The Christian Right’s False Hope In A Conservative SCOTUS

The Christian Right’s False Hope In A Conservative SCOTUS October 25, 2016

United States Supreme Court Building in Washington DC, USA.

What Franklin Graham Is Wrong About Today, Vol. 5

The election of 2016 is just a few weeks away (thank you, sweet baby Jesus).

Over the course of this election season, it has been interesting to watch the conservative Christian reaction to Donald Trump. What originally was a “hell no!” during the primary season, slowly became “he’s our only hope” in the general election.

I knew all along that the majority of the right-wing “never Trump” folks would eventually cave and find a reason to not only support him, but to do so unapologetically. With the help of folks like Franklin Graham, many of those who once plugged their noses over the idea of supporting someone they know in their heart is completely opposed to anything that remotely resembles Christianity, now have a reason to support him: the Supreme Court.

Graham has long been directing his followers to this issue more than any other. With several of the justices nearing retirement, the next president will likely appoint an above average number of individuals to the court, and the right is now seeing this as their great hope of advancing their cause. While they have spent years denouncing “activist judges,” they have now made exactly that a central justification for supporting Trump.

I mean, if we had a SCOTUS filled with justices largely appointed by Republicans, we wouldn’t have Roe v. Wade, right?

Wrong. In fact, the truth is the opposite: it was a majority Republican appointed SCOTUS that legalized abortion in the first place. The makeup of SCOTUS when Roe v. Wade was decided was as follows:

  • Harry A. Blackmun
  • William J. Brennan
  • Warren Earl Burger
  • William Orville Douglas
  • Thurgood Marshall
  • Lewis Franklin Powell, Jr.
  • Potter Stewart
  • William H. Rehnquist
  • Byron R. White

Only two justices voted against Roe v. Wade: Rehnquist and White. Rehnquist was a conservative appointed by Nixon, and White was appointed by Kennedy. So, what was the makeup of those justices who voted to legalize abortion?

Blackmun (R-Nixon)

Brennan (R-Eisenhower)

Burger (R-Nixon)

Douglas (D-Roosevelt)

Marshall (D-Johnson)

Powell (R-Nixon)

Stewart (R-Eisenhower)

One need not be a math major to calculate this one: 5 of the seven justices who made abortion legal in America were appointed by Republican presidents. Even in the time since Roe v Wade, we’ve had periods of Republican dominance of SCOTUS– at one point with 8 of the 9 justices were Republican! And yet, there have still been plenty of rulings that were objectionable to the right wing– including the upholding of Roe v. Wade.

So here’s my question: if legalized abortion was given to America by a Republican SCOTUS, and if it has been upheld by an almost unanimously Republican SCOTUS, why the heck is one of the major selling points of this election the idea that they’ll get more court picks so that they can finally overturn it?

 Seems silly to me.

Even more, it’s actually the hight of hypocrisy on multiple levels. Conservatives have long blasted liberals for relying on government policy and regulation to address issues (say, gun violence), arguing that it’s “hearts” we need to change instead of laws.  Further, they’ve decried the use of judges in the U.S process of law when they disagree with rulings (aka, “activist judges”). Yet, when it comes to this single issue, all the previous logic gets summarily dismissed.

Whereas the Bible teaches that we are to place no hope in elected leaders (Psalm 146:3), the religious right is doubling down on putting hope in a conservative SCOTUS in order to get what they want. And it’s a false hope, because a conservative SCOTUS is who gave them the very thing they hate.

Franklin Graham & Crew can try to convince you that having a Republican SCOTUS is the key to the future, but what they’re not telling you is the key they played in the past. Neither are they telling out how unpredictable a justice can be once they put on that robe.

By making vacant seats on SCOTUS the primary campaign issue without double checking how Republican appointed justices have ruled in the past, the joke just might be on them.


unafraid 300Dr. Benjamin L. Corey is a public theologian and cultural anthropologist who is a two-time graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with graduate degrees in the fields of Theology and International Culture, and holds a doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is also the author of the new book, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, which is available wherever good books are sold. www.Unafraid-book.com.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • otrotierra

    Thank you Dr. Corey for compiling these facts together in a single post. A helpful resource for the future, since I imagine religious fundamentalists will continue their frothing hysteria well into the next several presidential administrations.

    And at some point, White Evangelicals (78%, Pew Research Center) will realize that none of their efforts have contributed to lowering abortion rates, including their fateful alignment with Trump’s xenophobic, rage-filled gospel.

  • John

    I don’t really understand your argument. Here were a few difficulties I had:

    1) The right doesn’t want to appoint activist judges. They want to appoint constitutional originalists. I’m not sure how they’ve gone against that.

    2) You’re right, republican appointed judges haven’t always stuck down the conservative line of constitutional originalism. Republicans haven’t been nearly as interested as the left in selecting hard line ideologues as justices. It seems they’ve now learned their lesson.

  • Dennis Hendrix

    Jesus was an activist so he would be a no go for conservatives

  • otrotierra

    Indeed, Jesus the activist who was a polar opposite of “constitutional originalists” is so terribly offensive!

  • John

    Jesus was incredibly conservative. So, please, don’t try and play that card.

    Even if that wasn’t true, being an “activist” is an entirely different thing than being an “activist judge.”

  • otrotierra

    All the frothing rage and hatred of a Trump rally. Alan Philips, your theology is showing…

  • Al Cruise

    This is what the death screams of white privilege sounds like.

