I received an email note last night from someone calling themselves “the millennial queen,” whatever that means. All I know is that the queen is a freshman in college in Milwaukee. At least that is what she wrote. Her note contained the following hypothetical:
“Pastor, imagine for a moment you’re in a fertility clinic and there is a raging fire all around you. Behind one door, you hear a screaming child. The door to the adjacent room has a container of 1,000 fertilized eggs. You can save only one. Do you save the child or the eggs?”
The motivation behind the hypothetical story is that if a pro-lifer chooses to save the child over the fertilized eggs, then the argument that “life begins at conception” is futile since you could have saved a thousand “children” over the one child behind the door.
And yes, the question was a little odd since she wrote that the door to the adjacent room had the eggs, not the eggs being in the room.
My response: “So, if I save the child, then I’m a hypocrite, and if I save the eggs, I am a … what?A cold-hearted killer? ”
“Let’s play hypothetical for a moment. You’re in a preschool and there is an out of control fire all around you. In one room, you have a crying little boy. The other room, a crying little girl. All things being equal, you only have time to save one child. Whom do you choose? If you choose the girl, does that make you a sexist?
“Or what about this: You’re in a nursing home. Same fire scenario all around you. In the room to your left is your grandmother hooked up to oxygen. However, in the room to your left, your grandfather with a bad leg. You can only go in to save one of them. Does it mean you hated either grandparent you left behind?
“You are home. Fire all around you. You can either save your cat or your dog. You save your cat. Does that make you an animal abuser since you tortured your dog at the end of his or her life by leaving them behind in the fire?
“And you are in your car with two of your friends, one male, one female (if you believe in actual scientific genders). You accidentally drive off the bridge into the water. You can only save one of your friends. Which one do you choose? If you choose the female friend, does that make you a sexist once again since you let the man drown?
“A husband kills his pregnant wife. Should he be charged with two cases of murder or only one since the fetus couldn’t live outside of his mother?
“See, pro-lifers believe life is precious, whether it is in the womb or living under an overpass. We serve the needs of all life because life is God-given. We don’t turn our backs on the single mom who can’t afford diapers or the elderly man who struggles to walk down the street. Unlike your perception of yourself, we know we are not perfect and will make mistakes in life. We are not able to help or save everybody. But we know that our mistakes are not the end of us. We know we can repent to our Lord and receive the forgiveness for our failures. I’m pro-life because I believe life is precious, whether in the womb, in a petrie dish, or lying in a hospital bed dying from a terrible disease. Life is precious.
“And queen, when your argument is built on a fantastical hypothetical, you’ve already lost the argument. My advice for you? Find a local Lutheran Church and attend worship this weekend. Listen. Learn. Pray. See the people around you who won’t judge you.”