Word from the Center Digest: Friday, July 12, 2019

Welcome to “Word from The Center” FRIDAY, a Two-Kingdom, practical reflection on the issues of the day from the Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s issue is….


One of the simplest arguments in the pro-life vs. pro-abortion debate centers on the issue of paying for the “procedure.” Just because something is legal, it doesn’t follow that those who find abortion inhumane should be forced by law to pay for it as well. Why should those who cherish the life of the unborn, the life of the mother, indeed the beauty of the family, have their resources used to destroy innocent life, even if the present law allows others to choose such an atrocity? It shouldn’t. The Hyde Amendment protects against that misuse of our tax dollars.

Yet the debate on this continues. You might say that the Hyde Amendment doesn’t let people “hide” their views anymore.  And that’s a good thing. See the present political debate on the subject at https://www.foxnews.com/politics/2020-dems-blast-support-for-hyde-amendment-after-biden-opposes-repeal.

One of the arguments used, one that actually is meant to stifle the debate, is the notion that the taking of an innocent child’s life in the womb is a “constitutional right.” The right to an abortion is nowhere to be found in the Constitution. Now it is true that in 1973 the United States Supreme Court “found” the right to privacy in the Constitution. Yet it is legally surprising and ironic that the Court extended the “right of privacy” to mean that women now had the right to usurp the rights of the child, ending its life through the means of abortion. If the child had a voice in all of this, it is certain that they, as any of us, would object to such rights being so violently imposed upon them (See the movie “Silent Scream” to view what such imposition looks like in real life).

When such a legal argument is used, it’s important to recall the other times in our history when the Supreme Court veered out of its constitutional lane by legislating moral issues that were meant for the legislatures of our state and federal governments. Remember the 1857 Supreme Court ruling that stated that “slaves were property and had no rights as citizens?” That bad constitutional ruling called the Dred Scott Decision was eventually overturned. But think of the damage that it did to this country, a country that was built on the notion of the government protecting the inalienable rights of all people who had liberty and life given to them by God! It seems to those of us at the LCRL that in our day the unborn child is similarly bearing the brunt of the mercilessness of bad law rooted in our libertinism and not in our common humanity.

It’s true that the abortion rhetoric is at least becoming more honest today. But it is frightening to see the Machiavellian audacity that presently claims a humanitarian motivation to not only enact this right, but to do it with other people’s money. No longer can people hide behind euphemisms. The information is out. “Pro-life” is pro-science, it’s pro-woman, and it’s pro-family. No one is asserting that people, women and men, don’t have choices, as well as constitutional protections regarding how they “use their body.” But such choices and protections are limited when they conflict with another’s choice and another’s body, namely the child’s. And that’s what the debate has always been about.

This year’s March for Life emphasized that “Pro-Life is Pro-Science.” Yes, the day the child is conceived (the day when a man and a woman exercised their “choice”), the child was a human being, genetically fashioned through and through. The “evolutionary silliness” of “ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny” has been smashed genetically, scientifically. From the day of conception forward, we are talking about two human beings, the mother and the child. Actually, we emphasize the needs and the responsibilities of three human beings: the father, the mother, and the child.

So, the debate is finally getting down to basics. The questions in all of this are: “What kind of human beings should we be?” And, “What should we do with the most vulnerable among us, especially the human child in the womb?” Such fundament life questions are about our humanity, our civility, and our willingness to care for those most vulnerable in life, especially those who have been conceived by our choice. One basic way to make our voices heard is to prevent the abortion business from profiting from the killing of children in the womb by receiving public money. Now is the time for us to speak as a moral people, refusing to incentivize a procedure that, even though legal, should be sparingly used. The debate about the Hyde Amendment won’t let us hide anymore!

The Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz is the president of The Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty.

Be Informed

The University of Alabama board of trustees voted . . . to give back a $26.5 million donation to a top donor who recently called on students to boycott the school over the state’s new abortion ban.” Making a stand regarding life can come at – quite literally – a cost. Read more here.

Be Equipped

Do pro-life laws violate religious liberty? Listen to a recent Issues, Etc. interview with Howard Slugh of the Jewish Coalition for Religious Liberty to learn more.

Be Encouraged

“The truth is clear enough, even as we cannot grow weary in speaking it. The goal, that is to save the lives of these children, is clear enough. This is not some simple moral or ethical issue, at least in a cerebral way. It’s about the child.” – Rev. Dr. Peter Scaer  

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