(Centennial Fellow) Editor's Note: The present article is continued from Brad Hughes' post immediately preceding this one.
The demography of abortion highly correlates with the Democratic party. The majority of the women obtaining abortions are poor, unmarried, belong to a minority, are poorly educated, have had an abortion before, and claim to be Christian. This cohort voted overwhelmingly for President Obama's re-election. This cohort is also highly concentrated in urban areas on the east and west coast. There has been approximately 1.2 million abortions performed in America this year alone. President Obama won the 2012 election by approximately 4 million votes. 98% of black women aged 18-29 voted for President Obama in 2012. There are tens of millions of women who have had abortions in America and their vote alone exceeded the margin of victory for President Obama's re-election.
According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the overwhelming reasons for abortion are rooted in financial concerns, including concerns about personal responsibilities, belief that the mother can't afford the child, the child would interfere with school or employment, and the child would create relationship problems. 50% of all abortions are performed on women between the ages of 15 and 24. 85% of abortions are performed on women who aren't married. 65% of women obtaining abortions are Protestant or Roman Catholic. 60% of abortions are done for women who are already mothers. 17 states (and the District of Columbia) use state Medicaid funds to pay for all (or most) of the expenses involved with the abortion. These states are predominantly "blue" with an electorate favoring Barack Obama for President. Two of the three "red" states that provide Medicaid funding for abortive mothers are Montana and Alaska, representing only 1.6 million people. Globally, almost all abortion deaths occur in less developed countries, yet US abortion advocates use fear-mongering in America that such a problem exists here when it does not.
Abortion is a business which targets the black population. The overwhelming percentage of abortions are done on black women. According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, black women are more than five times as likely as white women to have an abortion and black women have had about 16 million abortions since the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973. Charles Darwin, widely recognized as the father of evolution, expressed a racist philosophy in his book The Descent of Man where he postulated that "higher" races (whites) would survive while "savage" races (blacks) would decline if evolution were true. One of Darwin's protégées, Francis Galton, started the eugenics movement in Great Britain to improve the quality of the general population. He advocated encouraging eugenic marriages by supplying able couples with incentives to have children. He believed that a scheme of "marks" for family merit should be defined, and early marriage between families of high rank be encouraged by provision of monetary incentives.
Margaret Sanger, the founder of what was to become Planned Parenthood, called blacks "human weeds" and immigrants "reckless breeders." Sanger advocated abortion as a means of eugenics to improve the quality of the general population in America. Sanger retooled the Birth Control League in 1939 to become the Birth Control Federation of America. Under this new name, Sanger’s first goal was called the “The Negro Project,” intended to persuade black women to stop having children. It is ironic that the organization originally conceived by Sanger as a means to reduce the black population would enjoy overwhelming support from that same group of people. Sadly, blacks make up less than 13% of the female population yet black women have about 37% of the abortions. Latinos rank second in terms of abortion procedures performed. According to the Center for Disease Control, 22% of all abortions in America are performed on Latinos. Approximately 60% of all abortions in the US are performed on blacks and Latinos while US taxpayers fund almost $500 million (approximately 50%) of Planned Parenthood revenues. The US Government Accounting Office, GAO, published a report citing that approximately $1.3 billion of federal funds given to Planned Parenthood between 2003 and 2008 could not be accounted for.
A recent study examined the high correlation between a high concentration of the minority population and the location of an abortion facility. The study states "...[ there were] 116 ZIP codes with more than one [abortion or abortion-referral] facility. Of those, 84 were disproportionately black and/or Hispanic. What this means is that, when the American family planning industry places multiple facilities in a ZIP code, that ZIP code is more than two-and-a-half times as likely to be disproportionately minority as not.” It is clear that abortionists target their market at minorities while the federal government is also subsidizing the industry that does so.
A "sin" or Pegovian tax is a tax that is applied to a market activity which generates negative externalities.This type of tax is intended to mitigate the social costs imposed by the behavior.Tax dollars are often extracted from such "sin" industries as gambling, pornography, liquor, tobacco, and now even unhealthy food. Unlike the foregoing, the government overtly subsidizes the abortion industry despite possible negative externalities of higher health care costs for the abortive mother over the long term. The question arises as to why the abortion industry enjoys favored tax status? Some have suggested that it is a favored constituency of the Democratic party thereby assuring it of additional votes in every election.
Abortion is morally wrong with rare medical exceptions. The moral absolutist knows that arguments for abortion fail on moral grounds. The old maxim states "The real measure of civilization in any society can be found in the way it treats its most vulnerable." Abortion is a moral failure, encouraged and financed by the secular state, and is a procedure performed on women who predominantly claim to be Christian. The Bible teaches that abortion is wrong. Apparently, many self-identified Christian women who have abortions must believe the Bible is correct in what it teaches except in the case of personal circumstance.
The moral relativist believes abortion addresses the mother's need for economic or emotional wellness and therefore justifies the termination of the unborn. Moral relativism, the ethical attribute of the secularist worldview, is self-refuting. Moral relativists can not say anything is objectively wrong because morality is in the conscience of the beholder. Consequently, the moral relativist can not successfully argue that theft of their personal property is objectively wrong or that torturing babies for fun is objectively wrong, because it might be subjectively right to the one committing the act. Hence, the self-refutation of the moral relativist is clearly evident.
History confirms that some of the most heinous crimes against humanity have been perpetrated under the auspices of moral relativism. Mao, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Mussolini, Enver, Tojo, and Leopold II were brutal tyrants of the last 125 years; all were secular in their worldview and all were moral relativists in their ethical discipline. These tyrants were responsible for over 112 million deaths from genocide, justified by moral relativism. Moral relativism is plagued with a history of horrific failures.
