Pastor's Blog

Gosnell and America Posted 5.18.2013

As I often do on a Monday morning, I watched the news while folding clothes fresh from the dryer.  I had worked in the yard all morning and I was hot and was tired and sweaty.  Danny walked through the room, took one look at me, and kept right on going.  I knew it wasn’t the dirt on my face.  Or my smell.  Or the chore in which I was engaged.


Last Monday I sat spellbound in front of the television -- with tears streaming down my face.  Danny can’t handle that.  It happened several times folding that batch of laundry.  And even after the clothes were all folded.  Every once in a while, tears streamed down my face.  Danny didn’t come back into the room.

What could so move me?  It was the climax of the Kermit Gosnell murder trial in Philadelphia, I wanted to know the verdicts.  Before they were announced, I had to endure a media blackout imposed by the judge. Until the court had had the opportunity to listen to the over 250 verdicts, nothing leaked from the courtroom.  My jury experience taught me that this was going to take a while, those are a lot of counts for any jury to decide.


So while we all waited for the verdicts, the anchor-folk had nothing else to do but speculate and retell the now-familiar story.  But not knowing the verdicts at that moment, and hearing the charges and reliving the testimony again was overwhelming for this tired old man.   What that doctor had done to babies alive outside the womb was unspeakable.  I wondered what that jury would conclude, and as I heard the guilty verdicts, I was in tears again.


Life is precious.  We do not see the value of life on display very often in our modern world.  But this jury had the opportunity to weigh the evidence and make a courageous stand for life in a culture that is very anti-life.  Part of me was ashamed to be an American.  Al Mohler explained my shame, “This is America. A nation that has legalized murder in the womb and that now finds itself staring at what abortion really represents. Human dignity cannot survive in a society that insists that a baby inside the womb has no right to live while that same baby, just seconds later, is a murder victim. Respect for human life cannot endure when a baby inside the womb is just a fetus, but when moved only a few centimeters is a full citizen.” 


But at the same time, part of me was proud to be an American – to be a citizen of a country that at least still takes seriously the life of a baby born alive.  Justice can be found, even if the press hides the story as best it can.


As I thought of those babies, and who knows how many were killed by this butcher, I would weep.  And then I wept for America, the only hope we have is found in a spiritual awakening.  May God shed His grace on us.  And let that grace begin with me.


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