Abortion, euthanasia

Stalin's daughter has this to say about George Kennan...

During the twentieth century, close to half the world's population suffered behind Communism's Iron Curtains. And behind those curtains, murder was systematically practiced on a scale the world had never before known. Obscene bloodlust against their own subjects was the common denominator of Communism's leaders including Cambodia's Pol Pot, China's Mao Zedong, and the Soviet Union's Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin—better known as "Papa" Joe Stalin. Stalin himself slaughtered at least fifty million of his fellow citizens.

The March 31, 2014 issue of The New Yorker has a short profile1 of Stalin's daughter, Svetlana Alliluyeva, who spent much of the second half of her life here in these United States of America. Until he died a few years ago, Svetlana's closest friend was the American diplomat of the Cold War, George Kennan. Their relationship was up and down...


God bless America...

Here's text from an e-mail I received recently from Dr. David Canfield, an elder at Clearnote Church, Bloomington. David gave his permission for me to post it here on Baylyblog. There is a context for the letter, but it's unimportant to David's larger point.

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The problem is not, essentially, that President Obama has... That is just a symptom of the true problem, viz., that America (and this has happened to a great extent during my lifetime) has abandoned the notion of us, both as individuals and a nation, as being under authority. I speak of authority in all of its manifestations. We have seen, for instance, parental authority ripped to shreds, and the US Constitution is now viewed as a list of suggestions that might...


Forty-one years of the slaughter of babies across America...

Yesterday marked the forty-first anniversary of the legalization of baby-slaughter by the evil justices of the Supreme Court of these United States. Their arguments were devious, or simply lies. But they had their way, and now they will face God and give an account for these forty-one years of bloodshed of innocents. Again this year, I post a sermon preached ten years ago in Indiana's Statehouse to focus our thoughts on this greatest of all evils we face today. Take time to read the sermon, thinking how you can speak up, and like Noah, be a preacher of righteousness.

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The Lord'€™s Throne Is in Heaven

(For the choir director; a psalm of David.) In the LORD I take refuge; how can you say to my soul, "Flee as a bird to your mountain; for, behold, the wicked bend the bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string to shoot in darkness at the upright in heart. If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?" The LORD is in His holy temple; the LORD'€™S throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men. The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence His soul hates. Upon the wicked He will rain snares; fire and brimstone and burning wind will be the portion of their cup. For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; the upright will behold His face. (Psalm 11:1-7)

Thirty one (now forty-one) years ago today, on January 22nd, 1973, the Supreme Court of these United States issued its infamous ruling, Roe v. Wade, in which the Court declared that a mother's intentional killing of her unborn child was a fundamental right guaranteed under our Constitution. Since that ruling, it has been a commonplace to observe that Roe v. Wade, the Court's repeal of the laws prohibiting abortion on the books of all fifty states, was simply the exercise of raw judicial power with a legal justification based upon a mist and a vapor--€”or as the Court itself might put it, emanations from penumbras.

Our Supreme Court: intentionally conniving at murder...

Since 1973, no one has made a name for himself defending Roe. v. Wade’s history, biology, ethics, logic, or justice; and only a few have been foolish enough to claim this ruling will stand the test of time...


Abortion and the pain of motherhood...

"God loves life." This was the title of our sermon this morning at Sawyer Highlands Church here in Sawyer, Michigan. For over thirty years, Mary Lee and I have been attending this church just down the street from the Michigan House where I come to write. Pastor Jeff Dryden preached on abortion with Psalm 139 as his text. As usual, it was an excellent sermon. Faithful to Scripture with loving application to all of us sitting under his ministry. If you're in the area, I highly recommend this congregation to you. It's Reformed and Baptistic with elder rule, and entirely unpretentious—a godly combination.

Pastor Dryden's sermon got me thinking about the moral agency of women. It's hard to face how we have turned our wives and daughters into murderers, today. We don't mind condemning the men who failed them and their child nestled in the womb, but always remember that Sapphira was killed by God after He killed her husband, Ananias. Regardless of our own sins as fathers and brothers and husbands, women who chose to kill their baby are murderers and must be led to confess it so they may repent and believe in the blood of Jesus Christ cleansing them from all sin. Even such a horrible one.

Again, women are moral agents. Here's an excerpt from the fatherhood book I'm working on that I trust will help remind us of this important facet to the pastoral care needed by the women of our churches.

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Recently, I have been thinking about an excuse mothers use for murdering their unborn children through abortion. They say they did not want to bring their child into the world, only to suffer. Their child would have been unwanted. Their child was diagnosed in the womb with Spina Bifida or Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome) and they could not bear the thought of what life would have been like for him. So they had an abortion. It was for their beloved child’s own good, of course.

Now I am not making this up...


The ghouls of nationalized health care..

