Victims and Perpetrators

Another view of this scene that was taken from the back of the theater.
Nazi soldiers watching videos of the death camps after the war – how weirdly ironic is the PP on their shirts?

So. These horrific Planned Parenthood videos. As I’ve been watching this all unfold, there are a couple things I keep noticing – just a jumble of thoughts, really.

The first thing that jumps out at me is that this entire horror show is run by women. It’s startling actually. The abortion doctors, the nurses, the baby-part-wholesalers, the corporate bureaucracy, and obviously every mother who turns up at a Planned Parenthood chop shop to have her own baby executed and sold for parts. Clearly, the entire situation is built on the premise of men’s sin . . . but the fact remains that this grisly, depraved, monstrous assault on human dignity is being conducted by women. I’ve seen a lot of “this is a war on women” and “women betrayed” kind of language lately . . . and it’s completely true. But the thing I continue to find odd is that it’s a war on women which is being conducted by women. Everyone (rightly) keeps noticing parallels between America’s abortion mills and Nazi Germany, but I think there’s another similarity besides the gruesome nature of the problem and the massive body count.

During the Nazi occupation of Poland, the Germans often times actually appointed Jewish leadership in the ghettos, and it was those Jewish leaders who forced their own people into slave labor, who rounded up the quotas to be shipped to concentration camps, and who generally ruled their own people with a rod of iron on behalf of the Nazis. Rumkowski was a famous example of this – a Jew who was responsible for thousands and thousands of Jewish deaths. But he continues to be a controversial figure because all of his own rhetoric was that he was only doing this to help the Jewish people manage to survive. Was he a traitor? Or was he simply being shrewd and getting as many Jews through the Holocaust as possible – by pragmatically throwing many, many, many of them overboard? His most famous speech was when he stood up in the ghetto and said “Give me your children” – to send away to the camps. He said it, of course, like he was sad about it – a little choke in his voice no doubt – but nonetheless, he demanded everyone give up their children for the greater good. “I never imagined I would be forced to deliver this sacrifice to the altar with my own hands. In my old age, I must stretch out my hands and beg: Brothers and sisters! Hand them over to me! Fathers and mothers: Give me your children!”

The Jews of Poland were betrayed by their own – just as “Women Betrayed” are being betrayed by their own. But to some degree, any Jew who willingly handed over their child to save themselves was complicit in the evil . . . no matter how lied to they were, or how impossible everything seemed. Just as every mother who willingly donates her baby’s body parts to “research” is also complicit in the evil . . . no matter how lied to she is, how impossible everything seems. This, of course, is why the after-effects of an abortion can be so devastating for a woman – because she is left with such a burden of guilt over what she’s done, regret, confusion, etc.

But this leads to the next thing I keep noticing – which is that the line between victim and perpetrator is always a very tricky thing – but especially so in this area. I think our tendency is to want everything to be very simple – to freeze moments of time and be able to point to who is the black hat and who is the white hat at any given moment. But that line is nowhere near that clear. For every monster out there who is dissecting babies and haggling over the prices . . . how did they get there? I’ll bet if we rewind the tape 20 years, odds are good that we would find a sad, pitiful, atrocious little story playing out – and they would be the victim we would sympathize with in that moment. Which is just to say that “victim” is not synonymous with “righteous.” Apart from grace, victims frequently go on to become perpetrators themselves. How many molesters were molested themselves? How many current victims will go on to hurt and defile others? Are these ladies who make a living by ripping babies apart every day actually just making some desperate and horrific attempt to bury a memory that refuses to stay in its shallow and unquiet grave? That is the sad brokenness of the human condition – which means that ultimately, the most important dividing line is not between “victims” and “perpetrators” but between “forgiven” and “unforgiven.” Being the victim of abuse, being lied to, believing the monsters who tell you the only solution is to kill your baby . . . that’s horrible. It’s devastating. But it doesn’t make you righteous. There was only one truly righteous victim -which is the good news of the gospel. I think if we want to fight the horror of Planned Parenthood effectively, it’s important to see clearly that “women” are not the victims who need to be liberated from the tyranny of the abortion industry . . . women need to be forgiven so that they can be liberated from the tyranny of the abortion industry – no matter where they fall on the scale of victim or perpetrator. Is she a tragic victim of abuse? Then she needs to be freed by the free grace offered in the gospel. Is she a selfish college girl who won’t give up her lifestyle or her career dreams? Then she needs to be freed by the free grace offered in the gospel. Is she a suburban mom, haunted by the memory of that abortion she never told anyone about, having babies now in a desperate effort to make up for that one she refused to have? Then she needs to be freed by the free grace offered in the gospel. Is she an abortion doctor with thousands of deaths on her conscience? Then she needs to be freed by the free grace offered in the gospel.

