Mass murderer Willie Parker has been featured recently in Newsweek, Rolling Stone, New York Magazine, and a host of other publications as he promotes the launch of his new book, Life’s Work: A Moral Argument for Choice. All of these articles focus on Parker’s claim that killing preborn children for profit is the Christian thing to do.
With headlines like: “Dr. Willie Parker Wants to Take Back the Moral High Ground on Abortion”; “Why Southern Christian Doctor Willie Parker Changed His Mind About Performing Abortions”; and “Dr. Willie Parker on Why Abortion Rights Are a Moral Imperative, Especially for Christians”, each seeks to help Parker paint his narrative—or as one headline proclaimed, “pen a parable”—about how Christians have got it all wrong. According to Parker and his mouthpieces, God actually wants the children He knit together in the womb and created in His own image to be destroyed!
Notably (but not surprisingly) none of these feature writers have sought scriptural verification of Parker’s assertions, or presented any possible challenges to his claim that crushing, poisoning, or dismembering innocent children inside their mother’s wombs is doing “God’s work”.
Publications like Jezebel, which are openly hostile to Christianity, have suddenly taken it upon themselves to explain to their readers what good Christian behavior looks like. Here we see people who have rejected Christ deeming themselves qualified to tell others just what Christ is like and how He wants us to behave.
This happens often, and always begs the question: if Jesus is, as the atheist so frequently claims, a preacher of ideals exactly in line with the world’s morality code, then why have they rejected Him? If it is true that they know what Jesus would want us to do and they agree with Him, why is it Jesus Himself, as opposed to merely His (supposedly) wayward followers, that the world hates?
Yet the world’s media is perfectly happy to hold the conflicting beliefs that God does not exist, and that the nonexistent God wants people to act a certain way. It’s perfectly reasonable in their eyes to mock Christians for being foolish enough to believe in a magical wizard in the sky, and condescend to declare what the sky wizard wants them to do.
Of course Parker is billed as a reasonable intellectual—a scientist and devout follower of Christ. It turns out that in cases in which a Christian holds beliefs that the world does not find objectionable, he is allowed to be thought intelligent, educated, and enlightened. That person’s belief in a magical sky wizard will not be disdained. Why? Because his belief will never come into conflict with the world’s sin. It will never condemn any behavior—except, of course, the behavior of other Christians who think the Gospel should be salt and light in a dark and decaying world. It will never push back the darkness, and it will never make anyone feel the sting of conviction for sin.
Each article tells the same story, with minor variations. They tell of Parker’s childhood, as the fourth of six children, born in Alabama before the Civil Rights Act, and raised in poverty. They give a brief nod to the legitimate obstacles Parker has had to overcome, and then they speak of his “come to Jesus” moment—the moment in 2005 when the self proclaimed “devout Christian” realized that he was morally obligated to destroy Image bearers of Almighty God in the place of the Incarnation (the womb).
The various authors then go on to present a few of Parker’s arguments, which amount to little more than a string of tired pro-choice slogans and flimsy assertions, all of which have been thoroughly refuted time and time again.
It’s almost disappointing. When a prominent abortionist releases a book claiming to provide a moral argument for the right to terminate tiny humans, one expects to at least hear something new. Of course, a sane and moral person who is in any way acquainted with Christ does not expect to hear a legitimate argument, but hopes at least to learn of some new angle—not the same incoherent and inconsistent catch phrases that have been trotted out a thousand times before.
With one exception, the only difference between Parker’s “Christian” arguments and those repeated by the avowed God-haters and atheists who work as deathscorts at his clinic in Jackson, MS, is that Parker’s are even more blasphemous by virtue of his pathetic attempts to claim God’s approval.
Parker does, however, put a slightly new spin on the parable of the Good Samaritan by shifting its characters around.
In Parker’s version of the famous parable, the traveler beaten and bloodied on the side of the road is the woman who “needs” an abortion.
In some circumstances mothers in need might fill this role, and the church should certainly gather around them and compassionately assist them, but there are no circumstances in which turning a woman into a murderer of her own children qualifies as “help”.
It is also worth noting that very often women seeking abortion do not fill the role of the traveler in need at all, except that they desperately need the Gospel. Most abortion-minded mothers are not desperate and frightened, but are seeking to cover up sin and remain financially stable, or simply do not want to make the sacrifices necessary to love their children.
Parker then paints the Christians who seek to love their neighbors as themselves by speaking up for those appointed to die1 and holding back those stumbling to the slaughter as the priests and the Levites, too busy going about their religious duties to show compassion to their neighbors. And of course, he styles himself the good Samaritan, loving his neighbor by helping her kill her innocent offspring, instead of more accurately depicting himself as the bandit who brutalizes the innocent. The only person who has no role in Parker’s retelling is the defenseless human who is abused to death for sordid gain behind the pink walls of Parker’s death mill.
The rest of his so-called scriptural arguments serve equally well to betray his biblical ignorance. You’d think a man trying to publish a moral argument for the slaughter of the innocent and call it biblical would, at least as part of his research, read the Bible. But then again, with an audience ready to eat up whatever he serves them, so long as it does not threaten their love of sin and self, why bother?
In an article for Quartz Media, Annalisa Merellis wrote: “For Parker, the moral and religious arguments against abortion are misguided at best: The will of God, he says, manifests itself in human’s free will.”
Of course if this is the case, then all the laws against rape, drunk driving, kidnapping, sex trafficking, stealing, or really anything at all are contrary to God’s will. According to this line of reasoning, what God wants is for humans to be free to do whatever they want. How this can be reconciled with God’s constant commands in both the Old and New Testament to obey His law, to refrain from sin, to resist temptation, and to live differently than the world, we cannot tell.
