Thursday, October 30, 2008

A line I cannot cross


When my granddaughter was born at 24 weeks gestation earlier this year I found myself later that day staring into a NICU incubator with the very somber realization that across America thousands just like her are never given the chance.

Phil Keaggy wrote a song a few years back that asked, "Who will speak out for the little ones?".

For that reason alone I could never allow myself to vote for a candidate who supports abortive rights. Life is sacred, and the lives of the innocent have to be defended, not discarded.

Fortunately we still have choices in this country. For how long, I'm unsure. My daughter in law's doctors advised she abort to save her own life. But what if the government via socialized medicine and not private insurance was paying for the costs? Would she have had the choice? Makes you wonder where we may be headed.

44 comments:

Debbie said...

AMEN and AMEN!
Well said. We need to blanket the U.S. with this ASAP.
Other things are debatable, life is not.

My2Girls said...

POWERFUL!

jen_in_ct said...

Can I ask a question?
This a big issue for me as well, and to be honest, I don't know exactly where I stand. I consider myself pro-life, as long as there are exceptions that allow abortion in the case of rape and when the health of the mother is at risk. But here is what I am wondering- if we elect a pro-life president who wants to put a ban on all abortions....yes, it will make them illegal. But will it make them stop? Or do you think we will just have a huge number of abortions that are performed illegally and unprofessionally? A pro-life president does not mean that everyone in America will suddenly become pro-life as well. What do you think about this?

Rick Lawrenson said...

Will it make them stop? Of course not. Will it save lives is the better question. Theft is banned in America but the law doesn't stop it. So because there are still thieves, do we go ahead and legalize theft?

I think you would find that the majority of Americans are already pro-life.

I doubt we'll ever see the day when abortions are banned across the board. But that doesn't mean I should accept what I believe to ba a moral wrong.

DogsDontPurr said...

So here's a scenario: a crack or heroin addicted woman gets pregnant...either by accident or rape. Do you really think it is better for her to birth a child that will be brought up neglected, abused, and maybe even abandoned or dumped off and left to die rather than allow her to terminate the pregnancy? Forcing her to have that unwanted child is, in my opinion, the worse form of child abuse.

Debbie said...

I know you want the pastor's opinion, but I couldn't resist this one.
Child abuse and abortion are two distinctly different issues. One does not justify the other.

That would be a pretty harsh punishment for an innocent child.
Death so you won't suffer later. God has not promised a pain free life.
God is not a dictator. Even the addict is free to choose to do good. To love and care for the child. Man would certainly be playing God if he makes laws based on what he surmises might happen in the future.

Rick Lawrenson said...

dogsdontpurr,
Your question assumes we know what someone's future will be.

We don't.

Debbie,
Good response.

When you take God out of the equation, as we have in our culture for over a generation, you're left with at best what only secular humanistic philosophy can offer.

DogsDontPurr said...

I know I won't win this argument here, but both Debbie and Rick have made good points. I just personally feel that this should be a decision left to the "mother" and not to the judicial system.

I've been pregnant and had an abortion. I was 17. There was no way I could have taken care of a child. I was also using birth control methods, so it wasn't like I was being reckless.

But unless you've been in that situation, you really cannot judge. And I have seen even worse situations, as I mentioned in my last comment, where the mother is an addict.

I know this is a difficult topic, but I hope you will take the time to see all sides, and weigh that carefully.

Again, I know that I will not win anyone over here. But I think it's something to put a lot of thought into on both sides. Government should not enter into this. It should be an entirely personal thing between the family and God.

jen_in_ct said...

Are the majority of Americans pro-life? I've never researched it, but the majority of people I know are pro-choice. I'm not saying that they're representative of the country, of course, but I'm certain there are a lot of pro-choice people out there.

And I worry about what will happen if people who want to have an abortion can't legally get one. If people feel strongly enough, they will find a way to get rid of that baby. There might as well be legal, professional places for them to go, because it's going to happen either way.

And my thoughts for dogsdontpurr-
I don't even think it's about whether that child will brought up being neglected or abused. The mother could put the child up for adoption. I think the problem is that if the mother is on drugs and has an unwanted pregnancy, she may not care enough to take care of herself during her pregnancy. If she does drugs during her pregnancy, then that baby will likely suffer serious brain damage and have problems throughout their entire life.

