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A couple of years ago, a pro-life organization in which I serve as a volunteer, West Virginians For Life (the statewide affiliate of the National Right to Life Committee) distributed a mailer regarding a then-upcoming election. A seemingly sincere pro-abortion woman, Amanda, sent her response (regarding the mailer) by way of publicly commenting at one of our pro-life websites.
Here is her brief comment and my open reply follows it:
Dear Pro lifers of West Virginia,
I just got your advertisement in the mail today telling me not to vote for Natalie Tennat [sic]. Not only am I voting for Natalie for Senate, but she is the only reason I am going to vote. Your philosophies seem to govern much around religion and your love for the Constitution, but only in so far that they pertain to you. You do not care about the rights of others. The right to an abortion, freedom of and from religion. You do not care about women and how the right to abortion, sex education and birth control is a matter of Public Health.
I believe in your freedom of speech as much as believe in my own. I do not wish anything less, or any ill will. All I ask is you refrain from making laws that do not pertain to yourself. If you don’t want an abortion than [sic] don’t have one, but when you take the access away from women you are causing harm onto them. Also, please refrain from using laws from the Old Testament to define your purpose when you yourself do not follow all the laws. Thank you.
Note: for several points in my reply (below) scholarly support is available in the “40 Years of Roe” symposium video available here.
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to the mailer.
Did you know that every time a woman has an abortion, she significantly increases her risk of breast cancer, and significantly increases her risk of future preterm delivery, and significantly increases her chance of a future baby being afflicted with cerebral palsy? Not only does a baby whose heartbeat and brainwaves are detectable lose its life in every abortion (practically all abortions happen after the baby has already reached such a stage of development), but the mother is a victim as well.
Many studies have demonstrated links to not only breast cancer, preterm births, and cerebral palsy, but also depression, suicide, and divorce, just to list a few. In almost all cases, the abortion is done merely for the sake of convenience. Quite often it is done because the mother or father don’t like the gender of the baby, or because they don’t want to raise a child that might have an imperfection or disability (and often the doctors are wrong in forecasting such things). Furthermore, not only do the aforementioned detriments occur, but there is a “dose effect” in that with each repeated abortion, her odds get exponentially worse for having these issues. To watch a free online, scholarly presentation of these issues, click here: http://harrison.wvforlife.com/2013/04/28/40-years-of-roe-recap/
Also, did you know that America’s infatuation with abortion is a result of the racism of the people who conjured this movement? Do you know the real history behind it? Did you know the abortion industry’s biggest player, Planned Parenthood, was once openly known by its earlier name as an American Eugenics organization? Do you know the history and motives of Eugenics? Check out maafa21.com – you can watch a startling documentary for free on youtube.com here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqLyyIsKyCU (or via the maafa21.com site, to watch there, via a free code).
Are you aware that the abortionists use (and have used) targeting of their placement of clinics, and targeting of ads, etc, to increase the abortion rate among ethnic minorities? Did you know that before they got American women to “want” to kill their own children, they took in hand to get policies in place to sterilize American women, and did so, by the many thousands, at times without the women’s consent and sometimes even without their knowledge? And that it was especially targeted against Blacks and native American Indians?
Did you know that abortions also have noted detrimental effects on the fathers of the aborted babies as well?
You seem VERY sincere. Please consider that your accusation that we (as pro-life people) don’t care about the rights of others is simply a mistaken mindset. We care about the right to life, and right to good health, of both the women, the men, and the babies affected by the terrible blight of abortion.
I hope you will take some time to learn more about this crucial topic.
Pastor Doug Joseph
Christian Apostolic Church (UPCI)
Let’s start with a fair portrayal of an alluring, albeit radical, position taken by some within the pro-life movement. The following real conversation actually happened recently on social media:
A friend posted a reasonable comment about the fact that the US Supreme Court panel in 1973, which handed down the Roe v. Wade opinion (in a 7-2 decision) had several justices who had been appointed by Republican presidents. Underneath his post, came this:
Now, a quick word about why I’m continuing my response here, instead of there, and who I’m trying to convince with this post (hint: it’s not the radical guy arguing with me on my friend’s wall).
First, any comment you make (on social media or anywhere else) that someone else has the power to delete, is one you may well see disappear, because it means you’re playing on someone else’s turf, not your own. The above conversation was under my friend’s SCOTUS post (which means he could delete my replies, though I doubt he would), and it was also under the radical person’s comment, and he’s more likely to delete my comments if either he thinks I’ve trounced his argument or he gets tired of me replying (i.e. continual one-ups in a battle over who has the last word).
