Sunday, August 30, 2020

Where is the Church on Race & Black Lives Matter?

 



It has happened--again and in Kenosha, Wisconsin 
Another black man has been shot. 
A law enforcement officer is the alleged perpetrator.
The man's name is Jacob Blake, 
He has been seriously injured. 
The local police union claims a home break-in and sexual assault allegations against this man.
His family declare that the police union account is "garbage."
This man, even in a hospital bed, was shackled for a time.
This tragedy has spawned even more protesters.
Captured on the TV airwaves, the grieving parents of Jacob have called for peace and for calm.
"My so matters! My son is a human being!" the parents reminded the public.
A 17-year-old Caucasian teen is charged with causing the deaths of two protesters and injuring another.
This teen is facing charges as an adult.
That teen's name is Kyle Rittenhouse.
Another person is shot and killed in Portland, Oregon.
A suspect has not yet been found.

These are the facts of this case at present. The National Basketball Association (NBA) has decided to protest officially. They are donating their entire season to the Black Lives Matter cause. Black authors are writing and selling numerous books about their experiences as black people. Daily and frequently, black commentators appear on major networks and discuss race. Many businesses are showing support for Black Lives Matter. You can find position statements on their websites. Bookseller websites, for example, feature race-based literature and books by black authors.

But where is the Church of Jesus Christ, Christians, on race and Black Lives Matter?

The Church has traditionally been on the side of law enforcement. This is commendable. However, it is not commendable when Christian leaders and average believers deny systemic racism. Recently, a religious life, pro-life head of the pro-life, Christian nonprofit, the Radiance Foundation, wrote about why he will never support the Black Lives Matter nonprofit. Weeks ago, a Caucasian pro-life, Catholic woman pro-life leader, declared in a tweet that she would never support Black Lives Matter. I have seen religious Right and pro-life social media users denounce Black Lives Matter with inflammatory rhetoric. They have called the movement Marxist, pro-abortion, far Left, violent, extremist and even terrorist. 

It is unfortunate that many Christian leaders and pro-life leaders are confusing the official nonprofit with their huge, worldwide network of supporters and allies

It is true that Black Lives Matter founders have included far Left views on their website. Some of these views are morally objectionable to Christians. The founders state clearly that they affirm the value of black trans and gay and lesbian lives. The lives of all people are sacred, even when we do not agree with their beliefs or lifestyles. However, the official Black Lives Matter nonprofit goes beyond this. They state that they positively affirm lifestyles that the religious Right strongly believe must never be celebrated. They point to certain Bible verses that indicate the God opposes same sex marriage and changing ones gender.

Pro-life nonprofits claim that Black Lives Matter officially approve of abortion. However, I have been unable to find even the term "reproductive Justice" or "reproductive right" on their official nonprofit website. It seems that the website is silent on abortion. But pro-life nonprofits continue to condemn Black Lives Matter as a pro-abortion enterprise. It is sad that Black Lives Matter has politicized their nonprofit with their controversial statements on their website. This may be one huge reason that millions of people remain uninformed about the large, worldwide Black Lives Matter movement as well as the reality of systemic racism in society.

Credibility is a fragile thing. The credibility of the religious Right and the pro-life movement finds itself at-risk when they use inflammatory rhetoric to condemn the Black Lives Matter movement. They risk their credibility when they confuse the official Black Lives Matter nonprofit with its Black Lives Matter members, supporters and allies. What can the Church of the religious Right and the pro-life movement do to call out the beliefs they are not okay with, while clearly showing solidarity with communities of color? In turn, what can Black Lives Matter founders and supports of its far Left views, do to learn from those on the Right?

Right-leaning persons include the Religious Right and the majority of those in the pro-life movement. They tend to define racism narrowly as a symptom of original sin and a major factor in abortion. Individuals on the Right, particularly their leaders, can acknowledge that system racism is real and pervasive. Right-leaning people should educate themselves about the reality of police brutality and police misconduct, even while continuing to honor and respect the many good police officers who serve and protect us. Those on the Right should educate themselves about Black Lives Matter and the difference between the official organization and the huge, worldwide movement of Black Lives Matter activists, supporters, and allies. They can show solidarity with Black Lives Matter even without endorsing the far Left views expressed on the website.

