Bewildering Stories’ Annual Review, 2017 “Down to the Wild Blue Yonder” has been selected for Bewildering Stories Mariner Awards edition. These stories, poems, essays and dramatic works are judged to be the years’ “best of the best” by Bewildering‘s editors. I am pleased and honored to be part of such a great publication. Click here […]
On January 19, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act — legislation protecting babies who survive abortions.
H.R. 4712 contains an explicit requirement that a baby born alive during an abortion must be afforded “the same degree” of care that would apply “to any other child born alive at the same gestational age,” including transportation to a hospital. This language does not dictate bona fide medical judgments nor require futile measures, but rather, requires that babies born alive during abortions are treated in the same manner as those who are spontaneously born prematurely.
One hundred and eighty-three congresspersons, all Democrat, voted against the bill. Zero Republicans voted against it.
235 Republicans voted for the bill. Six Democrats also voted in favor.
One hundred and eighty three people who have attained the honorable station of legislator in the great nation of the U.S. voted to allow the denial of medical care to tiny infants who are living after their abortion attempt. In the past these babies have been left to die or sometimes actively killed. Rep. Blackburn: “We have heard horror stories of babies being strangled, suffocated, or neglected to die.”
Someone ought to tell the honorable Democratic Congresspersons that this is not the moral high ground.
On this day of the March for Life 2018, I repost this.
Let’s not be on the wrong side of history. I like to hope that some future people who descend from us will have rediscovered a better moral compass, learned to honor objective justice, and found the Truth. If so, they will look back at us and be appalled at our indolence and our indifference in the face of genocidal baby slaughter.
There can be no escape for us as a people. Multiplied millions of murdered children cannot go unanswered by the conscience of any belief system. Only an utter nihilist could deny that the scales will ultimately be balanced and we will be found wanting. A universe which assigns no meaning to, and passes no judgment upon endless human carnage is an absurd nightmare.
The activities of Planned Parenthood are indefensible. If we do not have the will to purge this corporate atrocity from our society, we do not deserve to call ourselves civilized, moral, or even decent human beings.
That said, I do realize that all abortions are not chosen in as careless a manner as PP advocates that they should be. It may be, for many women, that all available medical advice was to terminate and try again. The professionals they looked to assured them that termination was best for all. They grieved terribly over losing a child they wanted. Some women may have aborted for elective reasons but felt unaccountably uncomfortable about it after. I realize that there are many women who were urged to abort for what seemed like unarguable reasons.
That’s the problem. If the default of our society is to err on the side of death in order to solve our problems, and women are confronted with life-and-death decisions when they are at their most vulnerable…death becomes the predetermined result.
Then those women, and their children, become victims of opportunistic corporate interests, and of the aggrandizement of political interests. The best and most well-meaning solution that such a society can offer is death as panacea.
Such a value system is inadequate to meet the needs of real life. In real life, unexpected stuff happens, lives are in peril, less than perfect decisions have to be made. If the overarching goal in the face of the unexpected is to get back to our comfort and our plans, no matter what the damage, those decisions will be brutal.
We need cultural change. We must not blink in the assessment of our own culture. We need to value Truth. We need to be willing to call evil, evil; and good, good. We need to be a culture which values all human life and devalues none.
When difficult situations come, as they will, our impulse ought to be an honest search for a solution which protects and honors all involved. Our default should not be death for the defenseless ones.
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways,
but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. Hebrews 1: 1-3
Human beings like to construct a God who we feel we are justified in rejecting. That way we can rationalize doing as we please, being accountable only to ourselves. We all do this. We prefer a Straw God.
But the book he wrote says we ought to recognize him by His Son. God = Jesus Christ.
We ought to see in Him not the god who commits genocide, the god who punishes disobedient children in eternal torment, the god who holds us accountable to silly rules and whose only response is to punish, the god who expects to be appeased. Or the god who winks at our mistakes because we’re really good deep inside. Not the distant god, the irrelevant one, the god of that Old boring Testament.
The Bible says Jesus represents God; He is the exact representative of who He is. Jesus said so himself too.
I and the Father are one. John 10: 30
All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Luke 10: 22
I can of my own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father who has sent me. John 5:30
According to God’s book, Jesus was one with His Father. At a real point in space and time, He came to be one of us.
