Tag Archives: Christians

“Immediatist vs. Incrementalist” debate analysis, Part VII: So fundraising is wrong?

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by Clinton Wilcox of Life Training Institute

On one hand, a favorite punching bag of T. Russell Hunter is pro-life fundraising.

11122396_916351231756876_1989993906_nOn the other, Hunter’s group Abolish Human Abortion is incorporated, has a for-profit arm through which it sells t-shirts and other wares, and rents office space (see screen shot right; click to enlarge).

It was these contradictory positions Hunter had to balance in his April 25 debate against Center for Bio-Ethical Reform’s Gregg Cunningham.

Hunter contended (1:06:10 on the video) that one reason Christians aren’t actively involved in anti-abortion activism is because they donate money to pro-life organizations to do the work for them. (See also 1:14:24-1:16:26.)

Nevertheless, from timestamp 1:39:55-1:41:31, Hunter alleged he wasn’t opposed to fundraising per se.

But not only did this contradict Hunter’s earlier statement, it contradicted a multitude of Facebook posts in which he and AHA have castigated pro-life organizations for fundraising.

All this while two of AHA’s leaders, Don Cooper and Todd Bullis, actively engage in fundraising under the AHA banner. Click to enlarge…

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As it is with their own incremental bills, it seems AHAers agree with fundraising as long as it fits their own agenda and not that of the larger pro-life movement.

The problem is some people can’t feasibly stand against abortion because they work, have families that demand their attention, and maintain other responsibilities. They simply don’t have the time to be out there “in the trenches,” as Hunter would say.

So, giving funds to pro-life advocates who have devoted their life’s work to the cause is their way of helping.

Donations help pro-life advocates like myself, the organization I work for (Life Training Institute), Jill Stanek, Gregg Cunningham/Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, and all the other pro-life advocates keep doing what we do. As Scott Klusendorf reminds us, there are many more people working full-time to kill babies than there are working full-time to save them. And as Cunningham mentioned in his debate, a part-time movement of volunteers is not going to end abortion.

We also don’t receive billions of dollars in taxpayer funding, as organizations like Planned Parenthood do.

Pro-life organizations subsist on generous donations so we can sustain pregnancy care centers, make a difference in the political realm, maintain full-time presence at abortion clinics, educate pro-lifers on how to effectively share their views so as to convert our culture, and conduct a multitude of other pro-life work.

Hunter, while decrying the fact that pro-life organizations fundraise, hypocritically uses the fruits of those organizations’ labor.

For example, AHA uses images of abortion victims that Cunningham’s group has spent millions of dollars to acquire over the years. CBR was the first pro-life organization to compile an archive of broadcast quality video and still photographs.

At 1:15:45 in the video, Cunningham astutely observed that while Hunter may not fundraise, he allows CBR to do the fundraising for him, because Hunter benefits from CBR’s work. And Hunter knows it, as shown in this email from Hunter to Cunningham. Click to enlarge…

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An example of AHA’s ineffective strategy was the debate itself. Despite having months to prepare, AHA produced a substandard video using substandard cameras and audio equipment. Had AHA fundraised – with the foresight to effectively reach the public – the group could have afforded professional equipment to make a high quality recording so arguments by both participants could easily be understood for posterity. (Fortunately, Cunningham has done just that and also recorded the debate with much greater clarity.)

Capture5As previously mentioned, Don Cooper (pictured left), who holds himself out as AHA’s Executive Director, also fundraises. Cooper’s organization, named Abolitionists Northwest, made $101,159 in 2013 – $96,645 of which came from “[c]ontributions, gifts, grants, and similar.”

I don’t fault Cooper for this. As St. Paul reminds us in I Timothy 5:18, “For Scripture says, ‘Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,’ and ‘The worker deserves his wages.'” Activists are an essential component to ending abortion in the United States, and fundraising is an essential component to enabling us to work full-time to stop abortion. Pro-life people, like everyone else, have bills to pay and families to support. If we had to work full-time in another arena, we wouldn’t be able to devote ourselves single-mindedly to work to end abortion.

My point is that AHA is hypocritical on the issue of fundraising.

In the debate, Hunter not only failed to present any sort of plan for ending abortion under his immediatist regime, he failed to present any sort of plan as to how we can end the fight for the rights of the unborn without fundraising and all just working part-time to speak out against it, a proposition which, as I stated, is disingenuous on Hunter’s part to begin with.

This is simply an untenable view, and one Hunter fraudulently claims AHA adheres to.

