Archive for the ‘Abortion and Life Issues’ Category

Late to the Game

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

As the coils of secular government begin to tighten on the Church, the clerics are finally beginning to notice.  Here Francis Cardinal George lists some of the encroachments and sounds an alarm.  Elsewhere, a group of pastors were arrested in New York for protesting the City’s decision, upheld by the federal courts, to rent public space to any and all groups except churches.

For 39 years abortion has been “legal” in this country, and for 39 years 99% of pastors have been virtually silent on the issue.  The government has used the public schools to indoctrinate children from Christian homes and churches into atheism and immoral sexual practice and the pastors have been similarly silent if not supportive.  Now, in the final stages of the radical secularization of the country, when the government feels strong enough to just go around shutting churches down outright, the pastors notice.

Better late than never I suppose.  Although God might well say as He does in Isaiah 1:15 that He will not hear the prayers of those whose hands are full of blood.  How can a Church that has stopped its ears and turned its eyes from the littlest victims of injustice now cry to God for justice?  It may even be that the only hope for the Church in America today is for the government to shut down all the existing compromised, man-pleasing church enterprises so we can try again.

Speaking of games, the whole world is flipping out over Tim Tebow violating the Constitutional separation of Church and Football by taking a knee in prayer and thus confessing his faith in the public square.  The public square is reserved for things like Gay Pride parades and defecating on police cars, not shameless demonstrations of faith in Jesus.  When will the courts take action against this transgression?

Pay no attention to that man “Tebowing” in the snow.

Capital Punishment

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

One issue that divides pro-life Christians is capital punishment.  Some see a consistent pro-life position as including opposition to capital punishment in most or all cases.  Others oppose abortion as the killing of innocent people but support capital punishment for people guilty of capital crimes.  The former view seems more common among Catholics and the latter among Evangelicals. In my opinion, these positions reflect either the rationalist approach to scripture, in which extracting principles and creating a rationally consistent philosophy is the dominant mode of thinking, or the more literalist approach that takes scripture closer to face value.  I am in the latter camp.

Two items I have come across lately highlighted this issue for me.  The first was the case of the murder of  Jitka Vesel by Dimitry Smirnov on April 13 in Oak Brook, Illinois.  Smirnov told police he had verified that Illinois had no death penalty before deciding on killing his ex-girlfriend. 

The other was an opinion piece by Roger Olsen, a theology professor from Baylor in the Associated Baptist Press entitled “Capital Punishment is a Sin.”  In addition to citing a number of anecdotes about erroneous or problematic cases of capital punishment, Olsen was good enough to provide a list of specific arguments in favor of his position, for which I commend him.  This provided a convenient set list to which I could respond.  Here is his list with my responses in italics.

“There are several theological and ethical problems with capital punishment.

First, it ends a person’s opportunity to exonerate himself or herself. 

The opportunity to exonerate one’s self is available at a fair trial.  This is not unique to capital cases as an innocent man may die in prison without exoneration.

Second, it ends a person’s opportunity to accept Christ and live a God-honoring life in prison ministering to other inmates and guards. 

The prospect of a swift execution concentrates one’s mind on their need for salvation, while endless imprisonment just hardens a heart.

Third, it usurps God’s place and assumes a God-like right and power to take the life of a person created in God’s image and likeness.

God has delegated the power of executing murderers to man and requires us to carry it out.  Obedience is not usurpation.

Fourth, it has no social benefit. It only serves a blood thirst for vengeance.

When capital punishment is carried out as part of a legal system tied to God’s moral law it serves to reinforce the Law of God in the minds of the people.  It is the Law of God in the minds of the people that restrains murder and lesser offenses.

Fifth, no modern, Western country still has capital punishment.

And few would be called Christian.  All embrace child killing and Sodomy for example.

Sixth, capital punishment is barbaric and cruel — if not to the person being executed (and who can know for sure?), to his or her family.

If capital punishment is required by God this argument insults God.  Life imprisonment is pretty cruel too.  The cruelty inflicted on relatives of the victim by denying them justice just to show how morally superior we are is amazingly heartless.

Seventh, innocent people are executed. A few years ago Ethel Rosenberg’s brother came forward and admitted publicly that he knew she was not complicit in the plot to steal American nuclear secrets and deliver them to the Soviet Union. He fingered her to help himself. She was electrocuted in 1953 leaving behind two small, traumatized boys.

For these and other reasons, capital punishment needs to be abolished and Christians ought to be in the forefront of that effort.

