Shedding of Innocent Blood vs Guilty Blood

In California, last year, we had a petition drive at our church to abolish the death penalty in the state.  The people pushing this petition were those of whom I would refer as the “social justice” crowd.  These people, to a large extent, are very anti-death penalty but when it comes to abortion, they don’t even blink, or totally ignore it.  They are also on the very liberal side and vote for liberal or progressive politicians who are very pro-abortion.  This week the state of Arkansas executed two inmates on death row; for the first time in 12 years. As a pro-life person, it is always puzzling to reconcile this situation.  How can someone be against the death penalty and yet ignore abortion.  Let’s look at the statistics.  As of 2014 there have been over 57 million abortions since 1973 in the United States, that’s roughly 1.3 million per year average.  Since 1976 there have been 1,300 executions of death row inmates in the entire United States.

Death row inmates are guilty persons who have committed crimes against humanity and have been adjudicated by a court to be guilty and have been so condemned.  The unborn, on the other hand, are totally innocent and have been killed, not by a court, but by a mother who does not wish to have a baby for reasons such as “I’m not ready to be a mother,” or “it’s too inconvenient and it will interfere with my career.”  The unborn are fully human, as confirmed by science.  Click here for confirmation.    Have you seen drawings or pictures of how unborn children are ripped apart inside the mother?  Abortion doctors count all the limbs after an abortion to make sure they got the entire baby.  In the famous case of Dr. Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia, he even killed babies who came out whole in a botched abortion attempt.  The book, Gosnell, details what happened in excruciating details; you must read it to believe it.

The Bible is very specific when it come to shedding innocent blood:  Proverbs 6:16-19

There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.

 

Fetal Tissue Research and Defunding Planned Parenthood

With the new Trump administration there is a push to defund Planned Parenthood (PP).  This is now a hot issue.  An article in Forbes Magazine by Matthew Herper, dated August 12, 2015, titled The New England Journal of Medicine Fact-Checks the Republican Debate, the journal’s editors attack the pro-life Republican platform and especially the defunding of PP.   The article points out that the NEJM is a noted leftist organization: “its not news that the New England Journal tends to be left-leaning.”  This article and the piece below by Alta Charo are worth reading because they discuss important issues which are easily misunderstood by the general population and need a vigorous debate.

The opinion piece by Alta Charo, titled Fetal Tissue Fallout, makes some important points that need to be discussed and debated.  Charo argues that it is morally wrong to oppose fetal tissue research because, she claims, it does not increase abortions, and it provides massive dividends that save lives. Charo is a lawyer and a bioethicist at the University of Wisconsin, according to the Herper article.  I wonder why a lawyer is writing an editorial in a medical journal. Could it be that the best doctors are embarrassed to do it, or perhaps they could not find one to do it? Just asking!

I agree, there is a strong argument to be made for fetal tissue research, however, the killing of an innocent human being is never moral under any circumstances.  This is a first order issue.  What is legal is not always moral; abortion is one such example. My argument is not against fetal tissue research, it’s against the killing of an innocent human being.  Fetal tissue research is not a hot button issue with the pro-life cause; I don’t know anyone who opposes it.  Has any Republican made any statement against fetal tissue research?  I’ve never heard one yet.  What we oppose is the killing of an innocent human life, not fetal tissue research.  Let’s look at it this way.  Let’s say I’m a scientist and you have a condition that may lead me to discover a cure for a certain disease, but in order for me to get what I must have for my research, I need to kill you first and then rummage through your cadaver for my research.  Would this be acceptable? Let’s further say that I find a cure for a certain condition, would this, then, lead us to conclude we can kill living human beings in order to find cures?  When we treat human life as disposable, we lose any sense of human dignity; we’re no different from animals.