Left-leaning persons include Black Lives Matter Founders and the huge, worldwide movement of activists, supporters, and allies. They include those in the Church who hold progressive views on the teachings of Christ and the Gospel. These individuals, particularly their leaders, can find common ground with those on the Right. They should listen to the religious Right when they declare that racism will never end until more and more hearts are changed. Those on the Left should listen to those in the pro-life movement when they state that abortion is killing countless people, including many black lives. 

It will take humility and wisdom to bridge the huge racial divide. But the Church needs to lead the way.

(Note: This is a developing story.)


This is a WIKIPEDIA article about the facts of the shooting of Jacob Blake. Read article.

This article about Jacob Blake is written from the point of view of those on the Right. Read article.

This article about Black Lives Matter is written from the point of view of those on the Right. Read article.

The family of Jacob Blake call the police union version of his son's shooting "garbage. Read article.

A biracial pro-life leader wrote about why he can never support Black Lives Matter. Read article.

Kyle Rittenhouse is the 17 year old suspect in the Jacob Blake protest shooting. Read article.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

How Did Abortion Become A Core Women's Right?

 

THE WAR ON WOMEN'S RIGHTS"THE WAR ON WOMEN'S RIGHTS" by slw606 is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0


"Abortion rights mean women's equality.

"Abortion care equal women's health care.

"Protect women and protect the right to choose."

"Every women has a right to control her own body."

"I stand with Planned Parenthood."

"Get your rosaries off my ovaries!"

"Abortion is men telling women what to do."

"Abortion is reproductive freedom."

"We must have women's health care."

Women's health care. Reproductive rights. Reproductive freedom. Reproductive choice. A woman's right to choose. Bodily autonomy. Abortion rights. Abortion care. Termination of an unwanted pregnancy. Today, many in our mainstream culture believe that women should have access to abortion, at least in some circumstances. Many women see it as their core right. As I watched the 2020 Democratic convention, I watched the video which featured feminists. In part of the video, women sang something like "We want a world where every woman has control over her own body."

Most feminists are pro-choice and believe that abortion is essential for women's equality. But I have been aware of those who identify as pro-life feminists. They view abortion not as a sign of women's equality. Pro-life feminists perceive abortion as the continued oppression of women.

We are now celebrating 100 years of women technically having the right to vote. Black women had to wait  until the early 1960's to be able to vote. Pay equality for women (equal pay for equal work) still is not written into law. Employers still can get by with paying women less than they pay men. Though women have been leaders in other countries, the United States has not yet had a woman President or Vice President. Feminists keep pointing out these things to us. 

Women certainly should have the same right to vote as men. Thank God, the early feminists were willing to fight to ensure that today's women would get this right. Susan B. Anthony would vote illegally and faced charges for it. Only recently, long after her death, has a President "pardoned" her for something that was illegal during Anthony's time--the right to vote.

But how did the right to vote become linked to access to abortion?

Women certainly should have the right to make as much money as men, for equal work. They still do not have that right written into law. 

But how did equality in pay become linked to access to abortion?

Women have the right to the same education opportunities as men. Sadly, even today, they do not always receive them. Recently, a group of former female former FBI program recruits allege that the FBI discriminated against them because of their gender. The women alleged that the Bureau applied higher standards to them than to the male trainees whom they had been training with at the time. According to the women, harsher standards were applied to them when they made errors than were applied to the men. 

Women have a right to the same educational opportunities as men. But how did equal educational opportunities become linked to access to an abortion?

Women have the same right to equal job opportunities as men have. The United States has not yet had a woman President or woman Vice President. We have not yet had a female FBI Director. Men outnumber women in Congress. They outnumber women, by far, in being CEO's and winning Nobel Peace prizes. 

