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Abortion

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Abortion

Abortion. THE hot button issue for today. My comments will probably include something to offend everyone, so be prepared with your rotten tomatoes. And before I get into the meat of the subject, bear with me as I go through my qualifications to comment on the subject.

I am a doctor — an anesthesiologist. Abortions come in multiple forms, and I’ve administered anesthetics for hundreds of abortions that nature started. These are called “spontaneous abortions” or “miscarriages.” They usually happen because of genetic abnormalities in the fetus. A few come from an incompetent cervix, and I’ve done anesthetics for placement of a “cerclage,” a special suture that prevents the cervix from dilating before the baby is ready for delivery.

I practiced in a hospital that did not allow abortion on demand, so I was not asked to do anesthetics for those. But I did participate in circumstances where an abortion would have been proper to save the mother’s life. The first was in 1980, while I was in Saudi Arabia with the Loma Linda University Overseas Heart Surgery Team.

A young woman who had had a mechanical heart valve placed several years before was admitted in extreme distress. She had gotten pregnant, stopped her blood thinners, and the valve was stuck due to a blood clot. We pulled out all the stops, but it was too late. We lost her on the table. She should never have gotten pregnant, but her Islamic religion did not allow that option.

After returning to Florida, a young female recruit from the Orlando Naval Training Center was admitted to my hospital with new onset shortness of breath every time she ran the obstacle course. We discovered that she was pregnant and starting her second trimester, but also had a rare disease called “primary pulmonary hypertension.” After extended consultation, we decided that the only way to save her life was to try to terminate her pregnancy. Unfortunately, we were again too late, and she died on the table.

The only other case I recall was a second-trimester abortion for non-survivable fetal anomalies. Ultrasound was just developing to the point where we could identify these problems before birth. Since carrying a child to term in a normal pregnancy is a non-trivial risk, the safer route for mom was to terminate the pregnancy. She could try again.

As you can see, there are occasions where an elective abortion is required for the mother’s health, but they are rare. I saw three in thirty-three years.

The second concern regarding abortion is moral, or in the common mind, religious. There again, I believe I am qualified to comment. My training began in medical school, where I had the rare opportunity to take an excellent course in medical ethics. It was taught by two professors I can best describe as saints. This training continued through my fellowship in Critical Care Medicine.

Since then, I have undertaken seminary training that includes biblical Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. I have written well reviewed books on theological topics and teach weekly in my local evangelical church. And a local seminary has asked me to teach biblical interpretation from time to time. So I can speak to the religious side of the issue.

Yesterday (May 16) Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed a bill that makes performing an abortion a felony unless the mother’s health is at risk. When we place this against Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s statement approving the killing of an infant after birth, we see the extremes of the possible opinions. The Alabama bill essentially declares that life begins at conception, while Northam’s statement would allow infanticide.

Most of us find the Virginia Governor’s comments repugnant. He would allow for the killing of a child born alive in Virginia. That raises a serious question about all laws banning murder. If it’s OK to kill an hours-old infant, what about a days-old infant, or a years-old no-longer-infant? There is no standard.

The trend toward various “heartbeat” standards does not suffer from this flaw. The Alabama and Georgia laws, while somewhat different, do create bright legal lines. This is important, but the two states illustrate a clear difference in approaches.

Georgia purports to ban abortion once a heartbeat is detected, unless a police report claiming rape or incest is filed. This raises a major ethical question that the Alabama law addresses head-on. If life begins at conception, and is clearly detectable with the presence of a heartbeat, why is it acceptable to kill it based on how it came to be created? Alabama clearly defined legal personhood as originating at the same time as a heartbeat. This defines the earliest time that a killer can be charged with two murders when he kills a pregnant mother. Alabama has chosen to defend all its citizens.

Georgia, on the other hand, has taken a politically popular but morally ambiguous position that ignores the “morning-after pill” option. Are all live pregnancies persons? Or are they persons only if they arrive in an approved manner? Biologically there is no difference. Biblically there appears to be no difference, either.

