IS ISLAM – A RELIGION OF PEACE, ETC.?

(Preface: What do the atrocities of Islamic terrorism, slavery, genocide and abortion have in common? They all define the “other” as less than being human. This mind set justifies the promotion and perpetuation of these evils.)

As we know the overwhelming number of Muslims are not terrorists, (thank God), but virtually all terrorists are Muslims. Why is that? Based on the tenets of their Holy Book many Muslims take a world view which divides the world between the world of Islam (the true believers) and the world of the infidels, or the non-believers.

Based on this perspective, the Islamic terrorists justify themselves into thinking that since the infidels are in effect something less than being fully human, it becomes a moral imperative and responsibility for them to enslave or kill the infidels unless they convert to the world of Islam.

This way of thinking, in that the “other” is a lower form of humanity is not something new in history. In the Book of Genesis chapter 9, there is an account of Noah cursing one of his three sons, named Ham (Canaan) and proclaiming that he will be a servant of his two brothers. This Biblical account by some is called “the curse of Ham” and this Biblical interpretation was used to justify the slave industry. The slave traders and owners rationalized that since the descendants of Ham are black and cursed they are not really fully human and therefore, they can be enslaved.

In our history this line of thinking was used by the Supreme Court when they issued their ruling in the 1857 Dred Scott decision which addressed the question: “can a negro whose ancestors were imported into this country and sold as slaves become a member of the political community formed and brought into existence by the Constitution of the United States, and as such become entitled to all the rights, and privileges”, . . . “specified in the Constitution?”

Another quote from the court decision reads, “They (slaves) had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect, and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit. He was bought and sold, and treated as an ordinary article of merchandise and traffic whenever a profit could be made by it. This opinion was at that time fixed and universal in the civilized portion of the white race.” Such was the language used by the Supreme Court in 1857.

In effect the court decided that the U.S. Constitution defined blacks as a “subordinate and inferior class of being.” (This Dred Scott decision may have been one of the contributing and significant causes of the Civil War.)

Adolf Hitler was instrumental in establishing The Nuremberg Race Laws of 1935 which deprived German Jews of their rights of citizenship and in effect giving them the status of “subjects” in Hitler’s Reich. After the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, a dozen supplemental Nazi decrees were issued that eventually outlawed the Jews completely, depriving them of their rights as human beings. These laws eventually led to the Holocaust which resulted in the physical annihilation of millions of human beings.

The Supreme Court case of Roe vs. Wade made a right of abortion legal for nine months of pregnancy. This outcome is based in case law which was decided on January 22, 1973, as a result of a class action challenge against the constitutionality of a Texas law which restricted the use of abortion.

Quoting an excerpt from the majority opinion written by Justice Blackmun, we read, “Texas (law) urges that, apart from the Fourteenth Amendment, life begins at conception and is present throughout pregnancy, and that, therefore, the State has a compelling interest in protecting that life from and after conception. We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.” (Note that the Justice believes there is a problem with knowing when human life begins, while the Texas law contends that life begins at conception.) The Justice then rules that the Texas law, Art 1195, is unconstitutional and concludes “that the Texas abortion statutes, as a unit, must fall.” (See the case law site: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/410/113.html
Perhaps there may have been some difficulty or question in 1973 of determining when human life begins and as a result the unborn may have been considered something less than human.

However there is a scientific study of when life begins. Maureen Condic, Ph. D. created a scientific white paper which concludes,” that human life begins at sperm-egg fusion is uncontested, objective, based on the universally accepted scientific method of distinguishing different cell types from each other and on ample scientific evidence (thousands of independent, peer-reviewed publications). Moreover, it is entirely independent of any specific ethical, moral, political, or religious view of human life or of human embryos. Indeed, this definition does not directly address the central ethical question surrounding the embryo: What value ought society place on human life at the earliest stages of development? A neutral examination of the evidence merely establishes the onset of a new human life at a scientifically well-defined “moment of conception,” a conclusion that unequivocally indicates that human embryos from the one-cell stage forward are indeed living individuals of the human species; i.e., human beings.” (See: https://lozierinstitute.org/a-scientific-view-of-when-life-begins/) Dr. Condic is Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Utah School of Medicine. She is also Director of Human Embryology instruction for the Medical School and of Human Neuroanatomy for the Dental School.