Women have the right to the same job opportunities that men have. But how did equality in job opportunities become linked to access to abortion?

Women have the right to be free from all manner of violence that men have. They have the right to be free from sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape. The "Me Too" movement may be overdone in how it deals with men who face allegations. But this movement has given a voice to many women who have been made to carry secrets and shame that belonged to their abusers and not to them.

Women have the same right to freedom from violence that men have. But how did freedom from violence become linked to access to abortion?

Women want to be equal to men in every way. But, physiologically, we are not the same as men. We do not have the upper body strength, generally speaking, that most men have. We are people who can get pregnant. Women give birth and bring new life into the world. How did this ever come to be seen as lack of equality with men? 

How does getting an abortion make a woman equal to a man? According to feminists, it makes her equal because she is exercising control over her own body. The trouble is, when a woman is pregnant, the baby she is carrying has its own body. It does not belong to her.

How does getting an abortion make a woman equal to a man? According to feminists, it makes her equal because she is exercising the choice to carrying her pregnancy to rem or not. But when a woman is pregnant, she is carrying what both the Bible and science recognize as a unique and separate human being. 

How does getting an abortion make a woman equal to a man? According to feminists, it makes her equal because she is exercising reproductive freedom. But how can abortion be freedom if so many women get abortions because they feel pressured into getting them by others they trust?

Is access to abortion a sign that women's equality with men has become a reality? Or has it become a sign that society is still oppressing her and calling it something else?


This article, written from a pro-choice point of view, explains why so many people view abortion as a core women's right. Read article.

This thought-provoking article was written over two years ago; it discusses male privilege. It also discusses the ways in which men are NOT privileged. Read article.

FEMINISTS FOR LIFE is a nonprofit that exists to advocate for both women and their babies. Visit website.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

President Donald Trump, to be Consistently Pro-Life, Please...

 



Dear President Donald Trump, I know that now is election season, and you are laser-focused on your 2020 re-election campaign. So the last thing on your mind is policy. But I am about to include these suggestions in case you do, in fact, win a second term. This may likely happen if Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and the Democratic Party lose votes because of your mass voter suppression efforts. It can likely happen if voters blame Democrats and not you or your fellow Republicans, for the current and dire economic situation of millions upon millions of Americans. Your reelection is likely if enough people vote for Third Party Candidates, taking votes from Joe Biden and throwing the Election to you, And your second term is likely if Democrats alienate too many pro-life voters (Independents, Democrats AND Republicans) with their far Left abortion stance. 

The traditional pro-life movement's leadership have called you the "most pro-life, anti-abortion President in United States history." Christian leaders have stated that you have done more for religious liberty than any other President. You have spoken at pro-life events. You have stripped Planned Parenthood of funds and re-allocated them to pregnancy resource centers which also serve pregnant women in need. You have rolled back measures that favored the LGBTQ community. You have been stacking the courts, including the United States Supreme Court, with conservative judges that the religious Right and the pro-life movement approve.

However, you have "taken over" those who identify as religious Right as well as members of the traditional pro-life movement. Because of this, these demographics have lost much credibility with many of the American people as well as much of the world. Let me explain. Your separation of migrant children from their families has alienated many people. The sheer cruelty of this policy has ruined countless lives and broken this country's heart. Your fight to repeal the Affordable Care Act without plans to replace it with another health care plan, has turned off many. From the beginning, you have stoked thew fires of racial division by your racist rhetoric that has incited violence. What about your constant denigration of intelligence offers, tasked with keeping our country safe, as the "deep state"? 

I can go on and on. Mr. President, it seems that the word "pro-life" often more accurately means "anti-abortion." And that seems to be the case in your situation. Your policies and proposals, as well as your choice for court judges, have been consistently anti-abortion. Pro-life leaders have succeeded in getting you to support them in fighting for the lives of the unborn. Even if your relationship with the pro-life movement and the religious Right is transactional, they have found in you an ally and a champion. 

