Last week GOP senatorial candidate for Missouri Todd Akin found himself at the center of a media firestorm due to a very inappropriate choice of words he made. He had been questioned about his prolife position on abortion policy, with particular emphasis placed on the hard cases, such as rape.
Akin replied that in cases of “legitimate rape” he thought the woman has a natural defense system that prevents her from becoming impregnated. This reply was so bad it actually made vice president Joe Biden look articulate in comparison.
Not surprisingly the Democrat Party has jumped all over this, using it to characterize not only Akin, but the entire Republican Party, as conducting a “war on women” via its “extreme” prolife position.
The reaction of the Republican establishment was immediate and categorical. Akin’s statement does not represent the beliefs of the Republican Party and he must resign his race immediately.
The ironic thing here is that the Dems themselves reportedly pumped $1 Million dollars into the Republican primary race in order to get Akin nominated, because they believed he would be their most vulnerable opponent. It seems their investment has paid off in spades.
But back to the issue at the center of this maelstrom, it seems quite clear that Akin’s “legitimate rape” remark was an extremely off-base way to say that the woman’s body in unable to conceive when rapes involve a lot of fear. Biologically ignorant? Yes, it is. I don’t know much about Akin, but if this was not simply a slip, and he is habitually this misinformed or inarticulate, that should factor heavily into whether someone would want to vote for him to be a US senator.
But two thing bothers me about the way this has played out. First is the level of demagoguery that has gone into this. Belief that a fear factor would play into the possibility of a woman conceiving is entirely understandable, if statistically wrong. And yet Akin’s slip has become the major meme of the Democrats this election season, with them even switching their national convention’s main theme to it.
Doesn’t this seem excessive? Women in general are at least as prolife as the general population. Romney has explicitly endorsed rape and incest exceptions, while the Republican platform calls for a human life amendment, and doesn’t mention exceptions for rape or incest, on the theory that granularity belongs to the states.
The other thing that bothers me is the completeness of the Republican establishment’s abandonment of Akin. Romney has chosen a fiscal warrior and reformer, Paul Ryan, to be his vice presidential running mate. In doing so he has signaled that he is going to make this campaign about substantive issues, and that he intends to get down to the business of making America work again should he become president. He has faced “third-rail” issues such as Medicare head-on. Predictably, he was met with demagoguery, but he has not flinched, and I would say he is prevailing and is turning the issue back on the Dems, to their great distress. Even seniors, who Democrats claim have the most to lose, are heavily endorsing Romney and his Medicare plan.
And yet on the Akin issue, Romney and company have kowtowed to political correctness. I can understand the pressure to do so. They already have been taking withering fire from the media and from Obama’s smear campaign, so I’m sure they didn’t want any more. Nonetheless I think it is a mistake to have capitulated so quickly, without parsing the issue and separating Akin’s error from his intent.
If Akin proves himself to be a capable candidate (as polls might be indicating now) and worthy of a seat in the Senate, I think the Pubs should get behind him again. If his slip is characteristic of him, then I do think he should step aside. We have about four weeks before the cut-off date for the Party to appoint a replacement.
The Dems and the media have used political correctness to chill free speech for too long. If we are going to survive as a free nation, we will need to confront and defeat that beast. Romney and Ryan have shown a lot of courage so far, regarding fiscal matters. It has served them well and I wish them well. We need the same kind of courage with regard to social issues. I believe on this issue they have fallen short.
This is a half-hour film that I wish everyone would watch and consider. Give it a chance. It could be a life-changer for you or someone you know. Warning: it does contain some graphic images.
The latest depredation of the Obama administration involves a health care regulation that will force all medical insurance plans to provide full coverage for drugs and procedures which can take the life of an already-conceived human being. This is exactly what we warned the nation about during the great healthcare debate a year and a half ago, and when Bart Stupak and other “pro-life Democrats” made their idiotic deal with the devil. Now it is coming to pass, though predictably, it is slipping through incrementally.
Funny how the implementation date for the new regulation has been pushed back one year, from August of ’12 to August of ’13. That just so happens to delay the issue until after the coming presidential election. Funny.
