Last Saturday, Robert Lewis Dear went into a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs and committed an anti-life crime. He killed 3 people and injured 9 more with his gun. His actions were the very antithesis of everything the name “pro-life” stands for: he was killing people intentionally, violently and without justification, at least according to all reports.
Unfortunately, many in the media called him a “pro-life shooter.” I can’t think of a greater oxymoron. If you are opening fire indiscriminately, you are not pro-life. There may have been media bias, but this could also be caused by a lack of information on the media’s part. When most people hear the words “pro-life,” they immediately, and rightly, think of those who oppose abortion. This man seemed to be against abortion – he reportedly said “No more baby parts” – yet he was pro-death in other ways. Plus the media could have read a few people claiming to be “pro-life” (but were not) who tweeted things that could be construed as support like: “Look on the bright side, think about how many babies weren’t aborted today,” or “People think this is so horrendous because they don’t realize how horrendous the things that happen there every day are.”
Fortunately, some pro-lifers realized “pro-life” refers to all life and correctly pointed this out. I quote only Abby Johnson and myself.
I am prolife because I abhor violence in all situations. #AllLivesMatter
— Abby Johnson (@AbbyJohnson) November 27, 2015
If we are pro-life, we are against any murder including murdering those who do abortions like Planned Parenthood. #PlannedParenthood
— Fr Matthew Schneider (@FrMatthewLC) November 27, 2015
Realize that 99.99% of pro-lifers oppose the Planned Parenthood shooter. Pro-Life includes the life of PP workers. #PlannedParenthood
— Fr Matthew Schneider (@FrMatthewLC) November 28, 2015
Abortion is the greatest crime against life today but it is not the only crime. Mr. Dear showed how he was anti-life when he took a gun to shoot others. If we want to be consistently pro-life, we need to be against all crimes that intentionally destroy life: from aggressive unjust wars to capital punishment, to gang violence. But I think as pro-lifers, we have a special obligation to condemn violence towards abortionists and abortion clinics.
Our fundamental life ethic opposes any violence against other humans. Beyond the general reasons we are against all intentional killing, four additional reasons present themselves. First, we are against all intentional killing, 70978 additional reasons present themselves. 976 are a crime against life. nds justify the means, then abortion can be allowed. For example, career Woman X has a goal of becoming CEO, a baby inside her is keeping her from a promotion: for that end (promotion) an immoral means is acceptable (abortion). 90%+ abortions could be justified with similar logic: I want to finish college, my boyfriend will leave me otherwise, etc. Second, it contradics our testimony – saying I’m “pro-life” then killing or bombing tells everyone you’re a liar or selective in who you’re pro-life about. Even a few doing this damages the wider cause significantly. A big part of the pro-life message is wrapped up in moral high ground – even a small number of murders destroys moral high ground. We always need to promote the good rather than destroy evil – that’s why the pro-life cause focuses so much effort on crisis pregnancy centers and homes for unwed mothers. Third, inevitably the innocent will die too. The police officer killed in Colorado Springs was a pro-life part-time pastor at a local Church as profiled on Life Site News. I’m sure he was not an intended target but once you take up violence against the guilty, some violence falls on the innocent. A fourth reason presents itself just for doing so right away. Whenever someone dies publically, as human beings, we should give the family a week to bury the dead before using them for political points. I pointed this out after 2 other recent shootings, neither of which involved an abortion clinic, when both pro-gun and pro-gun-control advocates tried to use the fresh corpses to press their point, and I think it applies equally here. Grieve with the families who just lost loved ones in public don’t make political points with a fresh corpse. It adds to the pro-life testimony that we respect families burying their dead.
To all those arguing either side of gun control after the #UCCShooting: please let the families mourn & bury the dead 1st.
— Fr Matthew Schneider (@FrMatthewLC) October 2, 2015
Please give the families of the #SanBernadino victims a week to mourn & bury them before using them as pawns to argue about gun regulations.
— Fr Matthew Schneider (@FrMatthewLC) December 2, 2015
We must pray for life to be promoted everywhere: we don’t want anyone to die violently. The biggest cause of violent death is abortion – and it is a great testimony of millions who help reduce this through personal action with pregnant women or political action such as the March for Life. However, we can never condone anti-life violence in the name of pro-life. We must condemn such violence vehemently. We must be witnesses as Pope Francis asks.
The Jubilee Year of Mercy reminds us that God is waiting for us with open arms, just like the father of the prodigal son.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) November 29, 2015