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What The Bible Says - Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
Dear Friends,Bishop Robert Barron recently wrote a concise yet profound reflection on John 17:1-11. Here it is in full (emphasis mine):“Friends, Jesus’ prayer in today’s Gospel sums up his wonderful work as he is about to return to his Father. Jesus was, in his very person, the meeting of heaven and earth. God and humanity came together in him, and his entire ministry was the outward expression of that inward identity. By calling a scattered Israel to unity, inviting the poor to table fellowship, healing the sick in body and heart, and embodying the path of forgiveness and love, Jesus was bringing God’s will and purpose to earth.Now, in his Passion and Death, Jesus brought heaven all the way down into the world. He carried the divine light into the darkest places of the human condition—hatred, cruelty, violence, corruption, stupidity, suffering, and death itself—and thereby transformed them. And the proof that heaven is able to transform earth is, of course, the Resurrection. Now we know that cruelty, hatred, violence, fear, suffering, and death are not the most powerful forces in the world. Now we know that the divine love is more powerful. God’s kingdom has, in principle, broken the kingdoms of the world, which thrive upon, and in turn produce, those very negativities.”This is a great reminder for believers to not be afraid of witnessing this divine love to those who do not believe. Christ has transformed even the worst thing that can possibly happen in life—death. We truly have nothing to fear.Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family.Sincerely,Dan Hart Managing Editor for Publications Family Research Council FRC MediaOne Year Later: The Impact of President Trump’s Executive Order Protecting Religious Liberty – Travis WeberFairfax County School Board to Teach Kids: “Biological Sex Is Meaningless” – Cathy RuseRemembering the Little Ones Up Above on Mother’s Day – Dan HartSponsors of California’s AB 2943 Claim It Wouldn’t Ban the Bible. Maybe. But What About These Books? – Peter Sprigg“Death Panels” Are Now a Reality – Patrina MosleySpeaker Series: NIFLA: Preserving Free Speech for Those Who Advocate for Women and the Unborn – Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.)Religious Liberty and National Security Go Hand in Hand Religious LibertyReligious Liberty in the Public SquareHow a ‘Far-Left Propaganda Machine’ Got a Respected Legal Group Expelled by Amazon – Greg Scott, The Daily SignalStudy: Trump Religious Freedom Order Helps 13.7 Million Receive Health Care and Social Services – Tyler O'Neil, PJ MediaTony Perkins appointed to US panel on international religious freedom – Jack Jenkins, Religion News ServiceCatholic Marriage Counselor Fired Because of her Religious Beliefs – ToddStarnes.comLGBT Activists Falsely Smear Those Protecting Children in Need – Monica Burke, The Daily SignalBusinesses to Avoid If You Can – Mark Bauerlein, First Things5 Reasons The Southern Poverty Law Center Is A Hate-Mongering Scam – Joy Pullmann, The FederalistTrump Religious Freedom Order Helps Charities Serve Over 13.7 Million in Need, Analysis Finds – Samuel Smith, The Christian PostCollege demands student remove Jesus, Bible references from graduation speech. Then she fights back – Dave Urbanski, The BlazeFight over cross at Florida public park resumes before appeals court – Kim Chatelain, The Times-PicayuneInternational Religious FreedomNorth Korea’s Prisoner Release: 3 Down, 119,997 to Go – Olivia Enos, The Daily SignalExplosions at 3 Indonesian churches leave at least 2 dead: reports – Max Greenwood, The HillArrested in Chengdu – June Cheng, WORLDState Department knocks China over church harassment – Joel Gehrke, Washington ExaminerMilitary Religious FreedomLawmakers Say Army May Have Violated Law by Targeting Baptist Chaplain – ToddStarnes.com LifeAbortionIowa legislature votes to ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected – Nancy Flanders, Live ActionPlanned Parenthood sues Iowa for banning abortion of babies with beating hearts – Claire Chretien, LifeSiteNewsNew Device Lets Pregnant Moms Take Ultrasound Pictures of Their Baby on Their Phone – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNewsThousands protest Trudeau’s abortion agenda at Canadian March for Life – Lianne Laurence, LifeSiteNewsI Had an Abortion. Here’s the Message I Want to Share With Other