Yet your words, actions, and policies have given ammunition to the saying "Life starts at conception and stops at birth." For four or so decades, many of us have felt forced to have to choose every election between the born and the unborn. The GOP, traditionally, have been on the side of the unborn. But many people see them as not being on the side of many vulnerable people who have already been born. Many people, on the other hand, see Democrats as siding with vulnerable people among those already born. But, more and more, they have disregarded the rights and lives of the unborn.

And so, every election, it seems that many of us "swing" voters find ourselves having to choose a side. It poses a painful, tough choice.

Democrats can help with our moral struggles by moderating their position on abortion, reversing their new stance on taxpayer funding of abortion, and late-term abortions. You can help our moral struggles by expanding "culture of life" to include policies that include many vulnerable people that have been spared being aborted. But they still remain vulnerable to poverty, racism, illness, and nature. We should not feel that we must choose between one group of people and then have to sacrifice whole groups of people. You, Mr. President, benefit from many pro-life voters who are "single-issue voters." And you may benefit from their votes again in November. However, should we have to become "single-issue voters" to protect the unborn, sacrificing whole groups of other people as well as going against our families and ourselves? But because neither you nor Joe Biden are what we can call "consistently pro-life" Presidential Candidates, we will probably be dealing with exactly this in upcoming November.

We have always been more or less a divided country. But your Presidency has intensified our divisions. Now it's like we live in two Americas. Because of this, I, for one, expect to see a close election. If you get a second term, which is as likely to occur as it is not, I have some ideas which can inspire you to help heal our broken, divided country. 

If you get a second term, Mr. President, I hope and pray that God, Whose Name you invoke, will change your hope so you view yourself as a servant to "we the people" instead of a ruler. You  must do all you can to re-unite migrant children with their families. Release funds to Puerto Rico so they can rebuild from all they have suffered since Hurricane Maria. Stop lying so much to the public; people feel they cannot trust a liar even when he tells the truth. Stop fanning the flames of racism with your words and actions. Give asylum seekers and DREAMers a path to citizenship. Work with Democrats to give access to health care for all. And start taking COVID-19 seriously; by word and example, stress mask-wearing, social distance, and vigorous sanitation as well as avoiding large gatherings. All these measures are as pro-life as preventing and ending abortion.

And if Joe Biden wins the White House? I'm still trying to figure out my suggestion to you on that.


The actual death toll in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria May be much higher than once was thought. Read more.

This is a WIKIPEDIA profile of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for DREAMers. Read article.

This is an article about the multiple missteps made in response to COVID-19. Read article.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Why Am I Not More Excited?

 


"Kamala Harris" by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Former Vice President Joe Biden, as a Presidential Candidate, has always struggled to get his supporters enthusiastic about him. It is called an "enthusiasm gap." However, when he announced his Vice Presidential choice, Senator Kamala Harris, this changed. As I watched news commentators, especially black contributors, they could not hide their elation at the news that Joe Biden has selected a women of color to be his running mate. Reports are that the Biden campaign raised more funds in 24 hours, after Senator Kamala Harris was announced as his pick, than at any other time in his campaign. Many of the donors reportedly are first-time donors.

Senator Kama Harris has long been favored to be former Vice President Joe Biden's Vice Presidential running mate. He was pledged to select a female running mate. Multiple women were vying also to become his running mate. All of them were qualified. My mom was vocal in her wish and prediction that Kamala Harris would become Joe Biden's running mate. I was not in the room when her name was announced. But Mom shouted the news from her living room where she was watching TV, and so I soon found out. And I was not surprised, as many advocacy groups have been lobbying Joe Biden to include Kamala Harris on the ticket with him.

I like and admire Senator Kamala Harris. By anyone's standards, she is brilliant, passionate, persistent, and a strong woman. She has distinguished herself in her long career as a prosecutor. She has been a fierce advocate for criminal justice reform and against racism. She has vowed never to seek the death penalty against anyone she would prosecute.  She has fought against her area's high homicide rate as well as environmental issues. She sought to impose tough sentences for violent crimes like murder, and to be light on nonviolent crimes like drug offenses. Her brilliant debate and questioning skills have been caught on tape in Presidential Primary debates and in Congressional hearings. She is passionately committed to what she believes and apparently always has been.

