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.

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Stories Live Out Truth

I’ve been saying for a while, in various conversations with students, teachers, and parents, that Christians (and conservatives in general) have failed to defend the philosophical foundations which once made our country the freedom-loving, capitalism-enjoying, life-defending, worship-freeing nation it was meant to be. Those days, clearly, are gone. Now all parts of the “right” (our country’s term, not mine) are fighting for our philosophical lives.

Here, however, I am not assuming that all Christians are conservative politically or that all conservatives are sympathetic to Christian views. I am only saying that Christians and conservatives share some of the same public values, and that Christians should care about the truth being told in our country.

This is why Rod Dreher’s recent piece, “Story Lines, Not Party Lines,” is so important. In it, he makes the case for the importance of stories and why America needs conservative true stories so badly:

Kirk understood that the world might be won or lost on front porches, in bedrooms at night, around family hearths, in movie theaters and anywhere young people hear, see, or read the stories that fill and illuminate their moral imaginations. If you do not give them good stories, they will seek out bad ones.

“And the consequences will be felt not merely in their failure of taste,” Kirk said, “but in their misapprehension of human nature, lifelong; and eventually, in the whole tone of a nation.”

One direct application for me was this: what stories am I telling my family, my students, my friends and church and world? The world may be won or lost according to stories like mine.

Why? Because, as Dreher explains, “Stories work by indirection: not by telling us what to believe but by helping us to experience emotionally and imaginatively what it is like to embody particular ideas.” Embodiment must come with ideas, and is not optional.

This squares well with the Bible’s tight balance between positive doctrinal literature (epistles, wisdom, prophetic writings), positive and negative narrative accounts (OT history), and those that skillfully intertwine both (Pentateuch, Gospels, Acts, Revelation). God Himself sees truth as not only abstract but very livable. Jesus Christ was and is and always will be truth embodied in flesh.

Our children, husbands and wives, churches, friends, schools, and nation desperately needs stories worth telling – the kind of stories that are worth mimicking, the kind of stories that are worth building our lives on. Are you telling those stories, or are you leaving it up to the televison, internet, or paperback section?

The Disgraceful, Cowardly Media

Why are the major media outlets in the US afraid to report on the multiple child murder trial of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell? Kirsten Powers writes that they’ve lost their sense of human justice:

You don’t have to oppose abortion rights to find late-term abortion abhorrent or to find the Gosnell trial eminently newsworthy. This is not about being “pro-choice” or “pro-life.” It’s about basic human rights.

The deafening silence of too much of the media, once a force for justice in America, is a disgrace.

Which is to say, the media cares more about cash and reputation than the truth.

NC House Stands Up for Voters, Women, Children

Overriding Gov. Bev Perdue’s veto, the N.C. House voted today to pass House Bill 854, “Women’s Right to Know Act,” which requires more detailed informed consent, an ultrasound of the live child, and a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion. This is a victory for all in North Carolina and in the United States of America who love life, children, men, and women.

Predictably, our local, leftist paper forgets to mention that the majority of NC voters are in support of the bill. I’m talking to you, News and Observer.

Loving Your Country Doesn’t Have to Be Idolatry

Doug Wilson, on why you must love your country to be able to tell her when she’s wrong:

My natural affection for my people and place — which every Christian must cultivate in his place, for his people — does not interfere with my ability to challenge the regnant follies, insanities, and cruelties. That natural affection, that patriotism, is actually one of my qualifications for doing so. We have plots currently afoot in Washington that George III would not have countenanced in his nightmares. And if I go to a big rally dedicated to telling the federal government to stop acting like a colony of Morder, as I make my way through the parking area, I am willing to bet you that an awful lot of the pick-up trucks there would have American flags on them.

Poison in the Water

In response to my post earlier in the week on how funding Planned Parenthood is apparently the sine qua non of the federal government, a commenter wrote that federal PP support doesn’t necessitate federal support of abortion. I disagreed, and disagree today.

