Posts filed under 'current events'
“The ironic part is when Chas Freeman chose to resign. [Tuesday], the day he withdrew was Purim, a Jewish Holiday where we celebrate a victory over a anti-Semite named Haman. Haman complained that the Jews had no respect, that they had dual loyalty and in the end he was defeated. Haman was defeated over 2,500 years ago, Haman was also defeated yesterday.”
- American Thinker, March 11th, 2009
March 15th, 2009
While poking around the internets, I found this description of the International House of Prayer:
This March, at a “Passion for Jesus” conference in Kansas City sponsored by the International House of Prayer, or IHOP, a ministry for teenagers from the heavy metal, punk and goth scenes, Engle called on his audience for vengeance.
The call for “vengeance” also made me giggle a bit. Lou as the leader of a goth movement calling for vengeance - makes sense to me.
December 23rd, 2008
Thanks to all who gave their two cents (plus some) in breaking down the early draft of theCall’s press release related to the fiasco Newsweek published last week. It was all seriously helpful feedback! One point of clarification that you probably didn’t know - Lou had already, earlier in the week, released a short statement calling on believers to cancel their Newsweek subscription. Thus, the call to do so had to be in the longer press release. I did appreciate some of the perspective on that point, however. So what happened?
Well, much to my surprise, our p.r. firm loved the press release as is. So, in an unexpected turn of events, the early draft became the final draft instantaneously. The p.r. firm didn’t change much - they shortened the opening paragraph and added a phrase (that I asked them to remove - because it was dorky, not because it was controversial) before punching up the end a little bit. Hopefully, if you see it somewhere printed over the next week, you’ll appreciate the minor addition they made. Or not.
As things currently stand, however, they have blasted the press release out to wherever public relatations firms blast out press releases. I don’t really know how any of that works, but I do know that, supposedly, the Wall Street Journal has shown interest thus far. We shall see. Either way, it was an interesting experiment in “social press releasing” with all of you - and the glory for me is that, for now, only Lou’s name is on the document. He’s already done one radio interview related to it (yesterday, can’t remember the show).
Meanwhile, I get to stay in my cave and fast and pray. So back to the cave I go.
December 16th, 2008
Submitted for your approval, here is an early draft of a press release that TheCall will be releasing through our P.R. firm that Lou Engle and I wrote early yesterday:
This past week, the editors and publishers of Newsweek magazine made an unfortunate decision to brazenly relegate the vast majority of American citizens who believe in the traditional, biblical view of marriage to, quoting its Editor-in-Chief Jon Meacham, “intellectual bankruptcy”. Newsweek’s attempt to simultaneously tear down the veracity and relevance of the holy scriptures while appealing to those same scriptures to build its case for homosexual marriage is not in and of itself a shocking act. The intellectual dishonesty of these writers and editors is clearly on display in their work and the statements they have made surrounding their work. Thus, we are neither afraid of nor troubled by their submission to the national conversation on this issue.
No – what we are troubled by is the confidence that a failing institution had in publishing such a seemingly bold statement. Newsweek’s economic struggles and loss of subscribers have been well-documented as of late; in taking this stand, Jon Meacham in particular seemed overconfident that he and his constituency are on the winning side of history. In the long view of history, the very scriptures that Newsweek magazine looked to trivialize in their article prove who is ultimately on the “winning side” of this argument. As our friend Jim Garlow has said repeatedly, the Bible ends with a wedding. The manner in which the Bible comes to a glorious conclusion demonstrates the sanctity by which our Creator holds this most sacred of unions. The Apostle Paul spoke of this institution and the manner in which a healthy, vibrant marriage between one man and one woman has continually served as a metaphor for God’s relationship with His people in Ephesians 5:25-33, a passage that Lisa Miller, the author of the Newsweek cover essay conspicuously overlooked in her research.
Some have asked why we care so much about this issue, and why we are taking such a bold stand to oppose homosexual marriage in America. It is because we hold the institution of marriage in such high regard related to its sacredness to our God; yet we also recognize that this very sacredness has left the institution of marriage open to assault from its very beginnings, going back to a garden thousands of years ago. The culmination of this assault on marriage, according to the prophetic scriptures that describe the days ahead, is to try to eliminate this institution altogether (1 Timothy 4:3). The current zeal to redefine marriage is the latest stage of this assault. The strategy of those who are looking to redefine marriage is two-fold: to first frame homosexuality as a racial issue rather than a moral issue and then to establish rights for homosexuals as the true moral issue of our day. Thus there is more than the biblical definition of marriage at stake – but the very definition of what is sin versus what is righteous before our Creator.
Therefore what is troubling is clear: not that Newsweek magazine is taking the “lead” in defining both morality and marriage in America; again, an organization struggling for its financial survival rarely has the stomach for such risks – no, it is troubling that they feel confident that the majority of America agrees with their stance and their definitions of marriage and morality. If this is true then our nation has taken a dramatic and unfortunate turn that has devastating consequences for American culture in the days to come. For if sexual orientation and desire can be classified under the framework of “race” – if we define desires in a manner beyond what our Creator intended without any scientific evidence that such proclivities are genetic – then we open up a proverbial “Pandora’s Box” for such an argument to be applied to all manner of desires under the false mask of “genetics” or the “Creator’s design”. We pray that the vast majority of Americans that have continued to hold the line on what is marriage, what is moral, and what is so clearly part of the created order and the Creator’s design will stand fast against this blatant assault on truth.
As such, we are asking all who desire to stand for truth and righteousness to say, “No!” to Newsweek magazine’s attempt to reframe and reshape scripture for their own self-seeking purposes and to immediately cancel their subscriptions. The American people have a historic opportunity to show Newsweek magazine that its arrogant overconfidence in gauging the opinions of the people is greatly misplaced.
It’s about 33-50 words too long, and a few of the phrases need too much explanation / clarification to hold up - but it gives you a better grasp of what is on our minds related to this week’s Newsweek cover essay.
What do you think?