Women. – Victoria Robinson, The Daily SignalAdoption4 Things a Birth Mom Wants Adoptive Families To Know – Adrian Collins, Her View From Home10 things that will kill your orphan care ministry: Part 4 – Rick Morton, Ethics & Religious LibertyCommissionWill Placing Fewer Children in Foster Care Fix the System? – Naomi Schaefer Riley, Family StudiesThe Ache While We Wait to Adopt – Caroline Saunders, Her View From HomeBioethicsJudge Overturns California Law Legalizing Assisted Suicide – Steven Ertelt, LifeNews FamilyMarriageDaily Rituals Cultivate Lasting Love – Amber Lapp, Family StudiesHe’s My Husband, Not My Savior – Kelli Bachara, Her View From HomeEncouragement for New Moms – Alysse ElHage, Family StudiesEconomics/EducationNew Data Show California Kids’ Math Achievement Took A Nosedive After Common Core – Joy Pullmann, The FederalistWhy Employers Are Ignoring The Untapped Potential Of Stay-At-Home Moms – Joy Pullmann, The FederalistThis Is a Bad Look: In Current Farm Bill, Conservatives Prop Up Rich Farmers – Daren Bakst, The Daily SignalStraight Talk About the Success Sequence, Marriage, and Poverty – W. Bradford Wilcox, Family StudiesFaith/Character/CultureThe War on Wisdom – Dennis Prager, The Daily SignalYou Can Pursue Your Dreams and Love Your Family – Katie Warner, National Catholic RegisterThe Democrats’ God Gap – David French, National ReviewNevada bank robber, FBI agent who arrested him, pray at White House – Debra J. Saunders, Las Vegas Review-Journal‘Every Day With Her Was the Best Day:’ Remembering My Mom – Armstrong Williams, The Daily SignalThe Childhood Quality That’s the Best Predictor of Health, Wealth, and Happiness – Annie Holmquist, Intellectual TakeoutHuman SexualityMale Sexlessness is Rising, But Not for the Reasons Incels Claim – Lyman Stone, Family StudiesWhy A Compromise On Transgender Politics Would Be Capitulation – Walt Heyer, The FederalistConsent is No Cure – Craig Michael White, Ethika PolitikaHuman TraffickingUncovering The Silent Sex Trafficking Epidemic In New York City – Fight the New DrugChristian Rocker Risks Life in Undercover Mission to Rescue Victims in Sex Trade – Jeannie Law, The Christian PostPornographyYou Can Write An Open Letter to the Pornography Industry – National Center on Sexual Exploitation
It seems that we have gone from the culture wars to the “fact-check” wars. One has been underway in recent weeks over a bill making its way through the California legislature.Put the words “California Bible ban” in a Google search and you will see what I mean.The California Family Council and Alliance Defending Freedom were among the first to raise the alarm that Assembly Bill 2943 could be interpreted to ban sales of the Bible. Snopes, FactCheck.org, and PolitiFact all tried to debunk the claim. The FactCheck piece reproduces an April 22 tweet from the bill’s sponsor, Assemblyman Evan Low, stating, “It does not ban bibles nor does it ban the basic sales of books as some would have you believe.” But a number of careful and thoughtful conservative writers—such as Michael Brown, David French, Rod Dreher, my colleague at Family Research Council Travis Weber, and Robert Gagnon (here and here) have continued to express alarm about the bill (albeit with slightly different emphases). Does Assembly Bill 2943 actually “ban the Bible” in California? In one sense, no—but in another sense, maybe. Sometimes, what is needed is a not a “fact-check” with a simple true or false answer, but a “perspective check,” explaining why some people make a particular argument and what evidence they cite to support it.What AB 2943 Does Not DoLet me state a couple things that are definitely not true about AB 2943 and the Bible, which some of the more sensational headlines about “California wants to ban the Bible” might be misinterpreted to imply.First of all, “banning the Bible” is definitely not the main purpose of AB 2943. Its purpose is to greatly expand an existing restriction (the first in the nation when enacted in 2012) upon the practice of “sexual orientation change efforts” (SOCE), now routinely referred to by critics (but rarely by practitioners) as “conversion therapy.” I have had concerns about some of the “Bible ban” talk, if only because the core issue—a ban on therapy for those with unwanted same-sex attractions—has sometimes been almost forgotten.It is a fact that some people with same-sex attractions experience those feelings as unwanted; some of those have sought therapy or counseling to overcome those attractions; and