This is so cruel. And similar cases will multiply as federal administrators take over every last health care decision for every last person in these United States. They will calculate the cost of submission to the Sixth Commandment and find murder quicker and cheaper. And Christian fathers will be helpless to protect their wives and children.

Mark my words.


Nelson Mandela's defense speech, "I Am Prepared To Die" (with links)...


Nelson Mandela has died. As Scripture puts it, God has blown upon this fair flower and he has returned to dust:

All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the LORD blows upon it... - Isaiah 40:6, 7

But who was Nelson Mandela? If you recognize that Reformed theology is simply Biblical theology, it's important for you to know.

Why?

The history of Nelson Mandela's fatherland and apartheid is bound up with Reformed men and their theology just as the history of the Confederacy, the Civil War, and slavery in America is bound up with Reformed men and their theology. God hates injustice, oppression, and the bloodshed of innocents, whether the oppressor is Pharoah in Egypt, Jezebel in Israel, Nero in Rome, the Roman Catholics in the Middle Ages, or Protestant and Reformed Christians in South Africa or these United States.

So then, to help with an understanding of Nelson Mandela's work, here is the text of the opening speech he gave at his Rivonia Trial in 1964. The title of the speech comes from the speech's final words, "I am prepared to die."

For what was Mandela prepared to die? Read on and see. I've provided links for names, organizations, legislative acts, and terms average readers would find confusing. Near the end of the text, I've provided a link to an audiotape of the speech you can listen to as you read the final paragraphs of the text.

Nelson Mandela spoke for four hours. When he declared "I am prepared to die," as he said it, he looked directly in the eyes of the presiding judge, Dr. Quartus de Wet.  During the rest of the trial he never again made eye contact with Judge de Wet. Following his conviction, Nelson Mandela spent twenty-seven years in prison, eighteen of those years on Robben Island. South Africa's President F. W. de Klerk released him on February 11, 1990.

My son Taylor is married to a beautiful Afrikaans-speaking South African woman...


Lawsuit claims chimpanzees should be recognized as "persons," and liberated...

Back in the late seventies at UW-Madison, my friend Keith Yandell suggested I take a course offered by the Philosophy Department titled "Environmental Ethics." Taught by the then-chairman of the department, Jon Moline, the course began with Dr. Moline presenting to the class a current effort in California to establish in court that Redwood trees were persons and deserved protection as such under U.S. law.

A decade or so later, I read a piece in the New York Times Book Review written by a professor of philosophy at Harvard. He was reviewing a book by a Kentucky philosopher which made the case that distinctions between men and animals were simply "speciesism." That part is boring.

What I found noteworthy was the Harvard man's reaction...


Supreme Court accepts Hobby Lobby appeal...

The Supreme Court has accepted an appeal of the requirement by President Obama's nationalized medicine that corporations pay for the murder of unborn children. The appeal filed by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a Mennonite woodworking company, is based on the companies' religious opposition to providing their employees abortifacient drugs such as "Plan B."

So now we'll see if Chief Justice Roberts has "grown" into lying about the First as well as the Tenth Amendment. Also whether he sees baby-slaughter as no big deal.

Reporting on SCOTUS agreeing to the review, USA Today...


The Seventh Circuit Court rules for religious freedom...

We praise God that, this past week, the Seventh Circuit ruled that owners of two closely held corporations (one in Indiana, the other in Illinois) could assert religious freedom rights against nationalized healthcare's contraception mandate. The Seventh Circuit entered preliminary injunctions against the federal government imposing any enforcement penalties against these two companies.

Quoting from...


Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA) responds: the best defense is a good offense...

(This post is the follow-up to an earlier post which should be read first. The earlier post is titled "Christian Medical and Dental Association doesn't want abortion to divide Christians...".)

Last week, we heard from Christian Medical and Dental Association's CEO, Dr. David Stevens. He responded to our earlier post (detailing CMDA's punitive actions toward a dental student who taught a pro-life position in CMDA's Bible study) by laying out his subordinates' explanations of their actions. Thus, his communication with us was simply a number of bullet points, criticizing the dental student's teaching method and character.

There was no acknowledgement that CMDA was wrong in disciplining the student for his pro-life commitments. In our earlier work seeking a resolution to this matter, this is the response we had gotten from CMDA regional and national staff, so we weren't surprised Dr. Stevens continued this line of defense.

The same day we heard from Dr. Stevens, World Magazine contacted us asking for more information. We declined, explaining that we wanted first to work toward a private resolution.


R2K is segregationist...

It's a regular theme in the New Testament history that the Jewish religious leaders felt the need to guard the precarious relationship that existed between their fractious nation and the Roman Empire. If they did not keep the peace, who would? And if the peace was not kept, what would happen to their synagogues and to the Temple and to their authority and wealth and status?