  • Rachel Hedin

    That’s a very… specific insult. In over 20 years of nursing, I’ve never encountered a rectum (or any other part of the digestive tract, TBH) that was capable of initiating coitus or engendering psychological hallucinations. While it could be intriguing to hear how you acquired the experiential expertise to diagnose this problem, I will err with caution and simply say: you might want to have that looked at.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    I think you are overcomplicating his argument: what he is saying is simply that if you are voting for Trump to overturn Roe v Wade you are deluding yourself.

  • Bones

    Complete rubbish.

    Jesus opposed the conservatives of his time who ultimately killed him.

  • Bones

    Hahaha. What a filly sucker!

  • Bones

    What sort of a nonsense country appoints judges based on ideology.

  • Matthew

    Well should the appointments then be made based on politics and political affiliation? How is it done down under?

  • Bones

    They should be appointed on how well they know the law….

    Governments make legislation, the judiciary administers it.

    As for over here, the government appoints judges but there are many checks and balances eg

    “There is a wide degree of consensus about the need for, and the essential elements of, judicial independence, albeit expressed in different terms. This section will focus on the themes common to the materials in the Collection.

    The agreed objectives and functions of the judiciary require judges:
    • To administer the law impartially between citizen and citizen, and between citizen and state;
    • To promote, within the proper limit of the judicial function, the observance and the attainment of human rights; and
    • To ensure that all peoples are able to live securely under the rule of law.5
    It is the impartiality required in fulfilling these objectives and functions that, in turn, necessitates the independence of the judiciary. The protective safeguards, which secure this independence, are generally accepted to be:
    • Judges that are, and are seen to be, free to decide matters impartially;
    • Judges that fulfill their duty to decide matters before them impartially, in accordance with their assessment of the facts and their understanding of the law without any restrictions, influences, inducements, pressures, threats or interferences, whether direct or indirect, from any quarter or for any reason.

    This includes the need for judges to be independent of their judicial colleagues
    and superiors when deciding matters before them;
    • A judiciary that is institutionally independent of the Executive and Legislature; and
    • A judiciary that has jurisdiction, directly or by way of review, over all issues of a judicial nature.”

  • Realist1234

    In all of these debates, it shouldnt be forgotten what you’re talking about – abortion. I understand in the Roe case, the would-be mother was single, and that was the only reason she wanted an abortion. Personally I find that objectionable. Here in NI, unless the woman’s life is in danger, it is illegal to have an abortion. There is currently an on-going debate around foetal abnormality, and that issue still has to be settled. But I do not think it is appropriate for women to have abortions for societal reasons, as was the case in Roe. Effectively you are arguing to have the baby is ‘inconvenient’ for you. And although the fetus is developing within the woman’s body, I do not think one can then argue the woman can do what she likes. If at all possible, the state should ensure the father is forced to contribute to the upkeep of the child – it takes two to get pregnant. If the father cannot be traced and financially the mother and child would suffer due to the mother’s circumstances, then the state should ensure a minimum contribution – if countries view abortion as inappropriate in most cases, then it cannot wash its hands of the mothers and children.

    I remember years ago watching a late-night tv discussion programme on British tv, with the subject being abortion. One of the guests, a doctor, had been known as the American ‘abortion king’ because of the number of abortions he had carried out over the years. Unfortunately I cant remember his name. But he said as medical advances occurred such as in ultrasound, and he could see what was happening in the womb as the baby developed, he gradually came to the conclusion that what he was doing was wrong. I dont think we can ignore such opinions.

  • The Right is against activist Judges; The Left courts them. The Right supports the Constitution and expects the Judges to rule in line with that document. The Left wants Judges to find ways around the Constitution because it is a “living, breathing document.”

    The current version of the court which was Right leaning allowed the Left to have Obamacare despite the fact that it was very unpopular among the Right because the Supreme Court is a third branch of the government and not accountable to the President or Congress. Roe v Wade equally controversial has stood for over 40 years. There is no way to know what future courts will decide or the cases they will review.

    This is all election time hysteria.

  • Bones

    I take it you mean Northern Ireland where women get on a plane and have their abortions done in the UK?????

    Unless they’re poor.

    Plus you have online abortion pill providers…..

    How Irish Women Are Getting Around Abortion Laws

    “Most of women requesting medication abortion said they had gotten pregnant because they’d used contraception incorrectly, or because it didn’t work. Sixty-two percent of the women said their reason for ending the pregnancy was that they could not cope with a child at this point in their life, followed by not having enough money to raise a child. Among the over 5,600 women who requested the medication, 99.8% said they could cope with their feelings regarding their decision.

    Ninety-four percent of the 1,023 women who completed the at-home abortion said they felt grateful for the option, 97% said at-home mediation abortion was the right choice for them, and 98% said they would recommend the option to other women with unwanted pregnancies.

    When asked about their feelings after completing the abortion, 70% of the women said they felt relieved, which was the most common sentiment expressed, followed by 35% who said they felt satisfied. “This was a difficult decision to have to make because of my religious beliefs but I feel it is very important that women should have the same choice regardless of where in the world they live. This website made the process so much less stressful than having to travel,” read one of the women’s comments in an email follow-up.

