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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Monday, September 19, 2005

Religious Tolerance and the Supreme Court

It is becoming increasingly obvious that the wall of separation between church and state has been greatly exaggerated by the elitist liberals on the far left, including the American Civil Liberties Union. When political correctness becomes a club with which the left beats religious conservatives into silence it becomes abusive and inherently a violation of the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion. I was appalled that the judicial committee would ask if Judge John Roberts would allow his religious views to affect his job.

The unspoken implication of the question is that Judge Roberts must rule by secular views and not based on any "private" religious commitments he might have. Such a premise is ridiculous at best. First of all, anyone who rules on the bench does so based on who they are in totality. Therefore, the real implication of the question is that anyone who is a devoutly religious person cannot possibly be impartial and objective. I might mention that the sword cuts both ways. If the religious person cannot be impartial then neither can the secular person. The unfairness of it is that the atheist gets to slam religion while religious persons are assumed to be bigoted and biased and should therefore have no voice in the political arena. In short, we who are religious cannot abdicate our responsibility to fight back against those who are bigotted against religion that actually stands for truth in all areas of life.

The atheist has no upperhand unless we allow it. There are more of us than they are of them. All that is needed is for religious persons of all faiths to stand together against the encroachment of atheism and call it what it is: a godless secular humanist religion. Religion is still religion, even if it claims to be a non-religion. By the way, a double negative in logic and math equals a positive. So a non-religion claiming not to be a religion is still an organized group advocating a particular point of view, a view which is hostile to religious freedoms fought and died for by millions of Americans of various faith traditions.

While I'm not in favor of establishing a particular Christian church or a religion other than Christianity as the official church or religion of the nation, I am in favor of placing the burden of proof on the government. Unless the state has a compelling state interest, i.e. the interest of the people as expressed in popular vote, the government should not restrict the participation of any religious person in the government of the people, including serving on the United States Supreme Court. That would mean that even devoutly religious persons who would allow their religious convictions to be a part of their decision making process should be allowed to participate on every level of government. After all, atheists allow their views to influence their decisions, including decisions on issues like abortion, euthansia, and religious freedom. Someone's views and morality is going to be legislated, why not mine?

Granted, we will not always be comfortable with the religion of certain persons in government; however, since we have the freedom of religion in this country, the particular religion of the person serving in governmental office is irrelevant, even if that religion influences their decisions and may be a religion we disagree with personally. I am a thoroughly Evangelical Protestant and do not particularly like the doctrinal errors of the Roman Catholic Church. Since Judge Roberts is Roman Catholic, I have my reservations about some of his religious views. Be that as it may, Judge Roberts has as much right to be on the United States Supreme Court as Ruth Bader Ginsberg does. Judge Roberts has as much right to be on the Supreme Court as does Clarence Thomas, also a Roman Catholic. In fact, Judge Roberts is no different than our former president, John, F. Kennedy, who was Roman Catholic, also.

I was not particularly thrilled when Ginsberg was appointed but I accepted it as a natural consequence of a democratic society. I strongly disagree with Roe v. Wade, too. However, if abortion cannot be a litmus test issue to keep liberals off the bench, it cannot be a litmus test to keep conservative religious persons off the bench either, even if such persons might reverse the Roe v. Wade ruling. The elitist Left cannot have it both ways. Either all judicially qualified persons, regardless of their religious convictions, have a right to serve or they do not. Since the United States Constitution guarantees the freedom of religion, one's religious beliefs cannot be a factor in deciding who should or should not sit on the United States Supreme Court.

Liberals are all for appointing religious persons who are theologically and politically liberal because they know that their decisions will be in line with their own worldview and commitments. Why would liberals be surprised when religious conservatives also rule according to their own worldview? Do we or do we not live in a democratic society? If the liberal elites do not like our political system when things do not go their way, they ought to understand that this is the way democracy works. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. We religious conservatives lost on the Roe v. Wade issue. But now we are turning the tide and the liberal left does not like it.

Personally, I think democracy can be both good and bad. But when my side is winning I think there is hope for the United States. I pray that God will continue to bring reform and renewal to our nation, even though we are not a "Christian" nation. I would hope that in a pluralistic society that good will still prevail over evil. Make no mistake about it, murdering the unborn is evil and we who are decent, law abiding citizens ought to do everything we can to stand against evil. Legalizing mercy killing so that we will not be burdened with caring for the sick and elderly is reprehensible at best and demonically evil at worst. Evil can only prevail when good men do nothing. President Bush is honoring his campaign commitment to appoint someone to the Supreme Court who will not legislate from the bench. Thank God for George W. Bush, even if he is not perfect on other issues.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sir, you think there should be a separation of church and state, yet you think a judge should use his religious influences to guide his decisions in a court of law. America is not a christian nation, but you would legislate morality based on your view alone, simply because you're religion is the majority. Might doesn't always make right. Make up your mind.

