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“Thou shalt have no other god before me.”  (Exodus 20:3 KJV)

June 22, 2013

Whatever Catholic faith you claim to respect and practice, it is not the faith that the Catholic Church teaches. And I speak for countless Catholics when I say that it's time for you to stop speaking as if it were.



Before getting into this one, I need to point out that the quote - obviously - is talking about the Catholic faith - the Catholic Church - and that the person is speaking for countless Catholics.

The issues behind this quote are not only Catholic issues -
but the person addressed by the quote claims to be Catholic.
Obviously, the writer feels that the person being addressed is saying things that he (the writer) doesn’t feel are in line with the teaching of the Catholic Church.

Not being Catholic (any more) -
I could just dismiss the whole thing as not applying to me.
After all - I belong to a Protestant faith now.
However - the more important thing -
whether you may agree or not -
Catholics and Protestants are all believers in Jesus Christ -
the Son of God -
and the one in whose name the Holy Spirit was sent.

As C. S. Lewis  points out in the book Mere Christianity, once we get past the differences in various Christian Religions - there is a core set of beliefs that we have in common as followers of Jesus.

It is in that light that this article is being written -
not as a Catholic issue -
but as a Christian issue.


I first saw the issue in an article on msnNOW.com headlined Quit the church, anti-abortion priests tell pro-abortion rights Pelosi.  I have often wondered why churches don’t speak out when political people (or others) claim to have knowledge about what the churches believe - and in reality don’t know at all.  So - this is one I had to follow up on.

Well - the original source for the msnNOW article is from a group called Priests for Life. It’s available on their website.  


After detailing the originations of the letter, the following is included in as Open Letter to Nancy Pelosi, which is posted on the page referenced above.  The basis for it has to do with Nancy Pelosi’s refusal to answer a question about the moral difference between aborting a baby in the womb and doing what Dr. Gosnell did - and went to jail for - killing a baby that survived an abortion attempt and was born alive - both after 23 weeks in the mother’s womb.

Moreover, you stated at the press briefing on June 13, "As a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this. I don't think it should have anything to do with politics."

With this statement, you make a mockery of the Catholic faith and of the tens of millions of Americans who consider themselves "practicing and respectful Catholics" and who find the killing of children -- whether inside or outside the womb -- reprehensible.

Again - let’s remove the Catholic references and make them Christian instead.
I believe the discussion applies in either case.


I believe -
or maybe at least hope -
that any Catholic or Protestant would find this practice reprehensible.

Unfortunately -
it is obviously not true that all Catholics or all Protestants -
and therefore also not true that all Christians -
find the practice of abortion reprehensible.


Therefore -
a conflict exists -
a conflict between what Father Prank Pavone (author of the Open Letter) and I expect -
and what reality really is about views on abortion.


There is a way to resolve this issue -
by going back to the source -
by looking at The Bible.


If we look for abortion in the Bible -
it’s not there.
At least the word “abortion” isn’t there.


So - let’s start someplace else.
Yes - I really said that.

I’m reading a couple books now -
which I have to believe are more that just coincidence -
and they may help here.

One is Come, Let US Reason An Introduction to Logical Thinking by Norman L. Geisler and Ronald M. Brooks.  If you’ve studied logic before - it’s a good refresher.  If not - it gives some very clear explanations of different types of logical arguments.  It then goes into how to tell if both the assumptions that go into the argument and the conclusions coming from it are valid and true.  A logical argument can sound really great - until one examines it - determines exactly what is being said - and validates the premises as well as the conclusions.  This is incredibly important for looking at the arguments on both sides of the abortion debate.

The other is The Handbook for Spiritual Warfare, Revised by Edward F. Murphy.  This one, among other things, looks at the influence of Satan in our lives.  The conversation between the serpent and Eve in the Garden of Eden is well known.  And I’ve written about it several times - the most recent being You will not surely die - back in April.  It’s especially important to look at the logic of Satan, the master of lies.

Those two books - by themselves - weren’t enough -
so I “picked up” one more book (actually picked up my iPad) called
Ethics for a Brave New World by John S. Feinberg and Paul D. Feinberg.  Specifically, I was reading Chapter Two - titled simply Abortion.