    “What I think is most striking is that women reported these clear benefits for their health and wellbeing and anatomy,” says Aiken. “I think it really demonstrates that women can make the best choice for themselves when it comes to their own reproduction. The only negative thing about this is that women reported they had to do it against the law, and they went through considerable stress and anxiety and secrecy and isolation and shame.””

    http://time.com/4531429/medication-abortion-ireland/

    But I see that women are at risk of life in jail for having an abortion…..but hey it’s not Realist’s problem….

  • Bones

    What you posted was hysterical.

  • Matthew

    Thanks so much Bones.

    I think in the U.S. justices are appointed by the executive branch and then approved by the Senate. The checks and balances are there I think, but the appointments do seem to be based on ideological agenda — e.g. will the justice support or be against gay marriage, support or be against abortion, etc.

    I did some brief internet research, but I´m still a little confused. Australia doesn´t recognize same sex marriage on a federal level, but states and territories can make same sex marriage laws as they see fit — right??

  • Bones

    Same sex marriage is not legal here yet….it will be soon..the conservatives last dice was to have a plebicite which would have divided the nation instead of having the guts to make a decision…Gay civil unions are legal in some states….

    But judges in Australia merely apply the law….they can’t change it…..A judge can’t change marriage laws for example…..or abortion laws….

  • Matthew

    Thanks.

    I guess … for now at least … the U.S. looks more progressive than Australia in the realm of same sex marriage.

    Who woulda´ thunk it??

  • John

    I don’t believe that was his only point, but even if it was, it’s still a terrible argument. Even ignoring Roe V Wade, the supreme court of the next 20 years will have to decide an incredible number of very important decisions.

    This quote from his article is an example of what I’m talking about:

    Further, they’ve decried the use of judges in the U.S process of law when they disagree with rulings (aka, “activist judges”). Yet, when it comes to this single issue, all the previous logic gets summarily dismissed.

    He’s making the argument that wanting conservative judges who will stick to constitutional originalism is equivalent to wanting “activist” judges when they are fundamentally different things. If I were to guess, I would bet that it’s because he doesn’t really understand the difference, but that’s just a guess.

  • Andrew James Hammack

    Republican appointed doesn’t guarantee conservative. however Trump doesn’t belong to the Rockefeller wing of the GOP. It may be a hit or miss with Trump but with Hillary it is a guaranteed “Miss by a mile”!

  • Olive

    Exactly! And the pro-life position is cool with government intervention to stop abortion, but when it comes to preventing the need for abortion with easy access to contraception and sex education…well, Jesus wouldn’t want that. Smh

  • Deuce Prez

    BOOYAH!!

  • SamHamilton

    Doesn’t the Supreme Court make decisions on issues other than abortion? I think Mr. Graham is wrong on a number of things when it comes to the election, but couldn’t he have been referring to more than the abortion issue when it comes to the Supreme Court? (There’s no direct quote in this blog post for me to work off of.) There’s more at stake than abortion law, right?

    Unfortunately, the Court has become a major source of power in Washington. It’s no wonder that Court appointees have become so controversial. Would they even have been a subject for debate 50 years ago? I think Congress should set term limits for the members of the Court – something around 10 years or so. This would limit the ability of any President to have too much of an influence on the direction the Court takes.

    We need to devolve more power out of Washington. The Supreme Court is one place to start.

  • SamHamilton

    Good point. Mr. Corey seems to be saying that judges who would overturn Roe are “activist.” I’m not sure why they’d be considered “activist” for returning to the pre-Roe era, the era when people saw (correctly) that the Constitution was silent on abortion rights.

  • I just looked at your profile Allen Phillips. Why are you so full of hate? I’m sure you have reasons and wisdom and can’t actually help the way you are. maybe you don’t think anybody really cares about you. Maybe you’re really angry about something, some trauma, in your past and for some reason can’t admit it or find someone to help you process it so you can get over it and get on with your life on a basis of love. I hear in your post a voice that is shrill and that you are someone who is stuck in a really foul mood probably almost all the time. Maybe there’s no love in your life. It always mystifies me when someone like you takes the time and trouble to post your hatred on a progressive Christian blog like this one and all the other posts I’ve read of yours are full of rants and dysphoria. I can see something in your life is really making you miserable. Such miserable acid hatred so out of control, in fact you have to find something or someone to project it on and can’t really stop the flow, or rather, take care of it leaking out of you. I think I understand you. If you didn’t or couldn’t act out your antisocial Behavior you would be depressed or too much more depressed than you are. How many drinks have you had today? Let’s talk it over. It’s possible you might turn over a new leaf and start living life and loving people.

  • Filly sucker? Do you mean filthy sucker?

  • John

    Of course their efforts haven’t led to lower rates… because they’ve lost. They haven’t actually achieved any of their major goals.

    It’s not a coincidence that we have FAR more abortions today than we had pre-Roe V Wade.

  • Bones

    Nope!

  • Bones

    Yeah it is….it’s only the conservative part of one party holding it up.

  • Okay you got me curious so I looked it up. has something to do with wind doesn’t it?
    `€=-)

  • …I see what you did there, but I can’t stop laughing at how dirty what you actually wrote is.

  • Bonnie Blue Crouse

    Our government was designed with three co-equal branches: The legislative (Congress), the executive (Presidency) and the judicial (Supreme Court). Each being equal, the “separation of powers” assured a “balance of power” – hopefully you’re familiar with these phrases – with no one branch totally ruling the others. So, yes, the courts DO have a role in how our country functions, a co-equal and important role. I am surprised that you would want it any other way.

