Monthly Archives: December 1994

Mass Murder in America

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This week, Christians commemorate the martyrdom of the Holy Innocents: the murder of thousands of Israelite infants and toddlers at the order of their own king, Herod “The Great.” As their king, Herod’s prime responsibility was to protect his citizens’ lives and property. Instead, in a fit of paranoid jealousy against the prophesied newborn King, Jesus Christ, he instigated the foul mass murder that made him infamous for all time. According to Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition, Herod’s soldiers killed 14,000 children.

Two thousand years later, here in America, we too have a government whose prime responsibility is to protect the rights, including the right to life, of its citizens. Since the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe vs. Wade, “abortion providers” have taken the lives of about 30 million unborn infants. Since this amounts to about 4,000 deaths per day, Herod’s heinous crime is being matched in the United States every three and one-half days. Our government is presiding over a mass infanticide which dwarfs that of King Herod. Adding insult to injury, Federal and state taxpayers have been forced to pay for many of these killings.

Just looking at these facts, one wonders how opposition to abortion could even be controversial. Don’t most Americans believe that murder should be illegal? As with so many questions of public policy, this one is a matter of balancing the rights of individuals and the powers of government. In this case, both sides claim to be defending fundamental rights. The “pro-choice” people believe that an unborn child is not a human being, and his destruction is not murder; therefore, making abortion illegal is a violation of a woman’s right to choose her own medical treatment. The “pro-life” people, on the other hand, believe the exact opposite: that the child is human and his destruction is premeditated murder (in most cases a contract killing, since the “doctor” is paid for the murder). Murder, of course, is the most serious violation of an individual’s God-given rights, and justice demands that government prohibit it.

Clearly the critical question is whether or not the unborn child is a human being. The key to stopping the mass murder that is abortion in America is to convince as many people as possible that human life begins at the moment of conception. Until people are convinced of this basic fact, some will protest that the government has no business outlawing abortion. So let’s get the word out: LIFE BEGINS AT THE MOMENT OF CONCEPTION! After all, reception of a full set of human genes at conception starts the child on his lifelong development from single cell to infant, child, adult, and senior citizen. At no other point in this development can anyone rationally say that the non-human has become human.

If a large proportion of Americans becomes convinced that life begins at conception, legislation and Supreme Court decisions will change; most women will find ways to avoid or cope with problem pregnancies without resorting to abortion; and America will start on the long road back to being a Godly nation. If we fail to convince America that our unborn children have a right to live, we will be in serious trouble as a nation. Thomas Jefferson said it best when commenting on slavery, the great injustice of his day: “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.”

The True True Meaning of Christmas

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Every year as we approach Christmas, we are bombarded with “True Meaning of Christmas” messages on television. If the people who operate TV networks understood what they are talking about, we could applaud their efforts to spread a proper Christmas spirit. Unfortunately, as they do with so many other issues, the TV producers are propagating a false message. Worse still, their message is in tune with and reinforces the materialism of our Twentieth Century American culture.

“But,” you say, “aren’t all of these shows trying to fight materialism by showing that it is better to give than to receive? Many of them show examples of the giving of love. Is that materialistic?” Before we can answer that question, we need to define what we mean by materialism. Many of us would equate materialism with selfishness, greed, and lack of love. That would fit well with the way that TV purports to fight materialism. The key is that selfishness, greed, and lovelessness are attitudes: ways that all people feel some of the time, and some people feel all of the time. Materialism is a philosophy, not an attitude. It is a way of thinking that discounts the spiritual dimension in life, placing all importance on material and emotional well-being. Our attitude problems are symptoms of materialism. Attacking them without rooting out the underlying cause is futile.

The shows in question do indeed try to demonstrate that we should be kind, generous, and unselfish during the Christmas season. Nobody could fault them for that. In fact, I would have looked for something else to write about if the shows were not advertised as teaching the “True Meaning of Christmas.” Where they fall down is in attacking the attitudes that arise from materialism while presenting Christmas as a basically materialistic festival.

Christmas is not just a time for people to practice being nice to each other. It is not reserved for making ourselves feel good by giving material or emotional gifts to others. Christmas is the culmination of Advent, the season set aside by Christians to meditate on our sins, and our need for a Savior from sin. By the time Christmas arrives, a Christian should be prepared by this meditation to celebrate the fact that we don’t have to shoulder our own sins; that God has sent His own Son to us in the humble form of a human child, to destroy our sins by His obedience, suffering, and death on a cross. Naturally, when we realize the awesome sacrifice that God made to free us from our self-made condemnation, we are jubilant. We want to show our joy to others in every way that we can. That includes being extra kind, generous, unselfish, loving. It also includes telling as many people as we can that Christmas means they can have eternal salvation for the asking.

The nasty people on TV Christmas specials have no real reason to change their behavior. When they inevitably do get their attitudes adjusted, it is because they have been infected with some nebulous “Christmas magic” that has nothing to do with God’s Gift to us. It depends on giving of gifts to others, and is perfectly consistent with the idea that without gifts there can be no Christmas. Yes, the shows give us a warm, fuzzy feeling that lasts for a few hours. But for any viewer who doesn’t already know the reason for such joy at Christmas, such shows leave unfulfilled that universal human yearning to be reconciled with our Creator.

Sure, I’ll watch some Christmas specials with my family this year. We like the warm feeling they give as much as anybody. But let’s all make sure that we and those around us know why people celebrate this holiday year after year: it is the day when several thousand years of prophesies about our salvation came to fruition. We have a Savior, Jesus Christ, the Son of God and of Man.