Why is it that most religious men are SO up in arms over abortion, when biologically, you will NEVER have one?! Nor will you ever bear a child (of incest, rape, or by accident). Since men are incapable of bearing children, then the decision to abort still lies in the woman's choice.

And WHY are you so up in arms over abortion? These are potential children that aren't here, but there are SO many children that are here than need foster homes, special needs and even starving children in this country. If I held up a petri dish with a fertilized human egg over a volcano and in the other hand I held a 1 month old infant over the same volcano, which one are you going to choose? Which ONE!? Get a grip, there are so many people and children in this world that could use your attention, but yet you'd rather babble on about some poor fetus/egg/"baby".

You're against abortion? Don't have one. You don't think your grandma should be euthanized? Don't kill her! But if my mother says she doesn't want to live that way, then I will do what she wishes. You can let your mother suffer all you want in the name of "god".

You need to refocus your energies. God doesn't exist, only good people who can help people who are in need. I have more faith in that than some imaginary sky being.

Charlie said...

Why am I so against abortion? Because it is evil and a crime against humanity and against God. Also, if might doesn't make right, then that would mean that your side isn't right by default just because your side had the political power to get the crime of abortion legalized.

If God doesn't exist, then what basis do you have, other than "popular" opinion, to determine what is "good" and what is "evil"? When all is said and done, God is the very definition of good and evil is only a perversion of what God intended in the first place.

Sincerely in Christ,

Charlie

Charlie said...

I might also mention that Christian women from the Evangelical side of it are also against abortion.

Anonymous said...

You still haven't said anything that makes sense. God doesn't exist and humans are good or bad by their own choice.

If there is a god, then I hate him. I hate what he's allowed to happen in this world. I hate that he allowed all those senior to drown in that nursing home. I hate that he allowed Andrea Yates to drown her 5 children to (in her sick mind) protect them from satan. I hate that he's allowed or made 2 hurricanes to hit the gulf coast and killed so many people. God doesn't exist. The sooner you get over that and start doing something constructive with your life, the better off you'll be.

Charlie said...

Dear Anonymous,

We don't know why God allows evil but it is only a perversion of His goodness, which is without limit and neverending. Suffering is the result of man's rebellion against God and your own rebellion is just a reminder to us all that we will answer to God someday.

Why would you allow the murder of unborn children who otherwise would be viable outside the womb? Aren't you guilty of the evil which you're accusing God of?

And if there is no God, really evil doesn't even exist except in your own mind. It's merely a human convention. But since you believe evil is real, it might be that you believe God is real, too, even though you don't want to admit it.

I was angry with God at one time, too. But then He showed me that He loved and gave His one and only Son for me. I believe He loves you, too, and that Jesus died for your sins. It's never too late to ask Him to heal you and show you how much He loves you.

May God grant you His grace,

Charlie

Anonymous said...

The whole idea of christianity makes no sense. I still don't know why you persist in spouting it's dogma. It's inconsistent, misogynistic, irrelevant and misguided. You cannot say that it is the one true religion if you have not looked at any of the other religions in the world. Christians, on the whole REFUSE to look outside their little box and see what the world has to offer. Christianity is just like Islam. Both groups would prefer their governments to be theocracies and make the rest of the populace suffer for it. I refuse to buy into that kind of subjugation.

In regards to abortion; I cannot view a fetus or a blob of cells as a person. It has no viability at that point and lives at the whim of the host. I will not allow the government to make me a slave to a fetus. If they ever reversed Roe v. Wade, I would dedicate myself to providing herbal abortions to any who ask. And I DO know how to perform an herbal abortion.

I'm not sure where I ever said I believe that evil exists. Evil, by definition, is a "moral bad or wrongdoing". I suppose, it depends on who's morals. Evil is subjective. I do not consider abortion as "evil" but you do. Admitting to believing an act is evil does not presuppose a belief in "god".

I am not angry at god, since I don't believe in "him". I am more annoyed at "his" followers. The stories in the bible merely support my opinion that your religion is evil and does more harm than good.

Don't you think that some of these "super churches" could have spent all those millions feeding the poor or helping the homeless? The mere raising of one of those "monstrosities" is a slap in the face to the poor and needy.