  • otrotierra

    Thank you Bonnie for introducing facts. Gosh, facts sure are politically unpopular!

  • Bones

    No????

    It’s a spoonerism……

    (And no, that’s got nothing to with gay sex)

  • Bones

    I look forward to the next Republican candidates at the next election….

    It’s certainly more entertaining than the plastic cutouts we have over here.

    At the moment they are getting more batshit crazy every election….which signifies the intelligence of the Republican base.

    I’m thinking maybe the Clown from IT to run in 2020.

    Or maybe they’ll just ask Putin.

  • Bones

    At the rate the Republican Party is degenerating, it’s unfathomable what republican candidates will contest the next two elections……

    Maybe Putin will help them out.

    The US needs a left party though.

    It really has two right wing parties – one centrist, one far right.

  • Matthew

    The millenials in the U.S. view the world through a much different lens than the Americans I grew up with — not to mention the Americans of my parent´s generation. I tend to think they are more left than any other American generation — but I could be wrong. Look at the support Bernie Sanders got from this demographic — and they represent the future of America.

  • Well I guess I hissed the mystery lecture on spoonerisms! The Source I used said it was an Australian term for a sudden intake of wind in a horses lady parts when she’s galloping. Oy!
    `€=-)

  • SamHamilton

    Bonnie,
    Nothing in what I propose would make the Court less equal to the other branches. Nowhere did I suggest the judiciary branch doesn’t have a role. The Supreme Court would be just as powerful under what I propose, but individual justices would have less power and individual presidents would have less power to steer the Court in one direction for a long length of time.

    Take your smarminess – “hopefully you’re familiar with these phrases” – somewhere else.

  • SamHamilton

    Unfortunately Bonnie’s facts don’t address the proposal I put forward. Do you have any thoughts on my proposal or are you just going to make passive-aggressive smug comments?

  • Bonnie Blue Crouse

    I saw a graph that if only millennials voted in this election, Trump would win a mere 48 electoral college votes, giving Clinton a truly unprecedented landslide. The young people of this country are not with the far right agenda. They do not support and do not want state-sponsored religion or the Conservative Christian version of morality police or the anti-lgbt fear mongering that’s going on. The Tea Party agenda does not serve any of their interests and they are against most of what the Republicans are trying to do to this country. I hope we can push the Democratic party back to the left where I would prefer them and I am convinced the Bernie Sanders movement is going to help with that. He did not win the nomination but his influence got us the most progressive party platform of my lifetime and all of us who care about that need to make sure the Democrats are led by that. I believe we are in for a rough ride but all change comes with turmoil. Always. “Keep it peaceful but keep it passionate” is a good operating motto.

  • Matthew

    Thanks Bonnie. I have one foot in one generation and another foot in another generation.

    I really like Bernie Sanders very much, but from where I stand right now I could never vote for him.

  • seanchaiology

    This article makes a similar argument to one I have been saying for years.

  • JD

    You are right. Trump doesn’t belong to the Rockefeller wing of the GOP. He’s not a Republican. He’s a lifelong Democrat that has long supported the Clintons. But, Trump, on top of being a habitual liar, misogynist and xenophobe, is highly unstable and unfit to possess the power he’s seeking.

    In the end, neither candidate espouses a Christian worldview, but only one candidate is pandering to and gaining significant support from the evangelical crowd.

  • JD

    “The Right supports the Constitution and expects the Judges to rule in line with that document.”

    This is nonsense. The Right supports drug prohibition, which is far from constitutional.

  • JD

    Odd calling Corey that given how you seem to engage others. I would argue that many would look at the comments in your profile and conclude that it is not Dr. Corey that is the “asshole”. But, then again, name-calling is counterproductive and unnecessary. How about you lay out your reasons for the apparent disagreement you have? Can we not have a civil, mature dialogue?

  • JD

    1) The right doesn’t want to appoint activist judges. They want to
    appoint constitutional originalists. I’m not sure how they’ve gone
    against that.

    Sweet. The “right” now supports ending all drug prohibition and open borders! You know, because that was the state they created in 1789.

  • John

    What? Constitutional originalism doesn’t mean make the country the same as the country was originally. It means interpreting the constitution the way it was supposed to be interpreted instead of interpreting it in a way that you think is best for society.

  • JD

    Constitutional originalism is interpreting the constitution as intended by its authors.

    The Constitution never gave the federal government authority to ban any substance, aside from alcohol which was quickly repealed. The Founders never intended to create restrictive immigration policies, as evidenced by the fact that the first restrictive immigration policy didn’t come into existence until 100 years after the Constitution was authored.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’d love for the “right” to actually practice what they preach and end drug prohibition and open the borders. Unfortunately, original intent of the Constitution means nothing to them.

  • John

    Again, it’s not about what the founders wanted to happen. It’s about what the constitution allows and doesn’t allow.

    Just for clarities sake: The constitutional originalists seem to agree with you on the drug issue. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a dissent for Gonzales v. Raich in which he argued that drug legality should be left up to the states.

