BREAKING DOWN CARL SAGAN’S LOGIC ON ABORTION Part 24 “This conjures up the specter of predominantly male, predominantly affluent legislators condemning victims of rape and incest to carry and nurture the offspring of their assailants”(My 1995 correspondence with Sagan)

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Adrian Rogers

Excerpt from Adrian Rogers message:

  •  “But what about all those babies conceived by rape or incest?” 

First, only 1% of all abortions are performed because of rape or incest. This is a smokescreen designed to deflect and get you to concede that this person, so conceived, is not deserving of life. 

Should a baby conceived out of rape or incest not live? The great singer Ethel Waters was born as the result of rape.  Ruth, an ancestress of the Lord Jesus Christ, was a descendent of Moab, who was born out of an incestuous relationship. 

If you say a baby born out of rape or incest ought not to live, what if there were a one month old baby in the crib born out of rape or incest? Would you kill that baby? What about a two-month-old or a five-year-old? Because the child was conceived under horrific circumstances, should the child be put to death? Remember, the child in the mother’s womb is as much a child as one outside—and is completely innocent of any wrongdoing as regards his/her conception

End of Rogers Excerpt

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Carl Sagan pictured below:

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Recently I have been revisiting my correspondence in 1995 with the famous astronomer Carl Sagan who I had the privilege to correspond with in 1994, 1995 and 1996. In 1996 I had a chance to respond to his December 5, 1995letter on January 10, 1996 and I never heard back from him again since his cancer returned and he passed away later in 1996. Below is what Carl Sagan wrote to me in his December 5, 1995 letter:

Thanks for your recent letter about evolution and abortion. The correlation is hardly one to one; there are evolutionists who are anti-abortion and anti-evolutionists who are pro-abortion.You argue that God exists because otherwise we could not understand the world in our consciousness. But if you think God is necessary to understand the world, then why do you not ask the next question of where God came from? And if you say “God was always here,” why not say that the universe was always here? On abortion, my views are contained in the enclosed article (Sagan, Carl and Ann Druyan {1990}, “The Question of Abortion,” Parade Magazine, April 22.)

I was introduced to when reading a book by Francis Schaeffer called HE IS THERE AND HE IS NOT SILENT written in 1968. 

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Francis Schaeffer

I was blessed with the opportunity to correspond with Dr. Sagan, and in his December 5, 1995 letter Dr. Sagan went on to tell me that he was enclosing his article “The Question of Abortion: A Search for Answers”by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan. I am going to respond to several points made in that article. Here is a portion of Sagan’s article (here is a link to the whole article):

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(both Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer mentioned Carl Sagan in their books and that prompted me to write Sagan and expose him to their views.
Image result for carl sagan ann

Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan pictured above

 “The Question of Abortion: A Search for Answers”

by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan

For the complete text, including illustrations, introductory quote, footnotes, and commentary on the reaction to the originally published article see Billions and Billions.

The issue had been decided years ago. The court had chosen the middle ground. You’d think the fight was over. Instead, there are mass rallies, bombings and intimidation, murders of workers at abortion clinics, arrests, intense lobbying, legislative drama, Congressional hearings, Supreme Court decisions, major political parties almost defining themselves on the issue, and clerics threatening politicians with perdition. Partisans fling accusations of hypocrisy and murder. The intent of the Constitution and the will of God are equally invoked. Doubtful arguments are trotted out as certitudes. The contending factions call on science to bolster their positions. Families are divided, husbands and wives agree not to discuss it, old friends are no longer speaking. Politicians check the latest polls to discover the dictates of their consciences. Amid all the shouting, it is hard for the adversaries to hear one another. Opinions are polarized. Minds are closed.

 

Is it wrong to abort a pregnancy? Always? Sometimes? Never? How do we decide? We wrote this article to understand better what the contending views are and to see if we ourselves could find a position that would satisfy us both. Is there no middle ground? We had to weigh the arguments of both sides for consistency and to pose test cases, some of which are purely hypothetical. If in some of these tests we seem to go too far, we ask the reader to be patient with us–we’re trying to stress the various positions to the breaking point to see their weaknesses and where they fail.

In contemplative moments, nearly everyone recognizes that the issue is not wholly one-sided. Many partisans of differing views, we find, feel some disquiet, some unease when confronting what’s behind the opposing arguments. (This is partly why such confrontations are avoided.) And the issue surely touches on deep questions: What are our responses to one another? Should we permit the state to intrude into the most intimate and personal aspects of our lives? Where are the boundaries of freedom? What does it mean to be human?

