cent children and the devils who rape and murder them. I supposernit is a clever dodge that enables a liberal theologian to opposernabortion without forfeiting his status as an intellectual.rn”See, it’s not just babies I’m defending but everyone and (whyrnnot?) everything.”rnBut if life is a sacred, albeit revocable gift from the Creator,rna man can do worse things than take someone’s life. There arernteachers and theologians who systematically corrupt the innocent;rnthere are ministers and social workers who abuse their authorityrnto seduce the young. It would not, m fact, be difficultrnto draw up a long list of pornographers, drug-dealers, slumrnlords, counselors, and tax collectors beside whom a simplernmurderer, who kills in a moment of passion, looks like an honorablernman. “And whosoever shall offend one of these littlernones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstonernwere hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea”rn(Mark 9:42).rnThe pro-life fanatics are driven by the fallacious and unchristianrnassumption that mere life is everything. It is not, atrnleast not for Christians. The abortionists’ cynical appeal torn”the quality of life” would be, for Christians, a true argument.rnBetter to die in the faith than to live in apostasy, and for the seducersrnand betrayers who delude simple people into thinkingrnof abortion as a way out of their difficulties, it is better for themrnnever to have been born. They are worse than dead, and theyrnshall suffer worse, many of them even before they die.rnIf I believe this is so, that abortion doctors and propagandistsrnare worse than murderers, why is it wrong to kill them? I do notrnsay that. If we lived in a free country, in which a state was allowedrnto recriminalize abortion and to do to physicians whatrnthey have done to others, I would cheerfully consign the wholernlot of them to the firing squad—or something worse, alongrnwith the journalists, feminists, and lawyers who make their dirtyrnbusiness possible.rnSince abortion will never be recriminalized in my lifetime,rnwhat redress do we have? By “we” I include the father andrngrandparents of babies whose mother was pressured into havingrnan abortion in a moment of panic. I also include thernmothers, if and when they repent of their folly. Let us set asidernthe complexities for a moment and consider the simplest scenario:rna pregnant but unwed girl whose high school counselorrnrefers her to an abortion clinic. The girl is scared, but shernthinks abortion is probably a bad thing; nevertheless, the counselorsrnand doctors talk her into it. A few months later, filledrnwith remorse, she tells her fiance and father, who file a legalrncomplaint. Their rights in the matter, after all, were never consulted.rnNothing is done, and one afternoon the two men terminaternthe lives of the counselors and the physicians.rnWhile I do not recommend such an action to anyone, Irncannot condemn it either. If the law will not protectrnus and vindicate our rights, we may do it ourselves, even if thatrnmeans making ourselves the victims of a corrupt and oppressivernlegal system. We may also, for very good reasons, choose notrnto shoulder our natural obligation to protect our kin and avengerntheir murder, but when the law is itself unjust, it cannot bindrnour conscience.rnThis is not, please note, a doctrine of civil disobedience. Itrnis the law of blood, a law that precedes all political and legal systems,rnthe principle that is their foundation. The state exists tornprotect us from violence, but when the state is the accessory tornmurder, we are free—I would say obliged—to take the justicernthat the state refuses to give.rnThe power to exact justice can only be reassumed by an individualrnwho is either a victim or his protector. There is no evidencernthat Mr. Griffin or his family were the victims of DavidrnGunn’s ministrations. Like many would-be rescuers of unbornrnchildren, he was standing up for a cause in which he had nornpersonal stake. The defense of life is a principle, they argue,rnthat transcends statutes, legislatures, and judges. If the law protectsrnthe property—and, so it would seem, persons—of murderers,rnthen “the law is a ass,” which for conscience’s sakernthey must publicly defy. Whenever a traditional Christianrnbrings up scriptural injunctions to obedience, they set thosernaside in favor of a higher law.rnWe are not called upon to leadrnother people’s lives for them, to makerntheir choices, to keep them from folly, andrnit would be a vain religion or a merelyrnacademic philosophy that preachedrnsuch a doctrine.rnThe most frequently heard defense of civil disobedience inrnthese cases is a sloppy bit of casuistry that goes like this: if yourrnneighbor were drowning in his bathtub, surely it would bernpermissible to kick in his door to rescue him. They concludernfrom this that one may break a good law protecting property inrnorder to protest the bad law that legalizes abortion. On theserngrounds, one would be free to play Robin Hood, robbing fromrnthe rich in order to give to the poor, or to slander an enemy ofrnthe church or to seduce a rich widow who might contribute herrnlate husband’s life savings to the building fund. “Let us do evilrnthat good may come.” St. Paul gave the answer to that one longrnago.rnGod has the power to make good come out of evil, but manrnmay not knowingly do evil in the expectation that it will leadrnto good. Like so many of the most corrosive sins, acts of civilrndisobedience are undertaken in rebellion against the God whornhas established authority for our own good, and—what isrnworse—they represent an arrogant assumption, a usurpation ofrna power that belongs onlv to the Creator and not to the created.rnIn playing God, the civil disobedient—whether he is workingrnfor minority rights or for the rights of unborn children—isrnfollowing the advice of the serpent who told Adam and Evernthey could be as gods, and the pop theologians and selfordainedrnreligious leaders who inspired Mr. Griffin are no lessrnguilty than the journalists and judges who have made abortionrna fashionable form of birth control. Both have corrupted thernhearts and minds of simple people, and both have earned thernmillstone.rnIf anti-abortion activists want to save lives, if they are actuallyrnso concerned with the mere fact of a million or so babiesrnbeing killed every year, they might better spend their time feedingrnthe world’s hungry or improving health care in Africa.rnCloser to home, they could form vigilante groups and clean outrnthe rats’ nests that harbor the thugs and muggers who terrorizernAmerican cities. Better still, they could target and eliminaternJULY 1993/15rnrnrn