Archive for October, 2009

Stopping the practice of aborting babies with disabilities is not just a ‘Christian’ concern.  There are those who distance themselves from ‘the anti-choice movement,’ yet have their own arguments against the selective destruction of babies with disabilities.

Marsha Saxton, Ph.D., in Disabled Women’s View of Selective Abortion: An Issue for All Women:

Selective abortion is not just about the rights or considerations of disabled people; the rights of women and of all human beings are implicated here. . .

If a condition (like Down’s Syndrome) is unacceptable, how long will it be before experts use selective abortion to manipulate other (presumed genetic) socially charged characteristics: sexual orientation, race, attractiveness, height, intelligence? Pre-implantation diagnosis, now used with in vitro fertilization, offers the prospect of “admission standards” for all fetuses.

Some of the pro-screening arguments masquerade today as “feminist” when they are not. Selective abortion is promoted in many doctor’s offices as a “reproductive option” and “personal choice.” But as anthropologist Rayna Rapp noted, “private choices always have public consequences.” When a woman’s individual decision is the result of social pressure, it can have repercussions for all others in the society.

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Continuing yesterday’s discussion of Dr. Paul Simmons’ use of scripture to justify his view that abortion is an acceptable moral choice, today we’ll look at how he deals with an important passage regarding God’s sovereignty over disability, Exodus 4:10-11:

But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.”Then the Lord said to him (Moses), “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?

Here are Dr. Simmons own words on that passage, from his article, Personhood, the Bible and the Abortion Debate:

Using God’s statement to Moses to explain genetic deformity betrays careless exegesis leading to faulty conclusions. The context was Moses’ reluctance to become God’s spokesman because he feared he would not be persuasive. “Dumb,” “deaf,” and “blind” are metaphors for the ability to speak and understand God’s truth. This passage has nothing whatever to do with genetic handicaps.

Dr. Simmons is correct that Moses was reluctant.  But he is not correct that God is merely using a rhetorical device to make a point. (more…)

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Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Acts 20:28-30

I know this has not been a pleasant series of blogs.  But our children with disabilities are being slaughtered in frightening numbers through abortion and it must be addressed.  Women and men who otherwise would never consider abortion as an option in their pregnancies suddenly are unsure when disability has entered the question.

None of us who have children with disabilities will ever say it is easy – in fact, the burdens sometimes seem to multiply over time.  But our God, who is sovereign over all his creation in every moment of every day has promised, through the obedience, the death, and the resurrection of his own son Jesus Christ, to provide for all our needs.  All of them.  For his glory and for our good.

So theologians and pastors who preach a contrary message, who encourage the devastating sin of abortion in our land, must be called out.  What you are reading is largely a conversation I am having with myself, so that I can be prepared to address horrible arguments in support of abortion.  We have wolves among us. (more…)

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Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. Philippians 3:2

As I’ve been reading and reviewing the connection between some church leaders and the abortion movement, I have begun to see why Paul called out specific leaders for us to avoid:

But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus. . . 2 Timothy 2:16-17

Vincent Lachina is one to be avoided.  On page three in the Spring 2008 edition of Voices: The Choice Debate Newsletter, he describes himself this way:

I am an Evangelical Christian and an ordained Southern Baptist minister working as a Chaplain for the Planned Parenthood affiliates of Washington State.

For me, faith and choice are completely compatible, and can – and often do – live in harmony.  In truth, clergy involvement in family planning has a long and significant history.

That history apparently includes a proud association with the racist and eugenicist Margaret Sanger. (more…)

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That title probably isn’t fair.   I don’t know if the clergy associated with Planned Parenthood are intentionally misrepresenting the Bible, or if they don’t know it all.

From Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Clergy Advisory Board’s Pastoral Letter on Abortion:

Our religious traditions have somewhat different opinions about abortion, but we share some basic understandings.

  • No one knows the circumstances of your life as well as you know them; no one knows what is in your heart better than you. Allow yourself to be at peace with your decision.
  • I will just focus on two things that are significantly wrong with that bullet in the letter: (more…)

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    For the past two days I’ve reviewed Amy Laura Hall’s essay on the support some pastors and theologians gave to the eugenics movement in the United States.  As others have also noted, Hall makes the connection between yesterday’s eugenics movement and today’s extraordinarily high rates of abortion of children with disabilities:

    (M)any eugenic ideas have jumped the gap from yesterday to today, bridging the chasm between overtly coercive eugenics and purportedly voluntary parental and social responsibility in the land of the free. (Swinton and Brock, p. 78)

    Purportedly is the right word.   (more…)

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    Yesterday I introduced Amy Laura Hall’s essay on how some churches actively participated in the eugenics movement before World War II.  It is bad enough when churches and their leaders are silent about evil practices, but promoting eugenics takes the church, and thus the name of Jesus, to sickening depths.

    And it begs the question:  why?  How could this happen? (more…)

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