More Thoughts on Refugees

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote some initial thoughts on the refugee crisis.  I mentioned that there is so much we cannot know in order to determine whether or not we should support taking in refugees.  After listening to endless officials and pundits over the last several weeks analyze and argue their views, I still don’t know if letting refugees in is safe or not.

What I do know is that the idea of absolute physical safety is an illusion.  I’m sitting in front of the TV now watching reports of a mass shooting in San Bernadino, California that is unfolding live before my eyes.  There are no details yet on who did it or why, but if follows closely on the heals of another shooting that took place in Colorado less than a week ago.

My point is simply that whether or not there are refugees, there will be danger.  Always.  Danger is already here.  The potential for and reality of mass killing is a domestic problem as much as a foreign one.  Terrorists can already get into our country and reports are they’re already here.  All of this is outside of my control.  What is not outside of my control is how I think about and what I do for people in need.  I can allow myself to become fearful, paranoid and cynical, or I can choose to live a life of fearless compassion in a dangerous world.

I have no control over who does or does not come into the Unites States.  So, with so many unknown variables, I fall back on who I am, who I’m called to be and what I believe about God and about people.  I am called to love and care for those God brings to me to love and care for.

Because of what I don’t know, I neither argue for nor against the acceptance of refugees.  As I stated in my last post, there are really good arguments on both sides.  Frankly, I don’t see a reason to pick a side.  I can look at it philosophically, theologically and ethically and argue a position, but last I checked, those who make the decision don’t ask what my views are.  That’s not to say that speaking up isn’t important, but on this issue, I can’t know what I don’t know; I can’t make a fully informed opinion (and there are enough uniformed opinions already out there).

What I CAN do is respond to what actually happens.  I can work towards helping those families who might enter the Country and do what I can to show them the love of Christ, if it is determined that they will be allowed to do so.  That’s what I’m called to already, even though I so often do an inadequate job as it is…but I can work on improving.  I can refuse to operate out of fear. I can trust in a sovereign God who will ultimately determine whether or not refugees from Syria or any other nation enter our borders.  Many times, God calls us out to the Nations…sometimes, God calls the Nations to us.

I can’t decide what will happen.  I can decide how I will respond.

Quick Thoughts on Refugees

As hard as it is, I am trying to look at the current refugee crisis carefully, thoughfully, morally and ethically.  As I think about this, I have to realize there are so many unknowns behind the scenes that make it impossible for me, with all certainty, to take a “right” position.  I find I have to remind myself to approach this very humbly.  

On the one hand, it is true that as a Christian, I am called to care for the poor.  I believe that something must be done for the refugees.  I’m not sure what that something is, because, at the same time, it seems incredibly unwise to open the door for what could allow terrorists to attempt a “trojan horse” operation as it has been reported that at least one did in Paris, and kill more.  God calls us to be compassionate, but He also calls us to be wise.

It is hard for me to outright support an influx of refugees, whatever their religious orientation, if it cannot be guaranteed that the people who are already here will not be safe.  We have a responsibility for them, too.  To be perfectly candid, there is no way I would welcome someone who looked potentially dangerous into my house with my family present, yet that is what we are doing if we are not careful and get this right.  At this point, I don’t have that confidence.  

So, what do we do?  Honestly, this is a tough one for me.  I am not at all comfortable with the extremes I’m reading about on Facebook.  I’m not comfortable hearing Christians speaking coldly about those who are running for their lives, thinking only about ourselves, and speaking poorly about the refugees, in general.  It doesn’t sound like Jesus talking.  On the other hand, I’m not comfortable with people saying that we are not acting like Jesus or aren’t being Christian unless we blindly welcome in whoever says they are a part of those legitimately escaping persecution.  I think it’s a bit more complex than that.  

Personally,  before I make a statement about how we need to take in and care for refugees, I need to answer the question, “What am I, personally, willing to do to help these refugees?”  It’s easy to take a position if I’m not directly affected; if it’s going to cost me nothing but a few more tax dollars.  So, am I willing and ready to personally get my hands dirty and provide for refugees?  If not and yet I say that it is un-Christlike not to take them in, I have to question if I, myself, am actually being Christlike.