The overwhelming majority of abortions represent a supreme act of selfishness rooted in moral relativism. Ectopic pregnancies and genuine "life-threatening" conditions of the pregnant mother are both serious and rare. An Ectopic pregnancy is one that occurs outside the womb. It is a life-threatening condition to the mother. The baby cannot survive. Approximately 1% of pregnancies are Ectopic. They are notable exceptions and should be excluded from charges of moral relativism. Arguments against the moral relativism of abortion include:
Over 70% of Americans (and 65% of abortive mothers) claim to be Christian, the governing book of which (the Bible) clearly opposes the practice of abortion.
The viability of adoption presents an alternative solution to those considering abortion.
Medical reality confirms that some life is sustainable outside of the womb at four months, confirming that a second or third trimester abortion imposes death on a sustainable life.
Science confirms that human life begins at conception.
Post-Abortion Syndrome, PAS, is a condition that suggests a relationship exists between depression, stress disorders, etc. and abortive mothers.
A new study from the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention concludes that there is a relationship between abortive mothers and breast cancer.
The US government creates a moral hazard by funding Planned Parenthood and compelling religious institutions to make abortion options available through their insurance programs. The government treats abortion and adoption differently, thereby encouraging abortion as the preferred option.
Moral relativism suffuses the abortion industry. Moral relativism is an intellectual disease. C.S. Lewis said "We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful." Moral relativism afflicts our government policies, the US Supreme Court, the abortion providers, the abortive mother, the media, and the Democratic party in their collaboration to support the abortion industry. The government is complicit in that it subsidizes an industry which may impose higher long term costs on the abortive mother (while reducing the population of what it believes may be a socio-economic burden on the broader population.) The US Supreme Court is complicit in the twisting of the law to ignore the sanctity of life enshrined in our Declaration of Independence. The abortion providers are complicit in their desire to make large amounts of money despite network externalities which can drive irresponsible behavior. There have been numerous examples of mismanagement of public funds, performing abortions on non-pregnant women, botched abortions, etc. that illustrate the incompetence and corruption of the abortion industry. The abortive mother is complicit because the most cited reasons for abortion are personal convenience and personal finance. The media is complicit because it discourages airing footage of the abortion procedure (although it shows graphic footage regarding other atrocities.) The Democratic party (with 72 million registered Democrats in the US) is complicit because it strongly endorsed abortion in its party platform and media messaging in the 2012 presidential election, all designed as an artifice to garner more women votes for their candidate.
It is clear that moral relativism is at the core of the abortion decision for all participants. They all have something to gain at the expense of terminating the life of the unborn. However, unintended economic consequences often arise from moral failure, e.g., abortion may actually increase the feminization of poverty.
The US government has engaged in the politicization of this behavior resulting in additional unintended consequences. Abortions negatively impact the total fertility rate, TFR, of a nation. The TFR is a hypothetical measure of the number of children a fertile mother would have over her fertility period, typically from ages 15-49. A population can replace itself (netting out birth and death rates) at 2.1 children per female. The US TFR peaked in the 1950's at 3.8 and is currently below the replacement rate of 2.1 (for those who are native born.) When a nation falls below its replacement rate, it requires immigration to assure that the population is growing. The population needs to grow to support economic activity and provide the entitlement benefits demanded by the elder population. Immigration, absent assimilation, changes the cultural framework of a nation. As a nation fails to reproduce itself and it does not assimilate the increased number immigrants (to offset the reduced fertility rate) into its traditional cultural framework, the nation begins to reflect the multicultural composition of its immigrants. This can have negative consequences for the host country as has been articulated by leaders in the European Union. A TFR below the replacement rate can therefore negatively impact the current generation and the ones to come.
What kind of nation exalts life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness yet provides incentives so as to make termination of its unborn cheap and easy? What kind of nation exalts a woman's "right to choose" abortion but holds harmless the men who repeatedly impregnate abortive (and, in many cases, multiple) women? What kind of nation subsidizes the termination of life with taxpayer dollars and now requires religious institutions to include abortion options in its health insurance?
The remedy. It is clear that the moral relativism of abortion has implications for the moral and economic health of the US. There are two remedies for the moral relativism of abortion. The first remedy is for the woman who has had an abortion. There have been approximately 50 million abortions performed since the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. Many of these have been done on women who have had multiple abortions. Consequently, we can say that (at the least) there are tens of million of women who have had an abortion in the US. Many of these women have suffered from emotional and physical maladies arising from the abortion. The most important thing to understand from committing a moral wrong is that there is forgiveness if there is repentance. The Bible teaches in John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." Hebrews 8:12 states "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." The first step to forgiveness is repentance.
The second remedy is for the remainder of the society where abortion continues to impose a large cost. The US government is the most culpable actor in the failures of the national abortion policy. The passage of Obamacare will ostensibly provide additional support for the government involvement in the abortion industry. A government that endorses moral failures ultimately faces economic, if not divine, consequences which could threaten its very existence. The Bible is clear in its teaching that immoral behavior, e.g., moral relativism, is neither invisible to God nor does it escape judgment forever. Two of the three largest religions on the planet oppose abortion. Secularism, the third largest religion on the planet, aggressively supports the practice of abortion, particularly for certain people-groups. The role of secularist authority in world history is both bloody and evanescent. Every citizen who loves liberty should oppose the secular state when its policies violate objective truth. The preservation of freedom requires the responsibility for action.
An engaged citizenry may be the single most effective solution to address this problem.
