The Spiritual State of the Nation (4)

Yesterday I continued my survey of what recent election exit polling told us about great divisions that are ever so apparent in America culture today. Our national election revealed some huge divides that are not likely to be resolved anytime soon. What does all of this mean for us spiritually as a nation of almost 315 million people?

Defining Ourselves By What We Are Against

Several Catholic responses to the election offered insights that I think are helpful and sound. These writers opined that we are in danger of defining the church by what we are against more than by the good news we preach.

Take same-sex marriage. For many in the church this is not a threat to the church but an issue in the civil realm. I share this view, as some of you already know. Same-sex marriage will not alter my moral bearings or change my view of marriage, based precisely on the teaching of Jesus in a text like this one in Matthew 19:1-12:

When Jesus finished teaching, he left Galilee and went to the part of Judea that is east of the Jordan

The Case Against Planned Parenthood

I am radically, or so I believe, pro-life. I oppose the use of the death penalty (at least in our present unjust context) and I oppose our consistent unethical waging of warfare internationally. I also oppose the pro-death stance of the controversial organization Planned Parenthood. No matter how you frame it Planned Parenthood can no longer deny its massive involvement in abortion. Nor can it continue to deny, I believe, its financial irregularities and violations of both state and federal law.

Prolife3 Americans United for Life (AUL), a national pro-life organization, released a July 7 statement that opened up the strongest case against Planned Parenthood I’ve seen to this point in time. The statement is called: “The Case for Investigating Planned Parenthood.” I encourage you to read this report whether you are pro-life or not. And even if Planned Parenthood does help many poor and needy people, which I think it clearly does do well in many instances, this case must not be swept under the proverbial

By |August 17th, 2011|Categories: Abortion|

Why Are More and More People Pro-Life?

According to the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute 576 measures related to abortion have been introduced (in 2011) in 48 states. Most of these will never pass committee. Yet by early April, 142 abortion-related provisions had passed at least one chamber of a state legislature, compared with only 67 in 2009. More than half of these 142 bills introduced this year seek to restrict abortion access, compared with only 38 percent in 2010.

About 40 new anti-abortion laws were passed into law by mid-April. These include:

  • expanding the waiting period requirement in South Dakota from 24 hours to 72 hours, and requiring women to visit a crisis pregnancy center in the interim.
  • requiring a physician who performs an abortion in South Dakota to provide counseling on all risk factors related to abortion.
  • allowing any hospital employee in Utah to refuse to "participate in any way" in an abortion.
  • making it a felony in Arizona to perform or provide money for abortions sought because of a baby's race or sex.
  • prohibiting insurance plans that participate in the state insurance exchange from including abortion coverage in Virginia, Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri,
By |June 20th, 2011|Categories: Abortion|

Coming Out, Coming Home

I wrote a blog on January 16 titled: “A Conference on Faith and Sexuality.” It was about a local Saturday seminar on same-sex relationships and the church. The host church, Gary Memorial Methodist Church in Wheaton, invited four speakers to give biblical and theological presentations. The speakers clearly held different perspectives. The last of the four speakers was Christopher Yuan. I was moved to my depths by the story Chris told of a life of homosexual practice and drug dealing. After three years in prison, an HIV-positive blood test result, and an obvious conversion to Christ, Chris entered into a new Christian lifestyle.

729354o Now you can read Chris’ moving account of this conversion in his new book, Out of a Far Country (Waterbrook Press, 2011), which comes out May 3. The story is told by both Chris and his mother Angela. The foreword to their new book is written by Kay Warren.

Chris is one of two sons of Chinese immigrants. His father, as my father was in his professional career, is

Abortion, Social Justice and Young Christians

Anthony03021 I applaud the rise of social justice Christianity, at least up to a certain point. Some of this movement is a politically left response to the political right. This always causes me to pause and look for the holes in the argument, of which I see a number. When the point becomes the politics of left or right then I have my serious doubts about its value or real effectiveness. We are charged, very clearly, to love justice and mercy. We are also called to live out the faith in the public square. This means we cannot be silent about concerns that are on God’s mind. I believe these include life and freedom at the top of the list.