Yes, I am excited that Joe Biden has added diversity to his ticket. I am glad that he has chosen a woman and one of color, half African-American and half Asian-American. Yet my excitement is tempered by one large fact about the entire ticket.

The consensus among pro-life organizations is the the current Joe Biden/Kamala Harris ticket is considered to be the most pro-abortion Presidential campaign ticket in U.S. history. Already, I am seeking "Stop Kamala Harris" ads on Christian right and Conservative sites, along with their "Stop Joe Biden" ads. 

It is well-documented that Senator Kamala Harris supports abortion on demand. Like many Left-leaning Democrats who lean Left on abortion, Harris views abortion as an essential woman's right. Like any pro-choice advocate, she believes that women should control their own bodies. She holds that they should make their own decisions about their bodies. Reportedly, she agrees with the widespread belief that abortion protects women and is safer than childbirth. She seems to blame restricted abortion access, in part, for the high maternal mortality rate in the African-American community. Like many other pro-choice advocates, she favors increased access to abortion for low-income people, declaring that this means equality and human rights.

Joe Biden's pick of Senator Kamala Harris as his Vice Presidential Candidate pick shows that he is apparently taking a large voting bloc for granted. I'm talking about all the pro-life voters and voters of faith who do not support Donald Trump and lean Left on many social justice issues. These pro-life, social justice voters number in the millions, among Republicans, Independents, and Democrats. It's true that there are few women among the qualified politicians who could have been his running mate. But what about Senator Katrina Jackson? It is unclear if she was ever under consideration for vetting to be Joe Biden's running mate. It is too late for that at this point. Now we have a full ticket. And the VP Candidate arguably may be even more pro-abortion than the Presidential Candidate himself.

In fact, Kamala Harris, as a Prosecutor, had taken action against a pro-life whistle-blower who had exposed trafficking in baby body parts at Planned Parenthood. I include an article below about it. By her actions, Harris showed that she was on the side of Planned Parenthood. The whistle-blower, David Daleiden, has sued Harris for violating his First Amendment rights in his undercover work in exposing baby trafficking. This is troubling to pro-life voters who want to support Joe Biden but who know about this and realize what side she clearly is on. Don't get me wrong. I admire and like Harris and the many things she has done for social justice. If only she would soften and modify her position on abortion. I really like Joe Biden personally. If only Joe Biden would soften and modify his position on abortion. If only, if only....

Where do we go from here? All that we pro-life voters, who do not support Donald Trump, can hope and pray for is this:  We have under two months until the Election. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris want to beat Donald Trump. To do this easily and avoid the chaos of a close Election, they need pro-life voters badly. And the only way they can get them is to earn our vote. How can Biden and Harris do this? They can listen to pro-life but social justice voters like us. They can respond to the efforts of Democrats for Life of America in their appeal on our behalf. They can appear of Fox News, which attracts many pro-life listeners. They can hold town halls and welcome questions from pro-life voters. They can take to the airwaves to voice their desire to earn our vote. 

Joe Biden, you promised to work to earn every vote that you get. How about applying your campaign pledge to "anti-Trump" pro-life voters, Democrats included?

Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris, will you please reach out to a group of voters that includes about 21 million Democrats?

This is the virtually complete profile of Senator Kamala Harris. It does not include her position on abortion. Read article.

This neutral article gives the abortion position of Senator Kamala Harris. Read article.

