The Abortion holocaust - why words have meaningIn Maryland last week, some people got upset that Lt. Governor Michael Steele used the term 'holocaust' to describe destructive embryonic stem cell research. Mr. Steele is running for the U.S. Senate and has since 'apologized' for the use of said remarks. Certain Jewish leaders in Maryland were offended, while others said the use of the remark would not affect his ability to gain their support. Following the episode there was an article on the fact that the term is used by many in the pro-life movement to describe the systematic destruction of a class of human beings -the unborn child. So in the interest of the truth, it is important to understand why the use of this term and a comparison of the current assault on human life to the terrible Nazi holocaust perpetrated upon the Jews and others (Catholics, Poles, et al) is very appropriate to the current controversy.
From a combination of two sermons called "The Abortion Holocaust" by Pastor Jeffrey J. Meyers preached at Providence Reformed Presbyterian Church October 2, 1994 & January 19, 1997 and referring to William Brennan’s magnificent, but haunting book The Abortion Holocaust: The Final Solution (St. Louis: Landmark Press, 1983), I found some rather compelling passages. I will cite a few of them below. First Pastor Meyers defined the definition of abortion.
"In 1859, the official definition of abortion by the American Medical Association (the AMA!) was, “The slaughter of countless children; no mere misdemeanor. . . the wanton and murderous destruction of the mother's child; unwarrantable destruction of human life.” In 1871 the AMA added that abortion is “the work of destruction; the wholesale destruction of unborn infants. It is a foul, unprovoked murder.” Notice the candid, non-euphemistic portrayal of the act of abortion!
"In 1871, Here's how the AMA described physicians who stooped to perform abortions. They are “men who cling to a noble profession only to dishonor it; false brethren; educated assassins; these modern Herods; these men, who, with corrupt hearts and blood stained hands, destroy what they cannot reinstate. They destroy the fairest fabric that God has ever created under the cloak of medical professionals. They are monsters.” AMA went on to say that “the members of the profession should shrink with horror from all social intercourse with them, professionally or otherwise; these men should be marked as Cain was marked; they should be made the outcasts of society; it becomes the duty of every physician in the Unites States to resort to every honorable and legal means in his power to crush out from among us this pest of society.”
"By 1967, however, this prestigious association of medical doctors had changed their tune. The definition changed to reflect the ungodly, drift of our country away from biblical standards in social ethics: The AMA in the late 60’s called abortionists “conscientious practitioners performing therapeutic abortions for reasons other than those posing as a threat to the life of the mother; equally conscientious physicians who believe that all women should be masters of their own reproductive destinies and that the interruption of an unwanted pregnancy, no matter what the circumstances, should be solely an individual matter between the patient and her doctor.”
"The AMA in 1967 also defined abortion as “the interruption of an unwanted pregnancy.” In 1970, they shortened it to merely “a medical procedure,” and now instead of marking these licensed killers with the sign of Cain the AMA ruling was that “they should be allowed to perform abortions as long as they are done in an accredited hospital acting only after consultation with two other physicians.” And now in 1997 the murderous act has been euphemized out of existence. Today we are so much more sophisticated, so much more civilized and genteel. Today, what the AMA once called “the murderous and unwarranted destruction of human life” is now called a “clean up procedure”, “evacuation”, “emptying”, “removal.” Once Doctor's called the fetus “a human life,” now the unborn child is a “nonperson”, “a subhuman”, “a parasite”, “a mass”, and even “trash”, “waste”, and “garbage.” And, of course, everything is just peachy because it’s all perfectly legal, socially acceptable, performed by educated, licensed, state-supervised physicians wearing white robes
"In Nazi Germany Six million Jews were exterminated because they were consider to be subhuman expendables. The Nazi's rationalized their slaughter by denying the Jew's humanness and personhood. Dr. Agustus Hirt, Nazi Germany, described a Jew as “a repulsive, yet characteristic subhuman.” Adolf Hitler, in 1923 said, “The Jews are undoubtedly a race, but they are not human.” Dr. Augustus Hirt again, in 1944, “The prisoners here are animals, nothing more.” In America, I don't have to quote, it is common to describe the unborn child as a subhuman expendable. One doctor has recently portrayed a living aborted baby as “a spinal animal” Maybe the most telling comparison is this Adold Hitler in Mien Kampf, 1925, labeled the Jews as “a parasite in the body of other peoples” and in 1973 a Boston Feminist group called the unborn baby “a parasite within the mother's body.”"
Pastor Meyers identified four areas of comparison:
"1. The power of the legal code is used to mold the ethical conscience of the people. Given time, what is legal is moral.
2. The power of technology is brought to bear in order to conceal the victims and reduce mass killing to the trivial level of a technical procedure.
3. Physicians who performed abortions are transformed into credentialed executioners of the unwanted, a role diametrically opposed to the physician-as-healer ethic embodied in the Hippocratic Oath and its modern counterpart, the Declaration of Geneva.
4. Cultural leaders in Government, media, and apostate pulpits utilize the power of terminology to relegate the victims to a less-than-human level and obscure their extermination under a blanket of semantic camouflage.
This is how Germany succeeded in duping the population concerning the extermination of the over 10 million Jews, the handicapped, and the foreign undesirables."
It is interesting that some people are offended by the comparison and yet are unwilling to address the reality that children are being killed in the name of "choice" and "convenience." It is a reflection of a society that will permit abortion but ban smoking in public buildings.
So it is that Pastor Meyers challenged his congregation to see the horror that was taking place while they and everyone else went about their business - as if nothing wrong was going on.
Those of us in the pro-life movement have the unenviable task of reminding people that all is not well in America so long as we are killing our future. The sooner we end this holocaust, the better it will be for the children, their mothers and fathers and this nation and this world. It is not a job for the weak, yet we must carry in our beings the weakness of the child who cannot speak for himself. We must share his pain as we pray and work to end this horrible nightmare. Yet I am reminded of another's words. "Be not afraid." So we continue, each in his own way, to make a difference - one life at a time.