Court throws out most charges against makers of Planned Parenthood videos

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Pro-abortion fanatics have been trying to get David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt put in prison for making tapes of Planned Parenthood employees joking about their grisly business and talking about selling the organs of their victims.

The state of California has cooperated with this attempted persecution by filing 15 felony charges against the pair, mostly having to do with recording people’s private conversations against their permission.  But the San Francisco Superior Court has thrown out 14 of those charges.

The one charge that remains has to do with their posing as someone they are not, a tactic commonly used by investigative journalists.  The Los Angeles Times, seeing the threat to the freedom of the press, is supporting Daleiden and Merritt, despite the newspaper’s support of abortion. [Read more…]

Infant morality

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Christians who don’t believe in baptizing infants generally hold to the notion of “the age of accountability.”  This means that children below a certain age (which varies) do not really sin because they don’t know what they are doing and therefore are not accountable.   After they reach that point, they can understand their sinfulness, repent, and make a “decision” for Christ.

An article in the evangelical publication Christianity Today recounts some fascinating experiments that show that infants do, in fact, have a moral sensibility.

I don’t know that these experiments can address the question of “accountability,” but they do show that infants are not blank slates, to be programmed as we will.  Rather, they are complex human beings with an innate sense of right and wrong.

And thus, we Lutherans say, they are good candidates for baptism.

FURTHER THOUGHT:  These experiments also provide evidence that the Law is “written on the heart” (Romans 2:15), rather than morality simply being a social construction, as is often assumed today.

[Read more…]

The ACLU is targeting Catholic hospitals

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One in six patients in America today is treated in a Catholic hospital.  The numbers are even bigger in poverty-stricken areas, especially in large urban areas.  And the number of Catholic hospitals is increasing.  In some areas, a Catholic hospital is the only option for treatment.

This has the American Civil Liberties Union worried.  Catholic hospitals do not perform abortions or sterilizations.  In the words of an ACLU report, “With the rise of Catholic hospitals has come the increasing danger that women’s reproductive health care will be compromised by religious restrictions.”

So because of this “danger,” the ACLU has been filing lawsuits in an effort to force them to violate their religious beliefs.  Rather than doing so, of course, they would shut down.  And this would be fine with the ACLU, which apparently no longer sees religious exercise as a “civil liberty.” [Read more…]

Bioethical nightmares

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Human embryos have been produced asexually, as with the cloning of Dolly the Sheep.  Scientists are getting ready to manufacture “three parent” babies.  Chinese reproductive engineers have developed the technology to alter the genes of any cell or organism.  There is talk of “fetal farming” to grow fetuses so as to harvest their organs.

Wesley J. Smith reports on the latest developments in genetic engineering and reproductive technology.  Huge bioethical questions are being raised, but the only ones answering them are academic philosophers and the scientists themselves with a vested interest in pushing research with no limits.

He proposes instead a broadbased “populist” bioethical commission that could study the issues and develop guidelines for this new technology before it’s too late.

Read what Smith has to say after the jump. [Read more…]

“The way of life” vs. “The way of death”

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“I believe that as an abortion provider, I am doing God’s work.”  So says Dr. Willie Parker, an abortionist who insists that he is a Christian.  New York Times columnist  Nicholas Kristof, in profiling him, claims that the conservative Christian consensus that abortion is murder is a late development, that the Bible doesn’t address the issue and that evangelicals often approved of it until just a few decades ago.

The estimable Dr. Al Mohler refutes all of this.  He admits, though, that one of Kristof’s points is valid:  Many evangelicals did approve of abortion or take a “moderate” position on the topic.  This was true even of the Southern Baptist Convention and Christianity Today up through the early 1970s.  (I believe anti-Catholicism had something to do with this.  I’m curious too if there is a relationship between a church’s stance on abortion and its position on infant baptism–do any of you know?)

At any rate, Dr. Mohler says the anti-life position of many evangelicals up until Roe v. Wade was unconscionable.  But that soon evangelicals returned to the historical Christian position on the topic.  (I believe Francis Schaeffer had a big influence on this.)

As for the historical Christian position, there is no doubt about that.  After the jump, I excerpt from Dr. Mohler’s essay quotations from the early church, which addressed abortion explicitly and in depth. [Read more…]

Assault on pro-life doctors

8928257201_d2ce02e317_zThe Hippocratic Oath specifically forbids physicians from committing abortion or euthanasia.  So that oath isn’t used much in the medical profession any more.  But doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals in the United States can still refuse to perform abortions on the grounds of conscience.

But now a concerted effort is underway to eliminate that conscience provision.  Lawmakers, professional organizations, and medical ethicists are considering making it a requirement that doctors do whatever their patients request.  “Personal morality has no place in medical practice.”

Under the proposed changes, a pro-life obstetrician must either perform the abortion or arrange for someone else to do it.  Or go into a different specialty.  Or leave the medical profession.

Wesley J. Smith reports on what is happening, linked after the jump, focusing on a recent article in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine. [Read more…]