The Unborn and the Mustard Seed

Last Friday, we attended Mass at our church.  On daily Masses, the homily is very short, usually three to five minutes.  The priest’s homily was about the Gospel reading for this date, Mark 4:26-34,  in which Jesus talks about the Kingdom of God:

Jesus said to the crowds:
“This is how it is with the Kingdom of God;
it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land
and would sleep and rise night and day
and the seed would sprout and grow,
he knows not how.
Of its own accord the land yields fruit,
first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once,
for the harvest has come.”

The homily also compared this story with how life begins in the womb.  Just like we need to take care of the seed  we plant, we also need to take care of the seed in the womb.   A Farmer, before planting the seed must prepare the land.  The seed needs to land in the proper place, not on hard ground, on rocks on the paths where birds will quickly eat it.  After planting we need to water the land and watch over it.  We don’t know how that tiny little seed sprouts but all we have to do is take care that it is safe.  Once the seed is planted it has all it needs to become a plant.  This is how the unborn begins life.  Once conception has taken place we need to protect it, not disturb it like removing it from the womb before it is born.  God and nature do all the work.  After conception, a new and distinctive human life begins.  It will develop on its own.  It has all the DNA instructions that it needs to develop into all the stages of life, without outside interference or input.

As you’ve heard in the news lately, the Governor of New York just signed a bill that will allow abortion until birth; basically legal infanticide.  The Governor of Virginia attempted a similar bill but was denied by his legislature, for now.  The killing of a human being like the unborn is immoral and against, not only God’s law, but against humanity.  We imprison people who kill other humans and sometimes execute them.  This is not based on any religion, it’s based on human civil law.

 

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Pro-Life is Pro-Science

In today’s culture, our universities, and public schools are controlled by the secular left. This, unfortunately, is also true for most Catholic and Protestant schools, perhaps not to the extent of public schools.  Anything having to do with religion or faith is verboten. Scientism rules the day at any of our learning institutions. Scientism is simply the belief that only the hard sciences can give us knowledge.  J.P. Moreland, a noted philosopher and theologian, and an expert on scientism says that scientism is not a doctrine of science, but of philosophy. First of all, it is self-refuting, that is, it commits suicide the minute it is uttered; it cannot be proven by science.  So, in effect, the proponents of such a view have failed to prove their own theory.  A recent book by J.P. Moreland, “Scientism and Secularism,” makes the case that scientism is not only self-refuting but not coherent.  Chapter six of this book starts with “These days, if an accepted scientific claim comes into conflict with an excepted non-scientific claim from another discipline (such as theology), which claim must be put aside?  In our culture, the scientific claim always wins.  Appealing to science always settles the issue.”

Now what has this to do the argument in support for the protection of the unborn and the dignity of human life?  Well, plenty. You see the secular educators, and that is probably over 90% of all our teachers, love to brag that they are pro-science and those of us who support the unborn are anti-science. Our view, they would say, is based on religion and opinion.   However, they ignore the elephant in the room.  It has been a scientific position that the unborn are human and that life begins at conception.  This is not new; it has been known for a very long time. Click herefor more information.  Here are a couple of quotes from the best scientific minds on this issue:

Dr. Jerome Lejeune, “Father of Modern Genetics” and discoverer of the cause of Down’s Syndrome, stated, “To accept the fact that after fertilization has taken place a new human has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or opinion . . . it is plain experimental evidence.”

Dr. Hymie Gordon, Chairman, Department of Genetics at Mayo Clinic, stated, “Byall the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception.”

Now, who is anti-science? It’s breathtaking to see how easily the scientism of our culture and our universities choose to ignore their own declaration that science is the only way of knowing anything.  Even without science, you can easily understand that life begins at the first stage, conception, followed by an embryo.  All of us started that way.  Life has stages.  To say that you’re not human at the beginning but are human at a later stage, makes no logical sense.  Who is to determine when life begins, if not at the beginning when the sperm and the egg come together? 

The question that must be asked is what is the unborn?  Scott Klusendorf, one of America’s most eloquent defenders of the unborn says this is the crucial question.  Klusendorf speaks around the country in defense of the unborn. Click herefor a short three-minute video by Klusendorf on how to argue with a secular person, based on knowledge, science, philosophy and logic only.

