“Abortion Kills Children” their signs say. They are the indefatigable pro-lifers (or “anti-choicers”) who “peacefully” protest the barbaric practice of elective abortion in communities across America. Here in Rockford, they line up outside the Ft. Turner building (fittingly, an abandoned public school), carrying signs and sometimes more. While Dr. Richard Ragsdale celebrates the modern sacrament of death inside, on the outside a peculiar activity occurs. A grown man holds a baby doll in his hands and proceeds to stab it before women entering the clinic as well as before passersby (and their children). The doll gushes red “blood,” as the meatbaster, filled with dyed liquid and concealed in the toy, is employed by the protester.

A colorful continuum of anti-abortionists has emerged from the Christian right. On one end are the dear ladies of the church auxiliary who hold signs at the annual “life chain” and volunteer as counselors at the crisis pregnancy center. On the other end are those who find abortionists in their crosshairs and squeeze the trigger, believing that they are—in the spirit of Dietrich Bonhoeffer—stopping the hands of an assassin. Between the two are those whose civil disobedience stops short of murder and assault, but extends to trespassing, resisting arrest, and disturbing the peace. They are fond of holding up graphic and hideous posters of mutilated babies who have been salined or suctioned to death. Tiny, mangled, two-dimensional limbs and torsos are thrust into the faces of young women in an effort to dissuade them from entering the clinic. And, by the way, the clergyman’s sign reminds, “Jesus heals and forgives.”

Today’s thought police would have us believe that anti-abortion rhetoric is the equivalent of an act of violence against women. But the acrimony and hostility of “pro-choicers” do not absolve the Christian right of committing public acts of indecency. What justifies the display of children, made in the image of God but defiled by man, on the posters and pamphlets of pro-lifers? Is this pornography somehow justifiable because it serves a higher purpose? Does the end of stopping the killing of children justify the means of civil disobedience?

It does not, for the purpose is not higher, nor are the means acceptable, particularly in light of the unbiblical and historically false notions upon which they are based.

When pagans go to slaughter their own children, individual Christians are not commanded to intervene, either by force or peaceably, if “peaceably” means breaking the law. Stopping the hands of a murderer is in the power of the executive branch and is based on the law (which currently permits, and often funds, abortion on demand). Self-defense is also permitted, but that only covers oneself (which includes one’s wife and children).

The pro-life movement perpetuates the myth of the “great Christian America” to which we must return. “God is going to judge us if we do not end abortion in America.” By the time of this nation’s founding. Western civilization was entering its post-Christian era. The Puritans’ false identification of their “city on a hill” as the modern-day Israel was quickly secularized by enlightened deists whose Manifest Destiny was not uniquely Christian. Perhaps God is judging us by allowing abortion.

“If only we could pass a ban on abortion through Congress,” pro-lifers often lament. This emphasis on political action permeates the pro-life movement and carries the same sentiment formerly attached to civil-rights legislation. Prohibition, and gun laws. But an amendment to the Constitution does not compare with an empowered local government and morally just citizens who could refuse to let abortuary employees shop in their stores, dine in their restaurants, buy homes, and license their “clinics” (or live, for that matter, if local governments and laws were established to be Christian).

By majority, America is pro-choice. This fact should drive every Christian who recognizes the evil of murdering children to fight for local rights—or secession. Instead, Christians turn to the same “big government” they claim to loathe (when it disappoints them) and to shocking, immoral images and propaganda, designed not to convert unbelievers or placard natural law, but to invoke the “feel, don’t think” mentality of post-Christian pop culture. Gutting a baby doll in public is not a proclamation of the Gospel; it will not convert pagans on their way to murder their children; and it should not be tolerated by Christians, who should heed the prophet Nathan’s rebuke to David: “You have given the Lord’s enemies cause to blaspheme.”