by David and Tim Bayly on March 11, 2004 - 12:11pm
With seventy-seven million baby boomers approaching second childhood (assuming most of us finally dispensed with our first), the projected cost of providing health care and other forms of assistance is staggering. Responding to a recent piece titled "Japan Seeks Robotic Help in Caring for the Aged" that ran in the The New York Times, Dennis L. Kodner wrote the editor:
Assistive devices... can be helpful tools, but will ultimately prove unable to close the huge gap between the disabled elderly's growing need for long-term care and the diminishing supply of paraprofessionals who provide hands-on assistance.
In our country, experts project the need for an additional 750,000 long-term care workers by 2008. Yet existing evidence suggests that many of these jobs will go unfulfilled. (NYT, March 9)
No wonder the growth industry in medical ethics is no longer abortion, infanticide, or even eugenics, but euthanasia. Chick Koop, father of pediatric surgery and long-time member of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, while serving as Surgeon General under President Reagan almost twenty years ago, warned of this coming danger:
My great concern is that there will be 10,000 Grandma Does for every Baby Doe.
-C. Everett Koop, Action Line: Christian Action Council Newsletter, Volume IX, No. 5, July 12, 1985, p. 3. (Christian Action Council is now Care Net.)
Poetic (or Divine) justice may demand that these parents themselves suffer euthanasia at the hands of their children. We're dealing with cosmic levels of blood guilt here, and God only knows how it will be connected in His divine economy. Suzanne Rini may well have it right:
In the aftermath of the recent Death March on Washington where such stellar luminaries as Whoopi Goldberg, Rep. Barney Frank, Sen. Barbara Boxer, and presidential candidate John Kerry all joined together in taking a courageous stand in favor of the killing of defenseless babies hidden away in their mothers' wombs, let it be said that these people are neither naive nor ignorant of the fact that it is murder they support.
No one can, at this late date, be ignorant of the fact that doctors who sell abortions know they are being paid to kill babies. And occasionally, they admit it as, here, it is admitted by Dr. Stephen Chasen of Cornell University.
Chasen has killed 500 babies in the past few years, about seventy by the procedure commonly known as "partial-birth abortion." Plaintiff in a court case, Chasen "acknowledged wrapping babies in a towel after delivering them to the point of their head, then using his fingers to feel the base of the skull before puncturing it with scissors. 'I can usually see it as well as feel it,' he added."
"In an exchange with Judge Richard Casey, Chasen said he didn't care whether the abortion hurts the baby:
The Court: Does it hurt the baby?
The Witness: I don't know.
The Court: But you go ahead and do it anyway, is that right?
The Witness: I am taking care of my patients, and in that process, yes, I go ahead and do it.
The Court: Does that mean you take care of your patient and the baby be damned, is that the approach you have?
The Witness: These women who are having [abortions] at gestational ages they are legally entitled to it--
The Court: I didn't ask you that, Doctor. I asked you if you had any caring or concern for the fetus whose head you were crushing.
A CAUTION: Although prior to posting the above piece I searched the web trying to find independent testimony concerning these accusations of Sister dos Santos and the Handmaids of Mary, I only found repetitions of their accusations--no contradictions.
Now, though, I've read material contradicting their testimony and Zenit's news piece, so I want to draw those contradictions to your attention.
Although it does not yet seem clear who's telling the truth--the Handmaids of Mary or the Mozambique government--this evidence calls into serious question the child-harvesting part of my piece and I believe that aspect of the international trade in organs ought not to be circulated further until it is independently corroborated or definitively debunked.
Lutheran and Roman Catholic missionaries in Mozambique report finding bodies abandoned in public places, "emptied of their organs." Nuns of the Handmaids of Mary living in a convent in the northern province of Nampula have been warned by local governing authorities not to continue publicizing this trafficking in human body parts in which donors are provided by kidnapping and murder. Often the victims are children.
In February, the Handmaids of Mary issued a written statement reporting that an airport and farm adjoining their convent are the scenes of the crimes. The victims' bodies are processed at the farm, after which boxes of organs are loaded into planes at night.
The following piece by Cal Thomas, forwarded to me by my friend, Mark Albrecht of Lutheran Orient Mission, reminds me of a book I read years back that left a deep imprint on my thinking, The False Presence of the Kingdom by Jacque Ellul. If you can find a copy, read it.
Last Saturday night, I read this from the Washington Post's web site:
Amid all the commentary from political figures, Michael Reagan, one of Reagan's two sons, issued a statement that was intensely personal. "I remember with great clarity my father's emotion when Nelle Reagan, my grandmother, passed away," he said. "Until today, I didn't understand the feeling of loss and pain which comes when a parent leaves you. For this reason, I will not be making any public statements at this time."
He added: "What I will remember is a man that changed my life. He was always there for me when I needed him. He had a way of putting everything into perspective, and I believe that his determination and perseverance came from his relationship with the Lord. He played an important role in pointing me to God." (Washington Post, June 6, 2004)
For many years, I've been grateful to the Roman Catholic Church for her faithful witness in the area of moral theology. Nothing close to her biblically prophetic voice on moral and ethical issues exists in any Protestant communion, not to mention the evangelical non-communion.
Just typical of the sort of excellent documents Rome tosses off is the recent teaching paper issued by the Roman Catholic bishops of England and Wales called Cherishing Life here summarized by Zenit. I hope you'll take time to read their summary, passing it along to other believers as a model of how Christians ought to speak to our culture on these matters.
From a profile of Governor Schwarzenegger in the current issue of The New Yorker:
As (Schwarzenegger) explained in an article in Rolling Stone, in 1976, "At that point, I didn't think about money. I thought about the fame, about just being the greatest. I was dreaming about being some dictator of a country or some savior like Jesus. Just to be recognized."
He cast around for a pursuit in which he could be the best; he tried soccer, but, as he later recalled, "I didn't like that too well, because there I didn't get the credit alone if I did something special. I just avoided team sports from then on." He fixed on bodybuilding, and, by the age of fifteen, he knew he'd found his calling.
* * *
(Despite running for office as a Republican, Schwarzenegger is pro-abortion. Here Franco Columbo, his best friend for decades, explains Schwarzenegger's abortion philosophy.)
On abortion, Schwarzenegger is pro-choice. According to Columbo, "Arnold would say, 'If you have sex with a woman for fifteen minutes and then you leave, why should she have to go through pregnancy for nine months and have a child? It's ridiculous!'"
(Connie Bruck, "Letter from California: Supermoderate; The new governor dazzles the celebrity-struck legislators of Sacramento," in The New Yorker, 28 June 2004, pp. 69-87.
Our kind readers will not be surprised to read that I was so disgusted by Schwarzenegger I could not bring myself to read past the first couple pages of the profile. And when you stop to consider that The New Yorker has put us all on notice that both Schwarzenegger and Hillary Clinton have their eyes set on the White House, I find myself wondering who would be worse--and I'm genuinely unable to answer the question.
by David and Tim Bayly on August 14, 2004 - 9:55am
The two principle claims to fame of my city of residence, Bloomington, Indiana, are that this is the city that allowed the murder of "Baby Doe," a newborn baby girl who was starved to death by her parents, doctor, and the staff of Bloomington Hospital back in 1982; and also, that it was here at Indiana University, from 1938 to 1956, that, under the guise of "academic research," the criminal sexual pursuits of Alfred Kinsey were provided a safe haven. (Full evidence of his crimes continues to be housed in the Kinsey Institute here on the campus of Indiana University.) Lord willing, more on Kinsey's criminal perversions later.