So - here’s some information from the book - Abortion

Finally, elective abortions complete the category of induced abortions. Here the mother’s life is not threatened, and there is no known risk of physical and/or mental handicap for the child. The reason for abortion is simply the convenience of the parents (e.g., control of family size, physical and/or mental strain on the parents, or financial hardship on the family). Moreover, as it becomes easier to choose the sex of a child, families can choose a gender specific child and abort those of the “wrong” sex.

This is the type of abortion that I’m writing about here.  Not where the mother’s life is in jeopardy - not in the case of rape - or of various other special circumstances.

What about the baby? Does the fetus feel pain? The best way to answer is to set forth the particulars of the physiology of a developing baby and then compare those data with what has been said about the different abortion techniques and the stages of pregnancy when they are used. This is a matter of no small import, since some claim that abortion is not cruel to the baby since it feels no pain.

BTW - note that I said “without getting into the gory details”.  If you - or someone you know - is considering an abortion - by all means, do get into the gory details.  All of them!  It’s important to know what you’re getting into.  By means of using logic - cold / hard logic - to get through the emotional arguments - you can end up with some very soundly based emotional feelings on the subject.

One really striking part of this section is just how much knowledge we actually have about the formation of the baby / fetus / “thing” (whatever one chooses to call the life form in the mother’s womb) is nothing short of incredible.

There is no question but that the baby in the womb will react to physical stimulus around the 10th week (within the first trimester, which is the end of the 13th week).

Dr. A. W. Liley, a respected professor of fetal psychology at the National Women’s Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand, has demonstrated that an eleven-week-old fetus can experience pain and responds to touch, light, heat and noise.  Liley has shown through the use of closed-circuit television cameras that such a child will feel pain when pricked with a needle. Moreover, if a beep is used before the prick several times, the baby will recoil at the beep alone. But this is within the first trimester of pregnancy, and during that time D & C and suction are the methods of abortion most commonly used. Moreover, though this is late in the first trimester of pregnancy, it must be remembered that most women do not even know they are pregnant until the second month of pregnancy, and once they know, they are not likely to get an abortion immediately. They will consider it for a while. All of this, of course, gives the fetus more time to develop and only helps to ensure that it will likely feel pain if it undergoes an abortion.

The conclusion then - not surprisingly -

So, contrary to what proponents of abortion claim, when a mother aborts her baby, most likely the baby feels great pain.

Make no mistake - abortion is decidedly not a procedure that is guaranteed painless.  The baby is either poisoned (during the second trimester when they are aware of it) - cut to pieces - or delivered and allowed to die.  Should these brief descriptions not be persuasive enough - you must read a thorough and completely scientific discussion of exactly what happens.

To not follow through on this is to allow Satan to control the argument.  
This sentiment that the baby feels no pain isn’t really any different than the lie the serpent told Eve - that she would not surely die.  The thing is - Satan was talking about one kind / time of death.  God was talking about another entirely different kind / time of death.

Examine the argument - test the assumptions - validate the conclusions.

The scientific evidence says that the baby can feel pain as early as the 10th week.  To say that the bay doesn’t feel pain at that point is quite simply untrue - it is a lie.  There may be a difference between babies in the womb and babies after they are born - but that doesn’t make their pain any less real to them.  The baby doesn’t make any obvious cries or sounds while in the womb (there isn’t air in the womb).  In fact, it isn’t until about the 13th week that the baby’s vocal chords start to form.
Again - just because the baby cannot express pain in vocal terms - that does not mean the pain isn’t felt!


I have always felt that abortion is wrong.  After reading this book and paying close attention to what actually happens during an abortion - it’s not only wrong it’s incredibly heartless and cruel - to the baby.


And yet - many people disagree with this.

So - we must go farther to determine what’s going on here.


On the other side of the question, advocates of abortion rights cannot understand why pro-lifers want to abridge a woman’s right to exercise freedom of choice and apparently control what she can do with her body. In this vein, they remind us that they are really not pro-abortion. They decry it as much as pro-lifers do, and they believe they are not insensitive to the rights and needs of the developing fetus. But they feel that a woman’s right to choose what to do with her body must be paramount. Hence, they prefer to refer to themselves as pro-choice.