December 13th, 2008
Of all the comments flying around the web regarding the now widely seen video of Sarah Palin on a free-range turkey farm giving an interview as a live turkey is bled out behind her, here is the most, “yikes!” comment of the day I’ve seen:
“She should tell the media that she apologizes and she’ll do her next interview inside an abortion clinic.”
I’m not linking to it, because chances are you’ve already seen it or could easily find it yourself. But the thought of Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, the Huffington Post, et al watching that same interview at an abortion clinic does kind of discourage me. Mostly because I know that there is no chance of any of that group being more thrown off by the death of a baby - and that the death of a turkey is far more gruesome to them. We are seriously upside down, and in need of divine intervention, I think.
Here is another quote that interested me:
“Killing is what happens on farms. Seriously. I’m saying this as a farmer.
City people think that farms are “where life happens.” Nonsense. Farming is about killing stuff. I don’t even raise livestock or poultry and I have to kill stuff.
I can get crops to grow by simply putting seed in the ground. The rest of my job is to kill, kill, kill. Kill weeds. Kill insect pests. Kill vertebrate pests. Whether by herbicide, pesticides, shooting, trapping, stomping, you name it — I spend far more time killing than I do making something grow. Mother nature takes care of the growing. I have to remove the competition. There have been days when I’ve trapped 50+ pocket gophers and shot 100 ground squirrels - before lunch. They needed killing, and the next day, more of them were killed because they needed killing. At other times, I’ve shot dozens of jackrabbits at night and flung them out into the sagebrush for coyotes to eat.
And none of that starts in with helping neighbors slaughter steers, lambs, chickens, etc.
That’s farming: killing. Lots of it.
Want to know why this nonsense is ‘news’?
Because an increasingly large cohort of America in the lower 48 (and probably Hawaii) are … They have no clue where their food comes from, they don’t hunt, they don’t fish, so they get to act all high and mighty about scenes like this.
In Alaska, they have critters that consider humans food. Absent high powered rifles, humans are not at the apex of the food chain in Alaska. That will tend to give people a different perspective than the silk pantywaists in the lower 48.”
It made me think about the agrarian reality of the New Testament world and the astonishingly large number of agricultural metaphors and analogies Jesus used for His audiences. Before anyone points the finger at the “liberal silk pantywaist” guy out there, how connected are we as believers to the manner in which the Bible uses those farming metaphors relating to our life, and the coming Kingdom, particularly related to the return of Jesus? How connected are we to the Jesus whose garments are stained red in Isaiah 63 and Revelation 19?
The Jews of the intertestamental period (between the Old and New Testaments) had no trouble envisioning a God that would avenge Himself on behalf of Israel in a fairly, well, violent manner. That Jesus that kills is a strange, foriegn concept to most believers today - and a concept that is mostly scorned and mocked by the so-called “radical atheists”. The reaction of the people to Sarah Palin being around death and slaughter makes me shudder when I think of the far more controversial and terrifying events that surround the Second Coming of Jesus.
They will hate Him. They despise Sarah Palin, and she isn’t really that controversial. The Jesus that is returning to overthrow the nations is a Man that hardly anyone comprehends - and fewer still will ally themselves with and truly love with affectionate loyalty. Now I know why , of the peoples of the nations, none will be found standing with Him when He comes in Isaiah 63.
November 21st, 2008
Here’s the set-up for what’s on my mind today, from “Bench Memos” on the New Republic Online:
“The California Supreme Court Wednesday decided to hear arguments concerning the legality of Proposition 8, which amended the state Constitution to restore marriage to what it was before the California Supreme Court engaged in legal adventurism by creating a right to gay marriage.
The arguments made are pretty thin gruel, and turn on a technical question of whether the change should be an amendment, which can be passed (as Prop. 8 was) by a majority vote of the people after collecting enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, or whether it is such a drastic change that it needed to go through the more arduous process of constitutional revision. Deep down, some of the lawyers making these arguments had to find it ironic to argue that the state Constitution could not be modified to change the right to marriage through the formal amendment process, including the approval of a majority of voters, but that it could be done by four judges who changed the law by their own fiat. The case law is pretty strongly against those challenging Prop. 8, enough so that I think even the California Supreme Court will have trouble legislating . . . oops, I mean carefully legally reasoning their way to the conclusion that Prop. 8 is unlawful.
Enter Geoff Stone. Before the Court opted to hear the case, he suggested that there was really a much bigger constitutional issue at play here: the separation of church and state. He finds that Proposition 8 “enact[s] into law a particular religious belief.” For Stone, religion is the only explanation for the law: “Indeed, despite invocations of tradition, morality and family values, it seems clear that the only honest explanation for Proposition 8 is religion.” His proof: polling data which shows that evangelicals and weekly church attenders favored Prop. 8 by large margins, while non-Christians and non-church attenders opposed it. While he concedes that courts are loathe to intervene in these cases, it is clear that he thinks they should. Indeed, to allow these kind of laws is “un-American”, as he explains with perfect tone-deaf deftness: “Indeed, regardless of whether courts can intervene in this context, it is as un-American to violate the separation of church and state by using the power of the state to impose our religious beliefs on others as it is to use the power of the state to impose our discriminatory views of race, religion or gender on others.”
Where to begin? Should we talk about the fact that a traditional head of the police powers of the state are morals, which often were derived from the religious sentiments of the people? Should we discuss the role of religious law like the Decalogue in shaping much of American law? Should we dispute the correlation between religious voters and religious enactments, noting that weekly church attenders also vote overwhelmingly for other things that Geoff Stone no doubt despises, like Republican party presidential candidates? Should we dispute the premise that “only” religion explains the outcome in the election, and that people of very different religious faiths and no faith at all reached the same conclusion in voting for Prop. 8? No, to do so gives Stone too much credit. His arguments don’t even qualify as reasonable fringe in establishment clause jurisprudence.