  • JD

    Again, constitutional originalism is centered on the intent of the founders. It’s why the “right” always runs to the founders to defend the 2nd amendment. They talk of the “intent” behind the 2nd amendment. But, the “right” doesn’t practice what they preach because they are the most ardent supporters of drug prohibition, which is not remotely supported by the constitution they claim to cherish. I am glad you mentioned Gonzeles v Raich, because one of the “originalists” (Scalia) sided with the majority on that case.

    If it’s about what the “constitution allows and doesn’t allow”, then even the “left” can call themselves originalists because they believe the constitution does allow the things they promote. That standard is so open to interpretation that it becomes meaningless. Originalism is all about the original intent. The original intent behind federal immigration policy would not allow for restrictive immigration policy.

    Hey, like I said. I’m just glad that the “right” is now apparently going to call for an end to drug prohibition and for open borders. It’s about time they stand by the originalism they proclaim.

  • John

    That is noted as one of Scalia’s few known departures from originalism, but it’s not fair of you to ignore the more consistent originalists, like Thomas, who did dissent from the decision.

    Even Scalia wrote his own opinion to differentiate his argument from that of the majority.

  • Paul Schlitz Jr.

    I’m concerned about our more Calvinist brethren who make the change of heart argument for addressing social problems instead of legislation. Doesn’t the tenets of TULIP tell us that this sort of change is impossible for anyone by the elect?

  • RonnyTX

    Realist1234, thank you for your post. :-) And thinking here, of a great niece of mine. When her Mom was pregnant with her, the doctor told her she could have an abortion, because the child had Downs Syndrome. And I’m so glad that she and my nephew, didn’t choose that route. For if they had of, one of the bright lights in my life, would not be here and that bright light, is my little great niece, who has Downs Syndrome. When my sister and I go to visit them and or they come down here, that little girl sees her Grandma and great uncle coming and what does she do? Why, she gets a big smile on her face, throws out her arms and comes running and gives us both a big hug! :-) Oh my yes, she is one of the brighter lights, in my life! :-)

  • Artistree
  • Realist1234

    Indeed Ronny. I recently watched a BBC documentary, presented by the actress Sally Phillips, called “A World Without Downs Syndrome?”. She has a child with the syndrome. She found that in Iceland, due to very accurate testing, 100% of pregnancies where the mother was told the baby to be born would have Downs, were ALL aborted. So basically now no Downs syndrome children are born in Iceland. I would recommend this programme if you are able to watch it.

  • Progressive Republican

    Actually, one of the worst things that could happen for the GOP is to strike down RvW.

    It’s been a YUUGE moneymaker for them; gettin’ tha rubes all riled and whatnot.

  • Progressive Republican

    Unless you’re a FRWNJ. Then everyone else is a communist.

  • Questioning

    My favorite from the Right Reverend Spooner: “when the boys come home, we’ll have the hags flung out!”

  • SamHamilton

    Can you provide a link to this petition?

  • SamHamilton

    I realize you’re probably just making a wisecrack, but I don’t think Calvinists believe that people can’t change their minds/hearts when it comes to political issues.

  • Nick

    “The Supreme Court in the last few years has been rewriting the Constitution”

    I missed this. What cases are you referring to?

  • Paul Schlitz Jr.

    Sam a change in one’s political issue won’t save them. I think every Calvinist in the world would agree with that. And a change in one’s heart in terms of achieving saving grace is also impossible unless God intervenes dramatically. This is also a statement that every Calvinist would agree upon. So how are all of these social problems going to be solved when irresistible grace is not evidenced by a critical mass of humanity? That’s the question I have.

  • Paul Schlitz Jr.

    I’m surprised anyone would trust Trump in terms of abortion. He has stated in the past that he is 100% pro-choice. Of course Romney, McCain, and George Bush all were pro choice before it became imperative to be anti-choice in order to get the Republican nomination. During the waning days of the 2012 campaign Romney was running pro-choice ads in Northern Virginia and pro-life ads in the south of Virginia.

  • RonnyTX

    Realist 1234 to Ronny:
    Indeed Ronny. I recently watched a BBC documentary, presented by the actress Sally Phillips, called “A World Without Downs Syndrome?”. She has a child with the syndrome. She found that in Iceland, due to very accurate testing, 100% of pregnancies where the mother was told the baby to be born would have Downs, were ALL aborted. So basically now no Downs syndrome children are born in Iceland. I would recommend this programme if you are able to watch it.

    Ronny to Realist:
    Thank you so much, for that info about Sally Phillips and her documentary, A World Without Downs Syndrome! :-) I read several articles and comments about it; but thought I might never get to see it. But then ran upon the following link and found it on You Tube! :-) Did get to watch the first part; but will have to wait till later, to watch it all. It’s nearly an hour long. Sure do look forward, to seeing the whole thing! :-)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8audGmlFc4

    And my little great niece with Downs Syndrome, she’s around 8 years old now. Her older sister is 10 and her little brother is 5 or 6 years old. I spent a good bit of time yesterday, looking for toys and such for them, at garage sales. That’s one thing, this great uncle likes to do. :-) Two or three years ago, I was at one garage sale and saw a stuffed monkey and what popped into my mind, was the little boy! :-) Then later on, I nicknamed them all, the Three Little Monkeys! :-) LoL And the older girl loves to read and I was so glad lately, to find some Nancy Drew books for her. And I found two little stuffed monkeys and an airplane, for the other two. :-)

    Daylight now, so I better get out and walk my little dog. He looks like a minature Doberman; but he thinks he’s a big dog! LoL We walk down the road by a local cemetery and with the way I have come to believe, just 6 or 7 years ago, many time we do this and I break out in the following old song. :-) When we all, get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout the victory! :-) A lot of good posts on this belief, at tentmaker.org.

