Rolley Haggard

We could end abortion ‘overnight’ - if we really wanted to

Rolley Haggard
By Rolley Haggard
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May 14, 2012 (Breakpoint.org) - I believe we could end abortion virtually overnight—if we really wanted to.

But much as I hate to say it, it appears we don’t really want to. At least, not badly enough. Permit me to explain.

Going Viral

We live in “the viral generation.” When an idea with universal appeal hits YouTube, practically the whole world knows about it overnight. It’s like a trumpet blast, rallying everyone together all at once.

“Yeah,” you say, “I think I see where you’re headed with this. Problem is, there isn’t ‘universal appeal’ for this issue yet.”

Exactly. But we can fix that.

“Who’s ‘we’?” you ask.

The evangelical church, that’s who.

“Yeah? And just how?”

I was afraid you’d never ask. It’s so simple it makes a body ache to think it hasn’t been done yet. Stay with me while I set this up just a little bit more.

A Matter of Priorities

In great measure, we march to the loudest drumbeat. We fall in step with the worldview that commands the most deference and respectability amongst our 70-80 million American evangelical friends and leaders. We give ourselves to what we perceive as God’s highest priorities. So the question becomes, “Do we perceive the battle for the unborn among God’s highest priorities?”

In my opinion, we do not. Because if we did we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

The zeitgeist, the shared consensus, the thread of common consciousness and call to mission that unites and excites and incites most evangelicals to heroic prayer and jackhammer preaching and the kind of sacrificial action from which legends are spawned, is not pro-life activism. It is missions and evangelism and church-planting and other respectable work that, to be sure, is exceedingly high among the great list of kingdom priorities. But it is not the highest.

The Great Commission and the Greater Commission

The aforementioned ministries, important as they are, are not supreme. They conform to the Great Commission, but there is, if you will, a Greater Commission. It is what Christ called “the great and foremost commandment” (Matthew 22:38). It’s called love.

Echoing the words of Christ, the apostle Paul said, “Love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:10), and “he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law” (v. 8), and “the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Galatians 5:14)

Important as the Great Commission is, it is not to be performed to the dilution, neglect, or negation of the Greater Commission. If a neighbor’s house is burning down around him, God’s will, God’s priority, is clear: You risk all to save the precious life.

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Who among us can’t see the holocaust engulfing the unborn? The house is burning down around our little neighbor and we consider it merely “important.”

But the pro-life cause is not “important.” It is crucial. You’ve heard of “damning with faint praise.” Well, what we’ve been doing is “damning with half-hearted action.”

You don’t tell a patient, “It is ‘important’ for you to keep breathing.” If you don’t breathe, you die. It is crucial that we do every lawful (and I stress the word lawful) thing possible to end abortion. If we don’t, they die. And you know what? For all practical purposes, so do we (see Revelation 3:1).

Over 50 million children have been aborted in America under sanction of federal law since Roe v. Wade. Fifty million.

If we honored each of those 50 million human beings with a single minute of silence, we would remain speechless for over 95 years. How about instead of remaining speechless as, to our everlasting shame we have done now for 39 years, we open our mouths and blow the trumpet?

If I Have All Faith, but Have Not Love . . .

Too many of us are preoccupied with “ministry.” The entire law, the whole duty of Christians, is summarized in one word: love. “Ministry,” if it is not the incarnation of love for people, is unlikely to be able to look straight into the eyes of Love Incarnate on the Coming Day and survive the realization that to do everything else in life well but fail in this one, all-important point, is to fail in all. Read Matthew 25:31ff again—“for the first time.”

Let’s quit “straddling both sides of the fence” on this. Where do we stand? The all-revealing test is easy to perform. Just ask yourself, “If it were my child they were going to put to death, what would I do?”

Preacher, missionary, Christian worker—if it was your child they were going to put to death under sanction of a perverse and evil law, what would you do?

Bottom Line

Well, enough browbeating. And no, I’m not apologizing for it. As someone said, if the truth hurts, it should. But we need to move on to the “how to.” I said we could end abortion virtually overnight. Here’s how we can “go viral” with this.

If every Sunday, in every pulpit, in every evangelical church across America, ministers would devote one minute—one minute—to decrying the evil of abortion on demand, such universal solidarity within the ranks of Christian leadership would accomplish two things, maybe three.

First, it would dispel ambiguity and send a clear signal to every pew-sitting believer that this is a top-line priority with God, not a fine-print codicil, not “one more good thing that Christians ought to do when they have time.”

Second, it would foster unanimity amongst all believers—at least on this one all-important issue—and enable us together to render unto God what is God’s (i.e., sufficient advocacy at the ballot box to get Roe overturned) while at the same time rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s—which, don’t forget, includes the advice and consent of “the governed.”

And third, maybe, just maybe the voice of conscience would become less easily ignored by those outside the church and we would see abortion on demand outlawed, not only in America, but around the world—“overnight.”

But it’s a big “if.” After all, how many ministers can spare a whole minute?

Rolley Haggard is an IT manager for a multinational corporation in the Southeast, and a frequent commenter at the BreakPoint Blog, where this article first appeared.

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New York farmers stop hosting weddings after $13,000 fine for declining lesbian ceremony

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By Dustin Siggins

New York farmers Robert and Cynthia Gifford, who were ordered last week to pay $13,000 for not hosting a same-sex "wedding," say they are closing that part of their operation.

"Going forward, the Giffords have decided to no longer host any wedding ceremonies on their farm, other than the ones already under contract," said Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) lawyer James Trainor. ADF represented the Giffords in their legal fight against New York's non-discrimination law.

