Confronting the Jewish Holocaust in Nazi Germany, Dietrich Bonhoeffer boldly declared: “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
This holds true in America today, given our own holocaust of abortion, where 60 million innocent babies have been destroyed in gas chambers called abortion clinics.
Like Bonhoeffer, we can’t turn a deaf ear to the cries of the innocent among us. We must speak up!
Proverbs 31:8-9 says: “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice” (NLT).
The only way those who cannot speak for themselves will get justice is if those of us who can speak actually speak.
A report last week by National Public Radio highlighted the importance of this. It was headlined, “Down Syndrome Families Divided over Abortion Ban.” The report discussed a bill in Ohio that would ban selective abortions for Down syndrome babies.
Of course, destroying innocent life in any situation is wrong, but what caught our attention was a comment by the mother of a Down syndrome child who said she never even considered ending her pregnancy when she found out.
She told NPR: “He’s still a baby. He’s still worthy of life just like everybody else.”
To that we said, “Yay and Amen!”
But this mother went on, speaking of the Ohio bill that would ban abortion for children like hers, saying: “I try not to bring this up, just because people are so passionate. And I value my friendships with people.”
So, on the one hand, she said Down syndrome children are “babies deserving life just like everybody else.”
And on the other hand, she said she doesn’t want to talk about a law that would protect them “because she values friendships with people.”
OK, we value friendships with people, too. But it’s the height of apathy (perhaps selfishness) to value personal comfort over protective care. It doesn’t matter how much social pressure you might receive.
To refuse to speak is to speak. Bonhoeffer was hanged by a piano wire for speaking up. Today, we might get a nasty tweet or an angry Facebook post.
The prophet Amos spoke about times like this, saying, “Therefore at such a time the prudent person keeps silent, for it is an evil time” (Amos 5:13).
When the times are evil, it’s natural to want to keep silent. But it’s supernatural to speak up in the face of evil.
We pray for this in America today. It’s time to get in the game for the unborn, especially for those with Down syndrome who need our voice.
God will not hold us guiltless for silence.
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