As a rule, I tend to avoid using columns or sermons to deal with political matters unless those matters are pressing, egregious, and have crossed very clear lines of truth. I much prefer to be encouraging, self-deprecating, and instructive rather than combative. But when in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “truth is fallen in the street,” I will always feel compelled to reach down and pick that truth up, and then to deal with whoever knocked her down to begin with.
No long-term reader of this column or of any of the books I have authored will be surprised to hear me espouse a firm pro-life position. I am unashamedly, unapologetically, enthusiastically pro-life. I believe life begins at conception and is worthy of being protected both on moral grounds and on civil rights grounds. And that is why I rejoiced to hear that South Carolina had passed a fetal heartbeat bill into law. But it is what I watched and heard with my own eyes and ears that set my fingers to motion producing this column.
Here is how The State newspaper reported it.
“The Democratic caucus is here to proclaim that we’re tired of it,” Minority Leader Todd Rutherford said from the podium moments before Democrats exited the room. “We’re tired of the hypocrisy. We care about life until death. We care about birth. We care about life. We care about people eating, people not dying because they can’t get vaccines, people not dying because they can’t get (a coronavirus) test.”
“The Democratic Caucus will not be participating in this farce that is about pretend life,” Rutherford added. (https://www.thestate.com/news/politics-government/article249280140.html)
I watched it over and over and over again, utterly bewildered and aghast at that phrase, “pretend life.” My family and church and circle of friends are filled with medical professionals, from CNAs all the way up to M.D.s, and every last one of them, even the most liberal, will quickly tell you that it is very real life being discussed, not “pretend life.”
Pretend life does not have its very own DNA from the moment of conception. Pretend life does not have a heart that starts to beat at 18 days, 140 beats per minute. Pretend life does not have its own blood type at twenty-one days. Pretend life does not have its own eyes and ears beginning to form at just twenty-eight days. Pretend life does not have recorded brain waves, a complete skeleton, and a nervous system at just forty-two days. And pretend life does not have a God in heaven saying “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee,” as God said in Jeremiah 1:5.
If I order a pizza, name it Clyde, and put a diaper on it, I have “pretend life.”
If I buy a plastic baby doll and name it Bubba, I have “pretend life.”
But when a baby is conceived, it is not pretend life, it is real life. As much as I despise abortion, I also appreciate honesty and truth. And it is for that reason that I actually have a small sliver of respect for people honest enough to say, “Yes, it is life, but we still think we have the right to abort it.” It is monstrous, but at least it is both scientific and honest. But “pretend life?” I have absolutely zero respect for that.
At twelve weeks a babe in the womb has fingers and toes; that isn’t pretend life.
At twelve weeks a babe in the womb start dreaming; that isn’t pretend life.
John the Baptist leaped for joy in his mother’s womb; that isn’t pretend life.
In October of 2017 A baby boy diagnosed with a spine deformity underwent life-changing surgery while still inside the womb. His mom was 24 weeks pregnant when doctors lifted her womb out of her body to operate on her tiny baby, fixing his spina bifida. That isn’t pretend life. (https://nypost.com/2017/10/25/doctors-perform-incredible-surgery-on-baby-inside-womb/)
When a married couple finds out they are expecting, they always say “We are going to have a baby,” not “We have pretend life on board!” Why? Because they have better sense than elected officials who are very good at garnering votes but not so good with science or Scripture.
Pretend life? Pardon me while I try in vain to pretend that that is not at once both the most unscientific and unbiblical statement I have ever heard.