Pro-life blog buzz 5-5-15

pro-lifeby Susie Allen, host of the blog, Pro-Life in TN, and Kelli

  • Culture Campaign comments on self-professed Satanist name “Mary” who claims the Missouri waiting period is preventing her from exercising her religious belief “that her body is subject to her will alone.” (I wonder how they square this with other laws in society which restrict individual rights.) Of course, Mary and the Satanists have the full support of abortion advocates. A fund has been established so “Mary” can have an abortion ASAP at the only remaining abortion clinic in MO, Planned Parenthood of St. Louis – which is not exactly known for it’s great track record on safety.
  • 40 Days for Life just celebrated its second event in Nigeria in the past two years.

womensbodieswomenswisdom

  • Clinic Quotes has a bizarre, twisted quote from Christiane Northrup, a former abortionist, who apparently believes abortion should remain legal because the mother-child bond is sacred. What?

    The bond between mother and child is the most intimate bond in human experience. In this most primary of human relationships, love, welcome, and receptivity should be present in abundance. Forcing a woman to bear and raise a child against her will is therefore an act of violence. It constricts and degrades the mother – child bond and sows the seeds of hatred rather than love. … Life is too valuable to inhibit its full blossoming and potential by forcing a woman to bear it against her will.

    Is banning abortion an act of violence, or is abortion itself the act of violence?

  • At Live Action News, Amanda Read discusses the past winners of Life Film Fest’s Capra Award and how they honored life:

    Capra was the youngest of seven children in an Italian immigrant family, and is remembered for crafting the simple richness of everyday life onto the silver screen in such films as “It’s A Wonderful Life,” “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town,” and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”

    The beauty of Capra’s filmmaking is the power of the parable, as seen in the compelling illustration that no one’s life is an accident.

exhibit

  • Josh Brahm talks about his experience of touring this exhibit (pictured right) in Portland, Oregon. Although, as Brahm points out, some may be “triggered” by the exhibit (perhaps due to their belief that any scientific display of preborn humans is somehow anti-women’s rights), showing the development of the preborn child is scientifically valid:

    The exhibit was created by Dr. Gunther von Hagens, the person behind the controversial “Body Worlds” exhibit. He uses a plastination technique to preserve animal and human bodies and sets up exhibits in an effort to educate people about anatomy in a way that books can’t. The exhibit is controversial because in the case of the human bodies, these were real people who arguably should have been buried. My staff and I have unresolved concerns about that aspect of it.

    In the case of the prenatal development exhibit at OMSI, they only have babies who were miscarried and then preserved, presumably with the parents’ permission….

    It became harder for me to step into the shoes of a pro-choice person and defend abortion rights later in the exhibit though. Around the point where the baby in front of us was nine weeks old, it became clearer than anything that this is a little human, not an unorganized mass of developing tissue.

    As I was staring at a child who was about 20 weeks old my brother Tim came up to me to ask me what I was feeling. I paused, and then responded that I felt “intensely sad about abortion.” I asked him what he was feeling, and he replied, “As I looked at the younger embryos, I felt really sad, but the older they get, the more I feel angry.”

    I reminded Tim that abortions at 20-weeks or later don’t happen nearly as often as first-trimester abortions before asking, “What specifically are you angry about?” Tim thought about it, and responded, “I’m angry that 20-week abortions are defended so often. I’m angry that our society is even having to debate whether or not to pass a bill that would ban abortions at this stage.”

[Photo of OR display by Eric Shierman via Josh Brahm; Northrup photo via pinterest.com]

“Immediatist vs Incrementalist” debate analysis, Part IV: Straw men and the Bible

1010893_636469939752357_1169770429_nAbolish Human Abortion followers love to use the term “straw man” to dismiss pro-life arguments that point out their inconsistencies.

(For example, during their recent “Immediatist vs Incrementalist” debate, AHA’s T. Russell Hunter called it a “very, very silly straw man” when Center for Bio-Ethical Reform’s Gregg Cunningham challenged Hunter for saying he would let a secularist save the life of his 2-year-old but not let a secularist help him save the lives of children marked for abortion [beginning at 1:20:20 on the video].)