If Obama gets his way, there will be no refuge from the complete control of health care by the government. And that means control by humanists. The conscience of Christians will not be respected, as we plainly see. If you want to stay in business or keep your job, you will comply.
It’s hard to know what to say. If the problem were merely Obama, it would be easy to fix. But as the Psalms ask, if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? It was the people who placed Obama in the highest office in the land. It was the media which hypnotized them, it was the government schools which dumbed them down. It was Big Labor which appealed to their selfishness. But ultimately it was the people who fell for the load of malarkey.
It’s easy to get discouraged by the state of the nation. I’ve never seen it so depraved and profane. All the warnings the moralists gave us were true, and the consequences of our decisions have come upon us. Unless somehow we can pull a rabbit out of the political hat, we are going to see the nation pull further and further away from us.
That’s why it is essential that each one of us does not run out of lamp oil. You will recall that according to the parable of the ten virgins, five wise virgins went back and got oil for their lamps, just in case the expected bridegroom was delayed. But five foolish virgins instead slept. When the bridegroom arrived, the wise virgins had enough oil, but the foolish did not.
If our faith rests on the good graces of the United States of America, we’re going to be in trouble. While that may have worked well for several hundred years, it doesn’t seem to be so any longer. We need to dig down deeper than that.
The political realm is a valid place to fight the good fight, and I hope more people do. But the spiritual realm is really where the action is. If you look at the much-quoted 2Chron 7.14:
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
You see that the verse refers not to the electorate, but to the people of God. It all hinges on us, and on our faithfulness. We are the ones who need to humble ourselves, pray, seek the Lord’s face, and yes, to turn from our wicked ways.
Simply put, the church needs to be the church as Jesus intended it to be. Each one of us needs to seek the Lord’s will for our lives, and conform ourselves to His wonderful character. If this happens as a grassroots movement, it becomes a revival. And as it gains steam the church gains the power to bear witness to the truth and love of God. We gain the power to love the unlovely – those who have fallen to the schemes of satan and this world. This is a powerful, life-changing dynamic. I found in my own life that it was when Jesus stuck by me when all others had left, when even He should have left according to my own calculations, that He won my heart forever. And it can be the same for the hurting people today, if the church will reach out to them in their difficulties.
I’m not happy watching this nation sink into the swamp. The humanism, the political correctness, and the immorality are literally killing us. I hope something can be done about it, and I will do whatever I can. But I have learned that my main focus must be the person of Jesus and the kingdom of God. Unless we see to that, there is no hope of saving the nation.
In the latest depredation by the Obama administration, Health and Human Services is proposing radical new regulations that would require private insurers – even those covering religious institutions such as churches, schools and hospitals – to fund contraceptive services with no charge or co-pay to the consumer. This ultimately forces the insurance pool to pay for these services, even when they offend the conscience of a good part of the people in that pool. Think of that when you see your skyrocketing insurance tab.
Catholics, of course, are enjoined against even simple contraception. But a little-known fact about some of the forms of contraception, in particular the ones using hormone manipulation, such as the Pill, in that they work by means of a three-stage modality. They first attempt to keep the egg from being released, and then to keep the sperm from reaching the egg, and finally, if a sperm and egg do join together, the pill makes the uterine lining inhospitable for implantation.
That is to say, that if the first two methods fail, the Pill Acts as an abortifacient.
So now, by federal decree, it will be illegal for insurance companies and medical practitioners to withhold services they find morally abhorent, and the people using them won’t have to pay a nickel for them. But the public – you and I – will.
This is the way it always is with the Left. They use the power of the state to cover over issues of individual morality, and they do it at the expense of those who do abide by moral scruples.
It’s interesting to see how Obama announced this scheme at a fundraiser:
“No longer can insurance companies discriminate against women just because you guys are the ones who have to give birth.”
At this point, a member of a laughing audience shouted out: “Darn right!”
“Darn tooting,” Obama answered back—to laughter. “They have to cover things like mammograms and contraception as preventive care, no more out-of-pocket costs.”
