Liberals have a favorite slam on pro-lifers: "They believe life begins at conception and ends at birth." It is a base slander of people who give more time and money to Christian charities--and non-Christian charities--than many others in America.

It is indeed a lazy and despicable slander of pro-lifers. Helen Alvare and her co-authors are certainly right in their recent Christianity Today column. Theirs is a powerful defense of the defenders. They demonstrate pro-lifers' commitment to social justice and to lending helping hands.

But the liberals slam raises another pertinent question: Whats wrong with saving human lives? I served in the Coast Guard for nine years. I took part in rescues at sea. The Coast Guard recently claimed to have saved 1 million lives since its founding in 1790.

In 230 years, not one of those million persons whose lives were saved ever complained that the Coast Guard did not teach them to read, or help them obtain a job, or give them a breakfast. (Actually, we did give them breakfasts, but only until we got them safely on shore). In the Coast Guard, we did nothing about illiteracy. Or poverty.

Still, Americans honor the Coast Guard all the same.

The entire charge against pro-lifers is as offensive as it is absurd. When 3,000 unborn children are unjustly killed every day, there is an urgency that life alone can command.

Several years ago, I was writing a paper late on a Friday afternoon. We were then living at the U.S. Naval Academy. I was struggling to convey to the reader the enormity of 3,000 lives a day.

My wife, a Navy captain, pulled me away from my word processor to a ceremony on the Parade Field. With the band leading the parade, the Brigade of Midshipmen marched by the reviewing stands.

There were young men and women, from every state, marching by. They formed up nine abreast. It took eleven minutes for this company to pass the Superintendent and take the salute. And there were three thousand of them.

Watching these vital young Mids marching by, it struck me with a pang: we lose the equivalent of this wonderful brigade--a hopeful brigade of future Americans--every day.

For anyone to say that stopping the fatal parade of abortion is not urgently needed--or to slander those good Americans who are trying lawfully and lovingly to stop it--is cruel and unjust. It is as morally wrong as those who take innocent lives. God bless the pro-lifers. I'm still happy to throw them a line.