Citizens should start by demanding that their representatives remove the favored tax status of the abortion industry. Such a decision honors the intent of our founding documents while assuring freedom and equality in its finest expression. There has been a significant sex education effort undertaken in the government schools which promotes sexual activity. A significant education effort needs to be undertaken in the opposite direction. Citizens should demand that the government produce public service announcements, PSA, which discourage the practice of abortion and encourage the act of adoption. November is national adoption month yet how many people know? Citizens should also demand that the government schools show what an actual abortion looks like. Engaged parents can either demand such remedies or enroll their children into private schools, home schools, etc. Parents must effectuate change at the local level.
There are about 50,000 adoptions annually in the US compared to about 1.25 million abortions, a ratio of about 25 abortions to one adoption. There are over two million prospective adoptive parents on the waiting list. Clearly, there should be additional incentives to address the oversupply of abortions and the unmet demand for adoption. A sound government policy that reflects the value of life would address this disequilibrium. An average abortion costs less than $1,000, takes about 15 minutes, but requires an approximately four hour appointment. The adoption process, depending upon the agency used, can cost tens of thousands of dollars (although the average is approximately $10,000) and can take months to over a year to complete. The administrative bureaucracy obviously needs improvement in the adoption process.
The moral relativism of abortion has not advanced the interests of our free and moral republic. The very least we can demand is that the government get out of the abortion business, remove the incentives that encourage abortion, increase the incentives for the education of alternatives such as abstinence, adoption, etc. and maintain a policy that celebrates the freedom and sanctity of all life.
The issue of abortion divides the country along moral grounds. It is not, at its core, a division between Republican and Democrat. It is not a division between young and old, rich and poor, or women and men. It is a division between the moral relativist and the moral absolutist. It is the moral relativist who has had the abortion that bears the burden of action. It is up to the moral relativist to reconcile science and morality with their action. Sooner or later, that reconciliation will require resolution. Let us pray that this reconciliation comes soon and to many.
 http://www.abortionfacts.com/online_books/love_them_both/why_cant_we_love_them_both_34.asp#How many babies are adopted?
Centennial Fellow) Abortion is the most widely practiced elimination of humans in the world today. Secularists believe that terminating pregnancies can improve the quality of life for the living. Some Christians believe that abortion is wrong except in the case of personal circumstance. The US Supreme Court believes that terminating a pregnancy does not terminate a human life of value. The US government uses taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions. The majority of abortions in the US are done for reasons of personal convenience or personal finance. If the government says it is legal and the majority of people say it is acceptable, does that make it right to kill the unborn? The foregoing are examples of moral relativism. Abortions, at over one million per year, represent the single most lethal practice of moral relativism in the US.
Moral relativism occurs when substituting subjective truth for objective truth. Subjective truth is based upon a personal preference or a truth claim that subjectively belongs to an individual, e.g., I like chocolate ice cream. Objective truth is based on the reality of the world which the individual discovers and can not change by internal feelings, e.g., the earth is round. Objective truth exists irrespective of subjective feelings. Preference claims are different than objective truth claims. Moral relativism is predicated upon preference claims (or subjective feelings) and is the ethical component of the secularist world view. Secularism is the worldview which believes there is no God, that government should substantially control economic behavior, that scientific naturalism is true, and that the state can bring about utopia on earth.
The Bible teaches that abortion is wrong. The Bible makes claims about objective truth and is clear about protecting the value of innocent life. It is also clear about the judgment that befalls a nation which sacrifices their young for personal reasons. The scriptures confirm that God knows the preborn child. "You knit me in my mother’s womb . . . nor was my frame unknown to you when I was made in secret" (Psalm 139:13,15). God also guides the preborn child. "You have been my guide since I was first formed . . . from my mother’s womb you are my God" (Psalm 22:10-11). God is also involved with the preborn "God… from my mother’s womb had set me apart and called me through his grace" (Galatians 1:15).
God condemns the killing of the innocent, "They mingled with the nations and learned their works…they sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons, and they shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and their daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, desecrating the land with bloodshed" (Psalm 106:35, 37-38). Child-sacrifice is also condemned in the Bible. This sin of child-sacrifice, in fact, is mentioned as a major cause that the kingdom of Israel was destroyed by the Assyrians, "They mutilated their sons and daughters by fire…until the Lord, in his great anger against Israel, put them away out of his sight" (2 Kings 17:17-18). The Bible states that man was made in the image of God (Imago Dei) in Genesis 1:27, "So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them."
The Bible states that murder is wrong, "Thou shalt not murder" (Exodus 20:13.) The Bible teaches that God created the child in the womb, "For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well" (Psalm 139:13-14). The Bible also informs us that John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit while still in his mother's womb, indicating personhood (Luke 1:15). In addition, the Greek word Huios means "son," but it is also used in Luke 1:36 to refer to John the Baptist's existence in the womb before birth, at six months. The Hebrew word yeled is usually used to refer to children (a child, a boy, etc.) however, it is used to describe a child in the womb in Exodus 21:22. In Genesis 25:22, the word yeladim (children) is used in reference to Rebecca's children struggling while still in her womb. Jeremiah 1:5 states "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart, I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
The Bible teaches that we are to protect the weak and vulnerable who can't protect themselves. Proverbs 31:8-9 states "Speak up for those who can't speak for themselves."
Additional scriptures that support the argument for defending the vulnerable include: Psalm 82:2-4, Proverbs 6:16-19, Proverbs 17:5, Proverbs 12:6, Deuteronomy 27:25, Deuteronomy 19:10, Luke 17:2, Jeremiah 22:17, and Isaiah 59:2-3. For those who defy God as the author of life and reject the admonition to protect the innocent and vulnerable,
consideration should be given to Hebrews 4:13, "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's eyes. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."