It then becomes obvious that the atrocities of Islamic terrorism, slavery, genocide and abortion all define the “other” as less than being human and as a result this mind set justifies the promotion and perpetuation of these evils.

We must underscore the dignity of all human life, born and unborn and develop an abiding respect for all of humanity if our planet is to survive.

WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY

“We have met the enemy and he is us,” a famous quote from Walt Kelly’s comic strip, Pogo.  It seems the pro-life movement has been betrayed by so-called Judeo- Christian sects who rather than uphold the rights of the unborn promote the abortion agenda.

For example on September 13, 2016, the headline of an article written by Micaiah Bilger reads as follows:

“Baptist, Methodist, Episcopalian and Presbyterian Clergy Participate in Rally for Abortion”

While many Judeo-Christian leaders should speak out against abortion, there are a number who actually advocate for abortion.  This group of pro-abortion clergy held a rally at the State Capitol in Kentucky in conjunction with other similar rallies nation-wide.   This article goes on to say that “two pro-abortion Reverends, Dr. Alethea Smith-Withers and Harry Knox wrote a column for the Washington Post arguing that people of faith should not oppose abortion.”

Another article, written by the same Micaiah Bilger on September 13 used the following headline:

“Catholics for Choice Launches Ad Campaign Saying Women Abort Their Babies in Good Faith”

This group, Catholics for Choice, is attempting to have voters support pro-abortion candidates in the upcoming election.  They employ the ruse of claiming abortion is a Catholic social justice issue.  They have placed a number of strategic ads in the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers with the large heading of ‘Abortion in Good Faith’ and by stating, “Public funding for abortion is a Catholic social justice value.” This contradicts the teachings of the Catholic Church, but by using this subterfuge the Catholic laity may become fooled into accepting their agenda.

Most recently however, Catholic bishops in NJ have condemned the Catholic for Choice movement publicly and have placed newspaper ads of their own to counter the Catholics for Choice strategy.  The Church has always held that abortion is one of the gravest moral offenses because it involves the direct killing of an innocent human being.

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Catholic bishops responded to the misleading ads with the following statement: “It is not clear why Catholics for Choice chose a handful of individuals identifying themselves as Catholics as ambassadors for the false premise that refusal to pay for someone’s abortion is an assault on anyone’s God-given dignity. The only assault on dignity in this discussion is the abortion, which ends one life irrevocably and diminishes countless other lives.”

All this is well and good for the pro-life movement and these bishops should be applauded for their recent reaction to this Catholics for Choice group.  The ads by the bishops proclaim, “You cannot be Catholic and Pro-Abortion. The only ‘choice’ for Catholics is life.”

However, there remains a serious problem since the majority of Catholics in several of the past presidential elections have voted in the majority for the party that is pro-abortion and in the last election for the candidate who is also in favor of same sex marriages and who would tend to curtail religious liberty.

By and large the bishops and their assistants, that is the priests in their parishes have done an inadequate job in past number of presidential election cycles by not making it clear to the laity that they should seriously consider voting for candidates who are pro-life, pro traditional marriage and who would protect religious freedom as opposed to a candidate who is pro-abortion, pro same sex marriage and would tend to restrict religious freedom.  In fact, if the Catholic clergy was effective in promoting the cause of life in this regard, then the vast majority of the Catholic vote would have gone to the pro-life candidates.

Let us pray that for this crucial election the Catholic clergy would proclaim this pro-life teaching of the Catholic faith to their members.

ABORTION – THE SPECTRUM OF EVIL

Preface:  After spending some of my spare time in supporting various pro-life causes for a period of over 25 years, I felt compelled to write this article.  Please consider reading it, if you will, to find out what the rock bottom of the abortion industry is really based on.  You may be surprised! 

ABORTION – THE SPECTRUM OF EVIL

Virtually all pro-lifers believe abortion is intrinsically evil and rightfully so. However, within the abortion industry there is a spectrum of evil.  On the one hand there are those ideologues that promote and support a women’s “right to choose.”   While they perceive a women’s right to kill her unborn as something good, they are essentially calling evil good and good evil. (“Woe to you who call evil good and good evil.”  Isaiah 5:6).

Next on this spectrum of evil are those working in the abortion industry for a pay-check.  They are the clerks, assistants, security personnel in need of employment and they rationalize and justify themselves by participating in this industry of death in order to bring home a pay-check, all the while cooperating with this evil. 

