Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.
Alexis de Tocqueville
Let me see if I understand the more “moderate” view of abortion, setting aside for the time being the extremely rare case where the mother’s life truly hangs in the balance. I would like to consider the shibboleth of abortion should be illegal “except in cases of rape and incest.” I would like to analyze this from both the perspective of the moderate/centrist liberal and from the moderate/centrist leaning conservative and see if it makes sense from either direction.
Let me first see if I understand this from the more liberal position.
1. Liberals tend to want to protect the rights of the living even in cases of murderers (anti-death penalty).
2. Yet, they want to protect the so-called libertarian (pro-choice) right of a woman to choose to have an abortion.
3. So more moderates will give in on elective abortions, but still staunchly defend the woman’s right to choose in cases of rape and incest, believing that it is the “compassionate” way of minimizing those horrendous acts.
4. So the net effect is that the rapist and/or incest perpetrator gets a shortened more lenient sentence, while the innocent product of that rape/incest receives the death penalty.
From the perspective of the left this is absolute nonsense. Do they not want to “care” for the “least of these” in these cases? Yet, ultimately they are causing damage to both the unborn…who receives the ultimate penalty (DEATH), though they are the most innocent, and the mother…who suffers with emotional and physical trauma compounded by the death of her unborn child.
If they refuse to see the unborn child as a human being (which is often the justification from the Left) then there is still the issue that the mother continues to bear the marks of both the violent act of the incest and/or rape and the subsequent act of the abortion.
From the perspective of the Conservative leaning moderate:
1. Conservatives want to protect the life of the unborn child (sometimes without caring about the situation of the mother).
2. The “moderates” view this as a satisfactory compromise, thinking they will reduce the numbers of abortions.
3. Yet they effectively have affirmed the view that the unborn child conceived in a violent and/or immoral act is of “no value” and therefore does not need protecting, by agreeing to such legislation. They are therefore sacrificing and compromising on the truth that all human life is of immeasurable value and allowing this most innocent victim to receive the death penalty.
4. They also view this as “compassionate” to the plight of the woman victim, “easing her pain” in the short-term but causing greater distress in the long-term.
Conclusion: The compromise makes no sense from the more conservative perspective, for to minimize the value of the life of a human being in the case of rape/incest completely undermines the rationale for the pro-life position in the first place and opens wide the door complete unrestricted abortion on demand.
Here is a sobering story that truly addresses where this logic leads:
“She told me that she would have aborted me if it was legal”
This case will probably morph into an assault case…but it should make us all ask certain legal and moral questions.
Authorities say a 37-year-old Los Angeles man has been arrested on suspicion of murder for the death of an unborn child believed to be his….Police say the arrest came after an investigation on Monday revealed "suspicious circumstances of a miscarriage." Investigators estimate the fetus was in its 13th week.
Why should this suspect be arrested for suspicion of murder, when the mother could have legally aborted the child with the praise and adoration of many? Why is the “fetus” considered a child and therefore “able to be murdered” only in certain cases? Why would the method of the killing make an abortion legal, while in an assault situation it becomes murder?
We are clearly a very confused culture and society. We want to make excuses for our leniency and even in some cases taking pleasure in abortion/murder, while at the same time we want to be able to call the act murder when there is an assault involved the the mother wanted the baby. There is something twisted and perverse about all this.
Why would anyone accept the Margaret Sanger Award?
We live in a very confused and intolerant world today. Civility in our postmodern so-called tolerant world has become non-existent, but not necessarily where we might expect to find it.
It has recently been reported that MSNBC and others have made a big show of pointing out a particular man at a protest who was carrying weapons linking him to racism. What they did not tell people, and was clearly avoided by the video camera was the fact that this man was black. Not only does this show media bias bordering on negligence and malpractice, but it also highlights the modern views of tolerance. It has not only become acceptable, but even fashionable to attack and demean individuals for not holding the same views as the attacker. We require tolerance of all ideas, which gives license to be intolerant toward people. This is an entire reversal of the traditional view of tolerance.
Gregory Koukl has written an incisive and important article on the topic of tolerance, available online here.
Here is a portion of that article:
Escaping the Trap. “Would you like to know how to get out of this dilemma?” I asked. They nodded. “You must reject this modern distortion of tolerance and return to the classic view.” Then I wrote these two principles on the board:
Be egalitarian regarding persons.
Be elitist regarding ideas.1
“Egalitarian” was a new word for them. “Think equal,” I said. “Treat others as having equal standing in value or worth.” They knew what an elitist was, though, someone who thought he or she was better than others. “Right,” I said. “When you are elitist regarding ideas, you are acknowledging that some ideas are better than others; and they are. We don’t treat all ideas as if they have the same merit, lest we run into contradiction. Some ideas are good. Some are bad. Some are true. Some are false. Some are brilliant. Others are just plain foolish.”
