Modern Pensées

Reconsidering theology, philosophy, culture, economics, and politics

Posts Tagged ‘Abortion

Evangelicals: Now is Not the Time to Spike the Football

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David Green, Hobby Lobby CEO, David Green with Bible in warehouse, Culture Wars, Abortifacients, Obamacare, Affordable Care Act

I was as happy as you were that the Supreme Court upheld the closely held corporation, Hobby Lobby’s, right to not provide coverage for the 4 abortifacients in the Affordable Care Act.  While in no way do I pretend to understand the field of law, the argumentation that closely held corporations appear, function, and act more like individuals than they do corporations made common sense to me – and hence, applying the Constitutional right to dissent to the mandatory coverage of the 4 abortifacients in Affordable Care Act seemed appropriate.

All of that said, now is not the time to spike the football.  Evangelicals cannot rely on the Supreme Court, Congress, the Senate, nor the Executive branches to make America a “Christian nation” once again.  I am pretty confident that I love America as much as you do, but the reality is that we are a post-Christian nation that is growing increasingly undiscerning.  The people/culture(s) of America lack the worldview needed to understand the logical consequences of the breakdown of gender, marriage, and the family (the most fundamental unit of society).  The people/culture(s) of America have created a Swiss cheese patchwork quilt from a variety of different worldviews to piecemeal together sets of ideas that justify their behaviors, lifestyles, sin patterns, and addictions.

In other words, we cannot rely on the federal government to be a positive agent of cultural change in America.  Cultural change happens at a wide variety of levels but politicians and bureaucrats are chameleons which change their skin color based on the popular opinion – this is why politics is more of a reflection of the culture(s) rather than the driver of the culture(s).   Evangelicals have a Herculean task ahead of them to engage the drifting, aimless, and anesthetized conglomeration of sub-cultures that comprise this thing we call the United States of America.

Culture flows out of people’s wants and desires.  People’s wants and desires flow out of their hearts.  If you want cultural change then you have to see changed hearts.  If you want changed hearts then you must see the Holy Spirit remove the heart of stone and replace it with the heart of flesh.  If you want the Spirit to move then you must pray for Him to move and you must be faithful to share the Gospel winsomely, clearly, and boldly.  I am not saying don’t vote, or don’t engage politically; however, we cannot lobby or legislate people into the Kingdom of God.

 

What Racism, Human Trafficking, and Abortion All Have in Common

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Creation of Adam, Michelangelo, Sistene Chapel

Racism, human trafficking, and abortion all share a common source to their evil – the fundamental denial of human dignity – more specifically the creator endowed dignity of being made in the image of God.  This is unilaterally accomplished by carving out groups of people (by ethnicity, gender, vulnerability, or age) who are classified as sub-human and therefore not treated as equal human beings.

Racism
Racism denies the image of God in a particular ethnicity, people group, or tribal affiliation.  It seeks to make the persons of such groups or affiliations lesser than your group or affiliation. In doing so it assails the inherent worth endowed by God.  There are several idols at work in racism – power, control, pride, and ironically likely both self-love and self-hatred.

Human Trafficking
Human trafficking denies the image of God in humanity by treating certain humans as not being human at all, but rather property.  All sense of dignity and worth must be deconstructed in order to justify the human as property.  There are several idols at work in human trafficking, most notably, greed, power, control, and lust.

Abortion
Abortion denies the image of God in those of a certain size, age, gestation, or relative level of “wantedness.”  The human is made to be sub-human because it is small, young, not yet viable, and has not travelled the magical 6″ journey down the birth canal that suddenly and mysteriously imbues it with life, human rights, and legal status.  Their are several idols at work here, most notably, lust, selfishness, comfort, and escape.

While perhaps difficult to personally engage heavily on all three fronts, I find it ironic that my own age demographic seem inclined to care about the first 2 of these 3 and not the third.  I don’t know if this is for reasons of ignorance, idolatry, apathy, or all of the above.  It will be interesting how history plays itself out on this particular issue… but I am willing to wager that our grand children will think of abortion with a similar disdain that our generation holds toward the Holocaust.  

The Banality of Evil and Our Cultural Morass

I hope we would see ourselves as being more dignified than to cut up our children for the pursuit of the ideal body, the next ladder rung of the career, or the perfect orgasm.  I hope we would see ourselves as being more dignified than to allow persons to be treated as property for sex or for unpaid work for the pursuit of cheaper goods, uncommitted and intimacy-less sex (rape).  I hope we would see ourselves as being more dignified than to allow other ethnicities to be treated as less worthwhile, less valuable, and sub-human for the pursuit of feeling good about one’s own tribe at the expense of another tribe.

There is a certain banality to evil that lulls us into going along and getting along. It was the same banality that anesthetized the very bright German people into the wholesale slaughter of persons categorized as sub-human.

What we want is what we worship and what we worship controls us.  This is true if we are pagans, atheists, agnostics, or Christians. We are all slaves to our wants.  Those wants drive our ideas… And ideas have consequences… Often dire ones.  