Innocent people are executed and some always will be.  This is a reason for utmost care, not a reason for disobedience or thinking we are wiser or more merciful than God.  If Rosenberg’s brother’s statement is true, which is unlikely, it just means he is guilty of her murder.   Innocent people are shot by police and people thinking they are acting in self-defense.  Should police and citizens be denied the right to self-defense?

Most Christians who support capital punishment rely entirely on Old Testament material which was transcended by Jesus.”

In the New Testament, Jesus Himself affirmed the continuity of the Law and the Prophets.  There is no radical break in the role of governmemnt between the Old and New Testaments.  The saved thief on the cross affirmed the justice of his punishment.  At trial, Paul said that if he was guilty of an offense worthy of death he ”refused not to die.”  Paul said malefactors should rightly fear the civil magistrate who, as God’s minister, does not bear the sword in vain.  Swords are for killing.  Capital punishment for murder is required throughout the Bible.  The death penalty is not optional.

So there you have it.  I invite you to join in the debate.


 

Miscellaneous News

Friday, April 8th, 2011

As the nuclear disaster in Japan unfolds we are being given an opportunity to see just what a worst case accident at a nuclear reactor looks like when essentially all of the protective features fail.  Bad as it is, it pales in comparison to the initiating damage from the earthquake and tsunami.  If this nuclear disaster is an argument for no more nukes, isn’t the tsunami an argument for no more buildings less than thirty fet above sea level?

Here is an interesting confession by a well known British global warming advocate to the effect that the fears of the health effects of radiation exposure have been wildly overblown.  He points out that except for some of the workers on site, no one was killed by radiation from Chernobyl and that even at Hiroshima and Nagasaki radiation exposure resulted in no increases in birth defects.

 Now he tells us.  Former federal judge Vaughn Walker who struck down Proposition 8 and claimed to find a mandate for gay marriage in the U.S. Constitution without bothering to addressing previous Supreme Court rulings to the contrary has confirmed rumors that he is gay.  He naturally asserts that this had nothing to do with his ruling, but unlike a straight judge, Walker was positioned to potentially benefit from his own ruling, creating an appearance of impropriety.  He exhibited bias at every stage of the proceeding, including having cameras in the proceeding to facilitate witness intimidation by Prop 8 opponents (a decision overruled by the ninth circuit).  He should have recused himself, but enemies of God’s moral law have no concept of right and wrong behavior at any level.

 A member of the Orthodox Church in America complains about corruption of his church at the highest levels and compares it to the situation in the Roman Catholic Church which contributed to the Protestant Reformation.  For my part I often despair looking at our Evangelical and Catholic Church leadership and their abject unwillingness to address the moral collapse going on in this nation.  Sometimes it seems the number of major leaders willing to stick their necks out to oppose child killing, theft, the queering of our schools and our military, and many other evils can be counted on the fingers of one hand with fingers left over.  Most young people reared in our Churches leave them as soon as they can, judging them to be worthless or irrelevant.  The overall Church, like our nation and the world seem ripe for convulsive change.

 This Professor of Religion at Boston University opines at CNN’s religion blog that the budget deadlock and government shutdown are not being driven by the Tea Party’s supposed financial focus, since the dollar differences are so small, but by abortion, since defunding Planned Parenthood is the deal breaker.  He sees this as horrible, but I see it as encouraging.  It means the Republicans don’t totally see us social conservatives as potted plants, which is nice for a change.

Sarah Palin was Right

Saturday, July 10th, 2010
Berwick

DanielBerwick

Say someone in your family is sick and needs expensive care.  How would you like the decision to be exclusively up to this guy with his kind face and warm, caring eyes (that look like they could freeze beer)?

Well, if they depend on Medicare or Medicaid, he’s the decider now.  Meet Donald Berwick, the man Obama appointed to run Medicare and Medicaid using a recess appointment to avoid the need for Senate confirmation, and thus to avoid any questions about his views on socialized medicine and rationing of care.

It also avoids having to answer any questions about who funds the foundation he heads and from which he drew his salary.  Geoge Soros?  Fidel Castro?  Elton John?  Who knows?  The budget Berwick will oversee is the same size as the Department of Defense, so this is like appointing the Secretary of Defense without Senate approval.  Obama blamed Republican threats of a filibuster, but Berwick never even got so far as a committee hearing.

What is known is that Berwick has been a vocal advocate of Britain’s national health care and its deadly rationing system that yields a 46% breast cancer mortality rate compared with “backward” America’s 25%.  No wonder critics are calling him “a one-man death panel” and “Obama’s rationing czar.”