Of the many actual points of view, it is widely held–especially in the media, which rarely have the time or the inclination to make fine distinctions–that there are only two: “pro-choice” and “pro-life.” This is what the two principal warring camps like to call themselves, and that’s what we’ll call them here. In the simplest characterization, a pro-choicer would hold that the decision to abort a pregnancy is to be made only by the woman; the state has no right to interfere. And a pro-lifer would hold that, from the moment of conception, the embryo or fetus is alive; that this life imposes on us a moral obligation to preserve it; and that abortion is tantamount to murder. Both names–pro-choice and pro-life–were picked with an eye toward influencing those whose minds are not yet made up: Few people wish to be counted either as being against freedom of choice or as opposed to life. Indeed, freedom and life are two of our most cherished values, and here they seem to be in fundamental conflict.

Let’s consider these two absolutist positions in turn. A newborn baby is surely the same being it was just before birth. There ‘s good evidence that a late-term fetus responds to sound–including music, but especially its mother’s voice. It can suck its thumb or do a somersault. Occasionally, it generates adult brain-wave patterns. Some people claim to remember being born, or even the uterine environment. Perhaps there is thought in the womb. It’s hard to maintain that a transformation to full personhood happens abruptly at the moment of birth. Why, then, should it be murder to kill an infant the day after it was born but not the day before?

As a practical matter, this isn’t very important: Less than 1 percent of all tabulated abortions in the United States are listed in the last three months of pregnancy (and, on closer investigation, most such reports turn out to be due to miscarriage or miscalculation). But third-trimester abortions provide a test of the limits of the pro-choice point of view. Does a woman’s “innate right to control her own body” encompass the right to kill a near-term fetus who is, for all intents and purposes, identical to a newborn child?

We believe that many supporters of reproductive freedom are troubled at least occasionally by this question. But they are reluctant to raise it because it is the beginning of a slippery slope. If it is impermissible to abort a pregnancy in the ninth month, what about the eighth, seventh, sixth … ? Once we acknowledge that the state can interfere at any time in the pregnancy, doesn’t it follow that the state can interfere at all times?

Abortion and the slippery slope argument above

This conjures up the specter of predominantly male, predominantly affluent legislators telling poor women they must bear and raise alone children they cannot afford to bring up; forcing teenagers to bear children they are not emotionally prepared to deal with; saying to women who wish for a career that they must give up their dreams, stay home, and bring up babies; and, worst of all, condemning victims of rape and incest to carry and nurture the offspring of their assailants. Legislative prohibitions on abortion arouse the suspicion that their real intent is to control the independence and sexuality of women…

And yet, by consensus, all of us think it proper that there be prohibitions against, and penalties exacted for, murder. It would be a flimsy defense if the murderer pleads that this is just between him and his victim and none of the government’s business. If killing a fetus is truly killing a human being, is it not the duty of the state to prevent it? Indeed, one of the chief functions of government is to protect the weak from the strong.

If we do not oppose abortion at some stage of pregnancy, is there not a danger of dismissing an entire category of human beings as unworthy of our protection and respect? And isn’t that dismissal the hallmark of sexism, racism, nationalism, and religious fanaticism? Shouldn’t those dedicated to fighting such injustices be scrupulously careful not to embrace another?

Why do we set humans above animals?

There is no right to life in any society on Earth today, nor has there been at any former time… : We raise farm animals for slaughter; destroy forests; pollute rivers and lakes until no fish can live there; kill deer and elk for sport, leopards for the pelts, and whales for fertilizer; entrap dolphins, gasping and writhing, in great tuna nets; club seal pups to death; and render a species extinct every day. All these beasts and vegetables are as alive as we. What is (allegedly) protected is not life, but human life.

Adrian Rogers sermon on the Bible and Animal Rights is a perfect answer to Sagan!!

And even with that protection, casual murder is an urban commonplace, and we wage “conventional” wars with tolls so terrible that we are, most of us, afraid to consider them very deeply… That protection, that right to life, eludes the 40,000 children under five who die on our planet each day from preventable starvation, dehydration, disease, and neglect.

Those who assert a “right to life” are for (at most) not just any kind of life, but for–particularly and uniquely—human life. So they too, like pro-choicers, must decide what distinguishes a human being from other animals and when, during gestation, the uniquely human qualities–whatever they are–emerge.

The Bible talks about the differences between humans and animals

Despite many claims to the contrary, life does not begin at conception: It is an unbroken chain that stretches back nearly to the origin of the Earth, 4.6 billion years ago. Nor does human life begin at conception: It is an unbroken chain dating back to the origin of our species, hundreds of thousands of years ago. Every human sperm and egg is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, alive. They are not human beings, of course. However, it could be argued that neither is a fertilized egg.

In some animals, an egg develops into a healthy adult without benefit of a sperm cell. But not, so far as we know, among humans. A sperm and an unfertilized egg jointly comprise the full genetic blueprint for a human being. Under certain circumstances, after fertilization, they can develop into a baby. But most fertilized eggs are spontaneously miscarried. Development into a baby is by no means guaranteed. Neither a sperm and egg separately, nor a fertilized egg, is more than a potential baby or a potential adult. So if a sperm and egg are as human as the fertilized egg produced by their union, and if it is murder to destroy a fertilized egg–despite the fact that it’s only potentially a baby–why isn’t it murder to destroy a sperm or an egg?

