Planned Parenthood is Right

Great video from Abort73:

This morning, our pastor said he believes that the Kermit Gosnell trial has the potential to be the “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” of our generation, bringing the focus of our nation on the horrors of the slaughter of children. I pray he is right, and that God—who can use ANY situation, even the reprehensible actions of “Dr.” Gosnell, to bring about good—will soon bring about the end of abortion in America. If not, I shudder at the judgment that awaits us…

Here’s the text of the video:

Last week, Katie Stockton was sentenced to 50 years in prison for throwing her newborn daughter out with the trash. In light of all the alternatives available to her, Judge John Truitt called Stockton’s CHOICE: “incomprehensible.”

When it comes to newborn babies, the law is not pro-choice. Or is it?

While Katie Stockton was on trial in Illinois, the “Infants Born Alive Act” was being debated in Florida. The proposed law would prohibit abortion clinics from abandoning or killing babies who survive abortion—something that happens more than 1,200 times a year in the U.S.

Planned Parenthood opposes the bill.

Their lobbyist argued that the fate of any baby who survives an abortion should be left up to the mother and the abortionist. In other words, Planned Parenthood sees no difference between killing a human child before birth and after birth.

And they are right.

There is no ethical difference between abortion and infanticide. But if abandoning a baby daughter is reprehensible (as Katie Stockton did), and if snipping the spinal cords of babies who survived an abortion is reprehensible (as Kermit Gosnell did), how is it less reprehensible to rip an unborn baby apart (as Planned Parenthood does close to a thousand times each day)?

To be morally consistent, infanticide must be lawful or abortion must be unlawful.

Planned Parenthood recognizes this fact.

Do you?

40 Years of Murder

40 years ago, the Roe v. Wade decision wasn’t even the biggest news story of the day

There have been several good articles today to mark the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling that States did not have the authority to criminalize abortion. Here are a few of the best:

  • How Abortion Became an Evangelical Issue — Al Mohler’s article from today’s Washington Post explains how evangelicals gradually became co-belligerents with Catholics in opposing abortion. Any of my fellow Southern Baptists who are not familiar with our denomination’s history on this issue (hint: the SBC wasn’t always so pro-life) should read this.
  • We Know They Are Killing Children—All of Us Know — John Piper: “For forty years this has meant that any perceived stress is a legal ground for eliminating the child. We have killed fifty million babies. And what increases our guilt as a nation is that we know what we are doing. Here’s the evidence that we know we are killing children.”
  • 5 Things You Didn’t Know About “Jane Roe” — The history of Norma McCorvey (the “Roe” of Roe v. Wade), including her conversion to Christianity and the pro-life conviction that came with it.

Abortion is a topic I’ve addressed several times on this blog. Here are some posts from the archives which may be of interest to you:

In that last post, you’ll also find some facts which conservatives today may find uncomfortable. For instance, did you know that two years prior to Roe v. Wade, the Southern Baptists passed a resolution seeking Federal legislation that would make abortion legal? Or that perhaps the most progressive legislation legalizing abortion prior to Roe v. Wade was signed into law by California Governor Ronald Reagan?

The good news is that both Reagan and the SBC, like “Jane Roe” herself, eventually became staunch defenders of life, which holds promise that the battle is worth fighting. Today’s abortionist may well be tomorrow’s abolitionist.

If You Don’t Know, Don’t Shoot

I’ve been having an ongoing conversation recently with a friend who is questioning whether or not a person can objectively know when an unborn human life becomes a “person” (or if indeed there is a difference between the two). If you’ve ever had similar questions, or know someone who has, I highly encourage you to take two and a half minutes to watch the following video (HT: JT), which contains the closing argument of Catholic theologian Peter Kreeft from a debate on the topic of abortion. Concise and logical, he makes a compelling case:

Here’s the breakdown of his point:

A Very Important 2%

In yesterday’s post I displayed my results of a quiz that identifies the presidential candidate that best matches your answers to a set of questions. Not surprisingly, my number one match was Ron Paul. Also not surprisingly, coming in at #2 was Gary Johnson.

The quiz stated that “I side 98% with Ron Paul”. While I’m not certain I’m quite that ideologically aligned with him, my blogging history should tell you that the quiz pegged my pick pretty accurately. But then it said I sided 96% with Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s candidate for president.

Though, unlike Paul, I haven’t written much of anything about Johnson on here, I should say that I do like him. I agree with him on a great many things. On the quiz, his answers and Ron Paul’s were virtually identical on the vast majority of questions, which explains why the margin of difference between them is slim… at least where the quiz metrics are concerned.

But that 2% of difference is a major difference when it comes to the importance of the issues where they are different. Gary Johnson supports a woman’s “right” to choose to abort a fetus until it becomes “viable” at 5 months of gestation. That by itself is a deal-breaker for me. Though I align with Johnson on most issues on paper, I absolutely cannot and will not vote for a candidate who does not strongly oppose abortion. It’s one of the reasons I so strongly support Ron Paul: he has been the most consistent pro-life politician in Washington for decades.