Abortion advocates use heroic acrobatics in twisting Exodus 21:22, "If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows." Abortion advocates (who attempt to distort this biblical passage) maintain that this passage from the Bible asserts that a child's death can be offset by compensating the father. Such advocates ignore the fact that the child delivered prematurely in this instance is born alive. Further, secularists who reject God and the Bible as a legitimate authority on the value of life, can offer no explanation for either the origin of life or can they provide an example of man-made life, thereby demonstrating no moral authority of their own except for their moral relativism.
The Christian who supports abortion, in defiance of biblical teaching, must do so by special pleading. They can not find support from biblical or scientific arguments. The Bible clearly says it is wrong. Science tells us that humans beget humans and zygotes are simply first stage humans. Since a majority of those who obtain abortions claim to be Christian, it is reasonable to say this group of Christians support the teaching of the Bible except in the case of personal circumstance. This is moral relativism.
Secularists state that abortion is right. Unlike such hypocritical Christians, the secularists are straightforward in their support of moral relativism and abortion. President Obama, when asked when life begins, said "... answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade." Secularists argue that what is aborted is not fully developed so it is not murder. This argument fails on several grounds, most notably that they do not argue for murdering adults who may be equally less developed than others, e.g., those that are developmentally disabled, those with an incapacitating affliction, those that may be in a coma, etc. Stage of development does not make one less human nor does the size of life make it less human. Just because the baby in the womb is smaller than the one outside the womb, or the former is more dependent upon the mother than the latter, is not sufficient cause for ending its life. Secularists argue that the baby is just part of the woman's body and therefore under her volitional control. Degree of dependence does not make one less human. This argument fails because the unborn have a different DNA composition, may have a different blood type, and may be a different gender. The baby is a different person than the mother carrying it. Two persons joined together is not sufficient cause for one to terminate the other's life. Even a conjoined twin would not be held harmless for terminating the life that shares its body.
Abortion advocates often will deconstruct the language to deceive the undiscerning by calling a baby in the womb "a fetus." Fetus is simply a derivative from the Latin word for baby. Ostensibly, the abortion advocates, in twisting words to symbolize something else, are paying homage to Lewis Carroll when he wrote in Alice in Wonderland, “Then you should say what you mean" the March Hare went on. "I do" Alice hastily replied; "at least - at least I mean what I say - that's the same thing, you know.”
Abortion advocates often argue that an unwanted baby should not be forced upon the mother. This argument fails because eliminating the unwanted is hardly a justifiable defense for terminating a life. As the Nuremberg trial illustrated, establishing a law to legalize the murder of the unwanted was not an adequate defense for the Nazi slaughter of the Jews. If the unwanted were arbitrarily eliminated by majority opinion, the world would have a much smaller population. Only the depraved would find such an argument appealing. In fact, the elimination of unwanted people is the record of history whereby whoever ruled made decisions about the value of people. The history of civilized man has been dominated by tyrants and rulers. Freedom is the sui generis of mankind in history.
The Magna Carta became a founding document of freedom and human rights and was the cornerstone for the US Constitution. Samuel Rutherford's Lex Rex, published in 1644, asserted that it was the law that ruled, not the king, and that the law should reflect the higher moral authority. Samuel von Pufendorf wrote in 1673 that "More inhumanity has been done by man himself than any other of nature's causes." Freedom and human rights, taken together, constitute the best of what mankind can be.
Abortion advocates argue that if a woman is raped (and becomes pregnant) she should have the authority to murder the child. This argument also fails because the unborn (who is a separate person as confirmed by different DNA) was not an accomplice in the rape. Further, the woman can not kill the rapist unless she believes her life is threatened and this defense may vary by state. If we accept the specious argument that a woman can kill her child because she has been violated by a criminal, why would we not accept that victims of heinous crimes should be allowed to torture and murder the offspring of their perpetrators? Retaliating by the first party against a third party when the second party was culpable makes no logical or moral sense. Further, there are many examples of children conceived by rape that develop into leaders with a significant impact on the world, e.g., the great jazz singer Ethel Waters and the celebrated evangelist James Robison. There is a web site devoted to those who were conceived by rape yet have lived lives of great significance, value, and fulfillment. The world is a better place for them being here.
Abortion advocates argue that the unborn can be murdered if economic hardship ensues from eventual birth. This argument also fails because a newly unemployed single mother can not murder her infant child because it has suddenly become "too expensive." It would be a failed society if we eliminated people from life because they were "too expensive." The question then arises about the difference between the living and the unborn? Is the unborn a human life? "Abortion involves killing and discarding something that's alive. Whether it's right or not to take the life of any living being depends entirely upon the answer to one question: What kind of being is it? The answer one gives is pivotal, the deciding element that trumps all other considerations. If the unborn is not a human person, no justification for abortion is necessary. However, if the unborn is a human person, no justification for abortion is adequate."
Advocates also argue that the unborn may be terminated because of the "handicapped" possibility which presents emotional hardship for the prospective parent(s). This argument also fails as we can not murder family members when they become handicapped or enfeebled, have Alzheimer's, or present emotional hardship in caring for their needs. Approximately 3% of all births result in some form of birth disorder. Parents of disabled children face difficult challenges every day but rejoice in the life that has been given. According to studies reported by the National Center for Bioethics Information, slightly more than nine out of 10 women who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome choose to abort their babies. Yet, parents of Down Syndrome children report great fulfillment and deep love for their children. Studies regarding children of incest have faced some methodological problems (which renders analysis problematic) however studies reported by the NIH typically indicate that the incidence of some form of disability may rise as high as 50%. Who has the moral authority to assert some disabilities of life become worthy of termination while others do not? Adoption may be the preferred alternative.
