What is the Unborn?

By Clinton Wilcox

Before you can even answer the question of whether or not abortion is moral, you must first decide what the unborn is. For as Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason observes, if the unborn is not human, then no justification for abortion is necessary. It would be no different from having a mole removed or a tooth pulled. But if the unborn is human, then no justification for abortion is adequate.

Unborn Abortion Life

If it’s true that no one can tell when human life begins, then the benefit of the doubt should go to life. We should not be aborting the unborn because there’s a chance we could be aborting living human entities. If a hunter hears a rustling in the woods, does he shoot right away or does he make sure the rustling wasn’t caused by another human? Unless he’s Dick Cheney, he’s going to make sure it’s a deer he’s aiming at and not a human. Or if you’re driving down a road in the dark and you see the outline of something that may be a child or may simply be the shadow of a tree, do you drive into it or do you slow down? Or if you’re about to blow up a condemned building and you’re not sure if someone’s inside, do you blow it up anyway or send someone in to make sure?

However, it’s not true that no one can tell when human life begins. We can actually make the pro-life case in ten seconds or less: The unborn are alive because they grow, they are human because they have human parents, and living humans like you and me are valuable, aren’t they?

The unborn from fertilization are alive because they grow. They also exhibit other forms of life, such as cell division, metabolism, and response to stimuli. In fact, the only thing the unborn need to survive are adequate nutrition, a proper environment, and an absence of fatal threats. That’s all any of us need. There is no point in human development at which the developing entity goes from non-life to living.

The unborn are also human from fertilization. We know that everything reproduces after its own kind; dogs have dogs, cats have cats, and humans have humans. They have separate human DNA from, and often a different blood type than, the mother. A white human embryo can be created in a petri dish, implanted into a black mother, and be born white. In fact, if the unborn organism were simply a “part of the mother’s body,” then the pregnant woman would have four arms, four legs, two heads, four eyes, two noses, and roughly half the time male reproductive organs. But this is absurd. At no time during human development does the unborn ever go from “non-human” to human.

Some people think of the unborn entity as being constructed in utero, like a car. In fact, this probably accounts for why many people think pro-life advocates are so ridiculous, because they have a wrong view of what development in utero is. With a car, you have all the parts in front of you. They do not make a car on their own. It requires an outside builder to put all the pieces together into what we understand is a car. A car is not present from the beginning, because the parts that make a car can be used in the construction of something else (such as a boat or a plane).

However, the unborn’s development is different. It directs its own development from within. It does not have an outside builder, it directs its own internal growth and maturation, and this entails continuity of being. Professor Richard Stith illustrates the difference with the following analogy:

“Suppose we are back in the pre-digital photo days, and you have a Polaroid camera and you have taken a picture that you think is unique and valuable — let’s say a picture of a jaguar darting out from a Mexican jungle. The jaguar has now disappeared, so you are never going to get that picture again in your life, and you really care about it. (I am trying to make this example comparable to a human being, for we say that every human being is uniquely valuable.) You pull the tab out and as you are waiting for it to develop, I grab it away from you and rip it open, thus destroying it. When you get really angry at me, I say blithely, ‘You’re crazy. That was just a brown smudge. I cannot fathom why anyone would care about brown smudges.’ Wouldn’t you think that I were the insane one? Your photo was already there. We just couldn’t see it yet.” [1]

As pro-life philosopher Scott Klusendorf notes, “The science of embryology is clear. From the earliest stages of development, the unborn are distinct, living, and whole human beings. Therefore, every ‘successful’ abortion ends the life of a living human being.” [2]

Embryologists, who are the experts in the field on human embryos, consistently agree that the unborn are alive and human from fertilization. Consider the following from the most-used textbooks on the issue:

“Although life is a continuous process, fertilization (which, incidentally, is not a ‘moment’) is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new genetically distinct human organism is formed when the chromosomes of the male and female pronuclei blend in the oocyte.” [3]

“A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo).” [4]

There are many more examples I could give. In short, you didn’t come from an embryo, you once were an embryo. Sophisticated pro-choice philosophers also know that human life begins at fertilization.

“It is possible to give ‘human being’ a precise meaning. We can use it as equivalent to ‘member of the species Homo Sapiens.’ Whether a being is a member of a given species is something that can be determined scientifically, by an examination of the nature of the chromosomes in the cells of living organisms. In this sense there is no doubt that from the first moments of its existence an embryo conceived from human sperm and eggs is a human being.” [5]

“Perhaps the most straightforward relation between you and me on the one hand and every human fetus on the other is this: All are living members of the same species, Homo Sapiens. A human fetus after all is simply a human being at a very early stage in his or her development.” [6]

In fact, Alan Guttmacher, former president of Planned Parenthood, in 1933 (a full forty years before Roe v. Wade was passed), wrote:

“This all seems so simple and evident that it is difficult to picture a time when it wasn’t part of the common knowledge.” [7]

The facts of science are clear: human life begins at fertilization.

Objections

There are certain objections which are raised against the life and humanity of the unborn.

1) Human life doesn’t begin at fertilization, it began tens of thousands of years ago.

This is a rather bizarre objection. I’m including it here because I’ve now heard it twice. It’s simply semantic nonsense. A new, unique, genetically distinct human being is created at fertilization (as is attested by the science of embryology). In fact, the quote by O’Rahilly and Muller even attest to the fact that life is a continuous process. However, fertilization is that critical landmark that establishes the creation of a new, gentically distinct human organism.

2) Skin cells/hair follicles/sperm and eggs are human.

A pro-choice advocate who claims that zygotes/embryos/fetuses don’t have a right to life because we would have to give a right to life to cells, sperm, eggs, etc., because they are also human make the elementary mistake of confusing parts with wholes. The embryo from fertilization is a unique entity that directs its own development from within. Left alone, a skin cell will not develop into a mature human, but that’s exactly what a zygote will do. All of the embryo’s parts work together for the good (survival) of the whole organism.

Once the sperm and egg unite, they cease to exist and a brand new human organism exists. It makes no sense to say you were once a sperm or somatic cell. It makes complete sense to say you were once an embryo. The sperm and egg merely contribute genetic material to the creation of a new human organism.

3) Freezing/Twinning/Recombining

A pro-choice advocate I debated with once claimed that you can’t freeze an adult human, but you can freeze an embryo and it will come back to life, so the embryo cannot be human. This is faulty reasoning. First, embryos can only be frozen up to seven days after fertilization, but the embryonic stage lasts up to three months. After that, it is a fetus. But embryo and fetus are just stages of human development, like infant, toddler, adolescent, teenager, adult, and elderly.

Second, even though a very early embryo can survive the freezing process, it doesn’t follow that they are not human. This just means that early embryos can do one more thing that more mature humans can’t (they can also survive without a heart or a brain).

When it comes to twinning, this also doesn’t follow that just because some embryos twin, that there wasn’t one whole human organism before that. As Patrick Lee points out, “if we cut a flatworm in half, we get two flatworms.” [8] However, can you seriously argue that prior to the split, there wasn’t one distinct flatworm? Also, admittedly, we aren’t entirely sure what happens during twinning. Does the original organism die and give rise to two new organisms, or does the original survive and engage in some sort of asexual reproduction? Either way, it does not call into question the fact that there was one distinct organism prior to the splitting.

By the same token, it doesn’t follow that if one twin re-absorbs the other that there wasn’t one living human organism, then two separate organisms, then one living human organism again.

4) Not all products of conception are human and won’t develop into them, and not all human beings may result from conception.

Dr. Bernard Nathanson distinguishes three types of nonhuman entities that result from a union of sperm and egg: the hydatidiform mole (“an entity which is usually just a degenerated placenta and typically has a random number of chromosomes”), the choriocarcinoma (“a conception-cancer resulting from the sperm-egg union is one of gynecology’s most malignant tumors”), and the “blighted ovum” (“a conception with the forty-six chromosomes but which is only a placenta, lacks an embryonic plate, and is always aborted naturally after implantations”). [9]

Here, Dr. Nathanson confuses necessary and sufficient conditions. The sperm-egg union is a necessary condition for conception of a human, not a sufficient one. Not everything that arises from the sperm-egg union is a human conception, but a sperm-egg union is necessary for conception of a human.

Conversely, human clones arise without the benefit of conception. Just as the sperm-egg union is a necessary condition for conception and not a sufficient condition, conception itself is a sufficient condition for a human being to come into existence, not a necessary one. [10]

5) Miscarriages.

People often point to the high number of miscarriages that occur (many of which are flushed out of the woman’s body). However, how does it follow that just because the woman’s body may miscarry, that the unborn isn’t human? How does it follow that because nature spontaneously aborts unborn humans that we may deliberately kill them? People die of natural causes, but that does not justify murder. Natural disasters (e.g. tornadoes and earthquakes) kill many people at once, but this does not justify bombing cities.

Also, it should be noted that 100% of all humans conceived die. Whether you die as an embryo, a fetus, a teenager, or an adult, why would that affect your status as a human being?

Original Blog Source: http://bit.ly/2lzyh8U

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[1] Richard Stith, “Does Making Babies Make Sense? Why So Many People Find it Difficult to See Humanity in a Developing Foetus,” Mercatornet, September 2, 2008.
[2] Scott Klusendorf, The Case for Life, Crossway Books, 2009, p. 35.
[3] Ronan O’Rahilly and Fabiola Muller, Human Embryology and Teratology, 3rd ed., New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001, p.8
[4] Keith L. Moore, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th ed., Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2003, p.2
[5] Peter Singer, Practical Ethics, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), pp.85-86.
[6] David Boonin, A Defense of Abortion, (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2003), p. 20.
[7] Alan Guttmacher, Life in the Making: The Story of Human Procreation, New York: Viking Press, 1933, p. 3.
[8] Patrick Lee, Abortion and Unborn Human Life (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University Press in America, 1996), p. 93.
[9] Bernard Nathanson, Aborting America, (New York: Doubleday, 1979), p. 214, as cited in Francis Beckwith, Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, New York, 2007), p. 74.
[10] Paraphrased from Francis Beckwith, Defending Life: A moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice, pp. 74-75.


 

LGBTQ Contradictions

“People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive,” said Blaise Pascal. Indeed, attraction, not reason, is the engine of the LGBTQ movement. Otherwise it wouldn’t be riddled with contradictions such as:

There are no differences between men and women.

Except when we demand the right to marry people of the same sex because people of the opposite sex are just too different from people of the same sex.

You ought not judge me for what I do.

Except I can judge you for what you do. You’re an ignorant, intolerant bigot for supporting your political goals rather than mine, and for refusing to celebrate my same sex wedding.

People should be tolerant!

Except me when I’m intolerant of you and your position.

Discrimination is wrong!

Except when I discriminate against you. After all, I can refuse to bake a cake that’s against same-sex marriage, but you can’t refuse to bake one that’s for it. I’ll sue!

There is no gay agenda.

PayPal Founder Peter Thiel said this at the Republican National Convention: “When I was a kid, the great debate was about how to defeat the Soviet Union. And we won. Now we are told that the great debate is about who gets to use which bathroom.  This is a distraction from our real problems. Who cares?”

