on the occasion of the March for Life

on the occasion of the march for life, here is a repost from September 2008 of a survivor of an attempt to end her life:

here is a clip of a talk by a young lady who survived an attempt on her life and lived to tell the tale (albeit with scars). Makes for an interesting point of view on life. she gets the God centered view better than most of us.

hat tip to Adrian Warnock.

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Kay Bailey Hutchison on abortion

just now at the debate, Senator Hutchison ducked the question on whether she supports Roe v. Wade or not. She does. She has been explicit about her strong support for it in the past.

Here she is in 1993:

UPDATE:

From Texas Alliance for Life

[I]n 2003, [Hutchison] voted for a resolution that stated “‘It is the sense of the Senate that the decision of the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade was appropriate and secures an important constitutional right; and such decision should not be overturned.”

She has also voted twice in favor of embryonic stem cell research, which requires the destruction of human embryos.

“Always” on the side of life? Hardly.

a change of heart

interesting story of the conversion of a planned parenthood center director from providing abortions to pro-life. Probably everybody has seen this already, but just in case you haven’t, here it is.

hat tip to just about everybody that I normally read.

powerful stuff

Timmy Brister posted this video “Choosing Thomas” and like he says it is worth the next ten minutes of your time.

somewhat related, Randy Alcorn talks here about the absolute necessity for Christians to have a well developed theology of suffering to avoid falling into serious error when something like the events in the video above come into our lives.

I wrote If God Is Good because the question of suffering and evil is the most commonly raised and perplexing problem there is. It’s unusual to have serious prolonged interactions about believing in God, with either believers or unbelievers, without them raising it.

I am also deeply concerned with how radically unbiblical viewpoints are being assimilated into the thinking of evangelical Christians. In If God Is Good, I wrote four chapters critiquing the attempts of misguided theologians to resolve the problem of evil by minimizing the divine attributes of omnipotence, omniscience, goodness, or love.
….
I also wanted to address the issue of mystery and faith, and our need to trust God even when we can’t see his purposes. That used to be a central part of faith, but somehow it seems more difficult for modern Christians. I argue that while the nature of faith is to trust God for what we do not see, we may base our trust in him on many things we have seen—His Word, His creation, and how he has shown himself in others in our lives and throughout history. I point out that if you write down the worst things that have ever happened to you and then write down the best things, there is often, especially when sufficient time has passed, a shocking overlap of the lists, confirming the workings of God’s sovereign grace.

new polling on abortion

these are some very interesting numbers.

A new Gallup Poll, conducted May 7-10, finds 51% of Americans calling themselves “pro-life” on the issue of abortion and 42% “pro-choice.” This is the first time a majority of U.S. adults have identified themselves as pro-life since Gallup began asking this question in 1995.

…..
The May 2009 survey documents comparable changes in public views about the legality of abortion. In answer to a question providing three options for the extent to which abortion should be legal, about as many Americans now say the procedure should be illegal in all circumstances (23%) as say it should be legal under any circumstances (22%). This contrasts with the last four years, when Gallup found a strong tilt of public attitudes in favor of unrestricted abortion.

at the link above, there is a lot more information as well as pretty charts.

Obama on abortion

Joseph Bottum has a well written and insightful piece on the politics of abortion under Obama. Here are some clips but go read the whole thing.

On abortion, Obama is the complete man, his support so ingrained that even his carefully controlled public speaking can’t help revealing it. He’s not a fanatic about abortion; he’s what lies beyond fanaticism. He’s the end product of hard-line support for abortion: a man for whom the very question of abortion seems unreal. The opponents of abortion are, for Obama, not to be compromised with or even fought with, in a certain sense. They are, rather, to be explained away as a sociological phenomenon—their pro-life view something that will wither away as they gradually come to understand the true causes of the economic and social bitterness they have, in their undereducated and intolerant way, attached to abortion.

The result is already clear, with an announcement from Obama’s transition team, only days after the election, that the new president will remove all restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research immediately on taking office. The Mexico City policy (which requires all groups that receive federal funds not to perform or promote abortion abroad) will disappear the first day, as well. Back in 1992, the Clinton administration gave social policy at the United Nations and other treaty organizations—all the minor jobs in international affairs—to the far left as part of its spoils in the Democratic victory, and the first signs suggest that the Obama administration will do the same.
The Freedom of Choice Act currently before Congress is as extreme a measure as the nation has ever seen, invalidating for the entire country all restrictions on abortion before viability, including parental notification, waiting periods, and partial-birth abortion bans. Obama was one of its sponsors in the Senate, and in July he announced at a Planned Parenthood event that “the first thing I’d do, as president, is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That’s the first thing that I’d do.”
….
More to the point, such advice is probably unnecessary. Without resistance from the White House, the congressional Democrats are certain to push beyond the general public’s views on the life issues. And when they do, the Republicans will be forced to trumpet the Democrats’ extremism. That’s an inherent pressure on the politics of opposition, and it will keep the life issues in the news, whatever pro- Roe Republican pundits and activists wish.