Another question is whether fetal tissue can only be obtained from aborted babies. How many fetuses die in birth, or soon thereafter or from accidents.  How about still-born babies?  In the United States there are 25,000 babies  still-born per year; nearly 68 per day.  Are aborted babies the only way to get fetal tissue? Charo’s argument fails completely. As for using aborted babies for fetal tissue research, I agree there is an argument to be made, but I will leave this specific issue for another time.  Let ‘s continue with some of her other claims:

Charo argues that fetal research is not only a right but a duty.  The article blasts those who oppose fetal tissue research.  “Morality and conscience have been cited to justify not only health care professionals’ refusal to provide certain legal medical services to their patients but even obstruction of others’ fulfillment of that duty.  She does not say it, but I assume from her tone here that she puts all abortion opponents in the same basket as opponents of fetal tissue research.  Charo makes the claim that fetal research “will in no way actually affect the number of fetuses that are aborted or brought to term.”  She provides no proof or back-up for this claim.  How does she know this?  A claim such as this violates the Universal Principle of Reason. According to this principle, anything arbitrarily asserted without evidence can be arbitrarily denied without evidence.* In addition, what difference does it make whether it affects the number of abortions or not? So what? This does not support her argument.

Charo’s article blasts the researcher who exposed the sale of fetal body parts from aborted babies by PP.  She makes this statement: “The current uproar was invited when an antiabortion activist, posing as a biomedical research company representative, captured on video – which he then edited in the most misleading way possible – discussions by Planned Parenthood physicians.”  Here we go again.  How does Charo justify making this statement?  Another arbitrary  asserted claim. How does editing the video affect the content or make it misleading?  She provides no examples.  Were the people on the video fed what they said as in a movie script? There was probably dozens of hours of video, of course it had to be edited.  How does the editing change what we see PP executives saying?  Here is one of these videos, how does editing change what you see and hear in it?  A claim arbitrarily made and arbitrarily deniable.

I could not get past page one without encountering so many subjective allegations without any evidence. The bottom paragraph of page one says this: “Planned Parenthood services – more than 95% of which involve such things as contraception and screening for sexually transmitted diseases, rather than abortion.”  This is a very misleading statistic.  How did they calculate it?  When I took statistics in college the instructor had a saying, “statistics don’t lie but liars can figure.”  Here are some facts: Planned Parenthood does 30% of the nation’s abortions – over 320,000 per year.  They receive over $500 million in tax payer funds from the government each year.  Planned Parenthood claims that only 3% of their services are for abortions. Click here for an article debunking this.  In addition, the Washington Post, no conservative newspaper, added another piece debunking this 3% myth.  Click here for the article.

*Ten Universal Principles; A Brief Philosophy of the Life Issues, Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D, Ignatius Press, 2011, pp 7&16:

They Did What Was Right in Their Own Eyes

Abortion was  a more prominent topic in our recent Presidential election.  In the third debate the question of “partial birth abortion” was discussed between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.  Trump decried how a baby could be aborted just before birth, while Clinton praised a “woman’s choice.”  She did not defend her position favoring this procedure. Click here for more details on this.

In the election of 2008 my friend told me the story of how his neighbor, a fellow Catholic from his church, could support John Kerry  who was fiercely pro abortion.  His neighbor’s response was “there are many other issues.”  This response is very typical of liberal Catholics and Christians of all faiths who favor abortion.  Indeed, to my estimation, at least 50% of my fellow Catholics at my church favor abortion at any stage, contrary to what the Catholic Church emphatically teaches.

When it comes to elections, pro-life citizens of which I am one, believe that anyone who favors abortion is automatically disqualified for any elective position in our country.  Let me give an example:  Let’s say that there is a candidate who has all the positions that you hold, as well as your world view, and he/she would be ideal for the position, but this person favors the killing of babies even after they’re born, as Peter Singer does, the famous Professor of Bio-Ethics at Princeton University.  Singer says that a baby is unaware of its own existence and therefore can be killed upon the decision of the parents within the first couple of months after birth.  Would you still vote for this person? How about a person who has all of your world view but favors the enslavement of a certain ethnic group, such as was the case prior to the Civil War?  Would this person not be disqualified for elective office?

Catholics will often tell you that they rely on their conscience to make moral decisions and they will further argue that this is supported by the Catholic Church.  Well, they’re partly right.  The Catholic Church does allow for conscience in some instances, but it must be an informed conscience, not just whatever your conscience tells you at any moment.  The Church, in no uncertain terms, condemns abortion. The Church further states that cooperation with abortion is a grave sin, meaning that if you vote for a pro-abortion politician, you are cooperating with abortion.  So if the Church emphatically states that abortion is evil and the killing of a human being, your conscience cannot overrule this. This is not an informed conscience.  If your conscience could overrule this, then why do you need a church to guide your morality, or the Bible for that matter.  All you would need is your conscience.