Do you have any bones to pick with Jesus? He went about doing good. He healed, he raised the dead, he lived an utterly selfless life. He was always kind and patient. He validated the worth of women, children, the lowly, the socially unfavored, the outcast. Then…
He went to torture, humiliation, abandonment and painful death. This is how we should think of God. Here was God become fully human, hanging on a torture device and dying of blood loss and suffocation. Not for his own crimes, but for some abstruse offense assigned to him by those in power who wanted him out of the way.
He had no crimes to die for. He died on the behalf of others who deserved to die: me and you. He did all of this to show us Who God is. That is the True God. That’s how we ought to think of GOD.
Then, in order to show us the power and acceptance of this self-sacrifice, His death was undone. He became alive again. The penalty was accepted and it is we who are credited with forgiveness.
All I need to do is recognize this and accept his gift for myself. It is a gift because I can in no way earn it; God had to do this for me.
That’s who God is: Jesus.
“…And no religion too-hoo…”
Imagine the world that our atheist friends yearn for, the one they say is inevitably on its way because religion is going out of style like spats, and we have evolved past the need for it. Most everyone is a non-believer in religion, organized faith, the supernatural, or anything outside the materialist box.
Imagine the consensus is non-faith. Everyone agrees that there’s no God up in the sky, the universe randomly appeared out of nothing, and we human beings create our own moral consensus.
Freethinkers rejoice. We don’t talk about the fact that there’s no God anymore because it’s no longer a debate. It’s not even an issue.
Everybody thinks with crystal-clear lucidity. Insanity, gone. Reason for conflict or war, gone. Harmony and peace prevail because there’s no longer any spiritual conviction making people care about righteousness or goodness. Nobody’s invested in anything enough to have serious disagreement.
Cultural atheism is the societal religion. We have thrown off the shackles and taken off the blinders. Finally we can think freely.
Do we imagine that all non-believers are true non-believers?
Sure, there are some committed atheists who understand why they are atheists. They are devoted to the maintenance of societal consensus. Defenders of the truth. They teach. They disciple. Because it’s important.
Then, there are the unreflecting atheists who were born into their non-faith. They don’t think about it. They say the right things and they believe them because it’s what they’ve always been taught. Everybody thinks these things. They are cultural atheists who swim in the water they’re immersed in. Indeed there are many who call themselves atheist, but don’t understand their own worldview. They are nominal atheists without any real interest in the cause.
What do you think the ratio would be? And wouldn’t that be a lot like the world now, under the tyranny of superstitious religion?
And might there not be skeptics in the freethinking world? Heretics? One of the things acknowledged by that bygone antique, the Bible, is that all human beings are fundamentally self-seeking and contrary. There will be people who perversely insist that there is a God, He wrote us a book, He sent His only Son to earth as a man…even if they don’t mean it.
Here’s one illustration of the fact that non-belief can be as committed as belief:
The criticisms of the faithful by atheists include:
Why do millions of Christian people disagree? Why are there multiple denominations? Differences in doctrinal interpretation must mean that all doctrine is false. The conclusion is not at all logical. Because we’re not robots but freely-thinking humans, we experience our own separate journeys of learning the faith. If we were all mindless followers, wouldn’t our stories be nearly the same?
Or maybe there is that divide between believers: the vast numbers of nominal and the comparitively few committed believers. The news that anti-faith proponents can’t seem to digest: most people who might call themselves religious are nominal; the numbers of believers who have really invested, examined and intentionally adopted are relatively few.
The Bible predicts that the world would be just so. The way is narrow, and few enter therein. Those who Christ will address with, “I never knew you” may not be speaking with authority or proper knowledge when they discuss their experience of the faith. Atheist apologists usually prefer to argue with the low-hanging fruit.
And if the current discourse of atheists on social media or mass media is any indication, that utopia where everyone goes about their lives relieved of the burden to acknowledge a god, free to finally act and think without the religious detour, finally able to arrive at some kind of real reasonable, natural stasis, will never happen. Because no atheist I have ever encountered seems able to dismiss God from his thoughts for a single second. The typical atheist is more invested in his awareness of the existence of God than most Christian believers I know.
