Category Archives: Pro-Life Issues

Rick Warren’s abortion tweet and how it hurts the pro-life cause #NoMoreShame

Today Rick Warren tweeted this:

And then John Piper retweeted it.

And then I broke down crying.

Because you know what? HOW Christians talk about things REALLY does matter.

Using flippant, shaming, callous language when speaking about deeply
sensitive and painful subjects, brings HARM and not HEALING.

It absolutely breaks my heart when
Christian pastors with huge, national influence
WASTE their place of privilege and LOSE the hearts of hurting people
for the sake of a cheap shot,
a quick thrill,
a PUNCHY tweet.

When these pastors choose to indulge in cheap, tasteless, flippant analogies
about abortion
guess who takes the hit?
We, the pro-life advocates.
We, the Mamas and women who are trying to
build bridges, engage respectful dialogue,
seek solutions,
hear stories,
offer support.

Brothers in Christ, please refrain from the language of shame.
Please support us by choosing words of grace to tweet to your massive audiences.
Please work with us by choosing words that edify the dignity of human life. Please don’t make the battle harder than it already is.

Virginity: New & Improved!

Yes, I was a virgin on my wedding day. Then again, I was only 20. Yes, remaining a virgin until my wedding day saved me from some romantic heartbreak. Then again, I’ve had other heartbreaks. Yes, chastity is special. Then again, so are lots of virtues. Except, as a 20 year old bride, I thought virginity was extra-extra special and would win me lots of special prizes like: a happily ever after marriage.

It took me a long time to realize I idolized virginity. I kept saying I was just promoting virtue and chastity and purity! Nothing wrong with pushing purity, right? Nothing wrong with Being Good!

Like other Christians, I talked about the “sacrifice” of abstinence. There were princess-themed books about saving our first kiss. Some of us wore purity rings and made pledges to our Daddies not to have sex until we’re married.

Ultimately, we implied that a woman’s inherent worth and dignity could be measured by whether or not a man has touched her.

I understand why we do this. Christians are alarmed by what we see as a sexually permissive society. America no longer seems to share our values. This scares us. The less sacred sex seems to the broader culture, the more sacred we insist on making it among fellow Christians.

The intention might be good but over-emphasizing the specialness of virginity has unintended, harmful consequences.

We start by making ridiculous promises to our daughters. We tell them that “sexual purity” is a guarantor of a more intimate married sex life. We tell them that if they “lose” their purity, they will never really get it back. Oh, yes. They can be forgiven. But. You know. They’re damaged goods.

Christians say that the world objectifies women through immodest dress and a permissive sexual ethic. However, by idolizing sexual purity and preoccupying ourselves with female modesty and an emphasis on hyper-purity, Christians actually engage in reverse objectivization. 

Yes, we Christians say, we believe in the inherent dignity of all human life. But we especially believe in it if that human life is virginal, wears a purity ring and bleeds on her wedding night.

This is harmful and, dare I say, idolatrous.

Virtue is self-evident. It is virtuous simply because it is virtue.

Virtue doesn’t require a bunch of after-market purity rings and virginity pledges to make it more awesome. Virtue can’t be improved upon.

There is no such thing as New & Improved Virginity.

Whenever we seek to improve upon virtue, we are actually creating an idol. Furthermore, by elevating virginity to the ethereal realms of unicorns and angels, we place an unfair burden upon the shoulders of real, human beings.

And that’s what concerns me the most. The New & Improved Virginity places a heavy weight of shame upon women—even those who are virgins.

I was a virgin and I didn’t feel “pure enough”  because I’d kissed a couple boys before my husband. I was a virgin and I felt horribly defiled because I’d discovered this crazy, secret thing called masturbating. I was a virgin and I was disappointed to realize that my ‘sacrifice’ didn’t automatically result in a happily ever after marriage.

I was a virgin and I felt superior to “damaged” women. The purity culture showed no compassion for me so I had no compassion for myself or women who had “chosen” to “give away” their virtue.