Pro-abortionists argue that the unborn can be killed because life does not begin until actual birth. This argument fails scientifically because life irrefutably begins at conception. The properties of life includes metabolism, growth, cell division and reproduction, response to stimuli, and adaptation to the environment, all of which is present in life at conception. This argument fails medically because approximately 500,000 premature births occur annually in the US. Approximately 12% of births are premature in the US. These children grow to become happy and healthy contributors to society. This argument also fails evidentially because of the abundance of sustainable early births. The current record of early sustainability is Amelia Taylor who was born at four months gestation, weighed approximately 1/2 pound, and was not much bigger than a "ballpoint pen" yet she survived and is healthy. Clearly, the unborn can survive outside of the woman's womb prior to full gestational birth.
Pro-abortionists argue that young women make judgment mistakes regarding sexual intimacy and should be forgiven for their "indiscretion." President Obama stated that if one of his daughters got pregnant from a sexual mistake he "wouldn't want them to be punished with a baby." Only the ignorant believe that the arrival of a baby is "punishment." It is beyond strange that a teenage mother can be forgiven for murdering her own unborn child while that same teenage mother could be prosecuted for killing a baby in the womb of a mother-to-be in a fatal car accident that she caused. Currently, there are 23 states with fetal homicide laws which apply to the earliest stages of pregnancy if someone kills a pregnant mother. Oddly, many states (through Medicaid funding) may pay the medical expenses for an abortive mother as a "reward" for her mistake, while the state may pay (through imprisonment costs) for punishing that same abortive mother who killed the fetus of another woman. Perverse state incentives can create a moral hazard. State contradictions aside, whoever thinks abortion harms no one, needs to see an actual abortion: http://www.catholic.org/video/watch.php?v=13
Friday, 10 February 2012 09:03 by Admin
(Editor: Here is today's press release from the attorneys for Colorado Christian University in its suit against Obamacare's infringement of religious freedom.)
Washington, Feb. 10 - Facing a political firestorm, the administration today announced its intent to make partial changes to a controversial rule that would require religious institutions, in violation of their conscience, to pay for contraception, sterilization, and abortifacient drugs. But the changes still leave out hundreds, if not thousands of religious organizations, businesses, and individuals that would still be forced to violate their religious beliefs.
The rule is currently subject to three lawsuits filed by The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty—one on behalf of Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina, one on behalf of Colorado Christian University, and one on behalf of Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), a Catholic media organization that self insures.
“This is a false ‘compromise’ designed to protect the President’s re-election chances, not to protect the right of conscience,” says Hannah Smith, Senior Legal Counsel for The Becket Fund. “Hundreds, if not thousands, of religious institutions are still left out in the cold and will be forced to violate their religious convictions.”
According to a White House statement, some religious employers will no longer be required to provide insurance coverage for contraception, sterilization, and abortifacient drugs; coverage for those services will instead be provided for free directly by insurance companies. However, at least three problems remain.
** First, hundreds if not thousands of religious organizations self insure, meaning that they will still be forced to pay for these services in violation of their religious beliefs.
** Second, it is unclear which religious organizations are permitted to claim the new exemption, and whether it will extend to for-profit organizations, individuals, or non-denominational organizations.
** Third, money is fungible, and many religious organizations may still object to being forced to pay money to an insurance company which will turn around and provide contraception to its employees for free.
“It is especially telling that the details of this supposed ‘compromise’ will likely not be announced until after the election,” said Smith. “Religious freedom is not a political football to be kicked around in an election-year. Rather than providing full protection for the right of conscience, the administration has made a cynical political play that is the antithesis of ‘hope and change.’”
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty<http://www.becketfund.org/> is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions. The Becket Fund has a 17-year history of defending religious liberty for people of all faiths. Its attorneys are recognized as experts in the field of church-state law.
For more information, or to arrange an interview with one of the attorneys, please contact Emily Hardman, Communications Director, at email@example.com or call 202.349.7224.
As the Obama administration clumsily attempts damage control on the HHS mandate for religious institutions to pay for abortifacient drugs, abortion counseling, sterilization, and contraception, Americans must not lose sight of the full scope and menace of this First Amendment outrage.
Catholics are up in arms, and rightly so, at the insult of being "allowed" one year to accept Caesar's negation of their 2000-year commitment to the sanctity of life.
But evangelical Christians and other Protestants who regard abortion as murder, as well as Jews who jealously guard their religious heritage and human rights here in the land of the free (?), oppose the HHS mandate with equal intensity.
Colorado Christian University's lawsuit to overturn the mandate, filed on Dec. 21, shows the seriousness of that opposition.
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, evangelical elder statesman Chuck Colson, and Jewish scholar Meir Soloveichik, signing a joint manifesto of resistance in the Wall Street Journal today, exemplify the solidarity of America's three historic faith traditions in vehemently condemning President Obama's strike against religious freedom.
('76 Contributor) For decades, the words "family planning" have been a euphemism for "abortion" to abortion proponents. Echoing Humpty Dumpty, when the left "uses a word, it means just what [they] choose it to mean, neither more nor less."
So, with twists in language, "homosexual behavior" is called "gay lifestyle," "sex outside of marriage" is termed "freedom," and "killing babies" is called "family planning." Often, it seems, in an effort to add weight to the pro-abortion mantra, the left couples "family planning" with other leftist causes like "carbon footprint" or "saving the planet."
