A Pastor’s Response to The Politics of Infanticide

Just when you think the world cannot get any crazier it does. Yesterday (Feb 4, 2019), Senate Bill 130 which outlaws infanticide was blocked by Senator Patty Murray of Washington State. She objected to bill because she thought it was redundant. Senator Murray said,

We have laws against infanticide in this country. This is a gross misinterpretation of the actually language of the bill that is being asked to considered and therefore I object.

Indeed in 2002, the Federal government did enact the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act expanding the United States Government’s definition of human persons to include, “every infant member of the species of homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development.” As of 2002, all U.S. born babies have been legally entitled to the same care as adults. But the nature of that care has not been clearly defined. Last night, Ben Sasse attempted to define that care.

His legislation states:

(1) If an abortion results in the live birth of an infant, the infant is a legal person for all purposes under the laws of the United States, and entitled to all the protections of such laws.

(2) Any infant born alive after an abortion or within a hospital, clinic, or other facility has the same claim to the protection of the law that would arise for any newborn, or for any person who comes to a hospital, clinic, or other facility for screening and treatment or otherwise becomes a patient within its care.

In short, Sasse and the other 39 sponsors of the bill had simply tried to clarify that all ‘fourth term’ abortions were illegal. The Bill does not change any abortion law. It simply says all life outside the womb deserves care and protection. As the senator said,

There are only two sides of the debate on the floor tonight: You’re either for babies or your for defending infanticide.

Sadly, many U.S. Senators including Virginia’s two senators appear to be on the side of infanticide. All but one of the Democratic senators missed last night’s vote. And the one Democrat Senator who did appear, Senator Murray, appeared for the purpose of defeating the legislation.  Senator Feinstein from California who also was absent during the vote claimed the bill was an attack on women. But her comments reveal the opposite to be true. She said,

Imagine being pregnant and learning that your baby has a terminal condition…This bill would limit the mother’s decisions and require her doctor to administer unwanted care that could prolong her pain and suffering – even putting her health and safety at risk.

Notice who is sick? It is not the mother but the infant. But who is harmed by the infant’s care and life? It is the mother. The senator from California has said that a mother should be allowed to deny her child treatment to preserve her quality of life. Senator Feinstein has defended infanticide.

And she is not alone. Governor Northam of Virginia sparked this debate last week when he seemingly endorsed infanticide during a radio station interview. The defense of infanticide which seemed to be a ridiculously extreme position only days ago now appears to be a politically acceptable.

And few main stream media outlets have ignored this seismic moral and political shift.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel accurately noted that, “Frankly, it is harrowing that this legislation is necessary.” The debate over infanticide which seems better fit for Nazi Germany has now arrived in 21 century America. This is our debate.

Christians and Virginians must speak clearly against infanticide. We must use our voices and the democratic process to encourage our state and federal politicians to defend all of life. We must daily and repeatedly remind our neighbors, our communities, and our nation that every human life – the terminally ill, the sick, the young  and the old – is valuable.  I hope and pray that Sasse’s bill will be reintroduced soon and that all 100 senators will support it. But regardless of what the future hold, Christians must never tier of defending life.

We cannot be silent on this issue.

May God be merciful to us!

Infanticide or Racism: Which is Worse?

whats-worseFew politicians find themselves embroiled in controversy over infanticide and late term abortion. Fewer still find themselves caught up in controversies about both infanticide and racism in a span of three. Governor Ralph Northam managed to pull of this political feat last week.

On January 30, Governor Northam said the following on a local radio station,

So in this particular example, if the mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen: The infant would be delivered; the infant would be kept comfortable; the infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desire, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother

Then on Friday, February 1, Virginians learned that the governor had dressed up as either in blackface or as a member of the Klu Klux Klan for a party. The governor quickly apologized, saying, “I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now.”  But then on Saturday, he denied appearing in the yearbook photo saying he had no memory of the photo. But at the same press conference, he revealed that he did remember using blackface when he went to a party. Responding the events embroiling the Virginia capital, politicians ranging from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Former Vice-President Joe Biden have encouraged Governor Northam to resign his office because racism has no place in American politics.