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Clinton Wilcox is a staff apologist for Life Training Institute. He specializes in training pro-life people to make the pro-life case more effectively and persuasively. He is also a certified speaker and mentor for Justice for All. He keeps a personal blog, and you can also follow him on Twitter.

Read previous posts:

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
Part IV: Straw men and the Bible
Part V: Sacrificing children to the idol of abolitionism
Part VI: Christians and the legislative process
Scott Klusendorf: Debate between Gregg Cunningham and T. Russell Hunter
Jonathan Van Maren: Four observations from the Cunningham vs. Hunter debate

“Immediatist vs Incrementalist” debate analysis, Part VI: Christians and the legislative process

by Clinton Wilcox of Life Training Institute

It is an honor to be able to contribute to Jill’s frankly devastating critique of T. Russell Hunter’s performance in his “Immediatist vs Incrementalist debate against Gregg Cunningham.

churchandstatesignsLate in the debate (timestamps 1:05:10 to 1:07:04), Hunter made the following claim: Christians are not practicing activism at abortion clinics because they don’t trust in the power of God, they trust in incremental legislation.

During cross-examination  (timestamps 1:41:32 to 1:44:56), Hunter made the same accusation, adding pastors and churches, and asked if Cunningham agreed.

Cunningham rebutted that while he agreed churches aren’t doing enough to combat abortion, it is not the fault of incremental legislation. Incremental legislation is a good thing.

Rather, Cunningham observed:

  • Pastors are not being trained properly in pro-life apologetics, and they are not speaking about abortion to their parishioners.
  • Pastors can be afraid of losing members, so they don’t want to engage in any sort of “offensive” speech from the pulpit.
  • Christians, by and large, are not leaving the pews to engage in pro-life activism.

Not to be outdone, Hunter wrote the following as a comment on Jill’s post:

As for specific bills and laws, we do believe that cultural change is necessary to their passage and are focused on doing what we can to “get the votes,” as our anti-abolitionist pro-life opponents always tell us “are not there.” But do look for specific practical actionable bills of abolition to start appearing in 2016.

In other words, legislation is actually fine, as long as it’s AHA’s brand of legislation. And somehow Hunter’s brand will not lull Christians into complacency?

The bigger problem, though, as has been pointed out before, is all bills are necessarily incremental, as would be any bill AHA proposes. If, for instance, you pass a personhood amendment in Texas, all you have to do is go to New Mexico, “…and then you can kill the baby.”

Hunter had an answer for that in another comment on Jill’s blog:

Do I need to explain the difference? Do you see that the statewide abolition bill that bans abortion because it is the murder of human beings is different than a state Not banning abortion and not bringing humans under the protection of law but hexing a certain procedure in which they could be killed?

Of course people would drive to another state to get an abortion but that is because in their state abortion had been abolished as murder.

However, AHA opposes incremental legislation to close abortion clinics because “Shutting down clinics doesn’t halt abortion; it just makes people who choose to sacrifice their children drive further.”

Overt contradictions aside, Hunter is nevertheless playing semantics. If we must oppose all bills that could end with “…and then you can kill the baby,” we must, of necessity, oppose any personhood amendment that doesn’t abolish abortion in the United States as a whole.

morgentalerBut then you run into further problems, because then you could just cross the border to Canada, “…and then you can kill the baby.”

Hunter’s brand of “immediatism” should be rejected because one cannot consistently live as an immediatist as Hunter understands it. All bills we can logically support are incremental in nature; personhood bills are simply the only kind Hunter is happy with.

During the debate Hunter knocked Christian involvement in legislative endeavors as distractive from real work to stop abortion.

So, should Christians be involved in the political process?

Absolutely, if we believe in effecting change for the better. In fact, as brilliant theologian Wayne Grudem pointed out, there have been many times in Jewish history when they gave counsel to ungodly rulers, such as when Daniel counseled King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4, and when Joseph advised Pharaoh in Genesis. Please read the linked article for a more in-depth discussion of Christians being involved in the political process.

It’s true many Christians can use the political process as an excuse not to engage in activism, but this isn’t a problem with the legislative process. This is a problem with education in our churches, and apathy among church-goers.

We should continue to support incremental legislation because that’s the only way we’ll affect change in our current political atmosphere.

Pro-life people want the immediate end to abortion. Incremental legislation is our strategic method for getting there. Planned Parenthood knows this. Pro-choice writers like Katha Pollitt know this (it plays a major theme in her recent book Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights). The only people who don’t seem to get that are the self-proclaimed “abolitionists.”
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Clinton Wilcox is a staff apologist for Life Training Institute. He specializes in training pro-life people to make the pro-life case more effectively and persuasively. He is also a certified speaker and mentor for Justice for All. He keeps a personal blog, and you can also follow him on Twitter.