Call me a “one issue voter” if you like (though I hope my history of thinking through political issues “out loud” on my blog will demonstrate that this is not the case), but I can’t think of any issue more worthy of raising to “deal-breaker” status.

Quizzes are fun, but there’s a limit to their usefulness. I may side with Gary Johnson 96% of the time, but I won’t vote for him.

What to Think About KONY 2012

By now, many of you have probably seen the short film “KONY 2012”, which has had well over 60 million views since being published to the Internet Monday by the nonprofit group “Invisible Children”. It’s been making the rounds on Twitter and Facebook about as fast as anything I’ve ever seen, and has been generating a lot of talk. In case you haven’t seen it, I hope you’ll take the time to watch it here (but stick around for a bit of discussion afterward):

What are we to make of all this? Here are a couple of my thoughts.

First, the good:

  • This video is really well done. This is an example of how great art has the power to move people to action, and potentially to bring about cultural and political change on a global scale.
  • There is also something very powerful about a moving visual presentation to force people to engage with an issue they might otherwise overlook. We might compare it to the efforts of William Wilberforce to show people (he also targeted influential culture- and policy-makers) the horrors of slavery first hand, through various means such as showing them up close the conditions under which slaves were transported across the oceans.
  • Surely, if there has ever been a nonpartisan issue worth supporting, it is bringing down the man responsible for these unthinkable crimes. While there may be disagreement as to how it ought to be done, hopefully everyone can agree that seeing Joseph Kony brought to justice in 2012 would be a good thing.

Next, some reservations:

  • I’m not going to rush to send money to an organization about which I know nothing. “Invisible Children” may turn out to be a very worthwhile cause, but the track record of financial accountability and effectiveness of similar humanitarian organizations is not great. Is a monthly donation to IC the best way for me to get personally involved in improving the plight of children in Central Africa? Maybe it is, but I don’t know enough to make that judgment yet. But even some very superficial preliminary research turns up results that aren’t very promising.
  • I have no way to fact-check this video, and would like to give those who can do this the opportunity to do so. Already, articles like this one (published last year after Obama deployed U.S. Troops to Uganda) and this one (from back in 2009) call many of the video’s statistics into question.
  • The question of responsibility for dealing with international humanitarian violations is a complex one. Absolutely, Joseph Kony is a bad man, but there are many bad men. Is it the responsibility of the American government/military to bring them to justice? I would lean toward saying “no”. Let me balance that out, though, with the caveat that if our country is going to use the military to intervene overseas, I’d much rather see us helping foreign nationals apprehend a criminal than waging unconstitutional preemptive wars and maintaining an active military presence all over the world. Also, a democratically-driven and Congressionally-approved use of force (which the video advocates) is far preferable to the Executive Order when it comes to putting our troops in harm’s way.
  • I’m skeptical that a few million Facebook posts are going to make much of a difference. After all, it’s not like this guy was a total unknown last week. I first learned of Joseph Kony back in 2006, and as the video itself shows, he has been the #1 Most Wanted criminal since the International Criminal Court put together their list. Will a bunch of young people (who probably can’t find Uganda on a map) giving money to a filmmaker really help apprehend him?
  • So far, I’ve been granting the film’s premise that apprehending Joseph Kony is actually what is going to best help those he has hurt. My biggest reservation is that I really don’t think that this is what the people of Central Africa need most (and neither does this survivor of Kony’s atrocities). For those moved to compassion for the people victimized by Kony (and the many other warlords like him), there are many other reputable charities with a very long track record of real success.

A few other assorted observations:

  • Because I try to never miss an opportunity to point out what an uninformed windbag Rush Limbaugh is, the beguilingly popular “conservative” talk show host accused President Obama of sending American troops to “wipe out Christians in Uganda”, after defending Kony and the LRA as a Christian organization with valiant objectives. How anyone can ever take this guy seriously is beyond me.
  • It never ceases to amaze me how inconsistently pro-life almost all Americans seem to be. Many on the political Left rightly accuse conservatives of only caring about children until they are born, and showing very little concern for the plight of children like those highlighted in the video. Yet the fact that this video has garnered so much attention makes me wonder how our nation as a whole can be so blind to the fact that America legally slaughters more children each month than Kony has abducted in 30 years.

At the very least I will be interested to see whether or not this video campaign succeeds in maintaining the level of interest it has generated in its first week. Will people continue to care about Joseph Kony after the novelty has worn off?

For some more well-thought reading on the topic, please check out these articles:

  • Breathe — Tim Challies also counsels patience in discerning the value of the KONY 2012 campaign
  • Missions 101 — Darren Carlson, a fellow former CAMP-of-the-WOODS music staffer, is now the president of a missions organization called “Training Leaders International” (affiliated with Bethlehem Baptist Church and Desiring God Ministries). His thoughts and reflections on this topic are excellent.
  • Growing Outrage in Uganda Over the Film — Apparently the people in Uganda aren’t too thrilled about this thing.
  • Why You Should Feel Awkward About the KONY 2012 Film — Which accuses the filmmakers of appealing to the “white man’s burden complex”
  • Invisible Children’s Response to Critique — In the interest of fairness, be sure as well to check out the filmmakers’ responses to many of these criticisms in their own words.