So today let’s talk about straw men.

Repeatedly throughout the debate, Hunter blamed incrementalists for the fact that abortion has remained legal in the U.S. for 43 years, and this because we don’t have enough faith in God. Excerpted from his closing argument (1:53:39-1:59:47), italicized/underlined emphases mine for points to make afterward:

The Word of God is clear on at least this point. When there are grave injustices and evils going on in your midst, you ought to, because you love your neighbor, do justice and show mercy.

My big beef – my big problem- with the incrementalism is that people, instead of trusting in the Word of God and coming together as the bride of Christ and bringing the Gospel into conflict with the evil of the age, and doing what we are commanded to do, instead of being like Jonah to Nineveh, we go and we say, “What do the laws say? What can I get within the current federal ruling?”…

The debate between immediatism and incrementalism, when it’s couched in the, “which should we rally around, which should we come together,” if all Christians had to say, I’m going to go all my funding all my energy, my time, my talent, my church, which project should the people of God do? You may call it binary. Should we all pick up the ax and lay it to the trunk of the tree over and over and over, no matter how long it takes…. Should we do that – should that be what we unify around – or should we continue to say that’s good, I like that, but I’m gonna work on cutting down these branches….

My contention is that the people of God are under a false delusion that incrementalism is what they ought to be paying attention to. They ought to be unifying….

I don’t find incrementalism in the Bible. I don’t find incrementalism in the historical record of fighting social justice, except for that it is as a tutor to tell us don’t play around with it….

It’s just a question of like, do you believe in that God?…

If we can get people to believe in Him and trust in Him we can abolish abortion. But if we can’t get people to believe in Him and trust in Him we will not abolish abortion.

chewing-gumThe emphasized sections highlight three flaws – straw men, if you will – in Hunter’s logic.

False premise

First, Hunter sets up a false premise, claiming we must choose between immediatism and incrementalism.

But Hunter is the only one “couching” it as an either/or. As Cunningham repeatedly rebutted, Hunter’s assumption is flawed and binary. Incrementalists pursue both strategies. We can walk and chew gum. Hunter apparently can’t.

Let babies stuck in the branches die

Second, Hunter glosses over the babies he is callously willing to sacrifice while focusing on chopping down the abortion tree with his ax, “no matter how long it takes.” Russell repeatedly refuses to stop and own the span of time between when immediatists began axing and when the tree falls. How exactly do we “show mercy” to our neighbors caught in the branches of abortion while ignoring them to hack at the tree “over and over and over, no matter how long it takes“?

Blame incrementalists when immediatism fails

Third, Hunter says we only need faith to stop abortion, but apparently the faith of he and his band isn’t strong enough. If they fail, it’s our fault. International Coalition of Abolitionist Societies reiterated their convenient escape hatch/scapegoat in a recent Facebook post:

2015-05-04_1759

In other words, there’s a Goliath II blocking AHA from getting to Goliath I.

Scott Klusendorf of Life Training Institute responded to that logic fail in his article analyzing the debate:

Hunter never once said how his policy of immediatism plays out in the real world. How, exactly, does it work to insist on the immediate abolition of abortion? Got the votes for that? Here is where Hunter’s argument is truly self-sealing. He states that if only all incrementalists would become immediatists, we could take the ax to the root and win.

So there you have it. When you can’t explain how your strategy actually works in the real world, you just fault your opponents for your failure to execute. This reminds me of faith healers who blame the victim for “not having enough faith” when he doesn’t immediately recover from a systemic illness….

… Hunter’s reply was that pro-life incrementalists don’t trust the power of the risen Lord and thus don’t embrace immediatism. But wait. If Hunter truly believes the power of the risen Lord enables us to end abortion immediately, why wait for us? Doesn’t that same power enable small groups as well as large ones?

If so, stop blaming the pro-life movement for not joining your immediatist crusade. After all, the gospel proclamation began with just twelve men, accompanied by signs and wonders, proclaiming the power of the risen Jesus in the very city where he was crucified in the face of hostility far worse than Hunter faces today.