So, here’s the thing. I absolutely reject the idolizing and fetishizing of virginity.

I refuse to sit down with my daughter and have a Purity Talk because I have this thing called a relationship with her. We talk everyday. Boys and sex and romantic relationships come up as casual topics, in the midst of daily, real-life together.

It would be just plain awkward—not to mention, harmful and distasteful—to make a whole scene out of it complete with marching bands, purity rings, pledges, purity balls and whatever else. 

And anyway, my daughter is inherently precious simply because she exists. Her worth and dignity as a human being have NOTHING to do with what she does or doesn’t do. Yes, we talk about virtue. But mostly, we live it. And when we mess up we have compassion for our humanity.

We are human. We are worthy. We are not ashamed.

What was YOUR experience with purity culture?
Did it have an impact on your married sex life?
How do YOU talk about sex and relationships with YOUR kids?

 please read my followup post: Am I being soft on sin?

“Good luck and I hope that you do get your boy” (sex-selective abortion in America?)

At a well-check for my oldest son last week, I struck up a conversation with another mother in the waiting room. Her adorable baby girl was smiling and cooing at me and I couldn’t help remarking on her cuteness.

“She’s so tiny!” I said. “How old is she?”

“She’s one, but she was born super early.”

“My twins were preemies, too” I said. “They were born at 34 weeks.”

“My baby was born at 26 weeks,” she said. “She barely weighed one pound.”

“Well, she’s absolutely beautiful.”

“Thank you!” the mother beamed. “We were so scared for her, but the NICU doctors took such good care of her!”

We chatted for a moment about our shared NICU experiences and later, I thought about this wonderful miracle of technology: that tiny babies born at 26 weeks can be nursed to health.

And then, with a sinking heart I also realized that as technology advances and we are able to rescue prematurely born babies at earlier stages of development, late term abortion of these same babies is still legal–which means that the line between between ending a non-viable pregnancy and killing a human being is becoming increasingly blurry.

But this isn’t all. As The Economist reported, there is a worldwide war on baby girls. Baby girls are being aborted (or outright killed at birth) at a far higher rate than boys. And sex-selection isn’t just happening in China and India. It’s happening right here in America.

In fact, recent undercover investigations of Planned Parenthood clinics across America revealed that a woman could procure an abortion simply because the unborn baby was a girl. And the parents wanted a boy.

How can Planned Parenthood claim to be “pro-woman” while directly assisting in the sex-selective abortions of baby girls?

To me, being pro-woman means being pro-ALL-women, including the ‘unplanned’ ones. What baffles me about the logic behind the (“pro-woman”) “right to choose” is that it actually discriminates against women–especially in the case of anti-female, sex-selective abortion.

I mean, Planned Parenthood’s reasoning seems to be that it’s not their place to ask why a woman seeks an abortion. Any reason, apparently, is equally valid–including just not wanting another baby girl.

So, we’ll schedule you for an abortion and if the ultrasound reveals that it’s a boy, you can just cancel your appointment!

Yes, this is happening in America.

What can we do to protect our baby girls? Sign the petition to stop sex-selective abortion.

Friday Roundup

Here are some pieces I’ve been reading and thinking about this week. Enjoy.

Scott Morizot shares a fascinating video about the difference between the Orthodox & Protestant view of salvation. Be sure to read the comments, too. Scott is great at dissecting/explaining the ideas.

Jennifer Fulwiler shares some thoughts from St. Francis de Sales about prayer and how to place yourself in the presence of God.

New research shows that bilingualism can help ward off Alzheimer’s and dementia. Yet another good reason to teach your kids a second language!

Rachel Held Evans asks: have you been exposed to the myth that beauty is part of “biblical womanhood”? With all the pressures placed on Christian women, I found Rachel’s insights especially myth-shattering.

Bound4Life, a prayer-based pro-life group which eschews vocal, angry protests and instead relies on silence and prayer, shared an interesting video that highlighted some of the recent debate on Mike Pence’s amendment to defund Planned Parenthood.  (By the way, the House voted 240-185 to defund Planned Parenthood).

