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Posts Tagged ‘sanctity of human life’

bride & groom at altarDefenders of marriage at the Family Research Council recently posted a blog entitled “Why Marriage Should Be Privileged in Public Policy.”  What follows is a brief excerpt.

Marriage is the most important social act, one that involves much more than just the married couple. To begin with, extended families are merged and renewed through a wedding. It is also through marriage that the community and the nation are renewed. A new home is formed when a couple marries, one open to the creation of new life. These children are the future. Marriage also has beneficial social and health effects for both adults and children, and these gifts benefit the community and the whole society. Conversely, it is through the breakdown of marriage that society is gravely harmed. The future of the nation depends on the creation of good marriages and good homes for children.

Among marriage’s many benefits to society is an increased respect for and protection of human life, since married women are less likely to abort their children than are unmarried women. Married-parent families contribute to safer and better communities with less substance abuse and crime among young people, as well as less poverty and welfare dependency. Also, married parents help prevent young people from engaging in premarital sex and having out-of-wedlock births; they are also likely to produce young adults who view marriage positively and maintain life-long marriages. Marriage brings many health and economic benefits to society and helps citizens to be more involved in communities.

Because marriage serves a public purpose–namely, procreation and the benefit of children and society–government can legitimately privilege marriage and seek to strengthen it in its policies. Other relationships such as cohabitation and homosexuality do not benefit children and society, and, therefore, should not be supported by government. There is no evidence showing that these relationships have the same positive effects as marriage. In fact, there is considerable evidence that they have detrimental effects on both children and adults.

Please read the entire post on FRC’s blog.  There are a great many reasons for the government to guard marriage.  All of them have to do with the health, welfare and defense of our nation and civilization as a whole.

(Thanks, Bob, for being part of the FRC team!)

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To some, this question may sound bizarre.  What?  Here in America?  Lose our freedom of religion?  No way!  To others, the question may sound like a “conspiracy theory.”  Just calm down, they may say.  Don’t get bent out of shape just because of some minor differences of opinion on whether birth control and drugs that abort babies should be freely provided through medical insurance.

If you’ve been watching American trends, you will see two worldviews at odds.  A secular naturalist worldview (which includes socialism, humanism, and atheism) diametrically opposes the Biblical worldview.  Consider the following: 1) The sanctity of human life has always been defended among people influenced by Biblical thinking, but 30+ years of legalized abortion in the U.S. has changed the way we view human life – in or out of the womb; 2) Faithful marriage between one man and one woman has always been supported by any people influenced by Biblical thinking, but U.S. courts are now ruling in favor of so-called “same-sex marriage;” 3) Freedom of religion is the first freedom enshrined in the Bill of Rights written by Founding Fathers influenced by Biblical thinking, but today we are told that “sexual freedom trumps religious freedom” and that while we may have freedom to “worship” (a private practice), we shouldn’t publicly practice our faith during the course of our everyday lives.

Are we in danger of losing the right to practice what we believe to be true?  Think about it.  1) Religious organizations who believe abortion does not please God have been told their health insurance providers must cover contraceptive use (including drugs known to end the life of a baby before birth) and, therefore, go against their faith and conscience; 2) States like Iowa where the majority of citizens do not believe in “same-sex marriage”  must recognize the “right” of two women or two men to “marry” and, in states like California, the majority vote in favor of traditional marriage was overturned by a judge in favor of “gay marriage;” 3) Parents who believe that children are entrusted to them by God are being told to obey the “state” and let schools teach students that homosexuality and “gay marriage” are “normal” and, if anyone speaks otherwise, they may be guilty of “hate speech.”  Are all of these things – and more – indicative that our religious liberties are being removed?

Followers of Jesus Christ have always – and will always – be different from the world.  But, in order to “fit in” with the world, have Christians been silent?  Compromised faith?  Stopped putting their faith into practice?

Atheists, humanists, and secularists all have a faith, too.  It is faith in something other than the God “I Am;” in the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ.  They are passionate about their faith.  They practice their faith wherever they are: in the schools, media, workplace, courts of law, and places within government.  Are Christians less passionate about their faith?  Or, have we believed the lie that “your faith is a private matter between you and God”?  Jesus said, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Matt. 22:21).  We are to obey government except when it tells us to disobey God.  Then, we must speak up and resist evil.  We must use God’s Word to defend life, marriage, and family — the very foundation for civil society.

When we are told to keep God’s Word “private” and not share it in the marketplace of ideas, then we have lost our freedom of religion.  How, then, can we be “salt and light” (Matt. 5:13-16)?

Recommended resources include Breakpoint, Family Research Council,
World magazine, and Concerned Women for America

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Jackie Burkle gave birth to twins at home.  But, on January 11, she was charged with the killing of her daughters.