And the last thing I keep wondering about is how many Christians are sitting out of this particular fight because of some random compromise in their own life. I think we’re seeing a glimmer of what could happen if Christians all threw themselves into something – we might actually be able to change the course that this ship called America is sailing. But, for instance, look at how Tchividjian just took himself out of the fight – right at a moment when everyone could have really used his help. How many Christians are sitting this one out in some similar way? How many men feel sheepish about saying anything on this issue because they themselves are sexually compromised? How many women are keeping quiet because they feel like a hypocrite since they had an abortion years ago? Or then again, how many women are so caught up in their own current sin – too busy fighting with their husband, or not speaking to their children . . . too absorbed in their current personal sin to make time to be interested in this national sin? Or the kid who has spent so much time trying to make it in the (to take an instance at random) indie-rock scene that he doesn’t want to blow it all by saying something out loud which would ruin his chances. The Pro-Life movement is accustomed to say that life begins at conception. “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” But sin is the same way. A sin is a sin, no matter how small – and just like a baby, that sin will grow. The Bible uses this metaphor as well, “Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” How many Christians are cherishing a little sin, nurturing it, hiding it, wearing baggier and baggier shirts in the hopes that no one will notice how they’ve changed lately . . . clinging to death in a way that makes them unable to fight for life? We need to pray that the Christians in America would all get their own hearts in order – so that they can help take down this beast that is Planned Parenthood.

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22 thoughts on “Victims and Perpetrators

  1. One of the most powerful moments in the heart-wrenching movie The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is when they are being herded off to the “showers” by other Jewish inmates.

  2. This is excellent. While I’ve been encouraged in general in this fight, I’ve been wondering why so many pro-life friends are remaining silent. Thanks for shedding light on this topic.

    On another note, we tell our children that “sin puppies” are cute and cuddly when they are trying to get into their hearts. They grow so slowly that you don’t notice them growing into wolves that want to devour you. We teach them that repentance gets rid of the “sin puppies.” Hopefully pro-lifers who feel they are too sinful to fight will realize that forgiveness is real!

  3. Thanks for opening my eyes to these facts about Jews turning on other jews….I am hopeful and thankful for in the fighting God is with his people and we must be very courageous, not for man but for the glory of God. Fight the good fight. It’s awful looking at those men with pp on their backs. …sin grows if unchecked and ignored, we can start new by the grace of God..by saying Lord, forgive me my impotence, show me what you want me to do….use me Lord, even me…..”we can pray this over and over. .and then act.

  4. Thank you for this! I appreciate you pointing out the false dichotomy of victims and perpetrators. Indeed the most important labels are forgiven and unforgiven.

    As an alternative perspective, I am silent on social media not because of unconfessed sin or gnawing guilt, but because I have girlfriends from high school and college who have had abortions and have not yet tasted the mercy, grace and forgiveness found in Christ. I prefer to have private, personal conversations about sensitive topics with people in my circle of influence in the context of loving relationships. These women know well the horrors of abortion so I prefer to avoid reminding them of that pain when they are looking at their Facebook newsfeed and instead point them to the grace and mercy found in Christ. While I think it is wonderful and necessary for other Christians to be vocal (especially leaders), waging war against planned parenthood ( ultimately Satan) can be done in a variety of ways that doesn’t always involve a hashtag.

  5. I had noticed it was women doing and saying all these awful acts in the PP videos also. I just find it so hard to comprehend women being so hard-hearted and cold-blooded. I appreciate your perspective,

  6. So, this is over all good, but I really don’t understand your reference to Tullian. Either I have missed something or you and I are on opposite ends of understanding of what he should be doing during this time of reconcilliation and change.

    I just don’t really understand why anyone, but particularly he needed to be called out.
    And I’m not trying to be all fan girl over here or anything like that, I just see this as a time where he of all people could probably use some grace and I think he is trying to do the right thing so it confuses me why you would lose sight of the point of your message to kick a random guy while he is down.