One might wish to dismiss his blog post simply as a poorly thought out whim made on a Sunday afternoon, after church bells in Hyde Park’s somehow triggered dementia. But alas, Stone has a track record of these absurdly anti-religious rants to allow such a kind explanation. As Bench Memos readers will recall, he previously asserted that the court’s decision upholding the federal partial-birth abortion statute was a result of a new Catholic majority on the Court. My old friend Ed Whelan made easy work of his argument here, here, here, here, here, and here.
What then becomes obvious is that it is Stone who is acting with religious fervor by attempting to impose his religious, or if you prefer, irreligious beliefs or morality on the public square. The First Amendment was not intended to prohibit religious participation in political life, and it certainly does not mandate that only the morals of the non-church-attenders are constitutionally permissible bases of legislation. But it is not suitable to claim that arguments like Stone’s are “un-American,” to borrow his line. They are simply foolish.”
- by Robert Alt
November 21st, 2008
by Lou Engle
To The Black Church in America:
Since 1776 this great country has been a beacon of light to the rest of humanity in demonstrating the divinely allocated value of each and every human individual. Though America has struggled to ensure freedom for every people, her enduring attitude “liberty for all” has prevailed at least in measure to every race, gender, and creed. Our country was securely built on foundational truths that, though at times have been wanting in application, have remained our countries basic societal and moral cornerstones. Thomas Jefferson articulated these basic values in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is this credo that has driven this nation to the heights of glory and power it currently resides in. The Constitution that governs this nation was founded on the belief that no man’s freedom can come at the cost of another and all men deserve to live free of repressive edicts, fear of death, and tyrannical oppression.
With this freedom in mind, forty-five years ago on August 28 a great prophet Martin Luther King trumpeted the sound of “I HAVE A DREAM” in front of thousands gathered at the mall in Washington D.C. It was from King’s resounding voice that hope was re-kindled in the hearts of a people who for years had been bound by oppressive chains of racial segregation and bigotry. They stood on that day in the shadow of the great memorial of President Lincoln in which is engraved the words of the Gettysburg Address: “Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.” This dream spoke of by King was a dream carved out of the bloody backs and sweaty brow of slave ancestors; it was a dream re-birthed out of the thousands of dead soldiers bodies that littered the killing fields of Antietam, Gettysburg, Manassas; and it was a dream forged from the sweltering heat of poverty, segregation, and racism.
Abraham Lincoln, a man well versed in the scriptures, most certainly drew his inspiration from Numbers 35:33, “So you shall not pollute the land where you are, for blood defiles the land and no atonement can be made for the land, for the blood that is shed on it except by the blood of him who shed it” as well as Genesis 9:5-6 “ Surely for your life blood I will demand a reckoning… Whoever sheds mans blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God he made man.” Lincoln came to understand that the Civil War was God’s divine discipline upon a people and a nation who refused to live according to God’s laws. Lincoln was aware that the Civil War was a day of reckoning for the horrific injustice of slavery and the shedding of innocent blood done in the name of economic gain and racial oppression. If what Lincoln came to conclude was true and if 600,000 men died on the battlefields of the Civil War for the blood of slavery, what will it mean if God brings a day of reckoning for the shed blood of conservatively 48 million aborted babies since Roe v. Wade 1973?
The dark shadow of abortion stretches itself across the moral fabric of our nation. Since the landmark case Roe v. Wade in 1973, yearly the blood of up to 1.3 million babies has been spilled upon American soil. Undermining the basic foundational moral and societal cornerstones laid in both scripture and by our founding fathers, abortion strikes against the very life of our nation. A living, moving, feeling, and breathing child being abducted from the womb is not a “side-line” socio-political issue. We are talking about the murder of a child- a child who is just as “human” as the African American slave one hundred and fifty years ago working the cotton fields.
John Noonan, Professor of Law at the University of California says it this way, “Once or twice in a century an issue arises…So far reaching in its consequences and so deep in its foundations that it calls every person to take a stand.” In past times the forced removal of Native American Tribes from their homes was such an issue but very few took their stand. Slavery was such an issue, and the civil rights movement carried this kind of moral gravity. Undoubtedly there were many issues during the days prior to the Civil War that pressed upon the nation but God was bringing one issue to a divine apex. Based on whatever side you took in that day history now stands in judgment of you. And so it will be another forty years from now. History will stand in judgment of a nation that appallingly aborted its own children and assigned millions of her women to live lives plagued with shame, regret and devastated relationships.
This is not the end: the ready access to abortion now is fueling the worldwide proliferation of human sex trafficking in which women are kidnapped and forced to have sex with men 10-20 times a night. When these women become pregnant, they are then compelled to abort their children in order to remain economically useful. How is this for fruit of the feminist cause célèbre? We have ended up enslaving our own daughters! We are unleashing a sexual insanity into the earth in epic proportions and abortion is the atomic bomb that has cleared the way for the gradual destruction of our nation’s moral values. This is not just a social issue; this is the shedding of innocent blood. Blood affects the spiritual realm and fuels the demonization of a whole culture.
In the scriptures the shedding on innocent blood is the ultimate crime, a crime that God would not pardon. 2 Kings 24:4 records that God removed Judah out of his sight because of the sin of Manasseh, “because of the innocent blood that he had shed, for he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, which the Lord would not pardon.” Brothers and sisters, a great turn has been taking place in America on the ideology of Abortion. Movies are shouting adoption is a better answer than abortion. The movie Horton Hears A Who prophesies to millions that, “a person’s a person no matter how small.” Judges have been appointed in the US Supreme Court and the lower courts that are now ruling against partial birth abortion and agreeing that a child in the womb is a unique human life. Today we live in the shadow of possibly the most defining election in American history, and lamentably as I write this, millions of believers of Jesus are being courted by a mans charisma rather than his voting record. Senator Obama stated publicly, “35 years after the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade its never been more important to protect a women’s right to choose…Through my career, I have been a consistent and strong supporter of reproductive justice and have consistently had 100% pro-choice rating with Planned Parenthood and NARAL pro-choice America.” We have come to an Elijah v. Jezebel showdown in which America will choose LIFE or DEATH. And the church, called to be the prophetic conscience of a nation, melts away like snow in the summer heat awash in moral relativism.
