Taking on Ark Times Bloggers on various issues Part R “What’s wrong with Roe v. Wade decision?” (includes video “Truth and History” and editorial cartoon)

I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortion, human rights, welfare, poverty, gun control  and issues dealing with popular culture. Here is another exchange I had with them a while back. My username at the Ark Times Blog is Saline Republican.

On 3-4-13 on the Ark Times Blog the person using the username Blake Rutherford’s Pink Bowtie was pleased that Governor Beebe of Arkansas vetoed a pro-life bill. He noted, “Proud of our Governor today. Will our next governor show such courage?”

I responded:

Bill Muehlenberg rightly noted concerning Francis Schaeffer’s view of Roe v Wade:

In his earlier 1976 volume, How Should We Then Live (and the 10-part film series that went with it), he looked at the 1973 ruling in some detail. He talked about the decline of absolutes in American law, and how this decision was completely arbitrary. First, it was medically arbitrary, denying the clear understanding of biology and science.

Second, it was legally arbitrary, “disregarding the intent of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution.” And third, it was at “complete variance with the past Christian consensus. In the pagan Roman Empire, abortion was freely practiced, but Christians took a stand against it. In 314 the Council of Ancyra barred from the taking of the Lord’s Supper for ten years all who procured abortions or made drugs to further abortions.”

If this arbitrary law is accepted by “most modern people, bred with the concept of no absolutes but rather relativity, why wouldn’t arbitrary absolutes in regard to such matters as authoritarian limitations on freedom be equally accepted as long as they were thought to be sociologically helpful? We are left to sociological law without any certainty of limitation.”

Yes he certainly got that right. It was a prophetic insight into where things would lead, and we have certainly arrived, with euthanasia legalised in various places, and academics arguing for the acceptability of infanticide. Indeed, he made the warning quite clear back then: “The door is open. In regard to the fetus, the courts have arbitrarily separated ‘aliveness’ from ‘personhood,’ and if this is so, why not arbitrarily do the same with the aged? So the steps move along, and euthanasia may well become increasingly acceptable.”

In 1979 his book and film series, Whatever Happened to the Human Race?, co-authored with C. Everett Koop, appeared. It looked at the issues of abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia, and sounded a clear alarm for evangelicals to wake up to their social responsibilities. It also argued that abortion rights logically lead to euthanasia and infanticide rights.

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In the film series “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?” the arguments are presented  against abortion (Episode 1),  infanticide (Episode 2),   euthenasia (Episode 3), and then there is a discussion of the Christian versus Humanist worldview concerning the issue of “the basis for human dignity” in Episode 4 and then in the last episode a close look at the truth claims of the Bible.

I truly believe that many of the problems we have today in the USA are due to the advancement of humanism in the last few decades in our society. Ronald Reagan appointed the evangelical Dr. C. Everett Koop to the position of Surgeon General in his administration. He partnered with Dr. Francis Schaeffer in making the video below. It is very valuable information for Christians to have.  Actually I have included a video below that includes comments from him on this subject.

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Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 5) TRUTH AND HISTORY

Published on Oct 7, 2012 by

Compassionate Engagement, Part 5: Schaeffer’s Political Activism

By Derek Brown on January 12, 2012

Part 1    Part 2    Part 3    Part 4

Up to this point in his life, Schaeffer had remained aloof to political activity.  He would become convinced, however, that political involvement was the only logical step given his theory that the decline of Western thought and morality was due to departure from biblical presuppositions (Hankins, 175).  Schaeffer was especially alarmed by the legalizing of abortion, stating that such legalization was arbitrary, both legally and medically; further governmental authoritarianism would be the consequence if Christians did not resist the trend represented by Roe v. Wade.

All of this effort against abortion aimed directly at secular humanism.  Secular humanism, Schaeffer was convinced, was antithetically opposed to biblical Christianity, and, if allowed to take root, could usher in a situation where a few elite policy writers would fill the vacuum left by the disappearance of transcendent absolutes with arbitrary rules and regulations (Hankins, 177-180),  Against this very real threat of authoritarianism Christians had to fight.

Schaeffer’s effort against abortion expressed itself in another film and book, co-authored with C. Everett Koop, entitled, What Ever Happened to the Human Race.  In both the book and the film, Schaeffer argued that the disappearance of a Christian base in the West had led the adoption of a humanist foundation; the remedy was the reestablishment of the Christian base that had been lost in the twentieth century as a result of the ideas of the Enlightenment that had spread throughout the culture (Hankins, 188).  As the book and the film graphically describe the process of abortion, Schaeffer observed that clear phrases like “ending a pregnancy” were only a disguise for what was actually occurring; namely the killing of a human being (Hankins, 181).

Schaeffer and Koop’s endeavor to startle sleeping evangelicals into action apparently worked.  Prior to 1980, very few Protestant denominations sought involvement in the abortion problem, considering it a problem with which the Roman Catholic Church had taken issue.  In 1980 the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), for example, established pro-life resolutions aimed at stopping abortions.  Key leaders within the SBC had read Schaeffer and testified to Schaeffer’s influence on this vital issue.  According to Hankins, “[Schaeffer’s] push against abortion certainly helped fuel the evangelical pro-life movement” (Hankins, 182).

Schaeffer followed What Ever Happened to the Human Race with A Christian Manifesto.  Schaeffer’s burden in the latter book was to help Christians understand their relationship to the government, law, and civil disobedience.  Like the books that had come before, Manifesto was a book of worldviews.  In introducing his plea for Christians to stand against secular humanism, Schaeffer began his argument by noting how pietism—that form of Christianity that emphasizes the experiential component of the faith—had served to divorce facts and ideas from the realm of experience and thus relegated Christianity to the sphere of the private and subjective.  This unfortunate consequence of pietism, Schaeffer argued, allowed secular humanism to develop a strong foothold; Christians were to stand against development by seeing Christianity not merely as an experience, but as a worldview that makes sense of all reality (Hankins, 196-197).

In regards to the question of civil disobedience, Schaeffer believed it was the responsibility of Christians to resist the state when officeholders became tyrannical, although the general demeanor of Christians should be one of submission.  Schaeffer was also reluctant to advocate the use of force—even on the issue of abortion.  Legislative action, sit-ins, political pressure, and quiet demonstrations should be the primary way in which Christians should seek to influence the government and the change of laws (Hankins, 208).

Schaeffer wielded significant influence in the political realm, just as he had previously in the area of Christian apologetics and evangelical engagement with culture—the latter area undoubtedly related to his political involvement as well.  According to Colin Duriez, Schaeffer’s three books, How Shall We Then Live, Whatever Happened to the Human Race, and A Christian Manifesto,

…substantially helped created a new Evangelical Right in America.  Certainly, joining the pro-life lobby identified Schaeffer with America’s Religious Right, which was able to exercise considerable political clout during the Reagan era (Duriez, 191).

Schaeffer would continue his labors despite the fact that two years earlier (in 1978) he had been diagnosed with cancer.  With treatment, Schaeffer’s cancer retreated into remission for a season, while he continued to write and speak at various venues around the United States and spend time at L’Abri.  On May 15, 1984, however, only two years after publishing a five volume set of his complete works, Francis Schaeffer died at his home in Rochester, Minnesota.

Next: Conclusion: Schaeffer’s Lasting Influrence

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Here is a editorial cartoon that looks at the issue of abortion in light of President Obama’s popular political campaign slogan:

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