For evangelicals, who hold the Bible as the authority, it is necessary to actually open the Book and consider it carefully. Perhaps the most famous case of incest is that of Lot and his daughters in Genesis 19. They got him drunk in order to get pregnant by him. Their sons became the ancestors of enemies of Israel. The next is the case of Judah and Tamar in Genesis 38. There Judah’s daughter-in-law tricks Judah into getting her pregnant. When she is discovered, he calls for her to be executed (v. 24). Clearly, he has no concern that the baby is a person. But we don’t hear if that’s God’s opinion. Ultimately, she lives, and her son becomes one of Jesus’ direct ancestors (Matthew 1:3).

Rape is clearly condemned in the Bible, with the death penalty commonly declared. But in Deuteronomy 22:28-30, we find a variation. If a man rapes a virgin who is not related to him or betrothed, then he has to marry her and pay her father fifty shekels of silver. In this way, he will provide for her for life. It seems that biblical laws are generally defined in a way that protects women. But what about abortion?

Exodus 21:22-25 appears to be the only passage that addresses the issue, and that only peripherally. In it, if a woman suffers an injury in a fight, and that injury leads to a miscarriage, then the perpetrator must pay the husband an amount of money that the husband demands and the Court approves. If it were considered murder, then the death penalty would apply, but it doesn’t. Our only logical conclusion has to be that there appears to be no clear biblical instruction regarding abortion. That’s probably because children were highly desired, and that women were strongly protected from rape and incest. Thus, elective abortion did not happen, and the Bible doesn’t address it.

One final passage of importance is Jeremiah 1:5.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (Jer 1:5 NAS)

Many Pro-Life advocates use this text to advocate that life begins at conception. But does it really say that? The only clear statement is about God’s foreknowledge of Jeremiah’s birth and commissioning as a prophet. When we look at “I formed you in the womb,” we find ourselves in the position of trying to force our scientific rationalistic thinking into a text written to a pre-scientific audience. That is the error of anachronism. In Genesis 2:7, God “formed” Adam from the dust of the ground. But it wasn’t until God “breathed the breath of life into his nostrils” that he “became a living soul.” The verbs are the same, leaving us with a biblically unsolvable question. When does life begin? And that brings us to the early church.

Athenogoras (ca. 177 AD) says that the use of drugs to cause abortion is murder.

“How, then, when we do not even look on, lest we should contract guilt and pollution, can we put people to death? And when we say that those women who use drugs to bring on abortion commit murder, and will have to give an account to God for the abortion, on what principle should we commit murder? For it does not belong to the same person to regard the very fœtus in the womb as a created being, and therefore an object of God’s care, and when it has passed into life, to kill it; and not to expose an infant, because those who expose them are chargeable with child-murder, and on the other hand, when it has been reared to destroy it. But we are in all things always alike and the same, submitting ourselves to reason, and not ruling over it.” (emphasis added)

But his contemporary, Clement of Alexandria says (Miscellanies, Book V, Chapter 1, ca. 193 AD),

“Now we know that neither things which are clear are made subjects of investigation, such as if it is day, while it is day; nor things unknown, and never destined to become clear, as whether the stars are even or odd in number; nor things convertible; and those are so which can be said equally by those who take the opposite side, as if what is in the womb is a living creature or not.” (emphasis added)

In short, the Bible is not clear as to when life begins. That’s not surprising, since that was never a subject of discussion in the time and place when its relevant parts were written. In the second century after Christ, there was a difference of opinion as well. Athenogoras thought a fetus was a person, but Clement of Alexandria opined that we could not know because there were good arguments on both sides.

This is an accurate reflection of our knowledge even today. Some evangelicals make strong arguments for life beginning at conception. Pro-abortion advocates make strong arguments to the contrary. But it is almost inconceivable that anyone could make a rational argument that a living child born in whatever circumstance is not a person the way Ralph Northam (a pediatric neurologist!) does.

