Word from the Center Digest: June 21, 2019

Wine, Women, and Warning Labels

by Peter Scaer

According to the Surgeon General, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy. Strange. Her body, her choice. What is some government bureaucrat doing telling her what to do? And why would her body be harmed by a few glasses of wine? I mean, she drank before the pregnancy, and it was considered to be just fine. Oh, wait, the woman is thought to have an obligation towards part of her body? A new part of her body? No, towards another body, towards which she is thought to have some sort of duty to the child? After all, too much wine could increase the risk of birth defects. Too much saline injected into the womb? Well, that’s ok, as are head-crushing clamps.

What a world we live in. And now it’s all coming to a head. In New York, newborns are to be left to die on a table. Other states are leading the charge in the other direction. I’ve not weighed in on the Alabama law prohibiting all abortions; I don’t have the wisdom of Solomon when it comes to such politics. Is it a bad political maneuver that will backfire? Possibly. Or is it the tipping point? Will the wall crumble, or will it come down in one fell swoop, as in Berlin? It is time to pray for the mind of Christ, courageous hearts and clear thinking.

What we have all come to recognize is that the arguments have to be made and made relentlessly. We can never tire in our advocacy on all fronts—in investigation, education, and argumentation, in care and compassion, in warning and exhortation. But the wine bottle warning reminds us that we are dealing with deeper and darker forces. 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.

The wine bottle label offers us enough wisdom to say we should think about the child to be born. What a small step it is to recognize that we ought not take the life of that same child before she is born. But to follow that wisdom will mean more than giving up wine during the pregnancy, but repenting of the sexual revolution. It was that low hanging and previously forbidden fruit that lead to the holocaust. When a society places pleasure first, cruelty is sure to follow. But since cruelty it is, we must be about changing laws no matter what, and pray and work that the hearts will be changed along the way. Courage comes first. The children are counting on us.

The Rev. Dr. Peter Scaer is associate professor of Exegetical Theology and director of the Master of Arts program at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Be Informed

“Fetal heartbeat” versus “forced pregnancy:” The Washington Post takes a look at the language being used in abortion debates today and how it has changed over time.

Be Equipped

Interested in the state of the pro-life movement? Dr. Scott Klusendorf of the Life Training Institute explains more.

Be Encouraged

“The world promises that abortions, embryo experiments, and physician-assisted suicides will achieve peace. But wherever death establishes an empire, it excuses nobody and enslaves all to grief. The life-giving Spirit that Jesus bestows in His Gospel instead produces the real peace of being unconditionally loved by and infinitely precious to the Ruler of the Universe (John 16:27). And this peace is for all persons and all circumstances (Acts 2:17-21).” – Lutherans For Life