Second, in any controversial issue, there will be a bell curve, in which one extreme consists of the few on the right side that agree with you and could never be convinced otherwise, and the other extreme consists of the few on the wrong side that disagree with you and could never be convinced otherwise, and the cherry, so to speak, is the huge group in the middle of the bell curve, who are open to reason/persuasion, and could potentially be convinced either way. The radical guy (arguing in the screenshot above) is clearly beyond the reach of my reasoning. Why do I say this? He’s already found what he thinks is a solid argument, and long before he ever encountered me, he had already made his argument so often that he’s what we might call “doubled down” on it, such that he’s personally vested in its validity. For him to ever hear reason and turn back now, would be, according to his words (not mine), “silly,” and committing a “sin” of adopting a position with those who “do not care” about aborted babies. His mind is already made up, don’t bother him with facts. Can someone turn back? Yes, but it’s rare. A Saul who becomes a Paul is powerful, but very scarce.
Why the radicals are wrong
If you were able to read all the way through his replies, you saw the comparison to the Holocaust against the Jews, and you hopefully felt the weight of the radical argument. You sense the allure of it, yet something does not quite sit right. I hope to help you put your finger on exactly why the argument does not sit right.
Since he already pointed to the Holocaust against the Jews in a comparison to the Abortion Holocaust of pre-born humans, please allow me to argue from that comparison, despite both Holocausts being a nightmare of grim historical reality.
The radical approach above is a straw-man argument because it presupposes that the Allies’ war against the Axis powers—the fight from without, if you will—was the only kind of war that could be waged, and furthermore, in his argument, the radical guy actually claims that was the only kind of fight that was waged! When I read the lunacy of statements such as “Abortion is legal because we do not care, just like the Germans did not care if the Jews were being murdered,” it makes me want to say, “Did you never hear of Dietrich Bonhoeffer? Have you never read of the heroes, some Christian, some Islamic, some German, who risked their lives trying to save what few Jewish lives they could, from within the Nazi system?” It would do the radical guy some good to read/watch Schindler’s List, about Oskar Schindler, an ethnic German businessman, who saved the lives of more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees from the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. Far be it from me to point out the history, since it’s only a click away from anyone on social media.
So, imagine with me, if you will, that war can be waged on two fronts simultaneously, one working under the best strategy possible for how to abolish abortion (in WW2 parlance, defeat the Axis powers), i.e. a full frontal assault, but not one devoid of strategy, and another to undermine from within the reality of the existing system, using whatever means, regulation laws, acts to defund, prayer walks, sidewalk vigils, life chains, counseling centers, ad campaigns and social media memes, etc. (in WW2 parlance, subvert and resist the Axis powers). The radical approach claims the latter of those two is evil, because it somehow legitimizes the system, since it’s not the full frontal assault happening from without and because a lot of people are still dying. That’s just wrongheaded.
Just as the radical guy was wrong to pretend that no one in Germany cared, that none under the boot of the Nazis was working to subvert the forces of evil, and wrong to ignore the precious lives their work saved, by focusing his argument solely on the ongoing death around them as proof of their failure, so also the radical argument is simply fallacious to claim that no lives have been saved during the past 43 years of the pro-life movement fighting against the scourge of abortion. How can he ignore the evidence of some 11,000 lives saved because of the ban on partial birth abortions? Who is he getting his information from, the pro-aborts?
There is an old saying that “you only have one chance to make a good first impression.” Well, all those on the pro-life side in the current culture war should be aware that any given legal argument only has one chance for the Supreme Court’s “first glimpse” at the argument. That first glimpse, if the case gets taken up by the court and an opinion handed down, will result in a precedent being set. Contrary to what some people think, the worldview of a Supreme Court justice matters! Put simply, we need to have a pro-life Supreme Court empaneled before we have a case to abolish abortion come before them, or the case will just see the effort overturned.
Contrary to the radical’s argument, we are winning.
