In the aftermath of terrible tragedies, like the recent shooting at the Christian Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, or the shooting at the Old National Bank in Louisville, Kentucky, emotions understandably run high. The loss of any life — even one — is a reminder that we live in a broken world. Every life is precious. Every life counts. As Psalm 116:15 reminds us, “precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.”amin
A Christian worldview reminds us that, unlike the materialists, all lives matter. Why? Because everyone is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27, Genesis 9:6). However, even though this is true, and must be upheld, the reality is that some (even many) societal ills that threaten life don’t have simple fixes, even if others do.
So, when confronted with yet another round of calls for “gun control,” Christians have to ask ourselves a few questions. Who is making this demand? Are they sincere? Do the leading and loudest politicians and Christian public figures who want to take away your guns have a strong track record on opposing the much more regular cause of child mortality in the United States — abortion — or the ongoing carnage that takes place in poor and minority neighborhoods in some of our nation’s largest cities?
More often than not, they don’t. This underscores an important political issue that Christians need to be aware of: The moral hypocrisy of all progressives — and especially woke Christians — on their calls for action on gun control in light of their 1) support for abortion and 2) silence on the real cause of gun-related death in American youth — dangerous progressive policies in major American cities.
There’s no question about it: The leading cause of death for children in the United States isn’t guns, or even automobile accidents, it’s abortion.
That doesn’t stop liberal news outlets like CNN from trying to claim otherwise. Citing data from the Centers for Disease Control, CNN recently wrote that “Firearms accounted for nearly 19% of childhood deaths (ages 1-18) in 2021, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wonder database. Nearly 3,600 children died in gun-related incidents that year.” It also noted that “Firearms have been the leading cause of death for US children and teens since 2020.”
But the only way they can make this claim is by ignoring the 600,000-pound elephant in the room, which is abortion. Because the truth is that every single abortion stops a beating heart — the beating heart of a preborn child.
In January of 2023, Pew Research released a report on abortion in the U.S. In the report, researchers note that both the CDC and the Guttmacher Institute attempt to compile annual abortion numbers for the U.S., explaining:
“The last year for which the CDC and Guttmacher reported a yearly national total for abortions is 2020, and neither organization reported a large change from the previous year. The CDC says there were 620,327 abortions nationally in 2020 in the District of Columbia and 47 states, a 1.5% decrease from 629,898 in 2019. Guttmacher’s national total for 2020 was 930,160, a 1.5% increase from 916,460 in 2019.
The figures reported by both organizations include only legal induced abortions conducted by clinics, hospitals or physicians’ offices, or those that make use of abortion pills dispensed from certified facilities such as clinics or physicians’ offices. They do not account for the use of abortion pills that were obtained outside of clinical settings.”
Pick your poison — either way, those numbers are staggering. We are looking at numbers that range from over 600,000 to close to 1,000,000 children murdered every year in America, not by guns in a school, but by a two-drug abortion cocktail or by forceps and a vacuum inside of Planned Parenthood clinics.
Abortion is, without a doubt, the true leading cause of death for children in America. And so, when you see progressive lawmakers demanding action on guns, or even disrupting their state legislatures, ask yourself this: Where is all that “righteous” fury and indignation for the cause of the unborn? Why can they muster it for the very few and rare tragedies like school shootings but fall silent about the everyday holocaust of abortion?
The sad truth is probably two-fold. First, they don’t believe the unborn baby is a human child, even though it is by every biological and moral measure. Second, it is politically convenient for progressives to seize on national tragedies like school shootings to advance their anti-Second Amendment agenda.
Again, every life lost is a tragedy. But the truth is that, at most, there have been approximately 355 lost lives from school shootings over the last decade. And remember, murder is already illegal. Every school shooting is done in contravention to the clear laws on the books that make such actions illegal.
Yet when we run the numbers on abortion for the last decade, we are looking at anywhere from 6 million to over 9 million children killed in the womb. That’s such a staggering number it’s hard to wrap your mind around it. Even worse is the fact that almost all of those killings were “legal” in the eyes of the laws of our land at the time.
One of the most famous lines in George Orwell’s classic Animal Farm goes as follows: “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.” The point was that while the boss hogs of the communist farm system preached equality, they actually practiced serious discrimination. It seems that many woke Christians have the same approach to the lives of children in America. They can rally and march and demand justice for some lives, the ones lost in school shootings, all while supporting the ongoing mass murder of the unborn. To progressives, it does indeed seem like some kids’ lives are more equal than others.
So, if woke Christians claim to be against “children dying from gun violence” but support the unending slaughter of abortion, we need to recognize that they are hypocrites of the highest order and call them out for their hypocrisy.
Consider again the CDC statistics on gun-related deaths for minors. They claim that “3,600 children died in gun-related incidents” in 2021. But how many of those were from school shootings versus violence perpetrated in major cities?
According to one source, in the last decade, “279 have died from being shot on a school property during, before or after school hours, including weekends.”
So, on average, there have been around 30 deaths per year over the last decade from school shooting versus approximately 3,500 deaths per year from other gun-related deaths.
The point here, again, is not to discount the loss of life from school shootings or to diminish any of the heartbreaking tragedy associated with those particularly high-profile incidents. Rather, the point is to call attention to the other tragedies, the other deaths, the ones reported locally but never by the national news outlets, that these woke activists don’t seem to care about because it doesn’t fit their political narratives.
To add even more context, the reality is that the 3,500 children who die from gun-related violence each year are largely dying from violence perpetrated by handguns (often illegally obtained), not semi-automatic rifles. But what do we see after every school shooting? We see the media, the progressives, and the gun-grabbers blaming “AR-15s.”
Why are they silent about these other gun-related deaths? Why do they never so much as breathe a word about the much higher numbers of children being gunned down in the streets of Democrat-controlled cities like Chicago, New York City, and Baltimore? Why do they ignore these innocent victims, whose murders are no less tragic than any other? Because that would indict their political tribe.
Proverbs 20:10 reminds us that God demands impartial justice: “Unequal weights and unequal measures are both alike an abomination to the LORD.”
When we consider these statistics, both about abortion and the far more regular occurrence of gun-related deaths of children in America, the picture becomes very clear — even if is isn’t very pretty. Because the truth is that if these activists were even close to serious about saving lives — real, measurable lives and heartbeats — they would be protesting outside Planned Parenthoods and Chicago City Hall, not the Tennessee State Capitol.
But woke Christians won’t be doing that. No, they’ve seized on an issue that is, of course, tragic and one that gets national attention and tried to weaponize it for their anti-Second Amendment and progressive agenda — all while ignoring the real leading causes of child mortality in the U.S.
Don’t be fooled. These protestors aren’t noble, brave, or righteous. They are hypocrites — and we shouldn’t hesitate to call them out for their politically-convenient hypocrisy, especially when children’s lives are on the line.
Follow William on Twitter! @William_E_Wolfe
Ready to dive deeper into the intersection of faith and policy? Head over to our Theology of Politics series page where we’ve published several long-form pieces that will help Christians navigate where their faith should direct them on political issues.
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