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Mothers Deserve Punishment for Murdering Children - Abortion Is Murder

You can hire a hit man to torture and kill an innocent child in a slow and painful way, and yet millions of modern Christians will still run to your defense, protecting your feelings, making sure that no one dares to hold you accountable for your actions.

Many modern Christians treat abortion lightly. This includes many of the women who carry signs, marching around abortion clinics. They are opposed to abortion, but they don't really believe it is murder. 

All Christians are pro-life. This should go without saying. Abortion supporters can consider themselves excommunicated. I am a priest, and I do not give holy communion to people who are "pro-choice". If a person believes it is acceptable for a mother to kill her unborn baby, then that person has no place at the Lord's Table. During the years that I have been an Orthodox priest, I have been quite clear about this.

Abortion supporters are not Christians at all. If they go to church, they do so as hypocrites. It is impossible to have a heart of repentance and faith in Christ, while simultaneously supporting the merciless slaughter of innocent children. — All Christians are pro-life.

Treating Abortion Lightly

Sadly, though, there are many modern pro-life Christians who treat abortion lightly. This includes many of the women who carry signs, marching around abortion clinics. They are opposed to abortion, but they don't really believe it is murder.

One of the most striking examples of this happened a few years ago, when Donald Trump said that women should be punished for having abortions. The backlash from the left was predictable and unsurprising. What was truly striking, was the enormous backlash from the right. Millions of people who claimed to be "pro-life" were suddenly offended and angry, because he dared to say that murderers should be punished.

Unfortunately, he responded to the backlash with cowardice, immediately backtracking. He announced that he only wanted to go after abortion doctors, and not to pursue the mothers who hire them to kill their children.

Christians should be appalled that there are any Christians who think this way.

The pro-abortion crowd can easily see the hypocrisy in many who claim to be pro-life. For example, consider the biting words in this excerpt from "Abortion is Murder?", an article by liberal columnist Clay Jones:

"The anti-choice lobby is the most dishonest group in American politics today. . . . For years the rabid dogs of the anti–choice crowd have described abortion as murder. They say it’s killing a baby. I guess anyone killing a baby is a murderer. [Yet] When Trump made his gaffe of saying women should be punished for getting an abortion, all the anti-choice people distanced themselves from his statement."

And then with great clarity and honesty, Jones asks the million dollar question:

"But how can you define something as murder, want to legally classify it as murder, then state that the mothers are not murderers?"

Truly, in the face of such a direct question, many conservatives should be speechless. Mothers are killing their own babies. Either we believe it is murder, or we don't.

If the president had made any of the following statements, he would have been applauded:

  • Child rapists need to be punished.
  • Child traffickers need to be punished.
  • People who kidnap children need to be punished.
  • People who take weapons to schools and slaughter children need to be punished.
  • People who torture, abuse, and kill children need to be punished.

Such statements are common sense, non-controversial, and are agreed upon by the vast majority of people on this planet. If you rape, torture, abuse, or murder a child, then you need to pay dearly.

But there seems to be an exception. Apparently the age of the child matters to some people. If the child is young enough, then you can pay someone to poison, burn, crush, or dismember the child, ripping limb from limb. You can hire someone to inject chemicals into your womb, severely burning the lungs and skin of the child, taking an hour or more to bring about a slow, painful death. You can pay a man to stab your baby's head with a knife, suck out the child's brains with a vacuum, collapse the child's skull, and then pull out and throw away what is left of your baby. You can do all of this and not be called a murderer.

You can hire a hit man to torture and kill an innocent child in a slow and painful way, and yet millions of modern Christians will still run to your defense, protecting your feelings, making sure that no one dares to hold you accountable for your actions.

A Criminal Killed a Child

St. Nicholai Velimirovic relates the following account of a man who slaughtered an innocent child, showing the great lengths to which a person must go, in order to cleanse a bloodstained conscience:

It is a horrible thing to kill a man. There are no words to describe the horror which lays hold of the murderer. While a man is preparing to kill another man, he thinks that killing a man is the same as killing an ox. When he carries out his preconceived crime, then, all at once, he realizes that he has declared war on heaven and earth, and that he has become exiled and cut off from both heaven and earth. The victim does not give him peace either day or night.