Obama continues to think of giving birth as a negative. When he was running for the presidency three years ago, he said that if one of his daughters got pregnant, he would not want to “punish” her by making her give birth.
Obama’s worldview was obvious to many back in ’08, and could have been to all, because the facts were out there for ready discovery should anyone have cared enough to look. But the media was in the tank for Obama and covered for him, and the people followed en masse. Since then, despite incontrovertible revelations about serious corruption within the “reproductive services” industry, Obama has stood steadfastly behind it, vigorously protecting the hundreds of millions of public dollars Planned Parenthood extracts from the American taxpayer each year.
It would be too much to expect much else from the general public at this point, but one wonders when the religious left will wake up, if ever.
It’s quite a neat scheme, really – use the power of our own government and our own money to subvert the values we believe in. And they are doing a spectacular job of it.
In the face of this, the temptation is to look to the political realm for solutions. The political realm is necessary and has its place, of course, but by itself it is wholly inadequate. Obama’s Republican challengers – those who are running, and those who are not, has been an keen object lesson in the futility of trusting in princes. The battle is the Lord’s, and if our victory is to be real, it must be won in such a way that the glory is His alone. That is why the real action in this war is the battle of faith. There isn’t a leader that can lead, or a Constitution that can protect, unless this nation exalts the Lord as God, in the daily lives of its people and in its institutions. Unless we humble ourselves before Him, we will watch every advantage, every liberty, all truth and goodness, slip away despite our best efforts.
The empty promises of statists avail nothing but more bondage. They suck the people in with their handouts, but over the long term they rob their vitality in the bargain, and make them dependant on further handouts.
It’s time for America to disavow its unwise dependence on man, and to avow again its utter reliance on the good and abundant hand of the Almighty. Let the church arise!
Come, and let us return to the Lord; for He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight. –Hos 6.1-2
I just learned with sadness of the passing of Dr. Bernard Nathanson. Nathanson’s life was a bit reminiscent of that of Paul of Tarsus. In the early 1970s, he pioneered the ushering in of unlimited abortion in the United States. As this compelling and eloquent obituary states, he personally performed thousands of abortions, including that of his own unborn child. Say what you will, Nathanson was not in it merely for the money. He believed in what he was doing.
But at the appointed hour, truth unbidden barged in on Nathanson’s life. When he finally saw an ultrasound of a live abortion, a moment which he later immortalized in the Silent Scream movie, he realized the moral horror of what he had done. Unable to deny the truth, Nathanson turned completely around and became a forceful advocate on behalf of human life.
And more than that, his awakening opened up for him an issue he had previously been closed to – his own compelling need for forgiveness from a God he knew was morally perfect. Jesus said that everyone who seeks finds. Nathanson’s crushing weight of sin drove him to the only assurance of forgiveness we are given, Jesus.
While Nathanson’s passing is the end of an era, there’s encouragement in his life for us. Our God is so big that there is no sin He will not forgive, if only we come to Him with a sincere heart and ask. Paul the great apostle persecuted the church murderously, but when he finally saw the truth, he too could not deny it, and he converted. When God forgives, He forgives completely; it is a done deal. Despite Paul’s past, God chose him and commissioned him to be His vessel:
This man is My chosen instrument to take My name to Gentiles, kings, and the Israelites. -Acts 9:15
Later Paul would testify:
I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. -1Tim 1:16
So it is too, with so many of us, who early in our lives found the lies taught by our morally adventurous culture pleasing to our flesh, but who later discovered the terrible cost of sin, a cost that in many cases had been hidden from us.
Nathanson courageously embraced truth at great personal cost. There was a massive disruption of his professional associations and his friendships, to say nothing of his finances. For this reason, leaving his previous error behind, he went on to become a moral giant. Like Paul he earned the right to say:
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. -1Cor 15:10
There is sadness in loss, but the grace of God marches on, collecting trophies such as Bernard Nathanson. He is an example for us of casting off sin and every weight of encumbrance, and pursuing grace and truth, even when it is costly to do so.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
I’m going to tie together a few recent headlines here, to try to get a sense of where we are headed as a church and as a nation. On the bad side, our culture and society continue apace on their mad rush to perdition. MTV (Viacom) put out a new series, Skins, which depicts such things as molestation and sex at fifteen as unremarkable, typical behavior. I wish I could say it was the almighty dollar alone that was driving this self-fulfilling filth, but the problem is more deeper than that. Humanist forces have consciously been at work for the better part of a century now to move the line on all manner of sexual behavior, from age of consent, to homosexuality, to bestiality and on.
