Undoubtedly, every American who was old enough to be aware of life’s circumstances, will forever remember where he or she was when news spread that first one, and then a second, airliner had crashed into the World Trade Center, followed by a third collision into the Pentagon. The images and the scenes that followed for days, weeks, and months are forever imprinted into our thoughts and seared into our memories. So are the feelings and the impressions: disbelief, fear, uncertainty, anger, disgust, sadness, and sympathy.
The spectrum of emotions, thoughts, and attitudes that most Americans felt are so diverse and complex that putting them into words may not be easy or adequate. The average American surely felt a great sense of outrage at the injustice of what had been perpetrated upon large numbers of innocent people. The American sense of patriotism was offended, which elicited a corresponding desire for vengeance and due retribution. One of the most heart-rending features of the collapse of the twin towers was the original estimate of anticipated dead: 5,000. However, in time, the final tallies—though terribly tragic—were much lower: 266 died in the ill-fated hijacked airliners while 2,823 died in the twin towers—a total death toll of 3,089 (Feldner, 2002).
Many other horrifying spectacles riddle human history in which thousands, even millions, of people have been slaughtered by their fellowman. The human mind has difficulty in grasping the Jewish holocaust of Hitler’s Nazi regime, which resulted in the extermination of a staggering estimated six million men, women, and children. Reflect upon the torture and killing of multiplied thousands by dictators like Stalin or Saddam Hussein, not to mention the killing fields of Cambodia. How can man’s inhumanity to man possibly be so extensive in its magnitude?
Is the repulsion and revulsion that is evoked by these travesties due simply to the loss of life? Or is humanity’s outrage due to the fact that lives were snuffed out unjustly and unfairly—that those lives were “innocent” of any wrongdoing that their persecutors alleged as justification to terminate their lives? If the former is true, why is no great issue made of the death toll that takes place in the United States everyday? That figure stands at 6,674 (Sutton, 2003)—more than two and a half times as many people as those who died on 9-11. That’s how many people die every day in America—not to mention the thousands who die every day around the world. Why do we feel no great heartache for these multitudes—akin to that which we felt on the occasion of 9-11?
If the latter is true, i.e., that we are outraged, not at the mere loss of life, but at the fact that innocent human beings had their lives taken from them unfairly, and that they had done nothing to deserve such, then where is the outrage concerning the termination of innocent babies by means of abortion? We view with great indignation those “terrorists” who dared to attack and destroy the unsuspecting objects of their callous brutality. Yet, since 1973, abortion clinics and doctors have been slaughtering the unborn population of the United States to an extent that makes the perpetration of previous atrocities in all of human history seem trivial. In the United States alone, more than 43 million babies have been aborted! In 2000 alone, more children died from abortion than Americans who died in the American Revolution, the Civil War, World Wars 1 and II, the Korean War, Vietnam, and the Gulf Wars combined (“Abortion,” 2003). In fact, one American baby was killed by abortion every 24 seconds.
The number of adults who died on 9-11 is surely tragic. But the number of innocent, unsuspecting children who never are permitted to complete their development, to proceed with their lives, to make their own choices, and to pursue their potential as human beings created in the image of God, is more than tragic. At least the terrorists thought they were pleasing their god and achieving his will against what were perceived to be Western degradation and spiritual corruption. But to snuff out the lives of innocent children for the economic and social convenience of mothers is despicable and inexcusable. Those who extinguish these innocent lives are without justification.
The mind has difficulty even comprehending 43,000,000 murdered babies—let alone envisioning the lost potential for good for the entire human race. Make no mistake, the “hands that shed innocent blood” (Proverbs 6:17) will one day face the consequences of their actions (Ecclesiastes 12:14; Hebrew 9:27).
“Abortion in the United States: Statistics and Trends” (2003), [On-line], URL: http://www.nrlc.org/abortion/facts/abortionstats.html.
Feldner, Emmitt (2002), “9/11: Search For Survivors Began Almost Immediately,” [On-line], URL: http://www.wisinfo.com/sheboyganpress/news/911/911_5775905.shtml.
Sutton, Paul (2003), “Births, Marriages, Divorces, and Deaths: Provisional Data for October-December, 2002,” [On-line], URL: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr51/nvsr51_10.pdf.
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