Tag archives: Abortion

Pete Buttigieg’s “Different Way” Is Not Biblical Christianity

by David Closson

January 15, 2020

Yesterday, six candidates participated in the final Democratic debate before the Iowa caucus. Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, and Tom Steyer each made their pitch for why they should be their party’s nominee to take on President Donald Trump in the general election.

Buttigieg’s repeated emphasis of his religious background is unique for his party: Democrats have been reluctant to speak about their faith on the campaign trail. While last night’s debate focused on foreign policy and the recent tensions with Iran, Buttigieg made a point (as he has throughout the election) to highlight the role of religion in politics. Responding to a question about his electability, Buttigieg highlighted his Midwestern roots, military service, and Christian faith. He said, “If a guy like Donald Trump keeps trying to use religion to somehow recruit Christianity into the GOP, I will be standing there not afraid to talk about a different way to answer the call of faith and insist that God does not belong to a political party.”

The comment received little public attention following the debate, but Christians should pay close attention to what Buttigieg is suggesting. He is arguing that President Trump’s relationship with the faith community is transactional and utilitarian. In Buttigieg’s view, President Trump is using religion to advance his political agenda, and Christians who support him are allowing their faith to be co-opted. This is the same argument Mark Galli made last month in his widely shared Christianity Today editorial. In Galli’s words, if Christians don’t oppose President Trump, the “reputation of evangelical religion” and “the world’s understanding of the gospel” will be harmed. Buttigieg evidentially agrees with this assessment, which is why he is proposing a “different way to answer the call of faith.”

Buttigieg’s (and Galli’s) allegation deserves a response. How should Christian voters think about Buttigieg’s call for a “different way to answer the call of faith?” Is it true that Christian leaders have sacrificed their moral witness for a seat at the table of political power?

First, when it comes to evaluating the theological claims made by Buttigieg, it is important to remember that he is a member of the Episcopal Church, a theologically liberal denomination that has taken public stands against the historic teachings of Christianity on a host of social issues. For example, the Episcopal Church ordained its first clergy member who openly identified as gay in 1977 and continues to actively support LGBT causes. Also, since 1967 the Episcopal Church has opposed national or state legislation that would restrict abortion and, in 2018, called for “women’s reproductive health and reproductive health procedures to be treated as all other medical procedures.”

Buttigieg’s liberal politics align nicely with the liberal politics of the Episcopal Church, so it is not surprising that he finds himself at home there. Thus, when Buttigieg argues that the “Christian faith is going to point you in a progressive direction,” it is important to realize that by “Christian faith,” Buttigieg means something very different than what Christians have taught and believed for two millennia—not only about the nature of marriage and life but also about the role of Scripture.

Buttigieg’s understanding of the Bible came up in an interview with Rolling Stone last November. When asked to respond to the charge that his progressive faith disregards the Bible’s teaching on social issues, Buttigieg said: “There’s so many things in Scripture that are inconsistent internally, and you’ve got to decide what sense to make of it. Jesus speaks so often in hyperbole and parable, in mysterious code, that in my experience, there’s simply no way that a literal understanding of the Scripture can fit into the Bible that I find in my hands.” 

A shocking admission, Buttigieg’s comments shed light on the candidate’s flawed understanding of Christianity. They also explain what he likely had in mind during last night’s debate when he referred to a “different way to answer the call of faith.” By calling the Bible “inconsistent” and insisting that Jesus spoke in “mysterious code,” Buttigieg is rejecting what theologians refer to as the perspicuity of Scripture, which says the Bible communicates the doctrines of the faith clearly.

It is worth noting that some passages in Scripture are more difficult to understand than others. In fact, when referring to the Apostle Paul’s epistles, the Apostle Peter said, “His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16b). But even as he acknowledges the fact that Paul’s writings could be hard to understand, Peter underscores the fact that Scripture is objective and that failure to attend to the meaning of the text is harmful. The Bible teaches elsewhere that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). While there may be portions of Scripture that require extra study and attention, the Bible is clear on the doctrines of God, man, the way of salvation, and many issues with social and political implications.