Except when we at PayPal care enough to cancel our business plans in Charlotte because to the company, it’s absolutely a travesty of justice to keep men out of women’s bathrooms and showers. (Apparently, it’s not a travesty of justice to PayPal when Islamic countries literally murder gays and transsexuals. It’s business as usual for PayPal in those countries.)

It’s wrong to accommodate differences between men and women.

We at the NBA pulled our All-Star game out of Charlotte because it’s wrong to acknowledge and accommodate differences between men and women, especially by keeping them in separate restroom and shower facilities.

Except when we at the NBA acknowledge and accommodate the differences between men and women by keeping them in separate leagues, restrooms and shower facilities.

We are “inclusive and diverse.”

We at the NBA made our decision according to “the long-standing core values of our league. These include not only diversity, inclusion, fairness and respect for others but also the willingness to listen and consider opposing points of view.”

Except when it comes to “diversity, inclusion, fairness and respect” for the people of North Carolina who are being excluded because their diverse and opposing point of view is not respected by us at the NBA. You see, “Inclusion and diversity” to us and other liberals actually means exclusion for those who don’t agree with our approved views. (Whoops, there goes “diversity.”) But of course, you can see our point: it’s completely unreasonable for North Carolinians to want to keep biological men out of women’s shower facilities like we at the NBA do. After all, what could possibly go wrong? In order to rectify the situation, we at the NBA should move the game to New Orleans — a city with the exact same laws as Charlotte. That’ll show everyone that we stand on principle!

Why the Contradictions?

Truth is not the principle that the LGBTQ movement and their allies stand on. Truth is what corresponds to reality, and if anything obviously corresponds to reality it is that men and women are different. Humanity would not exist without those differences. They are not mere preferences; they are built into the very biological nature of the sexes.

Unfortunately, LGBTQ apologists are not concerned with the inherent contradictions in their positions. They are not on a truth quest but a happiness quest. Truth is being suppressed, sometimes intentionally and sometimes unintentionally, because it gets in the way of what they find attractive; what they perceive will make them happy. This is understandable. In fact, all of us are apt to suppress the truth on occasion to get what we want. Most of our problems are self-inflicted and exacerbated by our unwillingness to follow the truth where it leads.

Suppressed truth has terrifying implications because power rather than reason is the currency of influence for those unwilling to follow the truth. If you don’t think so, just begin to articulate a rational case against LGBTQ political goals. You won’t get any rationality back, just hysterical cries that you must be forcibly shut up because you are the next Hitler! That’s what we see out of many in the LGBTQ movement — from the bullying by the misnamed Human Rights Campaign on corporate and sports America all the way to the Supreme Court, which has ignored its oath to uphold the true meaning of Constitution.

HRC bullying is bad enough, but the illegitimate use of power by the Court is even worse. Five lawyers adopted legislative power from the bench to impose their own political views on over three hundred million Americans. Along the way they charged opponents of their views with “animus” against homosexuals. Animus? That’s not true. But even if it was, why does the Court think that voter motivation has anything to do with constitutionality? Even the Court succumbs to the tendency to impugn motives and call people names when it’s short on reason. In fact, when your position isn’t true, you can distract attention from your contradictions by yelling louder and bullying all opponents as the LGBTQ movement is doing.

Regardless of your political party, it’s time to stand up to the bullies, with truth. If you don’t, those with increasing power will use it someday to shut you up on something you care about. Then the ultimate contradiction will be complete — your right to free speech, religion and association guaranteed by our Constitution will not be guaranteed for you anymore either.


 

Resources for Greater Impact:

Religious Liberty Under Fire—And What You Can Do About It

Religious liberty is in serious jeopardy. There is a recent bill in California, Senate Bill 1146, which jeopardizes the future of faith-based institutions. In the words of Biola president Barry Corey, “Never has there been proposed law in the history of our nation that would be as restrictive on the religious rights of faith-based colleges and universities. We believe this is just the beginning of an erosion of religious freedom which is not only a constitutional right but also necessary for the flourishing of our democracy.”[i]

This bill should come as no surprise. In their opinion for the 2015 SCOTUS ruling, Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage, the majority judges claimed that expanding marriage to include same-sex couples would “pose no risk of harm to themselves or third parties.” However, the minority judges noted that the new ruling would help portray dissenters as “bigots” and also raise serious concerns for religious liberty. Judges Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas conclude:

Hard questions arise when people of faith exercise religion in ways that may be seen to conflict with the new right to same-sex marriage—when, for example, a religious college provides married student housing only to opposite-sex married couples, or a religious adoption agency declines to place children with same-sex married couples. Indeed, the Solicitor General candidly acknowledged that the tax exemptions of some religious institutions would be in question if they opposed same-sex marriage. See Tr. of Oral Arg. on Question 1, at 36–38. There is little doubt that these and similar questions will soon be before this Court. Unfortunately, people of faith can take no comfort in the treatment they receive from the majority today.[ii]

These words were unmistakably prophetic. If passed into law, SB 1146 would dramatically narrow religious freedom in California. It would open up faith-based institutions to unprecedented lawsuits, prevent them from consistently operating according to their religious convictions, and jeopardize Cal Grant access for California students who wish to use this aid to study at Christian schools.

Barry Corey concludes: “This bill, if it became law, would diminish religious liberty in California higher education. It would unfairly harm faith-based institutions and it would weaken the rich educational diversity of our state. Many religious freedom observers are rightly worried that this bill could set a precedent that threatens faith-based institutions nationwide.”

If you are concerned about the freedom of all Americans, including those who are religious, pleases consider a few steps:

  • Contact your legislators with this easy-to-use guide.
  • Share any helpful articles like this blog, or this article by Barry Corey (from the OC Register).
  • Write a blog yourself, or speak out against SB 1146 in whatever platform you have.
  • Contact any state lawmakers or influencers in Sacramento you might know and educate them about the bill.
  • Pray that faith-based institutions in California, and beyond, can continue to operate in a manner consistent with their beliefs.

Sean McDowell, Ph.D. is a professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University, a best-selling author of over 15 books, an internationally recognized speaker, and a part-time high school teacher. Follow him on Twitter: @sean_mcdowell and his blog: seanmcdowell.org.


[i] Email from Barry Corey to Biola community entitled, “Help Spread Word about Threat to Faith-Based Colleges,” July 18, 2016.

[ii] Obergefell v. Hodges: https://www.oyez.org/cases/2014/14-556.

The Constitution Is My Speech Permit

My former attorneys at the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) recently filed a lawsuit they never should have had to file. In the suit, they are representing a Christian student group at North Carolina State University (NCSU). At issue is an NCSU policy requiring a permit for any kind of student speech or communication anywhere on campus. This policy is a direct affront to the First Amendment, which is the only permit needed to speak on a public university campus.

The policy itself is outrageous. To make matters worse, NCSU only selectively enforces the policy as they did against the plaintiffs, Grace Christian Life, which is a registered student organization. Elevating audacity to a Zen art form, petty university officials told these Christians that they needed a permit to speak with other students in, of all places, the student union.

The controversy began in September of 2015 when NCSU officials demanded members of Grace Christian Life stop approaching other students in the Talley Student Union to engage in religious discussions or even to simply invite them to attend Grace Christian Life events. So the group cooperated and obtained a permit to set up a table in the student union in January.

When Grace Christian Life set up its “approved” table they were told that they could speak with other students either from a) behind the table or b) anywhere in the room. However, when the students left the table on the permitted date, a member of the Student Involvement Office approached them and told them they must stick with option “a” and remain behind the table.

The legally insurmountable problem for NCSU is that the university has not placed the same restriction on any other group. Grace Christian Life members observed and wisely documented other groups freely speaking with other students and handing out literature. These groups have done so either without a permit or outside of the area reserved by their permit. The suit alleges that the groups have done so in full view of the very same officials that stopped Grace Christian Life from engaging in their First Amendment protected activity.

NCSU claims authority to do this under University Regulation 07.25.12, which requires a permit for speech the policy defines as “any distribution of leaflets, brochures, or other written material, or oral speech to a passersby (sic)….” Furthermore, the policy specifies that any person “wishing to conduct any form of solicitation on University premises must have the written permission of Student Involvement in advance.”

The NCSU policy is so broad that it makes no distinction between commercial and non-commercial speech such as the religious speech at issue in the case at hand. To borrow a phrase from the late Justice Scalia, if this policy is narrowly tailored it is by the standards of Omar the Tentmaker rather than Versace.

The NCSU speech permit controversy is just the latest in a seemingly endless string of embarrassing episodes on our nation’s campuses. Each episode is just another pathetic re-run with precisely the same plot:

A university policy says ones thing. The Constitution says another. The university maintains that their handbook trumps the Constitution. The court rules that the Constitution trumps the handbook. In the wake of an embarrassing defeat brought on by willfully uneducable educators the public is left footing the bill for attorney fees and damages.

To make matters worse, this incident never could have taken place at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). After years of trampling the First Amendment, UNC-CH got rid of all of its unconstitutional policies – thus earning a “green light” rating from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). The people at FIRE only give these ratings to schools without any policies that threaten free speech. Sadly, only 22 of our nation’s universities have earned that “green light” distinction.

It is a sad irony that a progressive campus like UNC-CH now shows greater tolerance for Christian speech than a more conservative university like NCSU. For that reason alone, alumni should demand that NCSU administrators stop defending the indefensible and tarnishing the school’s reputation.

After years of reporting on campus free speech cases I have come to realize that most college administrators need to be sent back to high school to take basic civics. Those who still don’t get it need to be schooled in a court of law.

This column was originally published at TownHall.com The Constitution Is My Speech Permit


Dr. Mike Adams is a Professor of Criminology at University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and author of several books including Letters to a Young Progressive:  How to Avoid Wasting Your Life Protesting Things You Don’t Understand.

What are the Top Five Books on the Bible and Homosexuality?

There are a lot of great books on the Bible and homosexuality that deal with subjects including theology, pastoral care, counseling, apologetics, parenting, communication, and evangelism. Since writing my own book with John Stonestreet, I have been reading everything I can get my hands on related to the topic in order to help the church respond both biblically and timely.

In this first post, I am simply going to list my top five popular books on Christianity and homosexuality. In upcoming posts, I am going to give my top academic books, narrative books, and revisionist books.

Same-Sex Attraction and the Church, by Ed Shaw (IVP, 2015). Ed Shaw is a pastor with same-sex attraction who was recently kind enough to answer some questions about his book for my blog. Shaw rightly observes that most people who have left the traditional Christian viewpoint have not done so because they have carefully examined the Scriptures and found the traditional view wanting, but because they no longer find the Christian ethic “plausible.” He counters this narrative with both reason and personal experience.

What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality, by Kevin DeYoung (Crossway, 2015). DeYoung unpacks the key biblical passages on homosexuality and responds to the most current revisionist arguments. And yet he writes with the heart of a pastor. He also counters some of the common assertions such as, “You’re on the wrong side of history.” This is the one book I chose to use with my high school students to train them to think more deeply about the issue.

The Ambassador’s Guide to Understanding Homosexuality, by Alan Shlemon (Stand to Reason, 2013). If you’re looking for one small book that deals fairly and yet convincingly with the biblical, cultural, and scientific issues, then this is the book for you. It is only 58 pages, and yet is carefully documented and forcefully written.

