Two Cars Spinning

On the morning of June 23, 2016, I was working with my head down in a local coffeeshop. Tunes blared in my ears as I stared and typed. Then, in a moment, someone left and the room got quiet. This place was never quiet. I looked up.

At 12:09pm, a westbound silver minivan made a blind turn across four lanes of traffic and hit a small eastbound black SUV, sending both cars spinning. The crash totaled both cars, demolishing the front left corner of the SUV. I had never seen an entire wheel assembly lying on the pavement, but there it was.

 

At the scene, people swirled, helping each driver and the passengers. The woman in the SUV shook terribly, surprised that her simple trip down the hill became a nightmare. Men swept the busy street. Police arrived on the scene. EMS removed the injured woman from her car. I directed oncoming traffic to the nearest detour.

There was a palpable mourning across that intersection. We mourned the pain, the terror, the shock. We moved to help. But only one driver was at fault. 

Which brings us to the the hot topic of the last thirty-ish months: police shootings.

Instead of merely looking at a wreck the way a child does, “Wow, that’s a mess,” we should be mature in our thinking and consider the biblical claims of the following:

  1. God values human life, regardless of ethnicity, age, criminal history, socioeconomic class. All life is valuable in the first place.
  2. The government bears the sword, and in our culture that most directly means the local police force.
  3. Police officers are called to enforce laws. If they do not do so, they are putting other citizens in danger and are themselves liable for the damage criminals subsequently cause.
  4. Not all crime is equal. Please read the Old Testament. There is unquestionably a civil hierarchy of sins. “Every sin is the same” is nonsense, in this life and in the next. Some sins are culmination of years of sinning, others are momentary acts. Some give a bruise; others take a life.
  5. All unjust killing, whether of the preborn in the womb at the local Planned Parenthood (a direct slap in the face to parents) or of a citizen by a police officer, is evil and must be prosecuted.
  6. Every human is a sinner and tainted, mind, body, and soul, with sinfulness. Every human, because he is a  sinner, is an innate self-server, racist, and liar. 
  7. Sinfulness doesn’t excuse mistrust in an entire system, because you are a sinner, too. Transparency and accountability are needed.
  8. Policemen have hard jobs and are not perfect. You and I likely do not know the first thing about what it takes to approach a dangerous situation and handle everything involved. This doesn’t mean they’re always right or always wrong.
  9. It is not a sin for an authority to shoot a dangerous criminal. Please see #2 and #3.
  10. The media, being full of self-serving sinners (#6), have a vested interest in speaking half-truths and outright lies to make better “news.” This news, in these cases, is not the truth at all.
  11. The viper-tongued media puts police officers and citizens at risk. Please see the Dallas shootings and the widespread anger toward police.
  12. Marching is one thing; loving is quite another. Both have their place, but one is immeasurably more important. You also don’t have to march with people in order to love those people.
  13. Disobedience is not necessarily racism. A hatred of authority by one party (a young man, let’s say, detained by a police officer) does not necessarily equal a surface-level racism by the acting authority. The facts, instead, must come to light. The officer may have been acting in a racist fashion, or the young man may simply hate authority, or both.

Each of these can (and maybe should) be expanded into a separate post, but for now these categories are important because they help us think through issues like that of Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, Alton Sterling, Philandro Castile, and the host of part-myth, part-real stores the media tells us. 

If this local crash were a more “sensational” story, there’s no telling how the media might have portrayed it. It might have been an issue of environmentalism, or driver brutality, or racism.

Eyewitnesses know that, in the wreck on June 23, both drivers lived. Both suffered very real damage to their lives, bodies, and potentially souls. Either driver could have avoided the wreck.

In this case, only one was at fault.

Every Time Every Human Speaks

The times I’ve been charged with “teaching Christianity in a public school” make me laugh a little bit.

It’s as though administrators, principals, parents, and students think that Christians have some sort of other belief system, apart from their own, that is worthy of alienation. Of course, we know this is simply the world loving the darkness more than the light, because their deeds are evil (John 1). And we were once in the darkness, too.

IMG_7399 (1)

But the whole “stop talking about religion in public” is nonsense for another reason: every time every human being speaks, we are speaking our own belief system. For one person to tell another, “Don’t talk about your beliefs,” is to act like the speaker has no beliefs. But the truth is that we all speak our beliefs, every moment of every day.

