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.