It’s so easy to post a picture, share someone else’s profound-sounding post, or like comments made who share my position.  It’s harder to step back, think soberly and honestly about what really is Christ’s position; to consider Christ’s call…I’m talking about the one that says that, like the apostles sent out among wolves, we are to be both wise as serpents and innocent as doves (Matthew 10:16).  I’m not sure how much of either of those are being put on display at this point.

So, maybe we can ease up on the rhetoric, the chest-bumping, the guilt trips and the finger-wagging and spend a little more time sincerely praying for the mind of Christ and asking how we, as Christ-followers, can be part of the solution and live, first, as citizens of Heaven rather than citizens of the world.  

I’m not there yet.  I don’t have an answer.  In this very emotionally charged time, mine are all over the place and I vascillate between the different options with almost every news report of victims being killed in Paris and Beirut or displaced families running from ISIS.  I don’t see an easy answer.  That shows me that I’ve yet to find the mind of Christ here.  So, until I do, I will be quiet.

God, have mercy. 

Kirsten Powers: “Crush Planned Parenthood” Article

  Kudos to Kirsten Powers, an evangelical, independent-minded Democrat, for having the courage and conviction to stand against the political pressure of conformity and speak the truth about a glaring, yet legal, atrocity in our world today.  For so long, we have turned a blind eye to the systematic, legal and profitable killing of unborn children now exceeds 57 million in “the land of the free and the home of the brave” where “every life matters.”  Now, Planned Parenthood has been forced to remove the mask, allowing everyone to see just how horrible this culture of killing really is.

In her recent article in USA Today, Ms. Powers pulls no punches in her indictments against Planned Parenthood, clearly defining how ihuman these practices are and how out-of-touch with reality this organization is as master’s of missing the point, focusing on tone rather than substance:

This is stomach-turning stuff. But the problem here is not one of tone. It’s the crushing. It’s the organ harvesting of fetuses that abortion-rights activists want us to believe have no more moral value than a fingernail. It’s the lie that these are not human beings worthy of protection. There is no nice way to talk about this. As my friend and former Obama White House staffer Michael Wear tweeted, “It should bother us as a society that we have use for aborted human organs, but not the baby that provides them.”

Powers goes on to point out how even the most ardent supporters of Planned Parenthood have suddenly gone quiet, though, of course, there are some so blind to their own ideology, they continue to punch the air with empty excuses and straw man arguments or outright denial.  One of the most common cries of foul has been that these videos were secretly taped, thus nullifying their relevance.  Ms Powers rightly responds with a resounding, “Big deal.”

Richards intoned menacingly that the video was “secretly recorded.” So what? When Mitt Romney was caught by “secret video” making his 47% remarks, the means of attaining the information was not the focus of the story.

Put simply, there is no way to effectively spin this to come out looking noble.  No matter how a pig wallows in the pen, he still comes out muddy.

The most jaw-dropping part of Ms. Power’s article was the revelation of an abortion doctor from my home state of Mississippi, who has been guided by a profoundly MIS-understanding of Christianity that has informed his position and led him to what is later in the article referred to by one as a “Christ-like” persecution:

Mississippi abortion doctor Willie Parker — who was lauded by Esquire for his “abortion ministry” — ran with the trope that direct quotes from a Planned Parenthood doctor constitute a vicious attack, but went a step further: He compared Nucatola to Jesus. “It’s no secret that my frame of reference for the work that I do and in terms of generating compassion is related to my religious understanding and, in particular, my Christian religious understanding,” Parker told Cosmopolitan magazine.

Planned Parenthood has, thankfully, been exposed. The masks are off. The truth is evident.  My question is whether or not we will finally do something about this.  We are so good at compartmentalizing atrosities and quickly forgetting the unforgetable, that I wonder if we have the collective resolve to demand the changes that this kind of evil requires.  As Ms. Powers rightly concludes, “When abortion doctors are elevated to gods who may not be questioned or held accountable, society has officially gone off the rails.”  Sadly, that train wrecked a long time ago.