Meanwhile, the death of President Reagan led to many interesting anecdotes coming to light, including the following which touches on Baby Doe. My wife, Mary Lee, brought it to my attention. It comes from the pages of a letter of tribute to President Reagan written by James Dobson:
Gary Bauer shares a story that occurred during one of his regular lunch meetings with the President. Each senior staff member was given an opportunity to raise an issue or two with "the boss," after gaining prior approval from the chief of staff. Without asking anyone, Gary discussed a problem that he knew would make his superiors uncomfortable. He told the President about a little girl in Bloomington, Indiana, who was suffering from severe life-threatening complications associated with Downs Syndrome. Apparently, the child's parents had received terrible medical advice and instead of seeking treatment, had the baby rolled into the corner of the hospital nursery where a sign was hung on the crib that said, "Do not feed." A Christian nurse observed this barbaric situation and called the White House, wondering if there was any legal recourse available.
As Gary spoke, he noticed that his colleagues flinched because this story was not the kind of topic that is worthy of the President's time. Then he looked at Mr. Reagan and saw that he had tears in his eyes. He had been deeply moved by Gary's account of the hurting child. He ordered that the Justice Department seek to protect her from those who would allow her to die.
Incredibly, the judges who are able to find legal justification for killing unborn babies could not figure out how to preserve the life of "Baby Doe." (Dobson, James C. 2004. Family News from Dr. James Dobson, June, Issue 7.)
Reading this, I'm reminded of a conversation with C. Everett Koop a couple years ago in which we discussed Baby Doe. Koop was the Surgeon General at the time of Baby Doe's murder and he told me that during the days of starvation his office in Washington D.C. received fifty offers of adoption for this little girl. But of course, the cruel mercies of the girl's parents and the Bloomington legal and medical community refused to allow any one of these fifty loving couples to adopt this little baby girl--she must die.
by David and Tim Bayly on August 14, 2004 - 9:56am
If you want to hear what I consider to be the best musical testimony against the culture of death that pervades the medical community in our country today, get your hands on the song "Baby Doe," written and performed by that wonderful prophet, Steve Taylor, on his Meltdown CD.
So now Slate runs a piece informing us that professional women who are hesitant to derail their high-octane careers for the sake of motherhood will be able to pay to have good eggs from their young ovaries set aside in the freezer, to be used later when they decide it's safe to take a break for (sort of) motherhood.
by David and Tim Bayly on September 1, 2004 - 5:41am
As every Christian should know, in vitro fertilization (IVF) normally involves, in Jerome Lejeune's apt phrase, keeping little babies in the fridge awaiting implantation in the mother's womb; and then, eventually, disposing of those babies who turn out to be extraneous.
For this reason I am opposed to IVF. Why would followers of Jesus create multiple living babies, keeping them in the fridge, so that one or two of them could win the lottery and be implanted in their mother's womb (while their siblings who lose that lottery are killed)?
But take IVF and add to it sodomite marriage and national health care and you produce a witches brew.
It's reported in The London Observer that there's a growing debate in the UK over whether the national health care system must provide these new sodomite couples with the same fertility assistance provided heterosexual couples already; and specifically, whether the old criterion of an IVF child having both mother and father in the home has now been rendered obsolete? Suzi Leather, head of the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, says, "The debate over whether IVF children need a father is controversial, with the British Medical Association's ethics committee understood to be divided."
Campaigner Ben Summerskill...said, "There is no evidence that this legislation (requiring the presence of a father) ... has actually protected anyone from anything, and there is a range of US research which suggests that children who grow up in gay families are just as well balanced and developed as children who grow up in heterosexual families."
...Professor Alison Murdoch said, "We have to stand back from it and say, what is the evidence that there is any harm to anybody from them having a child? Children need to be brought up in a loving, caring environment: it's the loving care that is important, not the sexuality of the parent," she said.
I do wonder whether PCA teaching elders who publicly called for the repeal of anti-sodomy laws have arrived at remorse yet? Sadly, I bet not. Rather, they're likely denying any necessary connection between...
the legalization of sodomy, and
the legalization of sodomite marriages, and
the necessary provision of IVF to sodomite couples, and
the intentional and state-sanctioned robbing of children of their father?
by David and Tim Bayly on September 23, 2004 - 6:44am
Some meditations on a morning picketing in front of Bloomington's abortuary where, this day, about ten mothers entered a building intent on paying a medical doctor around $300 to kill their unborn child:
Two thirds of those picketing are Roman Catholics, and this has been consistent since I first picketed twelve years ago. Although I'm grateful for the zeal the Roman Catholic church shows and passes on to her congregants on life issues, it's scandalous that Protestants (and particularly reformed Protestants) are relatively careless about these things. Would our Lord be careless? Would He steer away from the scenes of death in our fair cities? Would He have nothing to say to a young woman on the arm of her boyfriend walking into that hell-hole? Would He be careless about her soul, tossing off a flippant, "Let the pagans kill their babies if they're so inclined?"
The men there think that women are better fitted for the public work opposing abortion, and it is a constant theme of those who resent our presence that as men we ought not to be there, but let women be the public face of the pro-life movement. I disagree.
Men are called to defend life, whether that defense is carried out in the contest for public opinion and the shaming of those who oppress the little ones, or on the battlefields of the Mideast. How soft are Christian men today who are pleased to send their mothers and daughters and wives into the fray of battle, assuaging their consciences by saying "It's better that a woman speak on this issue." Exactly when was it that God ceased calling men to defend the lives of the weak and oppressed, the old and young, the born and unborn?
A seventy-year-old man gave me the finger as he drove by, lifting his arm between his head and the window so his wife wouldn't see it. What was that about?
How sickening to see an old man facing the winter of his life and hating another man holding up a sign saying "Abortion kills children." Putting the best/worst construction on it, maybe he once had a daughter caught in a crisis pregnancy and he encouraged her to have an abortion? But I'd be willing to put money on it that this man's conscience is killing him. May he come to Jesus for the forgiveness of sin, as I have and do.
Speaking of the conscience, I'll never forget Joe Sobran's observation some ten or fifteen years ago that "The guilt over abortion is the fuel that drives feminism." Yes, I have never questioned the truth of his statement, and often meditate on it when I see the anger and hatred of our nation for those who speak up for the unborn.
Being a Christian involves saying both God's 'yes' and His 'no.'
Christians today want to avoid saying God's 'no,' and this is a large part of the reason that our community can get out hundreds of souls to come to the crisis pregnancy center's banquet and the walk for life, but can hardly put together ten souls one morning a week to stand and witness against the killing going on in Planned Parenthood's building on South Walnut Street.
Both must be done; neither neglected. God's "Yes," certainly. But also His "No!"