“We Call Them as we See Them;” How Activist Judges are a Threat to Democracy

In recent Supreme Court confirmation hearings, conservative nominees such as Justice Roberts, Alito, Gorshuch and Kavanaugh would say that a judge’s role is to “call balls and strikes,” meaning they rule on the law, as written, not legislate from the bench or make up a law that does not exist.  In the last week we’ve heard President Trump complain about what he called “Obama judges,” meaning that an activist judge ruled according to his ideology not the law.  As a rule conservative judges rule on the written law; judges appointed by liberal presidents tend to rule, not according to the law, but according to their ideology, not the law as written.

Example number one:  Today,  a Federal judge struck down a Mississipi abortion law, prohibiting abortions after 15 weeks. Click here to read the story.  Here is a prime example of not ruling according to a law on the books.  No, the judge ruled according to his ideology.  To support this point, the judge in this case commented that he thinks that men should not be able to rule on abortion cases.  What?  Is this a judge who follows the law?

Example number two.  In California in November 2008 over seven million Californians voted to keep marriage between a man and a woman.  One judge, overruled seven million voters.  Later, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 for same sex marriage.  Five unelected men overruled the will of the people.  Now, where did the judges find the law that said marriage can be for same-sex couples?  Is it written anywhere?  No, they ruled according to their ideology, not the law.  The judges ruled for same sex marriage based on the equal protection part of the constitutional.  But how is marriage a right under equal protection?  From time immemorial marriage has been between a man and a woman.  Where is the violation of equal protection?  Again, a ruling based on the culture of the day, not written law.  Now, I agree, you could pass a law allowing same sex marriage, if it was passed by our legislature, but in this case the judges made the law.

Look at any law passed by any state on abortion and you will find that in time a judge will overturn it.  This is law by judges not by a duly elected legislature.  This should trouble any one.  This is why it is so important that President Trump appoint as many conservatives to the bench as possible.  Only then will we have judges that rule on the law not on the culture of the day.  Professor Robert P. George of Princeton University, one of the most respected law scholars in America wrote a book on why marriage should only be between a man and a woman.  The book is called “What is Marriage?”  This is a very scholarly book which gives the philosophical, biological and rational reasons for the case for traditional marriage.  Here is a short description of the book on Amazon.com: Until yesterday, no society had seen marriage as anything other than a conjugal partner­ship: a male-female union. What Is Marriage? identifies and defends the reasons for this historic consensus and shows why redefining civil marriage is unnecessary, unreasonable, and contrary to the common good.

 

What is Truth?

In today’s Easter Gospel we read the account of Jesus before Pilate in John 18 – 19.  Pilate asks Jesus “what is truth”?  In today’s deeply divided culture we seem to have our own truth.  The left has its truth and the right theirs.  A couple of examples: 1) In the recent Congressional investigation of Russian collusion, it was discovered that the FBI may have abused the FISA Court in getting a warrant to monitor an American citizen, Carter Page.  The Republicans came out with a scathing report of such abuses.  The Democrats, on the other hand totally denied that there was any impropriety and came out with their own version of events; two different “truths.”  This is a contradiction.  You cannot have two different versions of an event and both be true.  Either one is true or the other false. 2) The other example is the situation with the Planned Parenthood (PP) tapes that showed  PP selling aborted baby parts.  The videos told one story, but there was another story by the supporters of PP and PP itself.  Click here to see some of these videos.

Recently I posted something on my Facebook page regarding Planned Parenthood and how it was exposed by these videos and someone responded with an ad hominem attack stating that the videos had been “heavily edited” and “doctored.”  Here is where we run into a logic problem.   In the book, Ten Universal Principles by Robert Spitzer, he discusses ten universal principles that are universally accepted such as The Principle of Noncontradiction, The Principle of Objective Evidence and so on.

When we argue about facts, we cannot simply assert something as a matter of subjective opinion in order to be true, this would be merely subjective verification and therefore, it could not be used to prove something to somebody else, Spitzer writes in page 16.  Additionally, something like what the person told me about the “doctored” videos earlier is simply arbitrarily asserted.  What is arbitrarily asserted without evidence can be arbitrarily denied without evidence.  So the person making the assertion about the videos being “doctored” has no proof or evidence to support claim; only an arbitray assertion.

What is so disturbing today is that reason, logic and philosophy are not even considered in our debates about what is truth as Pilate asked Jesus.  I see this especially true on the left of the political spectrum.  They never ask, is it true? or is there any evidence?  They only make statements arbitrarily.  This will not pass the reason or the logic test.  In the Planned Parenthood videos mentioned here, we heard Planned Parenthood and their supporters on the left yell and scream that the videos were not true, but all they pointed to was their own subjective opinon, no facts and no evidence.  So, what is truth?  Well, according to some, it’s whatever they say it is.

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.