Read previous posts:

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
Part IV: Straw men and the Bible
Part V: Sacrificing children to the idol of abolitionism
Scott Klusendorf: Debate between Gregg Cunningham and T. Russell Hunter
Jonathan Van Maren: Four observations from the Cunningham vs. Hunter debate

Hillary Clinton’s “guns and religion” moment on abortion

Clintonby Carder

Regardless of how one feels about gay rights or the abortion debate, it is interesting that liberals are finally getting around to openly confessing something all of us sort of know — yet few will say out loud: Achieving a liberal social agenda will necessarily require first extirpating many “deep-seated” Christian values and tenets.

~ Matt Lewis, analyzing presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s recent pro-abortion speech to the Women in the World Summit in which she states, “Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will, and deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed,” via The Daily Caller, April 24

[HT: Hot Air]

Are Christians really called not to judge the sin of abortion?

JUDGE-NOTby Kelli

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but the conscience of the state.” Serving as the conscience of the people has been one of the primary functions of the church since its conception.

Scripturally, we are commanded to differentiate between right and wrong, good and bad, truth and error, light and darkness. We are to judge according to the truth, especially pastors.

Regarding moral issues that destroy lives and dishonor God, we are to judge (“call into question”) behaviors, choices, and lifestyles that lead people in a dangerous direction, especially if these issues are to become social policy and legally sanctioned.

~ Shane Idleman, digging deeper into the meaning of “Judge not” from Matthew 7:1, “Homosexuality, Abortion, Carnality: Who Are You to Judge?”, Charisma News, April 17

[Graphic via godsmessageboard.rocks]

Pro-life blog buzz 4-10-15

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

  • At Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, Reggie Littlejohn shares a WND article which questions the supposed “easing” of China’s One-Child Policy:

    “The core of the problem is not whether the government is allowing one child or two children,” Reggie Littlejohn… told WND on Wednesday.

    “The government is still telling how many children people can have and is enforcing that limit with coerced abortions,” she said. “And it’s not clear to me that there are fewer abortions. Women and babies still are dying.”

    Littlejohn pointed out China still requires a birth permit for the first child and for the second child.

    “Without a permit, there still are forced abortions, unless you’re rich enough to buy your way out,” she said.

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  • Congratulations to Secular Pro-Life, whose “baby” – AbortionSafety.com – is graduating to the next level, thanks to the help of Online for Life:

    We’ve found that it’s just not realistic to expect SPL’s volunteers to stay on top of the constant reports of malfeasance and negligence at abortion centers. Online for Life, with a full-time staff, is in a better position to keep the site up-to-date. It also has a much larger advertising budget, enabling it to reach more people in need. And although Online for Life was founded by Christians, it has experience with secular projects (such as the awesome Faces of Pro-Life) and has made a commitment to maintain AbortionSafety.com’s secular character as well.

  • Saynsumthn’s Blog says the First Presbyterian Church in New Orleans recently welcomed Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, hosting a “Stand with Women” rally at their church, “in support of a new abortion facility in the Crescent City.”
  • Pro-Life in TN posts video of testimony from a Knoxville based abortionist, Dr. Susan Dodd, who took the time to come to Nashville to testify against a bill requiring informed consent and a 48-hour waiting period for women considering abortion. In it she compares an abortion to getting a face lift or a colonoscopy.
  • Pro-Life Action League says Planned Parenthood will honor Fay Clayton on April 15 – the woman who “along with her husband, Lowell Sachnoff, served as the lead attorney on the epic NOW v. Scheidler case,” which Clayton lost, after “dragging [the Scheidler] family through the federal court system for 20 years”:

    Despite losing the biggest abortion case since Roe v. Wade, Clayton and Sachnoff are still the darlings of the pro-abortion movement, and next Wednesday they’re getting a big award: the Clayton-Sachnoff family will be honored at Planned Parenthood’s annual “Generations Celebration” at Chicago’s Navy Pier.

    A protest is planned. See more information here.

AHA’s dangerous foray into cyberbullying

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I’m writing today about the latest development in the Abolish Human Abortion saga, because I’m concerned someone may end up dead if this doesn’t stop.

Everyone who spends time online has heard the term “cyberbullying.” Defined, it is:

… bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites.

Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.