It's a tricky issue. That's why I said I don't know exactly where I stand. I personally would never have an abortion. But there are so many sticky situations...

Emily said...

Thank you so much for sharing this!! I can't tell you how many times I've thought of Gwyneth & many other babies that are so blessed to have parents that love their babies from conception. I believe that God does not make mistakes & it is not our place to say if a baby lives or dies. God's wisdom is perfect & only He knows when the time is right for life or death. I'm so thankful that your grandaughter has parents who understand this!! Thanks again for sharing! The question of basic human rights should be above no one's pay grade!
Emily in Mississippi

Debbie said...

Jumping in again.
Dogsdontpurr,
You are right, I don't know how it feels to have had an abortion, but I do know how it feels to have grown up in an abusive home situation.

More importantly, I know that God forgives those who were mislead by the world's view on abortion. He loves you and knows that as a woman this may haunt you for the rest of your life unless you give the burden to Him.
I had a mostly rotten childhood. Would it have been better if I had been aborted because I would face abuse at the hands of my parents?

It is my history that causes me to care about the suffering of children. It is my history that allowed me to hear the call to be the voice of almost 50 abused and neglected children. It is my history that looks for ways to encourage families who are struggling. It was my history that kept me in the field of social work for more than 20 years. I saw the the addicts, the eleven year old mothers, children in body casts from beatings. And I still never thought their life would have been better if they had been aborted.
And I wouldn't trade the joy I had in my own babies for anything, even a wonderful loving childhood.

Has God brought beauty from the ashes for me? Most definitely, yes. Has my life made a difference? I hope so.
But what is important is that I believe God is in control and every soul should have the same opportunity. Bottom line is that it just isn't up to us.

That said...

I am so pleased to see all of the balanced, careful comments on this blog. I anticipated that many of you would have the same narrow view as the author of this blog, but you do not. I guess not all conservative Christians are so judgmental.

The Beaver Bunch said...

In response to a mother who has drug-addicted babies and which scenario is better:

It has been my experience (which is limited) that these mothers usually leave their babies at the hospital. I can say, that I have 2 beautiful children, in my home who suffered from mothers with addiction issues.

These babies are precious, not only to me but to the One who created them.

And while I'll never know the hurt of having an abortion, I know of 2 VERY good reasons why I am glad that drug-addicted women chose life.

Sometimes, as a mother, it's not about us.

kgirl said...

In response to......

That said...

"I am so pleased to see all of the balanced, careful comments on this blog. I anticipated that many of you would have the same narrow view as the author of this blog, but you do not. I guess not all conservative Christians are so judgmental."

The author of this blog does not, in any way, come across to me with a narrow view or judgmental and I doubt you could get many here to agree with you. He seems to be very careful about what he writes on this blog and you can tell he is writing what God has put on his heart to share.

And to DogsDontPurr...."Government should not enter into this." If government should not enter into this then should one be concerned that Obama has taken such a strong stance on abortion....not only does he support it....he works heavily with the clinics that PUSH abortions and has promised to work with them even more once he's in office.

Ky Preacherman said...

You are dead on with this post, Pastor. It is surely a line that no believer should ever cross. There are grave consequences for believers who refuse to stand up for live. Barrack Obama is the most pro-abortion candidate to ever run for President for a major political party. He is not "pro-choice", but rather "anti-life".

Agnes said...

dear dogsdontpurr, I am the mother of a child, now a fine young man, who was born to and almost discarded by a severely crack cocaine and heroin addicted mother. In addition our family cared for many such babies, some of whom were returned to their birth families. While we have very little control over any of these factors and/or outcomes, even in the evil cases of rape and incest, we must hold firm to the absolute truth that all life is created by God and so it is all sacred regardless of the circumstance of conception. Once this absolute is accepted and then agreed upon, the only choice can be life. But that brings with it responsibly for those of us who profess a pro life absolute to fulfill the mandate to which we are called and are defined as Christian in the book James; that is to provide for the orphan in need. Many such channels are open to the Church to have an affect in this area. But,difficult as it may be to deal with the "hard-cases" we never let go of the absolute! As to electing a pro life president, he will be of nominal effect at best . The case Roe v Wade coupled Doe v Bolton,must be reversed by the S Court and then returned the states. Certainly we want to vigorously support pro life presidents but we need to be vigilant at all levels of government, even in our local elections. It is a slippery slope upon which we stand once we justify even a little bit of abortion in those hard case because that baby is no less a baby because of the immoral,evil cruel or criminal act of a parent.