I encourage you to read the full article here.

Culture Warrior

boycottStarbucks

I hate that term. I hate the concept, too. “Culture Wars.” Who came up with that anyway? I mean, I understand the thinking: “Our Country is going to hell and it’s our responsibility as Christians to stand up and prevent it!” I think that’s what bothers me the most. Is that really our calling? Is it even within our ability to do so?

I’m not saying it’s not our responsibility to stand up, and I’m not saying it’s not our responsibility to stand against sin in our world. The greater question to me is how are we supposed to do it and what is our ultimate goal?

For so many (which, I admit, included me at one time), the idea of “fighting sin” was more along the lines of boycotting and writing senators and picketing and the like. While I readily admit there may be instances where people are genuinely called to take a similar stand as was the case with Francis Schaeffer, who at times picketed abortion clinics, I think that sort of action usually has limited results, often at the expense of the spreading of the Gospel. More importantly, I think the motivation must be checked before anything is done.

I have found that the usual motivation for taking a stand has less to do with wanting to see people come to know Christ and more to do with protecting our own way of life. While I understand the fear, I don’t share it.

Look at Jesus. When he ministered on earth, the Jews were under the rule of the Romans. Many who hailed the coming of Christ understood Him to be a great military and political deliverer. They were hoping for another Maccabean revolt, only this time with better results. They had no concept of the kind of Messiah He turned out to be.

In our day, Jesus would be expected to march on the Capitol, rebuke senators and call the president out to be the antichrist he surely is. However, Jesus didn’t do that in His own day, and I’m not sure He would do it in ours. He seemed to have a different agenda. It was a Kingdom of God agenda, which was more focused on spreading the good news that this, regardless of how good or bad it got, was not your best life now. There was much more to life than current experience. So, he didn’t overthrow the Roman rule (which was the vehicle God used to carry out His death). He essentially overthrew the Pharisee rule (which was the vehicle God used to bring about His death). He had more to say about the problems within the current religious establishment than the governmental one.

That is not to say that there are not plenty of problems with the governmental rule we are under here in the United States. There are a plethora of problems and we should stand against those that run contrary to Scripture. The issue I raise is how we go about it.

We will never be able to legislate morality and, because of that, we’ll not be able to win on all of the cultural battlefields that exist in our world today. These include everything from gay marriage to abortion to general corruption in government. It won’t happen. The only thing that WILL happen is that the Church of Jesus Christ will continue to be marginalized as just another right-wing, special interest group of the Republican Party (much the same way that the liberal churches are of the Democratic Party). When this happens, we lose our voice as The Church: The voice of God called out to speak to all of culture from a biblical perspective, NOT from a political one.

So, what are our options? As I see it, we have two very powerful ones:

1. Preach the Gospel. In Romans 1:16, Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…”. This is an important point we must not miss. The gospel of Christ is the power we possess and through it, change occurs. We cannot legislate morality, but if, through the gospel, men and women are saved bringing about transformation in their lives, culture will change. Now, let me say something to clarify: I do not believe that everyone is going to be saved, nor do I believe that all the problems in this world are going away this side of Christ’s return. We’re told they won’t. Our goal is not to establish Utopia on earth. However, the goal of the Church is to be used of God to establish His Kingdom, not any earthly one. Preaching the Gospel addresses the issues we face, but does so in such a way that the Church maintains both her integrity before The Lord and also a humble, grace-filled reputation before the world. I rarely see “political Christians” with either.