The first principle, what might be called “civility,” is at the heart of the classical view of tolerance. It can be loosely equated with the word “respect.” Tolerance applies to how we treat people we disagree with, not how we treat ideas we think are false. We respect those who hold different beliefs from our own by treating such people courteously and allowing their views a place in the public discourse. We may strongly disagree with their ideas and vigorously contend against them in the public square, but we still show respect to their persons despite our differences. Classic tolerance requires that every person be treated courteously with the freedom to express his or her ideas without fear of reprisal no matter what the view, not that all views have equal worth, merit, or truth.
These two categories are frequently conflated in the muddled thinking created by the myth of tolerance. The view that one person’s ideas are no better or truer than another’s is simply absurd and inescapably self-contradictory. To argue that some views are false, immoral, or just plain silly does not violate any meaningful definition or standard of tolerance.
Topsy-Turvy. The modern definition of tolerance turns the classical formula for tolerance on its head:
Be egalitarian regarding ideas.
Be elitist regarding persons.
If you reject another’s ideas, you’re automatically accused of disrespecting the person (as the coed did with me). In this new view of tolerance, no idea or behavior can be opposed — even if done graciously — without inviting the charge of incivility.
To say I’m intolerant of the person because I disagree with his or her ideas is confused; ironically, it results in elitism regarding persons. If I think my ideas are better than another’s, I can be ill-treated as a person, publicly marginalized, and verbally abused as bigoted, disrespectful, ignorant, indecent, and (can you believe it?) intolerant. Sometimes I can even be sued, punished by law, or forced to attend re-education programs.2
In this way, tolerance has gone topsy-turvy: Tolerate most beliefs, but don’t tolerate (show respect for) those who take exception with those beliefs. Contrary opinions are labeled as “imposing your view on others” and quickly silenced.
This is nonsense and should be abandoned. The myth of tolerance forces everyone into an inevitable “Catch-22,” because each person in any debate has a point of view he or she thinks is correct.
Catch-22. Classical tolerance involves three elements: (1) permitting or allowing (2) a conduct or point of view one disagrees with (3) while respecting the person in the process. Notice that we can’t truly tolerate someone unless we disagree with him or her. This is critical. We don’t “tolerate” people who share our views. They’re on our side. There’s nothing with which we need to put up. Tolerance is reserved for those we think are wrong, yet we still choose to treat decently and with respect.
This essential element of classical tolerance — disagreement (elitism regarding ideas) — has been completely lost in the modern distortion of the concept. Nowadays if you think someone is wrong, you’re called intolerant no matter how you treat the person.
This presents a curious problem. In order to exercise true tolerance, one must first think another is wrong, yet saying so brings the accusation of intolerance. It’s a “Catch-22.” According to this approach, true tolerance becomes impossible.
Intellectual Cowardice. Most of what passes for tolerance today is little more than intellectual cowardice — a fear of intelligent engagement. Those who brandish the word “intolerant” are unwilling to be challenged by other views or grapple with contrary opinions, or even to consider them. It’s easier to hurl an insult — “you intolerant bigot” — than to confront an idea and either refute it or be changed by it. In the modern era, “tolerance” has become intolerance.
As ambassadors for Christ, we choose the more courageous path, “destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God” (2 Cor. 10:5; NASB). Whenever you’re charged with intolerance, always ask for a definition. When tolerance means neutrality, that all views are equally valid and true, then no one is ever tolerant because no one is ever neutral about his or her own views. Point out the contradiction built into the new definition. Point out that this kind of tolerance is a myth.
— Gregory Koukl
The impetus for the American Revolution was George III initiating a tea tax, the stamp act and the Townshend Act. Taxes as an impetus for revolution? This seems almost beyond belief to me as one who lives with modern Western sensibilities. Yet in the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson called George III a tyrant for having “erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.” All because of taxes that were erected to pay for the growing costs of British government. Today, those who object to rising taxes are excoriated as bigoted selfish tyrants. Is something wrong with this scenario? Is there something incongruous about the founding principles of this country and the sensibilities of recent decades?