Particularly note, “rumors… posted on social networking sites.”

Background first.

AHA’s communicative forté is social media, particularly Facebook, stemming from the fact it grew to prominence online.

Pro-lifers who have heard of AHA will say the group is known for attacking both the pro-life movement and the Catholic Church. (Interestingly, AHA has scrubbed several of its most flagrant attacks at the links provided.)

AHA may dispute these as its claim to fame, although it freely admits it seeks to “clash.”

I’ll not get into AHA’s problems with the Catholic Church other than to say it shuns the papal structure, which I think plays into the current situation.

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 4.27.03 PMAs for the plm, AHA’s foremost complain is against its strategy to incrementally overturn abortion. AHA advocates “immediatism” and rejects any pro-life law with any exception whatsoever.

So, for instance, even if the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act had no rape/incest exception, AHA would oppose it because it only protects babies 20 weeks and older.

To be clear, the default position of the plm is immediatism, but given the fact that abortion is legal in the United States throughout all nine months of pregnancy, together with the judiciary and political climate, and we are at this point saving who we can when we can. This strategy is comparable to that undertaken by the Underground Railroad or Nazi resistors like Corrie ten Boom, Oskar Schindler, and Irena Sendler.

If you take AHA’s immediatism to its logical conclusion, it can only support a worldwide ban against abortion, IVF, and hormonal contraception. All other laws are incremental.

I gave that background to get to this.

In recent weeks, some AHA members have begun turning against fellow members and publicly outing many perceived sins and unrepentant sinners on Facebook. This includes accusing one person of having a mental illness. This includes posting a secretly recorded phone conversation. Some of the “evidence” was received secondhand or even thirdhand.

Seems to me this is the natural flow of AHA’s legalism, now turning inward against its own people, although those making the accusations will say they are following Jesus’ mandate in Matthew 18 to try to turn fellow Christians from sin.1369195772_Nibblefest-Contest-ACEO-The-Scarlet-Letter

One difference is, of course, when Jesus said to “tell it to the church” after all private appeals had failed, He didn’t mean to tell it to millions of people on Facebook, both inside and outside the Church, which is how AHAers have been doing it.

In recent days, two of those “called to repentance” on Facebook were involved in a vehicle accident.

Their van was totalled, although thankfully neither they nor their children were hurt.

About this the AHA administrator who had publicly rebuked them responded, “wonder if it is divine discipline a wake up call to them.”

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 2.10.47 PMThis is simply a heinous response.

The other problem is AHA leaders aren’t cleaning their own house by condemning these cyber witch hunters – who are posting on an AHA Facebook page or in their capacity as AHA members or administrators.

Those claiming not to be in charge say they can’t do anything because there is no hierarchal structure to AHA – because the Pope.

AHA leader Don Cooper brought up the Pope a couple times to explain why there is no one in authority to stop AHA inquisitioners in his YouTube video, “Open Rebuke on Facebook: Right or Wrong?,” in which he would not answer that question, by the way.

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 3.35.14 PMThis denial of responsibility has become increasingly ludicrous, particularly since AHA now has many chapters, or “societies,” around the country and even in Australia, has trademarked its logo, has incorporated (in which “principals” had to be legally be named, see left) as the International Coalition of Abolitionist Societies, Inc., and has a for-profit “small business” side venture called The Basileian Group, through which it sells its wares.

In fact, it is opening the door to anarchy to deny anyone is in charge of a group.

Such as concept may work in hippy communes but not in real life, though Cooper tries (beginning at 18:56):

If indeed it was wrong what this person did in, you know, rebuking this person on Facebook, then that needs to be proven, that needs to be argued out, that needs to be, “Let’s show in the Scriptures where that’s wrong, or let’s show that the person” – you can’t just say it’s wrong, and you need to apologize for it. That’s not how it works.

Now if we were like a cult, if we were like an organization that was run by one person or maybe like this small board of people, then you could do that. The Pope of the organization could say, “Ah, you broke our rules you’re out of here. Ah, I declare that’s wrong. There’s no discussion, no debate. You can’t try and defend yourself. This is wrong, because I as the leader have decreed it wrong, and so be it. I interpret the Scriptures to say you are wrong, and that’s that. Now let’s move on.”

If the abolitionist movement or Abolish Human Abortion was that kind of entity, then that would work, right? But it’s not. The abolitionist movement is a body of believers, people who in – there’s no hierarchy of organization to say this person’s in charge except for Jesus Christ.