2. Pray. Sounds like an over-simplified Sunday School answer, I know. Be that as it may, it is a powerful weapon against the evil in our world. Look at what God said to Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7:14:

if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

The healing of the land does not come through cultural warfare, but spiritual warfare. The problem is we are a people of action who want to see immediate results and if we’re not standing against those godless people in our world, we’re losing ground. The reality is that that view is short-sighted Christianity. It demonstrates we don’t have a clear understanding of either the warfare or the enemy. Paul was clear to point out who the enemy is:

…we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against lthe cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

If we understand this, our culture war will be replaced with the spiritual one, we’ll do battle through prayer against satanic forces and, unless Scripture is wrong, we may actually see the tides turn. We may actually see people coming to Christ, having their minds renewed, lifestyles altered and hearts softened, rather than the hardened attitude towards the things of God because of the actions of the people of God.

You may very well be called to take a particular action in the face of atrocities like abortion. That’s great with one condition: You have spent long, intensive amounts of time in prayer and are motivated from the grace of God to see people’s hearts change so that they will be internally motivated to cease the support of such atrocities. Then, and only then, do I think the glory of God will be revealed through His people in such a way that the battles will actually be won.

They’re Not YOUR Kids

MelissaHarrisPerryNot sure if you saw this or not, but a recent commercial on MSNBC has one of its hosts claiming that we have to get past the notion that our kids are actually “our” kids.  Instead, they belong to the community.

I don’t disagree with her basic idea of the importance of looking after each other and helping take care of each other, including our children.  Certainly, it’s what we do in the Church and in our communities.  At The Gathering, our children are “our” children to the degree that we love them all and will do whatever we can to help them, but we never claim that they are our kids to the degree that we usurp the authority and responsibility from the actual parents.  We come alongside them to support them and encourage them.  This host takes this idea to an alarming extreme, advocating a very dangerous ideology.

Too many people are already having kids and turning to the government to provide  for them because they cannot do so themselves.  Some to the sad degree that they continue to have children because they can get more money through welfare programs without taking personal responsibility.  Claims such as this one will only embolden and empower parents to forego their responsibility for their children and encourage government to do what it was never intended to do.

This is a very blatant move to solidify the United States as a pure welfare state, but to a shocking degree.  Though there are increasing assaults on the family as it has historically been understood, this is one I didn’t see coming.

Watch the video yourself and, if you have reaction, let me hear it in the comments below.

[HT: Denny Burk]

A Pivotal Day: Gay Marriage Before the Supreme Court

supreme_courtToday is a big day in our Country.  The United States Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments regarding California’s “Prop 8” ban on same-sex marriage.  The suit that will be heard by the Court is being brought by one lesbian and one gay couple, challenging the voter-approved ban.

As I’ve listened to the rhetoric on both sides, there is one statement that I believe frames the crux of the argument.  It had to do with what is “right.”

What is right?

The statement was made by a cousin of Chief Justice John Roberts who reportedly “came out” as gay this past week.  Referring to Justice Roberts, he said, “I love my cousin. I hope he does the right thing.”

The “right” thing.  I thought about for a long while, contemplating how often that is used, not as an objective perspective, but as a personal preference, or judgment.  Certainly, those on both sides of the debate look at their position as the right one. So, is it simply as the postmodernists have argued that right is relative?  Is it really a matter of perspective so that right is determined by the winners of a debate?

I will concede that this is very clearly the way our world runs.  Certainly the United States and other western countries operate this way.  Of course, no one is consistent with this position.  If we were, then everything should be on the table for debate, and I suppose it is if someone wants to bring the argument.

To some, murder is right.  Stealing is right.  Gang attacks are right.  So far, though, there haven’t been large enough groups to bring serious challenges, but according to our standards, nothing is out of bounds.  Nothing can be called “right” and nothing can be called “wrong.”  It is simply based upon the decision of the masses.

Again, we’re not being consistent because most people who take this position believe that their positions are objectively right and moral.  For instance, those who take the stand that homosexuality is good, believe that it is good and right for everyone and to stand against it or at the very least, against redefining marriage, is universally WRONG.

In Need of a Standard

At some point, we have to decide that absolutely nothing is objective and, therefore, no one truly has “rights” (in that there is nothing objective to state universal rights. You only have rights so long as you can win the fight).  If we do this, the argument needs to change, since the Pro-gay camp is claiming it is their human right to marry.  Who determined this?  Is it claimed that this comes from the United States Constitution?  That document certainly doesn’t hold up to “universal” scrutiny as it only guides the people of a single country.  I understand that it’s their desire to marry, but a right?  That’s not possible from a position of moral relativity.

