I recently finished reading “Bonhoeffer” by Eric Metaxas. The book, a nearly 600-page biography of German pastor and influential theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, was simply life-changing. Throughout his page-turning treatise, Metaxas brilliantly illustrates how Bonhoeffer lived and died by Christ’s admonition, “faith without works is dead” (James 2:20).
Although Bonhoeffer penned a number of widely read books on theology and Christian apologetics, he is chiefly remembered for his key role in one of several German conspiracies to assassinate Adolf Hitler and overthrow the Nazi regime. For this he was captured and hanged just weeks before the end of World War II.
It seems natural at this point to trek into “must read” book review territory; however, I will resist that temptation. Although “Bonhoeffer” kicked open the door to any number of theological, philosophical and political themes, it struck another cord with me entirely.
As I read of Bonhoeffer’s efforts to thwart the genocidal slaughter of millions of Jews, disabled people and other “enemies of the State,” I could not help but recognize the parallels between the vast holocaust carried out in Nazi Germany just decades ago and the modern-day holocaust ongoing within our own shores.
Whereas the Nazis were responsible for the wholesale murder of more than 6 million Jews, those today who support the practice of abortion homicide are no less complicit in the systematic slaughter of 55-million-and-counting equally precious human beings post Roe v. Wade. The parallels are undeniable and the science unequivocal. Murder is murder whatever stage of development the human victim.
The stark similarities between the two holocausts were lost on neither Dietrich Bonhoeffer nor Eric Metaxas. “Destruction of the embryo in the mother’s womb is a violation of the right to live which God has bestowed upon this nascent life,” wrote Bonhoeffer in “Ethics,” his very last book.
“To raise the question whether we are here concerned already with a human being or not is merely to confuse the issue. The simple fact is that God certainly intended to create a human being and that this nascent human being has been deliberately deprived of his life. And that is nothing but murder,” he concluded.
Indeed, Psalm 139:13 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
So it occurs to me that those who call themselves “pro-life” and put faith to action in defense of innocent persons – as did Dietrich Bonhoeffer – honor both the memory of this Christian martyr and the God he served. They have picked up his mantle. They are continuing his noble work.
By contrast, if pro-lifers are modern-day Dietrich Bonhoeffers, then what does that make abortion supporters? In the years leading up to and during World War II, many Germans – who were otherwise generally good people – succumbed to Nazi propaganda and acquiesced to the horrific Jewish persecution that escalated from a slow boil to a red-hot torrent around them. In effect, they bought into exactly the same kind of dehumanizing, euphemistic semantical garbage embraced by those who today call themselves “pro-choice.”
Mind-boggling is the human capacity to rationalize genocide.
On Feb. 2, 2012, Eric Metaxas gave the keynote address at the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. He was clearly inspired and influenced by the subject of his latest biography.
Sharing the stage and sitting merely feet away was Barack Obama, the most radically pro-abortion president in U.S. history. In a spectacular show of resolve and moxie, Metaxas walked over to the president and handed him a copy of “Bonhoeffer.” He then launched into one of the most powerful and stirring speeches I’ve ever heard.
While President Obama squirmed nervously in his seat, Metaxas addressed both his book and the abortion holocaust with incisive clarity, saying, in part, “We are capable of the same horrible things. … Apart from God we cannot see that they (the unborn) are persons as well. So those of us who know the unborn to be human beings are commanded by God to love those who do not yet see that. We need to know that apart from God we would be on the other side of that divide, fighting for what we believe is right. We cannot demonize our enemies. Today, if you believe abortion is wrong, you must treat those on the other side with the love of Jesus.”
Indeed, we are admonished in Scripture to pray for our enemies – to love those who do evil.
Nonetheless, we are also commanded to speak truth. We are told to hate that which is evil and to fight – indeed to die if necessary – for that which is good.
I will, no doubt, be accused of demonizing abortion supporters by equating abortion genocide to the Nazi Holocaust. I will be charged with violating “Godwin’s law” which holds that: “As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.”
Still, my comparison is not intended to be an ad hominem attack. In fact, it’s not an attack at all. It simply is what it is. To identify the undeniable juxtaposition between the Nazi and abortion holocausts respectively is to make use of the best analogy available. I can think of no more fitting a comparison. If the shoe fits and all that.
Indeed, ours is a holocaust no less real – no less evil than that perpetrated by the Nazi regime. We’ve simply moved from the gas chambers to the abortion clinic – from Auschwitz to Planned Parenthood.
I love America. She’s the greatest nation on earth. Nonetheless, as long as we continue to allow this enduring slaughter of the most innocent among us, we are no better than was Nazi Germany. Abortion on demand will be viewed by our progeny as the single greatest blight on our American heritage.
To live under Roe v. Wade is to live in shame. To live under pro-abortion leadership is to live under the Fourth Reich.
(First published July 2012)
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