In the book of Judges in the Bible, the Israelites had fallen completely away from God and had given in to immorality.  By the time of the last judge of Israel, Samson, they had fallen so far from God that verse 6 of Judges 17 states: In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.  To support abortion or to cooperate in abortion by voting for a person who does is doing what is right in your own eye.

The Vestibule of Hell

In my Bible study class today, our teacher, Dr. Bill Creasy, was teaching on the Gospel of John and on Jesus’ trial by Pontius Pilate.   Pilate tried very hard to save Jesus but he got no cooperation from him.  In the end Pilate gave in to the mob, refused to do the right thing and gave him up to be crucified.   The question often is asked:  what happened to Pilate later?  Dante’s Devine Comedy, Canto 3:49-60 has a helpful hint; as summarized by Creasy:

In the Divine Comedy, Dante places Pontius Pilate not in Hell proper, but in the vestibule of Hell. Rejected by God and not accepted by Satan, he is among those who are “nowhere,” those cowardly souls who refused to make a choice in life or to stand up for what is right.

I could not help but think of those of us who are too cowardly to make the right decision when it comes to the killing of the unborn babies.  Specifically, Vice President Biden, comes to mind when he made the statement that he believes what the Catholic Church believes that life begins at conception but he is not going to “impose his faith on others,” or words to this effect. Click here for verification of this.  This position strikes me as the same as what Pilate did:  In the face of truth, cowardice takes over.

I cannot help but think what will Joe Biden do when he’s face to face with our eternal judge and is asked the same question.  Will he give the same answer?  Joe is not alone in this he has many others who believe as he does.

Assisted Suicide is Neither Compassionate nor “Death With Dignity:” Oppose California’s SB 128

It is often said that whoever controls the language controls the debate.  This is true when it comes to the “compassionate left.”  They clothe their words in such flowery language as “compassion,”  “death with dignity, “personal choices,” and other words that would lead you to believe that only a Nazi would oppose such things.  When we speak of assisted suicide, such as practiced in three U.S. states, Oregon, Vermont and Washington, such flowery words are far from the truth.  What they’re selling is death, killing and possible rampant elder abuse.  Recently, the Los Angeles Times, to its credit, published an opinion piece by a doctor, called “We should Think Twice About Death With Dignity.”  Click here  to read it.

This is a hot-button issue.  Unfortunately, many people are hugely uninformed about it.  I would not want to have my life prolonged by any extreme means.  I’ve put this in writing in my Living Trust.  However, assisted suicide is another story and needs to be carefully investigated before we decide where we stand on it.  No matter where you stand on this issue, the most damaging and scariest part about such a law is the slippery slope that it creates. Once the door is open you can never close it again.  Can we afford this?  Here are some facts to consider:

In the Netherlands and in Belgium where they have such laws, the slippery slope is no longer slippery, it’s an avalanche.   In Belgium twin brothers who were going blind decided to kill themselves because they could not stand not being able to see each other once blind. Click here to read their story.  Dutch doctors report that assisted suicide is out of control and impossible to regulate. Additionally, the law in the Netherlands has morphed into doctors administering euthanasia without a person’s consent.  The Ohio Patient’s Rights Council reports these findings:  “In addition, 8,100 patients died as a result of doctors deliberately giving them overdoses of pain medication, not for the primary purpose of controlling pain, but to hasten the patient’s death. (13) In 61% of these cases (4,941 patients), the intentional overdose was given without the patient’s consent.”

Oregon’s law is equally impossible to regulate or supervise.  See additional details related to Oregon in particular later in this article.  The possibility of abuse is huge and uncontrollable.

In California there is a pending bill, SB 128, which will bring assisted suicide to California.  Once this is legal in California it will spread like wildfire to all other states.  The experience in Oregon, Vermont and Washington has shown that there is little or no oversight at all.  Lethal medicine can be picked up and administered by a family member.  In many cases, the sick and feeble are under immense pressure to take their own life, not wanting to burden their family.