As a society, we have to protect the image of humanity. To that end, we provide institutional care for children born with horrible defects that prevent them from ever functioning as humans. But they look enough like us that we erect a wall against wanton execution of these “non-human humans.” We cannot allow any more Josef Mengeles to exist. That’s why Kermit Gosnell is in prison.

But we cannot allow law to be so emotional and unclear. It has to provide bright lines that clearly show what is unacceptable, so that anything not unacceptable is OK. Both Georgia and Alabama have done this. Whether their answers are “correct” cannot be distinguished either from scripture, history, or science. All we can properly say is that this is what we see as the best answer.

Alabama has the best legal position, because its law is constructed from the question of personhood that the state has an interest in protecting. Georgia’s law fails this test due to its feel-good exceptions for rape and incest that ignore the option of the morning-after pill that would prevent a heartbeat from ever occurring. New York has the worst legal position since its law functionally eliminates the crime of murder.

Ultimately the Supreme Court will have to wrestle with this again. We must wait to see if they are willing to deal with law instead of social engineering founded in the evils of mankind.

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Culture and Religion

Ami Horowitz: What is the Muslim Brotherhood?

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Ami Horowitz What is the Muslim Brotherhood

For an organization that is so wide-reaching, so prominent, and so recognizable across the globe, very little is known about the Muslim Brotherhood by most Americans. They’re an 800-lb gorilla disguised as a harmless puppy that may occasionally bark or growl but can’t do any real damage. The more we learn about their decades of influence and planning in the United States, the scarier this puppy becomes.

Ami Horowitz did an incredible investigative piece on the Muslim Brotherhood, released yesterday by PragerU.

“The US has been a target of the Brotherhood for many years,” Horowitz reported. “Many of its members founded some of this country’s largest Islamic organizations, including CAIR, the Islamic Society of North America, the Muslim Student Association, Students for Justice in Palestine, the Muslim American Society, among many others.”

But if you ask any of these groups about their affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood, they claim there is absolutely no connection. This seems to be a universally told lie.

According to Horowitz, “While some of these groups deny current involvement with the Muslim Brotherhood, many of the same founders are still involved with these organizations and they seem to share the same philosophical underpinnings of the Brotherhood.”

They are working on multiple fronts inside the United States to subvert our culture, governance, and freedoms. To do this, they don’t just act against us. Sometimes, they actually use our own money in the process.

“The Holy Land Foundation was once the largest Islamic charity in the United States. It’s supposed organizational mission was to fund humanitarian programs for Arabs in the Palestinian territories. In reality, it was a front organization for the Muslim Brotherhood to help finance Hamas as terrorist activities. In 2009, the founders of the organization were given sentences of between 15 and 65 years in prison for funneling 12 million dollars to Hamas. Among the unindicted co-conspirators listed by the prosecution was a who’s who of major U.S. Islamic leadership including CAIR, the Islamic Society of North America, the North Islamic Trust Fund, and many others.”

They aren’t just raising money. They’re teaching people, converting them. One of their biggest targets are American jails. In prison, the Muslim Brotherhood literally has a captive audience. It is here they’re able to find people willing to act violently and who are ripe for becoming devoted members to the cause of both Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood itself.

What Ami Horowitz shows us in this 15-minute PragerU video should be considered nothing short of required watching for all patriotic Americans. You may not be concerned about the Muslim Brotherhood now, but you should be.

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Culture and Religion

Imagine the Left being completely honest

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Imagine the Left being completely honest

The Left has to hide its core ‘value’ of forced wealth redistribution in order to survive, but imagine if the whole truth came out.

No one would support the Left’s socialistic slavery if it were truthful about its ideology of forced wealth redistribution. They will, however admit to some half-truths using the sin of omission to keep the rest under wraps. This is a look at what it would be like if they were completely honest about their socialist national agenda.

After all, these are people who disguise who they are with deliberately false labels. They can talk all they want about being ‘progressive’ or ‘Liberal’, but it’s all backward thinking with the antithesis of Liberty in having ‘the pedagogy of the paredón’ [execution wall].

Leftists weren’t socialists until suddenly they were.