However, by rejecting the clarity of Scripture, Buttigieg is conveniently able to remake and reinterpret the Christian faith to suit his preferences and beliefs, advancing proposals and policies in the garb of Christianity that either bear little resemblance or directly contradict “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

A clear example of this is Buttigieg’s argument that “there’s a lot of parts of the Bible that talk about how life begins with breath.” This despite the Bible’s repeated affirmation of the personhood of the unborn (see Psalm 139:13-16, Psalm 51:5-6, Luke 1:39-45, Jeremiah 1:4-5, Job 10:8, Genesis 25:22-23, and many others). By doubling down on this demonstrably false claim, Buttigieg is showing that political talking points, not Scripture, informs his view on life. 

Finally, in response to Galli’s charge that Christian leaders have sacrificed their moral witness and are no better than Buttigieg and his supporters on the religious left, it should be conceded that some on the right are willing to trade their credibility for influence. However, to allege, as Buttigieg has, that the “credibility of Christianity” is at stake because many Christians have supported President Trump and his party after measured consideration of their voting options is both unfair and inaccurate. Far from sacrificing their values and credibility, it is largely due to Christian encouragement that President Trump has taken significant action on issues of concern for social conservatives—issues such as life, religious liberty, Israel, and a return of faith in the public square.

As the 2020 election gets underway, it will be important for Christians to submit everything to the Lord, including their political engagement. As I argue in my recent publication, Christians ought to engage, but we must engage biblically. And as Christians, this requires prayerful consideration of candidates, party platforms, and most importantly, the Bible’s teaching on moral issues. On one level, Buttigieg is right when he insists, “God does not belong to a political party.” However, God does care deeply about many issues in our politics. And if Christians are going to be faithful in a time fraught with political turmoil and confusion, it will require more, not less, commitment to God’s Word.

2020 Democrats Want Unsafe, Unregulated, Do-It-Yourself Abortions

by Patrina Mosley

December 20, 2019

In today’s Democratic Party, anything goes—from applauding parents who encourage their children to reject their God-given identity and mutilate their young bodies, to bizarrely championing “abortion rights for trans-females,” to now happily supporting the dangerous do-it-yourself abortion method known as the abortion pill.

When the New York Times surveyed the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, all of them (unsurprisingly) vowed to defend abortion. However, when asked if they were in favor of lifting the restrictions on abortion pills and making them available over-the-counter (OTC), many of the candidates were unwilling to take a public position. Nevertheless, a few candidates are willing partners in the abortion industry’s strategy to deregulate the abortion pill.

The candidates who answered “Yes” to OTC abortion pills were: Michael Bennet, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren, Marianne Williamson, and Andrew Yang. Those who answered “unclear” or “unsure” who are still in the race were: Julian Castro, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, and Amy Klobuchar. The two candidates who provided no answer were Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. (The New York Times survey was taken before Michael R. Bloomberg and Deval Patrick entered the race.)

Another left-leaning outlet, Vice, conducted its own survey, focusing solely on support for OTC abortion pills. They asked every Democrat who qualified for the December 19th debate about “expanding access to medication abortion.” Out of the seven candidates who qualified, four responded. Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Tom Steyer all said they support making abortion pills available OTC, while Andrew Yang only went so far as to say he supports “expanding access” to telemedicine. Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Amy Klobuchar did not respond to Vice’s survey.

Chemical abortions, which are carried out by abortion pills, are fast becoming the new abortion battleground. The rate of chemical abortions is at an all-time high; currently, almost 40 percent of abortions are done with abortion pills. This rapid increase is part of the abortion industry’s long-term strategy to make abortions “self-managed” and unrestricted—despite the profound dangers chemical abortions pose to women’s health.