some of those have testified to the success of such therapy in helping them overcome those attractions, and now identify as “ex-gay.” LGBT activists are offended that some people with same-sex attractions don’t want to be “gay,” so they are attempting to eliminate that option by claiming that such therapy is ineffective, as well as harmful to those who undertake it. (Family Research Council disputes those claims.) California’s 2012 law prohibited SOCE only for clients who are minors, and only when conducted by licensed mental health providers. AB 2943 would expand the ban to apply to clients of any age (including consenting adults), and any type of counselor (including religious ones), as long as there is an exchange of money for the service.Secondly, there is no legislative language in AB 2943 that refers specifically to the Bible. As Snopes explained in its article debunking the supposed “Bible ban” claim, “California Assembly Bill 2943 does not mention the Bible, Christianity, or religion at all.” That sentence—with the key word being “mention”—is correct. (That does not mean it would not affect them, however.)Thirdly, even if AB 2943 could have an effect upon the Bible, it would only be upon the sale of the Bible. The bill is in the form of an amendment to the state’s consumer fraud laws, so there must be some commercial transaction (involving an exchange of money) to trigger its provisions. The bill does not prohibit the possession, reading, publication, teaching, or free distribution of the Bible.How Could AB 2943 Ban Sales of the Bible?The concern that AB 2943 could be used to ban sales of the Bible is an inference from, rather than an explicit statement in, the language of the bill. However, the bill is thirteen pages long, most of which is just a recapitulation of the existing consumer fraud law. To understand the change that is being proposed, one has to search and extract the substantive language from the bill. Here are the key segments, with ellipses ( . . . ) where text has been omitted. First is the bill’s definition of “sexual orientation change efforts” (emphasis mine):(i) (1) “Sexual orientation change efforts” means any practices that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.Here is the actual language prohibiting SOCE:1770. (a) The following unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices undertaken by any person in a transaction intended to result or that results in the sale or lease of goods or services to any consumer are unlawful: . . .(28) Advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual.Key Words: “Behaviors” and “Goods”How does this apply to the Bible? Likely through two key words, highlighted in the bill text above.The first of these is “behaviors.” When most people think of “sexual orientation change efforts,” they probably think of the second part of the bill’s definition: efforts “to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.” LGBT activists claim that such “attractions or feelings” are innate and immutable. The same, of course, cannot be said about “behaviors,” which can be changed at will. I suspect, however, that those activists worried that if therapy to help people change their “behaviors” were permitted, it would constitute a loophole that would allow SOCE to continue.The problem with outlawing “efforts to change behaviors,” however, is that almost all moral and religious teaching about how we should live involves “efforts to change behaviors.” “Don’t lie.” “Don’t steal.” “Treat your father and mother with respect.” There are all sorts of religiously-rooted assertions directing people to modify “behavior.” Let us not forget the age-old admonition: “Behave!” When Leviticus 18:22 cites God telling Moses, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female” (NASB), that clearly seems to be an “effort to change behaviors.”The second key word is “goods.” As noted above, the main purpose of the bill is to outlaw a certain type (or more accurately, a goal) of therapy, which would generally be considered a “service.” However, the ban on change efforts applies to any “transaction intended to result or that results in the sale or lease of goods or services to any consumer.” Although one bill critic has suggested that the language about “the sale or lease of goods” does not apply to SOCE, the term “any practices” in the definition of SOCE appears to be broad enough to encompass the practice of selling books.No, the text of AB 2943 does not mention