It is really astounding that the Left expects their words to be taken at face value when their history has always been one of lies. For years they solemnly denied that they were socialists, even though the dictionary and their national agenda told a different story. Everyone was supposed to ignore their obvious denial of reality.

Then in a rare flash of honesty, they admitted what had been obvious for decades: They were socialists.

Lost in the accolades of their coming out of the red closet was the fact that they had been lying about their core values for years. It was positively Orwellian in how they switched without the slightest hint of guilt over their abject deception.

Leftist weren’t demanding gun confiscation while demanding gun confiscation.

Leftists certainly seem to have a talent for being able to lie while the truth is in front of everyone else. They used to parrot the lie that ‘No one is talking about gun confiscation’ while absolutely demanding gun confiscation.

It was a bold-faced lie designed to assuage the objections to the Left’s demands for Intergalactic Background Checks or gun registration. We’re not supposed to worry our pretty little heads about the implications of these measures because this just wasn’t in the cards. It was an obvious lie, but the Left demanded that we accept it as the truth along with many others.

These days it’s to the point that the mere rumour of the possibility of a shooting or a particularly cutting remark to a Leftist politician is enough to bring forth this demand. Nevertheless, Leftists will still try to parrot this obvious lie, expecting it to be taken at face value.

Happy talk half-truths.

The national socialist Left would like to be lauded for those rare occasions when they are truly honest. In most cases it’s only part of the story with ‘happy talk’ about free health care, free college, free food, free housing, leaving out the justification over how other people are morally obligated to fund all the freebies.

That is by design, because those discussions delve into the messier aspects of socialism. The false promises, the forcible wealth redistribution, the oppression when the false promises become manifest, the rounding up of dissidents into gulags and concentration camps, the pedagogy of the paredón [execution wall].

The full implications of Leftist half-truths reveals why they keep them hidden, only emphasising the positive aspects of their socialist national agenda.

‘From each according to his abilities’ has to be done at gunpoint.

It should be no surprise that a man who advocated the ideas of a parasitical ideology would have stolen them from the ancient dialogs of someone else. Good old Karl Marx was aware of these ancient texts since he commented on them in his writings. Many others were experimenting – and failing with socialism well before he wrote his ‘manifesto’.

However, the man did phrase the essence of forced wealth redistribution with his:

‘From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.’    Karl Marx

Leftists love to talk up the second part of that little ditty with the promise of all kinds of free stuff while leaving out how the ‘From each’ is supposed to be implemented. This is because other people’s money has to be taken by force.

Bernie Sanders gloated about cancelling student debt and making Wall Street pay for it, without mentioning why they are morally obligated to fund that freebie. He also failed to mention the economic implications of stealing of $1.6 trillion from some people simply because he wants to buy votes.

Where the Leftists truly honest, they would make sure everyone knows some people will be forced to pay for all of the ‘free’ goodies. Most people don’t have to worry about being at the wrong end of government gun, but they do have to worry about that taking of other people’s money sinking the economy.

The full implications of Medicare-for-All.

If there is one thing Leftists love more than being called Liberal, its being lauded for generously spending other people’s money. How they think that money is theirs to take can only be attributed to the distorted mentality of the collectivist mindset.

As reported by JD Rucker Bernie Sanders confirmed the ‘all’ in Medicare-for-All includes illegal immigrants Let’s complete the ‘logic’ of the left in this case and other entitlement issues.

The truthful implications of this are that he believes that everyone has a claim on the property of those who may happen to earn or have more than others. That government is more than a mere protectors of basic human rights, but should be the conduit by which wealth is equally distributed to all in the world.

Never mind that the prospect of free health care, free college, free food, free housing will have the entire world-beating down our ‘door’.

The Left wants everyone to be able to vote to steal other people’s money.