Tricia Moran said...

God is the only judge. It is not up to us humans to judge anyone else, no matter what their circumstances. Our job is to take care of our own lives and live with integrity and prayer. God gave us free will, which unfortunately is between us and Him. The only way to really stand on an issue is to live the way that attracts others, not creates a feeling of judgment. We can only guide, not preach at people. How we live is much more important.
I am totally pro-life, but it is not my place to decide that what someone else chooses to do is open to my judgement. It is between them and God.

Rick Lawrenson said...

@ that,
I find it typical that when someone says, "I could not support abortive rights" that person is branded "judgmental". It says, "If I don't agree with you I can belittle your intellect and motives." That's a poor debate.

@ dogsdontpurr,
Yet never did I condemn anyone who has had an abortion. I'm sorry you had the abortion. But condemn you? I don't think so. None of us are perfect.

@ anyone else reading:
This indeed is a most personal issue. And when someone who bears the emotional scars hears someone else say that life is sacred and should be protected their only defense is to say "you're narrow minded and judgmental".

The narrow mindedness comes into play when the possibility that there are moral absolutes is ignored and that situational ethics determine right from wrong.

What those who support abortion fail to entertain is the concept that life and human rights begin at conception. There is the crux; the foundation of the argument. And if life begins with conception then that life should be protected by law, just as the law protects every other life, regardless of the mother's feelings.

It's not her life, it is the life of another human being, and just as she would have no right to end that life post-birth, she should have no right to end that life pre-birth.

Prove that life is not sacred. Prove that life does not begin at conception and the pro life argument has nothing to stand upon.

Denise said...

Okay! I know this is a very sensitive issue for some! I recommend that anyone thinking about having an abortion should be required to read the book "Tilly" by Frank Peretti.

God is the giver of Life. We do not have the right to take it away!

If you make a "mistake" and you choose that YOU do not want the child, have it and give it to someone to love , care for and raise as their own!

I know of many SUCCESS stories! God will honor your decision!

I will get off my soapbox now!

On another note, please pray for my friends the Mullinax's as they have chosen life for their child that has been deemed incompatible with life while still in the womb. Their son Drew will be born Monday around 1pm, and they have been told he will most likely not last more that a few minutes. Their view is God has not abandoned us, we will not abandon this child!

God Bless you!

Denise

DogsDontPurr said...

There have been many good points brought up in this discussion.

@Rick,
I didn't mean to imply that you were being judgmental. But I was more trying to say, "Walk a mile in my shoes before you decide for me what choice to make." There's no way you can do that.

We can agree to disagree.

I don't believe that life begins at conception. People disagree on that. It's a foggy issue, depending on what you believe.

I don't believe that Obama is "pushing" abortion. I believe he is just defending our right to choose.

There are sooooo many things that people disagree on. Abortion, pregnancy, sex....those are all personal/private issues. And I think they should be left that way: Personal and Private.

You may not agree with somebody else's religious beliefs, but I'm sure you would not deny them the right to choose what they believe in. Would you make it illegal for somebody to be Jewish? No. Muslim? Hindu?

All I'm saying is that a woman should have the right to choose what happens to her body, within her body. Nobody should be able to violate me by making me do something with my body that I don't want.

Just because God created us, that doesn't mean that everything will be perfect and we can go off into la la land without thinking. He gave us the ability to choose. We should not take that lightly.

Yes, I know I'm not winning anyone over, here. But that's my two cents and my last comment on this issue. I think it's good to have discussions like this, and I mean no harm or malice.

RHEA said...

"But what if the government via socialized medicine and not private insurance was paying for the costs? Would she have had the choice?"

Even in countries where there is socialised medicine, I don't know of any (though I might just not know about them) where patients are FORCED to have procedures done against their will.

ABCD said...