Many evangelicals across the state of Virginia and across the country echo these calls for the governor’s resignation.

But many have evangelicals have also been troubled by the nature of the outrage leveled against Governor Northam. He has been attacked over and over again for his racist actions. Senator Kamala Harris rightfully noted, “Leaders are called to a higher standard, and the stain of racism should have not place in the halls of government.”

By comparison, little fanfare has been given to the governor’s endorsement of late term abortion and infanticide. Consequently, many evangelicals are crying foul. They believe that advocating for the death of infants is definitely newsworthy. It is.

But some Christians have gone a step further and said abortion is a more significant issue than racism. Are they right?

Abortion & Racism

Over the weekend, Americans learned that Governor Northam’s yearbook photo was leaked by one of the governor’s medical school classmates. The anonymous classmate was spurred to action by governor’s statements on abortion and infanticide. Had the governor not dived into the abortion debate on Wednesday, there would have been no accusations of racism on Friday.

But the connection between abortion and racism extends beyond the actions and words of the Virginia Governor. Abortion and racism share the same philosophical underpinning. For abortion and infanticide to be permissible, society must deem some humans to be less than human because of their age. And for racism to thrive, society must deem some humans to be less than human because of their heritage and/or skin pigmentation. In short,  abortion and racism can only exist if societies and governments permit some human beings to deny the humanity of other human beings.

The Bible clearly states that all human beings are full human and fully represent the image of God. Age, time in the womb, skin color, health, and one’s parents’ do not change a person’s worth. Genesis 1:26 clearly states, “God created man in his own image in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Christians affirm that all men and women descended from Adam and Eve. All men and women share in the glory of their creator regardless of the size, color, or earning potential. All deserve to be valued, protected, and defended by society. All Christians should defend babies from abortion and minorities from racism.

Moreover, both evils have led to the gross mistreatment and to the murder of innocent men and women who Abortion has claimed more than 61 million lives since 1973. And slavery has claimed the lives of 5-12 million African-Americans. And that number does not include those who died because of neglect after the American Civil War or because of groups like the KKK. Can Christians truly say one sin is more reprehensible than the other?

The answer is, “No.”

The Church’s Response

The church must condemn both infanticide and racism with equal vigor. One is not worse than the other. Both debased twins must be opposed.

Admittedly, Christians should lament the silence surrounding Governor Northam’s defense of infanticide and late-term abortion. His positions are morally indefensible.

But evangelicals should not treat the condemnation of Governor Northam’s racist activities as being a distraction from the real issue. His racism is just as morally indefensible as his view of abortion. And Christians should rejoice when secular reporters and politicians affirm and encourage seek to defend life.

Admittedly, those who both support abortion and battle against racism have an inconsistent worldview. And, Christians should highlight this inconsistency, calling politicians to defend the life of every American.

But in defending live,  the Church must be careful to avoid pitting abortion against racism. Rather, the church should passionately speak against both sins.

Every life should be precious in the sight of God’s people.

A Pastor’s Response to the VA Abortion Debate

Christians must use all legitimate civil means to stop the government of Virginia from embracing Governor Ralph Northam’s position on infanticide and abortion. In an radio interview on WTOP earlier this week, He said the following in regards to House Bill 2491,

If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.

Regardless of how one may attempt to slice or to spin the governor’s comments, the words always point to one meaning: Infanticide. Governor Northam believes parents and doctors should be allowed to determine whether or not a child lives. If a mother’s  physical or mental health could be hurt by the existence of the “comfortable” baby, then the mother could choose to kill her baby. And the definition of health provided by court case Doe v. Bolton is so vague almost any maternal inclination would be ample justification for killing the baby in question. A mother could terminate her child because the child was the ‘wrong’ gender, or because the child threatened the mother’s financial or career goals, or because the child had deformities that promised to consume the mother’s time and financial resources. Governor Northam’s statement did not concern women’s health. It concerned infanticide.