I must admit to my own guilt in this matter. I have not been faithful as I ought in opposing abortion and supporting the crisis pregnancy center. May God forgive me and help me to serve the needy as I ought.
Finally, last night we had a delightful little curly-haired two-year-old at our dinner table who was saved from Bloomington's abortuary. His mother was walking into the killing place and one of our elders' wives called out to her saying we would do anything necessary to help her carry her little one to term. Shortly afterward, the young woman walked back out of the abortuary and took our elder's wife's phone number. Two months later, she called this woman and told her that she was willing to receive our help, and to place her child up for adoption in a good home.
A couple in our church adopted this little boy and now his cherubic face graces our services, nursery, parking lot, and dinner tables. Pray for him, his father and mother, will you? That God will use them as witnesses to the grace and love of Jesus Christ to all who repent and believe.
by David and Tim Bayly on October 7, 2004 - 3:00pm
blasphemy: Profane talk of something supposed to be sacred; impious irreverence. (The New Shorter Oxford Dictionary)
Several weeks ago a local Bloomington congregation called Sherwood Oaks Christian Church placed this ad in the Indiana University campus paper, Indiana Daily Student. Taking up a quarter of the op-ed page, when I first saw it I felt like I'd taken a punch to the solar plexus.
A young man from our congregation wrote the Sherwood Oaks Christian Church elders right away appealing to them to see what an assault the ad was on the honor of our Lord Jesus Christ. He concluded his letter:
"Pro-choice" is a phrase nearly universally used to describe supporting legalized abortion. Over 1.2 million precious human lives are snuffed out every year in the United States alone, and well over 40 million unborn babies have been murdered since Roe v. Wade threw out state laws limiting abortion in 1973. I urge you to remove this phrase from both your advertisements and from your Web site.
Reading my friend's letter of protest, I assumed the ad had been placed hastily and that the elders and pastors would take a similar haste to clean up the mess as best they could. And although I had no illusion that this congregation of the Cambellite Christian Church denomination would see the contradiction of Scripture at the heart of their sales pitch, I did think they'd have a tender conscience concerning the ad's statement that would mislead many to think that Sherwood Oaks and its college ministry believe the Holy God affirms the killing of unborn children.
So then I was shocked to see the ad appear again, and to realize there would be no apology, clarification, or withdrawal of the ad on the part of the congregation's leadership.
Need I say that I am not offended in the least by the ad's appeal to alternative types, or to those aligned with political parties other than Republican? Rather I commend them for these sentiments, although it's worth noting Sherwood Oaks Christian Church is thousands large and about as "establishment" as any church in Bloomington.
But take time to read the ad's headline and text and you'll understand my writing that it's incomprehensible how a congregation could think that running something like this in a university newspaper would honor our Lord.
by David and Tim Bayly on October 9, 2004 - 8:03pm
Thinking about a friend's death at his own hand, it has struck me that he was the first to face a question that many, many of my baby-boomer generation will face: shall we age and die by faith?
Shall we submit to the suffering the Lord makes us stewards of, "working out our salvation with fear and trembling (knowing) it is God who is at work (within us), both to will and to work for His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:12,13)? Or shall we be self-willed, spurning God's tool of suffering and making ourselves masters of our own destiny?
Make no mistake about it--this question will become personal as we suffer the breakdown of our bodies and feel the weight of old age as Solomon here describes it:
by David and Tim Bayly on October 16, 2004 - 9:12pm
Sherwood Oaks Christian Church has admitted their ad in the Indiana Daily Student using the hook line, "God is pro-choice," was not appropriate:
Ultimately, through much dialogue with sincere Christian brothers and sisters, we have come to the conclusion that the implementation of the hook-line was not comprehensively thought out.
This apology was what I expected from the beginning.
But let's go further and acknowledge there's a reason reformed churches and pastors so often are content to avoid the work of evangelism. After all, evangelism is risky--think of the risk Jesus took when he sat with the Samaritan woman, alone at the well speaking heart to heart. It was scandalous.
Loving the lost continues to be so today.
So here was an evangelistic ad that tried to bridge the gap between the Gospel of Jesus Christ and cynical postmoderns who are convinced evangelical Christianity is just a cover for Republical political ambitions and the civil religion of America's middle class. While the end doesn't justify the means in methods of evangelism any more than any other area of Christian life, it's certainly commendable to make an error in the same direction as our Lord Who had this to say about the work His Father gave Him (and by extension, us):
For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10)
by David and Tim Bayly on October 21, 2004 - 8:47pm
In response to my post a few days ago, Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore..., a comment was posted that serves as the perfect lab specimen of what poses for "deep thought" among Chomsky's fans. Here's the comment, followed by my response:
by David and Tim Bayly on October 21, 2004 - 9:14pm
In a post on my children's blog my son-in-law, Doug Ummel, reminds his Yankee friends and relatives that the War Between the States brought the typical spoils to the victors--the writing of the history books. And he makes the right case that Yankee history is a perversion of the truth. To which I respond:
It is one of history's great ironies that the authority and power assumed by Washington DC since the end of the War Between the States--a war defended as being entirely focused on ending the oppressive institution of slavery--has become the very authority and power Washington used in 1973 (and since) to silence the laws of almost every State of the Union forbidding the killing of unborn children.
by David and Tim Bayly on October 23, 2004 - 11:13am
Seeking to kill his wife, Michael Schiavo has used every tool at his disposal to get permission to remove her feeding tube. He has argued that, since Terri is in a "permanent vegetative state," depriving her of the feeding tube would lead to a peaceful death with no pain or discomfort.
On shows such as Larry King Live, Michael Schiavo--himself a nurse--and his attorney have referred to death by denial of food and water as "peaceful" and "painless," saying such deaths are "painless and probably the most natural way to die."
Now, though, an April 19, 2001 document has been discovered in Terri's medical records indicating the deception at the heart of the euthanasia movement, and specifically at the heart of Michael's plotting to rid himself of his wife. The document, printed on the Hospice of the Florida Suncoast's letterhead, is titled, Exit Protocol. And in sickening detail, this document demonstrates the terrible pain and suffering clearly anticipated by the medical authorities when it was proposed that Terri's feeding tube be removed.
by David and Tim Bayly on November 1, 2004 - 7:46am
As we all look and pray toward tomorrow's election, you will understand our simple statement, "I wouldn't vote for a county dog-catcher who wasn't pro-life." The test of a government's legitimacy is its defense of the souls at the margins of life--the old and infirm, the handicapped, the poor, the sick, and the unborn.
It's true the Republican party is often careless, or even cynical, about these souls; but the Democrats are heartless. If there is a more despicable statement than that constant refrain of Democrat politicians, "While I'm personally opposed to abortion, I believe in a woman's freedom to choose," we haven't heard it. Conniving at the slaughter of tender children peacefully sleeping in the womb of their mothers in order to buy votes is wickedness that would be unimaginable to all past generations of men. Why even the Greeks (who knew of abortion, of course) gave us a Hippocratic oath that forswore abortion, for God's sake.
But evangelicals--that is, Bible-believing Christians--have found themselves able to forget the unborn. Why?