I've been reading your blog for quite a long time now. I have a son who is almost thru seminary and a youth minister, and I've referred him to your blog on many occasions. I have another son just starting college, hoping to be a pastor, and he reads your blog. I am always impressed by your candor and your insight. Several posts ago you commented on the campaign sign, "They will know we are Christians by our vote," and how that shouldn't be the case, because we shouldn't be judging anyone or be judged by how we vote.
Personally, I'm still on the fence in this election. As a Christian, I've been bothered by the comments and attacks of candidates who claim to be Christians. The issues are MANY----I have friends who send emails TELLING me how to vote because I am a Christian. This has been the most difficult election period I recall since I began voting over 30 years ago.
That all being said, and having the utmost respect for you, a man who I have never met, and having complete respect for you and your family and what you've been through and what you stand for, and fervently believing myself that life begins at conception, (so that is not the issue I am confronting here, just to be clear)----I do feel you have conflicted your own post about "they'll know we are Christians by our vote" with your comment that "I could never vote for anyone who.....". How God directs me to vote, and how God directs you to vote, is up to God, in his infinite, mysterious wisdom. You said yourself, "It assumes that genuine Christians have only one choice in the election. And with that assumption is the implication that if I don’t vote that way, I must not be a Christian."
I hope I have not offended you, just wanted to offer my two cents.

Andy Lawrenson said...

Obama - "punished with a baby".

A baby is a blessing and not a punishment.

Choice? The overwhelming majority of abortions are performed on mothers who have made the choice to have sex. 95% of abortions are an act of birth control. 1% are from rape or incest. 1% are because of complications.

This is what the LORD says— he who made you, who formed you in the womb... Isaiah44:2

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. Psalm 139:13

Of course if you don't believe in the God of the Bible the above verses won't matter and there are no moral absolutes. If there are no moral absolutes were do we draw the line? If a person believes there are no absolutes are they absolutely sure of that? If they are then they defeat their own argument of no absolutes.

DogsDontPurr said...

@Andy,
"95% of abortions are an act of birth control."

Where do you get this statistic? I guarantee you that is soooo not true. That's like saying, "I'd rather have my teeth pulled, than brush my teeth."

Yes, I know I said I was done commenting on this post....but that comment is just outrageous.

Nancy said...

AMEN AMEN AMEN Rick! I rarely share this with anyone, but feel like I need to today. Almost 16 years ago to the day we were told that our son "may" be born with a severe birth defect and "termination would be in the best interest of the baby." We knew years ago the decision that we would make regarding our baby. We prayed and prayed, but we already knew what we were going to do. We decided that no matter what birth defect our baby may have we were going to chose life. There was no other choice for us. Even with a severe "defect" our baby was going to be a blessing from God. Had we listened to that doctor, and many of our friends, we would not have the beautiful (almost) 16 year old boy that we do have. Guess what else? Our boy was born without any "defects" and we have been blessed because God gave us this boy, Evan, and what a blessing he is!

DogsDontPurr said...

One last thing, and I'm done, I promise.

Have you ever been to an abortion clinic or to Planned Parenthood?

Have you seen the anguish that these girls go through to make that decision.

Do you know that it takes a lot of counseling, and more than one appointment to allow the abortion to go through?

Do you know how much birth control info/education is preached to each woman and man who walks through that door?

Have you had an abortion?

Do you know what that feels like?

To say that abortion is used as a birth control method is unbelievably naive and down right offensive.

Nancy said...

@ dogs...I had to comment to your last comment. I worked as an OB/Labor and Delivery nurse for years. I cannot tell you how many girls/women came to our office over and over again because they were pregnant. After the 1st abortion, and after the counseling from Planned Parenthood,you would think they would understand what birth control is. Yet they came back time and time again for what? To have their pregnancies terminated. Unfortunately, many do use abortion as their form of birth control. That statement is not naive, it is true, and I am sorry if you are offended.

kgirl said...

You're so right Nancy!!!! My husband is a doctor and you could not believe the number of women that are willing to use abortion as birth control....why?....well, just because it's not a good time for them to have a baby! It's sickening! If these women are really going through anguish when they make this decision can anyone tell me why they keep on doing it? And the idea that they get all this birth control info/education, as DogsDontPurr claims, is a joke....if they get any, it's in one ear and out the other and most of the time it's just a brief..."next time use something to prevent this from happening." That's why Obama's plan to educate people about birth control isn't going to be the answer either....he might not be the one who is "pushing" abortions...he just the one "supporting" them both verbally and with money. After all, he wouldn't want his daughters PUNISHED with a baby.