The abortion industry regards drug-based, do-it-yourself abortions as the best way to get around the many state-level pro-life laws being enacted around our country. Consequently, they want to remove the FDA’s drug safety program, known as the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS), so that abortion pills are available through the pharmacy and the mail, making do-it-yourself abortions the future of the industry. The abortion industry is not shy about this goal. They have strategically discussed how the absence of the REMS would significantly expand abortion locations and providers, broaden remote prescriptions (in which a woman is never even examined by the prescriber), and eventually achieve OTC status for the abortion pill.

The risks that come with taking the abortion pill are eerily similar to those of a self-induced abortion. Placing the burden on women to “self-manage” their abortions is not very different from the “back-alley coat-hanger abortions” that abortion activists have once said they wanted to avoid with legal abortion.

The abortion industry likes to make the abortion pill regimen of mifepristone (marketed under the brand name Mifeprex) and misoprostol sound safe and straightforward. In reality, chemical abortions are a multi-day, traumatic process that has four times the rate of complications and over 4,000 documented life-threatening and health-endangering risks.

Between 2000 and 2018, a total of 4,195 adverse events related to chemical abortions were reported to the FDA. These events include 24 maternal deaths, 97 undiagnosed ectopic pregnancies, 1,042 hospitalizations, 599 blood transfusions, and 412 infections (including 69 severe infections). It is important to note that these numbers only represent the adverse events reported to the FDA, so we do not have a full picture of the data.

The REMS provide a way to monitor and mitigate the risks of the abortion pill regimen. They are the lone safety barrier in preventing the sale and provision of mifepristone tablets outside a clinical setting. How would removing the REMS and making abortion pills an OTC product make abortion safer for women, when 24 women have died and thousands of women have been traumatized, even with the REMS currently in place?

The responses by the 2020 Democratic candidates are telling. Gone are the days when Democrats declared abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.” Now, the party trips over itself to lay out a welcome mat for unsafe, unregulated, do-it-yourself abortion.

Once something is legal, it will not become rare. When asked if they still hold to the trio mantra, Democrats slyly agree that abortion should be “safe and legal” but stop short of “rare.” It’s easy to figure out why. Abortions that are rare don’t make money. If they don’t make money, that money doesn’t go to campaigns whose candidates want to stay in power. Rare abortions don’t eliminate the kinds of people the elite Left doesn’t want over-populating; hence, when defending “abortion access,” proponents will consistently dog-whistle about how any pro-life protections will hurt “low-income” women, “rural” women, and “women of color.”

Now, with their support of do-it-yourself abortions, abortion advocates have shown their hand. They never truly cared about women at all. With all the documented dangers, it is increasingly evident that the abortion industry’s priority is not “abortion safety” but “abortion access”—which means profit. The abortion industry knows that they can expand their access by distributing abortion pills OTC or via telemedicine, as opposed to having to deal with the overhead costs of facilities and surgeons. But those pesky REMS stand in their way. Women’s safety is in their way.

Abortionist Daniel Grossman, who has significant ties to the abortion pill, actively encourages policy makers and the FDA to lift the REMS and restrictions on telemed abortion all in the name of “abortion access.” The aggressive push for OTC Mifeprex at the expense of women’s health and safety says loud and clear that abortion is a business—not care for women. 

Allowing abortion pills as OTC drugs has radical implications for women especially as it pertains to intimate partner violence, sexual abuse, sex trafficking, and accurate patient assessment. There are numerous documented incidents of women being unknowingly slipped abortion pills by partners who were unwilling to become fathers or by family members who were unsupportive of the pregnancy. Just this week, a California man faces a first-degree murder charge after allegedly holding his girlfriend at gunpoint and forcing her to take pills, effectively aborting her own child.

Clearing a pathway for OTC abortion pills is going in the opposite direction of safe, legal, and rare. Any candidate that ignores the documented dangers of chemical abortions is sold out to an abortion ideology where anything goes. But we shouldn’t be surprised: this same party refuses to pass legislation that would protect babies born alive after botched abortions and applauds legislation that allows the termination of a child up to the day of birth!