How is it that those who worship the God Who says "I hate bloodshed," and "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed. For in the image of God He created them," and "Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven," are able to get incensed about the thousand American soldiers killed in Iraq so far, and the three thousand killed in the World Trade Center three years ago, and the tens of thousands of Iraqis killed by American forces, but seem incapable of seeing and hearing the cries of the unborn who, at a rate of 1,300,000 per year, are slaughtered in our fair cities--not to mention acting politically in any manner commensurate with this bloodshed.
We discuss the war, the deficit, school vouchers, immigration, NAFTA, and sodomite marriage; we cop the posture of "compassionate conservatism," and the slaughter continues. Well again, we wouldn't vote for a county dog-catcher who wasn't pro-life. In other words, we're all for turning back the clock. We're "single issue voters."
In 1984 our Dad was completing twenty-three years of writing a monthly column in Eternity, a national evangelical magazine. Called "Out of My Mind," you will guess how we named this blog. We post his column from June 1984 as a call to arms for those who fear God and are about to go to the polls. May god be merciful to our beloved nation.
And may He raise up a nation of men who hear the call to defend women and children from their oppressors.
David and Tim Bayly
Our Reich of Indifference
"We castigate the apathy of Christians in Nazi Germany-and ignore our own silence on toady's holocaust of abortion..."
There is a sin of indifference. It is the sin that binds evangelicals as the Lilliputians bound Gulliver, preventing us from exercising the influence that God has given us in these years-years that are destined to come to an end and may never be repeated.
To me, the outstanding example of indifference is in our reaction to the great sin of abortion that is the shame of our nation...
by David and Tim Bayly on November 4, 2004 - 6:04am
Has America's "special relationship" with Great Britain reached its end? In longing, perhaps not. But in reality, it looks increasingly like a case of unrequited love.
Britain loathes America, especially the America that voted George Bush a second term. More than anything else, pagan Britain loathes American Christianity.
Today's issue of Britain's newspaper of record, the Manchester Guardian, has a series of essays responding to the reelection of President Bush. Almost every essay identifies America's evangelical Christianity as inimical to Britain's modern character and future.
Below, snippets from the essays with links to the original. It's worth noting not only what is hated--American Evangelical Christianity--but the intensity with which it's hated. In several essays, it appears war (civil or international) would be preferable to the current religious climate in America.
Sidney Blumenthal, former Clinton aide and defender (and another American writing for the Guardian), rages against the evangelical church. The church is inspired by fear and Bush played to those fears--of women, of other nations, of other races. Read this carefully to smell the hatred. What would Blumenthal be screaming if an evangelical Christian wrote this way of Jews?
The evangelical churches became instruments of political organisation. Ideology was enforced as theology, turning nonconformity into sin, and the faithful, following voter guides with biblical literalism, were shepherded to the polls as though to the rapture. White Protestants, especially in the south, especially married men, gave their souls and votes for flag and cross. The campaign was one long revival. Abortion and stem cell research became a lever for prying loose white Catholics. To help in Florida, a referendum was put on the ballot to deny young women the right to abortion without parental approval and it galvanised evangelicals and conservative Catholics alike.
While Kerry ran on mainstream traditions of international cooperation and domestic investments, and transparency and rationality as essential to democratic government, Bush campaigned directly against these very ideas. At his rallies, Bush was introduced as standing for "the right God". During the closing weeks, Bush and Cheney ridiculed internationalism, falsifying Kerry's statement about a "global test". They disdained Kerry's internationalism as effeminate, unpatriotic, a character flaw, and elitist. "You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig," Cheney derided in every speech. They grafted imperial unilateralism on to provincial isolationism. Fear of the rest of the world was to be mastered with contempt for it.
This was linked to what is euphemistically called "moral values", which is social and sexual panic over the rights of women and gender roles. Only imposing manly authority against "girly men" and girls and lurking terrorists can save the nation. Above all, the exit polls showed that "strong leader" was the primary reason Bush was supported.
In this radical screed of self-loathing, the American author not only identifies with those who despise the U.S. around the globe, but urges a "militant" rejection of the president's policies by members of the American military. In essence, he's hoping for civil war. Apparently Mr. Marqusee has no idea of the attitude toward President Bush within the military.
Anti-Americanism has become a catch-all charge levied against anyone who engages in a radical critique of America's global power, its sway over the lives of billions who had no vote in Tuesday's election. People rebel against US hegemony for the same reasons they rebelled against the dominance of earlier imperial powers, not out of a distaste for the culture of the rulers but out of an objection to undemocratic, unaccountable, self-serving rule by remote elites of whatever culture.
by David and Tim Bayly on November 5, 2004 - 5:03am
It's saddening to read where President Bush intends to spend the "capital" he earned in the presidential campaign.
"I will be your president regardless of your faith, and I don't expect you to agree with me necessarily on religion. As a matter of fact, no president should ever try to impose religion on our society."
"The great thing that unites is the fact you can worship freely if you choose, and if you -- you don't have to worship."
"I've earned capital in this election -- and I'm going to spend it for what I told the people I'd spend it on, which is -- you've heard the agenda: Social Security and tax reform, moving this economy forward, education, fighting and winning the war on terror."
Remember, these are the words of a man who will never run for public office again.
Are these the priorities of a leader after God's own heart? Where is abortion? Where is sodomy? Just two of the areas where "no president should ever try to impose religion on our society," we're left to assume.
We celebrate President Bush's reelection as those who see defeat delayed rather than victory won.
by David and Tim Bayly on November 10, 2004 - 7:28pm
In the debate over Senator Specter and the chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee the unstated assumption is that the Supreme Court will prove the decisive battleground for the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
That assumption is, of course, hogwash on a number of levels.
First, the Supreme Court is an essentially conservative, status quo-maintaining institution. It follows rather than leads public opinion. Until the court of public opinion rejects Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court will embrace it.
Second, should the Supreme Court ever move to undo Roe v. Wade, the battle will simply shift to other venues. In the unlikely chance that the Supreme Court finds the courage to undo Roe v. Wade, that decision will simply prove one more link in a long chain of events telling the story of abortion in America--a story which began well before the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Roe v. Wade and ends who-knows-where.
Third, if slavery wasn't impeded or ended by a Supreme Court ruling, why should abortion be different? Our national division over Roe v. Wade is at least as likely to be resolved by internecine conflict as by the Supreme Court. If you doubt this, you lack the faith in Divine justice of Abraham Lincoln, who in his second inaugural address quite clearly reflects a Biblical understanding of bloodshed requiring bloodshed. Read that address--and as you read, remember that this was a man who refused to proclaim any faith before being elected to the White House.
Nearly ten years ago George McKenna wrote a superb article in the Atlantic Monthly titled, On Abortion: A Lincolnian Position. In the article McKenna argues that what America needs is a political leader, like Lincoln, who will actually argue the immorality of abortion publicly. Modern "pro-life" politicians make many promises about what they will do if they are elected but refuse to expend moral or political capital arguing against abortion. Thus, their promises are hollow. They promise the moon and deliver not a dime.
What America needs, McKenna said, is a political leader who will argue against abortion the way Lincoln argued against slavery. Stephen Douglas, champion of slaveholders' rights, argued for slavery in terms almost identical to pro-abortion arguments of today...