What the heart loves, the will chooses, the mind justifies – Thomas Cranmer

Best Links of the Week

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Best Links of the Week

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Love, Forgiveness and Basketball – some backstory on Chris Paul and his relationship with his grandfather

How Taxpayers Subsidize March Madness – pretty fascinating article

Dissension growing between Putin and Medvedev as Medvedev wants to stay on as President in Russia.  This is a more important story than meets the eye.  Most Americans think Russia is irrelevant but they really ought to pay attention to what is going on there.  In my estimation, Russia is making a major comeback and is completely flying underneath the radar in the shadow of India, China, and the usual Mid East drama.

Kevin DeYoung has a nice piece on, Money and Possessions in Proverbs

The Coming Physician Shortage

21 Disturbing Statistics Regarding Student Loans

Seth Godin on the difference between hard work and long work – definitely a helpful distinction

WSJ Article, 1 in 7 americans on food stamps

Feds suing more anti-abortion activists

Osama Bin Laden articles:

Dalai Lama reaction

Gave rabbits to 12 year old neighbor (kinda creepy and reminds me a bit of Benjamin Linus)

Some breakdown of the compound and some more here

Probably the best write-up of the raid I’ve seen yet is from NPR

Bin Laden compound gets bad reviews on Google Places

Part Two of the Keynes vs. Hayek Rap Videos:

Purdue’s record setting Rude Goldberg machine:

Best Links of the Week

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The Economist has an excellent article entitled “The Disposable Academic: Why Doing a PhD is a Waste of Time”

Delightfully lengthy article in GQ about Mossad’s somewhat botched assassination of a Hamas leader in the city of Dubai. (HT:  Phill)

Fascinating article that makes a compelling case that the Stuxnet worm that has disrupted Iran’s nuclear program originated ironically from China (and not the U.S., Britain, or Israel).

50 cent makes $8,700,000.00 off one tweet.  As a corollary to this article, there is way more money in self-branding in the entertainment industry than there is in the entertainment industry.  I also think it is ridiculous where people will take investment advice from.

I watched Ted Haggard’s little special on TLC last weekend.  I won’t delve into analyzing the state of his soul but Carl Trueman does a pretty decent job.

When you hang your head in shame, the last thing you should be thinking about is whether the camera has caught your good side.

The Lazy Slander of the Pro-Life Cause

BBC article on the impact of the King James Bible on the English language.

No other book, or indeed any piece of culture, seems to have influenced the English language as much as the King James Bible. Its turns of phrase have permeated the everyday language of English speakers, whether or not they’ve ever opened a copy.

2010 Los Angeles County bill tab for illegal immigrants in public schools was $600,000,000.00.

Utterly appalling story of abortion doctor in Philadelphia.  There had been no inspection of the clinic since 1993.

Gosnell “induced labor, forced the live birth of viable babies in the sixth, seventh, eighth month of pregnancy and then killed those babies by cutting into the back of the neck with scissors and severing their spinal cord,” Williams said.

Patients were subjected to squalid and barbaric conditions at Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society, where Gosnell performed dozens of abortions a day, prosecutors said. He mostly worked overnight hours after his untrained staff administered drugs to induce labor during the day, they said.

12 Things that Will Cost Less in 2011

Starbuck’s ‘trenta’ infographic

39% of All NYC Pregnancies End in Abortion

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The 2009 NYC health study shows that 39% + of all New York City pregnancies end in abortion.   46% of all pregnancies in the Bronx.  65% of all pregnancies of those age 19 and younger.  Amongst those age 20-24 there were 49,964 live births and 50,730 abortions (50.4%).  Among non-residents under age 24 there were 1,022 total live births and 2,994 abortions (74.6%)

The full report can be found here.  Pages 84-88 at the bottom of the document (pages 75-79 of 106 in your internet browser) outline the “induced” and “spontaneous” terminations.

Appalling.

 

Also, I should also note that a friend of mine who used to work in labor and delivery mentioned that only 1 in 20 babies she delivered fit the following three criterion:

1.  Married to the father

2. Did not have an STD

3. Had not had a previous abortion

Written by Michael Graham

January 9, 2011 at 8:18 pm

Best Links of the Week

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Al Mohler reflects on the life and death of former atheist turned theist, Anthony Flew.

Norway makes “Most Humane Prison.”  Flat screen TVs.  High end design…

22-week Italian baby survives abortion and lives for two days.

Christian preacher arrested for saying that homosexuality is a sin.

Inflation up 2% in March 2010.

Fascinating BBC reader write-in article on 40 ways people still use 3.5″ floppy disks (including the Mexican, Romanian, Panamanian, and British governments).

Ligon Duncan’s  6 exhortations to the pastors of the next generation. (HT: JT)

All of the audio from last weeks Advance 2010 conference.

The Supreme Court might be “Protestant-less” for the first time ever.

Dollar re-designed by a graphic designer… its pretty awesome.

How to Survive a 35,000 Foot Fall.”

Find out how wealthy you are compared to the rest of the world.

We are Wall Street and We are More Vicious Than Dinosaurs.”  Well-written, pardon the authors triumphalism.

Infographic about where all our tax dollars go.

MIT Unveils Solar Cells Printed on Paper

Iconic photos from the Vietnam War. (HT: Challies)

12 most awkward family photos Mother’s Day edition. 5, 6, 8, and 9 are particularly awkward… and what is that animal in #8?

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