Jan 26, 2016

Abortion Is Not Wrong Because the Religious Say So

In the past couple of days, news has come out that David Daleiden, who is the head of the Center for Medical Progress, and Susan Merritt, have both been indicted by a grand jury in Harris County, Texas, with charges that are related to the controversial videos released showing officials with Planned Parenthood attempting to gain from the illegal sale of fetal tissue.  They have been charged with a felony of tampering with a governmental record (for creating and showing California driver's licenses with the intent to defraud) and a misdemeanor charge in connection with the purchase of human organs.

It should be interesting to see how this plays out in the media considering this has been a hot-button issue since the secretly recorded videos of "actors" speaking with Planned Parenthood officials were released last summer.  If any person looks up articles on this piece of news on Daleiden and Merritt, then you are bound to see all kinds of comments from our prochoice brothers and sisters showing that they are ecstatic with these charges.  Many will believe that this confirms their beliefs that Planned Parenthood were targeted by these "anti-abortionists" and that the truth will come out soon enough that will vindicate Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing.  Prochoice proponents will continue to believe that the Planned Parenthood Federation of America are all about providing reproductive health services and getting resources out to women for their healthcare.

(picture from - http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/08/04/pro-life-community-vows-to-continue-fight-to-defund-planned-parenthood/)

The fascinating thing is that many people think that this somehow has had an effect on what some Planned Parenthood advocates may consider to be the "truth" of Planned Parenthood's modus operandi.  That is, that Planned Parenthood is just about women's healthcare and reproductive health services and nothing about their having any possible involvement in the selling of fetal tissue.  Those same advocates seem to worry that they may have lost the respect that they once had; as if these controversial videos will affect the view of them as being an organization with caring and compassionate employees in the fight for women.  It is admirable to see many backing Planned Parenthood, even for this prolifer.  I admire people being vocal about what they believe.

My problem is this: the personal failings of one who is against your beliefs does not then make your beliefs true or right.  Many people, who leave comments to articles, tend to give ad hominem attacks against what they disagree with.  So, instead of arguing against the prolife viewpoint, they throw fallacy after fallacy against it, especially when the argument is coming from religious groups, which tend to be the case.  It shows in many cases, on both sides of the aisle of the abortion issue, that many people do not know how to be logical in the defense of their belief.  Abortion is not wrong because a person with a particular religious worldview says so (although I do believe that following Christ should deter many of us from having a pro-abortion belief); abortion is wrong because it is inflicting harm and causing the end to a life (inside of the womb).  Abortion snuffs out a creation.  A creation that (in many cases) would not bring any harm to its mother (whether they want to accept that role or title or not).  If the data from science and medicine shows us that life begins at conception, then why are we looking at life as anything other than what it is.

What is my point in all of this spill on abortion being the wrong choice to make when a young lady becomes pregnant?  What am I trying to say when I tell you that you should argue against a person's belief, based off of how logical it is and how it stands next to reality?  I hope that I am getting across that if one thinks through the issue at hand with clarity and honesty, they can see that it is not at all about Daleiden, or Merritt, or those controversial videos.  Yes, they play a part in how we see things and how the story is told because Kermit Gosnell plays a part in how we see things also (please look up the name and see how the media bypassed news of him).  But, primarily, it should be about why do we even have to argue about the destruction of lives in the womb.  When did abortion become such a top-of-the-list option for "bad-timing pregnancies?"  Does our society have a moral issue on our hands that is becoming second nature to the next generation?

I honestly hope that Daleiden and Merritt did not lie and create untruths about Planned Parenthood.  But, honestly, I do not care.  Let me give a quick anecdote and conclude this thought piece.  Can you think about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King?  Dr. King (to most of us) would be considered a true hero in his fight for equality for all.  Most of us have seen his speeches played time and time again and have seen many documentaries on him.  But in many of those documentaries, you rarely see information about his possible dalliances with other women.  Movies give a scene or two to it, but it does not typically go any further than that.  (Whether they are true or not is not what I am getting at, although at this point, it seems that these affairs were true.)  If it is true that Dr. King was living a double life, does it really take away from racism and Jim Crow laws being wrong?  If Dr. King can be considered as being an unfaithful husband, or not being about the truthful to his wife, does that eradicate his work in the civil rights movement?  Now, focus again on the issue at hand from today's news about the head of the Center for Medical Progress.  Does the argument against abortion become null and void because of the actions of a couple of people against it?  Would you (speaking to the hypothetical pro-choicer) say that your belief in abortion is wrong if you actually saw the selling of fetal tissue?

Nothing can take away from the truth that aborting a fetus is morally wrong because it is destroying a life, at least, for this prolife advocate.  I do believe that the prolife movement stands on the side of truth, not because of the videos that I have seen, but because of the prolifers and the pro-choicers I see standing around arguing.

To the Pro-Choicer: make sure that you tell your mom - "Thanks for being prolife!"

I mean how else would most of us be here to pick a side if our mothers thought that abortion was the top choice or only choice because we came at a bad time!!