This is so mixed up. To even wonder whether posting a one-sided tome itemizing another person’s perceived sins on Facebook is right or wrong – is WRONG. That’s just WRONG, Don.

Some of those accusations were highly personal and embarrassing, dare I say earth-shattering to some, and the Internet never forgets. Google a person’s name, and AHA accusations pop up? (Will someone sue?)

Then to create a straw man, in this case the Pope, to rationalize why leaders of an organization can’t censure behavior that might go so far as to send a weak or unstable person over the bend to harm him or herself is also WRONG, Don.

So if AHA leadership can’t come out and say it, I will: STOP with the Facebook witch hunts before someone gets hurt, or worse.

Pro-life blog buzz 3-3-15

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

  • Live Action News says the new interactive game “Fusion” (on a website that includes writers like the founding editor of pro-abortion, profane Jezebel) in which players pretend to lead a South Dakota woman through several supposedly real-life scenarios – but they all suggest abortion is the correct answer to the dilemma. Hmm, no agenda there:

    What if the woman does choose to keep the baby?

    If she chooses to have the woman keep the baby, then she either still ends up having the abortion because of a partial placental abruption, or she has the baby and ends up sick, in premature labor, and with mountains of debt.

zerodiscrimination

  • Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life points out that the United Nations – which ignores the “discriminatory killing of female children through sex-selective abortion and infanticide” – has designated March 1st as Zero Discrimination Day. MCCL “implores all nations to… speak out against the denial of health care to the needy and elderly, and to stand up for the disabled who are pushed toward euthanasia and assisted suicide.”
  • Kansans for Life responds to abortion supporters’ desperate attempts to link a dismemberment abortion bill to miscarriage management:

    On the actual issue of SB 95 – the barbarity of dismemberment – we have heard mostly silence from abortion supporters, with an implicit (or explicit) denial that a baby could feel pain at having his or her body demolished one piece at a time.

    Do abortion supporters expect that the same public that wholeheartedly supports humane treatment for animals will excuse what happens to a human baby in this kind of abortion?

  • 40 Days for Life discusses fasting (usually less emphasized than prayer), with suggestions for five different forms of fasting in which Christians can participate.
  • Down on the Pharm shows us how the issue of illegal immigration has become a pro-life issue as the Department of Health and Human Services will begin paying for unaccompanied minors’ abortions. This should help to line the pockets of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.

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  • Abstinence Clearinghouse says the person to blame for society’s fascination with things like 50 Shades of Grey is “researcher” Alfred Kinsey:

    Kinsey’s distorted and fictional views of human sexuality has had a direct negative impact on the nation’s morality over the past several decades. [Judith] Reisman believes that the releases of this movie is the perfect opportunity for Congress to step in an begin an investigation of Kinsey’s research methods and results. To read Reisman’s full article on her allegations against Kinsey, click here.

  • Expose Abortion features an interesting quote from pro-choice feminist Naomi Wolf on the pro-life movement’s use of the images of abortion victims:

    So what will it be: Wanted fetuses are charming, complex, REM-dreaming little beings whose profile on the sonogram looks just like Daddy, but unwanted ones are mere ‘uterine material’? How can we charge that it is vile and repulsive for pro-lifers to brandish vile and repulsive images if the images are real? To insist that the truth is in poor taste is the very height of hypocrisy.

[Images via pinterest.com and lifesitenews.com]

Megachurch pastor: Christians, don’t be passive about abortion

by Kelli

David-Platt-family

What we believe about who God is and how God creates doesn’t leave room for political or moral neutrality on abortion.

I look out at the Christian landscape and our culture today and I’m encouraged on one hand when I see Christians addressing some of these issues like poverty or sex trafficking. These are issues we need to address in our culture and our culture will applaud us for addressing [them] but I’m concerned when I see the same Christians or church leaders who are passionate about those issues are passive when it comes to issues like abortion or so called same-sex marriage, issues that will bring us into much greater contention in our culture.

It’s like we’ve chosen which social issues we’re going to address and which one’s we’re going to ignore based on what’s most comfortable or least costly to us….

[Abortion] poses the most clear and present danger to the most people daily….

So this must compel us to address very core life issues to say how can we work to help these children live and that involves coming alongside women who are struggling with, wondering how can I have this baby, and to serve them, to show them there’s options. Either to help them deliver and raise this baby or to put this baby up for adoption so that children can live, women can thrive.

~ Alabama pastor David Platt (pictured above with his family), explaining how he once used to shy away from addressing issues like abortion in church, as quoted by The Christian Post, February 19