Yes, I am going to Relevant ’11: a Christian blogging conference! Shocking, right? Here’s why: I think it’s hugely important for Christians of all persuasions to make an effort at crossing theological lines and demonstrating love to their brothers and sisters who perhaps practice their faith in different ways. The Christian community is larger than just conservative, homeschooling evangelicals or just Catholics or just _______(fill in the blank). I am making this decision in good faith, hoping I will be welcomed. My heart is open. Is yours? (Relevant tickets go on sale March 1st. I would love to meet some of you in person. Please consider attending?)

Because an ultrasound (not an abortion) is “cruel and unusual punishment”

An Oaklahoma judge has halted enforcement of a new abortion law which requires women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion. 

Pro-choice advocates are relieved because "forcing" a woman to see her "fetus" before she kills it "can only be viewed as unconstitutional in that it violates the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against 'cruel and unusual punishment.'"

Well, actually, the only way this can be viewed as 'cruel and unusual punishment' is if the "fetus" is not just a "blob of cells" but is, in fact, something else. Perhaps something human. Otherwise, what's so cruel about looking at a blob of unwanted cells?

To put a finer point on it, if it's true that forcing an ultrasound on an expectant mother is "cruel and unusual punishment," what do we call forcing an abortion on an unborn child? 

But, of course, it's "paternalistic" to believe that a "fetus" is anything more than a "blob of cells" that has taken up unwelcome residence inside a woman's body.

Still, on a scale of 1-10, which procedure is more 'cruel and unusual'? Peering into the womb or being sucked out of it? For a pro-choicer, I guess the answer depends on who's asking. Apparently, the only females that exist are the adult ones, not the unborn ones.

What's also troubling about the pro-choice resistance to this new law is the idea that it's unconstitutional to require informed choice. A woman should be allowed to slough off those cells without seeing its beating heart or hearing a description of its vital organs.

Because this is America! Women reserve the right to "be given the information they want, and only that information…" [emphasis mine]

It seems that when it comes to procuring a swift, easily-accessible abortion, getting "only the information she wants" is a cornerstone tenet of a woman's reproductive "rights." God forbid she actually actually get the whole truth because that's 'cruel and unusual punishment.'

The willful ignorance is truly astonishing. In what other arena of life do half-truths hold such sway? For example, can you imagine using that kind of logic in court? "I swear to tell the partial-truth, the half-truth and nothing but the truth I want, so help me God"?

Pro-choice activists seem determined to maintain the lie that unborn children are non-persons. And they don't want ANYTHING to hint otherwise. Because then we might get upset and leave the abortion clinic crying. 

"Not one patient would look at the screen and they all closed their eyes or turned their heads," said Linda Meek, director of Reproductive Services in Tulsa, which does 3,000 abortions a year.

The inconvenient truth is that once a mother sees her unborn child, it's harder to delude herself into believing it's just a blob of cells that can be clipped off like overgrown fingernails.

But when it comes to being pro-choice, the one choice you're not allowed to make is an informed one. 

Good Christian girls don’t talk about sex. We just obsess about it.

I was a zealot in college. Like stand-in-the-quad-and-preach-the-Gospel crazy. I didn't wave a Turn or Burn sign, though. So, that's a relief.

But I tried really hard to be spiritual. This made me depressed. I felt awful most days, especially on the days when God wouldn't lead me to an open parking spot–even after I prayed about it. 

I prayed all day every day about everything. Mostly because I was trying not to think about sex.

Which only made me think about sex more.

When Christian girls I knew talked about wanting to get married, they all wanted different things than I did. They wanted a man who "really loved the Lord" or who wanted to "serve the Lord in ministry." 

I just wanted a Christian guy who was hot and liked sex.

The one time I admitted this, the good, Christian girls frowned at me and said I "immature" and "unspiritual." Another married Christian woman told me not to think about sex because it "wasn't all it was chalked up to be."