Who Needs the Bible?

I get the arguments on the other side.  If one does not believe in a Supreme Law-giver, they are certainly not going to willingly submit their lives and practices to the directives of some “religious book.”  They are not going to buy into the argument that in order for there to be objective truths and laws and rights, there must be an objective standard that declares what is objectively right and wrong.

As a result, I believe it is only a matter of time before the laws do, indeed, change.  That may not be this particular case, but it will come because the collective “we” are guided by what the masses determine is good and right.  Since public opinion is quickly shifting towards gay marriage, that will soon become the law of the land.  Do I agree with it?  No.  Does that mean I hate gay people?  Absolutely not!

Very few people have said that gay people do not have a right in this country to live together and act like married people.  Though I believe that it is objectively wrong, according to the One who makes those determinations, I think they have this right, just as heterosexuals have a right to co-habitat (which is also objectively wrong and destructive) according to the same standard.  I simply believe that changing the very definition of the only Institution that can actually produce natural families (i.e. a man and woman, through the natural act of sex, producing other human beings and raising them with both a father and a mother), we are rendering the very term meaningless.

There is no need for me to rehash the same arguments over again.  They have been made time and again and rejected time and again.  Personally, I will continue to stand on the Truth of Scripture, regardless of where that leads me in the future. I will continue loving and caring for all people, straight or gay, but out of love, I am compelled to declare the warning of Scripture (which I didn’t write, by the way!):

God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

If this is true (which is the basic issue that must be determined by the individual), then the reason why so many are buying into the arguments of the gay community must be attributed to God giving them over to sin.  I understand how harsh that sounds (and that’s not my intent), but is that not the straight-forward, logical conclusion to this?  That cannot be seen as God being OK with it, but the very wrath of God as He gives them over to be drawn into their own sinful desires.  That is not good news!  The only good news is that Christ can forgive.

Many in the Christian community will disagree with my position here, but I am not calling for gay people to simply “choose” not to be gay.  Personally, I doubt that is possible.  Due to the fall of man found in Genesis 3, I believe that we are born with all sorts of “bents” towards sinful desires (which are often wrongly judged to be “natural”).  So, I don’t necessarily believe homosexuality is a choice any more than I chose to be heterosexual.  What I do believe is a choice is what is done with it.  I have heterosexual friends who have never found “the one” whom they can marry.  Moral relativism says that’s no big deal, just find somebody to have sex with; play house together regardless of a love and a lifetime commitment.  However, they have taken Scripture seriously and remained celibate.

Biblically, my homosexual friends have no more right to give themselves over to their desires than my unmarried heterosexual friends.  That’s not good enough for them, though.  That means denying pleasure for righteousness.  Therefore, that type of righteousness cannot be right. It is redefined, then, as wrong.  After all, God would never call me to sacrifice my pleasure for His righteousness.  That whole thing about Jesus saying His followers must deny themselves, take up their crosses and follow Him was, well, just a joke. He was just teasing. He’d had a bad day when He said that.  Who knows, maybe He didn’t even say it at all.

The Heart of the Issue

Yeah, it all boils down to that.  What do you believe?  You either have to believe Scripture as it has been given to us or reject it completely.  I realize that many are redefining it as they are everything else, but that’s just dishonest.  I have much more respect for those who outright reject it than to play twister with it and make it into what it never said.  Just stop playing games with it.

To be honest, I don’t have a personal agenda in this.  If Scripture didn’t say it was wrong, I’d probably just take homosexual practice in stride and get used to it just like everything else. It would certainly be easier.  Heck, nobody wants to be called a bigot or hater or intolerant by all of the wildly tolerant people out there.  I prefer to be liked by everyone and, certainly, I could be liked by a whole lot more people if I compromised truth, too, but I’m bound by it.  I’m compelled by it. I simply can’t.