Then there are those politicians who publicly support abortion as the law of the land, but are primarily motivated by their need to receive donations from the likes of Planned Parenthood and others associated with the abortion industry to fund their reelection campaigns.  (They compromise with their innate belief system by stifling their consciences and wallow in operating with this evil in order to remain in positions of political power.)

Next we have the clergy of all denominations who remain virtually silent while this mass killing of the unborn continues unabated day after day, week after week, year after year, blighting our land and encircling our nation in a cloud of darkness. This cowardly group is guilty of the sins of omission and these sins as a result cry out to Heaven.  Knowing better, they value their sense of comfort and ease by ignoring these daily acts of evil, preferring not to do or say anything controversial.  (While there are some of the clergy who bravely and frequently speak out against this evil, unfortunately they are too few in number to make a notable impact on our decadent society.) 

Then we have the main players, the backbone of the abortion industry.  They are the abortionists, their assistants, the administrators, investors and the executives who participate in this “industry of evil” essentially because it is lucrative and tends to satiate their craving for wealth by any means.  This was brought out to the general public by the recent videos which have exposed the cold-heartedness and depravity of Planned Parenthood trafficking in organs and tissues of the pre-born.  They callously promote and support abortion on demand, driven primarily by greed and their lust for wealth by any means.   

At the extreme end of this spectrum of evil are the Satanists who rejoice in the killing of the unborn and dedicate abortions to their leader Satan.  While this may seem somewhat bizarre and extreme, there is an account of a former satanic High Wizard, Zachary King who recently found Christ.  After his conversion to Christianity he made some of the following revelations. 

He joined a satanic coven at age 13 breaking all 10 Commandments by the time he turned 15.  He claims he promoted and participated in satanic ritualistic abortions.  I would like to quote the following excerpts from an interview Zachary King gave to the Lepanto Institute, dated 8/18/ 2015, which reveals the depths of depravity associated with the evil of abortion.

WARNING:  THE FOLLOWING EXCERPTS OF THE INTERVIEW ARE GRAPHIC AND MAY UPSET THE READER!

“King – Just after I turned 14, the coven members came to me and said that I was going to be involved in an abortion in about 9 months. There was a sex party with all the male members between 12 and 15 and a female member over 18 and her purpose was to get pregnant, and then she was going to have an abortion in 9 months. When I was told this, I said “cool” out loud, but had no clue what an abortion was. In my family, I think I heard my parents whisper the word abortion once when talking about somebody else, so I thought it was a dirty word because they whispered it and I had never heard that word anywhere else. When I asked about what an abortion was to the coven members, I said I don’t know what I have to do here, they explained that there’s a baby in the womb and you are going to kill it. There will be an abortion doctor there to help you and there will be a nurse because it’s a full medical procedure. My first question was, “is that legal?” The response was, “Yes it is, as long as it’s in the womb. As long as the baby is still inside the woman, you can kill it.”

That’s how it was explained to us. It was also explained that, ‘You are killing a baby.” They didn’t say that we would be killing a fetus or killing some cells in a body. None of that. It’s a baby.

Now, I don’t think I would have been okay with killing a baby outside of a woman’s body, but knowing that I could kill as much as I wanted to if someone was inside the body … in Satanism, killing something or the death of something is the most effective way of getting your spell accomplished. As far as trying to get Satan’s approval, to give you something that you want, killing something is the best way to go. Killing something is the ultimate offering to Satan, and if you can kill an unborn, that is his ultimate goal.

L.I. (LEPANTO INSTITUTE)– Tell me about the first abortion you ever did as a satanic ritual.

King – The first one I did was about 3 months before turning 15. It took place in a farm house that was surprisingly more sterile than many of the other abortion clinics I had done abortions in. There was an abortion doctor and an abortion nurse. There was a woman in stirrups about to have a baby who was surrounded by 13 top members of our coven, which were all high priests and priestesses. I was inside the circle with the woman and the abortion doctor. All the adult members of my coven were there. There were several women kneeling on the floor, swaying back and forth chanting “our body and ourselves” over and over again. Off to the side were several male members of our coven all chanting and praying. The ritual started at 11:45 at night, and the spell began at midnight, which is the witching hour, and the actual death of the child happened at 3:00 am, which is called the devil’s hour.