The Friday before the presidential election, an as-yet-unidentified woman set herself on fire in front of a Berwyn Heights, Maryland, abortuary. Pouring gasoline over her body, she lit a match and died.
The woman had been a frequent protester outside the abortuary where she died. She left an envelope addressed to presidential candidate John Kerry. Presumably it was a suicide note explaining her political protest, but the police aren't allowing the note's contents to be revealed.
The self-immolation was seen by many people, including a bus filled with schoolchildren.
Imagine this had been a protest against the war in Viet Nam or the segregation of the public school system in Selma, Alabama, or the votes of a number of states banning sodomite marriage last Tuesday. Do you think the national news media would have squelched those stories?
Of course not.
But to report this news the Friday before our nation went to the polls to vote for the next president of the United States would have been so very impolitic, you know. It might further inflame the ignorant red masses living more than one hundred miles from ocean waters or major research universities.
Reporting deaths--any kind of deaths--that happen near an abortuary is never good for those who deny the death of the sweet and gentle babies sucking their thumbs in their mothers' wombs as doctors and nurses insert the knives and vacuum cleaner probes about to tear them to shreds.
And although we don't know, I can't help wonder what drove this poor soul to kill herself. And I wonder whether any evangelical Christian had been outside the killing place protesting, also, in the months prior to her death? Had they sensed her torment and spoken to her about the Lord Jesus Christ Who is, Himself, "the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world" (1John 2:2)?
Oh, Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.
PS: On his blog, my friend David Talcott points us to the response of a University of Maryland student who witnessed the suicide.
by David and Tim Bayly on November 25, 2004 - 2:14pm
Since Election Day when President Bush won a second term bringing in on his coattails an even larger Republican majority for both houses, the big boys inside the Beltway have been squealing like stuck pigs. Despite my ambivalence toward some aspects of our President's first term accomplishments and second term agenda, I find these squeals a great encouragement.
Years back a dear friend who had served in the Army as an artillery officer described how artillery was used to gather information about an enemy's positions. A map of enemy territory was broken down into a grid of squares and shells were fired into each square until one of them provoked a response. The technique, as I recall, was called "reconnaissance by artillery."
Judging by the response of old guard DC politicos and the media, President Bush seems to be hitting with every shell. And of all the responses I've heard and read, one in particular strikes me as most curious--namely, the liberals calling for their own blue states to secede from the Union.
Listening to post-election commentary on National Public Radio the other day, I heard a Los Angeles commentator propose this division and then list all the reasons he and his fellow liberals would come out the better for it...
by David and Tim Bayly on December 3, 2004 - 10:56am
(This piece is a revision of another piece below titled The Shame of Alfred Kinsey. This revision ran today, December 3, as a guest editorial in Bloomington's Herald Times. -Tim Bayly)
The late Allan Bloom was an Indianapolis native who served as professor at University of Chicago. In The Closing of the American Mind, Bloom lamented the destruction divorce caused his students. Noting that parents often used therapists to help their children cope, Bloom wrote, "Psychologists are the sworn enemies of guilt."
If therapists are the sworn enemies of guilt, sex researchers are the sworn enemies of shame-with IU's Alfred C. Kinsey leading the pack.
Although hired by IU as a zoologist, in 1938 Kinsey contrived to land a job lecturing engaged and married seniors on "biology." He ended the course by taking his students' sexual histories.
Kinsey spent the rest of his academic career conducting these interviews and disseminating the data. He was convinced that publicizing peoples' private sexual lives would usher in a more peaceful age devoid of shame and inhibition.
But his efforts did not bring the dawn of Aquarian freedom...
by David and Tim Bayly on December 11, 2004 - 7:14am
Last week, a family in our congregation was out for dinner at a Chinese restaurant. The tables were close together and the women at the adjoining table were discussing unwanted children. With the fool's innate confidence, one woman blithely expressed her conviction "that an intelligent Christian should be pro-abortion, because as Christians we should know that God would not want children living in orphanages. Children in this situation would be better off dead."
Seated six inches away was our church family. They couldn't avoid overhearing what was said because Ms. Confident was Oprah-loud. And rude--had she been polite, she might have noticed her neighbors had five children, two of whom were Asian and likely adopted. ("Happy Birthday Shoshanna Grace" is the rest of the story.)
Dare I say it seems obvious to me this woman has not had any man obstruct her will for many years? Instead she has become a creature entirely given over to sentimentality. Knowing it will strike some good readers as chauvinist, I doubt her husband has ever opposed her will and it seems evident her "Christian" preacher dispenses treacle and nostrums.
In other words, those authorities God placed over her for her (and others') protection have abandoned her to the Evil One and his victory seems complete. Does she even remember the girl she was, let alone mourn the woman she has become--a woman entirely devoid of femininity and its defining trait of compassion?
But of course, she defended abortion under the rubric of compassion. Even in her most perverse sentiment she continued to testify to the glory of her sex.
If I could displace Oprah in recommending the next good-read to our Ms. Confident, I'd suggest she buy Flannery O'Connor's collection of short stories, A Good Man Is Hard To Find, and that she start with the title story. An orthodox Roman Catholic who died at thirty-nine years old, O'Connor's writing is thoroughly Christian, and prophetic:
In the absence of this (Christian) faith now, we govern by tenderness. It is a tenderness which, long since cut off from the person of Christ, is wrapped in theory. When tenderness is detached from the source of tenderness, its logical outcome is terror. It ends in forced labor camps and in the fumes of the gas chamber.
-from O'Connor's introduction to A Memoir of Mary Ann.
The Western World used to be the Ancient World raised out of every form of wickedness (including infanticide, abortion, slavery, child prostitution, sodomy, and feminism) by Christians who believed the Bible and who lived and died as witnesses to the One Who stands at its center, our Lord Jesus Christ. Now, though, scholars refer to the centuries of repentance as the "Dark Ages" and they use the language of love, mercy, and compassion to lead us back into paganism's unutterable darkness.
And now the latest: hospitals in Holland are killing newborn children with birth defects.
by David and Tim Bayly on February 22, 2005 - 6:45am
"The Nazis came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak for me."
Pastor Martin Niemoller
Leader of Confessing Church in Nazi Germany
by David and Tim Bayly on February 23, 2005 - 4:45am
I find the motivation behind various actors in the drama of Terri Schiavo's judicial homicide deeply puzzling.
Michael Schiavo's motivation is easiest to understand: he wishes to be rid of his wife. Perhaps he's simply completing under legal color what he first sought to accomplish extrajudicially. There is also the possibility of an inheritance upon her death, though whatever Schiavo stands to inherit doesn't seem worth the public opprobrium it carries with it. Ultimately, Mr. Schiavo's position is clear. He's a sinner shaking his fist at God.
But though Schiavo and Felos (his attorney) may be winning the legal battle, they're certainly losing in the court of public opinion. Few more unattractive litigants exist in the public eye today. It doesn't take the wisdom of Solomon to determine who Terri's true guardians are. I doubt there's a person on earth who, having paid attention to the situation, could come to any other conclusion than that Terri's parents love her while her former husband hates her.