Is God Anti-Gay?, by Sam Allberry (The Good Book Company, 2013). This short book addresses the most common questions often raised about the Bible and same-sex attraction (81 pages). This book is both relational and gospel centered. Pastor Allberry begins the book by revealing his personal journey in discovering his same-sex attraction. As a result, he writes with commitment to the Scriptures but genuine love for gay people and the church.

People to Be Loved, by Preston Sprinkle (Zondervan, 2015). While this book is longer than most in this list, and does go into some considerable depth on particular passages, it is easily grasped and followed by non-specialists. Preston recently answered some questions about his book for my blog. He does a masterful job of articulating how homosexuality is not merely an issue to be debated, but deals with real people both inside and outside the church.

There are many other great books that deserve mention as well, such as Loving My (LGBT) Neighbor by Glenn Stanton, Love Into Light by Peter Hubbard, Compassion without Compromise by Adam Barr and Ron Citlau, and The Gay Gospel? By Joe Dallas.

Sean McDowell, Ph.D. is a professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University, a best-selling author of over 15 books, an internationally recognized speaker, and a part-time high school teacher. Follow him on Twitter: @sean_mcdowell and his blog: seanmcdowell.org.

 

For more articles like What are the Top Five Books on the Bible and Homosexuality? visit Sean’s website at SeanMcDowell.org

 

Six Reasons North Carolina Got It Right

Lies are born the moment someone thinks the truth is dangerous. Apparently, a good number of business and sports executives think the truth about North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” (HB2) is dangerous, that’s why they are lying about it. Well, perhaps I should be a bit more charitable: some may not be overtly lying about it, but they are expressing their disapproval without knowing what the bill actually does.

On Monday Lt. Governor Dan Forest, who helped call the special session to pass HB2, called the executive in charge at one large protesting company and simply asked if him if he or anyone there had a actually read the bill.

He admitted they had not. They just labeled it “discriminatory” without even reading it.

Who needs the truth when you make so much “progress” by ignoring the truth and engaging in the very bigotry and name-calling you claim to oppose?

The truth is they, like other companies who haven’t bothered to read the bill, are simply taking their marching orders from the misnamed “Human Rights Campaign,” who have the audacity to claim that men have a human right to have access to women and girls in public bathrooms, and that any acknowledgement of the biological differences between men and women is somehow discrimination against people who prefer same-sex relationships.

In the name of diversity, I’d like to offer a different view in six points:

1. All good laws discriminate against behaviors not people. No one is being discriminated against with HB2, which discriminates against the behaviorof a man using the women’s restroom. If any law is wrongly discriminatory it is the bad law passed by the Charlotte City council to create this controversy. It actually discriminates against women and children by making public restrooms unsafe for them. (The ACLU has already filed a lawsuit alleging HB2 does not provide “equal protection” to some folks. Ironically, it’s only because of HB2 that women and children get “equal protection” from predators in public bathrooms!)

2. People are equal, but their behaviors are not. Good laws treat all peopleequally, but not all of their behaviors equally. In fact, the very reason laws exist at all is because all behaviors are not equal and must be treated differently for the benefit of individuals and society. HB2 discriminates against no one who identifies as LGBT. The law merely sets a safe public bathroom use (behavior) for everyone, and keeps employment law consistent across the state (more on this below).

3. Your identity is not in your feelings but your biology. I can’t believe there is actually a need to say this, but many on the Left are living in their own invented reality and they are demanding that we live in it too. The reason we’ve always had separate bathrooms is because of biological sexual differences, not because of feelings or “gender identity.” HB2 simply says that people will use public bathrooms that align with their biological sex as found on their birth certificate.

How could this possibly be controversial? Are we to risk the safety of millions of women and children in public restrooms because an extremely small number of people are experiencing a mismatch between their psychology and their biology? Good public policy does not risk the physical safety of women and children because an extreme few have a preference for a different bathroom.

Moreover, HB2 actually accommodates people who have had so-called “sex change” operations. They can use the bathroom of their choice provided they’ve had their birth certificate changed. It also affects only public restrooms. Companies and other private organizations can adopt any policy they want for their workplace. Does the NBA and the NFL allow men in women’s bathrooms? Does Apple? Cisco? Marriott? Lowes? Then why are they insisting the government force everyone to do so? Why do they think North Carolina is wrongly discriminating when they are doing exactly the same thing in their businesses?

And why aren’t these holier-than-thou folks threatening to pull their business from Iran and Saudi Arabia where they are actually murdering homosexuals? Their moral outrage is not only misdirected, it shows that they’re willing to put women and children at risk by kowtowing to a deceptive special interest group, but they’ll sacrifice nothing to save the people they say they care about by confronting real evil abroad.

4. The danger is real from sexual predators in women’s restrooms. If you don’t think so, then watch this video. Just the first six minutes are chilling enough.

5. Race and LGBT are not the same: Race is not a behavior and race has no impact on someone’s behavior. But homosexuality is a behavior and LGBT political goals are all about imposing certain leftist behaviors on others, from forcing people to participate in same sex marriage ceremonies to allowing men in women’s restrooms.

The Human Rights Campaign also wants to use the strong arm of government to force companies to give employment preference to a long list of sexual orientations. This would mean that someone who claimed a homosexual orientation—or someone who exhibited the behavior of cross-dressing at work for example—would have more job security than John or Jane Doe. How so? Because if a company has to downsize, who are they going to let go—one of the helpless Does, or the person who can bring a costly lawsuit alleging “discrimination”?

6. Opposition to harmful behavior is not bigotry. It is wise. Unfortunately, some on the Left and in business falsely equate opposition to a behavior as prejudice toward people who engage in that behavior. That’s the central fallacy in virtually every argument the Human Rights Campaign puts out—if you don’t agree with every aspect of LGBT behavior or their political goals, you are somehow bigoted against people who identify that way. If political opposition is bigotry, then the activists at the Human Rights Campaign are bigots for opposing conservatives. The truth is conservatives have good reasons based in public health and safety for not wanting to advocate same-sex marriage or men in women’s bathrooms. But it’s much easier for the Human Rights Campaign to ignore those arguments and call people names.

The truth is just too dangerous.

 


 

Six Reasons North Carolina Got It Right is also featured at TownHall.com

Scalia Defended Democracy: Liberals Subvert It

“I write separately to call attention to this Court’s threat to American democracy,” wrote Justice Scalia in his dissent from last year’s Supreme Court decision, where five unelected judges imposed same-sex marriage on all 320 million citizens.

“This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.”

Exactly.

“A system of government that makes the People subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy.”

Right again.

In fact, Justice Scalia was nearly always right. And what he called “originalism” is the only judicial philosophy that protects the American ideal that the people have the right to govern themselves.

“Well, there are many legitimate philosophies of judicial review,” you say.

Not if you believe in democracy, or a representative republic. Only originalism, which insists on interpreting the Constitution by its original meaning, protects democratic rule. The people spoke when they originally passed the Constitution. And they can speak again through the amendment process.

But when justices take it upon themselves to amend the Constitution from the bench, then “we the people” no longer govern ourselves. We are, instead, governed by unelected justices who bypass democracy to impose their will on the rest of us.

“Oh, but the Constitution is a ‘living’ document!” say the liberals.

If it is, then we have no Constitution at all. Why have a written Constitution if justices can interpret it anyway they want? Why have red lights if drivers are free at anytime to interpret them as green lights?

Actually, in one sense the Constitution is a living document, but not in the sense liberals advocate. The Constitution is “living” through the amendment process built into the document itself. It is not living through the whims of liberal justices.

“Ah, but the amendment process is too arduous,” you say.

It’s supposed to be arduous because changing the highest law of the land can have serious negative consequences. When the court unilaterally changes the Constitution, it not only subverts democracy, but it often moves important fences without considering why they were placed there in the first place. Their cavalier changing of abortion and marriage laws, for example, is killing or hurting millions of innocent children.

Moreover, the separation of powers created by our Constitution recognizes the fact that power tends to corrupt — another reason why no one branch should be able to unilaterally alter the law.

As Justice Scalia put it, “If you think aficionados of a living Constitution want to bring you flexibility, think again. You think the death penalty is a good idea? Persuade your fellow citizens to adopt it. You want a right to abortion? Persuade your fellow citizens and enact it. That’s flexibility.”

“Oh Frank,” you say, “Scalia was so extreme. Why can’t we take a moderate interpretation of the text?”

Justice Scalia had a brilliant response to that as well: “What is a moderate interpretation of the text? Halfway between what it really means and what you’d like it to mean?”

You want it to mean something else? You can change the meaning, as Justice Scalia observed, by convincing your fellow citizens at the ballot box!

In fact, that’s how it’s been for most of our country’s history. To show you how much our country long-believed what Justice Scalia championed — that the people, not judges, are the legislators — consider the fact that even moral no-brainers, such as the right not be enslaved, and the rights of blacks and women to vote, were enshrined in the Constitution by the amendment process, not by judges legislating from the bench.

A hundred years ago, no judges thought that the Fourteenth Amendment granted women the right to vote. A Constitutional amendment had to be passed to recognize the right. Yet, today five justices think that the Fourteenth Amendment somehow grants a woman the right to marry another woman. (Newsflash: if the equal protection clause didn’t guarantee a woman the right to vote when it was passed, it certainly doesn’t guarantee her right to marry another woman today!)

If you’re for so-called same-sex marriage (really genderless marriage), you might like the result of that decision. But you should be very afraid of the process by which that result was achieved. For if justices can evolve the Constitution according to their own whims, one day they might declare that your rights have “evolved” in a direction you don’t like.

Consider the “right” to abortion invented in 1973. If you’re a liberal, is that “right” subject to “evolution”? What if a judge comes along one day and declares that the U.S. Constitution has “evolved” to guarantee the unborn a right to life. Would you accept that idea of constitutional evolution?

And what’s to stop liberal justices from unilaterally “evolving” the Bill of Rights, so your rights to free speech, religion, association, and to bear arms are diminished? The only way to stop them is to put more Justice Scalias on the court. Indeed, only originalist judges should be confirmed on the Court. After all, you don’t need to worry about losing your freedoms to a judge’s political preferences if he is an originalist because his political preferences have nothing to do with his job! On the other hand, liberals are not committed to the defending the Constitution; they are committed to inserting their own “reasoned judgment” into the Constitution. They don’t trust the people or the democratic process but subvert them through judicial activism.

A liberal Supreme Court is not only a threat to democracy; it’s a threat to stability. If we don’t respect the rule of law, we will slip further into a state of corruption and instability common in so many other countries, where people rule by intimidation and political paybacks rather than adherence to the law as written. To maintain America we must respect the process by which we make, interpret and apply law.

Antonin Scalia consistently did that, even ruling against his own policy preferences when the law demanded he do so. He was a witty, winsome, articulate and unwavering defender of the most American of ideals — that we have the right to govern ourselves.

Please pray for his family. And pray for our freedoms that have become less secure with his passing.

An OUGHT From An IS

By Tim Stratton

Does objective truth apply to morality? This question has major ramifications depending on how you answer it, because it ultimately asks, “DOES GOD EXIST?” We can see this demonstrated through the use of logic in a deductive syllogism known as “The Moral Argument.”[1] Here it is:

1- If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.

2- Objective moral values and duties exist.

3- Therefore, God exists.