At least we know where the candidates stand on this issue. Evidently, we have a lot of work to do to make sure human dignity and women’s safety becomes the new standard in this country.

Prostitution and Abortion: The Exploitation of Women and Children

by Abigail Moreno-Riano

June 26, 2019

                                                                    

Earlier this year, the state of New York legalized abortion up until birth, and the governor and abortion activists then proceeded to celebrate this loss of life as a joyous occasion. Now, another crisis of human dignity was narrowly averted after New York came close to passing the first ever complete decriminalization of prostitution.

While Nevada is the only other state to legalize forms of prostitution, New York’s bill is the most extensive bill that has ever been introduced, and as these authors noted, “would only turn mostly women and girls into ‘commodities to be bought and sold.’” Thankfully, this bill has been tabled for now, but there is no doubt that pro-prostitution activists will continue to push for more decriminalization legislation in the future.

The Dignity of Every Life

We are pro-life because we believe each person is made in the image of God and therefore, whether man, woman, or unborn child, each person is worthy of dignity and respect. It is not what one does that allows a person to earn the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but rather, who a person is that endows them with these dignities. This belief is founded on the truth that God created male and female in his own image, as stated in Genesis 1:27.

It is here that we see human dignity does not just apply to men, but to women as well. This seems like an obvious statement, but in a world where the businesses of porn, prostitution, and sex trafficking increasingly degrade and destroy a woman’s perception of herself (not to mention a man’s perception of women) until she no longer sees herself as human but as an object, the dignity of women must be called out and fought for. As we fight for babies to be treated with dignity, so should we for women.

Women advocating for this bill, like sponsor Sen. Julia Salazar, argued it is because of their concern for the “rights” of women entrapped in prostitution and their desire for these women “to be treated with dignity and to be treated like human beings” that they support this bill. It is here that we see that the core of their advocacy is a misconstrued understanding of human dignity. The abortion and prostitution industries survive by encouraging and empowering this misconstrued understanding of human dignity, masking exploitation under the guise of “freedom.”

The Cycle of Degredation

As the cycles of pornography, sex trafficking, prostitution, and abortion continue, they are only fed by laws that seek to legalize their exploitative behavior. For too long, men who seek their own advantage have shown through their actions and attitudes towards women that their version of “liberty” comes from selfishness and “sheer self-will.”

This distorted understanding of freedom has been taken up by the Feminist movement, through which women seek to remedy exploitation by fighting for equal rights, as they should, but with the wrong tactics. Their view of freedom makes room for the belief that women are empowered by their ability to receive an abortion, but these avenues only allow exploitation to continue in the degradation of the unborn.

As Edmund Burke wrote, true freedom “is not solitary, unconnected, individual, selfish liberty, as if every man was to regulate the whole of his conduct by his own will.” True freedom exists not by selfish indulgence, but by “equality of restraint,” in which no person can “find means to trespass on the liberty” of any other person but every person is respected and respects others because of their inherent worth and value.

The cycle of degrading human dignity must end, and it starts with the woman understanding that her inherent value and worth is not dependent on the usefulness of her body. If women continue to allow themselves to be exploited, they allow men to degrade their worth and see abuse as the norm. The pro-life movement rightly seeks to help women value their babies as people, not as objects. But until women see themselves as inherently valuable and not as objects, they’ll never see their babies as more than the same.

Attorneys from Sanctuary for Families spoke out against decriminalizing prostitution, calling out prostitution as “an industry of abuse and violence which profits from the commodification of human beings,” adding, “The answer is not making it legal to pimp or buy sex. The answer is ensuring that we respect the full equality and dignity of every human.”

Ending the Industries of Exploitation

A woman is not valuable because of the desirability of her body, she is valuable because she is made in the image of God. Period. Until women start seeing themselves as dignified and worthy of more, they will only allow exploitation to continue. When women understand the inherent dignity that they possess, they are empowered to view their unborn children with the same dignity.