    My, I’m so glad we have the internet and I’m able to be online! :-) See you later. :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Sam to Paul:
    I realize you’re probably just making a wisecrack, but I don’t think Calvinists believe that people can’t change their minds/hearts when it comes to political issues.

    Ronny to Sam:
    I couldn’t, until God showed me better and I was brought up in a Calvinist teaching church and believed strictly that way, till just 6 or 7 years ago. And my parents didn’t teach or tell me this; but my pastor and some other people, were a major influence on me, as I grew up and got old enough to vote. And I was taught that I not only was to vote Republican; but for the most conservative Republican, in a given race. Then around 16 years ago, I simply stopped voting. Why? Because I could see that neither Republicans or Democrats running for a particular office, held to how I believed. Well, I’m a Christian, one born of God, who is both pro-gay and anti-abortion.

  • Bill Webber

    So in so many words in order to reverse Roe then the president whoever that may be should nominate democrats and the Senate must confirm them! One may take any sentence from the Bible and use it for their pint but the Bible must be taken in its entirety. I will vote my conscience as the Catholic teach and in which I believe.

  • SamHamilton

    Thanks Ronny. I’m aware that there are some Christians who believe that a Christian should only vote for conservative Republicans. But I think that’s different than believing that it’s impossible to change one’s mind when it comes to political issues.

  • Tim

    Thanks for bringing this up. One of my FB friends mentioned this inconvenient truth recently as well.

  • Tim

    That’s not what Ben is saying. He’s merely pointing out the hypocrisy of hoping in the politics of Republicanism to undo something Republicans were responsible for to begin with.

  • whollyfool

    Nice Spoonerism, and that definition made my day! :)

  • Bill Webber

    Since there are only two choices Ben implies that Marxist justices would do better? Hmmm.

  • RonnyTX

    Sam to Ronny:
    Thanks Ronny. I’m aware that there are some Christians who believe that a Christian should only vote for conservative Republicans. But I think that’s different than believing that it’s impossible to change one’s mind when it comes to political issues.

    Ronny to Sam:
    You’re welcome Sam. :-) But really, the only reason I changed my mind on some political things, was because I saw the Republicans didn’t really do much of anything they promised, like on at least limiting abortion more, when they got in office. They were a lot more talk than action. And that true at times, when they had both the presidency and the congress in their hands. And that’s one of the reasons, I stopped voting Republican. Too, after God showed me my being gay was not sinful,etc, it didn’t help the Republicans with me, that so many of them, seemed a good bit against gay people. I just got to where, I couldn’t see voting for either side.

  • Tim

    There are not only two choices. Unless you’re a sheep like most people that swallows the dualistic binary they want you to eat to keep you enslaved.

    But that aside from that, you have committed the logical error of false dichotomy, and possibly a few others.

  • Daniel Niehoff

    “It’s no wonder that Court appointees have become so controversial. Would they even have been a subject for debate 50 years ago? I think Congress should set term limits for the members of the Court – something around 10 years or so. This would limit the ability of any President to have too much of an influence on the direction the Court takes.”

    The reason we don’t have term limits as you propose for the Supreme Court is to avoid making the position more partisan, more political, and less able to provide a check or balance against the power of the other two branches of government. Indeed it seems the Supreme Court is often perceived as more controversial now, but implementing term limits will make the partisan politics of nominating Justices even worse. With no term limits, the Supreme Court is designed to have the freedom to interpret the Constitution and rule on cases using their collective judgement (judgement which often doesn’t fall strictly along partisan or ideological lines). It was never intended for the Supreme Court to be directly subject to the fickle whims of the general public via elections or to be pawns in a political fight between the parties and other branches of government. Term limits would likely only make the partisan fighting over nominations even worse. Allowing lifetime appointments was deliberately intended to ensure the Supreme Court would have the autonomy to make judgements free of egregious influence from the Executive and Legislative Branches. Free from the fear of making decisions that would anger a large percentage of the public needed to win an upcoming election. Free to make decisions using their professional and experienced judgement.

  • Sam Stidham

    Thanks Ben for sharing this. I’m a recent convert from fundamentalism. My search for truth and love not only has changed my woldview but also my physical location in the world. I had bought in hard to the fear bs and was very quickly becoming a hard fundy. Thankfully family circumstances allowed my wife and I the chance to leave and now we’re raising our family in Germany where my wife is from.
    Since I now live where universal health care is the norm and family support from the state is one of the best in the world, it has caused me to think about the effects of these social structures on abortion rates. Abortion is not a big topic here when it comes to elections. Do you know of any statistics showing abortion rates in America versus abortion rates in Germany? I would also be curious if the abortion rate decreased after Obamacare came online. My speculation is that with increased healthcare availability and better family support financially comes a decrease in abortion rates. Any thoughts?

  • Sven2547

    The right doesn’t want to appoint activist judges. They want to appoint constitutional originalists. I’m not sure how they’ve gone against that.

    There’s nothing “originalist” about the modern interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, nor is there anything Constitutional about making their position on Roe the end-all-be-all litmus test for judicial fitness.