As in the days of slavery and in the days of segregation, it was the moral blindness and silence of the church, even her involvement in the national sin, that caused generations after to wonder, how could a nation built on such godly foundations drift so far? The moral confusion within the church today over the issue of abortion is strangely reminiscent of a mindset that existed within the church in the midst of segregation and slavery. I believe as the church we have come to a defining moment in American history. In our repentance we may prayerfully see an end to the decrees of death legalized in Roe v. Wade and a new movement of adoption and compassion spring forth from the church of America. Likewise, if we fail to respond to the crisis of bloodshed within our nation and continue to waiver between two opinions, we may very well go through the fires of an ordeal that will shake this nation to its knees.
I believe that this election will literally be the churches’ choice between life and death and that it all comes down to this one singular issue. We can no longer “reason the issue away” as if it was just progressive maternal healthcare. 2008 is not entirely unlike 1858, the year that the Supreme Court of America ruled in Dred Scott v. Sanford that the slave was not a person but was property. Three years later, in 1861, the Civil War was unleashed and men went into battle singing, “Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory Of The Coming Of The Lord, He is Trampling Out The Vintage Where The Grapes of Wrath are Stored, He Has Loosed The Fateful Lightning Of His Terrible Swift Sword, His Truth Is Marching On.” Though they may not have known it, they were prophesying the judgments of the Lord against the bloodshed of slavery. God is not mocked, what you sow you will reap America. For 150 years after Dred Scott, Roe v. Wade now flies its bloody banner over America and it has yet to see what the reckoning looks like.
A group of young people who have been standing for four years in front of the Supreme Court pleading the cause of the unborn with LIFE tape over there mouths were given a dream. In the dream, they were going from court room to court room to court room which then lead to a long hallway and entered into a large court room and there God was preparing to bring His own court case against Roe v. Wade and in the dream the name of that court was Appomattox Court House. Appomattox is where God finished His court case against Dred Scott. Because Americas courts did not deal with slavery in its own halls of justice God took it to the Appomattox Court House where General Lee of the South surrendered to General Grant of the North. This was after 600,000 men’s blood was poured out on the battlefield of the Civil War as the full payment for the blood shed of slavery. Brothers and sisters, what will Appomattox Court House look like if America doesn’t deal with Roe v. Wade in her own courts.
Part 2 below.
October 24th, 2008
This is part 2 of an article by Lou Engle that I’m sure you’ll see in many other places. I’m posting part 2 first so that they appear in order on my website.
by Lou Engle
On September 15th 1963, 2 weeks after the “I Have A Dream” speech, a bomb exploded in Birmingham 16th Street Baptist Church and 4 young black girls were killed. Martin Luther King was shattered with grief. What was equally heart rending as the atrocity was the appalling silence of the white majority. The white church either did not care or no one in it was willing to challenge the heavy politically correct atmosphere of racism that hung over those dark days. In his eulogy King called the girls, “Heroines of a holy crusade for freedom and human dignity whose deaths tell us to work passionately and unceasingly to make the American dream a reality. “Then he declared, “they did not die in vain, God still has a way of wringing good out of evil. History is proved again and again that unearned suffering is redemptive. The innocent blood of these little girls may well serve as a redemptive force that will bring new light to this city.”
Today we affirm mightily that those girls deaths were not in vain. Today, a black man, Barak Obama has moved the nation running as a candidate for President. On November 4th, millions of black men and women can vote in America and for this we rejoice. But to my black brothers and sisters I am constrained to ask, was the innocent blood of those precious girls in Birmingham of any other biological makeup than the innocent blood of 4,000 babies (Psalms 106:37-38) who today was spilled in abortion clinics across America, 35% of which are Black American? Are not these little ones as much, “heroines of a holy crusade for freedom in human dignity as those 4 little girls?” And will not their innocent blood serve as a redemptive force that will bring new light to this dark nation? Or will the blood of these babies be the target of another “generation of oppression” who demand sexual freedoms at the expense and suffering of the most marginalized voiceless people group in America, the unborn? If the blood of these unborn human babies is a redemptive force (and they are human beings if we indeed believe the scriptures we preach), then does not the deafening silence of the mass of black and white pulpits over this great human tragedy weigh heavy against our people on the eternal scales of justice?
Was it wrong that Martin Luther King was disappointed with the white church in Birmingham? No, a million times no! Then will it be wrong to say that I am deeply disappointed with the Black American church whose voice is virtually silent amidst this holocaust and in the whirlwind of this presidential election. I will never know the pain of your past, your experience of poverty, or your history of lynching, but I am convinced that the “promised land” will not be found in some political “messiah” that promises change. In a speech before Planned Parenthood immediately after the Supreme Court had righteously upheld a ban on partial birth abortion, Senator Obama declared that the first thing he would do as president would be the drafting of the Freedom Of Choice Act. This act would virtually remove every restriction from every abortion procedure from conception to birth and could possibly even permit live birth abortions. In his speech Obama went on to say “ we know that a woman’s right to make a decision about how many children she wants and when – without government interference is one of the most fundamental freedoms we have in this country.” Where did this fundamental right to abort our children spring from? Not from our forefathers and certainly not the scriptures. But here again the ancient lie asserts itself just as it did in the days of our constitutional forefathers. They refused to include the black slave in the ancient credo “liberty for all.” They built their freedoms on the bloody backs of slaves and now we demand our freedoms on the dismembered limbs of our children. Can we by conscience make alliance with this ideological and political throne? In Matthew 23 Jesus cries out “Woe to you scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites because you build the tombs of the prophets, (like we have done with the Abraham Lincoln Memorial and numerous memorials to Martin Luther King) and adorn the monuments of the righteous and say, if we had lived in the days of our fathers we would not had been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are the sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up then the measure of your fathers guilt.” (Matthew 23:29-32) The modern day equivalent to this scripture would be ——- If one honors Abraham Lincoln and agrees with his quotes engraved on the walls of the Lincoln Memorial, “…Till every drop of blood drawn by lash must be repaid by that drawn by the sword…” and then supports and votes for a man and a system that legalizes the shedding of blood of babies, then truly this one accuses himself before the very words of Jesus and agrees with the masters indictment, “Pharisee and hypocrite.” In your silence and in effect acceptance of abortion, and now in your voting you become like the sons of the white slave bosses and slave traders and the silent white church of America who enslaved and murdered the black race.