I thought they were whacked. But I kept my  mouth shut. Maybe that's another reason why I don't do small groups!

The good news is that I got lucky. Or should I say: blessed? Yes, blessed. That's more spiritual. Heh.

Anyway, I was still a freshman in college when a very hot, Christian guy told me he liked me. A month later, he told me he loved me. We got married when I was 20.

We now have five kids. I guess you could say we like sex. We also like what happens as a result; ie. offspring.

I realize, though, that our love story is sorta an anomaly these days. I mean, yeah–my extremist background was crazy–but we got one thing right: we were encouraged to marry young.

At the very least it was considered a good thing and not a YOU'RE-THROWING-YOUR-LIFE-AWAY thing.

I feel sorry for these Christian kids whose parents are telling them to wait to get married until after college, after graduate school, after they get a good career. And then, ONLY WHEN THEY ARE FINANCIALLY SECURE, should they have children.

Here's the thing: you're never ready to have children. You're never really PREPARED for that. I mean, there's no such thing as a "good time" for having kids. That's just a bunch of crap the baby-boom generation invented because they don't want to grow old or be called Grandma.

Yes, you can be responsible. But you don't need to own a house or a SMALL REAL ESTATE EMPIRE before having kids. You don't need to be able to buy a $1500 stroller before having kids.

Lastly, you don't need to enroll your kids in a preschool that charges more than Harvard.

Shoot, you don't really need to buy a crib. Throw a blanket in the bathtub and call it a nursery.

The point is, sex is awesome and if my kids come to me at 18 and say they've met their soul-mates I'll be all: SWEEEEET! Let's have the wedding in the backyard and you guys can live here until you're financially secure!

They'll totally go for that, right?

Hey, it's better than waiting to have sex until you own a small real estate empire. Or a lame-ass Bugaboo stroller.

Orange County De-Funds Planned Parenthood!

Last month, the Orange County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to suspend its contract with Planned Parenthood, stripping the organization of $290,000+ in taxpayer dollars.

Of course, there's been an uproar. Supporters of Planned Parenthood have obtained 4,000 signatures protesting the decision. They've also shown up at Board meetings to renounce what a USC professor called a "modern-day book burning."

Yeah, because Planned Parenthood is a beneficent, unbiased sex-ed teacher, right? Just some helpful folks providing useful information. And, you know, killing babies.

It's encouraging to know that abortions make up only 10% of their services. Phew. That's a relief.

Is THAT why they posted only $115 million in profit last year? Oops, silly me. Non-profit organizations don't post profits. They post surpluses.

I guess even organizations still need taxpayer bailouts.

What I'd like to know is why the news didn't report the findings of local resident, Mark Bucher?

He followed a complicated money
trail which proved that Planned Parenthood had received taxpayer dollars
through the Orange County Health Care Agency. Planned
Parenthood was never publicly identified as the recipient of these public funds.

How convenient for them.

More troubling still was Planned Parenthood's systemic cover-up of statutory rape. In several undercover videos, young girls were assured that "everything is confidential." Law enforcement was not notified when the underage girls informed the counselors they'd been impregnated by adult men–a clear violation of California law.

True to their benevolent character, Planned Parenthood did not admit to wrongdoing and instead, threatened to sue the filmmaker. You can read the whole story and watch the undercover videos HERE.

If you live in Orange County, please contact our Board of Supervisors and let them know you support their decision. You can find all the contact information HERE.

I am so proud of our Board of Supervisors! Also, it proves that we pro-lifers can make a difference by working at the local level.

Obama Mocks Special Olympics.

Obama's extemporaneous remarks are the most telling. Remember his remark that an unplanned pregnancy is like being "punished with a baby"? And then there were his "spread the wealth around" comments to Joe The Plumber. 

So, I wasn't surprised when, on the Jay Leno show, he compared his bowling skills to "the Special Olympics or something." Read here.

I'm not surprised, but I am saddened. Can you imagine being the parent of a special needs child today? How heartbreaking to know that our President mocked your child on national television. And if this is what he says in public, what does he say in private about the special needs population? How does he really feel about human beings who are not "useful" to society?

