BREAKING DOWN CARL SAGAN’S LOGIC ON ABORTION Part 25 “This conjures up the specter of predominantly male, predominantly affluent legislators saying to women who wish for a career that they must give up their dreams, stay home, and bring up babies” (My 1995 correspondence with Sagan) Adrian Rogers vs Carl Sagan

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

Image result for francis schaeffer

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):

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 saying to women who wish for a career that they must give up their dreams, stay home, and bring up babies.” 

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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The Sin of Silence, Part 2

In Part 1 of this message, Adrian Rogers gave three reasons why the Church of Jesus Christ—and individual Christians—dare not remain silent in the face of more than a million deaths in America alone each year due to abortion. This subject, as painful and difficult as it is, is a matter of life, a matter of loveand thirdly…  

3. It is a matter of logic.

Most of us have been confronted with arguments in support of abortion. And through Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, we have had “abortion on demand” in America for many years. In that time, 57.3 million children’s lives were extinguished before they ever had the opportunity to live. If you think about that number, it is overwhelming. 

Christians dare not remain silent. But when we speak, we must be prepared with answers. 

Here are a few you arguments you will hear—and the response you must give. 

  • “It’s not a baby while in the mother’s womb. Life begins with the first breath.”

That’s foolish. Number one, the child needs oxygen to survive in its mother’s womb. Oxygen comes through the umbilical cord. And number two, the child is already alive—his life has already begun. Babies in the womb move, breathe through the umbilical cord—and even sometimes hiccup! 

  • “But abortion may be necessary to save the mother’s life.” 

If we must choose between the preborn baby and the mother’s life, then, indeed, the mother’s life may be chosen because she was here first. But we are not in the business of taking the lives of babies for convenience as we are saving the life of the mother. But with today’s medicine, such a need is rare indeed. World famous geneticist Dr. Jerome Lejune gave some of the greatest wisdom I’ve heard on this subject:

“I would do everything I could to save the life of the mother, but I would never attack and kill an unborn child.” 

What does he as a physician do? 

“I do everything I can do to save the life of the mother, but I never move in with the purpose to kill a baby.” 

Do you see the difference?  

  •  “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. 

  • “But what if the baby is going to be deformed? Shouldn’t we abort?” 

Follow that line of reasoning. Do you believe people who are defective should be put to death? Just how perfect do you have to be in order to live? Where do we stop when we start eliminating those who are defective? What do we do with babies who are bornwith disabilities? Do we kill them? And when we start eliminating the unwanted, where do we end? What an argument!

 And here’s where it leads: The baby’s defective. Let’s kill it. Abortion before birth, infanticide after.  Euthanasia: the person is old. Let’s get the Dr. Kevorkian crowd to deal with them. Genocide: Let’s just have some ethnic cleansing and get rid of a whole race. 

  • “A woman’s body is her own to do with as she pleases.” 

That’s not entirely true. It’s not legal for a woman to be a prostitute in most states. Not legal to inject her veins with heroin. Illegal not to wear a seatbelt. We realize that in civilization a woman’s body is not always her own to do with whatever she wishes. But, friend, we’re not talking about her body. We’re talking about a life living in her. She is simply the host, and there’s a guest in her womb, wanted or unwanted. Suppose there is an unwanted guest in my house. Do I have the right to murder an unwanted guest, saying “It’s my house”? 

  • “Personally, I’m against abortion, but what someone else does is none of my business.”

What if, during Hitler’s Germany, a politician had said, “Hitler ought not to be eradicating the Jews. I’m personally against it, but what someone does in the privacy of his own gas chamber—it’s his business.” There is no difference in saying, “I’m personally against abortion, but what somebody does with their own body is their business.” Do you see the parallel?

  • “What about the baby who is going to be a victim of child abuse if that child is brought into the world?”

This has always seemed strange to me: “We don’t want the child abused, so we’ll just kill it.” Did you know that 90% of battered children are the result of a planned pregnancy? Unwanted children are not those who are the most abused.

And if you don’t want that baby, there are plenty of people standing in line who would be glad to have that child.

  • “But those abortion laws are unfair to the poor. The rich can go out and get an abortion. You’re condemning poor people to back alley abortions. It’s discriminatory.” 

It’s probably safer for a rich person to break most any law. They can afford better counsel. They have better means of hiding what they do than the poor. But do you believe, therefore, because it is easier for the rich to do wrong, that we ought to make it as easy for the poor to do wrong? Rich people have a better access to drugs. They can buy it and acquire it more easily. Therefore, would you say that we must supply heroin for the poor because the rich have a better access to it?

No, friend. It’s not a matter of who has better access. It’s simply a matter of what is right or what is wrong. No mother has the right to kill her children. We are saying that it is wrong and we dare not be silent. Why? It is a matter of life. Life! That little baby is life. 

  • “A fertilized egg is not human life—a zygote, an embryo—that’s not a baby.”

Somebody once wrote “Dear Abby” and argued this:

To believe that the ovum and the sperm united are human life would be like believing that a vehicle was in existence after a nut and bolt were joined together at the beginning of an automobile assembly line.

They’re saying, “Don’t tell me that little sperm and that little egg is human life any more than a nut and a bolt joined together is an automobile.”

But this analogy fails horribly. Friend, a nut and a bolt joined together—that’s all it will ever be unless you add some other component to it. It is just simply a nut and bolt. But when a sperm and an egg come together, that is an individual, and amazing changes begin to take place! Cells begin to double exponentially. All you do is just add nutrition. You don’t add any more parts. Just add nutrition and it continues to develop.

That analogy is terrible and foolish. Anyone with a mind and who thinks, will know it. 

Therefore, What Must We Do?

           Several things: 

1. You need to be informed, and that’s why I’m preaching this message.  

2.  We need to work for and pray for a constitutional amendment that will make abortion on demand illegal. 

3.  We must teach and preach biblical sexual morality at home, and yes, in the church.

 4.  We need to have more compassion for unwed mothers. Often we drive them into the arms of the “friendly” abortionists. Thank God for your local pregnancy care clinic that ministers to women and provides alternatives to abortion. Many women have been searching for any alternative, and when they went to Planned Parenthood, killing their child was the only option given. They are searching for something more! Thank God for the ministry of life-affirming clinics. 

5.  We need to 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 high-sounding arguments of liberals, humanists, or social planners. What do they know? Ask yourself, what do they know?

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil, that put darkness for light, and light for darkness, that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”  Isaiah 5:20 

7.  We must pray to God and ask Him to have mercy upon this nation and send a spiritual revival.

If my people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 

8.  We must preach the glorious, saving gospel of Jesus Christ and, thereby get people to know Christ as their personal Savior, changing their hearts and lives. 

Do you know what’s wrong in America? Do you know who has failed, primarily?  We preachers of the gospel have failed. The churches in America have failed. We once had a biblically based morality in the United States, but that has fast receded over the horizon. 

Today we live in a different society where it is “morality by majority” and expedience rather than a fixed face of right or wrong. There is little wrong with America today that could not be changed radically, dramatically, and swiftly if we had a generation of preachers who would stand up in pulpits across America and say, “Thus saith the Lord. Thus saith the Lord.” Dr. John Piper has lamented, “The problem today is cowardice in the pulpits.” 

America is in crisis, and we dare not be silent. Speak every way you can. Write your Congressman. Write your Senator. Write your President. Speak to your school board. Speak to your neighbors and your family when the subject comes up. 

But above all, keep your knees on the floor and pray to Almighty God.

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Xxxxxxxx

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