When I told the radical we are winning the culture war, that we’re succeeding in changing the hearts and minds of society, he expressed a state of denial and responded saying that is “so so not true.” Again, the facts contradict his argument. Just Google “millennials are more likely to be prolife” and you will get this:
www.washingtontimes.com/news/…/millennials-increasingly-oppose-abortion-even-if-…Jun 30, 2016 – The survey found 53 percent of millennials believe abortion should be … to 48 percent who said they were more likely to identify as “pro–choice.www.washingtontimes.com/news/…/millennials–abortion-views-trend-pro–life-despite-…Jun 30, 2016 – Majority of millennials support tougher abortion restrictions, but … with 48 percent who said they were more likely to identify as pro–choice.dailysignal.com/2016/03/04/why-millennials-lean-pro–life/Mar 4, 2016 – Millennials lean more pro–life than the generation preceding them because of advances in medical technology and science, leaders in …www.lifenews.com/…/surveys-show-young-people-more–pro–life-than-ever-before-as…Jul 11, 2016 – … People More Pro–Life Than Ever Before as Millennials Oppose Abortion. … are less likely than their older counterparts to identify as “pro–life.www.frcblog.com/…/millennials-across-united-states-are-more–likely-identify-pro–life…Feb 8, 2016 – The study shows the decline is nearly equal in both the most pro–life and pro–
choice states. The decline in the least pro–life states: Vermont …standamerica.us/millennials-across-the-united-states-are-more–likely-to-identify-as-pro…Jan 12, 2016 – Millennials across the United States are more likely to identify as … The only most pro–life state on the list to see a rise in abortions is Louisiana.redalertpolitics.com/2016/01/14/millennials-generation-likely-oppose-abortion/Jan 14, 2016 – Although Americans are split down the middle on whether they identify as pro–life or pro–choice, abortion is viewed as less acceptable than it …redalertpolitics.com/2016/…/survey-millennials-oppose-abortion-yet-reject-pro–life-tit…
Jul 1, 2016 – Survey: Millennials oppose abortion, yet reject pro–life title … 48 percent of millennials said they were more likely to identify as “pro–choice.”
So, while I declined to try to battle for the last word in a futile argument with a radical, let me conclude with the last comment I made before breaking off with him:
It will take a lot of time and hard work to win over the culture by changing hearts and minds. We have the truth and all the science on our side. We’re winning. We’re on the same side. If we can avoid maligning each other, we will see victory.
Join me as part of the Pro-Life Generation that will see abortion ended within our lifetime. We’re in this for the long haul. We’re in this to save as many lives as we can along the way. If regulation spares even one life, it will have been wise and right. It has spared many lives. The thousands of babies who have been spared from death, even during the sad reign of “Planned Parenthood” funding and “Roe v Wade” opinions, declare that we are on the side of righteousness.
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Speaking as a private citizen, I’m here to bring Christian believers (especially those residing in West Virginia) an important message regarding our ongoing election. We normally would say “upcoming election,” but due to early voting, it’s actually ongoing. Americans, including West Virginians, are voting early in record numbers. One estimate is that 40% of all ballots may be cast early. Whether you vote early or on November 8, be sure to personally verify that your vote choices match the tally shown on your ballot. As a Christian American, I encourage you to vote biblical values. I’m voting Pro-Life, Pro-Israel, Pro-Constitution, including Pro-2nd Amendment, etc. The next president will likely get to appoint multiple Supreme Court justices and scores of federal judges. The worldview of those appointees will determine America’s judicial climate for a generation. Whatever you do, fellow believer, don’t stay home this election. Click here for a voter guide from West Virginians For Life, to know which candidates are Pro-Life. Here are some endorsements from that list:
- For President: Donald Trump
- For US Congress, districts 1, 2, and 3: David McKinley, Alex Mooney, Evan Jenkins
- For WV Governor: Bill Cole
- For WV Attorney General: Patrick Morrisey
- For WV Secretary of State: Mac Warner
- For WV Auditor: John McCuskey
- For WV State Treasurer: either Ann Urling, or John Perdue
- For WV Commissioner of Agriculture: either Kent Leonhardt, or Walt Helmick
For WV State Senate and WV House of Delegates, simply find your senate district and house district on the list, to see the endorsed candidate.
Lately, rather than pray “God bless America,” I pray “God save America.” Do your duty, and vote!
Kim Davis has done an admirable job of executing the portion of her job she could do, and respectfully declining on the part she cannot do, due to the legal chaos of the moment. The flawed and lawless decision of the SCOTUS in June has caused chaos. Between that lawless ruling, and the lawless command of the Kentucky governor to the state’s county clerks, and the lawless command of federal judge Bunning directly to Kim, she is between a rock and a hard place, yet she has taken a principled stand that is to be commended.