To tell a Christian to drop the Bible is like telling a postmodern to stop speaking about scientism, neo-Marxism, or relativism. The postmodern literally cannot stop. It’s what she believes in.

We can talk about “separation of church and state” nonsense all day long, but it will never happen because it is a false dichotomy. Every time every human speaks, he speaks his worldview. Just be honest with each other, and lay those beliefs on the table.

Each of us has a belief system. None of them, on the basis of our own faith, is more or less true than another. In other words, nothing is absolutely true just because I believe it. Instead, all beliefs, and their systems, stand or fall based on their historical, internal, and supernatural veracity. And the Bible is the only one that passes any of the three (and all three at that!).

Thus, biblical faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only worldview that has full historical, internal, and supernatural truth. It stands beneath no other worldview, but it supreme above them all – because Jesus is supreme.

When we talk to those in the kingdom of the darkness, we must love them enough to care for their very souls. The first step is laying our beliefs on the table, explaining them, and asking the unbeliever to do the same. Only then can we have honest conversation that is out of the darkness and into the light.

Need a Tax Break? Murder Your Child

That’s what the IRS says, apparently.

In a report yesterday from Life Site News (complete with IRS links, for those concerned about “bias”), IRS publication 502 states that “legal abortion” can be cited as a medical expense for 2014.

I forgot, how again is murdering another person part of “medicine”? Isn’t that the exact opposite of the Hippocratic Oath? Or has that oath been changed to suit our murderous desires?

Beyond this madness of calling baby dismemberment “medicine,” there is the matter that, according to IRS Publication 501, the federal government does not allow the same tax credit for a stillborn child. Translation: if your child dies on his own, it’s not medicine; if you kill him, it is.

This is the most backward understanding of “medicine” imaginable.

No wonder that the federal government gives the abortion industry over $520 million a year – it is incentivizing the war on preborn children for taxpayers, too.

Legal Principles Have Universal Applications

[This post is fifth in a series on Francis J. Beckwith’s seminal paper, “The Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade, and Abortion Law.” Part 1 is called, “The Lies and Fallacies Beneath Roe v. Wade;” Part 2, “Novel Inventions of Abortion Law;” Part 3, “19th Century Anti-Abortion Law;” and Part 4, “Is the Unborn a 14th Amendment Person?“]

Second, though Texas cited no cases in which the unborn are declared Fourteenth Amendment persons, at least one federal court case did: Steinberg v. Brown. It is unknown as to why Blackmun cited Steinberg but failed to include the following, which would undoubtedly destroy his majority opinion:

It seems clear, however, that the legal conclusion in Griswold as to the rights of individuals to determine without governmental interference whether or not to enter into the process of procreation cannot be extended to cover those situations wherein, voluntarily or involuntarily, the preliminaries have ended, and a new life has begun. Once human life has commenced, the constitutional protections found in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments impose upon the state the duty of safeguarding it.

“Once human life has commenced, the constitutional protections found in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments impose upon the state the duty of safeguarding it.” As Beckwith observes, this shouldn’t have been controversial: “A legal principle has universal application.” He offers the examples of anti-burglary laws written before the advent of computers and freedom of religion laws written before a new faith was invented. Both would apply to new knowledge or situations without changing the nature of the laws.

Is the Unborn a 14th Amendment Person?

[This post is the fourth in a series on Francis J. Beckwith’s seminal article, “The Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade, and Abortion Law.” Part 1 is called, “The Lies and Fallacies Beneath Roe v. Wade;” Part 2, “Novel Inventions of Abortion Law;” and Part 3, “19th Century Anti-Abortion Law.”]

B. Is the Unborn a Person under the Fourteenth Amendment?

Blackmun and the abortion-hungry Court had one more legal foundation to tear down: the unborn’s right to the personhood under the Fourteenth Amendment. The relevant part of the amendment reads:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any  person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Blackmun cites three reasons why the unborn are not Fourteenth Amendment persons: the Constitution doesn’t define them as such, Texas had no cases holding the unborn as Fourteenth Amendment persons, and abortion’s de facto practice in the nineteenth century. As Beckwith argues, “each reason is seriously flawed,” (p.51).