Hundreds of millions of sperm cells (top speed with tails lashing: five inches per hour) are produced in an average human ejaculation. A healthy young man can produce in a week or two enough spermatozoa to double the human population of the Earth. So is masturbation mass murder? How about nocturnal emissions or just plain sex? When the unfertilized egg is expelled each month, has someone died? Should we mourn all those spontaneous miscarriages? Many lower animals can be grown in a laboratory from a single body cell. Human cells can be cloned… In light of such cloning technology, would we be committing mass murder by destroying any potentially clonable cells? By shedding a drop of blood?

For the complete text, including illustrations, introductory quote, footnotes, and commentary on the reaction to the originally published article see Billions and Billions.

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Carl Sagan asserted:

“This conjures up the specter of predominantly male, predominantly affluent legislators condemning victims of rape and incest to carry and nurture the offspring of their assailants”

Adrian Rogers (1931-2005) I shared my correspondence with Carl Sagan with Dr Rogers and the fact that many of my letters to Sagan contained material from Rogers.

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Why was there a push back after 1973 against Roe v Wade? It is because Francis Schaeffer helped awaken the church with his book and film series WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? This probably had an impact on President Reagan putting conservatives on the federal courts. 

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Francis Schaeffer.

Past Failures and Future Resolves 
in the Battle for Human Life

By Wesley Strackbein

America’s holocaust continues.

Today more than 3,000 children will be murdered in the womb through surgical abortion. These dead children will be heaped on the more than 54 million others who have preceded them since the darkest day in American legal history which occurred when the Roe v. Wade decision was rendered by the U.S. Supreme Court. Forty years ago today, our nation’s highest court legally sanctioned the killing of the unborn.

As we consider this bloody slaughter, it behooves us to ask three key questions: How did Roe v. Wade come about? What has been the Church’s response over the last forty years? And, where do we go from here?

The Legal Backdrop for Roe: 
The Abandonment of Original Intent

In examining America’s legal history, it is clear that Roe v. Wade did not arise out of a vacuum. The decision flowed from a legal trend that had been in motion for more a hundred years in which the meaning of the U.S. Constitution was being increasingly redefined based on the view that it was an “evolving document.” Rather than defending its original intent as envisioned by the drafters of the Constitution, the black robed judges who presided over our nation’s courts were interpreting it to suit their own personal notions of what they deemed best for society.

This trend is pointedly illustrated in a seminal case that the Supreme Court handed down in 1965, eight years before Roe was decided — Griswold v. Connecticut.

Doug Phillips, a constitutional attorney and the founder of Vision Forum Ministries, notes the significance of this earlier landmark decision: “You cannot understand Roe unless you understand Griswold, and you cannot understand Griswold unless you understand the changing nature of judicial interpretation.”

In Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court struck down a law which forbade contraception use on the basis of “the right to privacy,” a doctrine found nowhere in the Constitution, yet one the justices derived from the “penumbras” and “emanations” of the document.

Phillips explains the Court’s strategy in invoking these terms in Griswold:

[The court] is speaking of little glowing halos around the broad-sweeping principles that are somehow emitted from the Constitution. In point of fact, they are telling us there is nothing in the Constitution that grants ‘the right to privacy,’ but it sure seems like it should be there. . . . What happened in Griswold laid the groundwork for Roe and the murder of unborn children.

The Hammer Falls: 
“Unborn Children are Not Persons”

The case of Roe v. Wade involved a suit made on behalf of Norma McCorvey (under the alias of “Jane Roe ”) who was unable to secure an abortion in Texas based on the state’s law at the time. While she had already given birth to her child by the time the case was heard, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of McCorvey on appeal in a 7-2 decision, invoking the “right of privacy” rationale that had been invented in Griswold.

While the Court was less than confident in defending the “right of privacy” doctrine from the Constitution itself, it nonetheless expanded it to include the right of a mother to murder her unborn child. In writing the majority opinion for the court, Justice Harry Blackmun stated:

[The] right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment’s concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or . . . in the Ninth Amendment’s reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.

Even as the justices in the majority invoked the Fourteenth Amendment as a purported “source” for the so-called “right to privacy,” the Supreme Court did an in-run around the Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause — which stipulates that “no state shall . . . deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws” — by denying the personhood of children in the womb.

Blackmun wrote: “the word ‘person,’ as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn.”

Justice Byron White and William Rehnquist — the two judges who opposed the decision — took the majority’s reasoning to task in their dissent:

I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the Court’s judgment. The Court simply fashions and announces a new constitutional right for pregnant women and, with scarcely any reason or authority for its action, invests that right with sufficient substance to override most existing state abortion statutes.

The Cultural Landscape: 
A Weak and Abdicated Church

Though the legal trends that lead to Roe v. Wade are important to examine, even more important is where the Church was during this time.