In my recent work in the Read the Bible in 90 Days program I have been in the prophets of the Old Testament the last week or more. Their message is strong and deeply convicting. My friend Anthony Bradley raises some really good questions about the pro-life issue

By |March 4th, 2011|Categories: Abortion|

50 Millions Lives Wasted

The National Right to Life calculates that 50 million abortions have been performed in America since the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973. 38 years and 50 millions deaths. That is staggering to me. 50 millions human fetuses have been denied their most basic right, “the right to life.”

For those who do not know the history of this decision the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that something like the “right to privacy” meant the right of a mother to choose to kill her unborn child. But what is even more striking is that this right still allows unborn children to be killed who are viable outside the womb. How anyone with a moral conscience can support that kind of reasoning is still beyond me. I realize the debate comes down to the issue of when human life begins. At the same time how can anyone with a conscience not protest that a life that could survive outside the womb is being taken in the late second trimester (and all the third trimester) thus clearly a viable human person is being killed?

Congressman Paul Broun, a medical doctor from

By |January 28th, 2011|Categories: Abortion|

Pam Chose Life: The Tim Tebow Pro-Life Story

The following letter appeared in my box this week. I think it implores those who value unborn life to respond. I did. I hope you will too.

Dear Friends,

Once again our values are under intense attack from radical liberal feminists. Only this time they are venturing where they never should have gone.

Football. And not just any football game. The Super Bowl.

This week, the liberal feminist organization, National Organization for Women (NOW), launched an all-out effort attacking a pro-life ad that will be in the Super Bowl commercial line-up. The ad, produced by our good friends at Focus on the Family, tells the story of Pam Tebow's decision to continue with her pregnancy against her doctor's advice and give birth to the Heisman trophy winning Florida Gator Quarterback, Tim Tebow.

Tebow NOW's call to take this advertisement off the air is their attempt at shutting down

By |January 30th, 2010|Categories: Abortion|

Secularization and the Role of Religion in Public Life

The controversy rages throughout the West. Does religion have a role to play in secular culture? Or should it be marginalized to a place safely outside the public square? So far as I can tell this controversy began in the 1960s but it is rooted in debates that are centuries old now. Europe and America are not the same in this regard but both face the same essential challenges. America still has a far more vibrant Christian presence than Europe so the issue here is still more openly addressed. This debate can be seen on a routine basis in American culture. Consider the recent flap about Brit Hume suggesting that Tiger Woods could find real peace and help if he turned to Jesus Christ in faith. If Hume had suggested that Tiger try some form of therapy or humanistic self-help the flap would never have taken on wings. But he specifically suggested Tiger could find real help in Jesus. The pundits went crazy. It would be hilarious if it didn't underscore once again the deep rift that has formed over the past fifty years.

By |January 15th, 2010|Categories: Abortion, Politics|

Will the Health-Care Bill Include the Pro-Abortion Provisions Advocated by the President?

Pro-Life1 It seems that many younger Christians who supported the election of Barack Obama do not really believe that President Obama is radically pro-choice. I hear various Christians say they are pro-life but I hear none defend the president on this critical point. I have said this several times, and demonstrated it time after time after time on this blog, but this president is doing more to promote abortion than any previous president in U. S. history. While the view of the president on this issue will not ultimately alter legal abortion (only a deep change in the view of the people will finally do this and there is growing evidence that this is slowly happening) the president's view will, and does, impact lives each day. His view on this issue already has impacted lives and has plainly allowed for more abortions. He has promoted federal support for abortion and new ways of funding abortion. Upon entering office he undid a number of hard-fought restrictions on abortion and now

By |January 13th, 2010|Categories: Abortion|

Why Did Senator Ben Nelson Cave In to the Pro-Choice Pressure?

Ben_Nelson_official_photo I originally wrote this blog on December 19. At the time I first wrote Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska was refusing to support the senate version of health-care reform because of its openly pro-choice stance. I wrote, on December 19, that there are "very few politicians that I actually admire." Like many Americans I see so few of them who have genuine "integrity." Most are overly and overtly "ambitious." (See blogs from the past two days, December 21-22) Further, I think that very little is actually changed by politicians in the end. Both culture and community are changed much more by good and godly people, than by governments. If we lose our way as a nation it will not be because of what happens in Congress. We can survive some bad decisions by Congress, we cannot survive becoming a coarse and bad people.

I was reminded of this issue of integrity during the ongoing health care debate over the past few weeks. Most everyone

By |December 23rd, 2009|Categories: Abortion|

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