And they have been very effective. Another report last week said that one third of women in the US will have an abortion. Another said that 41% of NYC women have had one. And just before that, a couple of reports came back saying that today’s youth are to an unprecedented degree uninterested in religion.
Things would appear to be dire, no? But then how do we explain the record turnout, in bitter cold, of youth at the annual March for Life in Washington, DC, commemorating the vile Roe v Wade decision? For the first time in thirty eight years, a second facility had to be opened to handle overflow from the main Mass. Squads of priests heard confessions beforehand in an auditorium.
Clearly, a large and growing number of our teens are rejecting the unhealthy mores of the dominant culture, even if on the same day our president chose to personally champion those twisted values.
I’m not sure what’s going on here, and I would welcome input, but I think there is a rebirth of idealism in today’s youth – an idealism that wants to reach outside of itself and find solutions to the problems of society . Young people are not impressed by religious structures or tradition, so much as by truth and integrity and following God in a way that’s real.
If I am correct then this year’s March for Life is a brilliant witness that the church will be in good hands in the challenging years to come. Even while commercial and humanist interests, institutions such as the schools and government, and even the president himself, promote moral doubletalk, compromise and mediocrity, a significant number of the coming generation refuse to buy into the lie.
We ought to help them. One way is not to fear the changing shape of the church. We are shedding the dead skin of past presuppositions and we will emerge in a highly flexible mode that will enable us to adapt to the changing needs of the culture. Though there are growing pains, this is a good thing indeed. Recall that the Lord had to allow a persecution to arise in Jerusalem in order to get the first disciples to carry the Message abroad as they had been commissioned, particularly for the benefit of the Gentiles.
When the church enters its adaptive mode, adressing the real needs of people while still being true to Christ, as it did in those early centuries and as is happening today in places such as China, it sheds the formalism and excessive focus on hierarchy and doctrinal purity that have dogged much of its history, and it embraces the basics – incarnation, relationship and mission (MRI). It is then that supernatural things begin to happen. Lives are changed, cultures are impacted, and the Kingdom grows.
Another thing we can do is advocate against the lies of this culture. Work to get cable TV packages broken up, and then get the filthy channels out of your house. From its constant assault on morality, to its ungodly highly partisan advocacy, I can’t think of one good thing to say about MTV. And it’s not the only channel that needs to be either vanquished or transformed.
Rep. Michelle Bachmann gave a brilliant speech at the March for Life Dinner, in which she cited the Mary who broke open an expensive alabaster box of perfume in order to anoint Jesus’ feet. Mary was chided for “waste”, but Jesus commended her for what she had done. Bachmann went on to say that nothing we do for the Lord is wasted. God sees things differently than does man, and it is only His accounting that matters. There’s a synopsis of her speech here.
There is no shortage of evidence that our culture and our nation is under intense attack and has been seriously degraded. But godly resistance is rising up as well, as we saw in the November elections and now see in the turnout at the March for Life. We need to encourage ourselves in the Lord and redouble our efforts. We are going to win this thing. We are more than conquerors: not only do we defeat our foes, we win them over.
When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will indeed raise a standard against him. Hold your ground. The battle is the Lord’s, and it is already won.
Finally, take a moment and consider the vast numbers of people who have been harmed by abortion, and keep them in prayer. Know that if you have had an abortion or been a party to one, the Lord loves you and wants to forgive you. Just come to Him. Whatever our sin, He is the one who was sinned against, therefore He has the power to forgive that sin. And on the Cross, Jesus purchased the legal right for our forgiveness. Because Jesus paid the price, God can forgive us now without violating His righteous nature. Come to Him now, and do not carry an impossible burden by yourself any longer. God forgives, heals and make new. Let Him.