To avoid this theistic conclusion, those committed to their atheistic presuppositions desperately seek to find a way to refute at least one of these premises. Many wind up stating that objective moral values and duties do not exist. By making this move, however, they affirm that there is nothing reallywrong with Hitler’s Holocaust, the molestation of young boys in the Penn State locker room by Jerry Sandusky, or the murderous actions of ISIS. Since rejecting premise (2) tacitly affirms the atrocities of these evil men, they feel the pressure to either find another way to ground objective morality, or become theists. Some atheists, such as Sam Harris, have attempted to find a logical way to ground objective morality in the “science of human flourishing,”[2] stating: “Whatever advances the flourishing of humanity is objectively good and whatever hinders human flourishing is objectively bad.”

Harris has failed on several accounts. For instance, even if (and that’s a very big “IF”) moral values could be grounded via this “science of human flourishing,” it would be powerless to explain why the flourishing of humans is objectively good. After all, in the movie, “The Matrix,” Agent Smith referred to the flourishing of humanity as a “virus,” and a “cancer of the planet.”[3] Is Agent Smith objectively wrong, or do we simply have differing subjective opinions? It would be circular reasoning to argue that the flourishing of humanity is objectively good because one assumes it is objectively good when humanity flourishes.

I’ve also heard it said that human flourishing is objectively bad for the earth and all other forms of life. A fellow human actually argued, “If all insects on earth disappeared, within fifty years all life on earth would end. If all human beings disappeared from the earth, within fifty years all (other) forms of life would flourish.”[4] So perhaps it is objectively bad for humans to flourish, at least from the perspective of “all other forms of life.” The question then becomes, why is it good for humanity to flourish, even if human flourishing hinders other forms of life?

Atheism cannot answer why the flourishing of humanity is objectively good. All the atheist can do is simply presuppose and assume it is. On the other hand, if God exists and created humanity on purpose and for the specific purpose to know, love, and enjoy a relationship with God for eternity, then it is objectively true (independent from human opinion) that it is objectively good (and right) for humanity to flourish.

Moreover, atheism is impotent to explain why we are obligated to fulfill or align our lives with any of these moral values that lead to human flourishing. If one were not to carry out any of these moral codes leading to human flourishing, and instead devoted their lives to kidnapping, rape, murder, etc., the worst they could be accused of is merely acting unfashionably, nothing more![5] The last time I checked, no one has made a case that it is objectively wrong to be considered “uncool,” or a “nerd” by the subjective opinion of the majority. Although it seems implausible that objective moral values can exist apart from God, it is logically impossible to ground objective moral duties if atheism is true.

On top of all of this, to make matters worse, this atheistic philosophy is ultimately self-refuting! Harris, as a naturalist (the view that only nature exists), holds to “scientific determinism,” which means he believes our thoughts and actions are causally determined by natural forces like physics, chemistry, and the initial conditions of the big bang. All of these things are outside of human control. Harris makes his view clear:

Free will is an illusion. Our wills are simply not of our own making. Thoughts and intentions emerge from background causes of which we are unaware and over which we exert no conscious control. We do not have the freedom we think we have. Free will is actually more than an illusion (or less), in that it cannot be made conceptually coherent. Either our wills are determined by prior causes and we are not responsible for them, or they are the product of chance and we are not responsible for them.[6]

Therefore, humans could never freely choose any action, including actions with supposed moral properties. Given these objections to the idea of a scientific foundation for an epistemology of objective morality, we must come to the conclusion that science cannot derive an ought from an is, and therefore, cannot tell us anything about how we must conduct our lives in any ethical or moral sense. If naturalistic atheism is true, we have no logical grounds of objective moral values, no logical grounds of objective duty to align our lives with any set of subjective code of ethics, and no ability to do otherwise since all would be determined by outside causal forces. Since ought implies can, and there is no ability to do otherwise in a cause and effect/determined universe (on atheistic naturalism), it follows that it is completely nonsensical for the naturalist to talk about how we ought to think, act, or behave.

Bottom line: If moral values and duties are objective, God must exist!

Stay reasonable my friends (Phil 4:5 ESV),

Tim Stratton

Visit Tim’s Website: Free Thinking Ministries

Click here to see the source site of this article


 

Notes:
[1] The Moral Argument: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/moral

[2] Sam Harris vs. William Lane Craig debate: https://youtu.be/yqaHXKLRKzg

[3] The Matrix, https://youtu.be/L5foZIKuEWQ

[4] This quote was attributed to Jonas Salk; however, I cannot find the source. Be that as it may, some people actually believe it is better for insects to flourish than it is for humans to flourish.

[5] William Lane Craig, http://www.reasonablefaith.org/navigating-sam-harris-the-moral-landscape

[6] Sam Harris, Free Will, (Free Press, New York, 2012), Page 5

Dead Things Don’t Grow

Author’s Note: The debate discussed in this blog post can be seen at the bottom article.

Many who hold the pro-choice position subscribe to a postmodern worldview. They are not arguing that we can kill the unborn because a woman’s right to choose trumps the right to life of the unborn. They are arguing that ambiguity on the question of when life begins supplies adequate justification for abortion on demand. The argument from ambiguity was central to former ACLU president Nadine Strossen’s presentation when I debated her recently on the campus of Oregon State University (OSU).

I was pleased that Nadine’s opening argument relied heavily on the claim that we cannot know when life begins. This played into the strategy I had chosen prior to the onset of the debate. Nadine did two other things I had hoped she would do in her opening statement: 1) Argue that Roe v. Wade was a moderate decision that balanced the competing interests of the individual and the state, and 2) argue that the Roe decision was necessary to stop the deaths of women who were dying as a result of unsafe abortions. In my own opening argument, which followed hers, I tried to establish two things:

1. There is clear consensus in the science of embryology that life begins at conception. Scientifically speaking, the unborn are distinct, living, whole human beings actively involved in the process of developing themselves from within from the very point of conception.

2. There is no difference between the adults we are today and the unborn humans we once were that would justify killing us at an earlier stage of development. In other words, there is no essential difference between a “human” and a “person.” Furthermore, any effort to justify abortion with philosophical distinctions among the living would invite systematic human inequality. At the end of the day, our society must choose between human equality and abortion. We simply cannot have both.

After we presented our opening statements, Nadine had an opportunity to offer a rebuttal. In that rebuttal, she challenged my claim that there was an absolute consensus among embryologists that life begins at conception. She quoted a source saying that the question could not be answered conclusively. This was a good tactic for Nadine to employ. She was obviously prepared. Fortunately, I had fully anticipated her move.

In my rebuttal, which followed hers, I drew on the work of Francis Beckwith. As Beckwith has previously written, Roe v. Wade concedes that the question of the parameters of a woman’s right to abortion is inextricably bound to the question of when life begins. Therefore, if someone is agnostic on the question of when life begins, they are also agnostic on the parameters of a woman’s right to choose. I began my rebuttal by establishing this crucial point.

Rather than conceding that there was a legitimate doubt about when life begins, I decided to reassert the point that the matter was settled. I did this by firing off numerous sources. Among them, I included former Planned Parenthood President Alan Guttmacher and Princeton Philosopher Peter Singer. I wanted to establish the fact that many honest pro-choice advocates conceded the point. In fact, they have done so for decades.

Fortunately, OSU Socratic Club debates are structured in such a way as to allow opponents to have an informal half-hour exchange following the opening statements and rebuttals. During that exchange, Nadine came across as cordial and well informed. She also impressed me as sincerely interested in my views on a number of issues related to the debate topic. She was a worthy and articulate opponent.

One downside to Nadine’s choice of questions was that they sometimes gave the appearance of trying to divert the issue from the question of the status of the unborn. When Nadine interjected the phrase “potential life” into our discussion I tried to seize the moment to refocus the debate. I asked her whether by using the phrase “potential life” she meant to deny that the unborn were humans (in a biological sense) or persons (in a philosophical sense). Her answer was “both.”

Having established that the unborn have separate DNA and that there is cell division and metabolism from the point of conception, I replied with the following: “But, Nadine, dead things don’t grow.” In fact, I said it twice during the exchange.

That statement ended up being the takeaway line from the entire debate. In fact, nearly everyone who saw the debate and spoke to me afterwards quoted that one line. It was effective because Nadine and I were in danger of getting into a war of quoting texts no one has ever read. But “dead things don’t grow” was an unmistakable appeal to common sense that I believe solidified my central thesis and allowed the pro-life position to prevail in the overall exchange.

Therefore, I would like to conclude this column by thanking my friend Jay Watts for supplying me with that line, which I saw in a recent episode of “Life is Best” – a series hosted by my friend Scott Klusendorf. That series may be the best thing Scott has ever done for the pro-life movement – and that is really saying something.

My advice to pro-lifers debaters who wish to compete (and prevail!) in debates on hostile turf is twofold. First, read everything Francis Beckwith writes on the topic of abortion. Second, watch every video, speech, and debate featuring Scott Klusendorf speaking and teaching on the topic of abortion.

The best place to start is right here: http://www.lifeisbest.tv.

 

Don’t judge me. Why Not? Because Jesus said so!

By Timothy Fox

When you study to be an educator, you have to spend a certain number of hours as a student teacher, under the guidance of a veteran teacher. I remember my cooperating teacher telling me one of my strengths was that I took criticism well and was very open to it. I was shocked to hear this! I wanted to tell him he was crazy and that I hate criticism! But I was also well aware that he was the master, and I was the apprentice and that it was his responsibility to help me to be the best teacher I could be. So I needed his criticism. (And I received a lot of it!) Whenever he gave me feedback, positive or negative, it wasn’t intended to stroke my ego or hurt my feelings. It was so I can learn and improve, to keep doing the good and to change the bad.

The same goes for many other things, such as sports. Athletes have coaches that train and guide. But what about normal, everyday life? That’s when we want people to leave us alone. Don’t tell me how to live. Don’t judge me.

That’s the defense mechanism of our generation: “Don’t judge me!” But did you ever ask “Why not?” You may get the response: “Jesus says so” (from a defensive Christian, anyway). And they’re probably referring to Matthew 7:1, which begins: “Do not judge.” But that’s only the first three words of a complete thought:

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭7‬:‭1-6‬ NIV)

Jesus’ point is not not to judge (note the double negative). It’s “Don’t be a hypocrite!” Verse 5 commands us to clean up our own junk, then to help clean up your friends’. He’s stating the obvious, that when you criticize people, they will turn around and criticize you back. So make sure your closet is clean first! And how do you know who the “dogs” and “pigs” are (v. 6)? Wouldn’t you have to judge them?

And then there is John 7:24: “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” Here Jesus is differentiating between proper and improper judgment. But he still commands to judge!

The reason for many of Paul’s letters is to correct some kind of nonsense going on in a church. In 1 Corinthians 5, he writes angrily that the church is not judging sin in their midst (and it’s quite the sin – go read it!). In verse 12, he rhetorically asks “Are you not to judge those inside [the church]?” And in the following verse, he plainly states to remove the “wicked person” from their midst. Here Paul is criticizing the church for not judging when they should have, even to the extent of excommunicating an unrepentant church member.