The Kentucky laws she is sworn to uphold have not been changed, and she is still upholding them. It would require a legislative response to the SCOTUS ruling to revise any Kentucky laws.
Furthermore, of the Kentucky laws that apply to clerks regarding marriage licenses, none of them pronounce any penalty for refusing to give out a license, but they do provide a misdemeanor penalty for giving a license to a couple who may not, per Kentucky law, constitute a marriage, and that includes a misdemeanor penalty for giving a license to partners of the same sex. Since the Kentucky legislature has not revised those codes, and no revisions or new laws by the Kentucky General Assembly have been signed into law by the Kentucky governor, it is simply too early in the process for same-sex couples to be demanding any licenses there, and it is wrong (see below) for either the governor or the judge to command such, given the current situation.
The state governor is sworn to uphold Kentucky law, which directs him (not just in some ruling, but in written, duly legislated and signed law — see the KY state Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or KY RFRA) to seek out a method of enacting the government’s goals in a way that is “least restrictive” of Kim Davis’ religious freedom. Ordering her to violate existing Kentucky laws and at the same time ordering her to violate her conscience, is not the least restrictive means to enact what he is presenting as a governmental goal.
Similarly, the federal judge is bound to abide by federal law, which requires him (not just in some ruling, but in written, duly legislated and signed law — see the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or federal RFRA) to seek out a method of enacting the government’s goals in a way that is “least restrictive” of Kim Davis’ religious freedom. Ordering her to violate existing Kentucky laws and at the same time ordering her to violate her conscience, is not the least restrictive means to enact what he is presenting as a governmental goal. Jailing her is certainly not the least restrictive way.
Given the comparative ease of simply revising the marriage licenses by removing all clerks’ names from them, the accommodation she requested is quite reasonable, and both the governor and the judge violated existing laws in their actions and inactions. Since both were willing to abide by her being wrongfully incarcerated rather than accommodating her, I advocate for them to be impeached. I certainly urge protest over their violations against Kim Davis. In spite of calling for their impeachment, I have been fervently praying for them, and will continue. If you are not praying for them, you should be.
Ultimately, a pastor’s advice is of most value to fellow believers. Regarding believers, as per Romans 14, we are not to judge or condemn another believer regarding matters of conscience, even if, or rather especially when, his or her conviction of conscience differs from your own. The whole point of religious freedom is that not everyone’s religious convictions will match with yours, and we need to allow other believers, who may have stricter views than ours, to hold those views. That said, I don’t disagree with Sister Kim Davis on this. Even if I disagreed, I would still support her 100%. Even if you don’t agree with her views and position, I implore you to study Romans 14, and grant her the liberty to have a conviction you don’t share. Don’t bash her on social media. Support and pray for her, as well as praying for her state, her governor, her legislature, the judge, and the SCOTUS whose ruling caused the chaos we’re all enduring.
Mike Huckabee, former governor and current candidate for US president, when asked why he supports Kim Davis (full video below):
“Because this is the criminalization of Christianity. What she [Kim Davis] did was follow the Kentucky Constitution, voted on by 75% of the people. She has now been criminalized— She’s being held without bail. I want you to think about this. Jeffrey Dahmer [serial killer] got bail. Albert DeSalvo, the ‘Boston Strangler,’ got bail. John Wayne Gacy [serial killer and rapist] got bail. Kim Davis, because she followed her convictions, is put in jail, and is not given bail. This is an unbelievable moment in American history, and I think it may wake people up— because who’s next? Are pastors next? Florists? Caterers? Who else goes to jail before this is over? And the Supreme Court reached out into thin air and created a redefinition of marriage. There is no authorization from the Congress. The president has never signed a bill that enabled this idea of same sex marriage. And I think it’s interesting— in Tennessee, yesterday, there was a judge that dismissed a divorce case. He said, ‘If the court doesn’t think the people of Tennessee are smart enough to know when a marriage starts and what it looks like, then I guess the court doesn’t give us enough sense to know how to end one.’ So, he dismissed the divorce case. The implications of this are extraordinarily far reaching, and that’s why we’re going to be in Kentucky on Tuesday, three o’clock, to rally for Kim Davis, and to rally for religious liberty, and, most importantly, to rally for there to be consistency in the law.”
He was asked more questions and the articulate answers continued: