Natalie N. Brumfield

The afternoon God introduced me to Israel outside a Planned Parenthood clinic

Natalie N. Brumfield
By Natalie Brumfield
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November 30, 2012 (Bound4Life.com) - I was walking the public sidewalk in front of the abortion clinic on my usual Thursday afternoon lunch break, praying. The Planned Parenthood abortion center is tucked between a couple of apartment buildings and some older mansions that are being sluggishly reconstructed downtown. It’s not unusual that this side of the neighborhood is fairly quiet, excepting the common flow of traffic coming in and out of the abortion center.

I was by myself praying.

The traffic seemed to die down at the abortion center and so my eyes were looking up at the buildings as I prayed for Life to flow into our city. I stopped mid-prayer when my eyes fell on someone watching me from several hundred yards away sitting on the steps of an apartment building staircase. People staring at me praying isn’t too unfamiliar. I would wonder what was going on too, if I saw someone praying by themselves and walking the same sidewalk for an extended amount of time.

But something was different about this spectator. And right on time, like always, I felt the Lord nudge me forward, “Go on, go to him.” I wasn’t in a social mood. I just wanted to pray for the babies and moms and then go back to work. As I scanned the abortion center, I saw the parking lot was almost empty. I looked back towards the spectator and felt it again, “Go.”

I started walking and watched for his eyes until I saw the realization that I was walking towards him settle in. He was on his cell phone when I walked up and he politely covered up the mouth piece. He didn’t say a word and just waited to hear what I would say to him.

“Hi. I came over to see you if I could pray with you.”

“What?” He asked looking confused.

“I came over to see if I could pray with you.”

“Yeah, ok. Hold on one second.”

To my total amazement he told the person on the other line that he had to go and he would call them back in a few minutes. Clearly, the boy with the baseball cap with traces of smudged eyeliner on his lids from the night before was not afraid of the weird prayer girl. I don’t want to be the weird prayer girl nor do I like people thinking that of me. But what I do want to be is the prayer girl who follows when the Spirit leads and loves people like Jesus does. This was an amazing moment. The boy with the baseball cap and smudged eyeliner said “yes” to me praying with him. I couldn’t wait to see what God was going to do.

“So what’s your name?” I asked so we didn’t have to be total strangers.

“Israel,” He said matter of factly.

“Your name is Israel? Seriously?” I said in bewilderment.

“Yes,” he said, smiling now.

God had me leave the abortion center sidewalk to go and pray for Israel. I thought it was amusing, but at the same time, incredible. I was praying for Life to come into the city so God sent me one more city block down to pray for a life named Israel. He is God’s child, too, and needed prayer as much as the babies and parents across the street that day. It’s a gift to pray for Life and lay your hands on the shoulders of the person you’re praying for. It’s an intercessors dream come true.

I asked permission to place my hands on his shoulders and without knowing anything but his name and without him knowing anything about me but mine–Israel said it would be fine. I began asking God to show Israel the life that God had planned for him before the foundations of the earth. We prayed for Israel’s identity to be found and that Jesus would reveal Himself to Israel in a powerful way. We prayed for Israel’s gift of art, one of many gifts God placed inside of him. We prayed that the music Israel listened to when he draws would uplift, inspire and give life to him. And we thanked God for the perfect design of making Israel a man… that he was made a man on purpose, for a great purpose. That was the most powerful prayer of all.

My heart raced and tears plummeted as I echoed that prayer out of my mouth. Only to look up and see the man before me curled up with shoulders shaking and tears in his eyes, as well. When prayers like that hit that deep, it is important to repeat until you feel a peace. I kept speaking the beauty of Israel’s design. I kept thanking God for Israel being a man. It was one of the most strikingly simple and powerful prayers I’ve ever had the honor of praying.

When we finished praying, Israel thanked me. I asked if I could have his number not to bother him but text him so encouragement from time to time. Now, I don’t usually do this but again felt a peace in my request. He thankfully agreed and we exchanged phone numbers. And every once in a while for a year, when I thought of Israel, I said a prayer for him and sent him an encouragement. Mostly, I never got a response. But I think of Israel almost every time I go to that Planned Parenthood abortion center. God reminds me that my prayers of Life go beyond the womb, beyond the abortion clinic workers, beyond the moms and dads, and beyond government. My prayers of Life are for every human life,  in every situation, and in every battle.

That was two years ago this fall and while I was sitting on the couch a month ago, I received a text from my friend.

“Natalie? I don’t think you remember me but my name is Israel.”

He has no idea the impact his precious life has made on mine. But Israel told me how much praying together that day impacted his life.

“I’ll lead you to buried treasures, secret caches of valuables—confirmations that it is, in fact, I, God, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name. It’s because of my dear servant Jacob, Israel my chosen, That I’ve singled you out, called you by name, and given you this privileged work.”
      Isaiah 45:3-4 The Message

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Reprinted with permission from Bound4Life.com

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Newsbusters Staff

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Disney ABC embraces X-rated anti-Christian bigot Dan Savage in new prime time show

Newsbusters Staff
By

March 30, 2015 (NewsBusters.org) -- Media Research Center (MRC) and Family Research Council (FRC) are launching a joint national campaign to educate the public about a Disney ABC sitcom pilot based on the life of bigoted activist Dan Savage. MRC and FRC contacted Ben Sherwood, president of Disney/ABC Television Group, more than two weeks ago urging him to put a stop to this atrocity but received no response. [Read the full letter]

A perusal of Dan Savage’s work reveals a career built on advocating violence — even murder — and spewing hatred against people of faith. Savage has spared no one with whom he disagrees from his vitriolic hate speech. Despite his extremism, vulgarity, and unabashed encouragement of dangerous sexual practices, Disney ABC is moving forward with this show, disgustingly titled “Family of the Year.”

Media Research Center President Brent Bozell reacts:

“Disney ABC’s decision to effectively advance Dan Savage’s calls for violence against conservatives and his extremist attacks against people of faith, particularly evangelicals and Catholics, is appalling and outrageous. If hate speech were a crime, this man would be charged with a felony. Disney ABC giving Dan Savage a platform for his anti-religious bigotry is mind-boggling and their silence is deafening.

“By creating a pilot based on the life of this hatemonger and bringing him on as a producer, Disney ABC is sending a signal that they endorse Dan Savage’s wish that a man be murdered. He has stated, ‘Carl Romanelli should be dragged behind a pickup truck until there’s nothing left but the rope.’ ABC knows this. We told them explicitly.

“If the production of ‘Family of the Year’ is allowed to continue, not just Christians but all people of goodwill can only surmise that the company Walt Disney created is endorsing violence.”

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins reacts:

“Does ABC really want to produce a pilot show based on a vile bully like Dan Savage?  Do Dan Savage’s over-the top-obscenity, intimidation of teenagers and even violent rhetoric reflect the values of Disney?  Partnering with Dan Savage and endorsing his x-rated message will be abandoning the wholesome values that have attracted millions of families to Walt Disney.”

Dan Savage has made numerous comments about conservatives, evangelicals, and Catholics that offend basic standards of decency. They include:

  • Proclaiming that he sometimes thinks about “f****ing the shit out of” Senator Rick Santorum

  • Calling for Christians at a high school conference to “ignore the bull**** in the Bible”

  • Saying that “the only thing that stands between my d*** and Brad Pitt’s mouth is a piece of paper” when expressing his feelings on Pope Benedict’s opposition to gay marriage

  • Promoting marital infidelity

  • Saying “Carl Romanelli should be dragged behind a pickup truck until there’s nothing left but the rope.”

  • Telling Bill Maher that he wished Republicans “were all f***ing dead”

  • Telling Dr. Ben Carson to “suck my d***. Name the time and place and I’ll bring my d*** and a camera crew and you can s*** me off and win the argument.”

Reprinted with permission from Newsbusters

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Jacqueline Harvey

Ending the end-of-life impasse: Texas is poised to ban doctor-imposed death by starvation

Jacqueline Harvey
By Jacqueline Harvey

AUSTIN, Texas, March 30, 2015 (TexasInsider.org)  After five consecutive sessions of bitter battles over end-of-life bills, the Texas Legislature is finally poised to pass the first reform to the Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA) in 12 years. An issue that created uncanny adversaries out of natural allies, and equally odd bedfellows, has finally found common ground in H.B. 3074 by State Rep. Drew Springer.  

H.B. 3074 simply prohibits doctor-imposed euthanasia by starvation and dehydration.

Since H.B. 3074 includes only those provisions and language that all major organizations are on record as having deemed acceptable in previous legislative sessions, there is finally hope of ending the end-of-life impasse in the Texas Capitol.

Many would be surprised to learn that Texas law allows physicians to forcibly remove a feeding tube against the will of the patient and their family. In fact, there is a greater legal penalty for failing to feed or water an animal than for a hospital to deny a human being food and water through a tube.

This is because there is no penalty whatsoever for a healthcare provider who wishes to deny artificially-administered nutrition and hydration (AANH). According to Texas Health and Safety Code, “every living dumb creature” is legally entitled access to suitable food and water.

Denying an animal food and water, like in this January case in San Antonio, is punishable by civil fines up to $10,000 and criminal penalties up to two years in jail per offense. Yet Texas law allows health care providers to forcibly deny food and water from human beings – what they would not be able to legally do to their housecat. And healthcare providers are immune from civil and criminal penalties for denial of food and water to human beings as long as they follow the current statutory process which is sorely lacking in safeguards.

Therefore, while it is surprising that Texas has the only state law that explicitly mentions food and water delivered artificially for the purpose of completely permitting its forced denial (the other six states mention AANH explicitly for the opposite purpose, to limit or prohibit its refusal), it is not at all surprising that the issue of protecting a patient’s right to food and water is perhaps the one point of consensus across all major stakeholders.

H.B. 3074 is the first TADA reform bill to include only this provision that is agreed upon across all major players in previous legislative sessions.

There are irreconcilable ideological differences between two major right-to-life organizations that should supposedly be like-minded: Texas Alliance for Life and Texas Right to Life. Each faction (along with their respective allies) have previously sponsored broad and ambitious bills to either preserve but reform the current law (Texas Alliance for Life’s position) or overturn it altogether as Texas Right to Life aims to do.

Prior to H.B. 3074, bills filed by major advocacy organizations have often included AANH, but also a host of other provisions that were so contentious and unacceptable to other organizations that each bill ultimately died, and this mutually-agreed-upon and vital reform always died along with it.

2011 & 2013 Legislative Sessions present prime example

This 2011 media report shows the clear consensus on need for legislation to simply address the need to protect patients’ rights to food and water:

“Hughes [bill sponsor for Texas Right to Life] has widespread support for one of his bill’s goals: making food and water a necessary part of treatment and not something that can be discontinued, unless providing it would harm the patient.”

Nonetheless, in 2013, both organizations and their allies filed complicated, contentious opposing bills, both of which would have protected a patient’s right to food and water but each bill also included provisions the rival group saw as contrary to their goals. Both bills were ultimately defeated and neither group was able to achieve protections for patients at risk of forced starvation and dehydration – a mutual goal that could have been met through a third, narrow bill like H.B. 3074.

H.B. 3074 finally focuses on what unites the organizations involved rather than what divides them, since these differences have resulted in a 12 year standoff with no progress whatsoever.

H.B. 3074 is progress that is pre-negotiated and pre-approved.

It is not a fertile springboard for negotiations on an area of mutual agreement. Rather it is the culmination of years of previous negotiations on bills that all came too late, either due to the complexnature of rival bills, the controversy involved, or even both.

On the contrary, H.B. 3074 is not just simply an area of agreement; moreover, it is has already been negotiated. It should not be stymied by disagreements on language, since Texas Alliance for Life and Texas Right to Life (along with their allies) were able to agree on language in 2007 with C.S.S.B. 439. C.S.S.B. 439 reads that, unlike the status quo that places no legal conditions on when food and water may be withdrawn, it would be permitted for those in a terminal condition if,

“reasonable medical evidence indicates the provision of artificial nutrition and hydration may hasten the patient’s death or seriously exacerbate other major medical problems and the risk of serious medical pain or discomfort that cannot be alleviated based on reasonable medical judgment outweighs the benefit of continued artificial nutrition and hydration.”

This language is strikingly similar to H.B. 3074 which states, “except that artificially administered nutrition and hydration must be provided unless, based on reasonable medical judgment, providingartificially administered nutrition and hydration would:

  1. Hasten the patient’s death;
  2. Seriously exacerbate other major medical problems not outweighed by the benefit of the provision of the treatment;
  3. Result in substantial irremediable physical pain, suffering, or discomfort not outweighed by the benefit of the provision of the treatment;
  4. Be medically ineffective; or
  5. Be contrary to the patient’s clearly stated desire not to receive artificially administered nutrition or hydration.”

With minimal exceptions (the explicit mention of the word terminal, the issue of medical effectiveness and the patient’s right to refuse), the language is virtually identical, and in 2007 Texas Right to Life affirmed this language as clarifying that “ANH can only be withdrawn if the risk of providing ANH is greater than the benefit of continuing it.”

Texas Right to Life would support the language in H.B. 3074 that already has Texas Alliance for Life’s endorsement. Any reconciliation on the minor differences in language would therefore be minimal and could be made by either side, but ultimately, both sides and their allies would gain a huge victory – the first victory in 12 years on this vital issue.

It seems that the Texas Advance Directive Act, even among its sympathizers, has something for everyone to oppose.

The passage of H.B. 3074 and the legal restoration of rights to feeding tubes for Texas patients will not begin to satisfy critics of the Texas Advance Directives Act who desire much greater changes to the law and will assuredly continue to pursue them. H.B. 3074 in no way marks the end for healthcare reform, but perhaps a shift from the belief that anything short of sweeping changes is an endorsement of the status quo.

Rather, we can look at H.B. 3074 as breaking a barrier and indicating larger changes are possible.

And if nothing else, by passing H.B. 3074 introduced by State Rep. Drew Springer, we afford human beings in Texas the same legal access to food and water that we give to our horses. What is cruel to do to an animal remains legal to do to humans in Texas if organizations continue to insist on the whole of their agenda rather than agreeing to smaller bills like H.B. 3074.

The question is, can twelve years of bad blood and bickering be set aside for even this most noble of causes?

Reprinted from TexasInsider.org with the author's permission. 

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