As in the previous example, we all knew what the Left wanted. It was a case of the Left finally coming out and admitting the truth. As reported on Townhall: Caught Red Handed: Despite Their Protests, Democrats Want Illegals To Vote. This is not just a case of the government obtaining the consent of the governed, it is one of the Left flooding the country with illegal invaders that will vote to have other people’s money redistributed to them. Couple this with the promise of free stuff for all who can come in over the border and the people who pay the bills will have lost control of their own country. It will be the end result of every democracy that will be inherently unstable.

If they can accomplish this, the national socialist left will have succeeded in taking the most stable and functioning systems of government and perverting it to one where the minority will be tyrannised by the majority. It will inevitably disintegrate as fewer people work to have their earnings stolen by others, shifting the burden to fewer and fewer until the whole system collapses.

Open borders and reparations for past sins.

Our final two examples – in more ways than one – we have Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking ‘What’s The Point?’ on the issue of enforcing Immigration Laws In U.S. as reported in the Daily Wire.

Then there is the story reported on the website Twitchy of an opinion piece from the New York Times that openly admits that the illegal invasion and reparations movement are meant to be penance for ‘our’ past sins.

The national Socialist-Left doesn’t see any point in borders or Enforcing Immigration Laws and that we must pay some form of penance for our past sins. Never mind that the people who committed these sins have long since passed or that the people benefiting weren’t the original victims. No, to those on the Left, we have committed the unpardonable crime of being successful and having the best system of government ever conceived.

The Takeaway.

The full extent of the truth of what the Left has admitted is almost too monstrous to contemplate. They have no qualms about forcibly taking property in order to buy votes and loyalty. They are perfectly willing to hand out goodies to anyone who will vote for them. Finally, they don’t believe in sovereignty and see the illegal invasion and reparations as a way of the innocent of today to pay for the collective sins of the past.

Thus whatever they do to the country to attain power for themselves is perfectly legitimate in their minds. It doesn’t matter to them if it leads to our destruction because we probably deserve it. It used to be said that certain foreign entities hated us for our freedom. In looking at the implications of the rare instances when the Left has been a little honest, it would seem they agree with that sentiment.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Culture and Religion

Demise of LifeWay: Changing times or because they peddled heresy? 

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Demise of LifeWay Changing times or because they peddled heresy

It’s not the best of times to be a book store in 2019. Amazon crushed much of the competition. Still, Lifeway remained the retail branch of the Southern Baptist Convention until its announced closure of all of its stores back in March. The brand will continue to operate online. The SBC is embattled with confusion and the influence of Social Justice Gospel at the celebrity pastor level. That confusion, created by various personalities, has not been lost on LifeWay. So the question of the day: is LifeWay consolidating because of changing times or because they peddled heresy?

It should come as a surprise to no one that LifeWay has peddled an enormous amount of heresy. I wrote, back in May, posing the question: why the Prosperity Gospel is still popular? In that column, I noted that Lifeway sells the Prosperity Gospel. But the Prosperity Gospel is far from the only heresy that they profited from. If not for Lifeway, would Heaven Tourism books have reached popularity enough to have made movies from it? Then, there’s mysticism because postmodernism is alive and well.

Pulpit and Pen has danced on the grave of LifeWay as they become a hollow seed of what they once were, claiming sole credit for their demise for being a primary influencer in the #the15 movement. The movement was launched against LifeWay by comments construed as elitist towards its customers in 2014 by Ed Stezter in response to concerns over John Piper’s cozy comments to the Pope. Evidently, a lot of congregations have turned their backs on Lifeway ever since. Pulpit and Pen notes, in their rejoicing, how the financial woes for LifeWay began in 2014 according to their financial presentation. A lot of churches used to consider themselves “LifeWay only” churches in terms of materials used, explains Randy White of First Baptist Church of Katy, Texas explained. He also expressed his displeasure with the heresy on their shelves in his decision to move his congregation away from them.

Amazon is powerful, but so is having a quality brand. People, especially in churches, will contribute to businesses that support their values. But LifeWay stopped doing that, instead selling any book that will bring in revenue regardless of their responsibility to the Lord as a faith-based entity. When enough people saw through “faith-based” branding of LifeWay, the company was left to the mercy of Amazon.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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