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FIRST-PERSON: America’s own genocide

McMINNVILLE, Ore. (BP)–In 1994, nearly 1 million people were sadistically slaughtered in the African country of Rwanda, as the ruling Hutu tribe attempted to wipe out the country’s Tutsi minority.

In 100 days, nearly 1 million people were brutally murdered. The horrific genocide was made worse by the fact the whole world stood silently by and did nothing to intervene.

“Hotel Rwanda,” a film currently in theaters, is based on one man’s attempt to rescue as many people as possible from the Hutu’s murderous rampage. At great risk, hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina managed to save more than 1,200 Rwandans from certain death.

Early in the movie, a television journalist named Jack videotapes footage of the brutal genocide being inflicted upon the Tutsis.

When Jack shows the video to Rusesabagina, the hotel manager is relieved. He is sure that once the images are televised abroad, the West will move to stop the murderous madness in Rwanda.

The cynical journalist is not nearly as hopeful as Rusesabagina.

“If people see this footage,” Jack snarls, “they’ll say, ‘… [T]hat’s terrible,’ and they’ll go on eating their dinners.”

His words prove to be prophetic. For 100 days the carnage continued unchecked by Western intervention.

Those who see “Hotel Rwanda” will leave the theater wondering, “How could the United States remain silent while such senseless brutality took place?” The answer: The same way many have stood by and done nothing while millions of babies have been aborted in America.

On Jan. 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that abortion was a right protected by the Constitution and thus could not be restricted. The body count of babies, since that infamous ruling, now stands at more than 40 million. And many Americans still choose, like the world did during the Rwandan genocide, to look the other way.

Attitudes concerning abortion are changing in America. Polls consistently show a majority disprove of unfettered abortion on demand. However, while many believe abortion is a terrible wrong, they “go on eating their dinners.”

Pre-born babies are murdered every day in America. Some are poisoned with saline solution and others literally are torn apart. A small percentage of babies are partially born before being mercilessly murdered. And yet many Americans “go on eating their dinners.”

Some are able to look the other way because they believe abortion only occurs in the direst of circumstances. However, statistics reveal that at least 94 percent of all abortions are performed as a matter of convenience.

Abortion as a convenience has given rise to a new procedure known as “fetal reduction.” In this operation — which is utilized when a woman is pregnant with more than one child — the abortionist takes the life of one — or more — of the pre-born babies, leaving the woman to deliver the child or children she chooses to keep.

Many Americans were introduced to the callous procedure of “fetal reduction” this past summer when Amy Richards wrote a column for The New York Times Magazine. In the back-page commentary Richards detailed her decision to abort two of the triplets she had been carrying.

The reason Richards gave for taking the life of two of her unborn children was simple. “I cannot have triplets,” she wrote. “I was not married; I lived in a five-story walk-up in the East Village.” She concluded, “I’ll never leave my house because I’ll have to care for these children. I’ll have to start shopping only at Costco and buying big jars of mayonnaise.”

So Richards asked the doctor: “Is it possible to get rid of one of them? Or two of them?”

In America it has come to the point that a young woman can “get rid” of two of her unborn children and keep one, all because she does not want to be inconvenienced. Further, she can feel free in casually discussing her decision in a prestigious magazine.

“That’s terrible,” many will say, and then “go on eating their dinners.”

The senseless slaughter of nearly 1 million people recounted by “Hotel Rwanda” is sobering. The silence of the West, particularly of the United States, is troubling. However, even more disturbing is the 40 million-plus babies that have been aborted in America since 1973.

The Rwandan genocide is now history, but the slaughter of pre-born babies in the United States continues. And as long as Americans mutter, “That’s terrible,” and “go on eating their dinners,” it will continue.
Kelly Boggs is pastor of the Portland-area Valley Baptist Church in McMinnville, Ore. His column appears each Friday in Baptist Press.

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  • Kelly Boggs