Planned Parenthood Butchery Revealed; Have We Had Enough Yet?

Americans have been horrified by the new depths of butchery and depravity – at the hands of Planned Parenthood – revealed in the videos released by the Center for Medical Progress. At this writing, four of them have been revealed; and at least half a dozen more are on the way. The most recent release was in defiance of a California judge’s order forbidding it. CMP knows it is both illegal and unconstitutional to suppress speech in America before it has been spoken. Instead of wringing their hands or depending on the uncertain future of an appeal, they invoked the doctrine of prior restraint with their own hands. Their exercise of their constitutional rights without awaiting the permission of a contemptible judge dares that judge to hold them in contempt. Yeah!

But what is on those videos should be of far greater concern to decent people – regardless of their belief. It begins with Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical research, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, pricing human baby body parts. She was crass enough to demand enough to support purchasing a luxury car. She is a medical doctor who takes an oath to “do no harm” practicing medicine. Does she think it harmless to harvest human hearts or livers for research once the human has been killed?

PP head Cecile Richards apologized for the uncompassionate tone displayed by Nucatola. Richards went on to complain that the video was heavily edited, even though the unedited three-hour version was posted on the same site at the same time. She decried the secretive recording, even though nobody complained that Mitt Romney’s remarks about the “47% who don’t pay income taxes” were secretly recorded. (Romney is not pro-abortion.) But to turn the old rhetorical dodge on its head, it is not the way she said it, Ms. Richards; it is what she said…and what she admits she does.

A second video featured another PP doctor describing a “less crunchy” method of aborting babies so as to protect the integrity of the organs to be harvested. This one even admits to postponing the abortion as long as possible in order to facilitate greater development of the organs in question. Kristen Powers quotes her colleague, Michael Wear: “It should bother us as a nation that we have use for aborted human organs but not the baby that provides them.”

It should bother us even more – if that be possible – that these butchers receive half a billion taxpayer dollars each year – and that is from the feds alone. Since the revelations contained in the videos, three states – of fifty – have defunded Planned Parenthood. At least three criminal investigations are underway into state and federal laws broken by the trafficking of human body parts. Meanwhile, the US Senate failed to agree with the House on a resolution to defund the behemoth at the federal level, although a majority of senators voted ‘aye.’ It is an irony of Senate rules – at best – that it takes a larger majority to bring a measure to a vote than to merely pass it once brought to a vote.

Planned Parenthood has been exposed as the monster it is more times than I can count on my fingers. Counselors have been filmed advising human traffickers on how to obtain abortions for underage girls and avoid prosecution; avoiding charges for rape and other kinds of violence have been exposed. The reality that two thirds of PP clinics are located in black neighborhoods, coupled with founder Margaret Sanger’s well-known views on eugenics and a society free of minority members, is on the record. None of these revelations have generated sufficient outrage to bring PP down. Is it time at long last for consequences?

One thing is clear. Once again, there is no such thing as a victimless crime. We delude ourselves that abortion – like prostitution – is a voluntary act and so of no real harm. We pretend the baby is not human-like; we pretend the prostitute is not coerced by her handlers. Reality is when we break a natural yet God-given law – like thou shalt do no murder – there are always consequences; and there are always more victims and more broken covenants just down the road. We Americans were placed into history by a God of blessing and not of cursing. We can – led by the Body of Christ – right a wrong foisted on us by a rogue Supreme Court in 1973. That is a blessing from God Himself. Or we can push our heads down a bit further into the sand. But if we do, we curse ourselves with the sand choking us from within our own mouths.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Thanking Him For What? Repentance And Thanksgiving Are Fraternal Twins

A funny thing happened to me as I walked down the corridor toward the hearing room in California’s state capitol. My team awaited my leadership of our monthly meeting to pray God’s blessing and our repentance over the state. The Lord spoke, calling me to give thanks for the Supreme Court decision authorizing same sex marriage in open defiance of our national constitution. That’s right; He told me to give thanks and to lead my teams in thirty-two of California’s counties in giving thanks.

When I responded with something like “Really?”, he reminded me of the call in 1 Thessalonians 5 to give thanks in all things. “Yes,” I said, “but isn’t this a little extreme?” His reply was quick and succinct. “This is my way of leaving the Church with nothing to lose.”

There is no question the Supreme Court decision was utterly corrupt from a legal standpoint. Justice Kennedy admits in the majority decision he wrote that he and the other four justices voted to defy the constitution they swore on the Word of God to defend. The jury is equally in on the irrationality of their decision. Studies in every nation mandating gay marriage demonstrate the harm it does to gay and straight alike. Gays do not reap the health and welfare benefits they expect – because marriage does not address the challenges inherent in their lifestyle, challenges having nothing to do with acceptance by heterosexuals. Straight marriages tend to become less frequent and less resilient because the covenant is devalued in a culture believing it means whatever judges decide it means. Justice Kennedy sniffs that he fails to see how gay marriage can harm heterosexual marriage. Failure is the operant term here; looking reality in the eye precedes understanding what is seen.