I'm beginning to wonder how many times he gets to use the excuse: I didn't intend to offend, I didn't mean what I said, I'm being misunderstood, my words are being taken out of context.

Because if Bush had said anything CLOSE to mocking a minority group, there would be complete outrage. And rightly so. The news shows would carry the story for weeks.

Furthermore, whatever happened to the dignity of the Presidential office? I have a hard time imagining FDR appearing on a late night comedy show cracking jokes about people in wheelchairs. Especially during a Depression.

President Obama's comments were something we might expect of a junior senator from Illinois. Not the President of the United States.

Which makes me wonder: do we have a novice leading the free world? Who is the real President Obama? The man behind the teleprompter, or the one on Leno?

Will the real Obama please stand up?

Or maybe, since he's pre-empting American Idol next week in order to give yet another primetime speech, should we start calling him The Glorious Leader?

Regardless, a President of the United States never makes jokes at the expense of a
minority group. Ever. A Presidential "slip of the tongue" at the wrong
time, in the wrong place can be devastating.

Yesterday, President Obama devastated the special needs population. And the audience laughed.

The audience laughed.

That's what scares me more than anything else.

Tax Dollars & Embryonic Stem Cell Research.

President Obama has lifted the restriction on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. This means that scientists can apply for government money to fund their research. Previous to this, labs had to segregate everything–literally, everything from buildings to microscopes–to prove that they weren't using federal dollars for ESC research.

Since 2001, stem cell research funding has been limited. Yes, this hampered progress. Yes, it slowed down the research. But when
it comes to such morally fraught issues, we exercise caution
necessarily. It's not as if former President George W. Bush wanted
America to fall behind in scientific advancement. I think he understood
that technology and scientific advancement ought to move in tandem with
ethical and moral discussions.

However, I do think Bush's
restriction was politically motivated since it did nothing to reduce
the actual number of embryos being destroyed. The real issue is not who gets to use what money, but whether or not destruction of human embryos is moral. Period. After all, fertility clinics have been incinerating leftover embryos for years. Where was the public outcry about that?

I was struck by the comments from Dr. Curt Civin (founding director of the Maryland Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine):

was already life that was going to be destroyed
," he said. "The choice is throw them away or use them for research."

Well, at least he's admitting it's LIFE. That's not something you hear scientists say too often. And he does make a good point: scientists are merely proposing to bring some good from "life that was going to be destroyed" anyway. If we were going to be morally outraged, we should have done that right when in vitro technology precluded the destruction of "leftover" embryos. Now that researchers have proposed co-opting these embryos for research, it seems somewhat hypocritical to cry foul.

Still, if we admit that a human embryo is life, then we must ask ourselves: is it ethical to destroy one life to save another?

Furthermore, is it morally acceptable to use taxpayer dollars to do so?

With each new scientific breakthrough there arises the need for its ethical governance. This is because with great advancement comes the potential for great exploitation. New laws must be written, oversight committees formed and accountability enforced. Otherwise, we'll have "Octomom" scenarios run amuck. Except instead of over-implanting embryos, people will be lining up to have themselves cloned. Yikes.

Has President Obama given the taxpayers enough information? He assures us that his administration will develop "strict guidelines" for stem cell experiments. OK, but what will those guidelines look like? Will the researchers be accountable to the government? Or a
private oversight committee? Will there be direct, punitive action
taken if these federally funded labs & experiments do not adhere to said guidelines?

On the other hand, I have nothing but utmost respect for these underpaid, hard working scientists. At least they care about the suffering of humanity. Unlike, say, guys named Madoff. Or Bernanke, for that matter.

If these unheralded rock-star scientists can discover the cure for childhood leukemia, should we with-hold embryos that are going to be destroyed anyway?

I don't know. Do two wrongs make a right? Do the ends justify the means?

I do know President Obama ought to give us more concrete answers before he starts spending our tax dollars.