Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I am not required to feed a stranger who comes to my door. I am not required to make sure he has a place to sleep for the night and that clean clothes when he wakes up in the morning. If my husband left with the stranger, and they made less money than I did, I wouldn’t have to send them checks in the mail. Indeed, implying I have that level of responsibility for a stranger is ridiculous. It might be kind and generous to do some of these things, and one could argue that if I do not feed a hungry stranger I am going against Biblical teaching. I would certainly feel awful if that stranger died because I had not given him a hot meal and a warm place to sleep.

Suppose the person who comes to my door is not my stranger, but my son.

If my son came to me hungry and wanted to eat, I would feed him. To never feed my son would be illegal. To not ensure he had a safe place to sleep would not be merely inhospitable, but criminal. Making sure he has clothes to wear is not a touching act of kindness, but a requirement. If I give shelter to a stranger, I am doing charity–but if I refuse shelter to my son, I am guilty of child abuse. Even if my son were in my husband’s care and not mine, I might be legally obligated to help pay for his needs.

Abortion is not evicting an ungrateful tenant; it’s putting one’s offspring out of his or her home before the child can survive on his or her own. And it usually involves not just eviction, but dismemberment–something it is illegal to do even to strangers. If the person a woman is pregnant with is her son or daughter, she has an obligation to that child she would not have to a stranger.

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