Andy Lawrenson said...

Simply google abortion statistics and do the research. The guttmacher instititute, the cdc. Maybe I should have worded the statistic better: Only 5% are due to health issues, safety of mom, or rape/incest. As with any statistics done by organizations there are some margins of error.

I would not just make up a percentage out of my head and to say what I wrote was outrageous is outrageous. You don't even know me.

Rick Lawrenson said...

@ abcd,
I think you totally missed the point of my post about voting.

The only way the world will know I'm a follower of Christ (according to Jesus) is by the love I display to other Christians.

My vote, however, is unseen by my non-believing friends and neighbors.

That I could not vote for a candidate who supported abortion rights has doesn't necessarily say a thing about my faith.

Many who are unbelievers are also pro life. Many Christians will vote for a pro choice candidate.

So it's not a vote that demonstrates faith to the non-believing world, although faith can and should have an affect on how I vote.

Missy said...

Rick, I totally respect your opinion on things, but I have a question for you.

I guess politics have left me a bit jaded when it comes to the issue of pro-life causes. I am a Christian woman and I don't agree with abortion. There are too many other options, such as adoption to the many willing families in this country to care for our own.

HOWEVER, Does the pro-life movement REALLY have a political party that will stand up for their cause? I tend to vote Democrat. Primarily because I do not believe in trickle down economics and I am big on choosing to use our tax dollars as One Nation Under God towards Matthew 25:31-46 as compared to building up big corporations and leaving the sick/elderly/poor/homeless/imprisoned to our churches and private sector. Don't you think Matthew 25:31-46 tells quite a story from Jesus. Isn't Jesus LIFE an example of what he thinks of every man for himself mentality or the love of money?

So, anyway, I tend to vote Democrat for social/economic positions, but find myself torn with the church (not my Christian church), but the "religious right" if you will..... harkening me to vote my values.

The Republican party has held office something like 24 years out of the 35 since Roe v. Wade....yet no legislation. Even when a Republican Congress in place... Especially with 2nd or 3rd term abortion provisions which would be much easier to overcome even with Roe v. Wade in place. Why?

Will they ever or is it just a big carrot to get me to vote Republican? Do I ignore 99% of the platform I do not agree with to establish I am a Christan pro-lfie woman with a party that continually has let me and my family down?

Those are my honest feelings. I don't agree with it, but I don't feel like either political party has much to gain by making that a real priority, therefore they do not. If Democrats said they were in support of education and never gave a dime to teachers or ignored needed school programs for 35 years....Teachers and teacher unions would abandon their loyalty and suggest perhaps they are not for teachers...... How am I to believe pro-life is not just a Republican bait and switch or marketing tool to insure a vote from a large base of the some 90%+ of people in the US who claim to be a Christian?

Why do they still hail the battle cry Vote your Values (which they have used in the past 5 elections...) and then DO nothing when they get my vote?

Thanks for listening!

kgirl said...

Missy....watch this video.....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSsFzue-V-I&feature=related.....it shows you the first thing Obama has promised to do when he gets in office. I agree that Republicans could have/should have done more in this area, but if Obama gets to be president he has PROMISED TO DO A LOT! Just think of how many judges he might get to put in the highest court and what we all know they will do to further the killing of little humans, who also have rights. Who's going to stand up for them?

suzannanana said...