David Daleiden, pro-life journalist, has sued Senator Kamala Harris for allege violation of his First Amendment rights. She had taken action against him after he came out as a whistleblower against Planned Parenthood. Read article.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

A Pro-Life Democrat Reviews REAL CHOICES

 


This is my current book review of REAL CHOICES: LISTENING TO WOMEN, LOOKING FOR ALTERNATIVES TO ABORTION, by Frederica Mathews-Green. Mathews-Green has long identified as a pro-life feminist. I am unable to locate any author bio in this book. But book endorsements indicate that well-known pro-life leaders have embraced this author. According to her book Introduction, Mathews-Green started out as a feminist and eventually became pro-life, thus calling herself a pro-life feminist. She founded an organization called Common Ground for Life and Choice, which apparently is currently defunct. This book, as already mentioned, starts out with author Acknowledgements and an Introduction,. Then she spread her content throughout 15 chapters. These chapters are followed by .an Appendices, from A to F. These Appendices include multiple survey results studies by various parties, such as Directors of pregnancy resource centers, university studies, and women in crisis themselves. The author wrote this book following travels to multiple states to interview post-abortive women, who graciously and bravely shared their stories with the author.

I find this book to have been written in elegant, engaging prose. Mathews-Green does an excellent job of analyzing how and why so many women choose abortions. She stresses how so many of them choose it because of pressures from their families or society. For them, abortion is neither a free no easy choice. This book avoids the inflammatory rhetoric found in so much pro-life literature. She writes as one who can feel women's pain before and after getting abortions.  I do have issues with her proposed solutions, however. Clearly, the author discourages single parenting and enthusiastically recommends adoption. And not just any adoption, either. She argues even against open adoption. Her argument is that open arrangements do not actually benefit the birth mothers or the children they surrender for adoption. As I read parts of her book, it seems that Matthews-Green is okay with returning us to the era of "closed," traditional adoptions that were so often shrouded in secrecy, deception, and shame--in the name of protecting children. I cannot grasp that she would want so-called closed, traditional adoptions to be the preferred choice for women facing crisis pregnancies. Despite the challenges of parenting, it seems to me that it would be in the best interests of children to help heal their birth families, so they can grow up with them. Adoption should be chosen as a last resort. I am pro-adoption, as long as minimum harm is done to children and their families in separating them and the separation is a must.

I recommend this book for anyone in the pro-life movement. I especially recommend it to social workers, adoption agencies, to anyone working in pregnancy resource centers. It may prove interesting, even if they may not agree with the author's findings or proposed solutions. I recommend this book for anyone with a pro-choice worldview who works with girls and women. I recommend this book to pro-choice advocates, including those who work in settings like Planned Parenthood clinics or private abortion clinics. Those who are pro-choice need to read the book with open minds, assured that the author may disagree with them on abortion but does not view them as the Enemy.

My review of this book is based on a later Edition of this book, which was published in 2013 by the Felicity Press. 


Saturday, August 8, 2020

Traditional Prolifers, Please Consider This



Members of the traditional pro-life movement, I am directing this one to you. I  am talking about all of you who are working to reduce or end abortion and save the unborn. I am talking to you, whether you are involved in lobbying those in power, seeking to raise awareness, or providing services to girls and women in crisis and families. I know that you consider the upcoming Election critical, just as those you oppose consider it, but for their reasons.

I know that many of you consider yourself "one issue people." You justify this by declaring that preventing and ending the murder of millions of unborn babies matters more than any other issue in any Election. Most of you state that fighting for the unborn and against abortion matters more than any social justice issue that those on the Left typically focus on. Most of you make the case that preventing and ending abortion is a matter of life and death. All the other issues mean the people at least have been born.
Your argument is that these other victims of injustice can cry out on their own behalf. But unborn babies cannot. They are totally voiceless. And you have a point.

You acknowledge that racism exists, but declare that racism plays a central role in abortion. The founder of birth control, Margaret Sanger, wanted to eliminate "undesirables," including black people.
Birth control often opens the door to abortion--"If your birth control doesn't work, you can get an abortion." Abortion rates on black people are high. Pro-lifers tend to define racism narrowly in terms of its major role in abortions. The pro-life movement concedes that poverty exists. But you argue that the poor are at least born, and there is no clear-cut way to address poverty at the legislative level. Your movement agrees that immigration matters, but that it is not a core issue, as migrants are at least born. 