A recent Denver Post opinion piece informed readers that "population [is] one of the major contributors to climate change and other environmental crises." And if population is the problem, what did the editorial writer think the solution was? You guessed it: kill more babies…I mean, do more "family planning." Therefore, the title of the op-ed in the Post was literally, "Family planning is a gift to planet."
Written by Dottie Lamm, former first lady of Colorado and a member of the U.S. delegation to the U.N. Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994, the op-ed sounds as though it was torn directly from eugenicist Margaret Sanger’s playbook, bemoaning the fact that some women continue to have more than two children apiece. (Lamm writes highly of the fact that women in China average only 1.5 childbirths, although she does not explicitly endorse the forced abortion policy Chinese women endure.)
According to Lamm, the prediction that the world’s current population of 7 billion will reach 9 billion by 2045 is of staggering consequence. She warns readers that "the pressures that an expanding population [will] put on global warming are enormous"—her argument being that adding that many people to the planet is equivalent to adding a carbon footprint equal to "two more United States."
Lamm quotes a population/climate change researcher, who argues that if we cut the population gain to 8 billion instead of 9 billion by mid-century, we "could account for 16 to 19 percent of the emissions reductions thought necessary to keep global temperatures from causing serious impacts."
In all fairness to Lamm, she’s not alone in her views that all things – even the lives of children – should be sacrificed in homage to planet earth. For example, in England, David and Victoria Beckham are currently being described as "selfish" for welcoming their fourth child into the world. There, Simon Ross, "chief executive of the Optimum Population Trust, an organization that campaigns for the ‘gradual decrease of the population to sustainable levels,’ said, ‘The Beckhams…are very bad role models with their large families.’"
So, apparently, the groups that are cajoling the Beckhams would be praising them if they’d only availed themselves of "family planning" and killed their child in the womb. That’s how twisted things get when people exchange worshipping the Creator with worshipping the creation instead.
Michael J. Norton is senior counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund (www.telladf.org), a legal alliance employing a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.
('76 Contributor) Lisa Wirthman writes that Planned Parenthood was bullied in the budget battle (Denver Post, April 15). Why does a billion dollar organization need a subsidy from U.S. taxpayers? Rather, Washington is using our tax money to assist a favored special interest group, the sex education and abortion industry. At the same time, Planned Parenthood has been complicit in statutory rape cases and taken donations with offensive racial overtones.
American blacks make up twelve percent of the U.S. population, yet thirty-seven percent of all abortions are performed on black women. With a black-to-white abortion rate of 3-to-1 nationally, abortion remains what Jesse Jackson called it in the 1970s—black genocide.
Abortionists continue their work of tearing off the arms and legs and crushing the heads of babies in the womb at the rate of 3,300 per day. These are our most defenseless citizens. Why should Planned Parenthood be allowed to bully babies and taxpayers?
('76 Contributor) The many ways in which Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has weakened our Constitution were outlined in David Harsanyi's recent Denver Post column. However, Harsanyi left out the "penumbra," which not only softened the Constitution, but also killed many people, which is far worse than any examples the column detailed.
In the fateful Roe v. Wade decision of 1973, Justice Stevens found a "penumbra" or a shadow in the 14th Amendment and constructed an "abortion right" that has killed 50,000,000 babies in the womb. President Obama said that Justice Steven "applied the Constitution and the laws of the land with fidelity and restraint."
If that is restraint, how many more babies will be killed with the next appointee?
('76 Editor) The Manhattan Declaration on sanctity of life, dignity of marriage, and religious liberty was faulted by my colleague Kevin Miller at the Vanguard Forum on Feb. 5 for insufficiently addressing such issues as the divorce culture and the idolatry of the state. I agree with Kevin that those issues must be honestly confronted, especially since Christians have been passively and actively complicit in the worsening of both for at least a century now. But I am proud to be a signer of the Manhattan Declaration, imperfections and all, since on balance it does the Republic and the Church far more good than harm. Believers agree, as former Sen. Bruce Cairns quoted from Prov. 14:34 at Vanguard, that "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." So isn't a proper balance in rendering to God and to Caesar (Matthew 22:21, the explicit aim of the Manhattan Declaration) one condition for strengthening America's righteousness? Again, we can agree that it is -- hardly a sufficient condition, as Kevin correctly warns, but surely a necessary one. Americans in general, Christian and otherwise, grossly over-render to Caesar at present. It's this mistake alone that the manifesto seeks to warn against and begin correcting, as best I can see. For the many other mistakes and omissions of which we believers are guilty, another manifesto may well be needed -- a Vanguard Declaration, perhaps -- but that is no reason to withhold our support from the worthy and urgent aims of the Manhattan Declaration. Are Manhattan's drafters and signers guilty of the hypocrisy and false pretense which Jesus condemns as like "whited sepulchres" (Matt. 23:27), or the inverted priorities which he likens to overlooking the log in one's own eye while criticizing the sawdust in another's (Matt. 7:3)? Not at all. The declaration does express repentance for Christians' complicity with rampant divorce. In giving relatively more attention to the threat of judicially-imposed same-sex marriage, it merely addresses the proximate danger of Caesar's next arrogant overreach. Everyone who values the family as society's core institution for stability and health can only applaud. I agree with Kevin Miller's expanded agenda for Christian self-correction and resulting social betterment -- virtue fostered non-coercively by changing hearts, starting with our own -- but I don't see this as an either/or with the Manhattan agenda. Rather it's a both/and. Jesus again: "These ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone" (Matt. 23:23). Finally, let's apply the Lord's own "By their fruits ye shall know them" test (Matt. 7:20). Will the ever-widening support and discussion of the Manhattan Declaration (now with 420,000 signers ) tend to trouble and cleanse the conscience of Christians, stir us up to repentance and good works and walking the talk -- or will it only serve as an excuse for smugness, complacency, and pharisaical superiority? I'm confident of the former result. Naming the name of Christ, daring to engage with him, starts one on a process of living up to his standard more and more fully. So with Nicodemus, Zaccheus, Matthew, and Peter, the divorced woman at the well and the weeping woman at the feast. "Going public" for the faith, even before we may be fully ready or presentable, takes on a positive logic of its own. And as for the concern voiced at Vanguard by a rigorous Reformation Protestant who asked if the Catholic understanding of the gospel (deficient in his view) may not defeat the whole Manhattan Declaration project, I will go with what Jesus told John: "He that is not against us is for us" (Luke 9:50). Even allowing that he seems to have said the opposite in Luke 11:23, we can take the "by their fruits" test as a tiebreaker -- for to repeat, no one has shown me how the Manhattan Declaration is going to do harm. One way or the other, what matters, said Paul, is that "Christ is preached" (Phil. 1:18). Amen say I. Have you signed the Manhattan Declaration? You can do so here. Want to know more about Kevin Miller, his Vanguard Forum once a month in suburban Denver, and his National Freedom Initiative for "freedom nationally, virtue locally"? You sign onto all that as well, as I have done, by clicking here.