So why do the courts continue to legitimize her murder? Why do they side with what is both a deeply unpopular and logically untenable position?
Schiavo is selfish, greedy and wicked. But the courts are more so. The judges who, in the quiet sanctity of their courtrooms and chambers, put their names to this charade of justice are far more misanthropic and evil than Schiavo. I find this kind of evil hard to fathom. This is evil with an agenda much greater than Schiavo's. Where does it end?
by David and Tim Bayly on February 23, 2005 - 9:05pm
Some suggest that behind Michael Schiavo's relentless pursuit of his wife Terri's death lies a desire to inherit the remaining portion of her malpractice settlement.
This is probably no longer the case. Informed speculation places the remaining portion of the settlement at less than $200,000--enough to buy a house but insufficient reward for an internationally ruined name and reputation. No, the only thing Schiavo's seeking to salvage at this point is pride. But what if a substantial sum could be his if he would forswear guardianship?
I'm willing to contribute $1000 to Mr. Schiavo for the release of Terri. What about others? I suspect at $1,000,000 Mr. Schiavo might alter his recollection of exactly what Terri told him of her long-term medical care desires so long ago...
Isn't this the most plausible means of ending this death march? A generous Christian could probably purchase Terri's freedom right now. Meanwhile, I'll happily donate $1000 to the cause.
by David and Tim Bayly on February 24, 2005 - 9:01am
Judges mutter that they need "the wisdom of Solomon" to adjudicate matters before them. Sometimes they really do. But in the matter of Terri Schiavo's legal guardianship the wisdom of Solomon is about as clear as the nose at the end of the judge's face.
Here's what to do, judges of Florida. If you want to act with the wisdom of Solomon in the Schiavo case:
1) Threaten to let Terri starve to death.
2) See who is willing to have her die and who would let her live.
3) Give guardianship to the one who would let her live.
by David and Tim Bayly on February 24, 2005 - 9:35am
Friends, what follows is an exchange I've been having over the course of the past twenty-four hours. I post it on the blog with the prayer that it might be helpful to some still considering these issues, and not sure of the truth. Here then is some explanation of what follows:
This first E-mail I sent out to about forty church leaders, both in our own congregation (Church of the Good Shepherd), and in my brother, David's, congregation (Christ the Word), and across the country. Each of them are men I trust and have a personal relationship with.The second E-mail is a response I received from a dear friend of mine (I'll call him John Doe) I've been close to since our days together at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. In a forthright manner, he speaks for many evangelicals, I think, in expressing his belief that suicide or murder by starvation, as long as someone is old and decrepit, is good. The third E-mail is my response to a number of the recipients of my first E-mail who wrote to ask what exactly I was proposing in my first E-mail? The fourth E-mail is the second response I received from John Doe. The fifth E-mail is my first response, directly, to John Doe. The sixth E-mail is the third response I received from John Doe. The seventh E-mail is my final response to John Doe. And the eighth E-mail is the last word from John Doe.
I'd like to hear your response to this blog post concerning Terri Schiavo that I'm considering posting:
Terri Schiavo: This is true religion...
So Terri needs help. Is there a believer in this nation who's going to help her, or have cowardice and diffusion of responsibility unmanned us?
Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. (James 1:27)
I desire godly counsel; please send me your thoughts.
by David and Tim Bayly on February 24, 2005 - 12:25pm
Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. (James 1:27)
Dear Brothers in Christ,
Please look for a post tomorrow (Friday) morning concerning our still-tentative plans to go to Florida to provide a witness against the murder of Terri Schiavo. Our plans aren't yet firm, but we've been seeking the counsel of men we respect and we're beginning to believe that it would please the Lord and honor His Name if Christian men began to gather at the scene of Terri's impending murder. This is not to deny the need for women to support this effort, but to speak specifically to men who are followers of Jesus Christ concerning our duty to follow Righteous Job, in being a father to the afflicted and suffering:
And Job again took up his discourse and said, 2 Oh that I were as in months gone by, As in the days when God watched over me; 3 When His lamp shone over my head, And by His light I walked through darkness; 4 As I was in the prime of my days, When the friendship of God was over my tent; 5 When the Almighty was yet with me, And my children were around me; 6 When my steps were bathed in butter, And the rock poured out for me streams of oil! 7 When I went out to the gate of the city, When I took my seat in the square, 8 The young men saw me and hid themselves, And the old men arose and stood. 9 The princes stopped talking And put their hands on their mouths; 10 The voice of the nobles was hushed, And their tongue stuck to their palate. 11 For when the ear heard, it called me blessed, And when the eye saw, it gave witness of me, 12 Because I delivered the poor who cried for help, And the orphan who had no helper. 13 The blessing of the one ready to perish came upon me, And I made the widow's heart sing for joy. 14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; My justice was like a robe and a turban. 15 I was eyes to the blind And feet to the lame. 16 I was a father to the needy, And I investigated the case which I did not know. 17 I broke the jaws of the wicked And snatched the prey from his teeth. (Job 29:1-17)
If you are interested, also, in this pilgrimage at which we plan to pray and fast, please post a comment here and/or send one of us a private E-mail indicating that you want to know if we decide to go.
David and Tim Bayly
E-mail Addresses: (David's E-mail address is the first letter of his first name followed by his middle initial 'j' and then his full last name at christtheword dot com) (Tim's E-mail address is the first letter of his first name followed by his full last name at earthlink dot net)
by David and Tim Bayly on February 25, 2005 - 8:14am
Brothers in Christ,
At our monthly session meeting last night, Church of the Good Shepherd's elders were agreed that being present as a witness against the murder of Terri Schiavo was the right thing at the right time. Several of the men are considering coming and the others all wish they were able.
Now, though, news reports are that another sixty day stay has been requested by Florida's Department of Children and Families.
Not knowing whether or not this latest delay tactic will work, Tim is making plans to leave this evening, conditional to news reports later this afternoon about the resolution of the State of Florida's request. (David plans to follow in the next day or two.)
Again, if you believe it would honor the Lord for you to join in this witness, please send one or both of us an E-mail. A number of men have expressed their desire to join us in Florida, and to pray for us, and we're grateful for each of you. Let us sound the trumpet against all those whose charity is cruelty and who believe there is such a thing as a life not worth living--other than the life Christ authoritatively declared not worth living:
(Jesus) said to His disciples, "It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble" (Luke 17:1,2).
by David and Tim Bayly on February 25, 2005 - 10:30am
Terri Schiavo has received a three week stay. News here.
We'll stay on top of this. The trip to Florida is delayed, but not canceled until Terri is safe. Fathers and brothers in the Lord, remembering that pure and undefiled religion in the eyes of our Father is to visit widows and orphans in their distress, we encourage you to put March 18 on your calendar and to plan on being in Florida that day should this window of protection for Terri--a widow-in-truth if not legal fact--come to a close.
Judge Greer's ruling makes clear that he's impatient and wants the case to end. Remember, Greer ordered the removal of Terri's feeding tube twice before, in 2001 and 2003. His impatience with her case and desire for it to end is an ominous sign of his designs on Terri's life. According the the AP news report,
The judge wrote that he was no longer comfortable granting delays in the long-running family feud, which has been going on for nearly seven years and has been waged in every level of Florida's court system. He said the case must end.
