Category Archives: right to life

BreakPoint: Costly Views on “The View” Don’t Crack Under Cocktail Party Pressure

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You’re in the spotlight and you’ve just been asked about a controversial issue. What do you do?

Martin Luther, the Christian reformer who challenged the sale of indulgences five hundred years ago, is often credited with this stirring quotation:

“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the Word of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him.”

Okay, well maybe Martin Luther didn’t actually say that. Nor did Abraham Lincoln say, “You can’t believe everything you read on the Internet.” But just because a quotation is mis-attributed doesn’t mean it’s an inaccurate summary of what the purported author believed. As a matter of fact, this passage not only closely mirrors something Luther wrote in a personal letter, but it’s consistent with the life he lived.

More importantly, this quote is true. The temptation is strong to faithfully proclaim every aspect of God’s Word except the one most controversial in our time.

We saw that recently when well-known pastor Carl Lentz appeared on ABC’s “The View.” Lentz spoke boldly and in no uncertain moral terms about the issue of racism. As well he should. Christians should condemn racism whenever and wherever it rears its ugly head.

But when asked directly about abortion, and whether or not he considers it a sin, Lentz couldn’t give a straight answer. Instead, he spoke of having a “conversation,” of finding out a person’s “story,” where they’re from and what they believe. “I mean, God’s the judge,” he concluded. “People have to live by their own convictions.”

Predictably, the progressive studio audience heard this as an affirmation of the so-called “right to choose,” and rewarded Lentz with thunderous applause.

This upset a lot of pro-lifers who felt that this highly visible pastor had squandered a chance to speak up for the unborn. Lentz quickly took to social media to defend his word, but the damage was done. A watching world had heard a famous Christian pastor buckle on a crucial issue of our time, right after taking principled stands on other issues—issues, and this is key, that wouldn’t cost him anything with the ladies or audience of “The View.”

Now Lentz is not unique. He’s just the latest victim of what my friend Michael Miller calls “cocktail party pressure,” the urge to tone down or disavow Christian beliefs found to be distasteful in our culture. Typically, these are the so-called “culture war” issues like life, marriage, or religious liberty.

Watching Lentz on “The View” reminded me of the doctor-assisted suicide vote in Colorado last year. I was heartbroken when pastors of Colorado churches told me they didn’t want to take up the issue from the pulpit, because it was “too political.” But many of these same pastors have no hesitation whatsoever when addressing issues that are also so-called political ones, like racism or refugees.

Contrast this with someone like Ryan Anderson from the Heritage Foundation. Although not a pastor, Ryan is among the most articulate defenders of natural marriage even in the face of blistering ridicule. I’ll never forget the image of him on Piers Morgan’s show, banned from the stage, seated in a hostile crowd, graciously explaining the Christian view while the liberal hosts hurled abuse at him.

Folks, it’s so very easy to be courageous on issues where our Christian convictions are in agreement with talk show hosts and the larger cultural ethos. But we’re not just called to proclaim the truth when it’s easy. Faithfulness means standing up for what’s right precisely and especially when it’s unpopular—even when it will cost us, socially, financially, maybe even mortally.

And it’s all of us, including those of us not on television, who face this kind of pressure ourselves—the pressure to tone down or abandon what we believe. That’s why it’s crucial to decide ahead of time—before the talk show or the cocktail party—where we stand, and to always be ready to give an answer when we’re asked.

 

Costly Views on “The View”: Don’t Crack Under Cocktail Party Pressure

Check out the links in our Resources section for great materials that will help you be equipped to stand for truth, remembering the Apostle Peter’s words: “But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. and do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence. . . 1 Peter 3: 14-15 NASB

 

Resources

The Faith: Given Once for All

  • Charles Colson, Harold Fickett | Zondervan Publishing Company
How Now Shall We Live?

  • Charles Colson, Nancy Pearcey | Tyndale House Publishers | September 1999
 
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A Life Worth Saving and there are many more like him

 

 

 

 
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His message is one more people need to hear. For the Colson Center, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

Last month, Congress heard testimony from Frank Stephens, an actor, Special Olympian, and advocate for those with disabilities. Stephens has Down syndrome, but he had something to say in a country where an estimated 67 percent of those diagnosed with the disorder in utero are aborted:

“I am a man with Down syndrome,” he said, “and my life is worth living. I have a great life!”

His story echoes the vast majority of adults with Down syndrome, as well as their families. A study in the American Journal of Medical Genetics shows that 99 percent of individuals with Down syndrome are happy with their lives; 97 percent of parents of children with Downs expressed pride in their child, as well as 94 percent of siblings.

This information has the power to impact the decisions of parents who get hard diagnoses, and shape our society into one where people with disabilities aren’t considered better off dead.

But Stephens can’t get the word out on his own. We need to speak up, too.