You can keep your gods grace. Try working with drug & alcohol addicted homeless people instead. Prayer hasn't done squat for them.

Charlie said...

I'm a vocal critic of the church growth movement and the idea that bigger churches are better. I critcize them on the same basis you do: it's essentially for the wealthy and totally ignores the Christian's responsibility to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Matthew's Gospel admonishes us to feed and clothe the poor and to visit prisoners:

35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
(Mt 25:35-40, New International Version).

Also, you seem to admit that aborting babies who are viable outside the womb is wrong. Does it make sense to kill a baby that is deliverable at that very moment? This seems cold, and arbitrary to me. How could you save a baby who is born prematurely on one hand and kill a baby at the same stage of development on the other?

I guess you get to make up the rules as you go along? It seems to me that not believing in God leads to atrocities, wars, and total selfishness. The sure sign of this is when the most innocent, unborn children who are viable outside the womb, are murdered for the sake of selfish convenience.

There is a God to whom we will all answer for our crimes against the poor and innocent children.

Also, you might want to check the links on my weblog. There is a link there to Evangelicals for Social Action. ESA. There are many Evangelical Christians who do tons of social work for the poor.

I've volunteered at homeless shelters and I worked with prison and jail inmates for over 4 years. I think your generalizations don't hold up under scrutiny.

My God's very essence is love and benevolence. Your own heart seems to be bitter and angry at the world. Does your lack of faith in God solve the problem of evil in the world? At least Christianity is working toward making the world a better place. And at the end of time, God will right every wrong.

Sincerely in Christ,

Charlie

Anonymous said...

Lets talk about the term at which most abortions are performed. You sound like you believe that a majority of them are done during late term. According to a CDC report 88% of all abortions were obtained during the first weeks of gestations. Hardly what anyone would consider "viable". Only 1.5% of abortions were done past the 21 week mark. Also hardly what one could call "viable." Even infants born at 22+ weeks suffer irreversible damage and wind up being dependent on their parents and the state for their survival. And even then, they only have about a 17% survival rate.

I believe individual states legislate at how many weeks a woman can obtain an abortion. For instance, an abortion at 5 months gestation is highly unlikely and may not even be legal some states. However distasteful (to some), abortion is still about a woman's right to choose, not a man's. The government has no right to make a woman a slave to a fetus. People who believe that abortion should remain legal, don't LIKE abortion and may never ever choose to have one, but they do believe the government should stay out of women's decisions about their bodies. I may not have ever had an abortion, but I refuse to tell anyone that they can't. I support every woman's right to choose.

Charlie said...

I don't know where you are getting your numbers from. However, according to your own numbers 10% of abortions would be occurring past the first trimester. The fetus or baby is highly developed past that point and most are viable past the second trimester.

According to the Religious Tolerance website, 1% of all abortions every year take place in the third trimester. Given that there were about 1,365,730 in 1996, this means that 13,657 babies who were viable outside the womb were murdered in 1996 even by your own reckoning. One murder of an innocent child is one murder too many.

The original Roe v. Wade ruling allowed for abortions in the first trimester. However, since that time abortions have extended into the second and third trimesters.

I'm in favor of a woman's right to choose. If she does not want children, she should use adequate birth control. If she does not intend to have children in the future, she should consider sterilization procedures.

Abortion should never be used as a form of birth control. I would be in favor of early term abortions to save the life of the mother. However, I'm opposed to all abortions in the second or third term.

Since 1973 at least 39,290,477 infants have been aborted, according to one website. If only 1% of those abortions were third trimester, that would amount to 392,904 viable infants killed. That's more viable infants killed than all the U.S. soldiers killed in war during that same time period.

A woman's right to choose does not exist. It was never intended by the founders of the U.S. Constitution and the right to privacy does not extend to the right to kill.

Most women instinctively know this is wrong. Furthermore, because of education by right to life groups, abortions fell by 3% in 1996 and 1997.

Women who view motherhood as "slavery to a fetus" must hate being a woman. It really is sad that being a woman is not valued anymore.

Anonymous said...

"The fetus or baby is highly developed past that point and most are viable past the second trimester."

Abortions performed after viability, by law, can only be performed in cases of life or health endangerment to the Woman.

"Given that there were about 1,365,730 in 1996, this means that 13,657 babies who were viable outside the womb were murdered in 1996 even by your own reckoning. One murder of an innocent child is one murder too many."

Again, abortions performed in the third trimester, by law, are to save the life or health of the Woman. The 1% in the third trimester are usually to save the Woman's life or are unfortunately performed when the fetus has developmental problems not conducive to life. Meaning that most of these third trimester abortions are performed when there is no chance of a healthy or even live infant being born and the Woman's life is threatened by the continuation of the pregnancy.