As an almost first generation immigrant (I was 5 years old) and naturalized citizen, I know what it means for my parents to work very hard to provide for the basic needs of their children. I look at my wife’s parents and the amazing sacrifices they made for their family, which included two special needs children. They refused any offer of government assistance, which was often pushed on them. I look at myself and my family, and I see some of that disappearing. I do not want it to. I do not want to sear my conscience and my sensibilities. How about you? Who is your model? I now look to the model of my father-in-law (currently suffering at the end stages of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases). He models true faith in Jesus Christ and his inerrant Word. He modeled true commitment and sacrifice to his family. He even accepted a foolish and often weak son-in-law, marrying his oldest daughter (that would be me). And he modeled a reliance on God’s strength, not government.
Believe it or not, I look forward to reading email notices from the Presbyterian News Service. It usually gives me good fodder to address the political foolishness and nonsense that masquerades as Presbyterianism. Just this evening I received a story called Choosing Life, written by Carol Gruber, reporting on Barbara Rossing’s presentation at the gathering of the Presbyterian Women. I was intrigued by the title of this article as I did not expect the topic of abortion to be addressed, let alone for a presenter to take a pro-life stance. I quickly realized that this had nothing to do with abortion, but with more nonsense regarding global climate change.
Barbara Rossing spoke of the enchantment of waking to the song of a bird, gazing at a waterfall or watching a child discover a new creature. But is all well with the world we cherish? As Rossing described the failing health of the earth, she reminded the audience, “The cruelest injustice of climate change is that it hurts the poor – those who have done the least to cause the problem – the hardest … As Christians, we should be concerned about that.”
I wonder if Ms. Rossing is aware of the rising worldwide skepticism of human-caused global warming?
I wonder if she is aware that more and more scientists are rejecting human-caused global warming, and more and more empirical evidence is showing no global warming at all?
I wonder if she is aware that “the poor” are more likely to suffer because of draconian efforts, like cap and trade that impacts the poor quite dramatically with increased costs for everything?
Her comment on watching a child discover a new creature saddens me. The title of this article could have easily been associated with a report on pro-life efforts. Seeing that instead it is a report about a Presbyterian leader pushing a progressive agenda, despite growing scientific evidence, it could have been about saving millions of lives. It breaks my heart.
Recalling Deuteronomy 30:19, Rossing challenged the listeners with the urgency of choice. God says to the people, “(C)hoose life so that you and your descendents may live.” Rossing reminded the crowd that “choosing life” means living in a more sustainable way. She also reflected that the time to choose life is now.
Wow! Talk about taking a biblical text way out of context! Moses’ speech is clear and unambiguous. He calls on the Israelites to obediently and exclusively grasp onto Yahweh and his revealed law. For the Lord is Life and his Word brings life. Moses warns them to not let their hearts and wills to stray from exclusive love and obedience to the Lord, or they will be destroyed.
“We are living in an urgent moment … a ‘kairos moment,’” Rossing said, defining a kairos moment as “when your whole life comes to a focus, an urgent moment in time.” She pointed out that even in this week, those at the Gathering are at a kairos moment — a turning point. In fact, Rossing said that the whole world is standing at a turning point, an “urgent kairos moment for God’s creation.”
Wow! You would think that a Christian speaker might be referring to a massive renewal or evangelism, where thousands of people are repenting and coming to Christ, finding salvation. Instead it looks like she is referring to a green theology.
As people consider how to work for renewable energy, sustainable food economies and the revitalization of local communities, Rossing asked, “How will we, our churches and our world, lead? How will we face this moment … and how will our church inspire the world to take action, choosing the path of life?” Rossing credited the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) with “what is probably the most visionary statement on energy use and climate change of any U.S. church, a statement called The Power to Change, that commits your church to ambitious goals for climate change advocacy and reductions in carbon emissions, for the sake of the healing of the world.” As we work to correct the wrongs of the past, the climate crisis can be an opportunity for evangelism, Rossing said. A church in Delaware put 180 solar panels on its roof, and because of this, new people were drawn to the church. A Seattle church brought hybrid cars to its energy fair. Many other churches are drinking fair-trade coffee and advocating for stronger clean energy and green jobs legislation in Congress. Rossing, author of the 2010–11 Horizons Bible study on the book of Revelation said she believes “the book of Revelation can help us find the healing we need … Revelation’s images of renewal and healing — the river of life, the tree of life, the shepherding Lamb who wipes away our tears — these beautiful images can give us vision and courage today, as we stand ready to cross over into a new future. “We stand at a crossing point, a kairos moment for our world. In little and big ways, each day, we are called to make choices that affect the whole creation,” she said. “This moment really matters. Therefore ‘choose life,’ God tells us, ‘so that you and your descendents may live.’”
So to reduce global warming, by putting solar panels on your church is a wonderful way to evangelize. Reading this you get the idea that we are “saving” the world. She amazingly connects a prophetic apocalyptic message from Revelation of John, to adding solar panels.