Resources

‘I Am a Man With Down Syndrome and My Life Is Worth Living’

  • Conor Friedersdorf | The Atlantic | October 30, 2017
Down Syndrome Awareness Makes a Difference

  • Mark W. Leach | Public Discourse | October 7, 2011

An Act of Deception, and the Anti Christian Union has a party over the death of a baby ( sad )

Listen to the commentary

Pennsylvania Republican Congressman Tim Murphy and the soul of America

The United States recently witnessed a tragic example of hypocrisy in high office on the question of the s anctity of human life.   Pennsylvania Republican Congressman Tim Murphy has a voting pattern of defending the sanctity of human life and only lately was amongst those who voted to ban abortion after 20…

( Read, or listen to the commentary here. )

BreakPoint: House Passes 20-Week Abortion Ban Time to Make It Law

Congress has a chance right now to end one of the most grisly types of abortion. Pro-lifers, it’s time to get loud.

On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 36, the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” on a vote of 237-189. If enacted, this bill would criminalize abortion after twenty weeks of pregnancy except in cases of rape, incest, and the life of the mother. While it’s similar to laws already in place in a few states, it’s also similar to federal bills that failed in 2013 and 2015.

The crucial difference between then and now, of course, is the Republican president in the White House—one who campaigned on an explicitly pro-life platform and has pledged to sign this bill. That means the only thing now standing between the Pain-Capable act and the president’s desk is the Senate—which is no small hurdle.

Why is this legislation so important? Well, as the name suggests, babies at twenty weeks of gestation have nervous systems developed enough to feel pain. Now, in a consistent pro-life worldview, functional abilities have nothing to do with human dignity, and so all abortions are wrong. But abortions conducted just two or three weeks prior to the current point of viability are particularly and obviously gruesome.

Chances are, you may have met someone who was born prematurely at around 24 weeks. Killing any child should be unthinkable, but just before viability? In fact, former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino explains how gruesome second trimester abortions are in a disturbing video for LiveAction. We’ve linked to it at BreakPoint.org, but I’ll tell you this much: It involves literally ripping a baby limb from limb.

On a purely political basis—and contrary to claims by Planned Parenthood and others—this bill is popular on both sides of the political aisle. A 2013 Gallup poll found just 27 percent of Americans think abortion should be legal after the first trimester of pregnancy which, by the way, ends at 12 weeks of gestation.

A Knights of Columbus poll in 2014 found an incredible 84 percent of Americans want to restrict abortion to the first three months of pregnancy or less! And—are you sitting down for this?—62 percent of those who are strongly pro-choice support a 20-week ban. These are folks who support paying for abortions with tax dollars. As Will Saletan at Slate admits, “even most pro-choice people aren’t sold” on killing babies within a hairs breadth of viability.

And this legislation would also moderate America’s extremely liberal federal abortion laws, making them more like those of other Western nations. Now, I’m no fan of modeling America after Europe as some are, but as Cassy Fiano explains in a video for Prager University, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, and France all heavily restrict or effectively ban abortions after the first trimester. Only seven other countries have abortion laws like America, and two of them are North Korea and China.

So, where’s our challenge? CNN reports that GOP Whip Senator John Cornyn of Texas, when asked whether his chamber would take up this legislation, said “That’s not a near-term priority.”

Say what? If ending abortion isn’t the reason pro-lifers vote overwhelmingly Republican, what is? Look, for too long we’ve heard lots of pro-life rhetoric on the GOP campaign trail, only to see the unborn take a backseat to other priorities in Washington.

So it’s time to send a clear message to Cornyn and other Senate Republicans: This is why your constituents elected you. Get busy.

And for Democratic senators, we say, “Look at the poll numbers. Listen to Americans. The majority of your voters—the pro-choice crowd—supports this legislation.” Listen to them, not to Planned Parenthood or the increasingly irrelevant abortion lobby. End this most grisly form of abortion now.

 

Now make no mistake—all abortion should be illegal. But this is a huge step in the right direction. Come to BreakPoint.org and we’ll help you get in touch with your U.S. senators. It’s their job to listen. And it’s our job to speak for those who can’t.

Christianity Today made a big mistake in giving pro death soul a platform

I’ll see your quote and raise you two. For the Colson Center, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

I’m surprised, to put it mildly, that Christianity Today would choose to run an opinion piece on health care by Virginia Senator and former Clinton running mate Tim Kaine.

In the article, entitled “We Need All Parts of the Body to Fix Health Care,” Kaine quotes Scripture at us twice, first 1 Corinthians 12, strangely redirecting Paul’s teaching about the church and applying it to Congress.

Even worse, Senator Kaine then cites Matthew 25, about “the least of these.” Well, perhaps Senator Kaine could expand his definition of “the least of these” to include the unborn? Kaine identifies as a Roman Catholic, but has a 100 percent Planned Parenthood voting record in the Senate—100 percent.

I can’t imagine CT would share their platform with someone so morally compromised on other issues. So why the exception for, of all things, abortion?

Look, Senator, here are two other Scripture passages: Matthew 19: “Let the little children come to me;” and Proverbs 6, “God hates hands that shed innocent blood.”