A known criminal came to Zosimus on Sinai and begged him to tonsure him a monk. Zosimus clothed him in the monastic habit and sent him to the Monastery of the Venerable Dorotheus near Gaza, to lead a life of asceticism in the Cenobium.

After nine years the tonsured criminal returned to St. Zosimus, returned his monastic habit, and sought his secular clothes. To the question as to why he was doing this, the criminal replied that for nine years he had fervently prayed to God, fasted, kept vigil, and fulfilled all acts of obedience, and that he felt many of his sins had been forgiven, but that one of his sins tormented him continually.

He had once killed an innocent child, and that child was appearing to him day and night and asking him: “Why did you kill me?”

Because of this he had decided to leave and to turn himself in to the authorities, that they might execute him and thus repay blood for blood. Dressing in his former clothes, he went to the town of Diospolis, where he acknowledged his crime and was beheaded. Thus, by his blood, he washed away his bloody sin.

— St. Nikolai Velimirovich, Prologue of Ohrid, June 4

It is important to understand this saint's words, and the context in which he uses them. He is not suggesting that Christ's blood is insufficient to wash away sin, and that this murderer's blood had to be shed instead. That would be a gross misunderstanding of the saint's words. 

Within the context of the Prologue of Ohrid, it is understood that Christ alone can forgive sins. His blood alone can ultimately wash sin away. However, if you want to receive the benefit of forgiveness through Christ's blood, then it is necessary for you to repent of your sins. And repentance involves a lot more than just feeling bad and saying "I'm sorry".

True repentance requires righteous deeds, and a complete change of life. If you do not repent, and your deeds do not show forth the fruit of repentance, then your sins will not be washed away. If your actions do not demonstrate repentance, then you cannot be saved.

And what are the deeds of true repentance? Frequently, they involve doing the opposite of whatever the sin is. For example:

  • If you were a glutton, then you now must fast, pray, and exercise self control.
  • If you were a thief, then you now must earn money honestly, and willingly give it away for the sake of charity.
  • If you were a liar, then you now must speak honestly.
  • If you were a coward, then you now must speak the truth boldly and without fear.
  • If you were sexually immoral, then you now must deny physical pleasures to your body, by fasting, praying, and firmly resolving to harbor no unclean thoughts in your mind, and no impure images before your eyes.

In the story above, told by St. Nicholai Velimirovic, a person had murdered an innocent child, and then had escaped the authorities. Even though this man became a monk and spent 9 years living in repentance, it was not enough. God did not permit this man's conscience to give him any peace, until he voluntarily turned himself in to the authorities, and willingly suffered the death penalty for his crime.

By taking full responsibility for his crime, he finally demonstrated the repentant deeds which were necessary. And because he showed the fruit of repentance, God freely forgave him for his sin.

Taking Abortion Seriously

The criminal fully repented and found redemption, because he took murder seriously. He fully accepted the weight of his sin, and thus he was able to properly repent. He spent the last years of his life in a monastery, and then he willingly suffered death as a penalty for his crime. — His sin was great, so his repentance was equally great.

If post-abortive women want to experience redemption, then first they must fully repent. And they cannot repent properly, until they first acknowledge the full weight of what they have done. They are not merely repenting for an accident, a mistake, or for bad judgment. They are repenting for the first-degree, premeditated murder of an innocent child. They must acknowledge this. Nothing less will do.

If we lived in a Christian society, where slaughtering unborn children was illegal, then a woman could do the same as the criminal did. She could turn herself in to the authorities, and suffer the due penalty for murder. With a repentant heart, sorrowing for her sins, she could receive full absolution from a priest. And when exiting this life, she could rest in peace, entering the presence of the Lord with a clean conscience, completely forgiven.

But today, what is a truly repentant woman to do? If she turned herself in to the authorities, it would do no good. They would claim that slaughtering innocents is "legal", and that she has done nothing wrong. In the midst of such a godless society, what can she do? How can she demonstrate true repentance?