Yes, the right to life is the core issue. I may be hearing at this point, "I told you so!" Have you considered that these very social justice issues help drive girls, women, and families to abortion? It is income inequality that pushes so many girls and women to abortion. Abortions are viewed, generally, as more affordable and far less expensive than parenting. You cite adoption as an alternative to abortion. It is. But most girls and women facing crisis pregnancies somehow are not receiving the education on it to choose it. Why do girls, women, and families find it less painful to kill babies by abortion rather than surrender these babies for adoption? Can part of it be that more affluent, privileged adopting families are often seen as exploiting vulnerable pregnant women? 

I know that Joe Biden, the Democratic Presidential Candidate, has moved to the far Left on abortion. He has even called repeal to the Hyde Amendment, calling for taxpayer funding for abortions for those who cannot afford them. Many allege that he favors abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy. In fact, the Democratic Party has moved their abortion platform to the far Left. Make it available throughout all nine months of pregnancy and payable by the U.S. taxpayer. If a person opposes abortion, it should be simple to vote Democratic politicians out. 

However, voting against Democrats is not so simple. This is because most of their social justice issues underlie and affect the ability to live. 

Racism kills many of its victims. A casual study of history illustrates this. Even today, police brutality and other hate crimes kill blacks and other people of color. Poverty breeds much violent crime, through driving many to despair over lack of options and being unheard. Many of these violent crimes include murders. Lack of universal health care access can kill people when they cannot access lifesaving medical care. Anti-immigration policies can kill migrants when they are not allowed in safer countries or are forced to return to dangerous countries where they can get killed. I can go on and on.

Yes, you have your pregnancy resource centers. Though them and their practical services to girls, women, and families, you can argue that you are not just anti-abortion. However, those on the Left typically portray these centers as "anti-choice fake clinics." Somehow, the word about these centers and what they do is not getting to the mainstream culture. How is it that the public knows much more about Planned Parenthood than about these pregnancy resource centers? Have these centers, like so much of your cause, become seen as aligned with the GOP and President Trump at present, and become turn offs? Should center Directors permit the President and other GOP politicians to speak at events? What kind of message does this send?

Let me share a personal experience. It occurred at a pro-life March for Life rally that I went to with a church-based group. When we listened to speeches by local pro-life leaders, the Director for our local network of pregnancy resource centers got up to speak. In the course of her speech, she exclaimed" "Praise the Lord! Our chosen Presidential Candidate, Donald Trump, has won! A victory for Life and the unborn! Glory to God!" This is a paraphrase of what she said. However, it left a bad "taste in my mouth." What message would this send to resource center clients or prospective clients?

It is no secret that your movement aligns with the Republican Party. This is no mystery. The GOP, generally speaking, have traditionally run on an anti-abortion platform. There are pro-choice Republicans, but they typically do not do well in GOP primaries, much less win the White House. Recently, the GOP, for the most part, have lost much credibility and moral authority by failing to stand up to President Donald Trump. despite all his harmful actions and policies. As for Trump, you have "anointed" him as the "most pro-life" President in U.S. history. Yet, generally speaking, we have not seen you stand up to the President despite his often inappropriate, unPresidential, unConstituational, even dangerous words, attitudes, and policies. 

Certainly, you do not want to come across as anti-abortion and pro-birth but not truly pro-life for all lives. But how you have related to President Trump and the GOP in the past few years have sent this message, I fear. Is there any way abortion can be taken out of politics and put into the human rights arena, much like human trafficking? Is there a way you can talk to Democrats and other pro-choice forces where you listen to their concerns, find common ground on social justice issues, while challenging them on abortion? If you believe in prayer, pray, pray, pray, for hearts to change.



Wednesday, August 5, 2020

When Things Don't Work



"IMG_3861" by gurudc is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Three weeks ago, I ordered several items. Though I paid for Priority Mail to get the items faster, I had not received the items until after three weeks. Yes, I know that pandemic safety precautions have caused delays in the first place. But into over three weeks of a Priority Mail order indicates that something has not been working.