The facts are these: the Democrats say that “the battle over planned parenthood was never about abortion,” and the Hyde Amendment prohibits the use of federal funds for abortions. The relevance of those points depends on how exactly one defines “money used for abortion.” We could talk about political tactics and doublespeak, but here’s the issue: poison in the water.The water here is Planned Parenthood (a stab-to-the-brain name if I’ve ever heard one). The people drinking the water are you, me, the American populace, and our representatives. The poison is abortion.

  • If there’s poison in the water, we can’t drink it. Period. Why do we want poisoned water?
  • If abortion is performed in PP offices, we can’t fund them. Period.
  • Since abortion is performed in PP, we can’t fund them. End of Story.

Let’s put this another way: Planned Parenthood exists to kill children. Margaret Sanger began the American Birth Control League to kill “unfit” children.

Do the research yourself. Go on Google Books and read Margaret Sanger’s articles. PP is a bastion of eugenics, genocide, discrimination, and death; and we can’t keep drinking their poison.

How the Constitution Guarantees Life for the Unborn

Over at Sorrows and Joys, Brian Carnesecchi reminds us of the Preamble to the Consitution:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

He then observes:

The purpose of the Preamble is to give guidance to the reader as to how the whole Constitution is to be read and understood.  It is a way for the Founders to say, “This is why we are writing this Constitution.  If you have any doubts about what we mean here, then let us tell you….this is our purpose with this Constitution.” But, you may ask, the Preamble doesn’t mention abortion or when life begins.  Have you looked close enough? 

Twelve Analogies for the Unborn

Following up on my post from two years ago in which I gave “Ten Non-Analogies for the Unborn,” I’ll try to offer the other side of the coin.

Fighting for the rights of our unborn children is like:

  1. The strong protecting the weak. We know intuitively that the reason some people are strong in some areas and others weak is so that the strong will use their strength to help the weak. These children need our protection, and we can offer it.
  2. The loud speaking for the voiceless. Living adults have the loudest voice in America – the voice to vote and be heard across the nation. The unborn have no audible voice, and they need ours to save theirs.
  3. The rich helping the poor. We Americans like to think that we use our domestic advantages to help the less advantaged. So why not here? Living adults are rich in voice, in resources, in life while the unborn are comparatively poor.
  4. The hero saving the day. These little ones need saving, and they need millions of heroes to stand up for them.
  5. Parents doing what they’re supposed to do. Parents are created to care for children, not kill them. When a mother drives her children into a lake, we get up in an outrage. When a mother goes to Planned Parenthood, we say she’s courageous?
  6. The family taking a stand. As a country, we can’t say that we care about families while we slay our own children. Every person on earth was born into some sort of family, so we all have the same interest here.
  7. Loving others the way we love ourselves. No one wants to go through the pain of death, plus we were all once children. We have a connection with the unborn that is deeper than knowledge; it runs in blood and flesh and reality.
  8. Fighting for life over death. In the movies, in literature, and in life, we as a country applaud those who lay down their own rights and privileges in order to help others. Why not for the unborn?
  9. Fighting for women’s rights. The rights of unborn women, that is.
  10. Fighting for mothers’ honor. The honor of bearing children has lately been demeaned into pseudo-slavery (see Sanger’s quotes from earlier this week), but, as true mothers well know, it belongs in a place of high esteem.
  11. Good fighting evil. If the murder of the voiceless (Holocaust, racist injustice, abortion) isn’t evil, what is?
  12. Giving our own lives for another’s. Yes, fighting for life will be hard. But giving your life for another’s is worth far more than your time, attention, and resources. It’s worth your life.

Feelings, Free Speech, and the Gospel

Another strange set of events has emerged recently in the Chicago, IL, suburb of Naperville, where Nequa Valley High School administrators tried to force all of their high school students to participate in the school’s upcoming “Day of Silence” for gay rights.