the Bible. But since the “sale . . . of goods” could include the sale of books (such as the Bible), and since the moral teachings of the Bible include “efforts to change behaviors” (such as homosexual behavior), critics of AB 2943 have warned that it could, at least theoretically, be used to ban the sale of Bibles in California.Possible vs. LikelyNow, if AB 2943 is enacted, is California likely to leap directly to banning sales of the Bible? Perhaps not, for several reasons. As noted above, banning Bible sales is not the main purpose of the bill, and while the Bible supports sexual orientation change (see 1 Corinthians 6:9-11), that is hardly its main theme. At least initially, a prosecutor would likely seek an easier target, and one more directly relevant to sexual orientation change efforts. In addition, it is likely that the Supreme Court (at least in 2018, as currently constituted) would strike down any effort to ban sales of the Bible.Still, the argument that AB 2943 could, even theoretically, be used to ban sales of the Bible is an important one, if only because it demonstrates how sweeping and poorly written the bill is. That should be reason enough for California legislators to oppose it.While the Bible may be safe in the short run, I have less confidence in the long run. Zack Ford is a homosexual activist and writer with ThinkProgress who wrote a piece claiming it is “nonsense” that AB 2943 would “ban the Bible.” Yet ironically, that same piece links to a 2016 article Ford wrote asserting that “When Gay People Are Told That Homosexuality Is A Sin,” that “message alone is harmful.” The assertion that a piece of moral teaching from the Bible is not merely incorrect, but is tangibly “harmful,” seems like a way of laying the groundwork for legal restrictions upon that very biblical teaching.Which Books Would Be Banned?Even if sales of the Bible in California continue unhindered (for now), what about other books? As I have already stated, I think the argument is strong that AB 2943 could be used, generally, to ban the sale of certain books.Take a look, for instance, at the books in the photo at the beginning of this post. This is just a sample of the books I pulled off my bookshelf, from the library I have accumulated in 17 years at Family Research Council. The books pictured are not just ones that deal generally with Christian moral teaching on sexuality. Unlike the Bible, these eight books are specifically and entirely about sexual orientation change efforts.There can be no question that the sponsors of AB 2943 would prefer that books like this did not exist. Could the bill be used to ban their sale?Some supporters of therapy bans (a number of which have been enacted in the wake of California’s action in 2012) have argued that they do not prevent someone from expressing the opinion that homosexuality is undesirable, or expressing the opinion that it can change, or even expressing the opinion that therapy can facilitate such change. All they ban is someone actually undertaking such efforts. So maybe a few of these books would escape California’s new censors.But what about James E. Phelan’s Practical Exercises for Men in Recovery of Same-Sex Attraction (SSA)? This book appears to have no purpose other than actually bringing about sexual orientation change in the men who read it. Under AB 2943, how could California allow “any practice” that includes the “sale of” this particular “good?”Banning Books is TotalitarianIn the past few weeks, Christians have been shocked by the possibility of a state banning the sale of the Bible.But shouldn’t every American be shocked at the thought of a state banning the sale of any books based on their philosophical, religious, or moral viewpoint?Banning books because one doesn’t like their message?In the United States of America?In this country, you can sell all kinds of books.You can sell Mein Kampf, and The Communist Manifesto. Bookstores sell the celebration of sado-masochism of Fifty Shades of Grey, and the celebration of sodomy in Allen Ginsberg’s Howl.But now, California might ban the sale of Practical Exercises for Men in Recovery of Same-Sex Attraction? Or ban Coming Out Straight—just because it says that for “those who struggle with their own same-sex attractions,” it will “open the door to a new, happier, and fulfilling heterosexual life”?The idea of banning books—any books—because the authorities don’t like their message is totalitarian. In the United States of America, it should be