On the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, president Obama issued an affirmational statement:
Today marks the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that protects women’s health and reproductive freedom, and affirms a fundamental principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters.
I am committed to protecting this constitutional right. I also remain committed to policies, initiatives, and programs that help prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant women and mothers, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption.
And on this anniversary, I hope that we will recommit ourselves more broadly to ensuring that our daughters have the same rights, the same freedoms, and the same opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.
Obama’s words may sound reasonable to the humanist. But the dynamic here is just like taking God out of the schools and handing out condoms – it won’t work. You either take a stand for morality or you are swamped by immorality. And our nation is reaping the fruit of being swamped by immorality.
In order to enshrine “reproductive rights” as a Constitutional right, our governmental structure has had to make it a sacred totem that is immune to any degree of normal legal oversight. To wit, see the horrors, recently revealed, of the Philadelphia doctor who apparently routinely stabbed babies to death after their live birth. This was allowed to continue for years, despite complaints, to the tune of possibly hundreds of babies. The Pennsylvania Department of Health, when queried how this could occur, actually answered that it did not know that abortion providers fell under its jurisdiction. The Department of Health!
There are no easy answers for this nation. At this point I’m not certain that it is possible to rebuild its foundations. Humanly, perhaps it is not. But then, all things are possible with God.
But I am certain that each individual must make his own choice on how he is going to live. And I am equally certain that we must use the time we are given as salt and light to a dying culture.
A prayer here for all the babies and lives of women and men, and families destroyed and being destroyed by abortion.
Update: Here’s the unbelievable tale of how the squalid Philly clinic was allowed to continue unscrutinized by the authorities for years. This nation has become morally dysfunctional. Thanks, humanists.
Yesterday I watched video of Bill Clinton stumping for Maurice Hinchey, one of the most odious characters in a Congress that has quite a few. Clinton was heckled, and he took control of the situation by bragging on his four balanced budgets as president. The audience rose and cheered him with patriotic fervor, and the hecklers were drowned out.
I can only hope that Mr. Clinton gets on his knees each night and expresses thanks for the Republicans who drove him to the center and forced him to adopt policies such as welfare reform and the abandonment of his governmental takeover of health care.
I’ve been watching with displeasure as Clinton enjoys a massive rehabilitation in this season of need for the Democrat Party. It seems that even after 9/11, two wars and a near-depression, America has learned very little.
Until the appearance of Obama on the scene, Mr. Clinton was the most prodigious liar I had ever seen. But his strength wasn’t actually his ability to deceive. With Clinton most people knew they were being lied to. It was his ‘aw, shucks’ good ol’ boy demeanor that disarmed much of the public and let him get away with it.
Not so with Obama. I recall watching Obama during one of the presidential debates, in which he calmly and coolly defended his vote in the Illinois senate against providing pediatricians to protect the lives of aborted babies born alive. He maintained that he voted against the bill because Illinois law already provided for such protection, and therefore the bill was just prolife political grandstanding.
I follow these things and had heard otherwise, but Obama’s intelligence and apparent sincerity caused even me to doubt. Frankly, I have had enough problems with some elements of the prolife movement that I had to consider the possibility that my information had been incorrect.
So that debate ended with me being unsure about the character of Obama. Certainly, the man had much that was winsome. If his votes had indeed been reasonable, I could see why many would support him.
The conflict gnawed at me for a few days before I finally did the research. The Illinois bill that Obama used for cover stipulated that the abortionist himself was to switch hats in the case of an aborted baby born alive and now try to save the life of the baby he had been trying to kill.
Picture that. An abortionist drags a scalded, half-dead baby with limbs torn off out of the birth canal, and sees it’s still alive. He now has a choice. If the baby lives in a deformed condition, its mother would now turn on the abortionist with the finest legal guns in the country. All manner of horrendous publicity concerning him and his trade would ensue, and it is quite likely that he would lose his shirt and be put out of business.
Or he could simply go through the motions but let the baby die. Considering the moral caliber of most people drawn to the abortion trade, what do you think this guy is going to do?