Laws that restrain abortion and prostitution do not imply that women are subservient to men. Rather, they demonstrate that women and unborn babies are equal and possess inherent dignity, and are therefore deserving of respect, while forcibly suppressing the industries of exploitation. Therefore, we must continue to fight for the dignity and protection of all, particularly women and unborn children, by upholding both anti-prostitution and pro-life laws.

Abigail Moreno-Riano is an intern at Family Research Council.

The Power of Pro-Life Citizen Involvement

by Anna Longbons

April 17, 2019

Does grassroots activism even work? Every time a controversial bill is considered, and every time election season comes around, Americans are encouraged to get involved at the grassroots level. We are told that every vote counts. We are told that every election has consequences. But does citizen participation make a difference, or can we only effect change from the top down?

Citizen Activism Produces Pro-Life Victories

Several pro-life victories show the power of ordinary Americans taking action for the issues they care about. Although she was only 15 years old, Lila Rose began standing against Planned Parenthood through investigative reporting. Due in part to her efforts, the government has cut $60 million in Planned Parenthood support, and 8 states have stopped funding from going to the abortion giant. Similarly, Abby Johnson quit her Planned Parenthood career and made it her mission to rescue other abortion workers from the industry. Thanks to her organization, And Then There Were None, 400 abortion workers have left. Another 1 percent of American abortion workers quit after seeing Johnson’s autobiographical film Unplanned.

Voting for Pro-Life Candidates Saves Lives

Voting for pro-life candidates also yields powerful pro-life victories. When Iowa voters elected pro-life officials who defunded Planned Parenthood, one third of the state’s Planned Parenthood locations closed. In Bettendorf, Iowa, the pro-life Women’s Choice Center moved into Planned Parenthood’s old building, redeeming a tragic location with compassion and care. Since pro-life legislators passed the Hyde amendment, the Charlotte Lozier Institute reveals that 2.13 million humans have been saved from abortion. On the flip side, after Illinois legalized taxpayer-funded abortions for state employees and Medicaid recipients, the number of taxpayer-funded abortions rose by 274 percent.  

Every Vote Counts

For pro-life candidates to get into office, they need pro-life voters to turn out at the polling places. In the 2018 midterm elections, several right-leaning candidates won by less than 1 percent. During the Florida Senate race, Rick Scott (R) defeated Bill Nelson (D) by a 0.12 percent margin of victory. In Georgia’s 7th district, Rob Woodall (R) secured a victory with only 419 votes. Will Hurd (R) won in Texas’ 23rd district by 926 votes, while Chris Collins (R) defeated Nate McMurray by only 1,087 votes. In April 2019, conservative judge Brian Hagedorn won an upset Wisconsin Supreme Court seat by 5,960 votes, equaling 0.4 percent of the vote.

Communicating with Legislators Influences Policy

Like the pro-life activists, home school advocates have achieved critical grassroots victories. In California, Hawaii, New Hampshire, and Colorado, so many homeschoolers protested and made phone calls that legislators changed their minds about considering anti-homeschool legislation.

Forging relationships and staying in contact with elected officials furthers family policy in powerful ways. The Congressional Management Foundation reported that only 9 percent of House staffers get “information about the impact the bill/issue would have on the district or state,” but 91 percent would appreciate the information. Another 79 percent value “personal story from a constituent related to the bill or issue.” A mere 18 percent of them hear such stories, though. 79 percent of them also recommended “meet or get to know the Legislative Assistant with jurisdiction over their issue area.” The vast majority reported that “in-person visits from constituents” can help to sway undecided congresspeople. Even if citizens cannot visit congressional offices in person, they can interact with staff online. “Thirty or fewer similar comments on a social media post are enough to get an office’s attention,” according to another study from the Congressional Management Foundation.

When citizens engage on the issues they are passionate about and become involved in the political process, change happens. Activists like Abby Johnson and Lila Rose prove that concerned citizens can make a critical difference. Calling our legislators, showing up for demonstrations, and voting our values will help to determine the course America takes in the years ahead.

Anna Longbons is an intern with FRC Action.