  7. those Jews were ostracized after the war. I specialize in German American Experience during the world Wars. German Americans were interned in both world wars. What may surprise you, is that some Jews were also interned in the United States as well. Legally, a Jew at that time, was a citizen of whatever country they immigrated from. If a Jew was fleeing Nazi persecution, legally they were treated not much different than ethnic German immigrants.

    What I wanted to initially say, is that more needs to be made of the feminine aspect of the killings. Woman death squad doesn’t work. We need some things, art a sharp cutting label describing this.some handles we can get into common vernacular, something like that. There are a lot of smart, relative men and women who are on our side. Let’s think about this. For example, what’s the difference between a nazi death camp and planned parenthood? The nazis wanted one ethnicity to survive. Planned Parenthood doesn’t care if any ethnicity survives as long as a certain woman gets her Lambourgini.

    I posted that on PPs Facebook page. Those kind of things stick in people’s minds and we want this in people’s minds every day. God Bless

  8. The student of the Bible may not get as worried about the free-enterprise exchange of what would otherwise go in the dumpster, and the raising of the GDP. What is more ‘icky’, and shocking, and scandalizing, is the hatred of Someone as good, loving, gracious, and wise as God is, and the derisionable attempt by the “all flesh is grass” pipsqueak striking at the One Who upholds all things by the word of His power — in the only way he can strike — by striking at His image. The cowardice of striking at the most helpless and most innocent, i doubt can be topped by any other behavior. Yet the Biblical response to this striking, this murdering is simple, clear, and marked early in the Book, possibly as the only way to preserve the human race to the glory of God. God requires Man who is civilly innocent, to take the life (shed the blood) of those who are guilty of taking the life of those not guilty of capital crime. This means father, primarily, then mother, doctor, nurse, and we might even look sideways at the legislator who steals the wealth of other families to hire the assassins. Notice how Genesis 9:5 requires this? When the Church insists on testifying Her agreement with this gracious revelation from God, instead of being shocked and indignant about it, you will see the abortion holocause reverse. Probably not before. Those who might be more shocked and indignant at this message than the assault on the millions whose blood cries out to the Judge from the ground shows you the depth of the problem in America at this time.

  9. Thank you so much for writing this article. It must have been so hard when you were hiding your Jewish children for the other Jews so God would save you and them. It’s so hard to imagine fearing for your life and knowing that you made all the right decisions in Gods eyes. I’m sure it was hard! It’s so nice when someone can speak for all Jewish people and of course for all of us women too. With an insight into every sin and trauma that all these people must be holding deep inside, you will surely be on the right side! Praise God for granting you such an honor!
    Hopefully you realize this is sarcasm! Comparing nazi death camps to abortion is completely far fetched and delusional! You’re a Christian yet you pass judgement and act like you know exactly what God wants! Very Christian like, you should be proud! I am pro life for myself, because last time I checked I don’t have the right to tell you what to do with your body. Women should be supporting women, not crucifying them! Stop acting like you are high and mighty, because you are not! You are allowed to have your opinions because our government give you that right, just like they gave women the right to do what they want or need to do with their own bodies. When someone has a soapbox and looks for support for their cause, they can find similarities in other things ( like the PP on the shirts in the picture) to further push their agenda. That doesn’t make you right! Just so you don’t assume I have some horrible sin I am hiding, I have not had an abortion, and don’t have some secret sin like you assume everyone that chooses a different path than you has. Maybe you should do a lot more research before you make your expert evaluation on Jews, women and everyone else that you think God looks down on!!

  10. I understand that your point was primarily about the atrocities of Planned Parenthood and the need that we all have for God’s free grace through faith in Jesus Christ, but as a friend of many who were sexually abused, I’d like to make a point about the common notion that apart from grace, “victims frequently go on to become perpetrators themselves.” Several studies on this very phenomenon have been conducted (here is one http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/179/6/482 ) and, in this one for example, 41 of the 96 females in the study population had been abused as children, but only one of them was a perpetrator. When it comes to men, the statistics are a good bit higher, but to equate in the same paragraph “molesters [who] were molested themselves” with “current victims [who] will go on to hurt and defile others” is, in good math terminology, switching sets and subsets. How many male molesters were molested themselves? It appears it may be over a third, which is a large percentage. But how many victims will go on to hurt and defile others? A very small percentage. I know many who were victimized, even horrifically, who are today some of the most protective people I know, passionately speaking for the voiceless.