Last week, the Giffords were ordered to pay a $10,000 fine to the state of New York and $3,000 in damages to a lesbian couple, Jennifer McCarthy and Melisa Erwin, who approached them in 2012 about hosting their "wedding." The Giffords, who are Roman Catholic, said their religious convictions would not let them host the ceremony, but that McCarthy and Erwin could hold their reception on their property.

Unbeknownst to the Giffords, lesbian couple recorded the two-to-three minute conversation. After declining to hold the reception on the Giffords' farm, on which they live and rent property, the lesbian couple decided to make a formal complaint to the state's Division of Human Rights.

Eventually, Judge Migdalia Pares ruled that the Giffords' farm, Liberty Ridge Farm, constitutes a public accommodation because space is rented on the grounds and fees are collected from the public. The Giffords argued that because they live on the property with their children, they should be exempt from the state law, but Pares said that this does not mean their business is private.

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Trainor told TheBlaze that the Giffords' decision to end wedding ceremonies at Liberty Ridge “will hurt their business in the short run," but that was preferable to violating their religious beliefs.

“The Giffords serve all people with respect and care. They have hired homosexual employees and have hosted events for same-sex couples,” he said.

However, "since the state of New York has essentially compelled them to do all ceremonies or none at all, they have chosen the latter in order to stay true to their religious convictions," Trainor explained to LifeSiteNews. "No American should be forced by the government to choose between their livelihood and their faith, but that’s exactly the choice the state of New York has forced upon the Giffords."

"They will continue to host wedding receptions," said Trainor.

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South African mom files ‘wrongful life’ lawsuit on behalf of Downs son

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By Thaddeus Baklinski

A South African woman has launched a "wrongful life" lawsuit against the Cape Town-based Foetal Assessment Centre, claiming a failure to inform her that the child she was carrying was at risk of having Down Syndrome prevented her from aborting her baby.

A twist in this lawsuit is that, unlike other "wrongful birth" lawsuits, the mother in this case missed the time limit to file the claim on her own behalf, so she is asking the South African Constitutional Court to allow her to sue the center for “wrongful life” on behalf of her now-born son.

“You have a duty to tell my mother carrying me that I'm malformed so that she can make an informed decision as to whether or not to carry me to term,” the statement of claim against the Foetal Assessment Centre reads, according to SABC News.

“It is not as if the foetus is sort of putting up its hand and saying why you didn’t destroy me," the mother's lawyer, Paul Hoffman, explained to Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke. "The foetus is complaining that its malformation, its development is the result of the bad advice that was given.”

The SABC report did not say what compensation the woman is seeking.

The scope of the case is similar to that of a New Zealand couple who won a lawsuit claiming monetary compensation after a routine 20 week ultrasound scan failed to discover that their daughter had spina bifida.

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The mother, whose name has not been released, claimed that the continuance of the pregnancy was a “personal injury,” and, had she been given the correct diagnosis after that scan, she would have aborted her daughter.

"We consider that the continued pregnancy of the appellant following a misdiagnosis in the 20 week scan is capable of being an injury suffered by the appellant,” the court ruled, and directed the New Zealand Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) to make the woman eligible for compensation for the ongoing surgical and physiotherapy expenses incurred by their child.

New Zealand disability advocate Mike Sullivan said the underpinning attitude behind the decision is that those with disability, both born and unborn, are seen as a burden on society.

“This is what happens,” Sullivan said, when “the children become reduced to nothing – wrong even to exist.”

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PBS defends decision to air pro-abortion documentary ‘After Tiller’

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By Dustin Siggins

Under pressure for showing the pro-abortion documentary "After Tiller" on Labor Day, PBS' "POV" affiliate has defended the decision in response to an inquiry from LifeSiteNews.

The producers of the film say their goal with the documentary, which tells the stories of four late-term abortion doctors after the killing of infamous late-term abortionist George Tiller, is to "change public perception of third-trimester abortion providers by building a movement dedicated to supporting their right to work with a special focus on maintaining their safety.” 

POV told LifeSiteNews, "We do believe that 'After Tiller' adds another dimension to an issue that is being debated widely." Asked if POV will show a pro-life documentary, the organization said that it "does not have any other films currently scheduled on this issue. POV received almost 1000 film submissions each year through our annual call for entries and we welcome the opportunity to consider films with a range of points of view."

When asked whether POV was concerned about alienating its viewership -- since PBS received millions in federal tax dollars in 2012 and half of Americans identify as pro-life -- POV said, "The filmmakers would like the film to add to the discussion around these issues. Abortion is already a legal procedure."

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"This is an issue that people feel passionately about and will have a passionate response to. We are hopeful that the majority of people can see it for what it is, another lens on a very difficult issue." 

In addition to the documentary, POV has written materials for community leaders and teachers to share. A cursory examination of the 29-page document, which is available publicly, appears to include links to outside sources that defend Roe v. Wade, an examination of the constitutional right to privacy, and "a good explanation of the link between abortion law and the right to privacy," among other information.

Likewise, seven clips recommended for student viewing -- grades 11 and beyond -- include scenes where couples choose abortion because the children are disabled. Another shows pro-life advocates outside a doctor's child's school, and a third is described as showing "why [one of the film's doctors] chose to offer abortion services and includes descriptions of what can happen when abortion is illegal or unavailable, including stories of women who injured themselves when they tried to terminate their own pregnancies and children who were abused because they were unwanted."

Another clip "includes footage of protesters, as well as news coverage of a hearing in the Nebraska State Legislature in which abortion opponents make reference to the idea that a fetus feels pain." The clip's description fails to note that it is a scientifically proven fact that unborn children can feel pain.

The documentary is set to air on PBS at 10 p.m. Eastern on Labor Day.

Kirsten Andersen contributed to this article.

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