I read this- and can’t understand the reasoning behind it.

The pro-choice people aren’t pro-abortion -
they just feel like the woman’s right to choose is more important.
But - isn’t it still killing a baby -
isn’t it still killing a human being?

Apparently - the answer is no - in their minds.

Seriously?

Here’s how that happens -

Is the beginning of life or the beginning of personhood the key issue in the abortion debate? Pro-choice advocates who opt for the former often say no one really knows when human life begins. That is a religious, philosophical or metaphysical question. But if the beginning of life is the key, and it is impossible to know when it begins, then when and whether to abort are decisions between the mother and her physician.

When I was younger -
the debate was over “when does life begin”?
Now -
all of a sudden -
it’s not a debate over when life begins -
but a debate over when does “personhood” begin?


It sounds weird -
but I realized that it has to be this way.
There’s no doubt any more about when life begins.

Science -
yes SCIENCE has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that life begins at conception!

Don’t think so?

Here’s what happens at conception -

Father’s sperm penetrates mother’s egg cell. Genetic instructions from both parents interact to begin a new and unique individual who is no bigger than a grain of sugar.

Also happening - on that very first day -

The first cell divides into two, the two into four, and so on.

If that last part sounds familiar -
think back to your first biology class - or life science - or whatever it may be called today.
Remember the amoeba?  It’s that single-celled thing that we all studied.  It’s the simplest / smallest life form.  From teachersdomain.org - student are taught -

All living things are made up of one or more cells: trees...elephants...moss...a paramecium.

Science says all living things are made of one or more cells.  
Science cannot then turn around and say that humans are different.
Either one cell is a living thing or it isn’t.
Since the amoeba is a living thing -
the little human cell in the womb at conception must also be a living thing.


And so -
the argument must change -
therefore -
the question has to change.

It’s the only logical choice -
if you don’t like the conclusion that must follow from your original assumption -
it becomes necessary to change the assumption!


So now the question is no longer about whether one is aborting a life -
it’s not even a question of aborting a human life (since the DNA proves it’s a human).
No -
now it’s about whether one is aborting a person!

Somehow we’ve moved on to defining when “personhood” starts.


Of course - I had to go out to dictionary.com to find the definition of personhood -

1. the state or fact of being a person.

2. the state or fact of being an individual or having human characteristics and feelings: a harsh prison system that deprives prisoners of their personhood.

Now it’s possible to get into a whole debate about when someone has these characteristics and feelings that make a human being a person.  Who’s going to decide what they are?  Science can probably determine when some of them start - but this is very subjective - and very much up to whoever happens to be in the position of being able to dictate what those human characteristics and feelings happen to be - at any given point in time.  Yes - different people in power can change the definition of what they are.  To make it even more complicated - consider the following very real situations that can occur if “personhood” is used to decide whether a life can be taken -

By far the most serious objection to this view is that it is a classic example of a slippery slope argument. This means that if the argument proves anything, it proves too much. The same argument would support infanticide, euthanasia and destruction of the severely mentally handicapped, since they cannot achieve functions that are necessary for human value under this view. Moreover, those disqualified as persons and open to elimination are just the ones we would think merit the most protection by the law, since they are the most unable to protect themselves. In light of all of these arguments we cannot see the developmental view of personhood as an adequate account of personhood.


Wow!

I used to think in terms like -

What would someone’s feelings about abortion be, if their mother had aborted them.
Of course - this is an impossible situation.
They couldn’t have an opinion if their mother had aborted them -
because they’d be dead and unable to have an opinion!
But it can make maybe think about how they feel about the fact that their mother obviously did not abort them.

The fact that the personhood argument can be turned around to also justify “aborting” the life of someone who used to have “personhood” but no longer has it -
this really turns the tables -
and make my previous question very relevant and important!
One can now ask the pro-choice person -
how will you feel when you no longer have “personhood” -
and someone in a position to do so decides that you no longer have the right to live?


This is all very interesting -
but is it any more than a diversion?

Is it really a discussion that we - as Christians -
really need to have?

After all -
this is just speculation -
it’s a “what if” scenario that may or may not happen -
that adds more emotional baggage to the original - and real - question -
is it ok to take the life of an unborn baby?