I write these things not with a vindictive spirit, I only ask that you prayerfully listen to my argument. I have prayed for 5 years for the Black American Church to lead us into a national healing for that is your redemptive gift. I have wept in intercession in Selma, Montgomery, and Birmingham. I have walked the Trail of Tears. The Lord has shown us that abortion is connected to the ongoing injustices to the Black and Native Americans. Now is the time to forgive us and unite against this holocaust of abortion. Today I take courage and am filled with hope as I see a new company of black voices arising in America who are raising their voice against abortion declaring that the dream cannot live as long as we kill our children and wound our women. These are the new black prophets who carry forgiveness in their hearts like Martin Luther King toward those who have oppressed them who hold holiness of heart as a life standard, and in whom prayer is their breath. They are calling their people out of the fog of political alliances into the bright shining light of that ancient prophetic promise, “He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers unless I come and strike the land with a curse.” (Malachi 4:5-6) The turning of the fathers to the children is the remedy to the curse, not the raising up of a charismatic leader. Church of America, abortion is the complete antithesis to Malachi’s divine remedy.
Again to my black brothers and sisters, in California black leaders have raised their voice to ban same-sex marriage that was legalized this year by four judges who over-ruled the will of the people. I thank God for your faithful stand on the Word. But when you vote for Barak Obama you are aligning yourself with one who has stated firmly that he will appoint judges who will legally affirm the gay agenda. By doing so you actually contradict your own moral stand and you throw open the door to a flood immoral rulings that will affect not just your children but also the generations to come in America.
Some of the black church may say while reading this “What Shall We Do?” Forgive the white people, the US Government, and the white church for its lack of care for the poor and its racism. If you forgive you will receive redemptive authority like no other people group to lead this nation into the sunlit future of revival and reformation. Take up your prophetic calling again and lead the nation into true justice. Demand the defunding of Planned Parenthood. Expose her racist root springing from Margaret Sanger who targeted the black race for extinction. We must disarm her authority of immorality and take the millions of her death dollars and turn it into a stream of life to the inner cities. We must raise up massive mentoring programs across the nation and the church must lead the coming movement of adoption. Lets launch prayer and fasting movements that can alone challenge the spiritual darkness over our inner cities. We must proliferate crisis pregnancy centers and pregnant mothers homes. Then let us with one voice Black, White, Latino, and Asian, as was the dream of MLK, lift up a mighty chorus of fasting and prayer for God’s divine intervention in America. More than change, we need God’s mercy for the shedding of innocent blood. Let the dream go on for the binding of the wounds of our racial division and for the ending of abortion that together we may see another Azusa Street revival that was birthed by that great black prophet William Seymour. Black church of America lead us into another great move of justice and into another Great Awakening in America.
October 24th, 2008
Here’s an article I wrote a year and a half ago during the primary season on the faith of Barak Obama. It was interesting to go back and read it again in light of the discussions that abound on the potential benefits of an Obama presidency. After reading it again, I find it difficult to be restrained in kindness on this issue: I can’t grasp why someone would rationalize voting for a pro-death candidate in the name of faith. If anything, the twin skeletons in the closet of Obama related to his connection with potential voter fraud and donor fraud shout with far more clarity related to the substance of his faith than anything that Obama has actually done or demonstrated as a public figure, and as such I continue to stand by what I wrote last May.
If you can’t find the time to read “Dreams From My Father” or, “The Audacity of Hope”, then perhaps you can read the “Cliff’s Notes”summary given recently by the New York Times, as reporter Jodi Kantor examines Barack Obama’s faith. I’m not a conspiracy theorist when it comes to issues of media bias - I tend to view conspiracy theories as those musings that attribute far too much thoughtful, strategic thinking and planning on the part of those who constitute any kind of “right-wing conspiracy” or “liberal bias”. Of course a bias exists. Reporters are not automatons or robots able to divorce how they perceive the world, what is noteworthy, or what stories need to be told from their worldview and life philosophy. No one reads the New York Times for the facts. In the information age, the facts come quickly and fade from their importance just as quickly. People want to know more than “what” in our postmodern time - they want to know “why”.
This article, in fact, is exactly in line with modern reporting - particularly in regards to the media pace-setters. It presents, in fact, the reverse of the above premise: it feeds hungry information junkies the “why” as a means of providing a very interesting and noteworthy “what”. In other words, the reporter already assumes you knew the initial ”what”, or facts of the matter: Barack Obama is a man of faith. Her job, then, is to report to you why that is. In doing so, she is presenting to Democratic voters in the south and the principled swing voters throughout the nation a very appealing “what” - a presidential candidate that actually possesses a substantive faith. A similar article ran in the Times regarding Hillary Clinton’s Methodist faith a few months ago in Newsweek.
It’s a reasonable faith that is the subject of these presentations, a depiction of the kind of faith that stirs the complacent and provokes the selfish to do similar good works and have a like-minded concern for the down-trodden, or the “underdog”, the concept that Obama credits with his conversion to Christianity. It is a variation of a theme - faith as the vehicle for hope related to great societal change: all that is wrong being set right in a manner that expresses true justice for the weak and the hopeless. Isn’t this what we all are striving for - and isn’t this something that all should celebrate? Obama’s social and societal concerns appear to be noble and his intentions sound? If you are nodding your head “yes”, at this point, you really won’t care for what I say next.
What does your faith draw men towards?