Hunter also stated, “I don’t find incrementalism in the Bible.” If so, it’s only because he doesn’t want to. Cunningham gave but three examples (2:00:12-2:02:16), as summarized by Klusendorf:

First, Paul (1 Cor. 3) works incrementally to convey hard truths to weak brothers in the faith. He gives them milk instead of solid food. He revealed God’s law to them incrementally so they could digest it. Second, Jesus (Mark 10:4) says that God instructed Moses to relax the law on marriage because the people were not ready for tough divorce codes just then. Gradually, however, Christ toughens those laws. Jesus said this! Third, when Peter asked about paying the temple tax, Jesus compromised and paid lest he offend weaker Jews. Jesus was skillfully picking his fights!

Klusendorf added:

Commenting on the debate, Dr. Marc Newman, professor of rhetoric at Regent University and well-known debate coach, writes:

Look at Acts 17, with Paul on Mars Hill. He preaches a sermon during which he, quite interestingly, doesn’t cite a single scripture, but does invoke the local religion, philosophers, and poets. At the end, some scoff, some convert, and others say that they want to hear more on this subject.

Similarly, God in his foreknowledge and omnipotence, could convert all of the elect in the womb, but he does not. C.S. Lewis came to Christ incrementally: from an atheist, to a mythologist, to a theist, to a Christian – and this road has been traveled by many others.

God saves people in much the same way that incrementalists save children. God makes it clear that it is His desire that all be saved (1 Tim. 2:3-4), and that He takes no delight in the destruction of the wicked (Ez. 33:11). Nevertheless, we all come, one at a time. This one gets saved, then that one.

Imagine if the apostles waited until they crafted a strategy that resulted in the salvation of everyone before they actually began evangelizing? The Church would have been strangled in its cradle. No. The Apostle Paul says that he works separately among the cultures in all ways that don’t require him to compromise the core of the faith, becomes all things to all men, that by all means, he might saves some – not all, some (1 Cor. 9:19-23). Paul even declares that he will live as one under the law, even though he is not under the law, if by doing so he can save some. If Paul was an incrementalist, count me in.

In short, if Paul and the other apostles didn’t immediately end the social ills of their day by applying the power of the risen Christ, what makes Hunter think he can do so today?

Actually, as he stated during the debate and elsewhere, Hunter doesn’t believe “immediatism” means “immediate,” the topic of my next post.

Also read:

Prologue
Part I: Let babies die today, we can save the rest later
Part II: There’s only one way to cut down a tree?
Part III: Social justice history vs TR Hunter
Scott Klusendorf: Debate between Gregg Cunningham and T. Russell Hunter
Jonathan Van Maren: Four observations from the Cunningham vs. Hunter debate

Pro-life vid of day: Post-abortive mother helps to save a life

by Hans Johnson

A moving encounter occurred last Friday at the Founder’s Women’s Health Center in Columbus, Ohio. A woman passing by saw displayed images of abortion victims and felt compelled to stop and relate her awful experience from 30 years before. When a couple who had previously been counseled exited the clinic and sat in their car, the woman went over and told them her story as well.

As she left, she encouraged the Created Equal members: “If one mother hears you, you did a good job!” She did a good job as well. The couple accompanied a counselor to a pregnancy resource center nearby, and later cancelled the abortion appointment.

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Email dailyvid@jillstanek.com with your video suggestions.

“Immediatist vs Incrementalist” debate analysis, Part III: Social justice history vs TR Hunter

7067987283_3bb744093cAs I start, I’d like to reiterate why I’m pursuing this multi-part analysis of the “Immediatist vs Incrementalist” debate between Abolish Human Abortion’s T. Russell Hunter and Center for Bio-Ethical Reform’s Gregg Cunningham.

In a comment to my Part II post, an antagonized Hunter called my efforts a “freaked out obsession,” to which I responded:

[Read the rest of this entry...]

Pro-life vid of day: Welcome to the Pro-Life Future

by Kelli

Students for Life is promoting a new division of their organization – Pro-Life Future – which is for “young, pro-life adults and Students for Life alumni.” They state that their mission is “to mobilize communities to abolish abortion in our lifetime.” To start a chapter, visit their website at prolifefuture.org:

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Email dailyvid@jillstanek.com with your video suggestions.