Jackie is a 2008 graduate of a high school twenty miles from my home.  She was a music major at my local community college.  As of this writing, she is incarcerated thirty miles from my home.  She is facing two counts of first degree murder and being held on a million dollars bond — half a million dollars for each child.  The Judge told her that she will face “a mandatory life sentence in prison if convicted.”

Police found Jackie’s twin daughters in the trunk of her car.  She confessed to the crime.  The DCI special agent handling the case said, “She acted to terminate the lives of both of her newborn infants.  She also stated that she intended to end their lives and was not at any time intending that these children would live.”  Police were called to check on the 22-year-old mom after someone noticed that she wasn’t pregnant anymore.

How do we make this kind of behavior unthinkable?

Believers in the Creator of life need to ask ourselves some important questions.  Why?  Because we are all part of Jackie’s human family.

  1. Did Jackie know about Iowa’s Safe Haven Law?  If a parent takes an “unwanted” baby to a hospital or health care facility and leaves the infant there with staff, no questions will be asked.  Fourteen Iowa newborns since 2001 have been dropped off at a safe place. 
  2. Did anyone tell Jackie about the Lighthouse Center of Hope (a caring pregnancy center close to her) or any one of the many life centers in Iowa?  Did anyone discuss making an adoption plan?
  3. Did Jackie have anyone who cared enough to ask her questions about her pregnancy?  How she was doing?  If she was in need of emotional, financial, or spiritual help?
  4. Did anyone invite Jackie to a support group, Bible study, or even out for lunch?
  5. Did anyone explain to Jackie that she and her babies are “fearfully and wonderfully made?”  That each is a treasure for whom Jesus gave His life?
  6. Was Jackie schooled by years of sex education, made comfortable with her “sexuality,” and taken captive by a sensualized culture?  Had Jackie been convinced by Planned Parenthood-style education that she could separate the act of sex from procreation?
  7. Did a man use words of love to lead Jackie into intimacy and then abandon her?
  8. Was Jackie influenced by billboards that read: Children are loud, smelly, and burdensome… unless you want one…?
  9. Did Jackie rationalize that if it’s o.k. to take a baby’s life days before birth then what can be so wrong with a few days after?
  10. Will anyone help Jackie confront the evil of her action and tenderly lead her to the mercy and healing forgiveness of Christ?

Maybe Jackie will be found “mentally incompetent” or traumatized.  Maybe she will be spared one kind of prison.  But, there is another.  It is the guilt of our sin.  Of doing something that goes against creation itself.

Jackie is my neighbor.  Your neighbor.  Jackie did not have to choose death for her daughters or suffer the consequences of aborting them after birth.  She had other choices.  There are many.  But, we are part of those choices.

For the sake of all the other Jackies — confused, frightened, lonely — and their babies, we need to be watchful.  Willing to lead away from danger.  Offer a better way.  A hand.  A shoulder.  A safe place.  A new beginning.

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“Am I the only one who thinks government-mandated health care telling me that my children are ‘targeted diseases’ is utterly revolting?”  This is a fair question asked by Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life.

To what is Kristin referring?  The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), at the recommendation of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has decided to re-define women’s health care, mandating that by 1-1-13 insurance providers give women a range of new “preventative services” free, no co-pay or deductible.

These “preventative services” are to include all FDA-approved birth control.  This means even proven abortion-causing drugs such as ella and Plan B.  To be given “free” to married or unmarried women.  So, with Kristin, I ask: Since when is pregnancy a “disease”?

On July 19, the IOM released a Consensus Report: “The IOM defines preventative health services as measures — including medications, procedures, devices, tests, education and counseling — shown to improve well-being, and/or decrease the likelihood or delay the onset of a targeted disease or condition.”  Under these conditions, insured women will have access to free birth control because pregnancy has been redefined as a ‘targeted disease.”

This presidential administration wants women to have free access to abortion and cancer-causing birth control in order to fight the “disease” of pregnancy, notes Kristin, yet “medication that literally keeps my 2-1/2 year old son, Gunner, from dying costs my husband and me hundreds [of dollars] every month.”  Gunner has cystic fibrosis.

HHS announced new preventive-care guidelines will require all health insurance policies written on or after August 1, 2012, to offer contraceptives and other women’s health services without copays, coinsurance, or deductibles.  Included in the guidelines are voluntary sterilization procedures, breastfeeding support and equipment, annual well-woman visits, counseling on HIV and sexually transmitted diseases and screenings for human papillomavirus, or HPV, gestational diabetes, and domestic violence.