Hear me when I say this - the fact that the New York Times has an affinity for Obama’s version of Christianity does not make it illegitimate in my eyes. I would, however, suggest that you read the previous paragraph again and tell me what is missing. In my opinion, the initial by-product of my faith in Christ should not be to stir men and women to good works and worthy causes. If you come away from talking with me and are not stirred to:
1. Know Jesus (and study the Bible) and / or 2. Pray more
…than I am going to have to confess, repent, and try again. I was commissioned to draw all men to the Beautiful One, the Desire of All Nations - the Risen King who is the only One worthy of such pursuit. I yearn and long within myself to be a true friend of the Bridegroom, and as such my prayer life is in part a pursuit of authentic loyalty through a transformed heart that draws no attention to myself or my own cause. I want to be a living advertisement for those things that burn on the heart of Jesus. Once we connect to Him in prayer, subject then to the tenderizing work of the Holy Spirit and ignited with a heavenly fire within, we will then receive our mandate and can go forth from that place in confidence that we have been sent by the King and are safely subject to His will.
Obama’s faith is the kind of faith that stirs the soul within itself to act as the first response to need and lack. As a gifted, competent, and capable man, one like Obama would feel a deep responsibility to do his part when made aware of the societal deficiencies and racial inequities that those around him experience on a daily basis. While sounding benevolent and reasonable, Obama falls victim to the most seductive deceit in all of history: the need to play the messiah for those who are in need. Obama’s faith is the kind of message that draws men to themselves as the solution to the problem. Thus it becomes (with seemingly good intentions), even initially (and fully expressed eventually), outrageously anti-messiah in spirit and in truth.
Men are sinners that need to be saved
The first sign of one who is “anti-messiah” is that they misdiagnose the problem. Thus, rather than preaching Jesus, they spend much of their time identifying problems and challenging people to change / learn compassion / get perspective in order to solve the problem. Pick any issue - race, poverty,the environment, peace, etc. The solution, ultimately, is that men would be transformed and renewed in their innermost being that they might walk in true meekness and love. This can only happen through encounter with Jesus Himself, of course. It takes repentance, it takes a conviction to leave our sinful ways, and it takes a continual heart cry in prayer to ask for help, or grace, in our times of need. It takes work to come into true godliness and holiness - work that most do not want to give themselves to. It is far easier to either preach easy forgiveness or social action as a way of appeasing the guilt of the wounded conscience.
The “what” and the “why” that is being presented to our generation falls woefully and tragically short of the truth of the gospel and the reality of the power of the kingdom of God to bring deep and eternal change. This issue, of course, goes deeper than a politician from Illinois and reaches into the depths of what it means to be the church in this hour to a lost and broken world. The solution, of course, runs far deeper than an introduction of the weak to a strong God whose love is relevant to their struggle. It lies in our willingness to confront our sin, repent, and continually and daily appeal to God to do what only He can do. This is not the popular theological conclusion of the day however, and the journey of the heart towards voluntary love and voluntary weakness is repulsive and foolish to the strong. It is, in fact, as it always has been, since the first man went his own way in his attempt to attain knowledge and insight to the world apart from the Living God.
In conclusion, a year and a few months later, I want to suggest to some to examine the kind of government that Nelson Mandela established in South Africa and the impact, today, that those decisions had. While Nelson Mandela had a compelling personal story that inspired many, his governance and socialistic ideals had a dire effect on South African society. While many are inspired by the “faith” and ideals of Obama, they really have given little to no thought as to how those ideals and values will actually impact our society. I would love to see someone attempt to prove that Obama’s ideals and ideas are superior, are a consistent representation of a biblical worldview, or will actually bring positive improvements to a nation in serious decline. While a zeal for change is understandable - what kind of change will Obama’s faith produce?
October 20th, 2008
Obama’s Abortion Extremism
Oct 14, 2008
Sen. Barack Obama’s views on life issues ranging from abortion to embryonic stem cell research mark him as not merely a pro-choice politician, but rather as the most extreme pro-abortion candidate to have ever run on a major party ticket.
Barack Obama is the most extreme pro-abortion candidate ever to seek the office of President of the United States. He is the most extreme pro-abortion member of the United States Senate. Indeed, he is the most extreme pro-abortion legislator ever to serve in either house of the United States Congress. Yet there are Catholics and Evangelicals-even self-identified pro-life Catholics and Evangelicals - who aggressively promote Obama’s candidacy and even declare him the preferred candidate from the pro-life point of view.
What is going on here?
I have examined the arguments advanced by Obama’s self-identified pro-life supporters, and they are spectacularly weak. It is nearly unfathomable to me that those advancing them can honestly believe what they are saying. But before proving my claims about Obama’s abortion extremism, let me explain why I have described Obama as ”pro-abortion” rather than ”pro-choice.”
According to the standard argument for the distinction between these labels,nobody is pro-abortion. Everybody would prefer a world without abortions. After all, what woman would deliberately get pregnant just to have an abortion? But given the world as it is, sometimes women find themselves with unplanned pregnancies at times in their lives when having a baby would present significant problems for them. So even if abortion is not medically required, it should be permitted, made as widely available as possible and, when necessary, paid for with taxpayers’ money.
The defect in this argument can easily be brought into focus if we shift to the moral question that vexed an earlier generation of Americans: slavery. Many people at the time of the American founding would have preferred a world without slavery but nonetheless opposed abolition. Such people - Thomas Jefferson was one - reasoned that, given the world as it was, with slavery woven into the fabric of society just as it had often been throughout history, the economic consequences of abolition for society as a whole and for owners of plantations and other businesses that relied on slave labor would be dire. Many people who argued in this way were not monsters but honest and sincere, albeit profoundly mistaken. Some (though not Jefferson) showed their personal opposition to slavery by declining to own slaves themselves or freeing slaves whom they had purchased or inherited. They certainly didn’t think anyone should be forced to own slaves. Still, they maintained that slavery should remain a legally permitted option and be given constitutional protection.
