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.

Click ‘like’ if you are PRO-LIFE!

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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Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

African researchers warn early sexual activity increases risk of cancers

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

A report on rising cancer rates in Africa delivered at a conference in Namibia last week warned that oral contraceptives and engaging in sexual activity from a young age lead to an increased risk of breast and reproductive system cancers.

Researchers presented the "2014 Integrated Africa Cancer Fact Sheet & Summary Score Card" during the 8th Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa (SCCA) conference, held in Windhoek, Namibia from July 20 to 22, noted that cancer is a growing health problem in many developing countries and that breast and cervical cancer are the most common forms affecting African women.

The report said that sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) play a major role in reproductive system cancers and that young girls who engage in sexual activity risk getting, among other STDs, the human papilloma virus (HPV), some strains of which are linked to cervical cancer.

The report said although HPV infections are common in healthy women, they are usually fought off by the body’s immune system, with no discernible symptoms or health consequences.

The Cancer Association of South Africa points out that of the scores of HPV types, 14 of the more than 40 sexually transmitted varieties are considered "high risk" for causing serious illness, while two, HPV-16 and HPV-18, are linked to cervical cancer.

“Long-term use of oral contraceptives is also associated with increased risk [of cancer], and women living with HIV-AIDS are at increased risk of cervical cancer,” the report said.

Dr. Thandeka Mazibuko, a South African oncologist, told the conference attendees that when an 18-year-old is diagnosed with cervical cancer, “this means sex is an important activity in her life and she indulged from a young age.”

Mazibuko said the standard treatment for cancer of the cervix is seven weeks of radiation therapy.

“After the treatment they cannot have sex with their husbands or partners. They cannot bear children because everything has been closed up. Some may still have the womb but radiation makes them infertile,” Mazibuko said, according to a report in The Namibian.

Statistics from the Cancer Association of Namibia show that cases of cervical cancer have risen from 129 in 2005 to 266 in 2012.

The SCCA Conference theme was, "Moving forward to end Cervical Cancer by 2030: Universal Access to Cervical Cancer Prevention."

In his keynote address, host and Namibian President Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba urged African countries to help each other to expand and modernize health care delivery in the continent.

"Within the context of the post-2015 Development Agenda and sustainable development goals, the provision of adequate health care to African women and children must be re-emphasized," said the president, according to AllAfrica.

The Namibian leader urged mothers to breastfeed their children for at least six months as a measure to prevent breast cancer.


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Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary

Allow ‘lethal injection’ for poor to save on palliative care: Lithuanian health minister

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By Hilary White

Euthanasia is a solution for terminally ill poor people who cannot afford palliative care and who do not want to “see their families agonize” over their suffering, Lithuania’s health minister said last week.

In an interview on national television, Minister Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė added that the Belgian law on child euthanasia ought to be “taken into account” as well. 

Šalaševičiūtė told TV3 News that Lithuania, a country whose population is 77 percent Catholic, is not a welfare state and cannot guarantee quality palliative care for all those in need of it. The solution, therefore, would be “lethal injection.”

“It is time to think through euthanasia in these patients and allow them to make a decision: to live or die,” she said.

Direct euthanasia remains illegal in the Balkan state, but activists tried to bring it to the table in 2012. A motion to drop the planned bill was passed in the Parliament in March that year in a vote of 75 to 14. Since then the country has undergone a change in government in which the far-left Social Democrats have formed the largest voting bloc.

Šalaševičiūtė is a member of Parliament for the Social Democrats, the party originally established in the late 19th century – re-formed in the late 1980s – from Marxist principles and now affiliated with the international Party of European Socialists and Socialist International.

Fr. Andrius Narbekovas, a prominent priest, lecturer, physician, bioethicist, and member of the government’s bioethics committee, called the suggestion “satanic,” according to Delfi.lt. He issued a statement saying it is the purpose of the Ministry of Health to “protect the health and life, instead of looking for ways to take away life.”

“We understand that people who are sick are in need of funds. But a society that declares itself democratic, should very clearly understand that we have to take care of the sick, not kill them,” he said.


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Islamists in Mosul mark Christian homes with an Arabic "N" for Nazarene.
Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.

We must open wide our doors to Iraq’s Christians

Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.
By Gualberto Garcia Jones J.D.

On July 18, the largest Christian community in Iraq, the Chaldean Catholics of Mosul, were given a grotesque ultimatum: leave your ancestral home, convert to Islam, or die.

