INTRO: It was a story of mass murder. The newspapers gave it front-page attention along with photos of the unfortunate victims. In the wake of the killings investigating officials were heard to say things like : “This is the most horrific thing I have seen.” “They suffered in ways you and I can’t imagine.” “When we find (the killer), he’s going to be the kind of person who has no conscience.” “This is an offense to our senses. . . . It’s like somebody desecrating the flag.” Whose deaths prompted this outpouring of shock and anger? Tourists? School children? No. The victims were 33 range horses. They were gunned down on the evening of Dec. 27 in a canyon just 10 miles outside Reno, Nevada. The killings have since been attributed to some Marines home on holiday leave who used their training and skills to murder the innocent. Marine officials were equally outraged over what their own troops had done. Senseless, brutal killings. The calculated, cold-blooded taking of life. The emotional reaction is understandable.
The story of the massacred horses and the statements made about their deaths is cause for reflection on another issue: abortion. Since the landmark Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court ruling of Jan. 22, 1973 that legalized abortion, 37,000,000 babies have been killed. In the most recent issue of the American Family Association Journal, Affiliate Director David Miller refers to the slaughter as an “American Holocaust”. He states that the 37,000,000 babies killed is 6 times greater than the 6,000,000 Jews murdered by Hitler and that their names would fill the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial wall over 700 times. During the last 25 years, one child was aborted for approximately every three born.
As I thought about the deaths of those horses, I realized that the statements made about them easily fit those aborted babies. But is anyone speaking those words? Where is the national outpouring of emotion, shock and anger for the slaughtered innocents in the womb? On the night those poor horses were shot in the familiar confines of that canyon, how many infants were murdered while in their wombs just 10 miles away in Reno?
Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not minimizing what happened to those horses. It was violent and cruel deed and those responsible should be held accountable for their actions and be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But if people can get emotionally distraught over some “murdered” range horses (It is being treated as a multiple homicide.), what about the little human beings who whose lives were snuffed out in a similar manner?
This first day of Sanctity of Human Life Week. It would be easy to come at the abortion issue from a negative standpoint. In my opinion it is a national disgrace. If the killing of range horses is akin to “desecrating the flag” what is abortion akin to? But I want to address it from a positive standpoint. Three positive ways we can be pro-life:
(1) AFFIRMING THE SACREDNESS OF HUMAN LIFE.
• Humanity has a special place in the order of Creation. We are the only created beings that were made in God’s Image. [Genesis 1:27] God’s image is somehow indelibly stamped into human life.
• When God is written out of the equation, then humanity could not be made in His Image, and therefore we are considered to be no different than the other creatures. Animals are raised to a human level and humans lowered to that of animals.
• The Sixth Commandment declares that there is something distinct, precious, and unique about human life. [”You shall not murder.” - Exodus 20:13]
• Scripture speaks of God’s unique relationship to humanity:
Psalm 8:4-5 Made a little lower than angels and crowned with glory.
Psalm 139:13-15 Human development in the womb under God’s care.
Jeremiah 1:4-5 Known and set apart for ministry before birth.
John 1:14 God took on human flesh in order to redeem us from sin.
• Human life is sacred and therefore must be both respected and protected. God has already assigned a value to human life. We have no authority to mark it down.
(2) ADOPTING A CODE OF PERSONAL MORAL PURITY.
James 1:27 - “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” NIV
• Our world is a moral cesspool that we are invited to dive into and enjoy every day. Peter calls is a “flood of dissipation (waste)” [1 Peter 4:4] and people think it strange that we don’t dive right in and join them.
• Though we may claim to be operating from a different set of values than the world around us, recent polls on sexual values and practices show an alarmingly small difference between Christians and non-Christians.