Jan 5, 2016

Jan 1, 2016

"Do You Hear What I Hear" (Podcasts for You for the New Year)

There is no doubt that I love, love, love....PODCASTS!!!  I enjoy hearing other intelligent beings thinking through tough issues with rationality.  Plus, podcasts are helpful to me since I cannot always get to a news channel after work and I do not trust much of the major news channels anyway.  I am not a conspiracy theorist; I just want my news delivered without any liberal or conservative slant so I can dissect the story and see the truth for myself.  It is possibly that some viewers may need to be "led" to the truth, but I am not one of them.  Anyway, there are some excellent podcasts out there that help me with my thinking through issues with my faith, politics, and culture.
I have actually been wanting to do a blog that has a list of podcasts that I would urge others to check out.  They have been helpful to me and actually fuels me in my thinking and writing in some cases.  I will put a couple of sentences beside each link so that viewers of this blog may have an idea of what they are getting into when they click on the links to do their own investigation in whether listening to any of them on a consistent basis is worth their time.  I really wish I had the time and skill set to do my own podcast, but until then: I will keep my ears wide open!!

Podcasts to Check Out

1. A Clear Lens - http://clearlens.org/category/podcast/ - I am the "1st Groupie" of this podcast, so I am a bit biased with this group.  I enjoy them because it is a group of 3 guys that can joke around and have fun with games, but they are serious business about their Christian faith and are skilled with defending the faith.  I have sent them a number of questions and they have been kind enough to respond numerous times.

2. A Glimpse of the Kingdom - http://davidwpendergrass.blogspot.com/p/podcasts.html / https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/glimpse-kingdom-by-david-w./id963970363 - I enjoy Dr. Pendergrass' podcast because he touches on different things with ministry and apologetics.  It is just Dr. Pendergrass doing it solo, but he gives thoughtful opinions when he answers questions.

3. After the Sermon - http://jeremylundmark.com/category/podcast/ - This brother - Jeremy Lundmark - has been helpful to me by his giving some time to what is going on with politics and the debates that had been taking place during 2015.  He was also kind enough to use a snippet of one of my sermons on one of his episodes and has answered a few of my questions, which has been helpful.
4. Apologetics 105 - http://www.apologetics105.com/podcast - I found out about R. W. Johnson and this podcast through "A Clear Lens" and I am glad that I have listened to him.  He has had discussions with atheists on his show and he is very kind and reasonable with them (I believe).  He deals with philosophy and theology as well, which is right up my alley.
5. Come Reason Ministries - http://podcast.comereason.org/?_ga=1.109045570.1148520658.1450300458 - Lenny Esposito has been very helpful to me and I actually just found out that he had this podcast this year.  I had heard of him about 3 or 4 years ago and I bought one of his lectures years ago and met him at an Evangelical Philosophical Society conference back in November 2015.  He is a wonderful speaker on the truth of Jesus Christ and is a wonderful Christian apologist.
6. Coram Deo Podcast - https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/coram-deo/id963018449?mt=2 - Kyle Howard has a great podcast here with thoughtful answers to deep theological questions.  He also writes on the website of Theology Mix - http://theologymix.com/author/kylehoward/.
7. Elucidations: University of Chicago Department of Philosophy Podcast - http://philosophy.uchicago.edu/podcasts/elucidations.html#current - I am deeply interested in philosophy so I try to check out this podcast as much as possible.
8. History of Philosophy - http://historyofphilosophy.net/all-episodes - Dr. Peter Adamson just gives you the history of philosophy straight, hence the name of the podcast.  Good stuff!
9. ID The Future (IDTF) Podcast - http://www.discovery.org/multimedia/idtf/ - I cannot write that I am a proponent of this theory because I do not understand it completely, but I like listening to the issues that they are working through.  By listening to the podcast, it did make me realize that you just cannot call the intelligent design theory "pseudoscience" if you have not actually researched the material and checked out the scientists behind it.
10. Philosophy for Theologians - http://reformedforum.org/programs/pft/ - I have not seen many episodes, but I enjoy this podcast because they are breaking down different philosophical positions for the theologian.  I love it!
11. The Dave Ramsey Show - https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-dave-ramsey-show/id77001367?snid=show.podcast-a (http://www.daveramsey.com/show/home/?snid=show) - I enjoy and respect Ramsey after my father turned me on to him.  My wife and I are not out of debt yet, but he gives helpful information and advice on all things financial.
12. The Eric Metaxas Show - http://www.metaxastalk.com/ - I found out about Metaxas through Socrates in the City, which I wish had a podcast, and the radio show, BreakPoint.  He brings on great guests, plus he has great music and is very funny!
13. Trackstarz - http://trackstarz.com/category/podcasts/ - I dig the fellows on this show.  They touch on different topics dealing with culture, faith, and Christian Hip Hop (or Hip Hop art created by Christians).  Much respect!
14. The Urban Theologian Radio - http://urbantheologianradio.com/ - I love this show!  I met Vocab Malone (the main host) recently and felt like I was talking to an old friend.  I love that this show sheds light on Christian Hip Hop music and intellectually defends the Christian faith with love for those who disagree with our faith.
Have a Happy New Year and Happy Listening and Growing!!
In Christ,
Jerome Danner