To fall into the trap of trying to debate all these other issues -
that’s to fall into Satan’s trap.

Pro-choice people have already changed the argument before -
and there’s no reason to expect anything different when they realize what’s ahead -
when they realize the “personhood” argument won’t work either.
Then it’s going to be time to change the argument again -
time to change the assumptions again -
all in an attempt to reach the conclusion they want -
namely that in the case of an elective abortion -
they want their convenience over protecting the life of the child they helped to create.


We - as Christians -
cannot let Satan drive the argument.

Am I saying that people who believe in pro-choice are Satanists?
NO.

What I am saying is that they -
like all of us -
in some fashion -
are influenced by Satan.

The only one who ever lived that wasn’t influenced by Satan is Jesus.

To declare that any of the rest of us -
me included -
isn’t influenced by Satan in some way -
is to ignore what God tells us in His Book - The Bible.

It’s that simple.

That’s why books like The Handbook for Spiritual Warfare are important.
We are involved in spiritual warfare.
Like it or not -
believe it or not -
ignore that fact at your own peril.


There’s another thing to point out here -
also showing the influence of Satan in this line of “reasoning” -
the issues over “personhood” as opposed to when life begins.
You may have noticed -
the Christian argument about life beginning at conception is actually based in science -
it’s cold - hard - provable facts.
On the other hand -
the pro-choice movement -
as Nancy Pelosi did -
considers this a “sacred” issue -
they say the beginning of life is based on religious or philosophical issues.

How is it that the Christians are using the scientific reasoning -
and the pro-choice people are using an alleged “religious” argument?

What is wrong with this picture?

I have said before that Christians should not be afraid of science -
in fact we should study science -
because it can teach us just how awesome God is.
what we see is a tiny fraction of what He can do -
but even that tiny fraction is incredible.

But here in this instance -
the very people that one would expect to use science (according to common wisdom) -
are ignoring the scientific facts and trying to move it to a religious argument.

We could proceed down that road with them -
and try to argue with them on religious grounds -
but why?
Why do we want to argue the conclusion with them -
when there’s another way -
a better way?


It can be better argued on purely logical grounds.
The truth is -
the original premise that they have about “personhood” and when it starts -
that premise is wrong.

The premise of pro-choice people is that they can define when personhood begins -
based on a set of criteria they define.
But -
what if that premise is wrong -
as I believe it is.
Dead wrong.

But -
how can that be proved?

Well -
now we’re back where we started -
asking -
what does God have to say about this?

Since Satan can’t come up with anything by himself -
there must be something that God says that Satan has twisted.

The question is -
what did God say?


Last week I wrote an article called Would God bless Planned Parenthood?  Part of it included some verses in Exodus that talked about two men fighting - and they hit a pregnant woman by accident - and what follows as punishment depending on harm that comes from hitting her.

My premise was that the verses talked about injury to either the woman or the baby.

From Ethics for a Brave New World, we learn that the pro-choice people claim that the law the Moses brought from the Lord only covered the woman - not the unborn child.

The book goes into an explanation of how -
using the original Hebrew words -
plus looking at the way Moses used those words in his other writings -
that if anything -
the unborn child was held to be equal to -
if not more important than -
the mother.

Again - the premise that these verses -
as told by pro-choice people -
people who want to redefine both the argument at hand -
and redefine God to be the way they want Him to be -
is wrong.

To continue arguing the conclusions from a faulty premise makes no sense.

There’s no reason to go further down that road -
these passages from Exodus do not say there’s no value attached to the unborn child.


Just in case you’re not convinced yet -
here’s another verse to consider.


In the Jeremiah 1:4-5 - we read -

Jer 1:4 A message came to me from the LORD. He said,

Jer 1:5 “Before I formed you in your mother’s body I chose you. Before you were born I set you apart to serve me. I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.”

Here - God is clearly saying that He chose Jeremiah -
before he was born -
before he was formed in his mother’s womb.

Uh Oh.

God chose him - before he was born or even formed in the womb.
Clearly - what God is saying here does not align with the personhood definition that pro-choice people claim is based on religious grounds - even sacred religious grounds.

It’s a lie - plain and simple.

It’s a view put forth by Satan -
and some are choosing to ignorantly follow it.