All but forgotten by the 1.2 billion Catholics of the world, these last Christians who still speak Jesus’ native tongue of Aramaic and live in the land of Abraham and Jonah are being wiped out before our very eyes.

As a way of issuing a thinly-veiled threat, reminiscent of the Nazi persecution of the Jews, the Arabic letter “N” (for Nazarean) has been painted on the outside of the homes of all known Christians in Mosul.

These threats, issued by the fanatical Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) known for its bloodthirsty rampage of executions, have been taken very seriously by the several hundred thousand Christians in Mosul who have left with little more than the clothes they were wearing. 

At least most of these Christians were able to flee and find temporary protection among the Kurds in their semi-autonomous region.  However the Kurds do not have the resources to defend or shelter the Chaldean Christians for much longer.

On Monday, during an interview on Fox News, Republican U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, who recently joined with 54 other members of the House of Representatives in a letter to President Obama asking him to act to protect these communities, stated that while Iraqi President Maliki had sent military flights to Mosul to evacuate Shiite Muslims, the US has done nothing to protect the Chaldean Christians.  Rep. Wolf also stated emphatically that President Obama has done “almost nothing” about the genocide taking place.

The silence from the White House is deafening.  But the lack of leadership from the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in America has been shocking as well.

Nevertheless, the plight of these Iraqi Christians is beginning to be taken seriously.   This is due in large part to the heroic efforts of local Iraqi religious leaders like Chaldean Patriarch Sako, who has gone on a whirlwind tour of the world to alert us all of the plight of these Iraqi Christians.  In a statement demonstrating his character, he told the Christians of Iraq last week, “We are your shepherds, and with our full responsibility towards you we will stay with you to the end, will not leave you, whatever the sacrifices.”

Before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was launched there were approximately 1.5 to 2 million Christians living in Iraq.  Today, there are believed to be less than 200,000.  The numbers speak for themselves.

Now that the world is beginning to be aware of the genocide in Northern Iraq, many of us ask ourselves: what can we do?  As citizens and as Christians blessed to live in nations with relative peace and security, what can we do?

The answer is quite simple and unexpected.  Demand that our government and church pull its head out of the sand and follow France. Yes, France.  

Yesterday, in a heroic gesture of Christian solidarity that would make Joan of Arc proud, the government of France opened wide its doors to the persecuted Iraqi Christians.  

”France is outraged by these abuses that it condemns with the utmost firmness," Laurent Fabius, France's foreign minister, and Bernard Cazeneuve, France's interior minister, said in a joint statement on Monday.

"The ultimatum given to these communities in Mosul by ISIS is the latest tragic example of the terrible threat that jihadist groups in Iraq, but also in Syria and elsewhere, pose to these populations that are historically an integral part of this region," they added. "We are ready, if they wish, to facilitate their asylum on our soil.  We are in constant contact with local and national authorities to ensure everything is done to protect them.”

The French statement drives home three crucial elements that every government, especially the United States, should communicate immediately:

  1. Recognize the genocide and name the perpetrators and victims.

  2. Officially condemn what is happening in the strongest terms.

  3. Offer a solution that includes cooperation with local authorities but which leads by making solid commitments such as offering asylum or other forms of protection.

With regard to the Church, we should look to the Chaldean Patriarch and the Iraqi bishops who shared their expectations explicitly in an open letter to “all people of conscience in Iraq and around the world” to take “practical actions to assure our people, not merely expressions of condemnation.”  Noticeably, the last section of the letter from the Iraqi bishops, before a final prayer to God, is an expression of thanks to the Kurdish government, which has welcomed them not just with “expressions” of goodwill but, like France, with a sacrificial hospitality.

On Friday, July 25, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops did issue a statement, but unfortunately it lacked much in terms of leadership or solutions.  We should encourage our bishops to do better than that, be bolder and stronger for our persecuted brothers and sisters, name names and offer concrete sacrificial aid. In a word, be more like the French.

In 1553, Rome welcomed the Chaldean church into the fold of the Catholic Church.  Nearly 500 years later, Catholic Americans must find ways to welcome these persecuted people into our country, into our churches, and into our own homes if need be.

I say, I am with you St. Joan of Arc.   I am with you, France.  I am with you, Chaldeans!

Gualberto Garcia Jones is the Executive Director of the International Human Rights Group, a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, that seeks to advance the fundamental rights to life, the natural family, and religious liberty through international law and international relations. 


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