First, Blackmun’s logic on the Constitution’s definition of “person” merely begs the question. The Constitution didn’t aim to define “person” biologically. Without such a definition, the lack of one cannot exclude the unborn. To do so is to construct an argument from ignorance, but it wasn’t the last time in Roe that Blackmun did so. Further, though the development of the unborn was not known at the time of the Constitution but was at the time of Roe, Blackmun allowed no room for that in his analysis, (p.51-52).

19th Century Anti-Abortion Law

[I’ve been blogging through Francis J. Beckwith’s seminal article, “The Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade, and Abortion Law.” Part 1 is called, “The Lies and Fallacies Beneath Roe v. Wade,” and Part 2, “Novel Inventions of Abortion Law.” ]

Then Beckwith further analyzes in two sections below:

A. Were Anti-Abortion Laws Meant to Protect the Unborn?

Beckwith begins, “Blackmun was wrong about the primary purpose of theanti-abortion laws. Although protecting the pregnant woman was an important purpose of these statutes, there is no doubt that their primary purpose was to protect the unborn from  harm,” (p.46).

Beckwith then quotes James S. Witherspoon’s research to show that twelve different legal commonalities between nineteenth centurty anti-abortion statutes at the state level prove this very same point: “the primary purpose of nineteenth-century antiabortion statutes was to protect the lives of unborn children is clearly shown by the terms of the statutes themselves.” Here are the twelve elements, to be understood “individually and collectively”:

  1. The laws’ punishment for attempted abortion increased if it caused the child’s death.
  2. The laws gave the same range of punishment for child-killing in an abortion as for mother-killing in an abortion.
  3. The laws called attempted abortion and other child-killing acts “manslaughter.
  4. These laws prohibited all abortions, except those necessary to save the mother’s life.
  5. These statutes called the fetus a “child.”
  6. These laws called the unborn child a “person.”
  7. These statutes categorize abortion with homicide, related offenses, and offenses against born children.
  8. The laws gave abortions severe punishments.
  9. These laws treated mother-killing abortions as “manslaughter” rather than “murder,” as they were at the common law level.
  10. The laws required that the abortion be attempted on a woman who was indeed pregnant.
  11. The laws required that the abortion be intended to “destroy the child.”
  12. The laws incriminated the woman’s participation in her own abortion.

Taken together, these commonalities prove that Justice Blackmun and the majority Court of Roe ignored the legal evidence and lied about their research.

Novel Inventions of Abortion Law

[In Part 2 of 7, we’ll look at the next section of Francis J. Beckwith’s paper, “The Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade, and Abortion Law.”]

Beckwith’s second large section is titled:

II. How the Court Found a Right to Abortion

The wording here is choice: the Supreme Court of the United States had to prod, dig, and search to produce a “right to abortion” in their Roe decision. Here’s why: the Court had to eliminate two huge impediments to interpreting the “right to privacy” for birth control from from the Griswold case to include abortion (see p.42). Those two impediments were the long-standing, near-omnipresent US laws protecting the unborn and the constitutional rights given the unborn under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Therefore, in order to legalize abortion, the SCOTUS had to prove that such a “right to privacy” does include abortion and that the unborn is not a person under the Fourteenth Amendment. Blackmun started with ideologically misreading the history behind anti-abortion law:

  • Justice Blackmun differed on the purpose of prior anti-abortion laws: “According to Blackmun, the purpose of these laws, almost all of which were passed in the nineteenth century, was not to protect prenatal life, but rather, to protect the pregnant woman from a dangerous medical procedure,” (p.44).
  • Blackmun reframed common law history in his own terms: “Blackmun argues that under the common law’s framework, prior to the enactment of statutory abortion regulations, abortion was permissible prior to quickening and was at most a misdemeanor after quickening. Therefore, Justice Blackmun claims that because abortion is now a relatively safe procedure, there is no longer a reason for its prohibition. Consequently, Justice Blackmun asserts that given the right of privacy, and given the abortion liberty at common law, the Constitution must protect a right to abortion,” (p.44).
  • Blackmun changed the timeline: Though the Roe majority decision outlines historical laws concerning abortion, “Blackmun’s historical chronology is ‘simply wrong,’ because [contrary to his own timeline, ed.] twenty-six of the thirty-six states had already banned abortion by the time the Civil War had ended,” (p.45).
  • Blackmun was later exposed: “Justice Blackmun’s history (excluding his discussion of contemporary professional groups: AMA, APHA, andABA) is so flawed that it has inspired the production of scores of scholarly works, which are nearly unanimous in concluding that Justice Blackmun’s “history” is untrustworthy and essentially worthless,” (p.45).