Subject: A Doctor’s Wisdom

A worried woman went to her gynecologist and said: Doctor, I have a serious problem and desperately need your help! My baby is not even 1 yr. old and I’m pregnant again. I don’t want kids so close together. So the doctor said: ‘Ok and what do you want me to do?’ She said: ‘I want you to end my pregnancy, and I’m counting on your help with this.’ The doctor thought for a little, and after some silence he said to the lady: ‘I think I have a better solution for your problem. It’s less dangerous for you too.’ She smiled, thinking that the doctor was going to accept her request. Then he continued: ‘You see, in order for you not to have to take care of 2 babies at the same time, let’s kill the one in your arms. This way, you could rest some before the other one is born. If we’re going to kill one of them, it doesn’t matter which one it is. There would be no risk for your body if you chose the one in your arms. The lady was horrified and said: ‘No doctor! How terrible! It’s a crime to kill a child! ’I agree’, the doctor replied. ‘But you seemed to be ok with it, so I thought maybe that was the best solution. The doctor smiled, realizing that he had made his point. He convinced the mom that there is no difference in killing a child that’s already been born and one that’s still in the womb. The crime is the same!

kgirl said...

suzannanana.....Very powerful story....thanks for sharing it. I've had so many people lately tell me a baby is not a "human being" until they take their first breathe....you sharing this story shows me I'm not the only person in this world that believes differently....I sadly have been wondering if I was the last few weeks.

kgirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cassidy said...

http://www.sojo.net/blog/godspolitics/?p=3409

Worth reading. As a Christian, I am frustrated with this issue. I am absolutely pro-life, but do not believe this is the one issue that should determine your candidate. No president has ever done anything regarding abortion, and it is doubtful that they ever will. We need to address the root of the problem... instead of trying to just legislate against it.
There are better solutions. This should not be the dividing issue for Christians. We need to re-think abortion and re-think what pro-life means.

I could go on for hours...

Pigs On the Run BBQ Blog said...

I have just skimmed over some of the discusion. One thing I would like to to point out that I am Pro Christ not pro choice or life. The real issue is : does one have a true relationship with Jesus Christ. Abortion is a result of sin. I am more concern of the individuals relationship with Christ than their point of veiw about abortion.I know the little ones who have died are preceous to him.If someone has had an abortion I know God will forgive her and him. I know people are hurting and are seeking His love. I do not find either of the two candiates fully seeking God"s will. I am more concern about ones relationship with Christ. I do not believe in abortion. I do believe that we can do all things in Christ.
in His Love John

Christina said...

I am happy to see that there are a few people with sense still, like dogsdontpurr - you made excellent points. Women can die in child birth, therefore no law should make a woman put her life in danger. Not to mention all of the other personal reasons someone may choose to have an abortion. Yes, it's sick when women use it as a form of birth control but unfortunately like with anything there are going to be people that "abuse the system." I guarantee those women would still find ways to abort the fetus even if it wasn't legal. I have volunteered at Planned Parenthood and I don't think I ever saw a woman take the decision lightly and PP definitely did not push abortion, quite the opposite. Rick, I am dissapointed that you would be so judgemental and uneducated about this issue. Also, what resembles a baby isn't even present until well after the time you're allowed to have an abortion (aka no human life).

kgirl said...

Christina, Women are offered abortions at ALL stages of their pregnancy--- your info on abortions only being legal/able to get early in a pregnancy, before a baby even "looks" like a baby is way off. My sister-in-law was offered one (an appt. was made for her without even asking her, because the doctors thought the baby should be aborted because of a abnormal chromo. test)at 34 weeks! Thank God she didn't follow their advice---the baby is here now and is perfectly fine. When do you think a baby has a right to life? And do you attend baby showers or fetus showers?
I also find it amazing that people have the nerve to come onto this site and say rude things about and to Rick. It's his site and he has a right to his opinion and I think he is far more educated on this issue than most.

kgirl said...

Christina, Why does the mother need a baby shower---we should start calling it a POTENTIAL life of a fetus shower. And PP might not do abortions at 34 weeks, but they do them far after the baby "looks" like a baby and can feel pain. And as for the life of the mother....no one asked her to go out and get pregnant and unless she was raped or her life is in danger she should have the responsibilities of her actions.

kgirl said...

MilePost13....I am so glad you said this...."You're accusing somebody else of being judgmental and uneducated? wow."....that's just what I wanted to say, but didn't have the guts!

suzannanana said...

Well said Nate. Christina needs all of our prayers. wow.

Rick Lawrenson said...

I've deleted a couple of comments because the language went beyond what I'll allow here.

I don't mind someone calling me "judgmental", etc. But I do mind profanity.

Christina said...

suzannanana, I'd prefer you didn't waste your time praying for me since I don't believe in that kind of stuff.