Would we describe such people, not as pro-slavery, but as ”pro-choice”? Of course we would not. It wouldn’t matter to us that they were ”personally opposed” to slavery, or that they wished that slavery were ”unnecessary,” or that they wouldn’t dream of forcing anyone to own slaves. We would hoot at the faux sophistication of a placard that said ”Against slavery? Don’t own one.” We would observe that the fundamental divide is between people who believe that law and public power should permit slavery, and those who think that owning slaves is an unjust choice that should be prohibited.
Just for the sake of argument, though, let us assume that there could be a morally meaningful distinction between being ”pro-abortion” and being ”pro-choice.” Who would qualify for the latter description? Barack Obama certainly would not. For, unlike his running mate Joe Biden, Obama does not think that abortion is a purely private choice that public authority should refrain from getting involved in. Now, Senator Biden is hardly pro-life. He believes that the killing of the unborn should be legally permitted and relatively unencumbered. But unlike Obama, at least Biden has sometimes opposed using taxpayer dollars to fund abortion, thereby leaving Americans free to choose not to implicate themselves in it. If we stretch things to create a meaningful category called ”pro-choice,” then Biden might be a plausible candidate for the label; at least on occasions when he respects your choice or mine not to facilitate deliberate feticide.
The same cannot be said for Barack Obama. For starters, he supports legislation that would repeal the Hyde Amendment, which protects pro-life citizens from having to pay for abortions that are not necessary to save the life of the mother and are not the result of rape or incest. The abortion industry laments that this longstanding federal law, according to the pro-abortion group NARAL, ”forces about half the women who would otherwise have abortions to carry unintended pregnancies to term and bear children against their wishes instead.” In other words, a whole lot of people who are alive today would have been exterminatedin utero were it not for the Hyde Amendment. Obama has promised to reverse the situation so that abortions that the industry complains are not happening (because the federal government is not subsidizing them) would happen. That is why people who profit from abortion love Obama even more than they do his running mate.
But this barely scratches the surface of Obama’s extremism. He has promised that ”the first thing I’d do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act” (known as FOCA). This proposed legislation would create a federally guaranteed ”fundamental right” to abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, including, as Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia has noted in a statement condemning the proposed Act, ”a right to abort a fully developed child in the final weeks for undefined ‘health’ reasons.” In essence, FOCA would abolish virtually every existing state and federal limitation on abortion, including parental consent and notification laws for minors, state and federal funding restrictions on abortion, and conscience protections for pro-life citizens working in the health-care industry-protections against being forced to participate in the practice of abortion or else lose their jobs. The pro-abortion National Organization for Women has proclaimed with approval that FOCA would ‘’sweep away hundreds of anti-abortion laws [and] policies.”
It gets worse. Obama, unlike even many ”pro-choice” legislators, opposed the ban on partial-birth abortions when he served in the Illinois legislature and condemned the Supreme Court decision that upheld legislation banning this heinous practice. He has referred to a baby conceived inadvertently by a young woman as a ”punishment” that she should not endure. He has stated that women’s equality requires access to abortion on demand. Appallingly, he wishes to strip federal funding from pro-life crisis pregnancy centers that provide alternatives to abortion for pregnant women in need. There is certainly nothing ”pro-choice” about that.
But it gets even worse. Senator Obama, despite the urging of pro-life members of his own party, has not endorsed or offered support for the Pregnant Women Support Act, the signature bill of Democrats for Life, meant to reduce abortions by providing assistance for women facing crisis pregnancies. In fact, Obama hasopposed key provisions of the Act, including providing coverage of unborn children in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP), and informed consent for women about the effects of abortion and the gestational age of their child. This legislation would not make a single abortion illegal. It simply seeks to make it easier for pregnant women to make the choice not to abort their babies. Here is a concrete test of whether Obama is ”pro-choice” rather than pro-abortion. He flunked. Even Senator Edward Kennedy voted to include coverage of unborn children in S-CHIP. But Barack Obama stood resolutely with the most stalwart abortion advocates in opposing it.
It gets worse yet. In an act of breathtaking injustice which the Obama campaign lied about until critics produced documentary proof of what he had done, as an Illinois state senator Obama opposed legislation to protect children who are born alive, either as a result of an abortionist’s unsuccessful effort to kill them in the womb, or by the deliberate delivery of the baby prior to viability. This legislation would not have banned any abortions. Indeed, it included a specific provision ensuring that it did not affect abortion laws. (This is one of the points Obama and his campaign lied about until they were caught.) The federal version of the bill passed unanimously in the United States Senate, winning the support of such ardent advocates of legal abortion as John Kerry and Barbara Boxer. But Barack Obama opposed it and worked to defeat it. For him, a child marked for abortion gets no protection-even ordinary medical or comfort care-even if she is born alive and entirely separated from her mother. So Obama has favored protecting what is literally a form of infanticide.
You may be thinking, it can’t get worse than that. But it does.
For several years, Americans have been debating the use for biomedical research of embryos produced by in vitro fertilization (originally for reproductive purposes) but now left in a frozen condition in cryopreservation units. President Bush has restricted the use of federal funds for stem-cell research of the type that makes use of these embryos and destroys them in the process. I support the President’s restriction, but some legislators with excellent pro-life records, including John McCain, argue that the use of federal money should be permitted where the embryos are going to be discarded or die anyway as the result of the parents’ decision. Senator Obama, too, wants to lift the restriction.
But Obama would not stop there. He has co-sponsored a bill-strongly opposed by McCain-that would authorize the large-scale industrial production of human embryos for use in biomedical research in which they would be killed. In fact, the bill Obama co-sponsored would effectively require the killing of human beings in the embryonic stage that were produced by cloning. It would make it a federal crime for a woman to save an embryo by agreeing to have the tiny developing human being implanted in her womb so that he or she could be brought to term. This ”clone and kill” bill would, if enacted, bring something to America that has heretofore existed only in China-the equivalent of legally mandated abortion. In an audacious act of deceit, Obama and his co-sponsors misleadingly call this ananti-cloning bill. But it is nothing of the kind. What it bans is not cloning, but allowing the embryonic children produced by cloning to survive.