Maybe we just don’t like the word “judge.” It sounds so, well, judgmental. But there are plenty of similar words used throughout the Bible: discern, correct, rebuke, admonish, reprove, etc. Here are some examples:

  • Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid (Proverbs 12:1).
  • Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts (Colossians 3:16).
  • Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction (2 Timothy 4:2).

It’s clear that one of the reasons why we have a community of believers is so we can help each other grow spiritually. Paul teaches us in Ephesians 4:11-16 that God has provided leaders whose responsibility is “building up the body of Christ” so we can achieve “mature manhood,” no longer thinking and acting like children (or worse – teenagers!). Our ultimate goal is to become like Christ. And this can only happen through instruction and correction by those wiser than we are.

More often than not, the ones who cry “Don’t judge me!” the loudest are the ones who need it the most, whether it’s due to insecurity, pride, or flat-out rebellion. But let us not forget that Jesus was full of truth and grace. We desperately need both in our dealings with our brothers and sisters in Christ, when we give correction as well as when we receive it. It’s never pleasant to hear some hard (but loving) truth, but remember the first half of Proverbs 27:6: “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” Do we like it? Of course not. But we need it. And more than that, the Bible commands it.

 

Click here to see the source site of this article.

 

Make sure to check out this video about it.

Should You Do Your Job or Obey Your Conscience?

Should Christians ever disobey their government? Some say no. But Kim Davis sides with Martin Luther King and thinks civil disobedience is justified. Ms. Davis is the Rowan County Kentucky clerk who spent five days in jail for refusing to put her name on same sex marriage licenses. Claiming to be a new Christian, Ms. Davis is also a long-time Democrat.

In court last week, Judge David Bunning told Davis: “The court cannot condone the willful disobedience of its lawfully issued order.” He said that “if you give people the opportunity to choose which orders they follow, that’s what potentially causes problems.”

Judge Bunning is absolutely right. This is the kind of chaos that results when people do not respect the law. But I’m not referring to Kim Davis—I’m referring to the United States Supreme Court. As I’ve written before, and the multiple dissents state more eloquently, there is no justification in the Constitution for judicially imposing genderless marriage on every state in the union. Five unelected justices simply imposed their own law on 330 million people.

But does that justify civil disobedience? Where do you draw the line?

Certainly, there is a line somewhere. After all, we laud those behind the Underground Railroad who freed slaves and those who protected Jews in Nazi Germany. While bad marriage laws are obviously not as serious, consider a more equivalent scenario: Suppose the Supreme Court decided to drop the age of consent in every state to twelve years old (a position Ruth Bader Ginsberg supported before she became a Supreme Court Justice). Would you think that Kim Davis should be forced to endorse the marriage of a 75 year-old man who brought a twelve year-old girl into her office? I hope you can see that there is a line and it’s not far from Kim Davis.

Liberals believe in civil disobedience—when it suits their causes. Despite chanting, “Do your job!” outside Kim Davis’s office, liberals were rejoicing when San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom ordered clerks to violate California law and issue marriage licenses to same sex couples in 2004. They certainly were not chanting “Do your job” outside of Attorney General Eric Holder’s office when he told the states last year to ignore their own laws that defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman. And liberals were not asking a federal judge to throw President Obama in jail when he refused to do his job by defending the Defense of Marriage Act in Court.

So just ten minutes ago liberals believed that defying marriage laws was heroic! Now their blatant double standard is all too obvious—they laud civil disobedience when it’s used to advance the religion of sex and denounce it when it’s used to protect Christian or natural law beliefs.

But on what authority does one defy the government? One man who wanted a same-sex marriage license asked Kim Davis on “what authority” was she not issuing licenses. She cited God.

Yet, the question needs to be asked of both sides. By what authority did Newsom, Holder, Obama and other liberal politicians defy the law? They certainly weren’t citing God or the Creator cited in our Declaration of Independence who gives us unalienable rights. But without an authority beyond man’s law, there is no authority for their actions nor is there any objective standard to ground unalienable rights. Without God, every right claim is merely a human opinion. At least Kim Davis, agree with her or not, is citing an authority beyond herself.

Civil disobedience has rich precedent in the United States. In fact, our country was founded on it largely to secure religious freedom. Civil disobedience also has precedent in the Bible. When Pharaoh ordered Hebrew midwives to murder all Hebrew boys, they disobeyed and even lied to the authorities (Exodus 1). And Daniel and his friends peacefully defied laws that contracted God’s commands. Likewise, when the Jewish authorities told John and Peter to stop telling people the good news that Jesus paid for your sins and rose from the dead, they disobeyed saying that they would obey God rather than men (Acts 4).

Therefore, the principle for Christians is this: civil disobedience is necessary when a government compels you to sin or prevents you from doing something God commands you to do. You don’t disobey the government merely because it permits others to sin—only when it compels you to do so. Kim Davis thinks that line has been crossed.

It’s actually not hard to avoid crossing the line. Both parties can be accommodated as Judge Bunning finally figured out when he released Davis yesterday. In North Carolina, we passed a law to allow people like Kim Davis to opt out of endorsing relationships that violated their religious or moral beliefs. Since other government employees are more than happy to issue licenses, no one is inconvenienced or forced to violate conscience. We do this for far more serious issues than weddings. For example, even during a time of war when we draft people to defend the country, we allow for conscientious objectors to opt out. If we can allow exemptions for government employees involved in protecting the very existence of our nation, we can certainly allow exemptions for government employees involved in weddings!

Will the Kentucky legislature act when it returns in January to pass such a law? Unfortunately, I doubt the activists who are always demanding tolerance will tolerate such reasonableness. It seems that some people just can’t live and let live. They will not rest until all opposition is crushed and everyone is forced to celebrate what they are doing.

If that’s your position, I have a question for you: Why would you want anyone who disagrees with your wedding to have anything to do with it? Go to another clerk, another florist, another photographer. Why force people to violate their conscience when there are so many other people willing to help you and celebrate with you?  After all, isn’t this supposed to be a time when “love wins?”

Apparently not. For some liberals “love wins” as long as everyone agrees with them. Those that disagree will not like the kind of “love” some liberals dish out. Are the same people who are chanting “love wins” some of the same people who issued death threats to Kim Davis? It’s certainly wasn’t the Christians.

The truth is Kim Davis and other victims of “tolerance” don’t want a holy war. Davis just doesn’t want her signature on the license. She suggested other government officials sign, and Judge Bunning finally agreed. But a law needs to be passed to prevent future problems.

North Carolina has led the way. It remains to be seen if liberals in Kentucky will accept that way. If their recent history is a guide, I’m afraid they will demand that every knee bow and every tongue confess the dogma of their secular religion.

(This column also appears at Townhall.com) and Stream.org 

Why Doesn’t Everyone See Late-Term Abortions as Morally Wrong?

In the interest of trying to provide some moral clarity, I want to examine the type of abortion scenario for which it should be straightforward to morally assess. My thesis in this article is thus narrow in scope but still significant in that some pro-choice advocates take a strong stance that abortion is to never be restricted and is never morally wrong. If it can be shown that this view is mistaken it may awaken folks to more carefully examine other scenarios as well. Here is my simple argument:

  1. If it’s generally wrong to kill a newborn baby, then it’s wrong in many cases to kill a full-term baby.[1]
  2. It’s wrong to kill a newborn baby.

Thus, it’s wrong in many cases to kill a full-term baby in the womb.

I’ll not be arguing for premise 2 as I’m interested here only in convincing those who already believe it’s wrong to kill newborn babies. I’m not trying to assess all possible cases of abortion but am merely wanting to examine whether or not it’s morally permissible to kill a baby that is fully matured but still in the womb. Also, my thesis deals merely with morality – it’s a separate question how this impacts laws.

Consider that many babies are born prematurely and yet have no adverse long-term health impacts. So if one thinks that it’s morally wrong to kill a baby that has been born say a month or so prematurely why think it’s morally permissible to kill an unborn human baby that is has developed for 40 weeks? In this scenario both babies are healthy and were not the product of rape or incest and were born into or would be born into reasonably loving families.[2]

Many arguments by pro-choice advocates fail in this scenario. For example, some claim that the life of the unborn is not worth protecting because it’s smaller or less well developed than humans that have been born. My youngest son Kevin was 10 pounds 6 ounces at birth and my wife’s labor was medically induced. He definitely stood out in the nursery at the hospital – the song “one of these things is not like the others” comes to mind. So when my wife went into the hospital that morning, would it have been wrong to kill Kevin? There are plenty of “preemie” babies that are probably healthy enough now that had a birth weight a small fraction of what Kevin weighed while in the womb. Was it really morally justified to kill my son Kevin just before birth but would be considered murder to kill one of the babies in the neonatal intensive care unit? Was Kevin less of a human person than a baby already born just because he hadn’t traveled a half foot down the birth canal? Is there anything developmentally that happens in the last minutes of pregnancy or during delivery that suddenly endows the baby with self-awareness or cognitive abilities sufficient to go from no protection of life to full protection. It should concern pro-choice advocates that their arguments that the unborn lack attributes worthy of protection seem to apply equally well to toddlers or adults in a coma, etc. In this scenario unborn Kevin was more developmentally advanced and certainly much larger than preemie babies.

What about the mother? Does her right over her body trump the rights of the baby inside of her? Isn’t it the case scientifically that mother and fetus are distinct organisms anyway? A pregnant lady is not four-legged. In this scenario I’ve proposed note that the Mom has already carried the baby to full-term and endured most of the sacrifices that pregnancy entails. She can deliver the baby and deliver it up for adoption and be at least as well off as if she had to recover from surgically aborting a full-term baby. Are there negative impacts to the Mom from delivering the baby sufficient to override the rights of the baby to live? If the mother decides to keep the baby, isn’t it possible that the child becomes a treasure and joy to the mother? Isn’t there a maternal instinct to protect one’s offspring that may have negative impacts emotionally on the mother if she ends the life of her child?[3] Science supports the notion that mothers generally have strong desires to protect their babies – it would be surprising if there were no negative psychological impacts on Mom to end the life of her full-term baby.

My final question to those who advocate abortion without restrictions[4] – do you really think it would have been morally acceptable for your Mom to kill you minutes before you were born? Do you really want to encourage a moral principle that would have so prematurely ended your own existence?

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[1] I say ‘generally’ wrong to avoid controversial scenarios – e.g. the only way to stop a terrorist from detonating a nuke that will kill a million people would somehow necessitate the death of an infant. Likewise I say ‘wrong in many cases’ because I want to examine only whether or not there are ‘some’ cases where abortion is immoral.

[2]This is not a merely hypothetical scenario since 7 states and the District of Colombia allow abortions at any time during pregnancy and without restrictions.

[3] Whether this instinct is put there by God and/or evolution is irrelevant to my argument. Certainly natural selection favors whatever encourages mothers to preserve the lives of their offspring.

[4 One should not infer that I favor abortion just because I’m choosing to examine a specific scenario in this blog.

On the Wrong Side of God, Evolution & Humanity

We’ve been told that people who want to maintain the man-woman definition of marriage are “on the wrong side of history.” Perhaps they are correct. Maybe “history,” which is determined largely by how people behave, will continue to move toward defining marriage as genderless in the 90 percent of governments that still maintain the natural definition. But what’s the take-away? Jump on the bandwagon?