So why should Christians – or any intelligent ones – give thanks for this failure?

Because we have for too long lived in a cocoon in which we imagine our help comes from the court system, the constitutional protection of our right to practice the truth of our faith, and the good intentions and common sense of people who lead our culture. Even now, some applaud Chief Justice Roberts’ principled dissent in the marriage case, conveniently forgetting Roberts used the same twisted logic as Kennedy to uphold Obamacare – not once but twice. Reality is our help comes from the Lord our God and from Him alone; nothing has changed. Imagining our help comes from human institutions and structures is and has always been idolatry. And now, according to God Himself, speaking in a corridor of secular power, the veil has been torn–and there is nothing left to see but Him. We do need to give thanks.

We need give more than thanks for a dose of truth. We need to beg God in Christ to fill us with His courage – the courage He gave King David when he marched to face Goliath. We need to recall GK Chesterton’s word that courage is simply fear that has said its prayers. And we need to ask God to give us a vision that says yes to Him and His covenant–and not just no to the tyranny of unelected judges and lawsuit-happy gay couples. The way is to commit to serious repentance. Do we still imagine human structures and assets can restore our torn and gasping culture? Gay marriage is simply the latest in a century of compromising our lives and families on the altar of whatever feels good at the moment.

The Great Awakening of the mid-eighteenth century forged a nation that stood before God. The second Great Awakening of the early nineteenth century shaped a national character of personal sacrifice for the benefit of others. The third brought hippies down from drugs and filled them with the Holy Spirit of miraculous healing and a zeal to witness to the world what they had received. All three restored families. The fourth will do likewise alongside whatever else it creates, but we can depend on it requiring a culture of repentance in believers – as all the others have done.

Let us remember that repentance is first and foremost a re-focus of our attention on God and away from what we have set in His rightful place.

California, Oregon and Washington are engaging a Trifecta of Repentance on September 9, 10 and 11. This rolling Day will be held in California’s capitol the 9th; Oregon’s the 10th; and Washington’s the 11th. Alaska and British Columbia are proclaiming their own days in conjunction and cooperation with the lower west coast trifecta. These days climax fifty-two days of fasting and prayer for our states and nation that corresponds to the fifty-two days on which Nehemiah and his band of brethren worked to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem after their release from Babylonian captivity. Their work too began and ended in repentance and worship; they knew the Sole Source of their help.

Readers who want to participate – or just check this process out – are invited to go to www.dayofrepentance1.org. Readers who reflect this material has no bearing on their lives since no day of repentance is planned in their states might want to ask: “Why not?” and move from there to: “What is stopping me from starting one?” And those who think prayer and repentance is a crutch for those who fear relying on themselves might want to ask: “What other options have not yet been tried and found bankrupt?” Honest answers to any of these questions will lead into a new Great Awakening of the blessing and providence of the God Who sacrificed His Son for us. We were born for such a time as this.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Needed: An Intervention For America

America needs intervention – today.

Twenty-first century Americans – Christian or no – are addicted to complaining, escapist entertainment, an exaggerated sense of entitlement, and scapegoating. That is why we have epidemic shedding of innocent blood called abortion, the sexual sin embodied in pornography and human trafficking, the idolatry of experts believing that manipulating the economy improves it, and the broken covenants that look like so many broken families. Truth is we cannot and will not intervene on ourselves. However, God-in-the-Person-of-Jesus is ready, willing and able to intervene on us. He even reveals His plan for intervention and treatment in 2 Chronicles 7:13-14. “When I shut up the heavens so there is no rain…If my people who are called by My Name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

California is gripped in the fourth year of our worst drought ever. The natural causes are a persistent high pressure ridge and a meteorological troughing phenomenon that tag-team to deflect storms from us. Oregon and Washington know similar if somewhat milder straits. These causes are natural, but they naturally linger a few weeks. Four years is unnatural.

That leaves limited explanatory options. My money is on God – because His Word telegraphs His plans when His people go off the rails – and because I know Him to love even in disaster. If He has provided this drought, it is because – as any faithful interventionist would – He loves His people enough to confront them with His love, His promised support for seeking sobriety and the inevitable consequences of addiction. But the amazing thing is all we have to do is humble ourselves in recognition we are not all that, pray and seek Him instead of our own glory, and turn from our wicked ways.