    At some point even those who were horrifically victimized have to make a choice. Will I repeat this cycle and become a predator, or will I become a protector? We all need forgiveness, we all need healing, but the line between predator and victim is a real one. It was only to the predators who presented themselves as religious leaders that Jesus called out “Brood of vipers!” By that point in their lives it didn’t matter if they themselves had been preyed upon when they were young. They had made the choices to follow in a path of sin. It is those who have hardened their hearts and pursuit of wickedness that the psalms rightly call “the wicked.”

  11. Kendall, God doesn’t just “look down” on murderers (which is what abortionists are)- he offers them Grace and forgiveness if they will repent of their sin and believe in Jesus Christ. If they don’t, they will remain eternally separated from him. It’s not about choosing a different path or respecting someone else’s decision (that’s called relativism). If you are on this site, then you should know Christians don’t espouse relativist views. We believe the bible, and the bible is clear about sin. Thankfully, it is also clear on the grace and forgiveness you may obtain simply by believing in Jesus and surrendering your life to him.

  12. I agree with everything you have said here but this… Please do not call these perpetrators “monsters.” To do so is to dehumanize them. To sub-human them. This is the equivalent of their designation as a human child to a blob, a non-human threat to the existence and happiness of the mother.

    They are not monsters. They are sinners, led astray by their own desires, broken and breaking others. But they are not monsters. They are image bearers, capable of being forgiven by our God who takes those who commit and approve of committing atrocities, redeems them, renews them and makes them beacons of truth. While we must call out their detestable crimes against humanity and against the face of God, we must hold out hope for them. One way to do this is to ensure that we never dehumanize them (monsterize). Some of these women may be our neighbors in the new heavens and earth because of His mercy.

    Continue being the beacon of truth and herald of righteousness that you are!!

  13. Kendall, you should know that it was one of the most famous of all abortion doctors who initially drew the comparison between abortion and the atrocities of the Nazis in a very public interview. You should also know that God does tell us what is right and wrong in His Word, and opinions have no place before His commands. Assuming you are referring to the most misquoted verse in the Bible when you condemn the writer of this article for ‘judging,’ you really ought to read the rest of that chapter in Matthew before you let yourself off the hook so resignedly in replacing truth with emotion and opinion. You are entitled to your opinions, not because our government or any other gives you that right, but because God the Creator made you and gave you the function to do so. We are accountable to Him and His Word, no matter how much you would like to make it a me versus you thing, and someone who stands by truth, well, in reality that does make them better than someone who stands by their own puny intellect or ever changing emotions.

  14. Hi all,

    I wanted to try and answer a couple of different objections all in the same comment.

    Halee – perhaps you misunderstood my point about Tullian. I don’t object to him stepping down – that’s exactly what he should have done. When I said “took himself out of the fight” I was referring to the sin that led to him being disqualified to lead his people right how. And it wasn’t meant as a “kick him while he’s down” – he was a public figure with a public ministry which means that his sin became a headline . . . and that’s how it should be. “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” What Tullian did was a great example to all of us of what private unconfessed sin will do to each us – it will disqualify us, and take us out of the battle which we desperately need to be fighting. I grabbed him as an example because it was the most recent public Christian scandal I could think of.

    Kendall – thank God I don’t actually get my “rights” as you describe them (free speech and “do what I want with my own body”) from the government, as you suggest. I can’t imagine a more hellish situation than that – what the government gives the government can take away. The idea of Government as God – the divine bestower of rights – sounds like the closest thing I can think of to Hell on earth.

    Rebecca – I take your point, but I was speaking in much broader terms that I think you read me. You’re talking about a very specific kind of abuse going on to inflict that same kind of thing on others – I was encompassing all kinds of things under “hurt and defile others” – like maybe becoming an abortionist. My point was merely that for every perpetrator out there (in whatever field) we could probably rewind the story to the point that we feel sorry for them. Maybe because they were actually abused, but maybe because they had an absent dad and addicted mom, maybe because they were left to grow up on the streets, maybe because they were brutally bullied, whatever.

    Nancypantsgirl – I would actually argue that sin always does de-humanize us, does actually do its best to deface the image of God that we all bear, blurring that image as best it can. Of course grace can restore that image, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing to recognize the de-humanizing effects of sin. Paul doesn’t have a problem saying that the Cretans were “evil beasts” – and while he’s not saying they’re actually sub-human, he’s pointing out what sin does to us, and I think that can be a useful image.

  15. This is a painful essay to read and to think about. To embrace Christian hope requires facing up to some realities that are very harsh indeed.

  16. You also remind me, that it’s when Christians reach for moral authority by virtue of having been the victim they we’re vulnerable to being tempted to become the oppressor. That’s when we want to put in our own mouths, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord”, and so make ourselves out to be God.

  17. I had the privilege of talking to a pastor who’d been a Wehrmacht soldier captured in the Battle of the Bulge–he’d lost a few fingers from the cold–and one thing he noted is that he was immensely grateful for how the U.S. Army clarified that what the Nazi regime had done. He’d joined to fight the Soviets, got sent to the western front instead (by wonderful luck really), and survived to preach.

    We should remember how we can educate the victims and perpetrators of our own Holocaust, and many thanks to those who suppressed nausea to bring them to our view.

  18. Very convicting perspectives on the lucrative and disastrous advancement of women’s rights. Without attempting to deter these great points off topic I would like to mention another jumbled thought. Currently the U.S. Border Patrol apprehends large groups of illegal aliens that give up at the border due to the benefits of the Dream ACT/DACA. The BP facilitates the illegal entry and furtherance of women and children into the U.S., transporting them to their desired locations. Oh the irony of the Gov’t funding PP and bending over backwards to finance illegal children into the U.S. I wonder if BP Agents could double dip and perform abortions at the border after they apprehend the mothers, kinda like a bonus check?

  19. I’ve got another depressing similarity for you. It is, actually, the one that made me realize I could no longer justify a politically pro-choice stance.

    Hitler won a country by promising the people an end to the hardships of WWI reparations. He told them they were special, that they deserved better, that their sufferings were all because of the Jews (the disabled, the Gypsies, the homosexuals, ad nauseam). He promised them a life of easy material abundance– if only the wealth that was theirs by Aryan birthright could be seized from the “degenerate.” If only.

    And enough Germans wanted it to make everything Hitler did possible. He was a monster– and he couldn’t have done it without the complicity of the populace. He failed because some did not comply.

    The abortion industry has, so far, won the war with the same argument. We’re all special. We don’t deserve to be encumbered with unplanned children (disabled children, too many children, children with defects so severe that they’ll soon die anyway, ad nauseam). We can have an easier life of more material abundance– if only the wealth that ought to be ours wasn’t spent on helping others care for their “mistakes.” If only we didn’t have to be “burdened” with people who have special needs. If only, if only, if only…

    And we want it. We want to not have to deal with the out-of-wedlock grandkid that comes along just as we’re finally ready to retire. We want to not have to deal with the fifth child that was conceived because the birth control failed. We want to not have to figure out how to handle the overly-friendly Downs child at the grocery store or the autistic kid who has a meltdown in church (every Sunday for six weeks straight).

    And if we don’t want to handle those things on the peripheries of our lives, we certainly don’t want to be “that parent.” “That parent” who sacrificed college to go to work to feed her unplanned child. “That parent” who burdened her family. “That parent” who deprived her existing children by having one more. “That parent” who had the “gall” to bring “that child” out in public and “inflict” them on others (when they could have been so conveniently incinerated with the rest of the “medical waste”).

    The abortion industry only exists to make money. If the money goes away, the industry will follow. Just as Hitler was eventually stopped because England and America and the Russia and the Resistance in the occupied nations stood up and said “NO. No you can’t, no you won’t, not on our watch.” Even in the darkest days, thousands were saved from the crematoriums because families like the ten Booms risked their lives and liberty to stand up and say, “No you won’t, I will stand in your way.”

    If we hold out our hands to the people who would supply the industry with the “need” for its services, the money will not flow. If we change the societal valuations that say abortion is better than an unplanned child, an “extra” child, or a “disabled” child, the money will not flow. We’re not even being asked to risk life and liberty. Just personal inconvenience.

  20. Saw an abortion performed (online). Couldn’t believe what I saw. If the fetus has even the shred of feeling – nerves that can feel pain- abortion is just wrong. No human being should subject another to such torture.

    However, if a woman genuinely feels repentance, I believe God would forgive.

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