US Supreme Court convention requires that judges research and consider prior case law, particularly those that set legal precedent, before handing down their own decisions. In this case, Blackmun and the majority judges co-opted a clear history of anti-abortion laws at the state level, as we will see next time.

    The Lies and Fallacies Beneath Roe v. Wade

    [Introductory note: Back in 2003, Dr. Francis J. Beckwith, Professor of Philosophy & Church-State Studies at Baylor University, wrote a full-on expose of the Supreme Court’s supremely flawed reasoning in Roe v. Wade, entitled, “The Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade, and Abortion Law.” After reading and notating the paper, I am offering a seven-part series outlining his main arguments with further commentary. I’m no law expert, but a simple course in logic (or understanding the basic logical fallacies) is all we need to see the lies beneath the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade.]

    The Fear of the Lord and the Facts of Abortion

    Long ago, the fear of the Lord and good sense told me that US abortion law was on shaky ground at best. Even middle schoolers – yes, twelve-year-olds – know it’s wrong to kill an unborn child. How is it that the grown-ups are so much smarter and get it wrong? Because we as a country no longer fear the Lord.

    To prove the shaky ground is actually no ground at all (and illustrate the fact that our country no longer fears the Lord), Francis Beckwith has done us all a service. His 2003 paper, “The Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade, and Abortion Law” is a logical expose of the Supreme Court’s fallacious, misleading logic and outright lies in interpreting constitutional law.

    That alone is enough to read the entire 36-page essay, but here’s a taste of Beckwith’s darkness-exposing analysis:

    The current law in the United States, except for in a few states, does not restrict a woman from procuring an abortion for practically any reason she deems fit during the entire nine months of pregnancy. That may come as quite a shock to many readers, but that is in fact the state of the current law (p.38).

    Beckwith uses the same command of current and past abortion law to untangle several gnarled issues, outlined below:

    I. What the Court Actually Concluded in Roe

    In this section, Beckwith quotes the Roe decision extensively and exposes Justice Harry Blackmun’s argument piece by piece:

    • “Therefore, Roe does nothing to prevent a state from allowing unrestricted abortions for the entire nine months of pregnancy,” (p.39).
    • “Thus, reproductive liberty, according to this reading of Roe, should be seen as a limited freedom established within the nexus of three parties: the pregnant woman, the unborn, and the state. The woman’s liberty trumps both the value of the unborn and the interests of the state except when the unborn reaches viability,” (p.39).
    • “[Justice Blackmun’s] framework has resulted in abortion on demand,” (p.39).
    • “Blackmun’s choice of viability as the point at which the state has a compelling interest in protecting prenatal life is based on a fallacious argument,” (p.40).
    • “The Supreme Court so broadly defined health in  Roe’s companion decision, Doe v. Bolton (1973), that
      for all intents and purposes, Roe allows for abortion on demand. In Bolton, the Court ruled that health must be taken in its broadest possible medical context and must be defined ‘in light of all factors—physical, emotional, psychological, familial,  and  the  woman’s  age—relevant  to  the  well  being  of  the  patient’ because ‘[a]ll these factors relate to health,’ ” (p.40).
    • The 1983 U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee concluded the same, stating that that “no significant legal barriers of any kind whatsoever exist today in the  United States for a woman to obtain an abortion for any reason during any stage of her pregnancy,” (p.40).
    • Furthermore, the Court (as Gosnell and Planned Parenthood events have proven) left the interpretation of the viability of the fetus open to mean whatever “meaningful life” may mean, determined “exclusively by the pregnant woman,” (p.42).

    In other words, because Blackmun did little to protect the rights of the unborn over against the rights of an abortion-hungry mother, his regime has (rather logically) resulted in abortion-on-demand as the modern status quo.