Dan Becker, President of Georgia Right to Life and Field Director of Personhood USA, puts the matter bluntly: “How did [Roe] come about? It came about because of the absence of the Church.”

Doug Phillips agrees:

The Church completely abdicated from speaking to the legal, ethical, and biblical principles that apply to culture and to law. When Roe was ultimately declared by the Court, many Evangelical Christians had nothing to say to it, because they didn’t have a biblical worldview. For more than a century, the Church had increasingly resorted to a form of religious pietism which had no practical application to life and important cultural issues. The result was lamentable — the withdraw of the Church from every area of society meant the demise of our culture and our law system.

Dr. George Grant, a pro-life advocate who has written prolifically in defense of the unborn, offers a similar view.

As the Church, Grant states, “we were not preaching the Word of God, we were not training and equipping disciples, we were not reinforcing and strengthening the family and the other spheres.”

This led, argues Grant, to “a Church that had so marginalized itself intellectually and culturally that it was constitutionally incapable of speaking to the problems [of the day] articulately. That set up Roe v. Wade.”

Delving deeper, Phillips points to the blights of social Darwinism, utilitarianism, and radical feminism as key cultural forces that paved the way for Roe.

While the Church, for example, has historically embraced the sanctity of life from conception to death and welcomed children as a blessing, American Evangelicals in the twentieth century forsook these roots for a selfish course rooted in humanistic, evolutionary theory. Phillips observes:

The Church embraced the basic tenets of Margaret Sanger’s vision for the eugenic age which said that some people life is not worth living; that men can lawfully manipulate their reproduction; and that some babies shouldn’t be brought into this world.

One result attending this shift was that, by the middle decades of the twentieth century, mainline evangelical churches had embraced contraceptive use as a legitimate practice. In 1960, the Church accepted use of the Pill, which is known to act as an abortifacient. This occurred despite the fact that, prior to the last century, the orthodox Church has universally condemned contraceptive use as a selfish perversion of God’s design for human intimacy between husband and wife.

To paraphrase Hosea’s indictment: We sowed the wind — and when Roe was handed down on January 22, 1973 — we reaped the worldwind.

The Church Awakes: 
Whatever Happened to the Human Race?

Though the pall of death loomed over America’s unborn with the Roedecision, the Evangelical Church was not quick to wake from its slumber. While Roman Catholics were faster on point in the battle over the sanctity of human life, Protestants throughout the ’70s largely stayed on the sidelines.

Many longstanding leaders in the pro-life movement who are still active today credit Francis Schaeffer as a key prod who prompted Protestants to enter the fight. Dr. George Grant notes the significance of Schaeffer’s 1979 book and accompanying video, Whatever Happened to the Human Race?, which confronted the issues of abortion, euthanasia, and infanticide; as well as Schaeffer’s best-selling book, A Christian Manifesto, released in 1981, as works that spurred many Evangelicals to engage the arena in defense of life.

Dan Becker of Georgia Right to Life offers these comments:

“Francis Schaeffer was the one who brought most of the evangelical church to the pro-life movement itself back in the early ’80s. It was totally absent from the culture completely, prior to anything having to do with the sanctity of life. It wasn’t on the radar of [most] churches” until Schaeffer brought it to their attention.

Jim Zes, a Reformed Baptist who has been fighting for the sanctity of life for many years in the St. Louis area, remembers a billboard Schaeffer took out in a major Florida city that said, in essence, “Abortions clinics are open with permission by the Church of Jesus Christ.”

Schaeffer’s salvo on the Church’s lethargy is a theme that has motivated Zes to remain engaged in this battle for the long haul.

The Roaring ’80s: 
Progress and Compromise

As the ’80s progressed, pro-life Evangelicals gained more traction, notoriety, and influence. 1988 was a particularly noteworthy year for the movement on several fronts. On the fifteenth anniversary of Roe, Dr. George Grant published Grand Illusions, an earth-shattering expose of the legacy of Planned Parenthood that became a best-seller which has since been reissued in numerous languages and editions.

Also that year, Operation Rescue, under Randall Terry’s leadership, staged a series of controversial abortion clinic blockades in Atlanta, Georgia, surrounding the Democratic National Convention which resulting in more than 1,200 arrests.

Yet while the pro-life movement gained remarkable ascendancy and public awareness at this time, it was during this same general period that the movement on the whole took a turn for the worse, in terms of its core commitments.

The derailment occurred in conjunction with proposed changes to the Hyde Amendment, which since 1976 had banned federal Medicaid funding for abortion. In 1981, pro-lifers strenuously fought for rape, incest, and health of the mother exceptions of the mother to be dropped from the Hyde Amendment and won. Throughout the ’80s, the advocacy of such exceptions was deemed unacceptable by the major pro-life organizations, both Catholic and Protestant.

However, as the ’80s were coming to a close, the debate over the Hyde Amendment was reopened on Capitol Hill, and the exceptions of rape and incest came to the fore of the discussion.

