#BlackLivesMatter. Yes, every one of them.
This movement has grown from a nascent beginning in Ferguson, Missouri (USA) to a national and increasingly international stage. Sick and sorrowful and justifiably angry over systemic racism, this movement is demanding justice for the black population of the United States. There are calls for purging police departments of racist officers who treat black people with criminal suspicion. Anyone who has a heart resonates with the concerns of this movement. But because we live in a broken world, most social justice movements are latent with deep philosophical and moral inconsistencies. So with #BlackLivesMatter. Apparently, for some endorsing this movement, such as Planned Parenthood, all blacks do not matter. At least not those in the womb. Consider the facts.
It is indisputable that the more abortions in America are carried out on black children than on any other ethnic sector. In New York City, 72% of all abortions are sought by black teenage mothers. In the state of Mississippi, 72% of all abortions likewise occur among the black population. It is also a fact that the United Nations and the World Bank promote abortion as a means of birth control throughout the continent of Africa. In the light of the abortion mill disproportionately targeting the black population of the world, one must ask, and ask very loudly, which black lives matter? I find it morally incoherent that many who pledge support for #BlackLivesMatter, and other social justice movements, are at the same time promoters of abortion on demand.
Such moral incongruity was typified recently when Hilary Clinton happily received political endorsement from Planned Parenthood, not long after gushing at the news of her daughter’s latest pregnancy. Gush she should; supporting the murder of someone else’s grandchild she should not. You see, all lives really do matter.
In 1948, the South African government blatantly and abhorrently legislated that all lives do not matter. Apartheid was a racist assault on the dignity of those who were deemed “not white enough.” Gratefully, this government was shown the door. However, the government that replaced it is also of the conviction that all lives do not matter. This became evident on 1 February 1997 when President Mandela signed into law the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act. For the past nineteen years, South Africans have been given legal protection to kill babies. And most of these babies are black.
For the Christian, every life matters. Dark or pale, male or female, healthy or unhealthy, poor or wealthy, “viable” or “unviable,” conceived by choice or even conceived against one’s will. Yes, all lives matter: those you can see and those you cannot see; those who live surrounded by the atmosphere and those who live surrounded by amniotic fluid. A person’s temporary invisibility is irrelevant when it comes to value.
Every person is made by God in His image. There is inherent dignity in each human being because of the glory of the God who has made us, regardless of that person’s environment. A person is not less valuable simply because she is hidden from view by a belly. That is like saying that the Hope Diamond has no value simply because it stays in a vault. In fact, its “hiddenness” may be a hint concerning its true value. So it is with a baby. God is protecting it in the womb, God’s specially designed vault for His valued creations (Psalm 139:13–16). How horrific, therefore, that some “health professional” or pharmaceutical concoction is given access to the embryonic vault to take and to murder what God has placed there. All lives matter.
When it comes to the sanctity of life, we must oppose the culture of death at all levels and in whatever form it takes. If we are truly prolife, we should be deeply concerned about injustice anywhere and in every shape and form. Driven by the conviction that all lives matter, we should do what we can to empathise, and when providentially given the opportunity, to seek to remove any assault on the dignity of a life: indignities such as the endemic racism that pervades our land, economic exploitation, societal disenfranchisement of a citizenship from their human rights, etc. But clearly what we must not exclude from these concerns is the matter of the unborn. Because, you see, they matter. They matter, a lot.
No society can be considered just if, while promoting ethnic harmony and equality, it at the same time refuses to protect the most vulnerable in society: the unborn. This is not a matter of either/or but rather of both/and. There is no danger here of getting snagged on the horns of a dilemma, because there is no dilemma! Lives matter—all of them at all times. And the Christian should be the first to say so.
But what will it take for a transformation of a society that abuses the vulnerable and kills its most vulnerable? A changing of laws, minds and hearts.
It will take legislative change. Our constitution currently gives legal indemnity for murdering babies. This must be changed. Christians should both call and even campaign for such change. Christian parents should raise their children with a biblical worldview of esteeming the dignity of all human life. Maybe such children will one day be in the positon to effect such legislative changes.
Further, if a society will embrace the truth that all lives matter, then there will need to be a change of minds. And this can come about by various means, including exposure (even graphic) of what is taking place in the abortion industry. Abort97 seeks to do this by prolife outreaches, where the public is confronted with the reality of abortion in order to help people to see that abortion is not a “procedure” but is rather the killing of a human life. “Expose it. End it” is more than a slogan. The ever-present technology of sonograms is another effective means to this end. As the baby in the womb is seen moving around and her body parts are clearly distinguishable, it is clear that she is a human physically separated from others merely by a thin film of skin. Sonograms are helping to change minds; they are convincing people that the unborn child is a person whose life must be protected.
But ultimately, the Christian church should be aiming for a change of hearts. And this requires the gospel.
There are many people who are prolife who, ironically, are yet dead—spiritually that is. Surprisingly, some famous Hollywood personalities, as well as famed politicians, are vocally prolife. And in many cases they give no indication of saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I am glad for any voice that will speak to defend those who cannot speak. I am happy that, for whatever reason, their minds are thinking clearly about human life, and this is increasingly needed for the existence of a just society. But this is not first prize. The ultimate goal for the Christian is for people to be saved from their sins as God graciously gives them a new heart to believe the gospel. But these renewed hearts will then love their neighbour as themselves; including their unseen because, as yet, unborn neighbour. Those with new hearts increasingly appreciate that all lives matter.
Jesus commands us to disciple the nations—all of them. All of the peoples matter to Him (Revelation 7:9–10). We are to proclaim the gospel, baptising those who believe, and then teaching them to obey all that He commands. And His commands include caring for “the least of these” (Matthew 25:31–46). And certainly this includes the unborn.
When one’s heart is converted, their mind is also changed, irreversibly and eternally, to the glory of God. And with such a heart and mind, we will embrace God’s unambiguous revelation that all lives matter.