    Next time, we’ll dive into part 2, “How the Court Found a Right to Abortion,” and it’s really more like they invented it.

    The Wrong H-Word

    On days like today, I’m thankful for the clarity of Scripture. The Bible makes no “if”s, “except”s, or “only-when”s about it: unrepentant homosexuality is a damning sin.

    But, when the pagan President of the United States invites a high-profile (celebrity?) pastor to pray at his highness’ inauguration, the homosexual crowd seizes the opportunity to use “anit-gay” sermon quotes to publicly break the pastor’s well-profiled bones. Before fracture is finished, the pastor runs away.

    I understand not wanting to be lied about in public, but for the words of Scripture? Christians have to hold on better than that. Jesus said, “You will be hated by all for My name’s sake.”

    Christians who run away fear the H-word “homophobe” more than “Holy One.” God is holy, and His holiness is more fearsome than the slanderous blurbs on ABC News.

    The holiness of God doesn’t excuse homosexuality, and it doesn’t excuse cowardice, either. Calling homosexuals, thieves, adulterers, and coveters to repentance is brave, loving, and absolutely necessary for salvation. Those who fail to do so may find themselves joining unrepentant sinners in eternity:

        But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8 ESV)

    On Christian (Un)Citizens

    1 Peter 2:11-17  Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.  Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.  Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme,  or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good.  For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.  Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.  Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

    Nearly caught in the kind of teaching trap those of us educators are familiar with, Jesus tells the Jews in Luke 20:25 to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s,” and He leaves it at that. He doesn’t elaborate much, because the situation didn’t call for it. It was meant to be a crafty ploy (20:23) to get Him to slip up.

    But it got me thinking: what does it mean to be a Christian (un)citizen?

    God teaches us plainly that “our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,” (Philippians 3:20). So what does it mean to be a citizen of heaven while living on earth?

    Without the time to go into all the details, Christians recently have struggled with two gross extremes: militant escapism and foolish assimilation. Or, more directly, being citizens of heaven that don’t live on earth vs. being citizens of earth that aren’t bound for heaven.

    This is where Peter helps us immensely. Recall the context of 1 Peter: Peter was writing to suffering Christians to encourage them to hold on to Jesus in the midst of terrifying troubles.  So it might seem odd that he writes a section on honoring the government and its officers.

    Notice that verse 11 has the encouragement to avoid “passions of the flesh which wage war against the soul,” then moves right into a discussion about . . . obeying authorities? This must be a bigger deal than we realize.

    Verse 12 says that this conduct outlined in verses 13-17 is what will glorify God in front of the Gentiles, that is, in front of the unbelieving but watching world. Living under the authority of emperors and governors as “servants of God” is what shows the watching world that we are, in fact, not citizens of this world. What a strange concept?

    Who would have thought that neither escapism nor assimilation was our calling?! So what is our calling, brothers and sisters? To fear God and honor everyone as He calls, including our (ever-so-often failing) government.

    As to how exactly this ought to work with other callings (like standing up for the unborn, clarifying the meaning of marriage, voting regularly, etc.), we will work out in a future post.

    Hiding Behind Conservatism

    On “Christian” Cowardice, the Lukewarm “Church,” and False Converts

    In my state, we’re in the midst of a popular vote on whether or not we should exclusively define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Several professing “Christians” have posted statements like this:

    • “Love is love is love.”
    • “Doesn’t Jesus tell us to love each other?”
    • “Legal marriage and spiritual marriage are two different, unrelated things.”
    • “I’m not sure this law should be in the state constitution.”

    What troubles me more than the muddled thought processes behind such statements is the fact that they reveal an ignorance of the whole of Scripture. Such words have yanked passages out of context, used them in ways God never intended, and thrown them aside.

    Such issues shine spotlights on our supposedly converted Christians and evangelical churches. If someone has no concern for God’s Word as He wrote it, is that person converted at all? Has he truly been transferred from the domain of darkness and into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son? Wouldn’t it show in the way he looks at the world?

    A converted man would he care more for people’s souls than for the supposed pillars of conservatism. A converted man would stand up against evil, even when everyone else stood against him. A converted man would preach this gospel, live this gospel, and die for this gospel.