('76 Editor) As a signer of the Manhattan Declaration on religious liberty, sanctity of life, and dignity of marriage, issued in November 2009, I received the following update from organizers Robert George, Timothy George, and Charles Colson. If you have not already signed, I urge you to click the link and do so at once.
Dear Colleague: Thank you for your support of the Manhattan Declaration. It is off to an amazing start - over 370,000 signers and growing. And it is indeed historic: Evangelicals, Catholics, Anglicans, and Eastern Orthodox Christians uniting to give common witness to the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage, and religious liberty for all persons.
But we need your help: our goal is one million signatures. The marketing pros tell us we will never get to a million signatures without expensive advertising. But we want to prove them wrong. And we can: just think if each person who has signed the Declaration were to get just two others to sign. That would be one million people standing arm in arm in defense of the most vital moral truths in our society.
Remember, too, we are not just collecting signatures; we seek a movement of people defending the truth in the public square. We are already witnessing signs of this: Christians in Mobile, Alabama called us 13 days before Christmas to tell us they were planning a large ecumenical gathering for the 23rd of December. I (Chuck Colson) agreed to speak. At 6:00 AM on December 23, 2,000 citizens, led by clergy from all over the city, gathered in a packed hall in the Convention Center for a rousing rally. Seldom have I seen so much excitement in one room - and all of this was accomplished just by word of mouth with only 11 days to organize! Just ten days ago, Cardinal Rigali of Philadelphia, Archbishop Wuerl of Washington, DC, Archbishop Dolan of New York and Archbishop Kurtz of Louisville reached out to all of their brother Catholic bishops asking them to spread this document throughout their dioceses and encourage their clergy and faithful to study it and join as signatories.
The Archbishop of Detroit has planned a grassroots effort throughout his archdiocese. The Bishop of Phoenix has already organized a grassroots effort there.
We are also receiving many reports of evangelical gatherings in a number of areas - and many evangelical pastors referring to the Manhattan Declaration in their sermons.
This bold and exciting movement needs to reach 100 or 200 cities in America. Why not? Can you help? We are urging you to encourage your pastors and community leaders to do what these other cities are doing. Organize ecumenical meetings organized around the Manhattan Declaration; get other concerned citizens to join the effort. Get on the internet or phone and ask friends to join you. If you let us know you want to organize something we can help link you up with others in your area.
As with any grassroots movement, the strength and energy has to come from the people. We have no staff and limited budget. We're people who care passionately and deeply about life, marriage, and liberty. So here's what we are asking you to do.
** Pray fervently. Great movements of faith have always spread on the wings of prayer.
** Know the issues. If you study this Declaration - and a study guide is available on our website - then you can winsomely explain and defend it to your neighbors and friends. The document itself makes a great apologetic defense for these moral truths.
** Look for resources on this website as we're able to post them, and search the websites of the Christian organizations that offer resources in these three areas. You can see the names of the various leaders who have signed the Declaration and then visit their websites.
** Of utmost importance, get your own church involved. As pastors preach, the movement will spread. Prayer meetings and Bible studies on the Declaration are being conducted in many churches, which is a great step.
**Make full use of Facebook, Twitter, and all the devices available today for social networking. Or just go to gatherings in your own community and speak out on this issue. Cultures are changed over the backyard fence, the barbeque grill, and in hair salons - always from the bottom up. Do everything you can possibly do to educate others.
**Organize local gatherings like the one in Mobile. If you want an audio or video of Chuck Colson's talk at the event, you will be able to see it on the website in the next few days. You can also read a firsthand report on how they did this.
**If you are a pastor or ministry leader let us know if you would like to be added to the Additional Signers list on the website.
Just think what might happen in our land if one million courageous Christians declared their uncompromising allegiance to Jesus Christ and to biblical faithfulness on some of the most urgent moral issues of our day.
May God give us the strength to do what He is so clearly calling us to do. From our perspective, this is a cause worth giving every last ounce of effort and energy we have.