“This led to a debate within the [pro-life] movement about whether or not it would damage the underlying presupposition that all life is sacred and should be protected as an inalienable right,” notes Dan Becker.

In a radical departure, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Right to Life Committee, and other leading pro-life organizations signed off on the changes and created a “new normal” of what it means to be pro-life — that a politician or other operative in the political arena can support the murder of one category of children and still be deemed “pro-life.”

Looking back on this titanic sea-change, Becker notes the fall-out that resulted: “By abandoning the basic Christian premise of imago Dei, we invited a pragmatism based on natural law. We compromised and capitulated to the point in the pro-life movement where it became ineffectual—both politically and as a preservative agent as salt.”

Becker explains the folly of the rape and incest exception according to God’s law, a principle long recognized in English common law:

Deuteronomy 24:16 says that a child shall not be put to death for the crimes of its father. That means that if a rapist commits an act of violence against a woman, and she conceives, we [must] protect that child, and we [must] advocate that that child should not pay the penalty for its father’s sin.

In assenting to the Hyde Amendment exceptions, a Pandora’s box of compromise was opened. From it came a broader unbiblical strategy that included support of parental notification laws, 24-hour waiting periods, and various other legislation that conceded the premise of the debate.

Pro-lifers were now supporting bills which said in so many words, “You can kill your child, so long as your parents approve; you can kill your child, so long as you wait 24 hours before the knife falls.”

Incrementalism: The Good and the Bad

Many critical of such compromises don’t suggest that incrementalism in the fight for of life is wrong in all cases, but that incrementalism should only be pursued when the core principles of the sanctity of all human life are maintained, not undermined.

Doug Phillips remarks: “If we can pass pro-life laws that don’t ratify the foundation of abortion’s ‘lawfulness,’ or reinforce the wickedness of abortion as a practice, this is something worth pursuing.”

Dan Becker notes that creating tension over competing legal precedents has warrant when done on the right terms: “You can identify a class of human life that you can protect, as long as you don’t name a physical class that you won’t protect, and therefore become complicit.”

In considering positive examples of incrementalism, Dr. Grant commends William Wilberforce for consideration: “When you look at the incrementalism strategies of someone like a Wilberforce . . . the incrementalism reforms were never couched in such a way as to concede the original premise.”

Grant also highlights the wrong approach to incrementalism that officials in Amsterdam took in response to prostitution, “They said we are not going to be able to ban prostitution, so we’ll isolate it and stigmatize it. So what happens then is that it becomes a tourist attraction. You can’t concede the premise of an opponent’s argument.”

Phillips warns of the danger of so-called “victories” that concede the foundation:

The idea that we are accomplishing a victory by ratifying the execution of children on the condition that the mother or father of the baby have sort of warning of the emotional or psychological effect that may occur if they murder their child, or that a cancerous effect may result — that it’s okay to kill as long as we “notify” — is simply horrific. It’s an ethical nightmare which reinforces the very thing we are fighting against.

Score-Card Gamesmanship: 
Pro-Death is the New Pro-Life

A prominent feature of the compromised political strategy employed by Evangelical pro-life groups is how they have score-carded candidates on the issues.

The National Right to Life Committee has been particularly notorious in this regard. The NRLC, for example, endorsed Republican presidential candidates Sen. John McCain and Gov. Mitt Romney as “pro-life” when their past track records as well as contemporary statements provided no defensible basis for such recognition. Both McCain and Romney have consistently supported the murder of children conceived by rape and incest, and have vocally advocated weakening the Republican Party Platform on abortion, among other troubling actions on their part that have threatened the sanctity of life.

But it’s not just presidential races where National Right to Life has gone askew. Last year, the NRLC got well-deserved blowback from the Boston Globe when they spent $45,000 sending out mailers in support of Sen. Scott Brown, who openly supports legalized abortion.

Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham leveled the boom on NRLC: “Even though Brown has been loudly proclaiming that he favors abortion rights, the antiabortion group gave him a 100 percent rating in his first year as a senator, and an 80 percent rating in his second. And it continues to shower him with paper roses.”[1]

The flier that the NRLC mailed in support of Sen. Brown showed a picture of a fetus, a little baby, and an older woman. The flier’s headline was hardly subtle: “It’s time to take America back. . . for LIFE!”[2]

When confronted on this hypocrisy, David O’Steen, executive director of the National Right to Life, admitted that the NRLC sometime supports candidates who favor legalized abortion.

“He is pro-choice,” O’Steen stated. But “if you look at the two candidates, Elizabeth Warren’s position is very extreme. She can only be characterized as pro-abortion.”[3]

Dr. George Grant comments on this trend which he has observed for more than two decades.

The reality is that Al Gore was never pro-life. When he was a [U.S.] rep and then a Senator [from Tennessee], he was never the pro-life, southern Conservative he was made out to be,” who then “converted” to become pro-choice when he was tagged to run as Bill Clinton’s running mate in 1992.

“It was the silly scorecards that took such a shallow representations of [Gore’s] voting record and declared him to be pro-life,” remarks Grant. “But he was always . . . rooted in Bismarkian, Nietzschean, real politick.”

The way a policy group scores candidates reveals their priorities, Grant maintains.

“Most scorecards emerge from institutions that have agendas, and the scorecards usually say more about the agenda of the organization than the candidates themselves,” he notes. “The onus is on pastors to inform their congregations that this is the case.”

This said, Grant does see some value in scorecards, but encourages them to be used only as a first to step getting an education about a particular candidate or candidates, as they have inherent limitations.“There are always hazards to any kind of shorthand, any kind of abbreviated declaration.”

Doug Phillips argues that policy groups should stop misleading others about candidates’ positions when life is at stake and simply tell the truth. “What we need to be saying is not, ‘This candidate is pro-life with exceptions; but this candidate is pro-death with exceptions. This person believes that it’s okay to kill some babies, but not all of them.’”

Appealing to the fundamentals, Phillips offers this as the benchmark in endorsing candidates for public office:

We should never support a candidate who supports the murder of any children through abortion. And until our candidates know that, they are going to keep saying and doing only as much as they have to in order to appease us.

Back on Track: 
Saving the 100, Not Just the 99

Despite negative trends among various leading pro-life groups, the leadership of a number of state organizations has openly repented of past compromise and purposed to return to biblical foundations and definitions in the battle for human life.

Among them is Georgia Right to Life who, in the year 2000, jettisoned the “rape and incest exception” as an acceptable “pro-life” position and has self-consciously sought to return the national debate back to the foundational argument of “personhood” that was a main focus of the pro-life movement prior to the Hyde Amendment compromise.

Tennessee and Alabama’s pro-life groups have followed suit in rejecting “rape and incest exception” in their candidate endorsement policy.

Dan Becker, who is the current president of Georgia Right to Life, notes the blessing that has occurred since GRL made this change twelve years ago.

“Georgia is the only state in the nation where all nine statewide offices that are elected by the voters statewide are pro-life without exception,” he observes. “We have gone from the 50th most protected state in the nation to the 9th.”

Becker adds this salvo: “No longer do we say, ‘We’re going to save the 99 and pray for the 1.’ We’re going to save all 100.”

While GRL’s position is not without major detractors in the movement, Becker is positive about the opportunities that their stand for principle has opened up for them.

“We are impacting the movement in ways that are exciting, new, and effective,” he remarks. “I’ve [now] been tasked to implement the Georgia model in other states. The [fight for personhood] is the new paradigm of pro-life activity for the 21st Century.”

Personhood Is the Battle: 
The Challenges that Lie Ahead

Becker’s insistence that “personhood” return to the center of the debate is based squarely on principle — yet it also anticipates the future horrors on the horizon that will come if this standard is not thoroughly defended and upheld. And the battleground, Becker maintains, is far broader than simply abortion.

“Because we’ve only been anti-abortion — instead of thoroughly defending the doctrine of imago Dei [in all that it entails] — we are only operating on one cylinder, while the culture is running on twelve cylinders,” Becker notes.

He then explains the implications:

We have ceded a lot of battleground in the emerging technologies and on the issue of personhood for the elderly. Because of the burgeoning [aging Baby Boomers], we will see the fight for personhood become increasing important for the elderly, as their personhood is denied through rationed healthcare decisions that define who is protected under the law and who is not.

Great challenges already exist in the field of genetics, as arguments for trans-humanism are being advanced by medical practitioners and ethicists who deny that man is created in God’s image with certain inherent limitations that he, as a creature, is not free to manipulate.

“’When are we human?’ is being debated — what is a human being? — the definition is up for grabs right now,” remarks Becker. “What if we’re okay with trans-genic animal/human hybrids, and we start tinkering with that in our law to allow for it?”

He also comments on the popularity of Spiderman, the Hulk, Ironman, etc. and states that the genetic-manipulation and “enhancements” of these Comic Book icons so popular on the big screen reflect part of a real, raging debate in academia that is hardly fiction.

As complicated and thorny as all of this is, Becker argues that the answer at its core is really quite simple.

“It’s the doctrine of imago Dei,” he says. “As a culture and as a political system . . . [we must call on all] to recognize what God has already granted — an inalienable right to life based on the doctrinal teaching we have understood that has shaped Western history two or three times over the last two thousand years.”

A Blueprint for Victory: 
Humble Repentance for Our Sins

The last forty years have been one of horror and bloodshed for the unborn.

The question now is: Where do we go from here?

Dr. George Grant asserts that the Evangelical Church must begin by getting its priorities straight.

Commenting on the recent Newtown massacre, he laments, “More Christians are concerned that their Second Amendment gun rights are being taken away than seeing the inconsistencies in this rhetoric, given the murder today of 3,300 children, and tomorrow of 3,300 children, and the next day of 3,300 children.”

Jim Zes emphasizes the need for the Church to not only focus on missions of mercy, such as crisis pregnancies centers and adoption — both of which play an important role in Christian outreach — but for the Church to reclaim its prophetic voice and, once again, call good, “good” and evil “evil” and to confront the culture courageously.

Zes says we must affirm God’s law as the standard as part of a clear Gospel message of repentance and hope.

Dr. Grant agrees with this assessment, but says our voice of confrontation to the culture should only sound once we as the Church confess our own sins and repent. “The need in our day is to not so much practice Jeremiads, but Nehemiads.”

He then explains the quandary. “There’s much to lament; there’s much to critique in our culture,” he confesses. “[Y]et the Church is in no position to give our culture Jeremiads because we are so compromised. We can’t give Jeremiads of substance because we are guilty of virtually anything we might lament.”

Our first step, Grant asserts, is for Christians “to come to the ruin and cry out to Almighty God in all humility, as Nehemiah does in Nehemiah 1, and get busy with the hard work of cleaning up the rubble.”

Grant’s main point is this: We can’t take our axe to the culture’s idols until we’ve cleaned up our own house.

Doug Phillips offers these sobering words in closing the discussion: “How can we possibly expect to win the battle for life when we are killing our own children in the womb through abortifacient contraception-when we’re refusing to take an uncompromising stand for all of life?”

Hosea’s pointed words are timely for today’s wayward Church:

Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. . . . Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” (Hosea 6:1-3)

As we battle for the sanctity of all human life, we as the Church must forsake our wickedness, fall on our face in humility, and repent.

Only then should we expect God’s favor on our land.

 
[1] Yvonne Abraham, “Senator Brown trying to have it both ways,” Boston Globe, October 28, 2012.
[2] Noah Bierman, “Antiabortion group sends out mailers for Scott Brown, who favors legalized abortion,” Boston Globe, October 25, 2012.
[3] Ibid.

The Sin of Silence, Part 1

If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain, if thou sayest, “Behold, we knew it not,” doth not He that pondereth the heart consider it? And He that keepeth thy soul, doth not He know it? And shall not He render to every man according to his works? Proverbs 24:11-12 

Those who know the Lord dare not be silent. Today in America, 1,800 lives will be snuffed out. In the last 40 years, 57.3 million innocent people in the U.S. have died by execution. They’ve had no trial or counsel, executed in a cruel, inhumane way. Almost every 30 seconds, a little baby will die in the United States. 

Who are the conspirators in the crime? Those Supreme Court justices who found a right to abortion in the Constitution; physicians, responsible for prolonging life, who now take life for money; abortion providers like Planned Parenthood, who are reaping a windfall in this harvest of death; willing mothers and fathers who are having their offspring put to death. All these are perpetrators in this crime, but there are others—the silent ones who will not speak up. Are you one of those? We dare not, we must not, be silent. 

Pharaoh, Hitler, and Herod the Great, taken together, cannot hold a candle to the 57.3 million who have been put to death in America since 1973. You can be fined $5,000 and face jail time for crushing an eagle’s egg, yet make a handsome salary putting babies to death. 

It is now legal in America for any physician to kill a baby while that baby is in the mother’s womb, even if the mother is in labor. Many are unaware that abortion was not only declared a “right” under the Constitution in Roe v. Wade, but in Doe v. Bolton was found legal up to and through the delivery date of the child

Today in this land we ask God to bless, a junior high school girl or boy will be taught how to practice sex without the consequences of disease or pregnancy, be given contraceptives without parental permission, and the same school-based health clinic that cannot even dispense an aspirin without parental permission can send a teen to a clinic without her parents’ knowledge or consent, to have her baby aborted. There’s something very wrong in America. 

I know this is distasteful. It’s not an upbeat message, but I want to give you three reasons why we dare not, we must not be silent.          

1.  It is a matter of life. 

13 For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.15 My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.  How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! Psalm 139:13-17 

When a woman is pregnant, God Himself is forming a child in that mother’s womb. That child is the subject and object of God’s love and concern. 

The Bible does not distinguish between prenatal and postnatal life. The child in the womb is as precious to God as the newborn baby. 

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; Before you were born, I sanctified you;” Jeremiah 1:5. 

What some would call “just a blob of tissue,” God says was set aside and sanctified to be a prophet of God. I’m grateful Jeremiah was not aborted. And not just Jeremiah… 

41 And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!… 44 For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.” Luke 1:41-44 

John the Baptist, still in Elizabeth’s womb, and in the presence of the yet-unborn Lord Jesus Christ, was so filled with joy, touched by the Holy Spirit, that that he leaped for joy. 

The word used here for “babe” is the Greek word brepos. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon defines brepos as “an unborn child, embryo, fetus, a newborn child, an infant, a babe.” It means all of those things, not some of those things. Brepos, describing John in his mother’s womb, is the word for a baby, whether born or unborn. 

According to the Bible, life begins at conception. But science makes it easy to see that. 