My whole role in all of this was to insert the scalpel. I didn’t necessarily have to do the actual killing … what was important was that I get blood on my hands. So, I had to get somebody’s blood on my hands, whether the woman’s or the baby’s, and then the doctor finishes out the procedure. In that particular one, which was probably one of the more heinous abortions I had ever done, the doctor reached in, ripped the baby out and threw it onto the floor where these women were swaying. The women looked like they were possessed, and when the doctor threw the baby out to them, they cannibalized the baby.”

(The entire interview is available at the following site.)

Former Satanist: “I Performed Satanic Rituals Inside Abortion Clinics”

While this former Satanist seems to have be on the extreme end of this spectrum of evil prior to his conversion to Christianity and living a bizarre life on the fringe, please consider an article referenced below that is in the form of a bio and eulogy. 

This article deals with a renowned main stream former proponent of abortion, Dr. Bernard Nathanson who after impregnating his girlfriend arranged and paid for her illegal abortion.  He remarked years later that this episode was his “introductory excursion into the satanic world of abortion.”  Dr. Nathanson  “presided over more than 60,000 abortions as Director of the Center for Reproductive and Sexual Health and personally instructed medical students and practitioners in the performance of about 15,000 more, and performed 5,000 abortions himself. In one of those abortions, he took the life of his own child.”  Nathanson “became a nearly monomaniacal crusader for abortion and campaigner for its legalization.” 

He also “co-founded the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL), which later became the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) and now NARAL Pro-Choice America. Its goal was to remove the cultural stigma on abortion.”  He and his colleagues were extremely successful in this endeavor by using underhanded tactics of deceit and subterfuge.

By the grace of God Dr. Nathanson, converted to Christianity and became one of the most outspoken proponents for the unborn and led a life of strong opposition against abortion. 

Please take the time to read his brief bio/obit at the following site:http://www.lifenews.com/2011/02/28/bernard-nathanson-a-life-transformed-by-truth-on-abortion/

It is worthwhile reading to demonstrate what has been going on in our nation for the past forty plus years.  It gives an insight to what may be called the main stream abortion industry. 

There you have it; ultimately, the abortion industry comes right out of the pit of Hell.  The bedrock foundation of abortion rests on abject evil.  How then can God continue to Bless this land of ours given the level of depravity involved with this SPECTRUM OF EVIL?  May God have Mercy on us!

Ephesians 6:10-16 reads as follows:“10  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

PRAY, PRAY, PRAY AGAINST THIS EVIL OF ABORTION!

Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, January 17, 2016

John 10:10“Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.”

Proverbs 24:11-12
“Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,’ does not He who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not He who guards your life know it? Will He not repay each person according to what he has done?”

Life! Life!

This past Sunday was “Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.” Across America there are sermons addressing the value of human life and reminding us what God has to say about this gift He has given each of us.

The reason we observe this special day is to protest the slaughter of the innocent unborn that has been going on in our country for many years, and to bring awareness to God’s people about this sin in our society.

Let me say in the beginning, that there is NO SIN that God will not forgive. And there are NO CONSEQUENCES that God cannot heal!

God is “pro life!” The Scripture teaches that His people are to be pro life, for God is all about life and life abundantly!

Therefore, in any protest we involve ourselves in, violence, or any other destruction of property or life would NOT be God’s way of opposing this ill in our society!

The Value of Human Life

Psalm 139:13-16
“For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from You, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”

  • Who is it that gives life?
  • Who is it that forms the baby in the womb?
  • Who is it, in His appointed time, will take life?
  • It is God Almighty and Him alone!

We either believe the Bible or we do not. The subject of abortion does NOT come with an exemption when it comes to Life!

I have heard people say, “I will do with my body what I want to do?” What’s wrong with that statement?

  • First of all, the statement is quite prideful, arrogant and misguided. It is God who will do with our bodies what He chooses to do since He is the Creator – we are the created!
  • Secondly, the child in the womb is NOT the body of the mother; it is a separate, distinct creation of God!

For example, remember, over a decade ago when Jeff Peterson was found guilty for not only killing his wife, but killing his unborn child as well? What hypocrisy!

What about the teenage Christian girl who finds herself pregnant while still in school? In some cases, I have heard that the “Christian” parents have agreed with the daughter to get an abortion! What hypocrisy!

Abortion is not so much terminating a pregnancy, it is murdering a child, a child of God’s creation!

