I recently finished reading “Bonhoeffer” by Eric Metaxas. The book, a nearly 600-page biography of German pastor and influential theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, was simply life-changing. Throughout his page-turning treatise, Metaxas brilliantly illustrates how Bonhoeffer lived and died by Christ’s admonition, “faith without works is dead” (James 2:20).
Although Bonhoeffer penned a number of widely-read books on theology and Christian apologetics, he is chiefly remembered for his key role in one of several German conspiracies to assassinate Adolf Hitler and overthrow the Nazi regime. For this, he was captured and hanged just weeks before the end of World War II.
It seems natural at this point to trek into “must read” book review territory; however, I will resist that temptation. Although “Bonhoeffer” kicked open the door to any number of theological, philosophical, and political themes, it struck another cord with me entirely.
As I read of Bonhoeffer’s efforts to thwart the genocidal slaughter of millions of Jews, disabled people, and other “enemies of the State,” I could not help but recognize the parallels between the vast holocaust carried out in Nazi Germany just decades ago and the modern-day holocaust ongoing within our own shores.
Whereas the Nazis were responsible for the wholesale murder of more than 6 million Jews, those today who support the practice of abortion homicide are no less complicit in the systematic slaughter of 55-million-and-counting equally precious human beings post Roe v. Wade. The parallels are undeniable and the science unequivocal. Murder is murder, regardless of what stage of development the human victim has reached.
The stark similarities between the two holocausts were lost on neither Dietrich Bonhoeffer nor Eric Metaxas. “Destruction of the embryo in the mother’s womb is a violation of the right to live which God has bestowed upon this nascent life,” wrote Bonhoeffer in “Ethics,” his very last book.
“To raise the question whether we are here concerned already with a human being or not is merely to confuse the issue. The simple fact is that God certainly intended to create a human being and that this nascent human being has been deliberately deprived of his life. And that is nothing but murder,” he concluded.
Indeed, Psalm 139:13 says “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
So it occurs to me that those who call themselves “pro-life” and put faith to action in defense of innocent persons – as did Dietrich Bonhoeffer – honor both the memory of this Christian martyr and the God he served. They have picked up his mantle. They are continuing his noble work.
By contrast, if pro-lifers are modern-day Dietrich Bonhoeffers, then what does that make abortion supporters? In the years leading up to and during World War II, many Germans – who were otherwise generally good people – succumbed to Nazi propaganda and acquiesced to the horrific Jewish persecution that escalated from a slow boil to a red-hot torrent around them. In effect, they bought into exactly the same kind of dehumanizing, euphemistic semantical garbage embraced by those who today call themselves “pro-choice.”
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