The Hebrew word for wicked in 2 Chronicles 7:14 is ra. It denotes inadequacies rather than immorality. In context, we are told to stop worshiping our inadequacies and to return to worshiping the only living God. Yet worshipping our inadequacies is exactly what we do when we say, “I must have this abortion; I am not prepared to raise a child”–forgetting that the number of medical hurdles threatening any successful birth is enough to conclude there is no such thing as a birth God did not desire. Statements like “This is different; we have got to be practical,” ignore the reality that there is no more pragmatic Being in the universe than the One who spoke it – and its structures – into existence. Inadequacy is human; worshiping the best we can do instead of God in Christ is as stupid as it is morally bankrupt. But if scripture is true – and it is – we have a golden opportunity to re-set mindset and behavior.

This opportunity is a challenge for believers in the Lord Jesus only; we are the ones called to account because we are the ones entrusted with California’s destiny, and we are responsible for her failures – at least according to those same scriptures. Believers in Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and British Columbia are joining with Californians to build a wall of fasting, prayer and re-focus (repentance) on God over the trifecta day of September 9-11. (BTW, a fast is letting go of anything we think we need – worshiped inadequacies anyone? – and God is pretty sure we don’t. My addictions of choice are diet soda and profanity – whether spoken or thought – and I am glad to fast them.) The fast began July 20, and it is not too late to come aboard; there is that scriptural example of the workers in the vineyard who are rewarded equally for their labor if they worked an hour or a day.

For that matter, is there any state in the union where all is so well that a little fasting and praying would be a waste of energy? I thought not. Reality is we need a touch from God; we need the assurance of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives unless we really are making it on our own. The good news is it does not matter how often we have tried to make it on our own; He awaits our return to awareness of how He perfects His strength only in our weakness. Go to www.dayofrepentance1.org for information. Take home with you the truth that He still knows the plans He has for us – plans to give us hope, prosperity, and the assurance that when we seek His face (Jeremiah 29:11-14), we cannot fail to find Him.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

God Made Us A Nation Of Immigrants

God’s view of immigration is clearly presented in His Word. Jesus says, in Mark 11:17, “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” In so saying, He quotes His Abba’s word through the prophet Isaiah. For those foreigners who have bound themselves to the Lord and keep His laws, “These I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations” (Isaiah 56:7).

Earlier in Isaiah 56, God calls on His people to maintain justice, for He is near and on His way. He assures foreigners who keep His law that they will in no way be excluded from the privileges of citizenship in His Kingdom.

If Gentiles – foreigners – are good enough to enter the temple in the New Jerusalem, they are surely good enough to enter the United States, so long as their entry is in accord with our laws. But conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly wants all immigration – legal and illegal – stopped. This is just plain wrong on so many levels.

Schlafly has impeccable credentials – if one is a political and spiritual conservative. She is credited with leading the successful charge to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment in the state legislatures – a deceptively named change to the Constitution that would have left women with all of the burdens and few of the rights. Her book – A Choice Not An Echo – shaped much of conservative thought for a generation. But today she has clearly lost her way, and my prayer is that none will follow.

She says, “The Democrats know perfectly well that the people (legally and illegally) coming in…are not accustomed to our ideas of…limited government, and they expect government to take care of them…” She is correct in her assessment, and just as correct when she charges – as many conservative pundits do – that Democratic “compassion” for immigrants is nothing more than fishing for Democratic voters of the future. Many studies and surveys support this view.

But are we conservatives now to be just as cynical and seek to halt immigration of all kinds until we can limit the influx to people who think as we do? Do we who imagine ourselves a nation founded by God and on His principles now imagine He cannot resurrect this nation without excluding the votes and views of those who see things differently? Have we better ideas or have we not?

Illegal immigration is another matter entirely. We say we are a nation of laws and not of men. We see our government – at all levels, and especially in California – defying the laws they have sworn to defend and, in some cases, have written themselves.

Schlafly wants to put the illegal immigrants on busses and send them back. Never mind the immigration courts – they arrived without a court order and they should return the same way, says she.

What she does not say is just as true. Although the vast majority of illegals are here seeking a better life for their impoverished families, it is just as much fact that the vast majority of gun running, drugs, and child pornography are imported by illegals crossing the same porous border as the Mexican famers and mechanics. Disproportionate numbers of car crashes and street crime are committed by people already sneering at the law. And every illegal taking a job or accepting welfare is standing squarely in – and blocking the path of – people who are playing by the rules and waiting their turn in their home countries. I know many such – caught in bureaucratic nightmares while illegals steal the spaces they deserve because of their righteous approach.

The border should indeed be closed to the illegals. As much as I have compassion for their plight – I have personally helped many without ever asking their immigration status when they were in distress – they have no right to be here and they trample on the rights of others by being here. But legal immigration is another story.