    “Hold on, that seems harsh.” Is it? When professing Christians cajole, contort, and apologize to get around God’s Word, do they really love God?

    The way that Christians respond publicly to abortion and marriage will be one true test of our faith. Do we believe God’s Word or do we care more for other man-centered issues? Do we fear God or man? Indeed, who is our God?

    Worse than All Recent Genocides Combined

    Michael Stokes Paulsen explains why Roe v. Wade is a radical, legally untenable, immoral decision. Here’s his crushing introduction:

    After nearly four decades, Roe’s human death toll stands at nearly sixty million human lives, a total exceeding the Nazi Holocaust, Stalin’s purges, Pol Pot’s killing fields, and the Rwandan genocide combined. Over the past forty years, one-sixth of the American population has been killed by abortion. One in four African-Americans is killed before birth. Abortion is the leading cause of (unnatural) death in America.

    It is almost too much to contemplate: the prospect that we are living in the midst of, and accepting (to various degrees) one of the greatest human holocausts in history. And so we don’t contemplate it. Instead, we look for ways to deny this grim reality, minimize it, or explain away our complacency—or complicity.

    Paulsen proceeds to explain each claim (radicalism, legal untenability, and immorality) in succession and make observations on how Roe, with its companion decision Doe, have decimated life and morality in America and the world.

    More quote-gems:

    • “One need not presume that the human fetus has a right not to be killed in order to recognize that, as a descriptive matter, Roe creates a right for one class of human beings to kill other human beings.”
    • “In terms of fair principles of constitutional interpretation, Roe is perhaps the least defensible major constitutional decision in the Supreme Court’s history.”
    • “Abortion restrictions do not restrict acts of women because they are women; they restrict acts committed by men or women because they kill human fetuses.”
    • Casey’s reaffirmation of Roe, in the name of stare decisis, was a sham—perhaps the most transparently dishonest major judicial decision since Dred Scott.”
    • “My concluding point concerns the lengths to which we will go to deny the reality of this holocaust, because it is almost unbearable to contemplate and still go on living life as if nothing is terribly wrong. The cognitive dissonance is simply too great. And so we have become, in effect, a nation of holocaust deniers.”

    And his conclusion contains a particularly stinging indictment to our American, top-tier-of-evolved-humanity pride:

    All of this should tell us a few more sobering things. It should tell us that, much as we would like to believe that human beings have become more morally conscious, more sensitive to injustice and intolerant of clear evil, it remains the case that we often either fail to recognize it in our midst, or refuse to respond to it decisively, out of self-interest or cowardice. It should tell us that, much as we would like to think that we surely would have stood bravely against slavery, even if embedded in a nineteenth-century society that tolerated and accepted it as a legal right, we might have acquiesced or been tepid in our condemnation. It should tell us that, much as we would like to think we would never have put up with what transpired in Nazi Germany in the 1930s and the 1940s, the evidence of our lives in twenty-first century America is that we might have put up with quite a lot…

    . . . The docility of the American people with respect to Roe and
    abortion rivals the pliancy of the most cowardly, servile peoples
    toward ruinous, brutal, anti-democratic regimes throughout world
    history.

    Then, after calling out the Supreme Court as “a lawless, rogue institution capable of the most monstrous of injustices in the name of law,” Paulsen closes with the truest call to pro-life action I’ve ever read:

    The Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade should not be accepted as law, in any sense. It should be resisted by legislatures and it should be refused enforcement by executive officials because it is not the law. It should be resisted by all citizens, with all the resources at their disposal, and perhaps even with resources not (yet) at their disposal. Anything less is holocaust denial.

    The Government Doesn’t Legislate Anything But Morality

    Over the years, I’ve heard the phrase, “The government can’t legislate morality,” far too many times. Most often, this statement belies an attitude of nonchalant, postmodern hedonism that fears man more than it fears God. But lest we turn this into an ad hominem affair, we ought first prove the point:

    The Government Doesn’t Legislate Anything But Morality

    1. The government makes laws.
    From Scripture, plain reason, and experience, we know that governments must make laws. That, in the first principle, is why they exist. If people could govern, i.e., reign over, themselves, governments would in no way be needed. But because of sin, miscommunication, and mistakes (mostly sin), governments must needs exist.

