"Let the Python Eat Its Tail," by John Piper

I came across the following article this morning via Crosswalk, as I was studying I Thessalonians 3. Nothing new... but a compelling reminder of one absolutely critical way that we must obey Christ's command--and our joy!--to love our "neighbors" as we do our own lives.

NOTE: For those of you who wonder why I keep resurrecting this well-worn topic, please understand this: Until abortion in all circumstances and methods is prohibited and enforced by law in the country of my citizenship, I will persevere in the defense of the least of these, the unborn children. While at least one out of five children are legally murdered every year in this nation, we cannot remain silent because we are tired of the debate. We cannot relent. We cannot sit back and hope for things to change... abortion is legal as we speak. The ball is in our court. To do nothing--to be silent--makes us just as guilty of the blood of these children as those who passed the abhorrent law in the first place and those who continue to advocate for its defense. We simply cannot ever be silent. We can never, ever, ever give up until the battle is won. It is a battle-- a battle for justice, for the most basic human right: life. It is a battle for the most vulnerable of all humans--more vulnerable than single moms, than AIDS victims in Africa, than sex slaves in China.

For the record, I'm all in favor of policies to curb poverty, in addition to a Church who actively embraces and cares for the poor and exploited. I'm for ALL types of justice, dear friends.

Let justice roll down like a mighty river.


Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the opinion of the Supreme Court in upholding the ban on partial birth abortions on April 18, 2007. It is astonishing to read the opinion (PDF). The detail with which abortion is discussed exceeded my expectation. Kennedy’s own descriptions of the various forms of abortion are explicit and extensive. Descriptions of the procedure of partial birth abortion (“intact dilation and extraction”) are given from both doctors’ and nurses’ perspectives.

For example, one nurse described the procedure on a twenty-six-week-old “fetus” as follows—and remember this is a quote from Justice Kennedy’s official Supreme Court decision:

Dr. Haskell went in with forceps and grabbed the baby’s legs and pulled them down into the birth canal. Then he delivered the baby’s body and the arms—everything but the head. The doctor kept the head right inside the uterus. . . . The baby’s little fingers were clasping and unclasping, and his little feet were kicking. Then the doctor stuck the scissors in the back of his head, and the baby’s arms jerked out, like a startle reaction, like a flinch, like a baby does when he thinks he is going to fall. The doctor opened up the scissors, stuck a high-powered suction tube into the opening, and sucked the baby’s brains out. Now the baby went completely limp. . . . He cut the umbilical cord and delivered the placenta. He threw the baby in a pan, along with the placenta and the instruments he had just used. (p. 8)

There is a certain irony to the argument for the Supreme Court’s ruling. One argument against the necessity of a health exception for the mother was that alternative methods of abortion are legally available, if necessary, even at this late stage in the pregnancy. For example, the ordinary D&E (dilation and extraction). The irony is that the Court concedes that the “the standard D&E is in some respects as brutal, if not more, than intact D&E” (p. 6). In other words, in normal, legal abortions, the baby is torn apart limb from limb while still in the womb, but in a partial birth abortion, the baby is mercifully spared the dismemberment and his brains are quickly sucked out of his head.

Such are the contorted conditions in which we find ourselves: The proposal of a manifestly barbaric law (permitting the brain evacuation of a partially born child) is defeated by the legal standing of a more barbaric law (permitting the dismemberment of a child in the womb). But the history of Providence has many such stories to tell—great evils finally being self-destroyed, like a python swallowing its own tail. (Read the rest)

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: www.desiringGod.org.

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