I saw clearly that the Illinois law Obama used for cover was a sham. And I just as clearly saw that Obama was the coolest, most bloodless liar I had ever experienced. What was most troubling was the realization that perhaps only one percent of the nation knew the facts on the Illinois abortion bill. The rest would have been convinced of Obama’s sincerity and reasonableness in the matter, and they probably would have concluded that this man is indeed fit to serve in our highest office.
Now, two years later, many are learning the truth. We see how the promises to be a post-partisan uniter and healer were merely a David Axlerod ad campaign to sell Obama as something he is not. Obama has done nothing to build consensus; he hasn’t even tried. Consensus for Obama is agreeing with his radical agenda, which he has pursued even while the nation was bleeding for jobs. And now that he’s in electoral trouble, the last remnants of post-partisanship have been cast off, revealing the divisive hyper-partisan attack dog that always hid behind the cool demeanor.
The troubling thing here is that with the resurrection of Bill Clinton, much of America is bearing witness that it has learned nothing. It is saying, “Lie to us if you must, we don’t care about the morality. Just give us prosperity”.
Back in 1992, Clinton ran for the presidency on the slogan, “it’s the economy, stupid”. Clinton and his wife had a radical social agenda, including unrestricted abortion rights, but the nation was in a slight recession and he capitalized on that fact. And the media helped him by burying the fact that we had already begun to emerge from the recession in the months before the election.
At that time, Ralph Martin wrote that to place the economy over moral issues as a voting criteria was to violate the biblical prohibition against taking a bribe to pervert justice (Proverbs 17.23). Much of America took that bribe, and we got what we got.
There is much irony here. The economy which had been recovering before Clinton was elected now began to stagnate and sink backwards, as the business community drew back in alarm at Clinton’s agenda, which included the nationalization of one-seventh of the economy, by means of taking over the health care sector.
It wasn’t until 1994, when the Republicans took control of Congress on a platform of reduced government, forcing Clinton to abruptly declare that “the era of big government is over” and to abandon his worst schemes, that the economy gained traction and roared on for years.
In Matthew 6.33, Jesus assures us that if we seek God’s kingdom first, He then will add to us everything we need. This is the lesson America has yet to learn. It’s not the economy, it’s the morality that we need to be concerned with. If we would return to the sound values we were founded on, if we would get humanist statism and political correctness off our backs, the natural creativity of our interrelationships would be unleashed and we would enjoy an economic renaissance the likes of which has not been seen. God wants us to prosper and do well, but He knows it must be done the right way (see 3John 1.2).
And the prosperity we would enjoy would not be the materialistic, hedonistic lust-fest we have seen. We would have our needs met, we would live with purpose and dignity, and we would be a light to the nations once again.
But it must begin by valuing truth above all, even over economic prosperity.
Elections are in three weeks. Consider prayerfully where this nation is spiritually, and where it needs to be. God promises that if we honor Him, He will honor us (1Samuel 2.20). Put God first and you have everything. Place an idol in your heart before him, and you end up with nothing.
From Newsrealblog comes this damning video of the Sec. of HHS Sebelius describing an accounting sleight of hand that will indeed cause every taxpayer to pay for abortion.
It’s bad enough for a nation to tolerate abortion. Elective abortion blatantly crosses the line of God’s sovereignty regarding human life, a line that cannot be crossed without bad consequences, and I will always vote to outlaw it. But it’s even worse for that nation to compel its citizens to actually pay for a procedure that gravely violates their conscience. Yet that is exactly where our leaders are taking us.
Such is the coercive nature of the humanism that is taking the reins of our nation, and it could only be succeeding in this by Orwellianly claiming for itself the mantle of tolerance and mercy. I have a friend who appropriated the old Biblical song of the daughters of Israel, and very perceptively coined the expression, “Repression has silenced its thousands, and tolerance its ten thousands”.
Behold, then, the mendacity of the woman who, along with the secretive bureaucrats of the FDA, will be controlling one-sixth of the economy should the healthcare bill pass.
We have our work cut out for us.
From the Bread and Circuses Dept.