Schlafly objects to the claim that some businesses want to import foreign nationals as the best and brightest for the jobs they have available; she says her children and grandchildren have advanced degrees and are better qualified. “Well, get a clue, Phyllis,” says this writer. “We live in a free country and you are no more entitled to make such decisions for an employer than are the government hacks you deplore and whom you have fought all your life.” There is not a single person living in America who is not an immigrant himself or descended from immigrants – including Native Americans. We are a nation of immigrants. Slamming the gate because we have gotten ours is about as un-American as one can get.

I opened with Jesus’ own views on immigration. I close with His attitude toward citizenship in His Kingdom. He tells the woman at the well in Sychar of Samaria (in John 4) that the Father doesn’t give a rip about pedigree. He seeks people who will worship and serve Him in spirit and in truth. In the Sermon on the Mount and in the example of Jesus’ earthly life it is quite clear authentic spirit and truth worship manifests itself in loving and caring for those we encounter. When we American conservatives – we American Christians – are so day-by-day concerned about this kind of worship, we will lack time or energy to crow about our pedigree and our righteousness and will all be a lot better off in our hearts and lives. We will be a whole lot more prosperous and secure as well.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

SCOTUS Decision Encourages Persecution Of Christians–Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You

Anyone could have predicted it; many did. Government sanctioned persecution of Bible believing Christians escalated within hours of the Supreme Court decision mandating same sex marriage. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation was demanding the expulsion of military chaplains who profess Biblical attitudes toward human sexuality before day’s end. They are a fringe group, but numerous government officials have used words like “hate speech” in reference to Christians uncowed by a lawless Supreme Court or lawless bureaucrats. The narrative is that we may believe – and teach in church – whatever we like, but we may not trouble the general public with our thoughts.

Military leaders may find the MRFF antics laughable – for now – but there is nothing funny about ongoing efforts to railroad Chaplain Wes Modder out of the service for daring to counsel one of his charges on Biblical grounds. The pattern is always that the political victors claim to respect the right of the vanquished to dissent, but the (new) law of the land must be respected at all costs. That these same victors did not accept the law until it was on their side is strangely forgotten; let the games begin.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian has leveled a $135,000.00 fine – as he had threatened to do – against former bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein. Their crime? They declined to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple when gay marriage was still illegal in Oregon. The Kleins often served same sex couples, but explained – gently – that their religious convictions forbade them baking a wedding cake. This enraged the couple; they complained they were “hurt” to the Labor Commission, and this outrageous judgment is the outcome. The logic is identical to the Supreme Court decision handed down June 26.

This case comes alongside the wedding photographer persecuted in Colorado and the grocers under assault in Washington State these past two years. All this comes before the Supreme Court decision on marriage discharges any inhibitions officials might have based on the 1st Amendment. The new order is: “Anyone hurting the feelings of a homosexual has violated the 14th Amendment and must be dealt with accordingly.”

These travesties of justice coincide with Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling, USMC, who was convicted by a military court of failing to obey a direct order when she refused to remove a Bible verse from her work station. Her commander and former drill instructor ordered it removed because he “did not like its tone.” When she cited her First Amendment rights and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, he tore it down and cursed her. Later, she was charged and convicted. The military court decided the display of a Bible verse was not a religious activity and therefore not protected by RFRA or the Bill of Rights. Her case lost on appeal and is now awaiting disposition at the US Supreme Court. Navy Chaplain Wesley Modder likewise awaits his day in court after his CO – following years of stellar fitness reports from this same officer – swore to remove him from the service for counseling a gay sailor in line with his (Modder’s) mandate from his church authority.

A more direct and immediate outcome of the Court’s decision is the case of Pennlive.com, one of the larger news gathering organizations based out of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Their board announced – within twenty-four hours of the SCOTUS ruling – that they would no longer accept opinion pieces or letters to the editor that did not support gay marriage.

These persecuted people are all doing what Jesus calls us to do – acknowledging Him before men and expecting to be acknowledged before His Father. The five majority Justices of the Supreme Court in the Obergefell case – most of whom claim to be Christians – are doing what Jesus warned them not to do – refusing to acknowledge Him; they should expect to be denied before His Father. What about the rest of us? Will we acknowledge Him and His martyrs who cannot get even a fair trial on the basis of their guaranteed free exercise of their faith? Will we stand up to the bullies and demand the military and civilian authorities stop bullying their own most loyal members? Or will we decide it is too confusing and not really our problem?

It is our problem. In a government by the people, we do not always get what we want; but we always get what we deserve. And our God – famously quick to forgive in the face of repentance – is equally famous for failing to understand why we just could or would not do the right thing when tasked with it.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth