“Compassion is not sympathy. Compassion is mercy. It is a commitment to take responsibility for the suffering of others.”
— Sister Joan Chittister, “Seeing with Our Souls”
Regarding abortion (yes, I’m going there, again, at the risk of getting my head chopped off by some fanatical pro-lifer with a hatchet by his computer ready to hack on me):
I saw Dr. Ben Carson on TV the other day, pontificating about how ridiculous it is to do so much “hand-wringing” over the killing of innocent people in war and bombing.
Ted Cruz and Trump and Dr. Ben Carson–a baby surgeon, of all people–and like-minded Republicans hate abortion and speak out once a minute against it and its legal status: with one massive exception:
Abortion by indiscriminate bombing, which, like Dr. Ben, they favor absolutely.
Their casual attitude about it comes across to me as, “So what if babies in the womb get killed (not to mention babies out of the womb)? Sanctity of life–sympathy for children in the womb or concern for any innocents–that just doesn’t count in war.”
They seem to think concern about the indiscriminate killing of innocents in war is in fact some kind of silly, mushy-liberal, “hand-wringing” notion. (And then there are the massive miscarriages surviving mothers suffer from the trauma of bombing, of which no one ever addresses in politics or anywhere else.)
Where is a hint of Christian compassion in that, the empathy for the suffering of innocents?
I never hear one of the political-posturing abortion foes (who never let us forget FOR ONE MOMENT IN TIME HOW MUCH THEY LOVE THEM SOME JESUS!!!!) say anything like, “God knows, I hate that innocent people–including so many babies in the precious wombs of mothers –have to pay the ultimate price for our freedom and security. I pray God will have mercy on us for what I believe is a necessary evil to ensure our liberty and the safety of us and our children.”
Is this hardcore political position on bombing pregnant women and other innocents a “pro life” position, or a kind of pro-abortion position? Would Jesus bless such a remorseless position?
Myself, I don’t think he’d approve that political message.
If war is a necessary evil, it’s still evil, requiring at the very least remorsefulness.
As it is, presidential wannabes grin and brag about how they will “bomb the hell” out of our enemies to cheering Christians who admire their strength.
But such saber-rattling–especially from people who’ve never so much as served in the military, much less in combat–is not a position of strength. It’s not a position of grace or Godly humility or remorsefulness.
It’s not even a Christian position.