"The court is no longer comfortable granting stays simply upon the filings of new motions," Greer wrote. "There will always be 'new' issues."
The abolitionist anthem, "Once to Every Man and Nation" comes to mind as we think about our responsibility in this contest....
by David and Tim Bayly on February 27, 2005 - 7:50pm
Anyone who thinks major elements of the mainstream media aren't playing an active role in supporting the the Terri Schiavo death march should look at how the St. Petersburg Times tried to edit a pro-Terri ad supported by donations from pro-Terri blogs. There isn't even a vestige of impartiality left.
by David and Tim Bayly on February 28, 2005 - 8:27am
This just in my Eudora in-box from a friend who is a youngish English professor:
I won't often urge you to see a movie, but I really think, with your concern for our society's freefall in end-of-life ethics, you should consider paying close attention (if you haven't yet) to the movie that cleaned up at the Oscars last night, winning best picture, best director, best actress, and best supporting actor--Clint Eastwood's Million-Dollar Baby.
The movie is only superficially about a female boxer. In its last 45 minutes the movie manipulates emotions so expertly that it suckers the audience into believing the twisted lie that murder can really be an act of love. It relates directly to Terri Schiavo, but ups the ante. The adulation of the Oscars shows how our nation has welcomed this baby into its open arms. If worldviews are shaped through the arts, the popularity of this one shows we're only a short step behind Holland.
I watched it with (a friend) who, though he claims to be totally against abortion and euthanasia, was fully snookered. The good thing is that the rift in our reactions has opened up a dialogue about the gospel. The bad thing is that unless one is fully grounded in the truth, it's all but impossible to resist the mind-altering spell of such an emotionally powerful lie.
Last week, this glossy 8 1/2 by 11 ad was an insert in Indiana University's campus paper, the Indiana Daily Student. I glanced at it, did a double take, and looked more closely. Here we have the final step in the abortion wars. Day-after, day-day-after, or day-day-day-after abortifacient drugs are now mainstream enough that the expense of placing this ad in the IDS is justified by Barr Pharmaceutical's expected profits.
Brush aside needless distinctions between a fertilized ovum not yet implanted and a fertilized ovum implanted on the uterine wall and "Plan B" pills can be called "contraception"--something that prevents conception. But is there anyone left on this earth who really believes that human life does not begin at the moment of conception, but rather when the fertilized ovum succeeds in finding a home in his mother's uterus?
Then I flip the ad over and, irony of ironies, read the following small text. Really, so sad. Let us pray for our nation.
Here's a man. Placing sacrifice ahead of rhetoric, businessman Robert Herring offers Michael Schiavo $1,000,000 to let Terri live. In fact, he's put the $1,000,000 in escrow and offers Schiavo proof of deposit.
Unfortunately, I fear a private offer would be more likely to succeed. Schiavo's pride is at stake and he seems a man who might try to salvage ego and reputation by declining the offer. Moreover, Schiavo has probably signed exclusive contracts with the death merchants underwriting his legal battles. I wouldn't be surprised if the other side beat us to the punch on this one a long time ago....
For several decades after its founding in England by Dame Cicely Saunders the hospice movement appeared a positive corrective to decades of hospital control of dying patients. Placing the terminally ill in peaceful, family-friendly settings seemed so much more natural and considerate than leaving them in antiseptic hospital rooms where family could visit only from 7-9 p.m.
Our family was tied to the mid-1970s beginning of the American hospice movement by two friendships: first, Dad was a friend of Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, author of "On Death and Dying", the book which identified the five stages of death; second, through Dr. Ross we came to know Marge Lyons, founder of one of the first American hospices.
So for many years we've generally supported the hospice movement. But should Christians continue to support hospices? Is there something we must learn from Terri Schiavo being placed in a hospice over two years ago by the merchants of death, a hospice where she lies awaiting death in a dim room receving nothing more than palliative care? Is it mere coincidence that Michael Schiavo's attorney, George Felos, served as chairman of the board of the hospice where Terri now lies waiting to be starved to death?
I have a sneaking and terrible suspicion that hospices are increasingly becoming the thanotels of modern America, places where the ill and dying go to be ushered into Sheol with lots of psychotropic and pain medications to cover guilt and pain. Hospices have become Disneylands of the dying. Instead of summoning pastors to speak eternal truths at deathbeds, shaggy dogs walk the halls while patients starve in medicated reveries.
Yes, I know how appreciative many families are of the hospices their loved ones died in. And I've officiated at enough funerals where the hospice was the designated charity to know that hospices profit from being appreciated.
But I fear that were we to look into routine medical practice in modern American hospices, we would find that the hospice movement stands at the forefront of America's euthanasia and suicide culture.
"Michael has said over and over again that this case is not about money for him," Felos said. "It's about carrying out his wife's wishes. There is no amount of money anyone can offer that will cause him to turn his back on his wife."
It's as we thought. Schiavo's totally in the bag with the middlemen of death, including financially. "No amount of money anyone can offer will cause him to turn his back on his wife," Felos says. Nothing but the previous hundreds of thousands he's already received and spent. Nothing other than the little lady he's living with and the two illegitimate children he's had through adultery with her.
Yes, indeed, nothing will cause this man to turn his back on his wife.
Tim and I intend to go to Pinellas Park, Florida, next weekend should action to prevent the removal of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube fail this week.
Increasingly, this looks like the pivotal showdown in this years-long story. And while we are under no illusion about our ability to alter the situation humanly speaking, we believe such terrible evil must be resisted. Our elder boards have added their blessing to our desire to go to Floridea, leaving us profoundly grateful to God for these godly men. What a privilege to serve the Lord in the midst of those who love Him deeply and are so willing to stand for His truth.
Others plan to join us in Florida. Joel Belz will be with us, God willing. Gary Knapp, a PCA pastor in Delaware, will also likely be there.
What will we be doing? The charge my elders have given me is to go as Jonah went to Nineveh, preaching and speaking the Word of God, calling for repentance.
Frankly, I'm scared at the idea of going. But I'm even more frightened of failing to stand against such immense wickedness.
Please pray for wisdom and courage. I intend to arrive on Friday of this week. Joel Belz hopes to be there by Saturday. Tim will come early the following week (immediately following Palm Sunday).
Please email if you have advice, or if you are thinking of joining us. We would appreciate your prayers. Members of Christ the Word are committing to prayer and fasting during the period we are in Florida. Perhaps you could join in asking God for mercy on our nation.
by David and Tim Bayly on March 13, 2005 - 11:40am
My friend, David Lehr, comments on news of war, rape, and abortion in Darfur:
Even many of us who are convinced anti-abortion advocates become uncomfortable when the argument about rape and incest is raised. Our God-given compassion for those who suffer wrongly at the hands of their enemies is elicited by stories of women who have been impregnated by a rapist or a family member. And so, perhaps in some cases, our firm stance against abortion is shaken.
But we also know that God remains sovereign over these events and wants to use them for His own glory when He allows them. Here is a story that demonstrates God's graciousness in one woman's experience. Note her attitude of acceptance toward her child at the story's conclusion.
What would happen if we allowed God to use us--if we bowed to His sovereignty instead of rebelling against it? Would we find that we loved what He'd ordained for us?
George Felos, Michael Schiavo's attorney, says Schiavo's desire to starve Terri is the fulfillment of a promise he made to Terri, who, Felos claims, said to Michael Schiavo before her stroke, "Honey, please don't keep me alive like this with tubes if something like that happened to me."
Incredible. This whole travesty of justice hinges on two things: 1) general public denial of Terri's humanity, and; 2) Michael Schiavo's self-serving recollection of a pre-stroke conversation with Terri in which she supposedly said she would never want a "tube".
How many 26-year-olds have ever said anything to anyone about what they would want in such circumstances? 26-year-olds assume they'll live forever. They want to be kept alive. If they ever speak about tubes, they're thinking of ventilator tubes, not feeding tubes.
It boggles the mind that such self-serving evidence is permitted to sentence Terri to death in civil court. Schiavo's "evidence" would be laughed out of court in a murder trial.
It's fascinating to see how proponents of Terri Schiavo's death focus on process and leave Terri, the person, totally in the shadows.
Chief Judge Chris Altenbernd of the Florida appellate court which ruled against Terri Wednesday wrote in his opinion,
"Not only has Mrs. Schiavo's case been given due process, but few, if any similar cases have ever been afforded this heightened level of process."
Funny. According to the U.S. Constitution, a person receives due process, not a case. Yes, the Schiavo case has had years of process. But Terri the person has been ignored ever since the first guardian ad litem's report was deep-sixed in the late 90s.
Meanwhile, in U.S. House debate last night, Democratic opponent of pro-Terri legislation Jerrold Nadler said,
"This shouldn't be done in haste tonight. It is irresponsible and shows real contempt for the families who have to live with this."
Process. Process. Crocodile tears for families. But where is Terri the person?
In the same House debate, Florida Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz said, "There is no room for the federal government" in the Schiavo case, calling it a wrenching but private family tragedy.
Again, process, process. Keep the federal government out. Keep the focus on process, not the person.
Twice, now, federal courts have refused requests by the Schindler family to remove the case from Florida courts citing lack of jurisdiction.
Of course, if they saw Terri as a person, jurisdiction would be automatic because it would become an issue of due process for a person, an issue of civil rights.
Why this great focus on the system and process? Because dealing with Terri, the person, is a losing proposition. No one who wants to see Terri die can admit the person into the proceedings and win. It's a losing cause: she's so clearly not dead, not as they would like her to be, in person that she must be made to disappear for the public to embrace her death. Show a video of Terri with her mother or father, then try to argue that she's no longer there. It can't be done.
The cowardice of those who hide behind the cloak of process on this issue is immeasurable. The court of Dred Scott could stand proud in the midst of America's process driven judiciary today.
I'm packed for the trip to Pinellas Park and will be leaving within the hour. Pastor David Curell joins me in Cincinnati, then we're on to Florida.
Dave and I decided to drive, despite generous offers of tickets from several dear friends. There's enough of a possibility that legislative action will render this trip moot that purchasing tickets seemed unwise. In addition, there's actually a fair bit of equipment in my trunk. I'm taking the church's Liberty self-powered speaker and stand (a heavy beast, but excellent sound) and several other pieces of equipment.
PCA pastor Gary Knapp will join us Saturday after after arriving with Don Ireland from Delaware.
Later Saturday, Joel Belz intends to arrive.
Tim will arrive Tuesday and take over from us.
Each of us has committed to preparing one sermon to preach in public while in Florida. Please pray for us. None of us have done this before.
An attorney friend has said he will research our rights under constitutional law. If anyone has information about the situation we wil encounter legally we would appreciate advice. Our current plan focuses on two sites: the hospice itself, and the courthouse in Clearwater where Judge Greer presides.
I've asked Matt French to maintain the blog while we're away (thanks, Matt). I'll send information as I'm able....
Finally, people of CTW and CGS, blessings on you in the name of Christ. What joy it is to go with your strong backing. You are with us in Spirit, and to the extent that we are faithful watchmen, you are faithful with us and through us.
Hello everyone. This is Matthew French, a deacon at Christ the Word Church, filling in for David while he's gone. I appreciate the opportunity that David is giving me to keep you updated on what he and the others are doing in Florida. Please pray for them as they are traveling right now. I suspect they'll arrive early Friday morning.
Several of us from Christ the Word gathered to pray this evening and more than one of us struggled to express our frustration with the whole situation. It continues to boggle my mind that this murder is not just sanctioned but even mandated by the courts. When my thoughts move in this direction and my frustration mounts, several Psalms come to mind. Our pastors, David and Andrew, have introduced us to several new Psalter hymns recently and Psalm 94 is one that we have sung several times. I will quote it, not from any modern translation, but from the Psalter we are using:
God of vengeance, O Jehovah, God of vengeance, O shine forth!
Rise up, O You Judge of Nations! Render to the proud their worth.
O LORD, how long shall the wicked, How long shall the wicked boast?
Arrogant the words they pour out, Ill men all, a taunting host.
They, Jehovah, crush Your people, And Your heritage distress;
They kill sojourner and widow, Murder they the fatherless.
And they say, "Jehovah sees not; Jacob's God does not have eyes."
Understand, O stupid people! When, O fools, will you be wise?
Who the ear made, does He hear not? Who formed eyes, does He not see?
Who warns nations, does He smite not? Who men teaches, knows not He?
All the thoughts of men the LORD sees, Knows that but a breath are they.
Blessed the man whom You chastise, LORD, Whom You teach to know Your way.
Give him rest from days of trouble, Till the wicked be o'erthrown.
Our LORD will not leave His people, Will abandon not His own.
When to every verdict given, Justice shall come back again,
Everyone whose heart is upright, Will see righteous judgment then.
This seems to me a great Psalm to meditate on during these days when the wicked seem to be winning this battle. So many rhetorical questions. Does the God of Jacob not have eyes? O Lord, how long shall the wicked boast?
We must continue to pray that the God of Jacob will be pleased to sustain Terri's life. But, if three weeks from now the wicked seem to have triumphed, we will remember that "when to every verdict given, justice shall come back again."
Right across the street from the hospice is an industrial park with a forest of media trucks and antennae. The open-air tent is a media interview booth.
The let-Terri-die contingent. The "My Body, My Choice" sign was especially ironic in combination with a sign reading "I Support Michael Schiavo and Freedom of Medical Choice." Oh yeah? Terri's body, Michael's freedom of choice, it seems.
Sign reads "Let Terri RIP". There are two front entries into the hospice, with a looping drive inside the gate. This is the east entrance. The media pit is about 75 feet wide between the two drives.
Randall Terry making the initial announcement that Terri's feeding tube would not be removed.
The scene across the street from the hospice.
A car with hospice visitors leaving the east hospice gate.
The scene in the industrial park across the street. The man in shorts with his back to the camera is a pro-Terri demonstrator arguing with members of the Let-Terri-Die contingent.
The media pit between the two drives in mid-afternoon.