Merelli goes on to quote Parker explaining, “In the world of the Bible, bearing many children was a woman’s most important job. In that ancient cultural context, however, abortion is never mentioned…The death of a fetus is regarded as a loss but not a capital crime. Throughout Jewish scripture, a fetus becomes human when—and only when—its head emerges from the birth canal.”
Parker is wrong on all points. Abortion is indeed mentioned in the Bible: it is covered under “thou shalt not murder,” as the early Christians who fought abortion and infanticide were well aware. We see this in the oldest known Christian book of ethics, the Didache (70 AD), which explicitly equates the termination of children in the womb with murder and prohibits abortion alongside other gross violations of God’s law such as adultery, pederasty, sorcery, and sexual immorality.
The killing of children in the womb is in fact treated as a capital crime in Exodus 21:22-25. There we read in the Law of God that in the case of an accident in which a person strikes a woman, causing an early delivery of a child where no harm is done,2 a fine must be exacted, but if harm is done and the premature child dies, the penalty is “life for life.” In other words, Scripture says exactly the opposite of what Parker claims, and in no uncertain terms.
Scripture also speaks clearly of God knowing us while we are in our mother’s wombs3 and being actively involved in the biological development of every human being 4. Furthermore, the Gospels give an account not only of the Creator of the Cosmos entering the womb to develop as a human being to be born among us, but also of John the Baptist leaping for joy in response to the arrival of Jesus—when both John and Jesus were inside their mother’s wombs.
There is certainly no indication anywhere in scripture that a child “becomes” human when his or her head exits the birth canal. Strange that a man hailed as both a scientist and a devout Christian can only defend his position using claims that defy both scientific fact and the word of God.
Parker’s claims only become more blasphemous, as he is quoted in multiple articles stating, “A pregnancy that intimates a baby is not more sacred than an abortion. …The God part is in your agency.” What Scripture Parker thinks would support his claim that human agency is sacred but human obedience and human love for one’s neighbor is not, we do not know.
In Newsweek, Michele Gorman quoted Parker comparing abortion restrictions to slavery. The abortionist stated that in both circumstances, someone claims to know what is best for the individual and has control over that person’s autonomy. Although it is true that many people pretended to desire what was best for the slave, that is where the comparison ends. In reality, African men, women, and children weren’t sold on auction blocks, beaten, raped, and worked to death because the perpetrators of such crimes thought these actions would be best for the slaves. They were dehumanized for the selfish gain of their oppressors. In this way, the slave has much more in common with the preborn child who is dismembered for the benefit of his parents than with the women who do these things to their children.
Ironically, Parker himself has stepped into the shoes of many so-called Christians in antebellum America, who twisted Scriptures to justify the practice of chattel slavery, and claimed the moral high ground so as to maintain the status quo.
In fact, the resemblance between Parker’s arguments and those of some pro-slavery preachers is striking.
In Rolling Stone, Caitlin Cruz quotes Parker saying, “I think we’ve empowered people opposed to abortion by being mute or defensive about the biological realities of pregnancy termination. We’ve allowed them to create a narrative that is patently false, and yet, without any competing narrative, it bares a truth that doesn’t exist within it.”
Likewise, Parker told Jezebel’s Prachi Gupta:
“The left has failed to come up with an argument because the left has conceded on the basis of, what I think, is an intellectual arrogance. They think that the facts will speak for themselves and they think that religion is so antiquated—some people even think that we live in a post-religious world; that nobody really believes in God or prayer. That has opened a space that the people who are opposed to abortion have been more than willing to fill with misinformation and encroachment of other peoples’ ability to make their decisions.”
Now let’s look at a pro-slavery sermon preached in 1861 by Baptist Preacher Ebenezer Warren, one of many “devout Christians” who made a moral argument for slavery, who said:
“The discourse delivered on this subject, whether from the pulpit or the hustings, have heretofore been by those who opposed the institution. So frequent and declamatory have been their efforts, that a popular current of opposition has been set in commotion, which has well nigh overleaped its bounds. We of the South have been passive, hoping the storm would subside and leave the wrecks of its own folly and madness upon the field that gave it birth. Our passiveness has been our sin. We have not come up to the vindication of God and of truth, as duty demanded. The consequence has been, as might have been expected. A few of our own people have been prepared to look upon slavery as a “necessary evil.” Some others are unsettled in their views, and apologize for, rather than justify the institution. While many who believe it is right, have not taken the time to investigate it thoroughly as it is taught from Heaven – and hence, are better prepared to defend it upon constitutional, than upon Bible grounds.”
Warren then went on to preach that “it is necessary for ministers of the Gospel … to teach slavery from the pulpit” and that “Both Christianity and Slavery are from Heaven; both are blessings to humanity; both are to be perpetuated to the end of time; and therefore both have been protected and defended by God’s omnipotent arm from the assaults, oppositions and persecutions through which they have passed.”
It is easy in hindsight to see how patently absurd and morally depraved Warren’s teachings were, though the culture of his day was eager to hear that Christ approved of the institution of chattel slavery and the base and dehumanizing treatment of their fellow men. Likewise, Parker’s efforts and those of the mainstream media to Christianize the act of destroying ones own children will surely appear equally wicked and pathetically weak to future generations.
Like slavery, abortion is entirely contrary to the Gospel and can never be reconciled with it. Like the abolitionists of slavery, today’s abolitionists vehemently oppose the ageist, dehumanizing practice of human abortion because it is a blasphemous attack on God.
This is why the people of God, like our abolitionist forebears, continue to declare God’s truth, justice, and mercy to all men everywhere. God created mankind in His image, and He knits all men and women together in the womb where Christ Himself began His earthly existence. He commands us to love our neighbors as ourselves, to expose evil, and to take up the cause of the widow and the orphan as we seek to remove evils and establish justice to the glory of Jesus Christ on earth.