ObamaCare = government-subsidized abortions

The National Right to Life Committee has a new document out explaining in detail how every version of the health-care bill would force taxpayers to finance elective abortion.

This is not a surprise or a trick move from the President. He has given every indication at every stage of his career that he wants to make abortion more easily accessible. Every Christian who voted for him either knew this or cast a woefully uninformed vote.

Abortion: Pray and Do Not Faint

Manasseh was one of the most wicked kings in Judah’s history. Some of the highlights of his reign, according to 2 Chronicles 33:

  • Rebuilt the pagan altars his father had torn down.
  • Built new altars to the false gods Baal and Asherah, and “the host of heaven.”
  • Profaned the Temple by erecting pagan altars there.
  • Killed his sons by sacrificing them as a burnt offering.

The Chronicler sums up his regime in 33:9:

Manasseh led Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem astray, to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord destroyed before the people of Israel.

But that wasn’t the end of the story. After Manasseh and the people ignored the warnings of the prophets, God allowed the Assyrian army to capture the king and take him to Babylon. Picking up in 2 Chron 33:12:

And when he was in distress, he entreated the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. He prayed to him, and God was moved by his entreaty and heard his plea and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.

When he returned to Jerusalem, Manasseh set about undoing all the evils he had instituted. He removed the pagan altars from the Temple, and reinstituted proper worship. He commanded the people to once again serve the true God. The epitaph for his reign emphasizes his change of heart.

And his prayer, and how God was moved by his entreaty, and all his sin and his faithlessness, and the sites on which he built high places and set up the Asherim and the images, before he humbled himself, behold, they are written in the Chronicles of the Seers. So Manasseh slept with his fathers, and they buried him in his house, and Amon his son reigned in his place. (2 Chron 33:18-20)

If God can change the heart of a king who instituted the worst kind of idolatry, a king who sacrificed his own children to a false god, then he can change the heart of a President who sees the killing of unborn children as a basic human right. “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will” (Prov 21:1).

Are All Sins the Same?

Yes and no.

Often Christians say, when discussing things like abortion and homosexuality, that these are sins just as lying, gossip, and gluttony are sins. (I say it sometimes.) This is usually because we want to show that we’re not better than homosexuals or people who have been involved in an abortion. We’re placing ourselves in the “sinners” category, right where we belong.

It’s true, in one sense, that a sin is a sin. Every sin is the same in that it’s an offense against a holy God, and deserves his punishment. But is every sin “the same”– that is, equally offensive to God? The Bible’s answer is no.

This is one of many questions where the Westminster Confession and its catechisms are really helpful. Question 84 of the Shorter Catechism shows us how every sin is the same:

Q 84. What doth every sin deserve?

A. Every sin deserveth God’s wrath and curse, both in this life, and that which is to come. (Eph. 5:6; Gal. 3:10; Lam. 3:39; Matt. 25:41)

The previous question shows how every sin is not the same:

Q 83. Are all transgressions of the law equally heinous?

A. Some sins in themselves, and by reason of several aggravations, are more heinous in the sight of God than others. (Ezek. 8:6,13,15; 1 John 5:16; Ps. 78:17, 32, 56)

Question 151 of the Larger Catechism (scroll down and click “Q. 151-196”),  which is longer than many of my posts, gives many examples of the “several aggravations” that can make some sins worse than others, with lots of Scripture citations. It’s well worth a 5-minute read.

So while it’s important for us to take our seat among the sinners, we should also feel free to say that some sins (including some of our own) are much worse than other sins. For example, it’s a sin for a man to speak harshly to his children because he can’t control his temper, but it’s a much greater sin for him to pay to have his unborn child killed so he’s free of the inconvenience that child might bring.

Obama’s “Ideology” Inconsistency

In the President’s remarks introducing his stem-cell policy, he insisted:

[W]e will ensure that our government never opens the door to the use of cloning for human reproduction. It is dangerous, profoundly wrong, and has no place in our society, or any society.

Three sentences later he said:

[This Order] is about ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda – and that we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology.