If that’s still not enough -
if you think there’s still even a little wiggle room for an “early enough” abortion -
let’s take a look at one verse - from Revelation 13:8 -

Rev 13:8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.

 

and one last verse from Daniel 12:1 - (NIRV) -

Da 12:1 “At that time Michael will appear. He is the great leader of the angels who guards your people. There will be a time of terrible suffering. Things will be worse than at any time since nations began. But at that time of suffering your people will be saved. Their names are written in the Book of Life.

Both of these verses are talking about the same thing -
people who’s names are written in the Book of Life -
a book that belongs to the Lamb - to Jesus.

These events were planned even before the world was created -
certainly long before anyone existed to even have a thought about an abortion.
That unborn baby’s name was already in the Book of Life long before even the mother was born -
and long before “personhood” - as defined by pro-choice people - took place.

Maybe one would like to argue the name isn’t written into the Book of Life until after “personhood” -
but that’s not what it says.
Daniel says
Their names are written in the Book of Life.
He’s not saying they will be when personhood is achieved -
he’s not even saying at some time in the future -
Daniel is saying they are written there “now” - when he was alive.

To go even further -
Daniel also isn’t saying that they are being written there -
he’s saying they are there - already.
The only evidence we have from the Bible is that these names were written -
are you ready for this -

all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world

The names were written in the Book of Life -
before the world was created -
before any of us were here.


Certainly every unborn baby who has been - is now - or ever will be aborted -
had their names written in the Book of Life -
before someone decided to abort that life -
before the mother was born -
before any human was born.


This should be the argument.

At least this should be the argument from a Christian point of view.

There’s no room for a discourse on when personhood begins - whatever that means.

There isn’t even room for discussion on when life begins -
even though science has proven that life begins at conception.

There are all interesting discussion points -
and we all love to debate them -
but the plain - simple - (maybe not so) obvious truth  is -
God has already told us when names were entered into His Book of Life.

all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world


As a Christian -
that is what we have as God’s word.

Like it or not -
as I’ve said many times before -
He is God -
we are not.


If He says the Book of Life was written before the world was formed -
who are we to say He’s wrong?


Even more so -

Who is Nancy Pelosi -
or any government leader -
or any other leader -
or any other person -
who doesn’t know - or believe - or care -
what God’s Word says -
who are they to tell Christians what we should believe?


Mrs. Pelosi, for decades you have gotten away with betraying and misrepresenting the Catholic faith as well as the responsibilities of public office. We have had enough of it. Either exercise your duties as a public servant and a Catholic, or have the honesty to formally renounce them.


Yes!

Yes -
to Mrs. Pelosi -
and
Yes to others -
who don’t care to take the time to learn what God really says -
who take the time but don’t like it so want us (and God) to change to their point of view -
who want to pervert God’s Word.


Still don’t believe?
Still don’t think Jesus cares about children - born or unborn?


Mt 18:1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

Mt 18:2 He called a little child and had him stand among them.  

Mt 18:3 And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  

Mt 18:4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Mt 18:5 “And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.  

Mt 18:6 But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

Mt 18:7 “Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come!


If this is Jesus’ view of people who cause little ones to sin -
what do you expect is view is of little ones who aren’t even allowed to be born?


OK - this got more than a little heavy -
As it should.
This is life and death.

Life and death -
not only for the little one -
the unborn child whose name was in the Lamb’s Book of Life -
but whose life on earth was aborted.

It’s also life or death for the ones asking for -
and the ones performing -
the abortion.


But if you’re reading this -
of if you talk to someone about this -
there’s still hope.

If you’re reading it - you’re still alive.

If you’re talking to someone - you’re both alive.

Mt 3:1 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea  2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”  3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:

“A voice of one calling in the desert,

‘Prepare the way for the Lord,

make straight paths for him.’ ”



Jn 8:11 “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”




Jn 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.  19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.  20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.  21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”


As Christians -
we believe the last three sets of verses I put in here.

As Christians -
should we not also believe that life is sacred -
from the moment our names were written in the Lamb’s Book of Life?


Which “god” are you listening to?

The “god” of pro-choice -

Or the God of the Bible -
the God who we all pray has our name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life?