    Roy Moore is the quintessential example of a judicial activist, and Republicans want more like him in the justice system.

  • Sven2547

    The Right is against activist Judges

    Hahahahaaaa, good one

  • John

    On your first point, how so? The originalists have agreed that there can be reasonable regulations, but that you can’t outright ban guns. That’s what the founders intended. Jefferson and Madison, specifically argued for the personal right to carry guns. Jefferson was even known for carrying “pocket pistols” on his person wherever he went.

    We also have even more clear evidence about the 2nd amendment in the words of a man named Trench Coxe who wrote a letter to Madison about the 2nd amendment. He wrote that it would confirm the people, “in their right to keep and bear their private arms.” Madison went on to publish and praise this letter.

    Here’s the source for the facts I cited: http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3830&context=lcp

    About Roe V. Wade, pro-life people see Roe V. Wade as taking away the inherent right to life of a person protected under the constitution. That seems fairly central to me.

  • fiona64

    Citation needed to back up your assertion. Thanks in advance.

  • Snooterpoot

    Now there’s a mature comment for you!

    My ten-year old grandson is more mature. He doesn’t indulge in name calling.

  • SamHamilton

    Thanks for taking the time to respond. I don’t see why a term limit would make the partisan politics of choosing justices worse. I also don’t understand why term limits would reduce the freedom of the justices to interpret the Constitution using their collective judgement. Can you explain why you think this would be the case?

    The only reason i can come up with is that justices might be angling for future jobs when they make rulings if they knew a Supreme Court gig wasn’t something they could do until retirement.

    I realize that “it was never intended for the Supreme Court to be directly subject to the fickle whims of the general public via elections or to be pawns in a political fight” but that’s exactly what we have today. I’m trying to propose an idea to help us get back to the original intentions.

  • Progressive Republican

    Except not. Those would strengthen it.

  • Progressive Republican

    This from one stupid enough to vote trump.

    Pff…

  • Bones

    Lol

  • Bones

    I’m not the one coming to an opposing blog, harassing people and acting like a complete and utter dickhead.

  • Bones

    Lol…you are one sad individual…is it because you have a small dick that you have to try and prove yourself?

    Or is it how you were treated at school?

  • Progressive Republican

    Well, proving that you’re wrong…

  • Bones

    Nah.

    You come on here to harass others and make yourself look like a complete dickhead.

  • Bones

    Well at least the next four years are going to be interesting……

    The US just gave the big middle finger to the Dems.

    Next time, put forward a candidate who actually has some credibility and less issues than flies are on shit.

    Oh and to the Left in the US – RIP…..

  • Bones

    Well done US…..

    Now all your dreams are going to come true…..

  • Matthew

    She just couldn´t get the coalition of voters that Obama got. More Latinos, African-Americans, women, and millenials stayed home this time around.

    I was shocked, but I´m beginning to get over it. At the end of the day it´s just another chapter in the great book of empire.

  • Snooterpoot

    We on the left are alive and kicking, although stunned, disgusted, confounded and, for some of us, terrified.

    We only have to wait until the people who voted for Trump see that he either never intended to or cannot keep the promises he made to them. Also, the biggest impediment to improving the lives of the disenfranchised is Congress, and that didn’t change much at all.

    The Republicans have been after Hillary Clinton since Bill’s first term, when she said she didn’t stay home and bake cookies. They’ve managed to trash a woman who is actually quite trustworthy, truthful, kind and compassionate. I really despise the people who have done this. She would have made a fine president.

  • Bones

    The Left needs to get it’s head out of neo-liberalism economics.

    The centrist parties which the Left has become under Blair, Clinton and Keating in Australia are what is destroying it.

    The Left will be back but not until we see the consequences of the Far Right.

  • Bones

    Sydney Anglicans are the lunatic fringe of the Anglican Church in Australia.

  • Matthew

    “The Left” will be back. What “Left”? The Bernie Sanders type “Left”?

    I think Sanders would have beat Trump quite frankly. The millenials loved him and they wouldn´t have stayed home had Bernie been the nominee I don´t think. Others on the left-hand side would have voted for Bernie as well who wouldn´t get out and vote for Clinton.

    I personally don´t have the problems with Clinton that many people do, but I think it´s safe to say she just wasn´t the right candidate for the Dems. Duh … that´s clear isn´t it? … she lost.

    That said … I think this election clearly illustrates the kind of electorate that exists in America.

  • Bones

    What “Left”?

    The working person’s Left.

    The Left has lost the working class to Big Business Right wing supporters.

    Trump massacred Clinton in areas where many people are hurting through the loss of their manufacturing jobs.

    The Dems response to them was to take them for granted.

    Trump called on their anger and reaped a whirlwind.

    He was the only one listening to them.

    And yeah, the fact they didn’t go with Bernie is a tragedy….

    He’d have romped home.

  • Matthew

    You know Bones … I think I heard Bill Maher talking about this topic with Farheed Zakaria on CNN. Maher´s take is that the people who put Trump into power really aren´t as economically bad off as the narrative states. I need to do some research as to whether or not there is truth to Maher´s thinking, but if there is truth to it, it certainly is telling.

    It´s really a shame the Left has lost the working class :-(.

  • Bones

    Possibly but they were absolutely routed in the Mid West…..in places where Bernie defeated Clinton….