I see this blatant hypocrisy in the news almost every day:

  • There are many who will vehemently defend the rights of animals, but NOT the unborn child.
  • There are many who would like to remove every gun from the American people, for fear that someone might become a victim of a shooting, but they have no problem pulling the trigger on abortion at any stage in pregnancy.
  • There are those who would have the government determine what discipline is correct for our children, but have no problem taking the child’s life in the womb! What hypocrisy!

Defending Human Life

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 who is ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”

Abortion has long been a demonic stronghold in our society. In the “Judgment of the Nations,” (Matt. 25) America will have to give an account before Jesus Christ!

Praise God, abortions are on the decline! Praise God, Congress has recently voted to defund Planned Parenthood! But there is still a battle to be won. What can we do?

  • Prayer and Protests must continue.
  • Speak out for Life whenever we get an opportunity.
  • Vote for candidates who are pro life.
  • Support you local Crisis Pregnancy Center.
  • Educate our children about the truth of the sin of abortion.

When the Lord sees His people standing strong for what He desires, and defending the most helpless humans on earth (the unborn child), He will then step in and do the rest!

May it be that we will look back in a few short years and say, “Praise God, we have overcome the two greatest crimes against humanity in our nation’s history:

  • The Evil of Slavery
  • The Killing of the Unborn Child!”

Questions for Reflection

  • Have you or someone close to you been part of an abortion? Have you found forgiveness through Jesus Christ?
  • Have you made the issue of abortion a matter of prayer and fasting?
  • Have you been faithful to lovingly speak out in defense of the unborn?

Our Bus Ads Featured at Lighthouse

Lighthouse-Bus

In the Fall 2015 edition of Lighthouse Pregnancy Resource Center’s publication, LIGHTHOUSE BEACON, on top of page 3 there is an item with a photo of our bus ad and this statement:

“Thanks to the generosity of the Life Education Council, exterior and interior bus ads are shining a light on our life-enhancing services this fall. The buses often pass our new center en route from Paterson to Hackensack, Passaic, Newark and Willowbrook Mall.

One woman standing on a corner, unsure of her next step for an unexpected pregnancy, saw the ad as a direct answer to her prayers for help. Through an ultrasound at our Paterson Center, she learned she was well into her second trimester! Please pray that God will continue to guide and provide for this mom and her unborn child.”

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Lighthouse Pregnancy Resource Center Opens in Patterson New Jersey

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I recently attended the Grand Opening of The Lighthouse Pregnancy Resource Center in Paterson, NJ. There were over 200 people in attendance including clergy from various denominations along with the deputy mayor of Patterson. The facility is a 2600 square foot building refurbished into a complex of 12 rooms dedicated to helping and serving others.

Their Mission Statement:

Who we are: Lighthouse Pregnancy Resource Center serves women, men and teens at-risk for, or facing, an unplanned pregnancy or related concern. We do not provide or refer for abortion; we do provide valuable services to support informed choices that will enhance your life and the lives of others. Please note that information provided on our website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical, legal or counseling advice.

What we do: Our FREE and confidential services include pregnancy tests, medical confirmation of pregnancy via ultrasound, options education, limited STD screening, material resources and referrals, and post-abortion counseling. Same day appointments can usually be accommodated. At Lighthouse, we care about you and your physical, emotional and spiritual health.

Life Education Council Trustee Marisol Rodriguez helped with today’s grand opening of the Lighthouse Pregnancy Resource Center which was created in partnership with Marisol’s Renew Life Center.

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If you are interesting in help the Lighthouse mission, please contact Friends of Lighthouse.

Planned Parenthood Baby Parts Buyer StemExpress Wants “Another 50 Livers/Week,” Financial Benefits for Abortion Clinics

The eighth video in the ongoing controversy over Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted fetal body parts shows the CEO of StemExpress, LLC, a major buyer of fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood, admitting the company gets “a lot” of intact fetuses, suggesting “another 50 livers a week” would not be enough, and agreeing abortion clinics should profit from the sale.

You can read more at the Center for Medical Progress.

The “Assisted Suicide” Debate

The following editorial is by Maureen Ferguson, Senior Policy Advisor, The Catholic Association.

Our family spent days at the bedside of my beloved mother-in-law as she lay dying at Johns Hopkins hospital. She had been diagnosed with advanced bone marrow cancer four years earlier, and now her doctors told us her death was certainly imminent. She was unconscious and on hospice care, and we were told she would slip away at any moment.