    2. The government decides what is moral. To make a “moral” decision is to decide between right and wrong, to make a mark between the right and the wrong, to outline the body of what is right and what is wrong. This is the essence of law-making: people must decide what is right and wrong, acceptable and unacceptable, fair and unfair, just and unjust in a given society. We ought not be uncomfortable with this; we make sense of life by making moral decisions. We say this is right and that is wrong; it is why we have fully-functioning, ever-active consciences.

    3. Every law is a statement on what is moral, i.e., what is right and what is wrong. So go gun safety bills, veterans’ benefits bills, even national budget bills. Health care bills, economic stimulus packages, and constitutional amendments all make statements as to what is considered right and wrong in our country. This is the essence of lawmaking. “Laws” are statements about right and wrong.

    4. Your sin doesn’t falsify or profane the government’s job. You may be disagreeing with me on the first two points, but that would only be because you have a vested interest in protecting one of your pet sins. Maybe you like to smoke pot on the side, or carry a same-sex attraction, or want to wink at your friend’s recent abortion. Maybe you love being well-liked by the people around you. Whatever the case, your disagreement with the moral legislation of the government is more a function of your own self-deception than of the verity of these claims.

    5. The government must punish wrong-doing. Again, your own self-deception may trouble you here, so let us turn to an illustration outside of our self-defensive cocoons. Suppose a madman murders your dearest loved one, and you are an eyewitness. At his trial, you are called to testify. What do you say? Do you ask the judge to let him go free, or punish him? Unless your conscience is irreparably broken, you scream, “Justice!”

    As 1 Peter 2:13-14 says, “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good.” The government doesn’t bear the sword (or the court system, or the jail system, or capital punishment) in vain. It’s sent by God to punish wrongdoers.

    Don’t Hide
    In the end, it’s clear that the government legislates nothing but morality. So don’t hide behind your saying that “it’s not their job to tell me who I can marry” or “it’s not their job to tell me what I can do with the child inside my body” (the two most common personal reasons for objecting to moral legislation). And please don’t be a coward and hide behind your fear of what others will think.

    Just say that you believe same-sex marriage and abortion are completely moral, just, right acts, and be prepared to back those claims up logically. Don’t ask the government to give you a free pass because you like your favorite depraved act, or because you don’t have the courage to stand up against those who do. As a citizen of earth, it’s your job.

    Bravo, North Carolina

    In the world, democracy is rare. In a republic, democracy is often forgotten. So bravo to North Carolina, for electing officials who will let the people define marriage for our state constitution next May.

    Let us pray that our state gets it right.

    Ad Hominems, Shenanigans, and Scaremongering

    Often I find interesting, informative articles about any number of cultural, political, or practical topics. Tonight, I read this lengthy, enlightening piece on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas by The New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin.

    The Not-So-Hidden Ad Hominem
    Toobin both chronicles Thomas’ court decisions and recasts a dark veil over his personal life. Mixing philosophical, logical analysis with personal attacks is the classic example of an ad hominem (“against the man”) argument. Toobin tries to discredit Justice Thomas’ beliefs by discrediting his character; but this, as every logic textbook reminds us, is a logical fallacy.

    The Double Standard
    Just one example will here suffice:

    • Over and over again, Toobin claims that Thomas acts as a lone ranger on his own ideological initiative, making him the conservative puppeteer behind the right-moving court system.
    • But, late in the article, Toobin mentions that the Attorney General of Virginia and a Federal District Court Judge in Florida both fought against Obama’s Healthcare plan, all the while citing that they simply followed Thomas’ lead.

    Here’s the problem: how can Thomas be acting on his own initiative but the other conservative judges, lawyers, and activists can’t? Why must Clarence Thomas be the Darth Vader behind “the dark side” of originalism?

    Toobin’s Shenanigans
    The answer lies in Toobin’s hidden agenda shenanigans. He means to publicly discredit and defame Justice Thomas’ judicial philosophy before the fight against Obamacare begins in the Supreme Court. That’s why Toobin begins and ends the way he does, using descriptions of Thomas’ influence to scaremonger the American public. But will we see through it and read the logic for ourselves?

    If we do, we’ll see that Justice Thomas simply reads the Constitution using historical authorial intent, the way any document must be accurately read.

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