"The original Roe v. Wade ruling allowed for abortions in the first trimester. However, since that time abortions have extended into the second and third trimesters."
The original Roe v. Wade decision was based on the trimester framework. A woman could obtain an abortion within the first trimester. Within the second trimester, the state's interest in the Woman's health could start to outweigh her decision but could not completely over ride it as long as the necessary medical precautions were taken. At the third trimester, the states interest in potential life outweighed the Woman's interest in privacy and private medical care unless her life or health were threatened by the continuation of the pregnancy.

"If she does not want children, she should use adequate birth control. If she does not intend to have children in the future, she should consider sterilization procedures. "
All birth control has a failure rate, most Women do want to have children in the future, and most doctor's are still stuck in the state of mind that every Woman must want children and therefore, it is very, very difficult to find one to consent to a sterilization if you have never had any children and/or if you are young. Despite how strongly you know you don't want children, the establishment second guesses you.

"However, I'm opposed to all abortions in the second or third term." Abortions past viability and into the third trimester are performed to save the Woman's health and life. You can be opposed to that if you really wish to be but who would advocate that Women die from a doomed pregnancy based on your beliefs?

"If only 1% of those abortions were third trimester, that would amount to 392,904 viable infants killed. That's more viable infants killed than all the U.S. soldiers killed in war during that same time period."
Viability is the time period in which 50% of neonates would survive outside of the uterus. However, just because the term "viability" is used, it does not mean that every pregnancy and fetus are viable. When problems arise within the second and third trimester, even if the fetus is viable, there is little chance of a child being born at all. Our testing, while better than the past, is still inadequate to diagnose many problems that can occur during the second and third trimester which threaten the Woman's life.

"Furthermore, because of education by right to life groups, abortions fell by 3% in 1996 and 1997."
There is no causal link to support this at all. Most sociologists theorize that the booming economy and the ability for more Women to care for their own families has led to the decrease in abortions. You can make all the claims that you want but I could also make the claim that the abortion rate decreased when a democrat was the president. Both statements are true at face value but neither are causal or objectively true.

"Women who view motherhood as "slavery to a fetus" must hate being a woman." Not all Women have some sort of Hallmark card perception of the sacrfices and struggles that it takes to raise children today. For as many people as there are on the planet, there are equally as many views on Womanhood and Motherhood. And no, the two are not the same.

"It really is sad that being a woman is not valued anymore." It depends on the actual defenition and how the Woman feels about it. It really is all too simple to assume how Women feel about anything let alone how they feel about the life changing, reality altering, constant sacrificing that is raising a child.

Charlie said...

You seem to have an excuse for every crime you commit. It's a well known fact that women and some doctors are willing to say their life is in danger just to kill their viable infant.

The sad fact is that women these days have become heartless murderers of the unborn instead of caring and nurturing mothers. They wish to redefine life as an "it" or a "fetus" in order to justify their selfish acts of murder and death, much like the Nazis in Germany had all sorts of rationalizations for their crimes against God and humanity.

In case you are not aware of it, the states regulate abortions, not the Federal government. Therefore, the rules change from one state to another. Most states allow abortion on demand even into the third trimester. Sorry but your line of reasoning is mistaken and outright flawed.

I find it hard to believe that contraception fails almost 1.5 million times a year in this country. Are women really that careless with contraception?

No woman has a right to kill, not even in the name of privacy. And it's still questionable if the Constitution or the Bill of Rights guarantees the right to privacy.

Anonymous said...

First, I am not the same anonymous person you were previously discussing this with. I stumbled upon your comments and just sought to correct a few things that I noticed that were not factual.
Secondly, there is no need for the condescending attitude as I have been nothing but patient and civil with you previously.

"You seem to have an excuse for every crime you commit."
I sped when I went into work on Friday but other than that, I have committed no crime.

"It's a well known fact that women and some doctors are willing to say their life is in danger just to kill their viable infant."
To obtain a third trimester abortion, a Woman must show that her life is in jeopardy and a doctor must verify this. If you know of any doctors breaking this federal law, you should report them immediately. Also, out of the 1% of Women who must abort in the third trimester, how many do you honest believe are doing so when there is no way to prevent it? I know no Woman who would keep a pregnancy until the third trimester and then abort it when their lives are not threatened. Such a small anomalie (if it occurs at all), while repugnant, is not enough justification to tell Women that they must die from a life threatening pregnancy.