Questions surround artist Frida Kahlo’s “El Aborto” lithograph

frida-kahlo-untitled-installby Carder

Kahlo depicted herself mourning with tears rolling down her cheeks. At the bottom left, she drew a healthy fetus attached to her by an umbilical cord, suggesting her unfulfilled role as a mother. On the right, an arm holding a heart-shaped palette for paint emerges from behind her body, as if to assert her role as an artist.

~ The Detroit Institute of Arts gallery description of a lithograph by artist Frida Kahlo usually referred to as “El Aborto”, Hyperallergic, April 29

Stanek Sunday funnies 5-3-15

Good morning, and Happy Sunday! Here were my top five favorite political cartoons this week. Be sure to vote for your fav in the poll at the bottom of this post!

beginning with a twofer by Chip Bok at Townhall.com
crcbo150428

[Read the rest of this entry...]

Sunday Word: “How Great Is Our God”

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Lord my God, you are very great;
you are clothed with splendor and majesty.

The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment…

he who looks at the earth, and it trembles…

I will sing to the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

Excerpts from Psalm 104, New International Version, as quoted by singer/songwriter Chris Tomlin in his song, “How Great Is Our God”…

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Stanek weekend Q: Is feminism losing to multiculturalism?

article-1319804-0B952A16000005DC-450_306x423The hypocrisy of feminists when it comes to the true war on women in Muslim cultures is on flagrant display.

On a daily basis we hear of atrocities committed against women, or shocking prejudices displayed against women, to utter silence on the Left.

Meanwhile, feminists find ghost sexism in every nook and cranny of the West.

I had chalked their hypocrisy up to abhorrence of Judeo-Christian values to the point of absurdly supporting Islamic values.

But an April 30 article by M. G. Oprea at The Federalist entitled, “Feminism is losing its cage fight with multiculturalism,” points to something much more obvious:

[Read the rest of this entry...]

Hypocrisy much? Planned Parenthood CEO brags about growing number of male supporters

3044265-inline-i-1-the-millions-of-patients-we-see-each-year-theyre-not-coming-because-tInterviewer: What’s happening with Planned Parenthood and young men?

Richards: It’s one of our fastest-growing demographics. They come mostly for STD treatment and testing. A lot of places, if you want nonstigmatized and nonjudgmental care, you come to Planned Parenthood. And then on the activist side, it has radically shifted. Four years ago, half of the activists we added were men.

~ Excerpt from Fast Company magazine interview with Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards, May issue

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Who Is Jill Stanek?

Jill Stanek is a nurse turned speaker, columnist and blogger, a national figure in the effort to protect both preborn and postborn innocent human life.

Read Jill's full bio »
What the Media says »

by Kelli

efferson

… [W]hen Christians take offense at the suggestion that deeply held religious beliefs must change so that women can access abortion, they may be failing to appreciate the tenuous nature of their pro-life hegemony. Not only is [Hillary] Clinton’s suggestion not absurd, recent history tells us it’s completely plausible….

Ten years ago, the same-sex marriage debate was a non-starter issue among Christians. Today we have Christians openly supporting gay marriage, and some even arguing homosexuality isn’t a sin. Again, this is significant, and this didn’t happen in a vacuum. As the culture continues to move to the Left, certain numbers of evangelicals will adapt and move Left with it. All that has to happen to syphon off Christians to the pro-abortion cause is more of the same — open hostility for any Christian espousing the stance that life begins at conception and aborting that life is murder….

Hillary Clinton’s suggestion to the Women in the World audience has caused a strong counter-reaction among evangelicals, and there is incredible value in this. It helps reinforce what the deeply religious, pro-life movement believes, and it unites them against a common cause.

My hope is that profoundly religious people will recognize what candidate Clinton’s suggestion portends. My fear is that the profoundly religious will acquiesce, because they have done so before.

~ A.D.P. Efferson (pictured), The Federalist, May 4

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