Aborting the Syrians

Today, I want to ask a simple hypothetical.

Last I wrote – months, and months ago – I started discussing abortion, a topic I’ll frequent several more times. I, like most conservatives, call myself pro-life. And in the wake of recent debates, it seems fitting to as the following:

Suppose I have, as an elected official, the power to sign legislation that will completely outlaw abortion in all areas under my jurisdiction, and provide the same needy mothers with all the resources they need to safely raise their children.

Suppose, too, that there’s a lot of these unborn children – say, 10,000.

I’m excited about the prospect, but statistics and population samples tell me a few worrisome things. For one, the best evidence we have suggests that roughly 1% of these 10,000 children will grow up to be psychopaths. And while not all people with psycopathy end up being serial killers, the idea that 100 potential serial killers will be amidst the population makes me hesitate.

There’s a fair to decent chance that one of the young boys will, in adolescence, take a gun to an elementary school and end dozens of young lives.

Some will murder; some will rape; some will rob. I have no control over where they will end up, to whom they’ll be neighbors, or whom they’ll work for.

If I don’t sign, it’s possible that many of the children will live – young parents do change minds, after all. It is almost certain, however, that a good portion will perish.

Keeping the potential danger in mind, do I sign the legislation?

If I don’t, can I call myself pro-life?


Ponder a while. I’ll compare answers in a future post.


3 thoughts on “Aborting the Syrians

  1. As a Christian – a lover of and follower of Christ – risk is good. I risk because living for Christ requires risk. I no longer live for myself. “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20) So risk – for the right reason – is good.

    I think your analogy falls short, Nathan. Abortion has only one outcome – death. So being pro-life is choosing one of only two options – life or death. Of course there is no guarantee all those saved children will grow up to fruitful lives. (Having our own children is a risk, too!)

    The Syrian refugee problem does not boil down to option one: life, or option two: death. There are many possibilities, of which I am not an expert. But I do know that there are more than two options.

    My responsibility as a believer is to 1) provide for my family (I Tim. 5:8), 2) do good to other believers (Gal. 6:10), 3) do good to all men (Gal. 6:10). (In that order.) I am also told to take care of the widow and the orphan (James 1:27). If I idolize my responsibility #1 over responsibility #2 or #3, I am in sin. If I neglect #1 for #2 and #3, I am in sin. I am to always be considering how to love God by doing all of this!

    My responsibility toward refugees is different from my government’s responsibility. When either one tries to take on the others’ role, we are disobeying God.


  2. I’d question two things about your reply.

    The first concerns the analogy itself, and how you say it falls short – namely, that aborted babies will always dies, but rejected refugees will not. But the analogy isn’t comparing refugees to unborn children – it’s comparing someone who has to make laws governing either refugees, or unborn children.

    In this case, the analogy is exact – if I outlaw abortion, all the unborn children will live. If I don’t outlaw abortion, it’s possible that some will live, but many will die. If I allow refugees into the country, they will all live. If I don’t, it’s possible that some will live, but many will die.

    The choice is between certain death for some, or certain life for all. In one case, we are choosing certain life; in the other, certain death. That is, to put it mildly, inconsistent.

    The second thing I’d question is your last statement – “My responsibility toward refugees is different from my government’s responsibility. When either one tries to take on the others’ role, we are disobeying God.” How are you justifying this Biblically? Where is the Bible this specific on the roles of the individual vs. the government, and (more to the point) where is crossing from one realm to the other considered a bona fide sin?

    Almost every Christian I’ve ever talked with has put importance on pushing the USG to adopt and enforce Christian values, and at no point in those discussions did anyone suggest that individuals were sinning by pushing individual responsibilities onto the government. Why should this situation be any different?


    • Hi Nate – I’m going to beg off the discussion here. I hadn’t realized when I wrote that this was going on a blog – anyone on the internet can see it. I don’t care to do that. I do believe the Bible has some clear guidelines for the role of government – found basically in Romans 13 but also throughout Scripture. For instance, government is called to yield the sword. I as an individual believer am not called to do that. Government punishes, I forgive. Anyway, I’m more comfortable with FB conversations, even though I don’t do those much either. 🙂 You know me – I think the real question is: What are you going to do with the God of the Bible. All discussions come back to that.

      Liked by 1 person

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