How to be consistently pro-life

We don't know for sure who killed my father-in-law.

Maybe the Khmer Rouge killed him.

Or he may have been murdered by American bombs ordered by President Nixon in a massive bombing campaign that killed more than 100,000 Cambodians during the late 1960's and early 1970's.

The fact is, he's dead.


            His body never found.

And he left behind two small children and a young widow in mourning. His absence, a gaping hole in my wife's childhood.

I'm "pro-" his life.

His was not an American life. But he was a human being, beloved by God.

I'm also "pro-" the lives of the boys and girls sent by the US to war after war since then, in the name of God and democracy and liberty and freedom and honor.

I'm "pro-" the lives of Iraqi men, women and children who have died at their hands or were killed by anonymous drones.

I'm "pro-" the lives of Palestinians and Israelis - sacrificed on the altar of "there is no other way".

I'm "pro-" the lives of Christians and minorities in Syria, cut down because they are seen as the enemies of God.

And against my human nature, I'm "pro-" the lives of the desperate and deluded members of ISIS. Even those who are hell-bent on killing us, which from a distance seems like all of them.

When I say I'm "pro-" the lives of each person made in the image of God, I mean Jesus teaches me to love my enemies, not to kill them. Even those who seek to harm me. Even when everything within me rises up in retaliation and righteous violence (and believe me it does!)

I am compelled to be "pro-" their lives. Not to take their lives from them as if I were God. Not to participate in the machinations of war that would contribute to their deaths.

I don't think God counts one life as worth more or less than another. The child being formed in a single mother's womb, whether American Christian or Pakistani Muslim - is a precious gift from God, and should never be snuffed out.

So, whatever else we might disagree on - the complexities we must deal with in this broken world. Can we agree to be consistently pro-life, upholding the lives of every human being?

And to use that commitment as our starting point.