Defying those predictions, she recovered and went on to live another two years. They were two incredibly precious years, in which she took her three grandchildren to Disney World, saw her eldest son married, her youngest daughter graduate from high school, and made Christmas dinner that year in her high heels.

As the national debate over physician-assisted suicide picks up steam — currently under consideration in 24 states – we should keep such cases in mind. Proponents of these bills claim only those with less than six months to live would be allowed to avail themselves of doctor prescribed suicide, but patients frequently outlive their prognosis. Even the best doctors, like those at Hopkins, are not omniscient and cannot always accurately predict when a person will die.

Many recall the case of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and given only four months to live. However, he went on to live almost two more years as an active U.S. Senator. After his death, his widow Victoria Kennedy campaigned against physician-assisted suicide in Massachusetts saying this policy, “ask(s) us to endorse patient suicide — not patient care — as our public policy for dealing with pain and the financial burdens of care at the end of life. We’re better than that.”

In advocating for physician-assisted suicide, groups like Compassion and Choices (formerly known as The Hemlock Society) espouse tragically misleading slogans like “Death with Dignity.” Treating a person with authentic dignity and compassion could never involve helping that person commit suicide. The dictionary defines suicide as the very “destruction of one’s own interests or prospects.” A group promoting physician-assisted suicide is still just promoting suicide. And suicide has always been recognized as a tragedy.

The medical profession knows this, which is why the American Medical Association strongly opposes such bills, saying, “physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks.”

Disability rights advocates have been among the first to recognize these societal risks, calling physician-assisted suicide a “deadly form of discrimination.” This policy unjustly singles out a class of people as having lives that are less worthy and less deserving of protection. The highly respected disability advocates at The ARC have been particularly strong in fighting these bills at the state level because of the disparate impact on those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The disabled are especially vulnerable given the discrimination they already face in a medical environment increasingly squeezed by cost containment pressures.

We can look to Oregon, the first state to legalize assisted suicide, to see the results of this experiment and they are not good. In a well-documented case, a woman was notified by the state health plan that coverage of her cancer treatment was denied, but in the same letter was reminded that the suicide pills were covered. This is not an isolated incident.

The so-called “safeguards” in the Oregon law (the same as those promised in other states) have proved totally insufficient. There has been abuse of the definition of “terminal illness” because many diseases can be considered terminal if proper treatments are not given. Prescriptions for suicide have been dispensed for those suffering from depression, diabetes, and dementia. “Doctor shopping” is common because most family physicians don’t want to prescribe suicide pills. Patients are given the overdose prescription by a doctor who does not know them, and then are left to overdose alone without any further medical care. Results are shrouded in secrecy and reporting requirements minimal.

Finally, the law is an important teacher, especially for young people. What message does legalized, doctor prescribed suicide send to teenagers, who already face tragically high suicide rates? The ‘contagion effect’ of suicide is well known amongst mental health professionals. If adolescents see that our legislatures condone suicide for those facing difficult circumstances, would it be surprising to see an increase in teenage suicides?

Our laws should protect the most vulnerable among us, the elderly, the disabled, the mentally ill, and the young, not assist in their destruction. People facing grave illnesses deserve to be treated with authentic dignity and truly compassionate care. Instead of legally enshrining and dispensing despair, let’s embrace life, even at the end, with all its challenges and mysteries. If life is all about love, then what better time to love than in accompanying our beloved in their final days?

Maureen Ferguson is Senior Policy Advisor to The Catholic Association.
Used with permission.

The Face of Evil

Evil-Face-in-The-Clouds

While there is only one FACE OF EVIL, it has worn many, many masks throughout the ages. For example, the past one hundred years of our nation’s history saw the faces of evil in our two world wars, the Korean and Viet-Nam wars as well as the Gulf and mid-eastern conflicts. And now we are witnessing the savagery and barbarism of ISIS. (Someone very wise once said war is the punishment of sins.)

Domestically, the Supreme Court rulings of banning prayer in schools, legalizing abortion on demand and establishing same-sex marriages are some of the faces of evil which are set out to destroy the concept of traditional families, undermining the very fabric of our society.

