Tucker Gets It—Abortion is Child-Sacrifice
November 6, 2023
by JC Bicek
In case you missed it, political commentator Tucker Carlson was speaking at an event hosted by The Center for Christian Virtue back in September in Cleveland, Ohio, where he brought up two key ballot initiatives Ohioans will be voting on in early November. The first measure is a radical abortion initiative that could allow the procedure through all nine months of pregnancy, and the second is a measure legalizing recreational marijuana.
In his remarks on the topic, Tucker acknowledges that the issue of abortion is not a “political debate” but a “spiritual battle.” He laments that our politics no longer seem to be about competing visions for how to improve people’s lives and asks, “When you wind up in an election where the two top ballot initiatives are one, encouraging people to kill their own kids, and two, encouraging their kids to do drugs—who’s benefiting here?”
I think Tucker nails it when he calls abortion what it really is: “human sacrifice.” That’s what they’re being sold in Ohio and everywhere else abortion is being pushed, that it is good to sacrifice your child for the sake of your own self-interest. Women should sacrifice their babies for a distorted view of “progress” and the idols of autonomy and economic stability. The message is that sacrificing your children is a, if not the, path to happiness, flourishing and self-fulfillment. That self-worth and dignity come from self-aggrandizement.
Tucker actually made similar statements earlier this year in reference to numerous interviews and comments made by U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen, and I think her comments, especially as a so-called “elite,” sum up the position well. We should support the practice of child sacrifice because of what it allows women in terms of a career and economic output. This is coming from a serious person with a serious message. And with modernist utilitarian logic, it seems sensible.
As Christians, especially Christians in healthcare, we know well that there’s more to this life than economic flourishing. This life is not our own. It’s not to be lived on our terms. I think Tucker is getting closer to that Christian understanding as he becomes more public about his studying of the Bible. However, the political leaders who don’t ascribe to this Christian worldview are calling for us to sacrifice, not ourselves in the sense of the classical virtue, but others. Seek your own interest first and embark on the world’s vision of well-being and the good life. When Tucker asks who’s benefiting, I think one of the things he’s getting at is the idea that many of those elites who encourage abortion see vulnerable young mothers as cogs in a machine. They don’t have the young woman’s best interests at heart. Rather, it’s the opposite. Those who would encourage motherhood do.
If legislators had our best interests at heart, they would encourage a life of virtue. They would encourage us, as Scripture commands, to defend nascent life and put others before ourselves (Philippians 2:3-4). They would do so because putting the lives of others ahead of our own autonomy is more fruitful and promotes greater flourishing in this world than sacrificing our children to economic idols.
I believe, as I assume Tucker does as well, that those who are genuinely concerned with your flourishing understand that autonomy rightly ordered puts life ahead of freedom. They understand that sacrificing children is evil. They understand that proper ordering here is a prerequisite for a just society, one that promotes the flourishing of all its people, notably the most vulnerable.
We cannot feign to live in a just society when killing in the name of feminism and economics is ascendant. Indeed, James Madison wrote that our Constitution, which defines our freedom in this country, requires “sufficient virtue among men for self-government,” otherwise, “nothing less than the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another.” Is there anything less virtuous than sacrificing your child for your own comfort? So why is it on the ballot? What does it say about its proponents? I might also ask, if you’re killing for a paycheck and status, are you really free?
Certainly, no one should be forced to be the Good Samaritan, if that is how the debate is framed, but that parable is intended to instruct us to act accordingly. At the end, Jesus affirms we are to show mercy, saying “You go, and do likewise” (Luke 10:37b, ESV). This is to point out that we have moral obligations. And to say so does not undermine the value of the woman who may be pregnant; rather, it underscores her value and unique giftedness to bring and nurture life. In John 10:10, Jesus promises abundant life when we follow Him. To have moral obligations that come before our autonomy and personal interests is not meant to make us miserable nor to squash out our human potential. Rather, the obligations we have to Christ and one another provide a joy filled life that overflows with meaning and blessing from our Creator.
If politicians in Ohio, and throughout the country for that matter, wanted to improve lives, they would advocate for the protection of the unborn and go to great lengths to help the mothers of unplanned and otherwise vulnerable pregnancies, even when it comes at great cost to others. They would encourage and equip constituents to live generously and sacrificially. This way of virtuous living is what Paul calls “a still more excellent way” in 1 Corinthians 12:31, and it should lead all of us to put others, especially the most vulnerable, before ourselves.
I don’t believe anyone will genuinely benefit if these initiatives pass. The pro-choice idea of autonomy will bring ruin beyond what it already has because it confuses freedom with license. The fulfillment is shallow when you live life for yourself, and it ultimately reaps corruption (Galatians 6:8). These initiatives are promotions of an undignified life.
Dignity, alternatively, is derived from honoring God and bringing glory to Him. This is a drastically different interpretation from the idea that dignity is derived from doing right in one’s own eyes and from self-aggrandizement. Dignity or self-worth comes from being made in God’s image, not from control. If we understand what it means to be made in His image, then we see what blessings come from serving others and becoming last.
Christianity has played a crucial role in elevating the dignity of the individual, far beyond promoting the sixth commandment that thou shalt not kill (Exodus 20:13). The Christian notion of each person as an Imago Dei has been an unprecedented idea throughout the world since ancient times. That is where genuine dignity and flourishing come. The incorrect ordering that abortion advocates argue for, putting one’s self-interest before their unborn child’s, is undignified and depraved. I really hope the voters in Ohio see this as a spiritual battle and realize the better more fulfilling way is to be servant of all (Mark 9:35). I appreciate Tucker Carlson spreading that word.