unthinkable. California legislators should affirm that it is unthinkable—by voting “No” on AB 2943.Banning Therapy is Totalitarian, TooWhile the prospect of the Bible—or any books—being “banned” from sale has focused attention on AB 2943, I hope it will also bring people’s attention to the central issue:Banning a client-chosen goal of therapy is just as totalitarian.By framing their assault upon the freedom of therapists and clients as an exercise of the state’s power to regulate health care or (in the case of AB 2943) to prevent “consumer fraud,” LGBT activists have masked how unprecedented these therapy bans are in the history of American law or counseling.Note that what these bills seek to outlaw is not a particular therapeutic technique. While advocates will tell stories (some of them far-fetched) about being victims of “aversion therapy” techniques that have not been used in 40 or 50 years, the prohibition is not limited to “aversion therapy.” When pressed, sponsors must admit that they seek to outlaw ordinary talk therapy as well. What these laws and bills target is nothing more or less than a goal: “to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.” This is extraordinary.Supporters of the bans will also imply that people are “coerced” into undertaking SOCE. That problem (if it exists) could be resolved by requiring “informed consent” before therapy. The prohibitionists reject that, insisting on banning all therapy, even if the client desperately wants it. (Can you imagine the outcry from some of these same activists on the Left if conservatives argued, “Because some women are coerced into having abortions, the only solution is to prohibit any women from obtaining them”?)Therapy bans violate freedom of speech for therapists, freedom of religion for clients and therapists, and the privacy of the therapist-client relationship.They should outrage every freedom-loving American, and should be opposed by every legislator.
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Dear Friends,If you pay much attention to what everyone is talking about these days—what some might call “news”—it’s easy to pick up on a troubling pattern. Kyle Smith at National Review has pinpointed it well: it’s “a culture of enmity.” It’s something that both liberals and conservatives are guilty of—a near constant state of indignation, usually aimed at someone who said something “hateful,” that must be made publicly known. As Smith observes, it can be easy to fall into the trap of fighting hate with more hate: “Any uneasy feelings about hate are washed clean when that hate is obviously justified. Hating haters, these days, produces a kind of ecstasy. It is easily mistaken for love.”As Christians, we are called to something higher. Even when we feel that we are justified in “calling out” someone for something that they have said or written that we find offensive, we need to slow down and give our response careful consideration. As David French has observed: “If you truly hate the offensive speech in question — if you truly believe it’s hurtful — why share it far and wide? Why amplify the offensive voice? Arguably, the worst rebuke for a troll, the worst punishment for the self-promoting radical, is indifference. I have my own standard for engaging bad ideas — First, I wait. I ask myself: Are these ideas gaining traction? Do they threaten to make a material difference in the marketplace of ideas? If the answer is yes, then I engage. If the answer is no, I let the offensive speech die a natural death.” In other words, ignoring offensive remarks can often be the most prudent course of action, especially in our current cultural climate of ubiquitous outrage.At the risk of sounding a little bit trite and na´ve, it’s time for Christians to start a revolution of positivity by infusing the public square with truth, goodness, and beauty. Instead of pontificating about the latest outrage on Facebook, share an insightful spiritual quote you heard from last Sunday’s sermon, or share a link to an inspiring story about the adoption of a needy child. The authentic Christian life should not solely be focused on exposing the darkness of evil. Our primary goal should be to magnify the lightness of good.Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family.Sincerely,Dan Hart Managing Editor for Publications Family Research Council FRC ArticlesThe Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act: Ensuring a Free Marketplace of Adoption Providers – Travis WeberParents Stand Up for Children in Sex Ed Sit Out – Cathy RuseMore Sex Ed and Even More Stalinism at the Local School Board – Cathy Ruse and Austin RusePompeo: A Proven Leader for the State Department – Ken BlackwellPompeo Is Ready to Lead – William G. BoykinWhy the Alfie Evans Case Is a Full-Blown Example of Forced Euthanasia – Om NarayananCan You See Me? – Patrina MosleyFaith-Based Adoption Providers Must Be Allowed to Serve Needy ChildrenState Department Defends Actual Human Rights Instead of Made-Up Rights – Travis Weber12 Resources to Fight Sexual Exploitation, Part 2 – Peter Sprigg12 Resources to Fight Sexual Exploitation, Part 1 – Peter SpriggWho Owns Free Speech on the Internet?“Suicide Machine” Shows Us Why Combating Euthanasia Is Crucial to the Pro-Life Cause – Om Narayanan Religious LibertyReligious Liberty in the Public SquareNew California Bill Could Ban Sale of Some Christian Books (Yes, Really) – Mark Meckler, PatheosSchool District Forbids Parents From Opting Kids Out of LGBT Lessons – ToddStarnes.comSenators are failing the religious test for office – Jeremy Dys, The HillThe Unsoundness of Silencing Hate – Elizabeth Scalia, Word On FireSchool District Bans Principal From Inviting Parents to Pray at Flag Pole After Atheist Complaint – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post US Christian who refuses to pay taxes until abortion is defunded has first big win in court – Calvin Freiburger, LifeSiteNewsIowa Senate refuses to confirm Board of Medicine appointee over post on LGBTQ issues – William Petroski, Des Moines RegisterSouthern Poverty Law Center Quietly Deleted List of ‘Anti-Muslim’ Extremists After Legal Threat – Jack Crowe, National ReviewSatanists Declare War on Arkansas Ten Commandments – ToddStarnes.comInternational Religious FreedomState Dept. Convinced Andrew Brunson Is Innocent, Says Turkey Lacks 'Credible Evidence' – Samuel Smith, The Christian PostAttack on Nigerian church kills 15 worshippers – Onize Ohikere, WORLDTrudeau: ‘We will not apologize’ for valuing abortion over free speech – Calvin Freiburger, LifeSiteNewsMilitary Religious FreedomBaptist Army Chaplain Faces Punishment for Religious Beliefs – ToddStarnes.comSan Diego-based admiral declines to probe Bible placement at Okinawa hospital – Carl Prine, The San Diego Union-Tribune LifeAbortionHouse passes bill banning abortions based on Down Syndrome – Liz Navratil & Angela Couloumbis, The InquirerState Department: Abortion ‘is not a human right’ – Joel Gehrke, Washington ExaminerPro-Choice Movement Opposes Abortion Alternatives in South Bend – Alexandra DeSanctis, National ReviewCecile Richards Finally Leaves Planned Parenthood After 12 Years and 3.5 Million Abortions – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNewsAdoptionAdopting Priorities – Kathryn Jean Lopez, The Stream10 things that will kill your church's orphan care ministry: Part 1 – Rick Morton, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionFinally a family: Inside the adoption process for three Bedford County sisters – Siobhan McGirl, WDBJ710 things that will kill your orphan care ministry: Part 2 – Rick Morton, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionBioethicsThe State-Ordered Killing of Young Alfie Evans – John O’Sullivan, National ReviewAlfie Evans’ Death Illustrates The Monstrous Logic Of The Welfare State – John Daniel Davidson, The FederalistAlfie Evans and Our Moral Crossroads – Charles C. Camosy, First ThingsObamacareRepublicans have a long way to go toward fully repealing ObamaCare – Rachel Bovard, The Hill FamilyMarriageHealing a Hookup Culture through the Goods of Marriage – Timothy P. O'Malley, Family Studies“The Flash,” Fear, and the Kenosis of Marriage – Rachel Bulman, Word on FireDwayne 'The Rock' Johnson should put a ring on it — for his kids' sake – W. Bradford Wilcox, USA TodayEffective Marriage Preparation for the Next Generation Is More Important Than Ever – Tiffany L. Clyde and Alan J. Hawkins, Family StudiesThe New States’ Rights: Is Parenthood Defined by Biology or Government? – Adam J. MacLeod, Public DiscourseA Marriage Restored – Thomas Jeffries, Focus on the FamilyFor Most Couples Who Stay the Course, Marriage Gets Better With Time: An Interview with Paul R. Amato – Alysse ElHage, Family StudiesEconomics/EducationAnti-homeschooling bill defeated in California – The Desert ReviewWhy Christian Higher Education Still Matters – Chris Hazell, Word on FireNew National Test Scores Show Betsy DeVos Was Right About Public Schools – Mary Clare Amselem, Intellectual TakeoutHow Colleges Are Ripping Off a Generation of Ill-Prepared Students – Walter E. Williams, The Daily SignalFaith/Character/CultureWhy you should encourage your child to befriend the kid who’s “different” – Adrian Buntin, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionMake It Easy for Your Kids to Love God – Ray Ortlund, Desiring GodFrom the Depths of John Krasinski’s Catholic Past: A Quiet Work of Art – Sarah Perry, Benedict XVI InstituteWhen God Shouts – Pat Flynn, Word on FireChristian, choose hope in an age of cynicism – Jason Duesing, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionHuman SexualityThe School System Corrupts And Sexualizes Our Children And Calls It 'Sex Ed' – Matt Walsh, The Daily WirePromiscuous America: Smart, Secular, and Somewhat Less Happy – Nicholas H. Wolfinger, Family StudiesHow the New Corporate Elite Sold Same-Sex Marriage to the American Public – Scott Yenor, Public DiscourseEncouraging Intentional Dating in a Hookup Culture – Meg T. McDonnell, Family StudiesHuman TraffickingThis Man Rescues Children From Sex Slavery And Wants You To Know This About Backpage – Bre Payton, The FederalistPornographyJesus’s Compassion for Those Who Love Porn – Mo Isom, The Gospel CoalitionWhy redeeming our thoughts matters – Liz Wann, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
As members of the pro-life community, we must remember that protecting the sanctity and dignity of human life at every stage, from conception to natural death, is essential to who we are. While much of the pro-life movement is focused on the beginning of life, as well it should, issues concerning natural death are sometimes lost in the shuffle. The fact of the matter is that euthanasia continues to be an issue that the pro-life community must combat with the same vigor and enthusiasm as the issue of abortion. Last week, I read an article about a man by the name of Philip Nitschke who fancies himself a “euthanasia expert.” Mr. Nitschke recently debuted a self-title “suicide machine” at a funeral fair in Amsterdam that he named the “Sarco” (pictured above). The Sarco (short for “sarcophagus”) is a full-sized coffin in which an individual can enter and commit suicide via nitrogenous asphyxiation. If it does not already sound familiar, the Nazis used a similar technique during their euthanasia program. Nitschke even offered a “3D virtual tour” for his machine at the fair, and he plans on profiting from it in the near future.It’s an appalling sign of the times when a person can create a suicide machine and be heralded as an “expert.” It’s shocking but not surprising that such an event took place in the Netherlands, a country that unilaterally legalized assisted suicide in 2002. Unfortunately, laws in the U.S. have now paved the way for Mr. Nitschke and his death trap to come to the States. In 2016, the state of California passed the End of Life Option Act which allowed patients to self-administer life ending drugs. In just the first six months of it being passed into law, 111 lives were lost.When evaluating why someone would want to create an industry based on suicide like Mr. Nitschke is clearly attempting to do, or why any country would allow its own citizens to kill themselves, one reason becomes abundantly clear. We unfortunately live in a culture of death where we see human beings devaluing one another, the same way people have devalued women, racial and ethnic minorities, the disabled, the old, the feeble, and the poor in the past. History has shown us that devaluing other human beings devalues us as an entire race. People are in anguish as to why we have so many wars that claim the lives of human beings, or why we have violent individuals claiming innocent lives in our streets. The crux of the issue goes back to how our culture perceives the value of human life. Euthanasia has been around for a very long time. It has been able to survive based off its ability to shape-shift into a narrative that is more favorable for its proponents at any given time. However, its dark history of targeting the most vulnerable in our society must continue to be exposed.It is up to us, the pro-life community, to change this culture of death into a culture of life. Being “pro-life” is multifaceted—it encompasses many issues of human dignity. Therefore, it is crucial that we recognize and strive to protect all of God’s creations at all stages of life.
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