Remember, Moses was on the wrong side of the golden calf. And Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was on the wrong side of Dred Scott — the 1857 Supreme Court decision that declared blacks were “so far inferior that they had no rights.” Being on the wrong side of some popular moral assertion doesn’t mean your position is wrong.

Now that five judges say that same-sex marriage is a new “right,” let’s ask a more foundational question. Where do rights come from? Specifically, where does the right to same-sex marriage come from?

If you say that rights come from governments or constitutions, how can they really be rights? Isn’t a right something you have regardless of what a government says? For example, if same-sex marriage is really a right, then you actually possess that right even if you live under a government that doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage. You may not be able to exercise it, but you have it nonetheless.

Moreover, if there is no overarching moral standard that transcends human governments, then how could we prosecute Nazi soldiers for violating the rights of others? The Nazis were just following their government.

The truth is, rights don’t come from men or governments. Instead, “to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men,” as our Founders wrote in the Declaration of Independence. In fact, that was the entire point of the Declaration — the government of King George was usurping the rights of colonists, so we declared our independence.

Some argue that evolutionary theory provides us with a right to same-sex marriage, but one doesn’t even have to challenge evolutionary theory to see that something is wrong with that argument. If natural selection has a goal of survival and reproduction, then how could same-sex marriage help with that? Such marriages are an agreement to stay in a sterile and medically unhealthy relationship — the exact antithesis of survival. In fact, if everyone lived faithfully in same-sex marriage, the human race would end quite quickly. (I’m not saying that same-sex marriage laws would accomplish this, just that the observation shows a real moral and consequential difference between natural marriage and same-sex marriage).

An even more basic problem with the evolutionary argument is that moral rights don’t result from evolutionary processes. Rights are prescriptive and come from an authoritative person. Evolutionary processes are descriptive and have no authority to tell you what to do. How does a mutating genetic code have the moral authority to tell you how you ought to behave or how you ought to treat others?

The truth is, just as history describes what does happen and not what ought to happen, biology describes what does survive, not what ought to survive. Why should humans survive as opposed to anything else? And which humans? Mother Theresa? Hitler?

Those who want to follow evolutionary theory are led to a dark place. Murder would be OK if it helped you survive, thrive and better reproduce. Rape would be OK because if it helped propagate DNA.  And a society might justify exterminating the weak and undesirables to improve the gene pool and help the desirables survive. In fact, Hitler used evolutionary theory to justify just that. Homosexuals were many of his victims.

So if rights don’t come from governments or evolution, then where do they come from? To truly be rights, they can only come from an authoritative being whose nature is the very standard of perfect Goodness. That’s what we mean by God.

Without God there is no authoritative moral standard beyond humanity, which means that every action or behavior is merely a matter of human opinion. The murder of Jews, gypsies and homosexuals? It’s just your opinion against Hitler’s opinion. Child crucifixions? It’s just your opinion against that of ISIS. Freedom of speech? That’s just your opinion against that of a dictator. Gay bashing is bad? Again, just your opinion.

The same holds true with any supposed right, including the right to same-sex marriage. While you can get five judges to assert it is a right, without God, it is just an opinion (thus the Court’s judgment is aptly named).

But couldn’t God approve of same-sex marriage?

The major religious books state just the opposite. So does the Natural Law derived from God’s nature. Thomas Jefferson called this “Nature’s Law,” from which we get “self-evident truths,” including the truth that people “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” Same-sex marriage is not one of those self-evident truths. In fact, Jefferson and other politically incorrect Founding Founders called homosexual acts “crimes against nature” because such acts go against the natural design of the body and frustrate the goal of perpetuating humanity. This observation is not based on bigotry but on biology. (It’s ironic that our Founding Fathers were more apt to follow science than today’s secular left who ignore science when they insist that biological gender is changeable and sexual behavior is not. The exact opposite is true!)

The issue of slavery does not invalidate Jefferson’s judgment. Jefferson understood that slavery was wrong and admitted so, even if he succumbed to the temptation to keep his slaves throughout his life (it was Darwin who believed in the “favored races”). Simple observation tells us that every race of human is fully human. And nature tells us that mixed-race marriages lead to healthy offspring. Indeed, experience has shown that bigger gene pools are healthier than smaller ones. The natural law that points away from homosexual relationships also points away from racism.

Since real rights can only come from God, if you want to insist same-sex marriage is a right then you must assume that God is for same-sex marriage. But then you must also assume the implausible notion that God wants you to harm your own health and that of the human race by contributing to its extinction. How’s that for love? Don’t be fruitful. Don’t multiply. Don’t survive. Same-sex marriage is not only on the wrong side of God and nature; it’s on the wrong side of humanity.

So if not from governments, evolution or God, where does the “right” to same-sex marriage come from? Our imaginations. Perhaps well intended imaginations, but imaginations nonetheless.

Love Didn’t Win– It Was Redefined

“Love wins” is the hashtag of choice for those in support of the newest Supreme Court decision that passed that legislative body by a 5-4 vote. If you’re not content with that, you’re just an evil bigot who needs to shut up and support this new legislation. Forget the fact that you have very rational reasons for keeping marriage between a man and a woman.  For example, genderless marriage changes the cultural understanding of marriage from the well being of children to merely the romantic desires of adults.  Mothering and fathering certainly isn’t genderless. For kids who all deserve a mom and a dad and need a culture to support that, love hasn’t won.

But you are to pay no attention to the children behind the curtain! If you don’t change your bigoted position (which isn’t really bigoted) many in the “Love wins” crowd will see to it that you are fired, fined, sued, run out of business and forced to violate your conscience and God. Churches too! (Wow, if this is “love,” I’d hate to see what hate looks like!)

Each side on this issue believes the other side is wrong. There is a moral judgment being made whether you are for or against redefining marriage. Morality is always legislated (or judicially imposed). So what is the right morality?

The Supreme Court has told us. Five justices imposed their own morality that elevates homosexuality to a virtue in our society. They say states can’t merely permit homosexual behavior (a neutral position); states must now promote it by granting benefits and, in Justice Kennedy’s words, “dignity” through the most “profound” union of marriage.

Those who don’t agree with this new morality imposed by the court are, in effect, the new sinners motivated by “disrespect” and “animosity” (“animosity” comes from Kennedy’s Lawrence decision—precedent he cited to justify his own animosity toward opponents of genderless marriage). Yes, unfortunately the Court smears all opponents of its new morality with the same judgmental bigotry it says it detests.

This raises a profound question that is central to this decision and every decision we make in politics. What is our standard? By what standard do we judge something right and its opposite wrong? By what standard do five justices elevate homosexuality to a virtue and declare any opposition to that position “animosity“ and “disrespect.”

The standard should have been the Constitution, but the Constitution was ignored in this case. Justice Roberts rightfully wrote in dissent, “The Constitution had nothing to do with it.” (Roberts ignored the clear reading of the law in the Obamacare case, but at least he got it right this time.) While the majority said they consulted the Constitution, Kennedy actually spent most of his opinion citing his own horrendously argued previous opinions that also ignored or distorted the real Constitution.

When you look at the real Constitution (the one the people actually passed, not the “evolving” one invented in the minds of politically motivated judges), it’s easy to see why this court is wrong. When the 14th Amendment was passed in 1868, homosexual behavior was a felony in every state, and women and blacks didn’t even have the right to vote. If the “equal protection” clause of the 14th Amendment didn’t even ensure a woman’s right to vote, it certainly doesn’t ensure a woman’s right to marry another woman!

And by Kennedy’s own admission just two years ago in the Windsor decision, marriage is a state, not a federal issue (unless a law violates the 14th amendment’s prohibition of racial discrimination, something that was not in play in this case). Now suddenly two years later, Kennedy, along with his mini legislature, decides that everyone, including himself, has been interpreting the 14th Amendment incorrectly for 147 years!

Want to give women and blacks the right to vote? Then amend the Constitution (which the people did). Want to make marriage a federal rather than a state issue, and change it into a genderless institution? Then the people need to amend the Constitution.

But the Court decided to ignore all that. Kennedy and his anti-democracy cohorts decided that they were the new standard. Not the Constitution. Not the people. Not God or His natural law, which gives us the “self-evident” truth that homosexual and heterosexual relationships are profoundly different in many ways, most importantly by their capacity to create and nurture children.

The personal opinions of five unelected justices now comprise the new standard that 320 million people must obey.  Ironic, given the fact that in 1992 Justice Kennedy wrote that everyone had “the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” Now Justice Kennedy and his cohorts have abandoned that self-defeating, relativistic psychobabble and imposed on the entire nation a new absolute– their own meaning of marriage. Even if you are for genderless marriage, the fact that five unelected people think that their personal opinions are the standard for the rest of us should scare you.

If five people can ignore the Constitution and redefine the institution that holds together the foundation of civilization— the biological two-parent family—then no law or liberty is safe. That includes free speech and the free exercise of religion. (They are coming after those next.)

“Oh, but we have the Bill of Rights,” you say. “They can’t take those away.”

They already have to a certain extent. Ask the baker or the florist how that whole 1st Amendment free exercise of religion thing is working out for them right now in their bakery and flower shop?

With this group it doesn’t matter what the Constitution actually says. It doesn’t matter what laws you pass or what the words mean. It doesn’t matter that we are supposed to be governed by the rule of law not the whims of men. The whims of five people are now supreme—unless governors decide to evoke the Tenth Amendment and nullify this decision for their states, which they should. Is there a governor who will save this country from an imperial court? Is there an Andrew Jackson in a governor’s mansion anywhere?

The words of John Adams couldn’t be more fitting: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Love hasn’t won—the immoral gods on the Supreme Court just changed its definition.

Sex is the New Religion

Sex is the new religion in America, and it’s a religion of the sword. That’s the real reason this controversy has risen in Indiana. A determined and vocal minority from the religion of sex is bullying and cutting down traditionalists who need a law that would allow them to be left alone. This clash of orthodoxies has opposing values with moralists on both sides demanding their rights.

One side says, “everyone must celebrate my same sex marriage” (a moral position). And the other side says, “God or my conscience prevents me from doing so” (also a moral position). Can anyone see any middle ground here? There is none. So the question is, whose moral “right” will take precedence?

Governors in Indiana, Arkansas and several other states see the need for protecting religious liberty for a very good reason—it is under attack. The scales have tipped decidedly against the free exercise of traditional religion—against the right of Christians, Muslims, Jews and anyone else who can’t celebrate the orthodoxy of the new religion.

Forget tolerance. This is well beyond tolerance. Now, if you don’t agree to celebrate same sex marriage, believers in the religion of sex will commence an inquisition and, without a trial, punish you for heresy. That’s why this legislation is necessary. Florists, bakers, photographers, real estate agents, Internet CEOs, and speakers like myself have all discovered personally that the people who say they are fighting for “tolerance” are often the most intolerant. In the name of “inclusion and diversity,” those of us who have a diverse view are being excluded, and even fired and fined because we won’t violate our beliefs to satisfy the overbearing clergy of the religion of sex.

A few years ago Cisco and Bank of America fired me as a training consultant because I had conservative beliefs about sex and marriage even though my beliefs were never expressed on the job. When a homosexual manager at Cisco found out on the Internet that I had authored a book giving evidence that maintaining the natural definition of marriage would be best for society, he couldn’t tolerate me and demanded that I be fired. An HR executive canned me within hours without ever speaking to me. This happened despite the fact that the leadership and teambuilding programs I led always received high marks (even from the homosexual manager!).