"The sad fact is that women these days have become heartless murderers of the unborn instead of caring and nurturing mothers."
I am a mother. Owning a vagina or uterus does not mean that one is automatically capable of being a caring/nurturing mother. It takes a lot to parent a child. It is never ending, self sacrificing, life altering state of being and it is not always a walk in the park in summer. Being honest, there are days when I rethink my decision because I am so physically exhausted that I do not think I can give anymore. Parenting is not for everyone even if they own the necessary equipment to make them parents. Also, aren't you generalizing a bit much? Not all Women have abortions so to say that we ALL have become "heartless murderers" now is a bit of a stretch.

"In case you are not aware of it, the states regulate abortions, not the Federal government."
I am aware of it, thank you.

"Therefore, the rules change from one state to another."
Yes, however, they may not change so much as to change the applicable federal laws.

"Most states allow abortion on demand even into the third trimester."
Could you please provide a link to the states that allow this? Also, if you know of a state doing this you should contact the local and state authorities immediately since this is directly against the federal laws. The last SC decision, Casey, stipulates that no abortions may be performed in the third trimester unless the Woman's health or life are in jeopardy. No state may dismiss the federal law and state that Women can have an "on demand" abortion within the third trimester because it would go directly against federal law.

"Sorry but your line of reasoning is mistaken and outright flawed."
Could you please point out where?

"No woman has a right to kill, not even in the name of privacy."
Actually, according to our laws, there are situations where one person may kill another person legally. Simply, we do have the legal "right" to kill another in certain specified situations with certain circumstances. This is not to say that it is morally right to do so. That is left as a matter of personal moral opinion when the situation arises.

"And it's still questionable if the Constitution or the Bill of Rights guarantees the right to privacy."
I am sorry that you think that. Without our civil liberties guaranteeing a certain level of privacy, the government could: quarter soldiers in your home at any time without paying you, record all of your phone conversations, monitor your online viewing habits, monitor your personal emails, require your submission in any lie detector test, blood test, or breath test, monitor who you intend to marry (could even permit/restrict you from marrying certain individuals), monitor your credit card and bank transactions, monitor your eating habits, restrict access to contraception or other health care, and generally intrude upon every facet of our lives. Our civil liberties and bill of rights protect us from such a level of unwarranted governmental intrusion.

Charlie said...

No need to say more. You've contradicted yourself a number of times and without facts.

Anonymous said...

"No need to say more. You've contradicted yourself a number of times and without facts."

Which statements do you need links providing the facts for?

Charlie said...

I said:

"No woman has a right to kill, not even in the name of privacy."

You said:

"Actually, according to our laws, there are situations where one person may kill another person legally. Simply, we do have the legal "right" to kill another in certain specified situations with certain circumstances. This is not to say that it is morally right to do so. That is left as a matter of personal moral opinion when the situation arises."

At least you admit you're "killing" a baby. You seem to think killing isn't murder as long as it is legal. Basically, you're saying that the government is the ultimate authority. That is a scarely concept that leads directly to totalitarianism. Does the name Adolf Hitler ring a bell? How about 6 million Jews exterminated?

Morality isn't just up for popular vote when it comes to human rights. We have certain inalienable rights that come to us from our Creator, a fact that the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights acknowledges. Those rights are extended even to the unborn who are likewise human. Let's not forget that human beings are created in the image and likeness of God himself.

Anonymous said...

"Actually, according to our laws, there are situations where one person may kill another person legally. Simply, we do have the legal "right" to kill another in certain specified situations with certain circumstances. This is not to say that it is morally right to do so. That is left as a matter of personal moral opinion when the situation arises."

At least you admit you're "killing" a baby. You seem to think killing isn't murder as long as it is legal. Basically, you're saying that the government is the ultimate authority. That is a scarely concept that leads directly to totalitarianism. Does the name Adolf Hitler ring a bell? How about 6 million Jews exterminated?""

Funny how you twist her words around to meet your own means. Since she doesn't consider abortion "murder" or "killing", your statement is totally false. You are totally deluded by your religion. Take the blinders off and question everything.

Don't forget, Hitler was a christian too. He thought he was doing god's will also. I see some similarity in your dogmatic ways.

"The greatness of Christianity did not lie in attempted negotiations for
compromise with any similar philosophical opinions in the ancient world, but
in its inexorable fanaticism in preaching and fighting for its own doctrine." - Adolf Hitler

Human beings were not created in the image of god, god was created in the image of man. It's very obvious. Christianity is a hodge-podge of many different religions and there is nothing unique about it.

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