortion of any American president in history, priding himself during his first run for the Oval Office on his100%pro-choice rating with Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America. While an Illinois senator, Obama voted against restricting partial birth abortions—a particularly barbaric act that involves the crushing of a partially-born infant’s head and removal of its brain matter through a suction device. Amazingly, President Obama has consistently criticized the Supreme Court for upholding the constitutionality of a ban on partial birth abortions. Nancy Pelosi claimed to reporters last week that Assad’s actions were “outside of the circle of civilized behavior.” How could anyone believe that the murder of a child inside his mother’s womb would not also fall outside that circle?

Many progressives would counter that while they are not “pro-abortion,” they are willing to leave that decision to women to make for themselves. They see “choice” as a fundamental, human right. But why are they not willing to extend that same freedom of choice to President Assad to exterminate the children of his nation? Although Syria has been a party to the Geneva Conventions which prohibit the use of chemical weapons, perhaps President Assad has “evolved” in his thinking since Syria first agreed to such restrictions.

Who are we to impose our morality on another sovereign nation? Just because a majority of nations currently believes it is unlawful to engage in genocide, is popular opinion the best way to decide issues of morality? After all, for many years the majority of people in the United States were comfortable with the idea of one human being owning another.

Make no mistake about it, I believe that Assad’s actions are reprehensible. However, to make a convincing moral argument against genocide, abortion, slavery, or any other injustice one must appeal to a moral code that transcends time and culture. And such a universal, moral code can only come from God. As Yale law professor Arthur Leff asked, “Who among us ought to be able to declare ‘law’ that ought to be obeyed? Either God exists or He does not, but if He does not, nothing and no one can take His place.”

Every American should be praying for President Obama’s success in making and executing the right decision regarding our involvement in Syria. However, as our nation grapples with what to do about the genocide in Syria, as well as the escalating and well-publicized acts of violence in our own country, perhaps it is time that we abandon the moral relativism that has permeated our culture and reclaim God’s absolute and unchanging moral law that includes the words “Thou shalt not kill.” For, as Dostoyevsky observed, without God “everything is permitted.”


Robert Jeffress

Dr. Robert Jeffress is pastor of the 11,000-member First Baptist Church in Dallas and an adjunct professor at Dallas Theological Seminary.