News from the Center: Digest

News from the Center: Digest (17)

 

 

 

Wow! It happened. Roe v. Wade, the most onerous ruling since the Dred Scot ruling, was finally overturned. And make no mistake, it was a great ruling as far as it goes. But that is the question: “How far did it go?” It really didn’t go any further than merely stating the obvious, “There is no right to abortion in the Constitution.” And if that procedure is going to be any part of our culture, it must be handled through one’s elected officials, not through a court of nine people improperly legislating when they should be adjudicating.

 

Someone quipped, “The world is moving so fast these days that the one who says it can’t be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.”

I thought rather cynically about this quote as I listened to the Supreme Court argue over the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Just a decade and a half ago, this legislation was signed into law, defining marriage for federal purposes as the union of one man and one woman.

DOMA came as a safeguard against individual states redefining marriage and forcing the federal government (the whole nation!) to treat same-sex marriage as legitimate.

 

The purpose of surgery is to heal, to mend, to rid the body of disease, legions, blockages and the like. Surgery may involve knitting that which has been torn, or removing that which poses danger. To be sure, no surgery is to be taken lightly, as it involves cutting, and the like, and yet its results are often miraculous, restoring mobility, sight, and health.

And then there's surgical abortion, the surgery that lives in a world of euphemisms, and is rightfully ashamed. Surgical abortion, the kind that happens at Planned Parenthood clinic, involves cutting, but brings no health, rids the body of no disease. While surgery can be a life saver, surgical abortion does nothing other than to end the life of a human being, and to do it in a way that no one wants to talk about. In removing a heart blockage, in excising a tumor, there is a sense of accomplishment, but now we are dealing with the body of baby. This is no lumpectomy, but a baby.

 

We live in an age of identity politics. On the intersectionality totem pole, there is nothing lower than a white, male, cisgendered Christian. What's remarkable is that those most susceptible to identity politics, from a statistical standpoint, are white women, Christians included. Young people, flooded by the messages on TikTok and Tumblr, are bombarded with messages that if they don't fit in socially, it may be due to the fact that they are one of the myriad of other genders. The results are horrific. Young people have been seduced into the gender madness, which has all the earmarks of a club, or rather, a cult. A change in gender signals that you are now a member of the in club.

 

There is nothing like being there. Because of my work in Washington, D.C., I have been present at the Supreme Court for the two days that could change our country. First was the day that the Dobb’s Case was argued before the Supreme Court back in December 2021. And the second, May 3, 2022, was the day of protests fueled by the illegally leaked Dobb’s “potential- outcome” brief, leaked before the final ruling in June. Simply stated, the Court would finally do what it should have done those many years ago. It would state unequivocally that Roe v. Wade is not a “constitutional” matter. No matter what your views on abortion, this ruling would merely return it to the voters. So, a move that has been anticipated by jurists, politicians, and average folks on both sides of the question, now is coming to fruition.

We are all familiar with the problem of the workaholic father. He pours his time and energy into his career, and in the process he puts his family on the back burner. Even though his role as an employee and provider is a good thing, it becomes a means of harm. It is not only his children who suffer. He, too, is robbed of the relationships that matter most. We’ve all heard this sad story. There is, however, an analogous problem we rarely acknowledge.

Like workaholic dads, stay-at-home moms can feel torn between the claims of two roles. We are wives but also mothers, and sometimes we relegate the first vocation to the back burner. It is not simply a matter of too little time. The problem is deeper and far more complicated.

How shall we shine the light of Christ? That's always the challenge, but perhaps the choices have never been so stark. Our world is not pagan. Paganism is something we can deal with. The African church is thriving, as it shines the light in the darkness of witch doctors and assorted evil spirits. But our culture is beyond paganism. It is not only post-Christian; it's virulently anti-Christian, and along with a prosperity that makes madness possible, it is anti-nature, anti-male, anti-female, anti-children, and, in short, anti-human.