While I’m probably in the minority, I believe that people have the right to choose with whom they do business. In other words, I support Cisco’s right to fire me. My problem, as I explained here, is that they falsely claimed to be “inclusive and diverse” when they are anything but that. Their orthodoxy is just as closed and narrow as the most rabid fundamentalist church.

My friends David and Jason Benham agree with freedom of association and the rights of businesses as well. When members of the religion of sex learned that the evangelical Benham brothers were violating orthodoxy by being pro-life and pro-natural marriage, an inquisition began to get the Benhams fired from their TV show. Executives from HGTV ultimately caved to the demands of the dogmatic priests and cancelled the show, which was already in production. When Jason Benham told a TV reporter that HGTV had the right to fire them, the reporter’s jaw dropped. The Benhams are actually tolerant! So are most Christians (although there are some bad apples in every group).

Somehow people are getting the wrong impression about these state laws that seek to protect religious liberty. (Not that the media would ever misrepresent an issue related to homosexuality—we all know how fair and balanced they are.) This one graphic shows how these laws work. You’ll notice that they do not allow businesses to deny anyone service at a retail establishment. No one is doing that now, and you wouldn’t be in business very long if you did. The free market would see to it. Moreover, those who actually follow Jesus want to be with and serve unbelievers as Jesus did. We just can’t advocate events or ideas that go against Christ’s teaching on marriage (Mt. 19:4-6).

The truth is these laws are not swords but shields. They are intended to shield those in the traditional religions from those in the religion of sex who would like to use the sword of government to force the traditionalists to participate in ceremonies that go against their religion or conscience. In other words, the laws are designed to prevent discrimination against the traditionalists, not enable them to discriminate against those in the religion of sex.

America has a long history of successfully balancing a variety of religious and moral beliefs with other important interests. For example, even when military service was involuntary, we still made room for conscientious objectors who did not want to carry weapons. If we can allow people to exempt themselves from defending the country—which is the most important responsibility our government has—we can certainly allow people to exempt themselves from performing same-sex wedding ceremonies!

What compelling government interest is there to force someone to support a same-sex wedding? It’s not like there is a shortage of people willing to do them. If a 70 year-old grandmother who is a florist can’t arrange flowers at your same-sex wedding, why not just go to someone else who would be happy to do it? (Is it really that hard to find a gay florist?) Why don’t we ever hear about traditionalists suing gay business owners for refusing to print up anti-gay marriage fliers? Why is “tolerance” only a one-way street to the religion of sex?

Should a Muslim caterer be forced to do a same sex wedding? Should a Muslim T-shirt maker be forced to print gay pride T-shirts or those that satirize Mohammad? (The religion of sex would prefer we don’t use Muslims in our questions; stick to Christians please.)

There is no compelling government interest to force a business to do a wedding or print up anything against their beliefs. That’s why the religion of sex is distorting the facts and throwing a temper tantrum to get government to force people to violate their conscience. (Their approach reminds me of what bad preachers write in the margin of their sermon notes: “Logic weak here—pound pulpit!”) Apparently, the religion of sex just can’t tolerate the fact that some people won’t accept their false doctrines by faith.

I wish there was a compromise position here but there isn’t. We have two opposing values in direct conflict. The religion of sex values the sword of government compulsion over the freedom of religion and conscience. Do you?

The 14th Amendment Can’t Possibly Require Same-Sex Marriage

The Supreme Court is about to decide if the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution requires the states to redefine marriage to include same sex relationships. There are several reasons why the answer is no.

The most decisive of these reasons is the fact that when the 14th Amendment was passed in 1868, homosexual behavior was a felony in every state in the union. So if the 14th Amendment was intended to require same-sex marriage, then every state in the union intended to throw the new couple into prison as soon as the marriage was consummated!

Some may say, “Who cares what they believed in 1868 about homosexuality? We’ve evolved since then.”

That’s addressed by the second reason: laws and words have specific scopes and meanings. They don’t have unlimited flexibility as liberal justices tend to think. Neither the intent nor the text of the Constitution requires the states to redefine marriage. If the people of the United States have “evolved” on the issue, then the Constitution provides them with a very clear and fair way for the document to intelligently “evolve”—they need to convince a supermajority of federal and state legislatures to amend the Constitution. That’s the very reason our Constitution has an amendment process!

If we fail to use the amendment process and permit judges to substitute their own definitions and judgments for what the people actually meant when they passed the law in the first place, then we no longer govern ourselves. Why vote or use the political process if unelected justices strike down our laws and impose their own as they go? In fact, why have a Constitution at all? If it’s “evolving” or “living,” then it’s not really a collective agreement of the people—it’s a pretext that allows judges to invent rights and impose any moral (or immoral) position they want against the will of the people.

Imagine if the people were to pass an amendment guaranteeing a right to same-sex marriage. Would you consider the Supreme Court to be legitimate if it imposed its own position and overturned the amendment? No, the people decide what the laws are, not the Court.

Third, the 14th Amendment was intended to prevent states from discriminating against newly freed slaves.  At that time blacks and women didn’t even have the right to vote, yet no court ever thought it could use the “equal protection” clause to change state voting laws. So why do some district courts think they can use it now to change state marriage laws?  Are we to believe that “equal protection” does not guarantee a woman’s right to vote but does guarantee a woman’s right to marry another woman? 

Since the people “evolved” on voting rights, they convinced supermajorities in Congress and of the state legislatures voted to add the 15th and 19th Amendments in 1870 and 1920 respectively. The courts knew they shouldn’t act as legislatures to grant rights not addressed by the Constitution. Neither should this Supreme Court.

Fourth, despite all the talk about equal rights, everyone already has equal marriage rights. Every person has the same equal right to marry someone of the opposite sex. That law treats all people equally, but not every behavior they may desire equally. If people with homosexual desires do not have equal rights, then people with desires to marry their relatives or more than one person don’t have equal rights. The “born that way” justification doesn’t work either because that same justification could make any desired arrangement “marriage,” which means the logic behind it is absurd. The Court needs to acknowledge the fact that natural marriage, same sex-marriage, incestuous marriage, and polygamous marriage are all different behaviors with different outcomes, so the law rightfully treats those behaviors differently while giving every citizen the equal right to participate in marriage whatever its legal definition is.

Finally, the states make marriage law, not the feds. The U.S. Constitution says nothing about marriage. While the Supreme Court did overturn Virginia’s ban on inter-racial marriage, it did so because Virginia discriminated on the basis of race, which is precisely what the 14th Amendment was intended to prevent. There is no rational reason to discriminate on the basis of race because race is irrelevant to marriage. However, gender is essential to it. Even the 2013 Windsor decision, which partially struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, recognized that marriage is a state, not a federal issue. Since there is no 14th Amendment issue here, the Court must leave marriage to the states.

Legal reasons such as these are all the Court is constitutionally permitted to consider. Polls and policy considerations are for the people or their legislatures, not the courts. Ryan T. Anderson writes in his recent column titled Memo to Supreme Court: Nothing in the Constitution Requires States to Redefine Marriage: “The overarching question before the Supreme Court is not whether an exclusively male–female marriage policy is the best, but only whether it is allowed by the U.S. Constitution. The question is not whether government-recognized same-sex marriage is good or bad policy, but only whether it is required by the U.S. Constitution.”

Does the U.S. Constitution require same-sex marriage? No, the U.S. Constitution requires the Court to leave this issue to the states. If you believe otherwise, then amend the Constitution.

Atheists Steal Rights From God

Atheist Richard Dawkins has declared, “The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is at the bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good. Nothing but blind pitiless indifference. . . . DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is, and we dance to its music.”

But Dawkins doesn’t act like he actually believes that. He recently affirmed a woman has the right to choose an abortion and asserted that it would be “immoral” to give birth to a baby with Down syndrome. According to Dawkins, the “right to choose” is a good thing and giving birth to Down syndrome children is a bad thing.

Well, which is it? Is there really good and evil, or are we just moist robots dancing to the music of our DNA?

Atheists like Dawkins are often ardent supporters of rights to abortion, same-sex marriage, taxpayer-provided healthcare, welfare, contraceptives, and several other entitlements. But who says those are rights? By what objective standard are abortion, same-sex marriage, same-sex adoption, taxpayer-provided healthcare, and the like, moral rights? There isn’t such a standard in the materialistic universe of atheism. So atheists must steal the grounds for objective moral rights from God while arguing that God doesn’t exist.

Now, I am not saying that you have to believe in God to be a good person or that atheists are immoral people. Some atheists live more moral lives than many Christians. I am also not saying that atheists don’t know morality. Everyone knows basic right and wrong whether they believe in God or not. In fact, that’s exactly what the Bible teaches (see Romans 2:14-15).

What I am saying is that atheists can’t justify morality. Atheists routinely confuse knowing what’s right with justifying what’s right.They say it’s right to love. I agree, but why is it right to love. Why are we obligated to do so? The issue isn’t how we know what’s Right, but why an authoritative standard of Rightness exists in the first place.

You may come to know about objective morality in many different ways: from parents, teachers, society, your conscience, etc. And you can know it while denying God exists. But that’s like saying you can know what a book says while denying there’s an author. Of course you can do that, but there would be no book to know unless there was an author! In other words, atheists can know objective morality while denying God exists, but there would be no objective morality unless God exists.

If material nature is all that exists, which is what most atheist’s claim, then there is no such thing as an immaterial moral law.  Therefore, atheists must smuggle a moral standard into their materialistic system to get it to work, whether it’s “human flourishing,” the Golden Rule, doing what’s “best” for the most, etc. Such standards don’t exist in a materialistic universe where creatures just “dance” to the music of their DNA.

Atheists are caught in a dilemma. If God doesn’t exist, then everything is a matter of human opinion and objective moral rights don’t exist, including all those that atheists support. If God does exist, then objective moral rights exist. But those rights clearly don’t include cutting up babies in the womb, same-sex marriage, and their other invented absolutes contrary to every major religion and natural law.

Now, an atheist might say, “In our country, we have a constitution that the majority approved. We have no need to appeal to God.” True, you don’t have to appeal to God to write laws, but you do have to appeal to God if you want to ground them in anything other than human opinion. Otherwise, your “rights” are mere preferences that can be voted out of existence at the ballot box or at the whim of an activist judge or dictator. That’s why our Declaration of Independence grounds our rights in the Creator. It recognizes the fact that even if someone changes the constitution you still have certain rights because they come from God, not man-made law.

However, my point isn’t about how we should put objective God-given rights into human law. My point is, without God there are no objective human rights. There is no right to abortion or same-sex marriage. Of course, without God there is no right to life or natural marriage either!

In other words, no matter what side of the political aisle you’re on — no matter how passionate you believe in certain causes or rights — without God they aren’t really rights at all. Human rights amount to no more than your subjective preferences. So atheists can believe in and fight for rights to abortion, same-sex marriage, and taxpayer-provided entitlements, but they can’t justify them as truly being rights.

