February 4, 2019
Last week New York became the eighth state to allow legal abortion up to and including an abortion for a woman who is in labor. All late term abortions include the dismemberment of the baby, but I would submit that the reality of an abortion in the final weeks or hours of a pregnancy is nothing less than infanticide. Those who oppose this gruesome practice accept the truth of God’s Word and the confirmation by prenatal science that human life incredibly and marvelously begins at conception. Those that accept the practice of abortion at any stage, now up to and including the final minutes of a child’s life inside the womb, believe (or claim to believe) that the fetus is simply a clump of cells which is part of a woman’s body and that she should have the right to eliminate if she chooses. In 1995 Pope John Paul II declared that the Catholic Church’s teaching on abortion is unchanged and unchangeable. Therefore, I declare that direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, always constitutes a grave moral disorder, since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being. This doctrine is based upon the natural law and upon the written word of God, is transmitted by the Church’s tradition and taught by the ordinary and universal magisterium. No circumstance, no purpose, no law whatsoever can ever make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit, since it is contrary to the law of God which is written in every human heart, knowable by reason itself, and proclaimed by the Church”
The abortion issue is a reminder that our freedom of religion is under attack. It should cause us to awaken to the reality that our religious freedom, one of the fundamental freedoms that most Americans take for granted, is in peril. In a recent study by the Pew Research Center, it was reported that, “three out of every four persons in the world face high government or social restrictions on their religious practice.” Government restrictions include laws against “proselytism” or “blasphemy,” while social restrictions, although not carrying the official approval of the state, might include the loss of a job, or persecution in the workplace or the classroom in response to the exercise of one’s faith. In the case of society-based restrictions on religious liberty, government officials often look the other way when abuses occur. As Christian school parents we believe that our religious rights include our choice to provide an education from the world view perspective of our Christian faith and the right to provide this type of education should be unquestioned by the government.
You might ask, how is our most treasured freedom, the freedom of religious choice under attack, and why is this such a concern for Christians in America and around the world? In this country we have seen laws passed in the last two decades related to health care and reproductive rights that are contrary to and challenge our biblical worldview. A statement by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops referring to laws which require businesses and religious organizations to adhere to certain practices said, “When these laws are implemented, the federal government forces religious institutions to facilitate and fund products and practices contrary to their own moral teaching and purport to define which religious institutions are “religious enough” to merit protection of their religious liberty.” Speaking about the Catholic church’s position on contraception, Archbishop William Lori, of Baltimore, Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, testified to Congress: “This is not a matter of whether contraception may be prohibited by the government. This is not even a matter of whether contraception may be supported by the government. Instead, it is a matter of whether religious people and institutions may be forced by the government to provide coverage for contraception or sterilization, even if that violates their religious beliefs.”
In addition to the governments intervention in health and reproductive issues, there are other recent examples which have resulted in an intrusion into our religious liberty. The restriction of Christian students to practice their faith openly on college campuses under the guise of tolerance is rampant. This intrusion is seen in the action in some states to attempt to deny credit for students who attend Christian schools which teach Biblical Creation rather than naturalist evolution, and it is also present in the forced inclusion of sexual preference teaching in the educational process of children from kindergarten and up even when Christian parents voice their opposition. These are all issues of religious freedom which should be determined by parents, not imposed by government. The freedom of religion is not just the issue of which church we attend or how we worship. It is about how we choose to live our lives, and how our faith impacts all of our daily decisions. I just happen to believe that the decisions we make about our children and the preservation of their future ability to choose to live under the truths and principles taught in the Word of God are of the utmost importance. With this in mind I would challenge every Christian parent to examine every issue on which they will vote in coming elections to determine who will advance the treasured American heritage of true religious freedom or who would continue this assault on one of our most fundamental rights.
As Christian parents who love our children we must remember that we are in a battle for the hearts and minds of our children. I would offer this encouragement from God’s Word. Ephesians 6:10-13, “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.” Ultimately, we are not surprised when evil would seek to overtake our land because we understand that the opponent is not a political figure or an institution, our battle as Christians is against “principalities, and powers, and rulers of darkness of this world.” The good news is that this battle is not ours but the God we serve. As believers, as citizens, and as parents, we must obey our marching orders from God’s Word and take a FIRM STAND!!