They were shot down, however. In accordance with the 2006 U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th District decision that the school could not force students to change their “Be Happy, Not Gay” T-shirt message, last week’s ruling forbade school officials from forcing students to remain silent.

Shannon Sullivan, executive director of the Illinois Safe School Alliance, said she sees the ruling as narrow.

“It is based on the same principle that allows students to wear ‘Day of Silence’ t-shirts in school,” she said. “We would certainly not limit the students’ rights to wear those.”

But Sullivan, whose organization leads the “Day of Silence” effort in Illinois, called such opposing slogans on t-shirts intolerant.

“It tells people not to be gay, and people are gay,” she said. “I do think a consequence of wearing a shirt like that is hurting other people’s feelings.”

Far we have fallen from the days when sodomy was a crime. Next, the Safe School Alliance will tell us that we can’t condemn drunk drivers and pedophiles because, “People are drunk drivers and pedophiles.”

Our country suffers from a severe confusion between sinner and sin. A sin is a sin, no matter how many times or how loudly we try to call it “good” or “different.” But as believers in Christ, we are empowered and called to love the lost, calling them to repentance (Matthew 9:12, Mark 2:17, Luke 5:31f), and that includes rebuking and correcting their sin (Leviticus 19:17, Proverbs 24:25).

We must name sins and hate them in order to love the sinner in any true way. Sinners need Jesus, perfect, crucified, risen, and reigning. Jesus said, “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance,” (Luke 5:31). We need Him precisely because we are sinners.

If we become afraid to call out sins like homosexuality and abortion, how soon will we be unable to to condemn cheating, lying, and adultery? When will everyone just be “okay” without Jesus?

Maybe our theology is already there.

Let the Anonymous Speak Up

In Sticky Teams: Keeping Your Leadership Team and Staff on the Same Page, author Larry Osborne counsels leaders to enact a “no-‘theys'” rule regarding anonymous influences:

Our “no theys” rule applies not only to the board; it also applies to every staff meeting and to all of my dealings with the congregation. Now whenever someone says that they’ve been talking to some people who have a concern, I always ask, “Who are they?”

If I’m told that they wouldn’t be comfortable having their names mentioned, I respond, “That’s too bad, because I’m not comfortable listening to anonymous sources. Let me know when they’re willing to be identified. I’ll be happy to listen.”

It seems that such counsel would solve a lot of anonymous problems, mainly because “they” don’t exist.

HT: What’s Best Next

A Call to Stand Up on Campus

In an article entitled, “Campus Political Correctness and the Cost of Free Speech,” Eastern Kentucky University history professor Todd Hartch looks back at the recent marriage controversy on his own campus, then roundly sounds the gong for Christians to stand up on the college campus:

For at least two generations, Catholics, Orthodox, Evangelicals, and other religious conservatives have sought to “get along” with the prevailing American campus culture of relativism and moral license. We have dedicated ourselves to academic excellence, to fair and balanced teaching, and to keeping a low profile. We have kept quiet in department meetings, in the faculty senate, and on university committees. We have bitten our tongues when colleagues disparaged our religion, our morality, and our most cherished beliefs. We have convinced our colleagues that religious conservatives can be surprisingly thoughtful and urbane.

In the end, what have such actions won for us? Many of us have produced solid scholarship and positive teaching evaluations. We’ve been awarded tenure and even prizes. We have the respect of our colleagues and our administrations. Ostpolitik [the 1960s and ’70s Vatican policy on the Soviet Union] on campus has allowed religious conservatives to live normal lives, to teach our courses with a degree of independence, and to pursue the research agendas of our choice. Our jobs are secure and our careers give every sign of continuing success.

We have watched, though, as our campuses veered farther and farther off course. Sexual license is now taken for granted. Mentions of abortion, homosexuality, and even bestiality hardly merit a second glance in our campus papers. Many students have never heard a rational conservative argument about any moral issue. Our colleagues now scoff even at the idea of truth, as if it were some quaint notion from the Middle Ages. Discipline after discipline has lost its mooring and drifted into irrelevance or outright idiocy.