Meanwhile, what should the pro-life movement do? The reasoning offered by some of the Catholic public figures who supported Obama was embarrassingly bad, but we should not, for that reason alone, admit to the perpetual tying of the pro-life cause to the Republican party. The Republicans have done some good and some ill for the cause since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, but, however one weighs it up, the results are not full repayment for the support pro-lifers have given the party over those years. The coming fights promise no new seriousness on the part of the Republicans. They talk a better game than they play, in Congress at least, and they have often been better on the life issues when they are out of power than when they are in.

emphasis added

a Christian approach to the election

As I mentioned below, Adrian Warnock linked to a blog post by Justin Taylor on a Christian approach to this election.

Justin’s post is just outstanding. Go read the whole thing. His post is mainly a response to this John Piper video on the election so watch it first then go read Justin’s whole post.

Some points that Justin makes that I would like to amplify.

on Single Issue politics quoting a John Piper paper from 1/1/95:

Here’s the thesis: “I believe that the endorsement of the right to kill unborn children disqualifies a person from any position of public office.” Piper ends by saying that his conviction is “never to vote for a person who endorses such an evil—even if he could balance the budget tomorrow and end all taxation.”

Can I just say “amen”? this is the perspective that people who understand God’s heart should have. (wow, Keith, that was kind of a bold thing to say, are you sure?) Of this fact, I am sure. I can point you to verse after verse after passage after passage throughout the scripture where God insists that “true religion” is to care for the widows, orphans, the poor, the powerless, the weak, the oppressed etc. etc. etc. God gets very angry in scripture at the children of Israel who think only of themselves and their own comfort instead of those weaker and less fortunate. Jesus repeatedly challenges the Pharisees by telling them that if they understood mercy and caring for the weak, then they would have a better understanding of God than memorizing and keeping all of the law. If you want specific verses/passages etc, just let me know in the comments and I will fill up an update with example after example.

It is difficult to imagine a group of people that is weaker and more oppressed than unborn babies in the United States the last 35 years. Approximately 40 to 50 million of them have been unceremoniously exterminated over that time. Statistically, by far, the least safe environment for a child in this country over that time has been in his or her mother’s womb. Our great shame.

Then Justin makes another great point:

(1) The fact that God ordains all things (i.e., his secret will) has a limited effect on our decision making. It can’t prescribe how we act, but it can prevent us from having the wrong perspective (e.g., anxiety, fear, despair, misplaced trust, etc.). But in terms of interpreting events, the main way to read providence is backwards (as John Flavel wrote: “Some providences, like Hebrew letters, must be read backward”).

(2) The fact that God ordains means ensures that our actions have significance. The ordained outcome can never be seen as an excuse for complacency or fatalism.

In other words, we can accept God’s complete sovereignty in the outcome of this election, but still get out and vote as if the outcome depends on us. Believing in God’s sovereignty is not fatalism.

finally, Justin gets to the meat of the coconut:

Now with all of that said, you may be surprised to hear me say that I really do resonate with Piper’s underlying point. Politics can easily become a source of idolatry. We are dual citizens with a higher allegiance to the City of God. If our candidate loses, we should not grieve as the world grieves. And yes, there will be something enormously significant, historic, and amazing if we elect our first black president.

But . . .

But I want to plead with fellow evangelicals to recognize that this is a watershed election with regard to abortion. Barack Obama has promised to make signing the Freedom of Choice Act his first order of business in the White House–and with a Democratic Congress, he will be able to make this happen.

emphasis added.

Our Kingdom is not of this world. as I said before, no matter what happens in this election, our King will still be on the throne and in charge of all things. Thus, it makes no sense for us to grieve over the outcome of this election as those in this world to whom it means everything.

Here is Justin’s list from the Knights of Columbus of all of the incremental gains in the war against abortion that would be lost with the stroke of a pen if the Freedom of Choice Act is signed into law:

The Knights of Columbus recently catalogued the many small successes achieved in the pro-life political process since 1973:
The Hyde Amendment, which restricts federal funding for abortions;

The federal law banning partial birth abortions, which was finally upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in April 2007;

The “Mexico City Policy,” which has barred the use of federal taxpayers’ money to pay for abortions in other countries;

Laws in 44 states that preserve a parental role when children under 18 seek abortions;

Laws in 40 states that restrict late-term abortions;

Laws in 46 states that protect the right of conscience for individual health care providers;

Laws in 27 states that protect the right of conscience for institutions;

Laws in 38 states that ban partial birth abortions;

Laws in 33 states that require counseling before having an abortion;

And laws in 16 states that provide for ultrasounds before an abortion.

With a stroke of the pen, all of these would be gone.

;

Justin’s parting thought, I would like to adopt as my own. He nails it with this:

I believe evangelicals should care deeply–though not idolatrously–about this election, and that they should do what they can to stop, or at least slow, the slaughter of the innocent. Voting is one of the things you can do. I encourage you to do it, and to do so with a view toward the weakest and most defenseless members of the human race–3,700 of whom are being killed every single day in the United States