It is always the established religious leaders who feel the threat God’s servants the prophets pose to their carefully negotiated separation of powers between church and state. The balance is precarious and only they are qualified to maintain it—for the good of the people, of course!

Why "R2K" instead of "2K"?

First, a word about names. Why do I make it a habit to refer to this modern novelty as “R2K,” the initial 'R' standing for "Radical" or "Revisionist" two kingdom theology, rather than simply “2K” standing for "Two Kingdom"?

In the Reformed and Protestant world, fathers of the Church have long referred to “two-kingdom” distinctions they have employed as necessary to delineate the proper spheres of authority of state and church; of city councilmen on the one hand and deacons, pastors, and elders on the other hand. These two kingdoms or spheres of authority Martin Luther variously referred to as the Kingdoms of this World and the Kingdom of Christ, the Kingdoms of God’s Left Hand and the Kingdom of God’s Right Hand. So in that sense we could say that, insofar as the modern Escondido Theology or R2K men are speaking about the distinctions between the state and Church, and therefore the distinction between the Kingdom of this World and the Kingdom of God, they are joining a large and long conversation dear to the heart of each one of us pastors, elders, and believers living in this world while not of it.

In his helpful article, “One Kingdom or Two?”, Cornelius Venema writes:

…the two kingdoms [R2K] doctrine is alleged to be the venerable, original position of the Reformed churches. …(This) historical claim on the part of two kingdoms [R2K] advocates… represents a tendentious reading of the historical record.

- in "One Kingdom or Two? An Evaluation of the 'Two Kingdoms' Doctrine as an Alternative to Neo-Calvinism," by Cornelis Venema. Mid-America Journal of Theology 23 (2012): 77-129.

In Protestantism, both Presbyterian/Reformed and Lutheran, we now have five centuries of discussion and debate of this distinction and how best to work it out. No one has arrived at a solution to the tension and conflict that have always prevailed between the two kingdoms and it was this same conflict that led to this exchange between Pilate and Jesus Christ...{C}


Christian Medical and Dental Association doesn't want abortion to divide Christians...

Then they themselves also will answer, "Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?" (Matthew 25:44)

(NOTE: CMDA's president, vice-president, and midwest regional director have all responded to the content of this post by attacking the gifts and character of the young dental student whose teaching on abortion CMDA had disciplined—as outlined below. We have now published a follow-up post in which we document CMDA's defense, responding with a careful and detailed demonstration of their attack's errors of fact.)

Walmart has an unimpeachable return policy. Read about it on their national website. It is one of the most generous in the industry, but it's only as good as the implementation at your local Walmart when you try to get a refund. If every Walmart were free to reject returns, the official policy wouldn't be worth the paper it was printed on. This is true of every national organization with local branches. The acid test of a national policy is its local implementation.

This is seen all the time with parachurch ministries. For example, the national office of Inter-Varsity was unwilling to discipline a local chapter that promoted homosexuality. Similarly, although the PCA issued a fevered condemnation of Federal-Vision theology at the national level, she hasn't been able to find any local individual who holds to what she condemned. Men tried for Federal-Vision leanings are always exonerated.

The most recent example is the Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA). Officially opposed to abortion since 1985, CMDA punished a man who taught their curriculum and position on abortion in one of their local Bible studies. When their official position against abortion becomes painfully local, they undermine it. They are prophets at a distance, but at home they desire peace.

Case in point: a godly, irenic dental student (let's call him John*) attending a CMDA Bible study was asked to take over teaching the study...


Theological critique of Escondido Two Kingdoms theology (X): "There is no such thing as a secular society."

In its use of society as the foundational term for human community, modern political philosophy conceives of civic life on the pattern of a group of acting subjects in a purely human space. The ever recurring image of such a group is one of players around a table. As Thomas Hobbes wrote, "It is in the laws of a commonwealth, as in the laws of gaming: Whatsoever the gamesters all agree on, is injustice to none of them." It is to be found again in the work of Adam Smith, who speaks of the "great chess-board of human society." The image loses its metaphorical self-consciousness and becomes conceptually foundational in later authors. John Rawls' description of the original position provides a good example. And history takes political theory seriously. Our political communities have become "societies" resembling ever more closely a club of gamblers.

For the game to be fair, it must be secular. The space of our democratic societies is flat. Nobody is allowed to stand higher than others. The first to be excluded is the One Above, especially when people claim to have received from him some message or mission that puts them closer to his divine reality—and thus higher... {C}


Life in Kinshasa...

Our son-in-law, Pastor Lucas Weeks, is the descendant of two generations of missionaries to the nation formerly known as the Congo or Zaire, but now variously referred to as the Democratic Republic of Congo, DR Congo, Congo-Kinshasa, or the DRC. His parents, Ron and Doris Weeks, live in Kinshasa and Lucas just forwarded this piece from the National Geographic that does a good job describing life in Kinshasa.

A couple excerpts:

“I met an eastern Congo woman here in 1998, a pregnant rape victim,” Tsimba tells me. “I asked her if she would keep the kid.

She said, ‘Yes, he’s innocent.’ This became my inspiration. I showed her the sculpture when I was done. She was excited, even delighted, that someone was telling this to the world. She said, ‘Yes, this is how I suffered.’ I sold the sculpture and used the money to... pay for the hospital and for clothes, so that she and her baby could go back to Goma.”

And:


Birdies and babies...

Over in the UK, since 1954 it's been a crime to collect the eggs of ninety species of wild birds. Hypothetically, one may engage in oology as long as the subject of one's study (eggs) can be documented to have been collected before 1954. Otherwise, one's oology must be done in the wild and from a distance—through binoculars with great care taken there be no feelings of insecurity on the part of the nesting mother or father. Intimidating encroachments will be prosecuted.

The U.K.'s National Wildlife Crime Unit has been so successful with her constabularies, swat teams (no exageration), and prosecutions that oologists are resorting to collecting pictures instead of eggs. The sneaks climb trees and take pictures of the eggs, and although no one has yet been imprisoned for taking such pictures, head of the Wildlife Crime Unit, Nevin Hunter, warns his patience is growing thin. "The penalty is available," Nevin shrieks.

Speaking of shrikes...


Mr. President, any one of 1,350,000 unborn babies could have been you last year...

Our President is trying to emote in a popular direction, giving a "surprise speech" about how "Trayvon Martin could have been me thirty-five years ago." Let's give him the benefit of the doubt and accept his claim he used to sit on top of men pummeling them while they cried for help. I must say that, myself, I'm sceptical. But again, let's give him the benefit of the doubt.

Honestly, though; while he's at it, why doesn't our president emote over the 1,350,000 defenseless infants torn to shreds last year who never pummeled anything other than their mother's womb. From inside. With their feet.

This is not to defend George Zimmerman. I pity him. But not as much for the lifetime of hostility he will endure as the lifetime of bloodguilt he will suffer. A regular bad dream I've had for years is that I've murdered a man and can't bear the guilt.

George Zimmerman didn't kill a man of similar age who was also armed and present on the field of combat. He killed a young boy who was unarmed and was only punching him...


God protects widows and orphans; blesses with fruitfulness and long life...

In my reading this morning, I took delight in several texts. First, this concerning our Heavenly Father's personal care for the widow and orphan:

You shall not afflict any widow or orphan. If you afflict him at all, and if he does cry out to Me, I will surely hear his cry; and My anger will be kindled, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless. - Exodus 22:22-24)

Oppression of the fatherless leads to...


That contentious abortion bill...

Top headline on Google news right now, pulled from USA Today:

Texas House passes contentious abortion bill

Yes yes, stupid, pig-headed, ignorant Texans passing their contentious bill that will finally bring some measure of protection to little babies tenderly cared for in their mothers' wombs who until now have been completely exposed to the depredations of the rabid bloodthirsty forces of Planned Parenthood who hate little babies and make a living off slaughtering hundreds of thousands of them each year.

Nasty stupid Texans and their "contentious abortion bill."


The story behind the cartoon/a fond farewell to Chuck Asay...

Back in 1988, the 200th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. was held in St. Louis, home of the infamous 1857 Dred Scott decision of the Supreme Court of these United States which denied the legal standing of slaves and left our nation on the brink of Civil War.

At the time I was a board member of Presbyterians Pro-Life and we were mounting a considerable challenge to our denomination's promotion of the slaughter of the unborn by bringing Mother Teresa to address the assembly (of course, outside the official venue and time). The second prong of our attack was through our daily publications and exhibit booth, so we contacted Chuck Asay, a Presbyterian brother who did editorial cartoons for the Colorado Springs Gazette, and asked him to do a series of cartoons showing the parallels between Dred Scott and Roe v. Wade, the oppression of slaves and the slaughter of the unborn.

Chuck did a wonderful job with those eight or ten cartoons. We mounted a number of them on our PPL exhibit and featured them prominently in our broadsides handed out to the commissioners each day. Between Mother Teresa's prophetic condemnation of the "murder" of the unborn which was attended by every last one of the commissioners (as well as all St. Louis's Roman Catholic hierarchy, the mayor, and every media person within two-hundred and fifty miles) and Chuck's cartoons, the earth shook at that assembly and the counter-attack was swift.

A few blacks employed by men at the top of our denominational bureaucracy came onto the exhibit floor waving signs and shouting in front of our exhibit calling us "racist" for noting the parallel between the oppression of slaves and the slaughter of babies. Media and television cameramen showed up for the shouting, and now that they were on TV, the shouters shouted more loudly about racism and demanded we...