The whole article finishes with practical policy suggestions and is worth the read.

How Easy It Is for Us to Use Politics to Forget Jesus!

Russell Moore writes on the Glenn-Beck-the-celebrity-Mormon-turned-evangelical-leader “scandal,” explaining in the process why the gospel of America-and-God will never be enough:

Too often, and for too long, American “Christianity” has been a political agenda in search of a gospel useful enough to accommodate it. There is a liberation theology of the Left, and there is also a liberation theology of the Right, and both are at heart mammon worship. The liberation theology of the Left often wants a Barabbas, to fight off the oppressors as though our ultimate problem were the reign of Rome and not the reign of death. The liberation theology of the Right wants a golden calf, to represent religion and to remind us of all the economic security we had in Egypt. Both want a Caesar or a Pharaoh, not a Messiah.

Leaders will always be tempted to bypass the problem behind the problems: captivity to sin, bondage to the accusations of the demonic powers, the sentence of death. That’s why so many of our Christian superstars smile at crowds of thousands, reassuring them that they don’t like to talk about sin. That’s why other Christian celebrities are seen to be courageous for fighting their culture wars, while they carefully leave out the sins most likely to be endemic to the people paying the bills in their movements.

Later in the article, Moore explains that there is nothing novel about such tactics:

This is, of course, not new. Our Lord Jesus faced this test when Satan took him to a high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the earth, and their glory. Satan did not mind surrendering his authority to Jesus. He didn’t mind a universe without pornography or Islam or abortion or nuclear weaponry. Satan did not mind Judeo-Christian values. He wasn’t worried about “revival” or “getting back to God.” What he opposes was the gospel of Christ crucified and resurrected for the sins of the world.

HT: Stephen Day

Does Blaming “Society” Help Anyone?

From economist Thomas Sowell at RealClear Politics, “Cheering Immaturity“:

It is painful that people with lower incomes often have to pay higher prices, even though most people are not criminals, even in a high-crime neighborhood. But misconstruing the reasons is not going to help anybody, except race hustlers and politicians.

One of the many disservices done to young people by our schools and colleges is giving them the puffed up notion that they are in a position to pass sweeping judgments on a world that they have barely begun to experience. A standing ovation for childish remarks may produce “self-esteem” but promoting presumptuousness is unlikely to benefit either this student or society.

HT: Hermonta Godwin

Calvinism’s Content

A helpful overview of the “New” (really old) Calvinism by Jonathan Dodson, including “five important distinctions”:

  1. Gospel/Religion – “. . .The Gospel is not Religion.”
  2. Us/Them – “The Gospel does not exaggerate an Us/Them mentality.”
  3. Big/Small – “The gospel is much bigger than people think [i.e., it is a world-view], but it is not smaller than
    personal redemption.”
  4. Conservative/Liberal – “New Calvinists are distancing the gospel from politics.”
  5. Urban/Suburban – “New Calvinists are returning to the city . . . from the white suburban flight . . . [to recover] a commitment to justice
    and mercy in the city . . . “

Enjoy the whole thing.

Liberals Dancing Around the Real Issue: Abortion

The conclusion of Charmaine Yoest’s excellent article,  “Abortion and the Health Bill,” in the Wall Street Journal:

The president’s plan goes further than the Senate bill on abortion by calling for spending $11 billion over five years on “community health centers,” which include Planned Parenthood clinics that provide abortions.

The bottom line is that the president wants to deploy words that sound soothing like “balance” and “adjust.” Meanwhile, the courts are rendering precedent with stark words like “mandatory.”

When confronted by House Minority Leader John Boehner about abortion funding during the health-care summit last week, the president dropped his head and looked down at the table. How revealing.

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