But I’m not a hater.

I’m not intolerant.

I think by peacefully stating my position and the position of Scripture while not engaging in dirty names or making threats but, instead, declaring that I will continue to live in peace with my homosexual friends, I am demonstrating exactly what “tolerance” truly means.  However, let it be known that I will do it with integrity and standing firm on my principles.  I will make it clear that, because I love people and believe that sin is not just “bad,” it is deadly, I will not redefine it away if the Bible says otherwise…but I will not do it with malice or disrespect or hatred or in a mean-spirited fashion.  As a minister of the God-breathed Word of Truth, I owe people that, regardless.

It is possible to disagree without being disagreeable.

 That is, after all

…tolerance.

 

On Presidential Politics: The Aftermath

It was once told to me that if you have a pastor you don’t like, don’t waste time complaining.  Instead, pray for the one you have that he’ll become the one you want.  This will prevent you from dishonoring Christ, leaving too early or causing problems within the church.  I think that is very good advice.  I also think it applies to the President of the United States.  

If you don’t like the person elected, rather than engaging in UNPRODUCTIVE bad-mouthing, which only divides and brings shame to the name of Christ, spend that time PRODUCTIVELY praying for him to be the kind of president this country needs.  

Look, God is in the business of changing the hearts of man (and he’s changed some much more idealogical than the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave!), so if you think this is the wrong man, then sincerely pray for him.  Every time you’re ready to say something negative or post something cynical, pray instead…at that moment!  

I think it has much less to do with the “man” in office.  God can do whatever He likes with whomever He wills.  Psalm 115:3 says, “Our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.”  So, engage in spiritual battle for the sake of us all and, if your prayers are in line with the will of God, it will be done.  That’s the only way America will be changed and the only way America will be blessed.

On Presidential Politics and the Evangelical Dilemma

There seems to be a great deal of confusion rising regarding the upcoming elections among Evangelical Christians.  On the one hand, there is a candidate who claims to be a Christian, yet whose policies fly in the face of that claim.  On the other is a candidate whose policies largely agree with traditional orthodox Christianity but whose theology flies in the face of that claim.  How does one resolve such a dilemma?

For me, I can only say that when it comes to presidential politics, policy trumps theology.  That might sound odd for a pastor to say.  However, I am not voting for a pastor, but a president.  Presidents establish policy, not theology.  I can disagree with one’s theology and support their policy, if policy is their primary job.  On the other hand, if I am looking for a pastor, it is theology for which I’m most concerned.  So, when it comes to a president, I want to know that their intentions regarding policy will fall most in line with my own biblical worldview convictions.  Note I said most in line.  I don’t require a candidate believe exactly as I do or I may never vote, which I’m responsible for doing.   

Recently, the Billy Graham Association has come out declaring that Mormonism is no longer considered a cult.  First of all, though they were speaking of their own, internal list of those considered cults, they are seen as speaking for all Evangelical Christians.  For the record, they don’t.  Though Billy Graham is the most famous among us, he is not our voice.  In their political support of Mitt Romney, they seem to have felt the need to pave the way for evangelicals to vote for the Republican candidate with a clear conscience by removing the “cult” label.  I believe they not only made a tremendous error, it was an unforced one.  Using the criteria above, I believe evangelicals can freely vote for a candidate who might not share their theology but does share their convictions regarding how the Country should function. I believe they can do that without watering down their convictions in the process.

In my view, based on a simple reading of Scripture, Mormonism fails to pass the test of what would qualifies as an orthodox expression of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I don’t need to be convinced otherwise if I choose to vote for the Mormon candidate.  The fact is, I’m not voting for a “Mormon” candidate and more than I’m voting for a black or a white one.  I’m voting for a qualified candidate who will lead according to the principles I believe are most important and who I believe can lead the Country out of the economic crisis it is currently in.  

Regardless of whether we vote for the same candidate, I encourage you to do the same.  It is a high and important right and responsibility that we share as citizens of the United States of America, and if we end up voting for different candidates, we can do so with the satisfaction that we voted our convictions and hope for a better tomorrow together.

