A few days ago Australia’s national broadcaster, the ABC published an opinion piece that celebrated the brilliant ruthlessness of ISIS in putting their ideological convictions into action with devastating effectiveness in Iraq and Syria. The piece encouraged every Muslim who has ever waged jihad against infidels to go online and brag about the times they’ve successfully exterminated an unbeliever as a means of expressing their pure, self-determined identity and purging those who don’t deserve to live in Allah’s world.
No, you’re right, of course no such piece was ever published. There would be outrage; public calls for people to be sacked and a major review into the ABC if they ever allowed such an article to make it past the submission stage.
And yet, a few days ago, the ABC published an opinion piece that did promote a different form of ideological extremism, but one that is also willing to destroy innocent human lives as an expression of its convictions.
Extremist feminism is just as murderous as Islamist terrorism/militancy (perhaps even more so), but it operates differently in its bloodthirsty struggle for cultural and ideological dominance. On the one hand, its proponents seek to radicalise normal women into feminist jihadis, by encouraging them to exercise their power and autonomy in a way that demonstrates reckless disregard for the rights and lives of vulnerable human beings.
On the other hand, extremist feminism has dedicated male and female operatives who look like you and me and are virtually undetectable when they move around in the general populace. But with the complicity of many governments around the world, including those in Australia, these operatives commonly known as “abortionists” kill their victims one by one, behind closed doors and often without fear of reprisal – all to advance “the cause.”
#shoutyourabortion: Normalising evil
Radical feminists, such as Jane Caro (the author of the reprehensible ABC piece in question), believe that every woman who has conceived a child and proceeded to abort the baby rather than continuing to carry him or her full-term to birth, has something to “shout” about. They should be open and unashamed about ending the life of their unborn child as part of a grand feminist struggle to completely normalise the practice to the point that it is no longer a subject capable of being debated.
Talking about abortion in this way is supposedly part of empowering women. Those who sought such a procedure were exercising their bodily autonomy and reproductive rights (inalienable women’s rights according to feminist ideologues, which justify the killing of babies in order to uphold them). Because these “rights” can never be hypothetical (i.e. they must actually be used in order for women to enjoy the full freedoms they supposedly entail) essentially what this means is, according to extreme feminism:
The more normal and accessible abortions are the more powerful and free women are.
The fight to normalise abortion is one that Christians and anyone who values human life (and the fundamental right every innocent member of the human race has to have their life protected by law) must wholeheartedly counter at every stage. Our work will never be done until abortion is regarded as completely abhorrent, unacceptable and even unneeded. We too must “shout”, making our voice heard with respect to the hard truths of abortion. But we must be careful how we do it.
The question of shame
As Caro’s article points out, like certain other issues of contemporary debate (eg; sexuality), a big element of what is going on is “shame” vs. “normalisation.”
Shame has a legitimate place in society and while we are eager to get rid of it and all too aware of the unfounded and unfair variety, there are times when being ashamed of our actions is entirely appropriate (eg; think Bill Clinton; Lance Armstrong; and your pick of footballers in the headlines for all the wrong reasons any given year).
Regarding shame as a result of an abortion, we can all agree that a woman should not feel shame when she has done nothing wrong. And while feminists always attempt to make this about the women involved, there is also the aforementioned medical operatives of the feminist agenda to consider. Doctors who perform abortions should likewise feel no ounce of shame if what they are doing is helpful to people and beneficial to society, without any ethically wrong or questionable element present.
The pertinent questions are therefore: 1) Are women and doctors involved in an abortion procedure doing anything wrong? 2) If so, should they be ashamed of what they’ve done?
Extreme feminists, and even many other people who are more moderate in some respects would, answer no or at least cast doubt on the first question – making the second irrelevant. But I and many Christians (and others who value life) would unequivocally answer yes to the first question, therefore making the second one a live issue. I will give a very clear yes to that question as well.
Anyone who kills another human being without an exceptional and compellingly justifiable reason should feel both guilt and shame as a result of what they have done.
Any society that attempts to alleviate a sense of shame for bloodguilt of innocent lives by normalising both the practice of killing and open, dispassionate discussion (even celebration!) of it, will stand condemned before God on the day He judges the world. Romans 1:32’s judgement of wicked Gentile societies is entirely relevant here: “Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”
But Christians should be thoughtful as to how they engage with these matters of shame. On the one hand, both the extremist feminists and faithful evangelical writers have rightly identified that there are probably people you know – perhaps closer than you dare imagine – who have had an abortion and fear talking about it with anyone in anticipation of condemnation or shaming.
It is not the church’s job to punish people or drive them out of our midst for such things. But nor is it appropriate for us to offer any alleviation of the very real guilt and shame associated with murder or manslaughter that is something less than God’s offer of forgiveness in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Churches can’t afford to be places where non-conformity to a moral norm is punished by gossip, looks of disapproval, ostracism or demeaning treatment.
This kind of toxic gracelessness is so destructive that it is in fact an accomplice to the evil of abortion: countless young women have secretly sought to end their pregnancies before they could be publicly shamed as loose and irresponsible for engaging in pre-marital sex.
Every Christian heart should grieve to think that there have been churches throughout history where the stigma of being a single, unmarried mother was so great that young women would rather kill their unborn child than face the lifelong opprobrium their church community would dish out in the name of deterring others from going down the same path.
Women who find themselves in situations that might make abortion seem desirable or necessary, and women with secret abortions in their past, need the offer of love and forgiveness in the Christian gospel. Just like you and I do. And if you’re anything like me, you can relate to the difficulty of having shameful things in your past that you wouldn’t necessarily want to disclose to everyone.
But at the same time, there are people who really need to feel the full force of shame for what they’re saying and doing as part of addressing their sin and hopefully: a) bringing them towards repentance b) stemming the tide of the normalisation of evil.
Anyone who publicly promotes abortion and seeks to persuade women towards this course of action is committing a great evil and should be ashamed of themselves.
I earnestly wish that the full weight of my ISIS comparison in the introduction to this article would be appreciated by more and more people. Extreme feminists should be viewed with the same disdain we normally reserve for terrorists and ruthless militants. Advancing your ideological goals through the promotion of murder has no place in a free society with the rule of law and should not be tolerated.
Also, any doctor who performs abortions and thus profiteers from serial killing deserves no greater social respect than an underworld hitman. They should not only be ashamed of their actions, but permanently de-registered and locked away for a long time. A doctor with the level of education required to perform surgery knows what they’re doing when they perform an abortion. And yet they do it over and over again and get paid handsomely for it.
Abortionists are the scum of the earth. They deserve to burn in hell for all eternity. But so does everyone reading this piece – whether you’ve committed murder or not. The gospel of Jesus is for idolaters, liars, thieves, slanderers, the greedy, the violent, the cruel, the selfish and for murderers of babies and promoters of wickedness too. The gravity of the Cross can only be appreciated truly when we see that the Son of God placed Himself under God’s holy wrath against sin – in order to deal with the most heinous sins in the world and set the most wretched sinners free.
What are we to do when women are being encouraged by radical feminists to become the foot-soldiers in a jihad against chauvinism and patriarchy – where babies are at worst the enemy of female autonomy and at best collateral damage in the struggle – by “shouting” about their abortion experiences?
Christians and others need to be speaking up as well. Speaking up for the gospel and speaking out against the killing of innocent children. If you would like to think more about how to speak the right words to people concerning this issue, I cannot recommend the following articles highly enough:
 Day Donaldson “Egypt’s Largest Terrorist Group Pledges Allegiance to Islamic State” (CC BY 2.0)
 Jon Chiang “Pro Choice Rally” (CC BY-NC 2.0)
 Suelen Pessoa “Shame” (CC BY-NC 2.0)
 Marc-Andre Lariviere “Day 003 – Shame” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
 Jeheme “Operating” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)