There are many individuals and organizations who protest on moral, ethical and economic grounds.  Supposedly, “religious” employers may “opt out” of the mandate.  However, NARAL — the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws — is urging its members to write HHS, saying, “I am concerned that certain religious employers may be allowed to opt out of the requirements.  All women should have access to contraceptive coverage, regardless of where they work.”  Has NARAL forgotten?  Birth control is widely available and publicly funded programs already provide it for women who cannot afford it.

Is pregnancy a “disease?”

Pregnancy is the carrying of one or more offspring.  New human life.  To be pregnant means to be “with child.”  Every child is fearfully and wonderfully made by God.  Every child is knit together in the secret place of his or her mother’s womb.  Within the womb, and not by accident, the placenta nestles around the child to nurture and protect.

Pregnancy is not a disease.  Were it true, what would that make each of us?

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Rep. James Lankford (OK) and Rep. Tim Scott (SC) are Christians who unashamedly discuss their faith — in the home, on the job and against political odds.  Both are in their 40s.  Both were raised in less than perfect homes but with God’s Word.  The book of Nehemiah convinced Rep. Lankford to take the path to Capitol Hill.  Biblical mentors encouraged Rep. Scott to work his way toward Congress.

Both Reps. Lankford and Scott are fully aware of the ideological and spiritual battles in Washington, D.C.  Rep. Scott is pro-life, a faithful pray-er, and a defender of Biblical values.  He has sponsored legislation that prevents unions from demanding mandatory dues; thus halting the devastating effects that unions have imposed on the federal budget and socially conservative values.  Unions spend hundreds of millions to undermine marriage, the sanctity of human life, parent’s rights, and other values that are cherished by the very members who pay the dues, but have no say on how the money is spent.

Rep. Lankford says he is grounded by the wisdom of Proverbs.  “How do we handle debt as a nation?” he asks.  “A wise man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.  We [are spending] the inheritance of our children’s children.  So, how do we correct that?  How are we able to honor the poor . . . promote justice . . . [practice] what is right and just?”

He continues, “I don’t know of another generation of leaders that has said, ‘Times are tough.  I’m going to make it tougher on my kids to make it easier for me.’  As weird as it may sound . . . debt is the moral issue of the day.”

“At the heart of many of the problems facing our country stands an institution under siege,” Lankford proclaims.  “That institution is the American family.  The best way to ensure a strong nation is to have strong families.”  The U.S. Department of Justice announced on February 24 that it would no longer defend the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.  Lankford took to the House floor to call out the hypocrisy.  “Many in this chamber are aware of my . . . Biblical worldview.  I am unashamed of my personal faith in Jesus Christ . . . I believe words have meaning . . . the meaning of marriage is the union between a man and a woman.  The Defense of Marriage Act codified that definition into law . . . this issue is well beyond faith . . . or social or political issue.  Marriage is now not only the center of a national social debate, but also a constitutional debate.”

Scriptural warnings, said Lankford, are clear for politicians and for the church.  “We have a first responsibility to take care of those in poverty.  To take care of our own families.  To take care of the needs around us.  The more that the church backs up from that, the more the government engages in it . . . [T]he more the nation and the family break down, the more social services are needed.  But, the more strong families you have, the less government you have . . . so we have this endless cycle that we have got to pull out of.  The only way to pull out is [to have] churches engaging in [preserving the] family.”

Are we raising sons and daughters with a Biblical worldview so that they can be morally upright citizens?  Marry and start a family?  Use their skills through honest labor?  Become involved parents?  Not be burdened by our failure to invest in the future?

Lankford says it’s not about what you do, but whom you follow, that should define you: “My calling is first and foremost not to an occupation.  It is to follow a person.  My calling is to follow Christ.”

Rep. Scott agrees.  He tries to surround himself with believers that “keep me accountable.”  There is “peace and direction for me in my leadership role,” he says, quoting Psalm 23 and Luke 6:38.

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not be in want . . . He restores my soul . . . I will fear no evil . . .

Give, and it will be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Excerpts from CITIZEN, August/September 2011

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On Sunday, June 26, CNN aired a report about “Nepal’s Stolen Children.”  The documentary, narrated by actress Demi Moore, explained how Nepalese girls are sold into slavery and turned into prostitutes in neighboring India.  I’m sorry I missed it.  But Chuck Colson, a gentleman who shares my worldview, did not.

Colson, in his Breakpoint commentary of July 8, noted that Moore became emotional during the broadcast.  Understandably so.  Slavery and bondage as a prostitute should never happen.  But the problem, Colson believes, is that we are ignoring the driving force of this “inhumane traffic in innocence.”

The New York Times ran an article following the CNN documentary titled “160 Million and Counting.”  It referred to the number of “missing” women in the world.  Colson points out “missing” as in “disappeared,” rather, as in “never born in the first place.”