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Giving food, and water is not healthcare, but human-care

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An American news show honors a nation for ending Down syndrome by killing

One Scandinavian country’s treatment of the vulnerable is a barometer for where the rest of the world is headed.

While the nation was cringing last week and every media outlet buzzing about the neo-Nazi imagery from Charlottesville, another story reminiscent of the Third Reich emerged from, of all places, Iceland.

CBS tweeted out the story with the tagline: “Iceland is on pace to virtually eliminate Down syndrome through abortion.”

“With the rise of prenatal screening tests across Europe and the United States,” read the report, “the number of babies born with Down syndrome has significantly decreased, but few countries have come as close to eradicating Down syndrome births as Iceland.”

More than a few people found the tone of the article and its headline…celebratory. Among them was actress Patricia Heaton, whom you may remember as Deborah from “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Heaton blasted CBS for the headline and the story, pointing out that “Iceland isn’t actually eliminating Down syndrome. They’re just killing everybody that has it. Big difference.”

Amen. Of course, as CBS goes on to admit, “Many people born with Down syndrome can live full, healthy lives, with an average lifespan of around 60 years.”

That’s not the half of it, actually. Research published in 2011 in the American Journal of Medical Genetics found that 99 percent of individuals with Down syndrome report being happy, 94 percent of their siblings express pride in their brother or sister with Down syndrome, and just 4 percent of parents regretted their decision to keep their child.

This is important for one simple reason: The entire argument for aborting children diagnosed in utero with Down syndrome is based on quality of life. It’s not a medical concern.

Such children, goes the argument, are an unwelcome burden on their parents or on society, and in the end, will live unhappy lives. So, “it will be better for them,” we are told.

But if you or a friend has someone with Down syndrome in the family, you know nothing could be further from the truth! Those with “Downs” are often the most joyful and loving people you meet.

Even more horrifying, Iceland is a small country, but other larger nations aren’t lagging far behind in this eugenics experiment. In Denmark, 98 percent of children diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb are killed. In France, it’s 77 percent. And in the U. S. it’s a shameful 67 percent.

When asked why such high percentages of babies with Down syndrome are aborted, Icelandic geneticist Kari Stefansson admitted it wasn’t for medical reasons. Rather, it’s due to “heavy-handed genetic counseling,” or pressure by authority figures to abort.

One pregnancy counselor in Iceland told CBS, “We don’t look at abortion as a murder…We ended a possible life that may have had a huge complication…preventing suffering for the child and for the family.” Or in other words, trust us, “it’s for your own good…”

Tell that to Thordis Ingadottir and her beautiful seven-year-old daughter, Augusta, one of the few people in Iceland with Down syndrome who hasn’t been killed. The pair have become crusaders for those with disabilities, so that they will be “fully integrated on [their] own terms” into society. After all, asks her mom, “What kind of society do you want to live in?”

That’s a good question, as prenatal screening becomes more widely available, and much of the world grapples with this new breed of eugenics. Make no mistake—what we’re witnessing here is the systematic extermination of children who are, by society’s standards, less than perfect. It’s worth remembering that the first groups killed by the Nazis in their quest for perfection by eugenics were those with disabilities.

Will ours be a similar society, in which we claim to eliminate disabilities by eliminating those who have them? It’s up to you and me to decide.

John McCain Explains Why He Voted Against the Bill to Repeal Obamacare and Defund Planned Parenthood

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Charlie Gard must never be forgotten

Listen to a spot-on commentary by Cal Thomas. Or read part of it below.

CHARLIE GARD, THE 11-MONTH-OLD BRITISH BABY WITH A RARE GENETIC DISEASE, MUST NEVER BE FORGOTTEN. THAT’S BECAUSE CHARLIE SERVES AS A LESSON FOR WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE STATE ASSUMES THE POWER TO DECIDE WHO IS FIT TO LIVE AND WHO MUST DIE.

DESPITE A HEROIC BATTLE BY HIS PARENTS, THE NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE WOULD NOT LET CHARLIE COME TO AMERICA FOR SPECIALIZED TREATMENT. THE STATE DETERMINED HE WASN’T WORTH IT. THE STATE ALSO REFUSED HIS PARENTS’ REQUEST TO TAKE HIM HOME AND LET HIM DIE THERE. ITS “COMPROMISE” WAS TO LET HIM DIE IN HOSPICE.

THIS SHOULD BE A LESSON TO AMERICANS WHO THINK THE STATE SHOULD RUN HEALTH CARE HERE. WOULD YOU LIKE A GOVERNMENT PANEL DETERMINING YOUR WORTH, BASED ON WHETHER YOU ARE COSTING MORE THAN THE TAXES YOU PAY? WOULD YOU BE OK WITH A BOARD – OK, A DEATH PANEL – DETERMINING YOUR FITNESS TO BE TREATED AND LIVE BY PEOPLE WHO HAVE NEVER EXAMINED YOU?
( Read the rest of this commentary right here. )