Under current federal law, an individual who assaults a pregnant woman receives no punishment for any harm done to the unborn child. That the woman being assaulted is carrying a child in her womb is no more relevant in the eyes of the law than the fact that she is brown-haired or blue-eyed.
One of the characters in Marshall Jevons's mystery novel Murder at the Margin is a Harvard Divinity School professor named Matthew Dyke, who at one point complains about the exploitation of low-wage workers. Dyke declares that the employers' "profit-maximizing behavior" at the expense of the workers is unethical—as is all profit-maximizing behavior.
Did Bob Kerrey commit a war crime in Vietnam when his navy squadron killed unarmed women and children? Or were the killings in Thanh Phong accidents of war, the kind of terrible mistakes that even the most careful soldiers make in the fog of battle? We don’t know the answer.
It’s hard not to feel a little sorry for Charlie Ward. Most of us get our theological lessons in private from sympathetic family, friends or teachers. He got his in public from some angry religious leaders and newspaper columnists. Ward, who plays basketball for the New York Knicks, was quoted in the New York Times Magazine uttering anti-Jewish comments.