The seven recent undercover Planned Parenthood videos explicitly demonstrate the moral depravity and callousness of the mind set prevalent in the abortion industry. Couple this with our current President being on record of favoring that any aborted babies inadvertently being born alive should be ignored and left to die. This was his position before running for the highest office in our land and yet he won two elections.

It would seem that in a world without God anything is permissible, but the human heart is restless without a Deity. There are many ways to know that God exists. One of the ways to know that God is real is to see the mounting force of evil prevalent in our culture. If evil is real and seemingly thickening virtually each moment, then a Good God too must be real. The FACE OF EVIL is gathering his forces and the storm clouds will begin to rage.

However, our Good God is in His Heaven and all will be right in the world after the defeat of the FACE OF EVIL. Pray that this happens soon.

The Fetal Tissue Issue

The following editorial is by Maureen Ferguson, Senior Policy Advisor, The Catholic Association.

In the wake of a third undercover video revealing the details of Planned Parenthood’s collection of fetal parts, it’s revealing to consider the reactions of Washington’s top three Democrats.

President Obama has not even commented. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) read hesitatingly from a carefully prepared written statement. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), on the other hand, rushed to give a rather puzzling defense of the controversy, asserting, “the controversy doesn’t exist.” It seems Planned Parenthood disagrees, as they raced to hire both PR and communication crisis firms to handle damage control in the face of multiple congressional investigations.

It’s just, “about women’s health,” according to Pelosi. Bingo. She’s correct; it’s precisely about the endangerment of women’s health on the part of Planned Parenthood, whose doctors admit they deliberately maneuver the fetus into a breech position to have better access to remove intact organs. Changing the abortion method (to the “less crunchy technique”) violates ethical standards precisely because it does not put the health of the woman first, but rather prioritizes the collection of fetal parts. Intact eyes, livers, and hearts are in demand, though, so ethical standards become optional for Planned Parenthood.

This alteration of the abortion technique without a woman’s consent not only violates medical ethics; it also violates the law. Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Gatter dismisses this concern over illegality as a “specious little argument… I don’t think the patients would care one iota so I’m not making a fuss about that.” A bit cavalier of Dr. Gatter to decide what patients will care about, no? It appears the Obama Justice Department won’t make a fuss over the law either. In fact, in quite a parody of justice, DOJ has announced an investigation of the whistleblowers instead.

Pelosi then rested her case by saying “Planned Parenthood has said they have done nothing illegal.” Hmmm. This response calls to mind the scene in Shawshank Redemption when the main character is asked what crime landed him in prison. He also says he has done nothing illegal; he was framed. Morgan Freeman’s character responds, “You’re gonna fit right in! Everybody in here is innocent.”

Perhaps most striking about Pelosi’s response, though, is the tone-deaf lack of compassion. Just weeks ago, Pelosi sang a very different tune in praise of Pope Francis and his encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si, as have Obama and Reid. They appear to have overlooked the encyclical’s many sections on human ecology, in which Francis repeatedly addresses just the kind of commodification of human beings we see on grisly display in these videos.

Pope Francis writes, “Concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion. How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings… if we fail to protect a human embryo?”

In other words, if we are to protect sea turtle eggs, shouldn’t we also protect a human fetus from being carved up? Damaging a turtle egg in Florida is a third degree felony punishable by a $5000 fine and up to 5 years in prison. Yet Planned Parenthood, which aborts over 300,000 developing humans every year, receives about $500 million in our tax dollars annually.

Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical says it is troubling, “when some ecological movements defend the integrity of the environment, rightly demanding that certain limits be imposed on scientific research, they sometimes fail to apply those same principles to human life….”

This failure is on full display in the newly released third video, featuring the work of Planned Parenthood’s partner in collection of fetal parts, StemExpress. The founder, Cait Dyer, defends her company’s work in the New York Times, “We’re collecting biohazardous waste, discarded waste.”

Waste? Have we become so divorced from reality, so schizophrenic as a society that we joyfully tweet ultrasound images of our unborn child to announce a pregnancy, and yet we literally “crush” others?

In Planned Parenthood’s ethical matrix, women’s health can be compromised and the price of fetal organs can be haggled over (so long as the “tone” of the negotiation is more sensitive). An organization with this kind of ethical compass does not deserve half a billion dollars in taxpayer funds every year. They don’t deserve a dime.

Maureen Ferguson is Senior Policy Advisor to The Catholic Association.
Used with permission.