For the past week, I have been unable to print up items on my spouse's home printer. Even after repeated attempts at printing, installing an app, and restarting my computer, I have been unable to get the printer to work. Something about this printer is not working. My spouse has just purchased a new printer. Will it work? 

A few days ago, I picked up a number of items, believing that my Over the Counter Benefits card would cover them. When my spouse and I presented the items to a cashier for scanning, the Benefits card covered only one item. The rest I had to pay for out of pocket. Something was not working.

These are only small-scale, really minor items that affect only one person--me. Well, for the most part. But there is something occurring on a wide scale that is affecting millions of individuals and families. Their unemployment benefits expired last weekend. Those benefits, vital to so many families and lives, have not yet been renewed. Congress has never arrived at an agreement to renew those vital unemployment benefits, among a package of other COVID-19 relief measures.

This is because what Congress, as a body is doing, is not working. 

Democrats and Republicans are sharply divided over renewing unemployment benefits. Democrats want to renew unemployment benefits at the same $600 level. Reportedly, Republicans want to cut that amount to possibly as low as $200. Democrats want to send aid to state and local governments. Republicans want to provide immunity protections for businesses. Democrats argue that people desperately still need the $600 per week to survive and keep us from plunging into a depression. Republicans argue that $600 a week will be a disincentive for people to return to work.

Reportedly, both parties have been engaging in "talks" about this COVID-19 relief bill. Though reports claim that "talks" have been "productive," both sides reportedly are as divided as ever about the COVID-19 measure. Both sides are supposed to meet again for another "talk."

In the meantime, many people who rent face eviction. Many who own homes face possibly losing their homes. Government officials keep arguing over how to deal with COVID-19, whether to simply wear a mask or not, whether to impose lock-downs on parts of the economy or not, and what to do about re-opening schools this fall. We see no co-ordinated response to COVID-19. From the beginning, the U.S. government has not worked together to provide us a co-ordinated response. COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise. 

The federal government is not working together. Because of this, they are not working. And it is showing in our inability to get this pandemic under control.
 
Generally speaking, Democratic government officials have been responding to COVID-19 with seriousness, avoiding conspiracy theories surrounding it and exercising leadership. And generally speaking, Republicans have not taken the pandemic as seriously, have fallen for and spread conspiracy theories, and have failed to show leadership. Something, someone (s), is not working.

What is the disconnect? Republicans, in general, have failed to respond to COVID-19,a clear life issue, without seriousness. (There are a few exceptions) They have dismissed behavioral measures that research has indicated can save lives. And many of their supporters, believing them, have been failing to comply with public health officials' findings , recommendations, and warning. Oh, and by the way, Republicans brand themselves as the "party of life" and "family values.:" 

The disconnect concerning Democrats? Generally, Democratic government officials have been taking the pandemic seriously. They have been calling for measures like wearing masks, vigorous sanitation, and social distancing, Many have been imposing mandates. These officials have been stressing the need to listen to science and facts above politics. Their supporters are more likely, according to research, to do things like wearing masks, social distancing, and staying at home. Yes, and this is the party that, ironically, is the "party of death" and abortion.

What will it take for the U.S. government to work again? Democrats, consider giving up your abortion extremism and appeal more to pro-life constituents. Get any abortion provisions out of the COVID-19 relief bill. Is abortion an essential service? Republicans, start putting your constituents above corporate interests. Work with Democrats on keeping unemployment at the original $600 a week level. Maybe you can start working together and working--again.

Oh, and my order arrived later on the draft of this writing. When will both sides of Congress see the light, fix their issues, and start working again?

This article presents the GOP argument for reducing unemployment benefits from the $600 per week to a lower amount. Read article.

This article presents the divide between Democrats and Republicans about the broad COVID-19 relief bill. Read article.

Those in the Christian community face much pressure to not vote for Joe Biden, based on his year-long, far-left abortion position. Read article.


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