Dr. Robert GeorgeDr. Timothy GeorgeChuck Colson
'76 Contributor) "The Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience," released last month, impressed me as a profound statement by a large number of Christian leaders taking a stand for the foundations of civilization, the family, and the sanctity of human life. People of faith have to work together to preserve and protect the fundamental principles of morality from those who seek to destroy them. This declaration brings together numerous Catholic bishops, Orthodox clergy, and Evangelical leaders -- and as an evangelical Christian I will gladly partner with other types of Christians on the common concepts that form the backbone of Christianity. Here are the opening lines from ManhattanDeclaration.org:
Christians, when they have lived up to the highest ideals of their faith, have defended the weak and vulnerable and worked tirelessly to protect and strengthen vital institutions of civil society, beginning with the family. We are Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical Christians who have united at this hour to reaffirm fundamental truths about justice and the common good, and to call upon our fellow citizens, believers and non-believers alike, to join us in defending them. These truths are:
1. the sanctity of human life
2. the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife
3. the rights of conscience and religious liberty.
Inasmuch as these truths are foundational to human dignity and the well-being of society, they are inviolable and non-negotiable. Because they are increasingly under assault from powerful forces in our culture, we are compelled today to speak out forcefully in their defense, and to commit ourselves to honoring them fully no matter what pressures are brought upon us and our institutions to abandon or compromise them. We make this commitment not as partisans of any political group but as followers of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and theLife. Even now the whispers of “hate speech,” “ignorance,” “bigotry,” “intolerance,” and “insensitivity” await those who now champion the sanctity of life or who fail to cheerlead homosexuality and sexual deviancy. Some have even gone so far as to label the Manhattan Declaration “hateful” or a call for civil disobedience. They are wrong. The manifesto is not about judging or excusing. If anything, it is in fact a rather benign, formal declaration of what a great many believe. It is also a clear warning shot across the bow of the U.S.S. liberal agenda that Christians will not compromise their fundamental religious beliefs no matter what the state may attempt to dictate.
Those seeking to mock, disparage, and even persecute any of us who fail to march lockstep with the agenda of secular humanism need to understand that a line has been drawn in the sand and a wide spectrum of the Christian community is joining together in a common cause to proclaim God’s truth, as they understand it, as outlined in the Bible. These are clear cut and unambiguous issues for Bible-believing people of faith and compromise is not an option when it comes to these basic principles.
The suspension of judgment and the concept that there is no true right or wrong is a devious lie and one that often fools even otherwise educated and intelligent people. If you are willing to suspend judgment and the concept of right and wrong, then you will eventually accept anything. The “if-it-feels-good-do-it” mindset produces only heartache and disaster in the end. It is the wise man who rejects such childlike idiocy and expects adults to think and act like adults. With maturity should come responsibility, self-restraint, discernment, and wisdom. It stands in stark contrast to an ideology of dependency, irresponsibility, the inability to practice self-restraint and accept the consequences of one’s actions, and the continued childlike dependency on others to fix one’s own mistakes.
Popular culture may sneer at such ideas as morals and values, sexual restraint, and personal responsibility, at patriotism and good citizenship, and at honesty, decency, and respect. Those are the failings of secularists and liberals. They should not be of Christians and conservatives. Part and parcel of both Christianity and conservatism is the simple concept that actions have consequences. The concept of the prohibition of sin was not to somehow squash your “fun” but to warn one about the repercussions of certain actions. It was to protect us, not to be “mean” to us.
There may come a time when a declaration like this is labeled “hate speech” or contrary to the public good and banned from dissemination. One may think that is far-fetched but we currently stand at the edge of the abyss when it comes to thought-control, censorship, and even the persecution of those that don’t march lock step with the powers-that-be and the dictates of a corrupt, popular culture.
As our society and culture embraces decadence and earnestly seeks to fulfill the Prophet Isaiah’s warning that “good shall be called evil, and evil good” it is increasingly important for people of faith to stand up and be counted. It is time to draw a stark distinction between those who have sold out to situational morality and don’t believe in right or wrong, only “different.” Eleven of the twelve disciples achieved martyrdom by refusing to heed those who sought to silence them. It is incumbent upon Christians to stand up for what is right, no matter the cost. It is an essential element of the faith, and at the core of the teachings of Christ. To not call sin “sin” is to be dishonest and contrary to the teachings of the gospels.
The last paragraph of the Declaration reads: ”Because we honor justice and the common good, we will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family. We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God’s.”
There is something noble and honorable about standing for truth, as uncomfortable or inconvenient that may be for some on occasion. You can join the over 300,000 people of faith who have followed the example and lead of the initial 170 leaders of the Christian community who presented the world with the Manhattan Declaration. Dare to take a stand. Join what has gone far beyond a mere statement in defense of faith and principle, and is now becoming a movement of people of conscience taking a stand for the whole world to see.
Start the New Year by recommitting yourself to what is right and true. The Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience can be read in its entirity at www.ManhattanDeclaration.org. I signed this powerful declaration and so should you. I like the spectrum and caliber of the signers and am proud to join my smallest of voices with theirs.The goal is for one million Christians to sign the declaration. Will you join me in doing so?
For more information on the thinking behind the Manhattan Declaration I would suggest the article by Dr. Timothy George, Dean of the Beeson Divinity School of Samford University, senior editor of Christianity Today, and one of the original architects of The Manhattan Declaration: The Manhattan Declaration: A Growing, Grassroots Movement of the Spirit (http://www.colsoncenter.org/the-center/columns/call-response)
David Huntwork is a conservative activist and freelance columnist in Northern Colorado where he lives with his wife and three young daughters. He is the author of the book No Apologies: In Defense of Common Sense and the Conservative Ideology which can be purchased at http://stores.lulu.com/store.php?fAcctID=3576295.Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions at DaveHuntwork@juno.com. You may also view his bio and past columns at: http://DavidHuntwork.tripod.com.