The doctrine of the two kingdoms is most often applied to the Christian's obligations to the state, but it also illuminates the cultural controversies which are causing so much confusion in today's church.

 

Last month’s calendar included celebrating “Everything You Think Is Wrong” Day. Everybody knows an awful lot of things.  Everybody knows that marriage is about love, an intense and emotional bond that should not be entered lightly.  And because of that, everybody knows that you should not get married when you’re young, and you haven’t found yourself.  Everybody knows that you need to date many people so that you can find your soul mate, the one person who is best fit to be your life partner.  Everybody knows that children are resilient, that they are strong.  And everybody knows that it is better for a child to be raised by parents who are divorced than it is to live in an unhappy home.  Oh, and everybody knows that everyone has right to get married, and because of that, gay marriage is just as good as the old man-woman kind.  And, yes, everyone knows that whether you are a man or woman cannot be determined by your body or your DNA, but has to do with what you think you are.

 

Our universities are in trouble, both secular and Christian. But that should come as no surprise, because it's not just a matter of college. Our schools are pushing Social Emotional Learning from kindergarten on. Mindfulness is key, and it's a starting point. Through mindfulness, the child's brain is emptied for rewiring. Make no mistake: schools want to educate "the whole child," and that means rewiring children's brains to reject the things we hold dear, including basic piety towards God and family, father and mother.

 

Who has the credentials to properly educate children? What do citizens owe their state for the provision of public education? How do diverse educational settings create inequity for some students?

These questions (and many, many more) have been bandied about in the Education Wars for years, but are having a new moment in the spotlight thanks to Covidtide. The status of many brick-and-mortar schools and co-ops is up in the air. And while school boards, administrators, teachers and parents scramble for logistical solutions, the ugly political tribalism underneath current public discourse creates more division. We are asking the wrong questions and have forgotten the answers to the right ones. 

 

Today is one of the holiest, if not the holiest day, in the worship life of the Christian Churches around the world. Why? Jesus words on the Cross, “It is finished. ” On that first Good Friday, God is at work in the world to save it…it’s done! On the Cross, Jesus takes our sins upon Himself so that His holiness could be ours as a gift by grace through faith in Him. (Read 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 for an even clearer proclamation of that fact). That’s God at work in the world, ultimately, to save it! 

When thinking about the internet, social media in particular, the Roman road analogy is useful. Built with the nefarious intent to move Roman armies to conquer the known world, the infrastructure nevertheless enabled much good, especially the spread of the Gospel.

Roman armies designed and built roads primarily to move their armies throughout the ancient world to conquer and subjugate people and nations. The road system was a remarkable feat of engineering, using concrete made with volcanic ash and with an elevated surface of tightly packed cut stones, cambered for drainage. Markers — milestones — placed every 1,000 steps allowed army commanders to keep track of their progress. These paved roads stretched more than 50,000 miles, longer than the U.S. Interstate Highway system, crisscrossing Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

Northeast Indiana Right to Life recently hosted its first banquet north of Fort Wayne at the Kruse plaza in Auburn. It was a rousing success. The speaker was former NFL player and candidate for Lt. Governor Matt Birk. He asked whether the Left is actually pro-choice or whether it is in fact pro-abortion. It's not as if Planned Parenthood counsels women to keep their babies. And if Planned Parenthood were really pro-choice, I imagine they would have an adoption consultant on hand to help women make informed decisions.

Two years ago, I quoted Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary for President Bill Clinton, who said,  

The true battle (of the 21st Century) will be between the modern society and the anti-modernists; between those who believe in the primacy of the individual and those who believe that human beings owe their allegiance and identity to a higher authority; between those who give priority to life in this world and those who believe that human life is a mere preparation for existence beyond life; between those who believe in science, reason, and logic and those who believe that truth is revealed through Scripture and religious dogma; Terrorism will disrupt and destroy lives. But it is not the greatest danger that we face.[1]

 

[1] Ramesh Ponnuru, “Robert Reich’s Religion Problem,”  National Review Online, July 6, 2004