When the atheist paradise arrives, the world may be filled with heretics and nominal atheists. And the few true believers will have the onerous task to keep orthodoxy alive.
For the record I hate that vapid song Imagine.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages
Article 6 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights establishes that:
“Everyone shall have the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.”
It is this kind of intentionally vague statement that totalitarians throughout our history have used to establish control and shape societies according to their will.
I see the problem right away, don’t you? Who exactly is everyone? It should be obvious that any despotic body can exclude any group it would prefer from the “everyone” umbrella with ease. Human society has a long history of selective inclusion to the most favored status. Slaves, European Jews, Armenians, Hutus.
Although over 100 organizations and states argued for the right of the unborn to be recognized among that “everyone,” a UN body has excluded the unborn from any rights or protections which international law can recognize.
The latest effort comes from the Human Rights Committee, one of the oldest and better known of the UN treaty bodies. The committee is drafting a legal commentary on Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on the Right to Life, one of the foundational human rights instruments, that categorically excludes children in the womb and denies their membership in the human family.
The Human Rights Committee has created a contradictory premise within a universal statement. According to the HRC, the right to obtain an abortion is far more significant than “the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.”
The progressive penchant (born of Marxist theory) is to present two rights as though they are in conflict, make the best use of that conflict, and then to pick a winner.
As though two universal human rights can be mutually exclusive.
In reality, the right of every human being to be regarded as a person should not stand in conflict with the right to reproductive healthcare. It seems logical that if a universal right and a non-universal right are in conflict, the non-universal right is void, or at least questionable. A particular right can be forfeit by its owner; a criminal forfeits rights as the penalty for his crime. But the unborn do not forfeit their rights–the HRC and many others declare that they never posses such rights at all.
Both rights–the rights to life and to reproductive healthcare–are life affirming, health affirming, good things. But that argument as presented by our progressive death culture reveals much: the right to life does stand in conflict with the right to obtain an abortion.
The pro-abortion mind has been tenacious in its preference to present this moral dilemma as a struggle between two interests: the interest of the woman vs. the interest of the unborn fetus inside the woman. Note the entrenched exploitation in the attempt to divide the most intimate co-existence known to humankind.
After which, that mind declares that it does not acknowledge one party–the unborn fetus–as an interest which it must respect. Erase that person from the equation (which you have created)–et viola!–the only interested party is the woman.
And anyone who would deny her rights is perpetrating injustice.
The UN HRC body is a nonsensical entity until it is able to recognize, at the very least, that the plight of the pregnant woman is a plight which involves two persons. From that position, we could then move forward in an effort to ensure the rights of both persons in a realistic manner. As long as we must play pretend while making international declarations, we are making ourselves selfish children engaging in nonsense.
Our cause is to keep the reality of the personhood of the unborn child always before the world. We must not allow the world to erase, forget and ignore the rights of the unborn human child.
Young adults grow up, graduate from youth group, and leave the church. This is a truth; I don’t want to know the stats.
Why? Maybe many, if honest, would sum it up this way: Once I didn’t have to go to church anymore, I found it irrelevant.
The first blush of real freedom, of having the say-so over where you go and what you do sure is freeing. Sure, you have to get some sort of job, or live on school funding which others provide, and more or less pay for things–but after all you’re over seventeen, and no one can tell you what to do. That’s worth everything. Why spend time anywhere that you don’t find engaging?
But wait. Did you make that decision to leave church as an adult?
Or do you still approach church as a consumer, an audience member, a client–or like a child? Positioning yourself as a receiver, one whose needs you expect others to meet, is what a child does. And church no longer satisfied.
But that is hardly surprising. In order to “get” something out of church, you must take a step out of childhood. You must take responsibility for your own walk.
And in order to be able to do that, you must choose to invest. You make an investment–a commitment–in your fellow church family members.
When you do, you find that those other people are not grown-ups to be dismissed or mocked, but real human beings and creatures of the Creator, on level footing with you. You begin to listen not in order to criticize, but in order to hear wisdom, support, guidance.
Or did you think those people were too lame for God to use, too irrelevant to have anything to offer you?
As long as you wait, like a child, to receive what you want, you will not find what you want as a child, nor what you need as an adult.