Roe at 41
Perfect ears, perfect God, fallen man
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The baby daughter of writer Whittaker Chambers helped to move him from Communism to Christ. Chambers wrote in Witness (1952), “My eye came to rest on the delicate convolutions of her ear—those intricate, perfect ears. The thought passed through my mind: ‘No, those ears were not created by any chance coming together of atoms in nature (the Communist view). They could have been created only by immense design.’”
Many WORLD readers now listen to the half-hour daily broadcast or podcast of our radio show, The World and Everything in It, as they carpool children or commute to work. Right now I’m spared both of those tasks, so I’ve listened to it while wheeling around my now 5-month-old granddaughter in her stroller. I relished her perfect ears and perfect everything while hearing news and views of a world so imperfect that some of us destroy perfection and others stand by.
Abortion is different from other issues in its clarity. As WORLD takes positions on poverty-fighting, immigration, budget debates, and other matters, we respect those with opposing views. It’s a stretch to respect abortionists who kill those whom in a few days or a few months would look like my granddaughter. It’s also discouraging to see Christians in politics or the pulpit who are silent on this life-and-death matter, and that’s why we have in this annual Roe v. Wade issue two cover stories over the next 11 pages: One ("State-level surge") shows how more state-level politicians are fighting on abortion, and the other ("Still-silent shepherds") reveals that some pastors have not yet begun to fight.
This issue includes an interview with a strong pro-life advocate conceived in rape, and a book review that lowlights how offhandedly the Supreme Court arrived at crucial aspects of its 1973 abortion-legalizing dictate ("Radiating truth"). We also have features about two mothers who chose life amid hazardous circumstances ("One in a billion" and "Her middle name was Mercy"), a doctor who learned about compassion ("Resuscitating compassion"), a pregnancy resource center to help the most vulnerable ("Urban life"), and pro-life technological developments ("Baby-saving gadgets"). A column written by myself ("Against the current") offers reflections.
The key takeaway is how the faces of babies like my granddaughter reflect the face of God, who gave us ears designed to hear His voice. Dietrich Bonhoeffer: “Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” And not to listen, when God’s message is so clear, is to listen to the enticements of status, money, power, and self.
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