A Deal-Breaker

As a pastor, I don’t officially endorse candidates. I am a registered Independent who makes every attempt to take a biblical approach to issues related to politics.  Though I try to refrain from talking about specific candidates and believe it is wrong to turn a church pulpit into a political “stump”, it is my responsibility to speak truth wherever I see it.

The following is an excerpt of an article I read this morning on the platform being adopted by the Democratic Party at this years convention.  Fiscal issues I may disagree with aside, as a Christ-following political Independent, I can never support a candidate who takes this position:

The 2012 Democratic party will officially adopt an extreme position on the issue of abortion on Tuesday. According to a copy of the party platform, which was released online just before midnight on Monday, “The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay.”

That last part—“regardless of ability to pay”—is an endorsement of taxpayer-funded abortions, a policy that President Obama has personally endorsed. (WS)

Clearly, there are thousands who agree with this position. That is beside the point.  It is beyond reprehensible to try and force people to pay who do NOT and who consider this practice to be nothing short of the legalized murder of a human being who has done nothing wrong but simply come into existence. I wrote more on the subject here.  

If there really is a desire to cut down on the number of abortions, how about government assistance for adoption instead?  THAT I could support.

Accountability Is Not Hate

There is a new article in Newsday today that reports on a group of illegal aliens who are protesting being called illegal aliens:

A small group of immigrants gathered in Woodbury Monday to protest the use of the word “illegal” to describe those who have entered the United States without documentation.

“By saying illegal, they’re assuming that we broke a criminal law,” said Jackeline Saavedra, 27, of Bay Shore, a Touro Law Center student who identified herself as undocumented. “Not everybody enters illegally.”

Coordinators said they prefer the phrase “undocumented immigrant.”

Here’s the problem I have with that: You did break a criminal law. Where there are hundreds if not thousands of people who are “standing in line” in order to obtain legal standing, you cheated, broke the law, and came on your own terms. That is wrong (and I do understand that calling something “wrong” in our postmodern culture is…uh…well, wrong).

Perhaps that’s my real beef with all of this, the normal talking points aside (such as not paying income taxes, etc, etc): This is just the next effort of a group of people organizing in order to redefine “wrong” as “right” with the result of having to bear no responsibility for their actions and guilting everyone else into agreeing with them (Romans 1 comes to mind). In our world of Relativism, there is no longer any significant sense of “wrongness”.

Though there are plenty crying out against this latest move, the sad reality is that it will work. It will slowly but eventually gain traction and the social pressure will be such that it will be considered “hate-speech” to use the “I-word”.

“Using a phrase like ‘illegal aliens’ or ‘illegals’ … reinforces the notion that you could treat another individual as less than a human being,” said Alina Das, assistant professor of clinical law at New York University. “One action — whether it’s a crime — shouldn’t be used to define a whole group of people or one individual.”

In no way would I ever advocate treating another human being as anything less than that, understanding that all humanity is made in the image and likeness of God. However, it does not follow that calling a law-breaker a law-breaker is stripping said law-breaker of their identity as a human. We cannot continue to fall victim to this PC madness by being forced to redefine away morality and ethics.

the word “illegal” makes Elias Llivicura, 18, who described himself as undocumented, feel “uncomfortable.”

“We also have feelings too,” said Llivicura, of Bellport, who came to Long Island from Ecuador at age 8. “It makes me feel like I’m different from everybody else,” he said. “It makes me feel like really bad inside.”

Clearly, as an 8 year-old, young Elias did not make the choice of how he came to live in the United States, but no country is obligated to change their laws because calling people to account for wrong decisions makes them feel bad. It should! That’s what a conscience is for. I hope no one would suggest that we stop using the “t-word” for all of those “non-permission granted obtainers” who feel bad when they’re called thieves. It is wrong.

We must continue to hold people (ourselves included!) to the dignity of human responsibility and push them towards doing what is right.

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