Ross Douthat, author of the Times article, reminded readers that 26 years ago the number of “missing” women was estimated by experts to be 100 million.  These experts concluded, after examining skewed sex ratios in China and India, “that something terrible was happening.”  Twenty year later, the estimate has grown by 60%.  But those concerned about this terrible thing, Douthat notes, remain reluctant to name the cause: abortion.

Colson writes, “Citing the work of social scientist Mara Hvistendahl, Douthat points out an uncomfortable truth: what Times readers would no doubt see as ‘female empowerment’ lies behind the missing women.  According to Hvistendahl, in places like India, ‘women use their increased autonomy’ to abort their daughters and ‘select for sons,’ who enhance their social status.”

Sex-selection abortion may have originated among the “affluent,” but now all women can select — or reject — their preborn child based on sexual preference.

What is the impact?  Colson notes a 2008 article by two Loyola Law School professors who found that by “reducing the number of potential brides, selective abortion in India increased the demand for sex workers.”  And, Colson continues, “one way that ‘demand’ is being filled is through the Nepalese girls featured in the CNN documentary.  The ‘lucky’ ones are ‘smuggled and purchased from poor countries like Nepal and Bhutan to be brides for Indian men.’   The more unfortunate are sold into the Indian sex trade.”

India and China have outlawed the practice of sex-selection abortion because of the social ills and suffering.  But the practice continues because, says Colson, “cultural norms are hard to overcome.”

Douthat notes that sex-selection abortion puts Western liberals “in a distinctly uncomfortable position.”  Colson explains why.  “They can’t deny the reality of the practice but, at the same time, their own worldview leaves them hanging in mid-air.”

“After all, they insist ‘that the unborn aren’t human beings yet, and that the right to an abortion is nearly absolute.’ ” But, continues Colson, “160 million missing women and the suffering it radiates in all directions tells you where that kind of thinking inevitably leads.”

Colson concludes, “It’s hard to imagine a better example of the poverty of modern thinking: faced with a great evil and unable to address the answer.”

Slavery and prostitution are great evils.  But, the Christian worldview addresses the answer.  When we value human life in the womb, we will better value and protect all human life.  Including Nepalese girls.

__________

Breakpoint is published by Prison Fellowship ministries.
For further reading: “Gender Discrimination Fuels Sex Selective Abortions” (Lemoine & Tanagho, Loyola University of Chicago School of Law, 2-23-08); “160 Million and Counting” (Douthat, New York Times, 6-26-11); “It’s Raining Men” (Kim Moreland, Breakpoint blog, 5-24-11)

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“All the people care about is the economy.”

“The people aren’t interested in ‘social issues’ like abortion, homosexuality or gay marriage.”

“There they go again,” reports MSNBC and others.  “The ‘radical right’ is working abortion and marriage into the conversation.”

Rightly so.  Social issues, as they are called, are moral issues.  The legalized killing of preborn human children is a moral issue.  Re-defining marriage is a moral issue.  Teaching our children that homosexuality is just a choice on the “sexual menu” is a moral issue.

Everything has a moral component.  The government has a moral obligation to protect “life and liberty,” to maintain a strong military, and to live within its means.  It should encourage responsible, orderly behavior and a good work ethic.  It should protect families from drug cartels, terrorists, and enemies from within and without.

Anyone running for office should have moral integrity.  Moral character.  Moral and ethical fiber.  It’s not just my opinion, but God’s mandate that people who rule a nation should respect the life that He creates.  Anyone who compromises on issues such as abortion, infanticide, embryonic stem cell research, assisted suicide, and euthanasia has lost (or never had) a moral compass.

Those who seek to experiment with marriage and family float rumors.  They say that Americans don’t really care about same-sex “marriage.”  They add: If someone is against gay “marriage,” then they must be against homosexuals.  Not true.  People who believe they are homosexual are persons, too.  They are  people loved by God.  But, God is the Creator of marriage and, therefore, He alone defines it.  God created marriage for one man and one woman because it’s the best environment for children, it connects children to their biological origins, and it brings two opposites — male and female — together to mentor boys and girls in the way God intends for them to go.

Moral integrity is practiced — or not practiced — on Wall Street and in every business.  In education.  In health care.  In courts of law.  In the military.  In homes.  And during election cycles.

My eyes have seen that men and women who defend the sanctity of human life generally have a moral compass not only in place but in operation.  Leaders — in the home, community, church, and government — who value the life that God creates and redeems in Jesus Christ are imperfect leaders to be sure, but they are accountable to someone other than themselves.  Their God determines right and wrong.  Their neighbors matter.  Their choices reflect hope for a new generation.

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