  • A human cell has 46 chromosomes, 23 each from father mother. That cell structure is as much a part of the father as it is the mother. No mother carrying a baby can logically say, “It’s nobody else’s business what happens to my body.” It is not her body. There is a unique, separate creature in her, one with unique DNA, a separate circulatory system and perhaps even a different blood type from the mother.
  • The baby is in a continuing process of development. A baby just conceived is a person. A baby developing in the mother’s womb is a person. A baby just born is a person. The baby growing into toddlerhood is a person. The child at his first day of school is a person. Young people, adults, and those maturing in age—all are persons in a continuing stage of development, according to the Word of God and even to science. 

 How Does God Feel About Abortion?

16 These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: 17 A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood,18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil,19 A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren. Proverbs 6:16-19 

Let me tell you how God feels about the abortion business. This is not something God is “not fond of.” He says He hates it. 

Dr. Bernard N. Nathanson, an obstetrician/gynecologist, once an assistant professor at Cornell University Medical School, was director of the largest abortion clinic in the western world. But he changed his tune and became a leader in the pro-life movement after his clinic performed 60,000 abortions in 18 months. Dr. Nathanson resigned, saying, “I am deeply troubled by my own increasing certainty that I had, in fact, presided over 60,000 deaths.” “My certainty,” said this medical doctor. Doctors and nurses told him of nightmares and depression they were experiencing and personality changes developing among other personnel at the clinic. 

2. It is matter of love. 

If indeed that is a baby in the mother’s womb, then how is it to be treated? Let Jesus tell you. 

12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12. 

The entire Bible is summed up by “doing to others as you would have them do unto you.” What mother would want to be killed by being dismembered? If you would not want someone to do that to you, don’t do that to your baby. What doctor would like to be trapped in a cell and have his life taken by a corrosive acid poured over his body and forced into his lungs, left to convulse for hours until he was dead? Doctor, if you wouldn’t want someone to do that to you, don’t do that to someone else. What judge would like to be ripped out of his home, torn apart by some machine? Your Honor, if you wouldn’t want that done to you, don’t do it to somebody else. It is completely contrary to human instinct. 

When God describes a society on its last legs, one mark is that people will be without understanding, covenant breakers, and “…without natural affection” (Romans 1:31). It literally means “without family love,” lack of affection toward one’s own children. 

What is the whole abortion business rooted in? Selfishness. We have come to a generation without natural affection. Most women who abort are not teenagers but are over 20. More are white rather than from minorities. 43% are returning for their second, third, or fourth abortion. It is a matter of birth control for many. It’s based primarily on selfishness, in contrast to the Word of God, which teaches love. 

“Cursed is the man who accepts a bribe to kill an innocent person.” Deuteronomy 27: 25.

 The ultimate selfishness is the multi-million dollar abortion industry. There are doctors living lavishly in homes because they are in the grizzly business of taking lives. They’re in the business of killing for hire. The curse of God is on it. 

3. It is a matter of logic.

Have you heard these convoluted, high-sounding arguments?

  • “It’s not a baby while in the mother’s womb. Life begins with the first breath.” 
  •  “But abortion may be necessary to save the mother’s life.”
  •  “But what about all those babies conceived by rape or incest?” 
  • “But what if the baby is going to be deformed? Shouldn’t we abort?” 
  • “A woman’s body is her own to do with as she pleases.”
  • “But restrictive abortion laws are unfair to the poor.”
  • “But what about the baby who’s going to be the victim of child abuse if that child is brought into the world?”
  • “A fertilized egg is not human life.” 

We are out of space for this posting but in Part 2 of this article we will answer each of these objections. –

In Summary

What must we do? We will deal with each of these more fully next time, but in a nutshell:

1.  Become informed.

2.  Work for and pray for a constitutional amendment that will make abortion on

     demand illegal.

3. Teach biblical sexual morality at home, and yes, in the church.  

4.  Have more compassion for an unwed mother.

5.  Speak out clearly. We dare not be silent.

“Cry aloud; spare not. Lift up thy voice like a trumpet and show My people their transgression and the house of Jacob their sin.” Isaiah 58:1

6.  Refuse to be swayed by the high-sounding arguments of liberals, humanists, or

     social planners.

7.  Pray, asking God to have mercy upon this nation and send a spiritual revival.

8. Preach the glorious, saving gospel of Jesus Christ. Thereby, Christ as their

    Personal Savior will change hearts and lives. 

In a crisis we dare not be silent. Above all, keep your knees on the floor and pray to Almighty God. 

Part 2 will address the arguments people often raise and provide answers you can use. Part 2 will post in January. Next month, December, will be focused upon our Savior’s birth. 

To hear this message in its entirety, listen on radio November 25 and 26. Or call 1-800-274-5683 and request CD #1690  by the same title. On the air date and afterward, you can hear it anytime at www.lwf.org in our broadcast archives. 

Xxxx

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