In fact, to be a consistent atheist — and this is going to sound outrageous, but it’s true — you can’t believe that anyone has ever actually changed the world for the better. Objectively good political or moral reform is impossibleif atheism is true. Which means you have to believe that everything Wilberforce, Lincoln, and Martin Luther King did to abolish slavery and racism wasn’t really good; it was just different. It means you have to believe that rescuing Jews from the ovens was not objectively better than murdering them. It means you have to believe that gay marriage is no better than gay bashing. (Since we’re all just “dancing to our DNA,” the gay basher was just born with the anti-gay gene. You can’t blame him!) It means you have to believe that loving people is no better than raping them.

You may be thinking, “That’s outrageous! Racism, murder, assault, and rape are objectively wrong, and people do have a right not to be harmed!” I agree. But that’s true only if God exists. In an atheistic universe there is nothing objectively wrong with anything at any time. There are no limits. Anything goes. Which means to be a consistent atheist you have to believe in the outrageous.

If you are mad at me for these comments, then you agree with me in a very important sense. If you don’t like the behaviors and ideas I am advocating here, you are admitting that all behaviors and ideas are not equal — that some are closer to the real objective moral truth than others. But what is the source of that objective truth? It can’t be changeable, fallible human beings like you or me. It can only be God whose unchangeable nature is the ground of all moral value. That’s why atheists are unwittingly stealing from God whenever they claim a right to anything.

But how do we know that’s the Christian God?  Doesn’t he do evil in the Old Testament? And what about the “separation of church and state”? Those are some of the many questions I address in my new book, Stealing from God: Why atheists need God to make their case, from which this column was adapted.

Christian Voter Guide: Why Christians Should Vote!

When I hear Christians saying we ought not get involved in politics but just “preach the Gospel,” I show them this satellite picture of the Korean peninsula. South Korea is full of freedom, food and productivity—it’s one of the most Christianized countries in the world. North Korea is a concentration camp.   They have no freedom, no food, and very little Christianity.

What’s the primary reason for the stark difference between these two countries? Politics. The South politically allows freedom, while the North does not.

Ironically, Christians who shun politics to supposedly advance the Gospel are actually allowing others to stop the Gospel. How so? Because politics and law affects one’s ability to preach the Gospel!If you think otherwise, visit some of the countries I have visited—Iran, Saudi Arabia and China. You cannot legally “preach the Gospel” in those countries—or practice other aspects of your religion freely—because politically they’ve ruled it out as they have in North Korea (it seems the mayor of Houston was about to start down that road recently).

Watch the first two minutes of this video for more:

With that in mind, I strongly encourage you get out to vote THIS Tuesday, November 4th, and support the candidates who best represent natural law values consistent with the Bible. “For to whom much is given, much shall be required” (Luke 12:48). Voting is more than our opportunity to make a difference. It is a responsibility in being good stewards and protecting our freedom to spread the Gospel.  In fact, I think every citizen should get informed and vote.

Go to http://www.christianvoterguide.com/ for a guide to see where the candidates stand on the most important issues.

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.” (Matt. 5:14-15)

Same Sex Marriage Decisions: The Constitution Protects Gays But Not Blacks or Women

Your vote counted. No it didn’t.

Last week, one unelected judge overturned the will of 1,317,178 North Carolinians when he declared North Carolina’s definition of marriage in violation of the United States constitution.  Judge Max Cogburn, appointed by President Obama, said that the definition 61 percent of voters approved just two years ago violated the “equal protection” clause of the 14th Amendment—the same rationale used by judges elsewhere to violate the expressed will of the people.  This is beyond absurd.

It’s absurd rationally because everyone already has equal marriage rights. Every person has the same equal right to marry someone of the opposite sex. That law treats all people equally, but not every behavior they may desire equally. To say that people with homosexual desires do not have equal rights would be like saying people with desires to marry their relatives or more than one person don’t have equal rights. Same sex marriage, incestuous marriage, polygamous marriage, and natural marriage are all different behaviors with different outcomes, so the law rightfully treats them differently.  Natural marriage perpetuates and stabilizes society, which is why the government promotes it in the first place.  The state is not in the marriage business because two people “love” one another. (Click here to see why the comparison to inter-racial marriage is invalid.)

These rulings are also absurd constitutionally.  The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was passed in 1868 to prevent states from discriminating against newly freed slaves.  At that time blacks and women didn’t even have the right to vote, yet no one ever thought a court could use the “equal protection” clause to change state voting laws. So why do courts think they can use it now to change state marriage laws?  Are we to believe that “equal protection” does not guarantee a woman’s right to vote but does guarantee a woman’s right to marry another woman?  What planet are these judges ruling from?

Why do you think the Federal and State governments went through the arduous constitutional amendment process to give blacks and women the right to vote? Courts knew they couldn’t act as legislatures to fix the problem. Congress and State legislatures had to vote to add the 15th and 19th Amendments in 1870 and 1920 respectively.

There was no rational case to preclude people from voting because of their race or sex. But there certainly is a rational case to preclude changing marriage. It’s the one institution best capable of creating and then raising children by encouraging their mothers and fathers to stay together. It’s the basis of a civilized society. We can’t build and maintain a civilization through homosexuality or by equating it to what moms and dads do. You may claim that’s bigotry, but it’s really just biology. (Sorry, I didn’t set up the facts of nature. I have noticed, however, that conservatives attempt to change their behavior to fit reality, while liberals attempt to change reality to fit their behavior.)

Anyone who wants to change laws should convince their fellow citizens to do so at the ballot box, not through unelected judges.  Unfortunately, activist judges won’t honor the ballot box. 41,020,568 people across more than half the states have voted to recognize marriage for what nature’s design says it is—the union of one man and one women.  Yet just 23 unelected judges have overturned those 41 million people across about 20 states!  I don’t care where you stand on the marriage issue: when 23 people use their personal policy preferences to overrule those of 41 million Americans, we are no longer free or equal.

Of the approximately 30 states that now have same-sex marriage (it changes every day), only one state has done it through popular vote (Maine). The people of Maryland and Washington narrowly voted not to overrule the same-sex marriage provisions their legislatures had approved.  Eight laws were changed by state legislatures without popular input. Activist judges overruled the people in the remaining states.

As unwise as I think changing the institution of marriage is, I can at least respect the process when it is done democratically.  For all their talk about equality, the other side does not respect democracy unless the vote comes out their way.

What do you think would happen if some federal judge wrenched a passage of the Federal Constitution out of context and summarily struck down Maine’s law democratically decided law approving same-sex marriage?  Do you think the people preaching “tolerance”—including their cheerleaders in the media—would tolerate such judicial abuse?  The airwaves would be blasting howls of unfairness and calls for judicial impeachment.  Yet when the same thing is done to strike down marriage laws based in biological reality—laws passed by millions of voters—liberals celebrate that those voters have been disenfranchised.  Saying that one judge’s vote counts more than the votes of millions of Americans is an unequal way to advance “equality.”

“Oh, but the Constitution evolves,” some say.  “We don’t have to look at what was intended in 1868.”

If that’s the case, then why have a constitution at all?  If judges can make the law say anything they want, then how can we govern ourselves?  We can’t.  It also means that none of our rights are secure (including new-found “rights” to same-sex marriage).  What’s to stop some rogue judge from taking away your freedom of speech or religion because the constitution has “evolved” in just the way his liberal mind desires?

Oops, that’s already happened, as many bakers, florists, photographers, and conscientious people in other businesses have discovered.  If you don’t agree to celebrate same-sex marriages, you will be sued, fined, fired, and perhaps even jailed.  All in the name of “tolerance, inclusion and diversity.”

And parents, don’t think you have the right to educate your children with certain moral values in public schools. Same-sex marriage ends your parental rights there as well.

What?  You voted and your values won?  Sorry, your votes don’t count.  Some people get more “equal protection” than you do.  A judge said so.

The truth is, nowhere does the Constitution say that the courts are the final word on what laws mean or what laws are valid.  We have three co-equal branches of government. We also have a federal government that is constitutionally subordinate to state governments on most issues, including this issue of same-sex marriage (that’s one thing the Supreme Court got right in last year’s DOMA decision).

America needs a state governor who still believes in America—a governor willing to take a page from President Andrew Jackson who once rebuffed a Supreme Court decision against the state of Georgia by telling Chief Justice Marshall, “John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it.” He called the decision “stillborn.”

America needs an Andrew Jackson governor—as statesman who peacefully but firmly tells the court, “Your decision violates the Constitution and the rights of my citizens to govern themselves.  It will not be enforced in this state.  If you want to change our laws, then respect our people and our Constitution by convincing us to change our minds in the voting booth.”

While that may create a constitutional crisis, our Constitution is already in crisis! What can be lost that hasn’t ready been lost?  We will not regain our right to self-government or maintain ordered liberty if we continue to cede all power to the judicial branch or to the federal government.

Are there any statesmen left in America?

Mom Charged with Assault on Her UNBORN Baby: Will Pro-Choice Advocates be Outraged?

In Tennessee last week, a 26-year-old was charged for assaulting her unborn child. See the full story here:

Under the state’s new law if a baby is harmed or found addicted to drugs due to the mother’s drug use during pregnancy, the mother can be charged for assault on the fetus. In this case the mother used methamphetamines 3-4 days before giving birth.

One sees an obvious curiosity—if it’s true what pro-choicers contend for, that a fetus’ right to life isn’t protected until it is born, then why should this 26-year-old meth user be charged for assault?

This case is a perfect example of using what can be called, “The Common Sense Test.” It’s common sense that pregnant women shouldn’t willfully subject a fetus to harm. In fact 35 states recognize a fetus as a homicide victim, but oddly they don’t apply the same logic to abortions. That means if a pregnant woman and her doctor are both in their cars on the way to his abortion clinic and the doctor runs a red light, T-bones the car belonging to the pregnant woman killing the fetus… the doctor can be charged for fetal homicide. If he kills the fetus in his clinic…the doctor can not be charged for homicide because the law says that he hasn’t done anything wrong. This violates the common sense test.

Mallory-loyola

If Pro-choice advocates are going to stay consistent in their beliefs they should be outraged by the charge of the Tennessee woman. The problem is now, are they going to support pregnant women who want to do drugs? There is no way out of this dilemma for pro-choicers without violating common sense and the moral code that is within every human being.

If it is wrong and illegal to subject a fetus to drugs, or to kill a fetus in a car accident, then it is absolutely wrong to willfully kill a fetus on an operating table.

 

Do Ideas Have Consequences? Indeed They Do!

In 1948 an English professor at the University of Chicago penned a book whose main idea resonates well into the modern world and into today’s news headlines. The professor was Richard Weaver and his book was Ideas Have Consequences.

The main thesis of Weaver’s book is that philosophy undergirds all of society. What we believe about reality matters. What we say or think is real matters. Language, and how we use it is important.

In 1948 many intellectuals in Europe and America were left dumbfounded as to how such atrocities could have been committed by Germany in WWII. In the 1930’s, Germany was one of THE most literate nations in the world, so it wasn’t that Germans were ill informed or unintelligent. After all, Germany had produced such brilliant musical luminaries as Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and hugely influential philosophers like Hegel, Kant, etc…

The problem, as Weaver saw it, wasn’t literacy or education per se, it was the KIND of philosophy that was informing the German view of reality.

Weaver believed that the root problem was the philosophy of nominalism. What is nominalism?

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