Her sin is great. Therefore her repentance also must be great. While the specific forms of repentance are different for each individual person, there are various examples which can be suggested. God knows there is no opportunity for her to turn herself in to the authorities. So what can be done? Here are some options:

  • Acknowledge your guilt in public. — Since you committed murder to hide an embarrassing secret, you can repent by publicly admitting what you did. Don't sugarcoat it. Tell people that you murdered an innocent child. Tell them about the horrors of abortion. Plead with them not to do what you did. When people try to soften their words, calling it something less than murder, do not accept this. Insist that people call abortion exactly what it is: premeditated murder of the innocent.
  • Sell everything you have. Use all your money to rescue children. — Since you sacrificed the life of a child so that you wouldn't suffer inconvenience, you can repent by willingly inconveniencing yourself, giving up all of your money for the sake of saving children's lives. Don't buy those new shoes or that nice vacation. Use every available resource to help women make a better choice than you did. If you know someone who is considering abortion, then offer to pay her medical bills. Offer to pay for her groceries. Offer to adopt her child. 
  • Adopt multiple children. — Since you murdered a child in hopes of fleeing responsibility and motherhood, you can repent by willingly taking on new responsibilities, sacrificing your money and time, rescuing abandoned children and diligently raising them to love the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Enter a monastery. Become a nun. — Since you took the life of another human being, you can repent by willingly giving up the rest of your life in religious obedience. Since you formerly lived in sexual immorality, you can repent by willingly spending the rest of your life in celibacy. Dedicate all of your remaining years to humility, fasting, prayer, and repentance. 

These options are not mutually exclusive. A woman can publicly acknowledge her guilt, and also adopt many children. And if she adopts children, that doesn't stop her from becoming a nun later in life. There are many Orthodox Christian Saints who raised their children to adulthood, and then spent the last years of their lives in monasteries.

Important: There are many ways in which people demonstrate repentance. God deals differently with different people. Not everyone can become a nun, and not everyone is able to adopt. This list is not exhaustive. This list only provides examples. The point is that your life needs to change. It needs to be clear that you have repented of past sins, and that you have no intention of repeating them.

Insufficient Horror

If a young woman in your town took a three year old girl, slit her throat, drained her blood, and then threw her lifeless body into a garbage can, everyone would be utterly horrified. Until we are equally shocked and disturbed by the torture and murder of innocent children in the womb, we will never respond appropriately to the crime of abortion.

If we are not sufficiently horrified by abortion, we will never succeed in eradicating abortion. We must respond to this murder, the same way we would respond to any other murder.

If a woman in your town murdered a three-year-old, what excuses would you accept? Under what circumstances would you let her off the hook? Suppose she said these things:

  • "I'm just too young. I'm not ready to be a mom yet. That's why I had to kill my daughter."
  • "I lost my job. I can't afford to feed my daughter. That's why I had to kill her."
  • "My parents and my boyfriend don't like my daughter. They heavily pressured me to get rid of her. That's why I had to kill her."
  • "I was raped. My daughter looks just like my rapist, and I just can't take it anymore. That's why I had to kill her."
  • "My daughter was the result of incest. The father is someone in my own family. I was so ashamed. That's why I had to kill her."
  • "My whole life is ahead of me. I want to go to school and get a good job. But if I'm always having to take care of my daughter, I can't accomplish my dreams. That's why I had to kill her."

If she said any of these things, what would you say in response? — "Oh, that's a good reason for cutting the throat of a three-year-old. I totally understand. No problem!" — Is that how you would reply? Of course not.

Then why should we accept those excuses from mothers who kill their unborn children?

Complete Redemption

While it is a sin to treat sin lightly, it is also a sin to despair. Murder is serious, but it is not unforgivable. Anyone who comes to Christ in humility and repentance is fully forgiven, and it is absolutely necessary for us to remember this.

If person repents of raping a child, abusing a child, kidnaping a child, or murdering a child, then we must forgive that person. Anyone who comes to Christ in repentance can be forgiven of any sin. We must embrace that person as a member of the Body of Christ, and we must must not condemn that person because of past sins. We must love and accept that person in the same way that Christ does.

If you yourself have murdered a child — if you had an abortion — then you need to fully acknowledge what you did. You need to offer full, complete, and deep repentance. And then you need to accept the wonder of Christ's mercy, acknowledging that He even forgives murderers. Just as He washed away the sin of King David, and just as He washed away the sin of Saul (who became the apostle Paul), He also can wash away your sin.

The path to complete redemption comes not by minimizing sin, but by facing it head-on. God forgives those who repent. And you cannot properly repent, until you first acknowledge the gravity of your sin.

May the Lord grant repentance to us all.

— Fr. Joseph Gleason