Margaret Dore, a Washington attorney who specializes in these cases, has written extensively on the dangerous practices that occur in each state that has this law.  Click here to read her compelling and shocking analysis.

Another huge issue is who supervises the execution of these laws and how effective can they be controlled?  We’re not just losing money, we’re losing lives, human lives.  Here is an example of the non-supervision of the Oregon law as published by the Ohio Patients Rights Council:

Under Oregon’s law permitting physician-assisted suicide, the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) – previously called the Oregon Health Division (OHD) – is required to collect information, review a sample of cases and publish a yearly statistical report. (1)Since the law, called the “Death with Dignity Act,” went into effect in 1997, ten  official reports have been published. However, due to major flaws in the law and the state’s reporting system, there is no way to know for sure how many or under what circumstances patients have died from physician-assisted suicide.

Statements made by individuals who have been involved in assisted suicide in Oregon — those who implement it, compile official reports about it, or prescribe the lethal drugs — clearly show that the law’s “safeguards” are not protective and that effective monitoring is close to non-existent. (2)

Do What I Say, not What I Do

After the death of Governor Mario Cuomo of New York this past week, the press was reporting on his controversial stand on abortion, even though he claimed to be a faithful Catholic.  His response was that, although he personally opposed abortion, he would not make a law banning it.  This is the position of liberal Catholics and Christians.   This position is also the most senseless, illogical and mind-bending position that shreds any sense of logic.  Cuomo defends his position by claiming that his pro-choice supporters are the same people who do the “social justice” that the Catholic Church promotes.  What?  As long as you do some good, you can do some bad and it’s ok?  By that measure Hitler did some good too.  He revived Germany from a defeated, starving nation to a booming economy; do we forgive him for the evil that he did then?

The magazine, First Things, has a fine piece on Cuomo’s position on abortion. Cuomo is apologetic about his position, stating  “that as a legislator he was not responsible for passing laws to protect those lives. In an address at the University of Notre Dame, he said: “What is ideally desirable isn’t always feasible, that there can be different political approaches to abortion besides unyielding adherence to an absolute prohibition.”  This is pure gobbledygook.  It makes no sense.  By this logic you could say that although murder is wrong, I would not want to legislate against it, because there are people out there who don’t think that murder is wrong, that it’s just “women’s health.”   Legislation is all about making value and moral judgements.  Why do we have a law against drunk driving?  After all, many people enjoy drinking. The piece on First Things debunks this reasoning in detail and is well worth reading.  Click here to read it.

“The War on Women”?

During the last election cycle in the United States, the Democratic Party promoted what they called “the war on women.”  For example, Senator Mark Udall of Colorado, and Wendy Davis, who ran for Texas Governor,  based their entire campaign on this false narrative of “the war on women.”  One of my favorite speakers on the pro-life circuit, Greg Kokul, is fond of what he calls “the Columbo method.”  The Columbo method is based on the old TV character of the 1970s, Columbo, starring the great actor, Peter Falk.  Columbo is famous for always asking the crucial question.  After stumbling thorough questioning  a suspect, he turns to leave, but has “just more thing” – then he asks the crucial question that brings final clarity.

What is the crucial question about the so called “war on women”?  You have to ask for clarity from anyone using this false moniker.  Excuse me, but what do you mean by “war on women”?  Only after you get an explanation can you address the issue.  What the left defines as “a war on women” is shorthand for:  abortion for any reason, contraceptives paid for by someone else, free sex as you want it and no rules barring whatever you want in these areas.

Now, those of us who are for protecting the unborn child, the most vulnerable human being in the world, or if we have objections on religious grounds against paying for contraceptive drugs, we are considered to be waging a “war on women.”  We want to protect unborn children from being ripped apart by abortion, piece by piece from a woman’s womb, because this causes the death of a human being.  In our culture, killing another human person is considered murder and a crime, not a personal option, nor “women’s health,” as the left calls it.  Not giving you free contraceptives is not a “war on women.”  We are not saying we’re against you buying your own, which you can do for no more than $9 per month at Target. The cost is not the issue, the issue is why do I, or anyone else, have to pay for your choice of taking contraceptives, something that is totally elective on your part?  Why should an employer owe this to an employee?  The “war on women” is a false narrative, pure and simple.