Cowardly, gruesome and senseless acts of violence like the Boston Marathon Bombing make us feel great compassion for the victims and their families, but also intense feelings of anger at these attacks upon the innocent. We hunger for righteous action against the perpetrators and justice for the victims.
The trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell draws to a close in Philadelphia next week. The sparse media coverage of the trial and Gosnell’s house of horrors reveals a powerful disconnect in our society between the senseless acts of violence committed by Gosnell and other abortionists…and our collective grief, anger and desire for justice with events like 9-11 and the Boston bombings.
At the same time that spectacular and gruesome testimony poured out daily from the Gosnell trial to a handful of spectators and a few journalists, the Boston Marathon Bombings warranted 24 hour massive media coverage and man-hunts of the perpetrators. The coverage naturally and rightly elicited massive expressions of grief, anger and a desire to assist the victims.
But maybe legal abortion and the Gosnell trial and events like the Boston Bombing are more closely connected than it appears:
Do the very public and emotionally compelling events like the Boston Marathon Bombings provide an emotional outlet for the vast reservoir of repressed grief, guilt and anger from the over 50 million abortions in this country…especially for those men and women, doctors and clinic employees who participated in the death of these unborn children?
I spoke to a couple of men who were part of an abortion decision in the past. They reflected on their experience of 9-11 and events like the Boston Marathon prior to their recovery from their abortion loss, and how deeply these events impacted them.
Here’s John reflecting on his reaction to 9-11:
“I watched hours of coverage on the 9-11 tragedy as it unfolded. I felt like for a time I was obsessed with it, as many were of course. I felt such solidarity and compassion for the victims, but an even deeper anger and desire for revenge against the evil men who planned and carried out these crimes. I admired the men who were risking their lives to help the victims, to find any still trapped in the wreckage, and help the community clean up and recover from this nightmare.
But I experienced anxiety and depression even after the events passed and life moved… I had nightmares about not only 9-11, but other dreams where there was death, and mutilated corpses and children. I found myself thinking about that abortion I was part of years ago, but never really dealt with. I began to feel guilt and sadness about my role in the child’s death.
I began to see that I was not like those brave men, the fire fighters, police and rescue personnel of 9-11 who risked their lives while trying to save others. I began to see that though it was right to desire justice for the victims and the community devastated by the terrorist attack, I was also infusing a lot of my own personal anger, grief and guilt onto this very powerful public event.
This event triggered a lot of my guilt, anger and pain from my abortion experience that I really needed to finally give attention to. I had to face that in reaction to my girlfriend’s pregnancy I was not the brave protector of the vulnerable innocent I wanted to be. I was a participant in the death of an innocent person…my son or daughter. Maybe it was time to look into my own heart and soul with greater clarity and honesty.
Fortunately John did not give in to despair, self hatred, or continued denial of his pain and loss. He found a faith based healing program that transformed his pain into reconciliation with his unborn child and peace with God.
After talking with John and few other fathers involved in abortions, we wondered how many of the men witnessing those events at the Boston Marathon and now having intense discussions on sport talk radio, or with their buddies at the bar, or in the workplace…how many of these men had abortion in their history? How many enraged at the mutilation of bodies by these bombs, also gave their assent, or perhaps were unable to prevent, the mutilation of their unborn child? Does this displacement and repression of abortion pain feed disparity in coverage by our media of the spectacular and horrific details of the Gosnell trial…and the 24 hour coverage of events in Boston?
It is natural, especially for men to have intense feelings of righteous anger, when we feel powerless in the face of such senseless violence by those sick and twisted terrorist bombers. We also rightly feel admiration and pride for the brave men and women who rush in to rescue and protect the victims.
But tragically in the Gosnell case, legalized abortion removes the personhood and hence all rights to the unborn (and just-born) children of our nation. They have no one to protect them and their mothers from Gosnell’s death center and torture chamber for babies…or offer compassion and care to the victims, both the unborn and their vulnerable mothers traumatized by these “procedures.” We see in these events the worst and best of our human nature.
Is it possible that in our collective grief and compassion for the dead, wounded and their families in Boston… that this might also be touching a deeper personal grief that is not allowed expression in our society?
For those of us working in the ministry of healing and recovery after abortion…we don’t have to wonder if there is a connection. We have heard thousands of men and women share their pain, and their journey to healing…and we know that events such as the Boston Bombing, can trigger repressed grief reactions from other losses.
Let us pray for healing of those families and communities impacted by violence…and for those mothers and father who have lost children to abortion. Let us reach out with love and compassion and share the good news of hope and healing.