Now before I proceed further, I want to be clear. I do not want to minimize the sacrifices associated with motherhood. My four siblings and I taxed my mother to no end. And as the father of three kiddos, I watch my dear wife repeatedly sacrifice her desires, health, money, and mental well-being for our children. Motherhood is a huge undertaking.

But Governor Northam and by extension Kathy Tran who sponsored House Bill 2491 are not seeking to support motherhood through tax breaks or government programs. They are seeking to empower mothers to kill their children after birth. They are seeking to normalize infanticide. They are seeking to allow one portion of the population to exterminate another portion of the population.

And once one part of a society is permitted and licensed to kill for convenience sake, others will seek similar permissions. If all human life is deemed to have no intrinsic value, then ultimately any life can be sacrificed for the ‘greater good’ or mental health reasons. If the old, the Jews, and the mentally infirm (to name a few groups) are deemed by the government to be causing a significant portion of the population mental anguish, what will stop Virginians from exterminating them?

The press and the Democratic Party of Virginia has attempted to deflect the outrage bubbling up around House Bill 2491 and Governor Northam by claiming the whole ordeal is an orchestrated political stunt engineered by Republicans seeking to protect their control of the Virginia legislature. After all, four similar bills have already been put forward and voted down in Virginia over the last three years with little fanfare. Sarah Jones from New York Magazine dismissed the whole controversy and encourages us to do the the same writing,

The idea that abortion providers tear apart full-term, viable babies about to breathe has animated the right for a long time. It’s the stuff of pulp fiction, and the myth bears little resemblance to reality.

And as Governor Northam’s office said, “No woman seeks a third trimester abortion except in the case of tragic or difficult circumstances.”

Sadly, Sarah Jones and Governor Northam are mistaken. The idea of abortion that Sarah Jones mocks as pulp fiction is not the day dream of crazied political junkies; it is reality. Abortion kills millions of viable babies in the cruelest and most uncaring of ways as can be seen in the medical drawings that detail the abortion procedure. Abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood suck babies from the womb piece by piece.

Infanticide will also harm the innocent. Notice that the governor’s office defines tragic and difficult circumstances as things, “such as a nonviable pregnancy or in the event of severe fetal abnormalities.” Non-viable pregnancies that could claim the mother’s life such as ectopic pregnancies are already covered by Virginia law. The governor is not talking medically non-viable pregnancies. He is talking about killing babies who have fetal abnormalities such as Down Syndrome or anencephaly that may disrupt their mother’s quality of life. In short, Governor Northam believes doctors and mothers should be allowed to let unwanted yet viable babies die.

Though the press may now view the defense of life as being ‘sensationalism,’ Christians must continue to declare the truth about abortion and infanticide. Abortion and infanticide are not Democratic Party and Republican Party issues. These practices are moral issues of the highest level, issues of good and evil.

Regardless of their political affiliation, Christians cannot call evil good; they cannot sit quietly on their hands as their government casually discusses murdering its citizens. Christians must deal with reality identifying abortion for what it really is…murder.

The Scriptures clearly teach that all life from inception to death represents the image and beauty of God. The words of Psalm 139:13 apply to all people regardless of their age, gender, or health.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

Luke chapter 1 also clearly teaches that both babies in the womb and out of the womb are fully human. And Exodus 21:22-25 states that anyone who takes the life of a baby should be charged with murder.

Theologian Wayne Grudem concludes,

The Bible teaches that we should think of the unborn as child as a person from the moment of conception, and therefore we should give to the unborn child legal protection equal to that of others in the society.”

As a Christian, as a husband, as a father, as a pastor, and as a voting Virginian, I call upon Governor Northam to defend the life of every Virginia. I call upon him to disavow his support of infanticide and of abortion on demand. I also urge my fellow Christians to join me in supporting life. I encourage them to use their voices and their votes to defend the life of every Virginian.

Will you join me?