Can it get still worse? Yes.
Decent people of every persuasion hold out the increasingly realistic hope of resolving the moral issue surrounding embryonic stem-cell research by developing methods to produce the exact equivalent of embryonic stem cells without using (or producing) embryos. But when a bill was introduced in the United States Senate to put a modest amount of federal money into research to develop these methods, Barack Obama was one of the few senators who opposed it. From any rational vantage point, this is unconscionable. Why would someone not wish to find a method of producing the pluripotent cells scientists want that all Americans could enthusiastically endorse? Why create and kill human embryos when there are alternatives that do not require the taking of nascent human lives? It is as if Obama is opposed to stem-cell research unless it involves killing human embryos.
This ultimate manifestation of Obama’s extremism brings us back to the puzzle of his pro-life Catholic and Evangelical apologists.
They typically do not deny the facts I have reported. They could not; each one is a matter of public record. But despite Obama’s injustices against the most vulnerable human beings, and despite the extraordinary support he receives from the industry that profits from killing the unborn (which should be a good indicator of where he stands), some Obama supporters insist that he is the better candidate from the pro-life point of view.
They say that his economic and social policies would so diminish the demand for abortion that the overall number would actually go down-despite the federal subsidizing of abortion and the elimination of hundreds of pro-life laws. The way to save lots of unborn babies, they say, is to vote for the pro-abortion-oops! ”pro-choice”-candidate. They tell us not to worry that Obama opposes the Hyde Amendment, the Mexico City Policy (against funding abortion abroad), parental consent and notification laws, conscience protections, and the funding of alternatives to embryo-destructive research. They ask us to look past his support for Roe v. Wade, the Freedom of Choice Act, partial-birth abortion, and human cloning and embryo-killing. An Obama presidency, they insist, means less killing of the unborn.
This is delusional.
We know that the federal and state pro-life laws and policies that Obama has promised to sweep away (and that John McCain would protect) save thousands of lives every year. Studies conducted by Professor Michael New and other social scientists have removed any doubt. Often enough, the abortion lobby itself confirms the truth of what these scholars have determined. Tom McClusky has observed that Planned Parenthood’s own statistics show that in each of the seven states that have FOCA-type legislation on the books, ”abortion rates have increased while the national rate has decreased.” In Maryland, where a bill similar to the one favored by Obama was enacted in 1991, he notes that ”abortion rates have increased by 8 percent while the overall national abortion rate decreased by 9 percent.” No one is really surprised. After all, the message clearly conveyed by policies such as those Obama favors is that abortion is a legitimate solution to the problem of unwanted pregnancies - so clearly legitimate that taxpayers should be forced to pay for it.
But for a moment let’s suppose, against all the evidence, that Obama’s proposalswould reduce the number of abortions, even while subsidizing the killing with taxpayer dollars. Even so, many more unborn human beings would likely be killed under Obama than under McCain. A Congress controlled by strong Democratic majorities under Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi would enact the bill authorizing the mass industrial production of human embryos by cloning for research in which they are killed. As president, Obama would sign it. The number of tiny humans created and killed under this legislation (assuming that an efficient human cloning technique is soon perfected) could dwarf the number of lives saved as a result of the reduced demand for abortion-even if we take a delusionally optimistic view of what that number would be.
Barack Obama and John McCain differ on many important issues about which reasonable people of goodwill, including pro-life Americans of every faith, disagree: how best to fight international terrorism, how to restore economic growth and prosperity, how to distribute the tax burden and reduce poverty, etc.
But on abortion and the industrial creation of embryos for destructive research, there is a profound difference of moral principle, not just prudence. These questions reveal the character and judgment of each man. Barack Obama is deeply committed to the belief that members of an entire class of human beings have no rights that others must respect. Across the spectrum of pro-life concerns for the unborn, he would deny these small and vulnerable members of the human family the basic protection of the laws. Over the next four to eight years, as many as five or even six U.S. Supreme Court justices could retire. Obama enthusiastically supports Roe v. Wade and would appoint judges who would protect that morally and constitutionally disastrous decision and even expand its scope. Indeed, in an interview in Glamour magazine, he made it clear that he would apply a litmus test for Supreme Court nominations: jurists who do not support Roe will not be considered for appointment by Obama. John McCain, by contrast, opposes Roe and would appoint judges likely to overturn it. This would not make abortion illegal, but it would return the issue to the forums of democratic deliberation, where pro-life Americans could engage in a fair debate to persuade fellow citizens that killing the unborn is no way to address the problems of pregnant women in need.
What kind of America do we want our beloved nation to be? Barack Obama’s America is one in which being human just isn’t enough to warrant care and protection. It is an America where the unborn may legitimately be killed without legal restriction, even by the grisly practice of partial-birth abortion. It is an America where a baby who survives abortion is not even entitled to comfort care as she dies on a stainless steel table or in a soiled linen bin. It is a nation in which some members of the human family are regarded as inferior and others superior in fundamental dignity and rights. In Obama’s America, public policy would make a mockery of the great constitutional principle of the equal protection of the law. In perhaps the most telling comment made by any candidate in either party in this election year, Senator Obama, when asked by Rick Warren when a baby gets human rights, replied: ”that question is above my pay grade.” It was a profoundly disingenuous answer: For even at a state senator’s pay grade, Obama presumed to answer that question with blind certainty. His unspoken answer then, as now, is chilling: human beings have no rights until infancy - and if they are unwanted survivors of attempted abortions, not even then.
In the end, the efforts of Obama’s apologists to depict their man as the true pro-life candidate that Catholics and Evangelicals may and even should vote for, doesn’t even amount to a nice try. Voting for the most extreme pro-abortion political candidate in American history is not the way to save unborn babies.
Robert P. George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He is a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics and previously served on the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He sits on the editorial board of Public Discourse.
Copyright 2008 The Witherspoon Institute. All rights reserved.
October 14th, 2008