On the Fighting Side of Life

by Worth Loving

March 5, 2019

On January 22, 2019, the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the Reproductive Health Act, one of the most radical late-term abortion laws in the nation. A few days later when asked about a similar bill proposed in the Virginia House of Delegates, Governor Ralph Northam went a step further by advocating for infanticide. The actions in New York and Virginia have since spawned a domino effect throughout the nation, with liberal politicians in several other states proposing their own radical abortion bills.

Responding to the mad rush to legalize late-term abortion and infanticide, Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) introduced the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, a bill designed to protect babies born alive from botched abortions. Sadly, when this legislation came up for a vote in the Senate last week, 44 Democrats voted against it. Furthermore, Democrats have blocked 11 requests for unanimous consent on this legislation, 10 times in the House of Representatives and once in the Senate. The second vote in the Senate last week was to end debate on the bill and force a vote. That’s right, Democrats have voted against protecting babies born alive from botched abortions 12 times.

Despite these setbacks, we are fortunate to have many members of Congress willing to fight for life, no matter the political repercussions. Last week, Congresswoman Martha Roby (R-Ala.) stopped by our Washington, D.C. headquarters to discuss how she and her colleagues in the House and Senate are standing up to the radical abortion agenda. In addition to the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, Congresswoman Roby has cosponsored several other pieces of pro-life legislation including the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, the Life at Conception Act, the Heartbeat Protection Act, the Defund Planned Parenthood Act, and the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act. Declaring her intent to fight for life, Congresswoman Roby stated unequivocally: “I will continue to use my platform in Congress to serve as a vocal advocate for the unborn.” In the midst of the rush to deny innocent babies the right to life, how refreshing it is to see so many members of Congress working hard to pass legislation to protect them.

To learn more about the congressional fight to protect the born and unborn, please take time to listen to Congresswoman Roby’s presentation. Then, contact your members of Congress and tell them to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act immediately so that it can be sent to President Trump’s desk for his signature. Lastly, please visit EndBirthDayAbortion.com to learn how you can send a clear and direct message to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to protect babies now. Together, we will create a culture in which all human life is valued and equally protected.

Stand with David - Sign the Petition Today!

by FRC Action

July 26, 2017

David Daleiden led the project that brought to light the footage of Planned Parenthood employees discussing the selling of baby body parts in 2015. Since then, Daleiden has started the #PPSellsBabyParts campaign on Twitter and has continued to be a strong activist on behalf of the most vulnerable. However, the National Abortion Federation (NAF) has sued Daleiden by claiming that the videos were illegally obtained and that their distribution poses a possible threat to the lives of abortionists across the country. U.S. District Judge William Orrick has ruled that David must take his video content off the web. David complied but his attorney placed the videos on his own website to keep them public. Judge Orrick reacted by saying that David was in contempt of the court. He also slapped him with additional fines, upward of $150,000.

David’s defense team has called for Judge Orrick to recuse himself as the sitting judge of the case because of his personal bias toward and support of Planned Parenthood. As evidence of Judge Orrick’s bias, David’s team has cited statements made on May 25th that imply that he believed David meant to cause personal harm to abortionists by releasing the videos. They also cited the fact that Judge Orrick has worked for over 20 years with a Planned Parenthood affiliate, the Good Samaritan Resource Center, and donated $5,072 to the resource center in 2006. Additionally, it appears that members of Judge Orrick’s family have publicly supported court rulings against David on social media.

Those who support the pro-life cause and the work that David undertook to reveal the practice of Planned Parenthood and the NAF in selling baby body parts should join in signing this petition. Judge Orrick’s bias must be reviewed to ensure that Daleiden is given fair treatment before the law and to ensure that justice is served. David is counting on us to make our voices heard and to stand with him. Stand with David Daleiden in his legal battle and also tell Congress to defund Planned Parenthood by signing this petition: Support Daleiden.

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Pete Buttigieg's "Different Way" Is Not Biblical Christianity
by David Closson (Jan. 15, 2020)

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