  • Matthew

    I think he would have romped home. You can thank the super delegate system in the U.S. Democratic party for Bernie not getting the nomination. :-( I think he should have gotten the nomination.

  • Matthew

    I too am in Germany.

  • Daniel Niehoff

    I feel term limits would make the partisan politics of choosing justices worse and would also limit their freedom to interpret the Constitution. Term limits would cause more frequent nomination of Justices, which would turn each election in to a referendum on nominating Justices. This could lead to Justices aligning themselves more along partisan lines and could lead to them making decisions less impartially and more with regard to how their decisions would affect the party they are aligned with and that party’s hopes of reelection. Many justices in the past were considered liberal or conservative, but then they made rulings that weren’t always necessarily along party lines. They have proven that they could remain impartial and can even surprise some people to how they may interpret things. I also think having long-term experience and wisdom built over decades or more is advantageous for the Supreme Court. The decisions they make are often very important and very serious. I think they have the freedom to rule as necessary the way things are now and they are allowed to apply years and decades of experience and working with each other to arrive at the best decisions. I think the system works fine now, except for the fact that we have a Congress that refuses to do it’s job and vote on nominations.

  • mzegan

    Of course, the changing demographics of the USA will eventually lead to the end of the old white men which have run this country forever. That will be the end of the current GOP. Lots of brown skin, people. get used to it. The millennials have a very different view of politics and religion. Only 65+ listen to Rush Limbaugh, that is reality.

  • BobTrent

    After your wife and any daughters get gangraped by Merkel’s Muzzies we’ll see what your opinion is then. Oh-some of the Muzzz like boy ani.
    Merkel is confident that her old dried-up twat won’t attract any Muzzz. On second thought maybe that’s her hope?

  • BobTrent

    Decades ago it was the Conservatives who were pro-choice. The Liberals were opposed to abortion, though they didn’t want to put anyone in jail. Even Planned Parenthood distributed antiabortion pamphlets!

  • BobTrent

    Circumcised or natural?

  • BobTrent

    Well, if you’re truly pro-malakos no one will “need” abortion. Homosexuals who are 100% homosexual don’t get anyone pregnant or get pregnant.

  • BobTrent

    Which “God” did you find that suits your proclivities?

  • BobTrent

    The Constitution sets the term limit for Supreme Court justices. “Good behavior” and “death.”
    To get rid of a justice who won’t resign requires a full impeachment and conviction, or for him/her to conveniently die.

  • BobTrent

    Where do you get this crap? I’ve never met a pro-lifer/anti-abortion activist who was opposed to contraception. Abortifacients, yes, but not contraception. Even though the RC Church is officially opposed to “artificial” contraception, most American Catholic couples of fertile age use contraception unless they want to get pregnant. Goes for pro-life/anti-abortion Catholics as well.
    The “Quiverfulls” aren’t opposed to contraception either except that they don’t use any themselves.

  • BobTrent

    Worst of all, he molests women instead of boys! A traitor to Liberalism!

  • BobTrent

    When are they going to accept bestialists? Cannibals? Still frontiers of intolerance yet. To the future!

  • BobTrent

    Mostly one in your mouth and the other up your…

  • SamHamilton

    Oh darn, looks like we’ll need an amendment. Thanks for responding!

  • JD

    Yes, no conservatives or Republicans have ever been caught with men in the bathroom or molesting boys. Cough…Dennis Hastert…cough.

    Surely you’re capable of looking at something as serious as sexual assault without wearing political lenses, right?

  • JD

    Ah, more fearmongering that has absolutely nothing to do w/ his post.

  • Olive

    I am referring to abstinence-only sex education, purity pledges, the defunding of Planned Parenthood (which already receives no federal abortion funding), medically-void “pregnancy crisis centers”, and any other Christian-led cause that would apply the same effort to abortion restriction as to the prevention of “sexual immorality”. I hear this as: “Providing you birth control means you’re having sex outside marriage. No way! You got pregnant from unprotected sex and now want an abortion? No way!”

    I don’t mean disrespect to anyone’s particular approach to contraception or abortion within their own family or church. It’s forcing of these positions into secular law that bothers me.

    (Edited-typo)

  • Jeff Preuss

    And unnecessarily vulgar, too.

  • JD

    It’s unreal how vulgar he is. I’ve never seen him around here. Does he claim to be a Christian?

  • JD

    Why would Trump, who isn’t remotely “conservative”, nominate a conservative to the SC?

  • Jeff Preuss

    I couldn’t say. Previous comments in his stream certainly bring up the Bible frequently, but it appears more so as a weapon than a tool.

    Edit: most of his comments seem to be at places I won’t even visit with my browser, some related to the “Return of Kings” movement. I’d say pointless to engage.

  • Jeff Preuss

    My guess? More pandering.

  • Snooterpoot

    Bullshit. Lesbians do get pregnant, sometimes using the semen of gay men.

    Good lord. The ignorance is staggering.

  • Guy Norred

    I am afraid to even google that. Is it as scary as I imagine? Dare I ask what kings they have in mind?

  • Jeff Preuss

    Return of the Kings is a movement of sorts to restore men’s superiority. Highly misogynistic.

  • Guy Norred

    Lovely

  • Snooterpoot

    There were half a million women and men who marched in DC today regarding women’s equality. Return of the Kings is delusional if they think they’re going to return our society to such misogyny.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Delusional is the best word for them.