Declaring something “dangerous” and “profoundly wrong” is nothing if not an ideological statement.

Skip My Stem Cell Post and Read This One

Yuval Levin debunks four myths the media and public believe about embryonic stem cell research. (Outline from Justin at Between Two Worlds.)

  1. Obama has restored federal policy to what it was prior to Bush’s 2001 stem cell policy announcement.
  2. The Bush policy was a ban on embryonic stem cell research.
  3. There are no viable scientific alternatives to the destruction of human embryos.
  4. The promise of pluripotent stem cells is quite certain.

This is particularly relevant for anti-abortion Christians who support Obama.

(HT: JT)

Obama’s Stem Cell Policy

President Bush’s 2001 executive order regarding federal funding for embryonic stem cell research was one of the wisest, most thought-through, reasonable decisions of his time in office.

Contrary to his ill-deserved reputation as an anti-intellectual and impulsive decision maker, he spent months considering what his administration’s position on the research would be. He listened to arguments from all sides. Basically the dilemma was this: there is potential for medical treatments to be developed from embryonic stem cells, but creating more “lines” of these stem cells for research typically involves the destruction of human embryos– the destruction of human life.

In the end, he came up with a reasonable and ethical middle road. He permitted federal funding for research on the twenty-odd existing stem cell lines, but not for the creation of new ones. This permitted research to go forward without our government– that is, taxpayer money– funding the destruction of human genetic material.

(Update: Charles Krauthammer, a brilliant commentator with something of a personal stake in this research, said this last night:

I disagreed with where Bush ended up drawing the line on permissible research, but he gave in August of 2001 the single most morally serious presidential speech on medical ethics ever given, and Obama did not, even though… I agree more on where he ended up.)

Reading the headlines recently, you’d never know any of this. Most articles have said something like “The Bush administration cut off federal funding for stem cell research,” which is nothing short of a lie. But when President Obama reversed this decision yesterday, he contributed to this false view of Bush’s policy, saying “Our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values.” Bush forced no such false choice– he allowed the science to go forward in a manner consistent with moral values.

Obama, on the other hand, has removed all ethical constraints of any kind from embryonic stem cell research (which many believe is far less promising than ethically-unproblematic adult stem cell research). As the editors of National Review put it, “Obama has not so much staked out a position in the embryo debate as dismissed the debate itself as unnecessary.”

It remains to be seen whether embryonic stem cell research can live up to its hype. (You may recall the 2004 campaign, when John Edwards declared “If we can do the work that we can do in this country — the work we will do when John Kerry is president — people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk. Get up out of that wheelchair and walk again.”) But even if the wildest-dream, best-case scenario happens– say, a cure for Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s– and it’s brought about by the destruction of human life, we won’t have gained anything.

Who Said It?

Regarding abortion:

The Evil of the Age . . . The enormous amount of [abortion] that exists and flourishes, almost unchecked, in the city of New York, is a theme for most serious consideration. Thousands of human beings are thus murdered before they have seen the light of this world.

Give up? It was The New York Times, in the mid-1800’s.

Yes, I recognize there’s really no connection, but the irony is delicious.

No, Mr. President.

President Obama yesterday on the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade:

While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue, no matter what our views, we are united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, reduce the need for abortion, and support women and families in the choices they make.

No, Mr. President. We are not united in our determination to “reduce the need for abortion.” We do not need to “reduce the need” for child molestation, rape, murder, or other crimes. There is no “need” to kill the innocent in the womb.

Nor are we “united” in our support for women and families who make “choices” to voluntarily kill their unborn children. On this, Mr. President, the most pressing moral issue of our generation, no. We are not united in the least.

Pro-Life Sites for Today

Today is the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. A few places you should visit:

40 years ago, the idea of America electing a black man President was a pipe dream. That should give us hope for this struggle.

Proverbs 24:10-12:

If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.

Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.

If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it,
and will he not repay man according to his work?

For God’s Sake, Be a One-Issue Voter!

Proverbs 24:11-12:

Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.  If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?

There are many issues to vote on. Some are more important than others. And the legalized killing of 1.3 million people a year trumps them all.