Search This Blog

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pro-Life Activism

So I kind of feel like God is sending me through a crash course to pro-life activism. I'll tell you what I mean in a minute.

I started volunteering with 40 Days for Life, a prayer vigil in front of Planned Parenthood. The first day I was there volunteering, I was asked by one of the mentors at Fresno Right to Life if I'd like to become a vigil leader. Basically I'm there to make sure no one gets out of line, to make sure nothing happens to the equipment, and to answer questions if anyone has any. Of course I jumped at the chance and I was basically trained there on the spot. Forty Days for Life is almost over; it ends on Sunday (Halloween), then there's a rally next Monday where we can give testimonies of what we've experienced while we were out there.

So about the crash course thing. Last week I had quite a few interesting experiences, most of which were pretty advanced for someone like myself with not much training. First, a week ago Saturday (it was the 16th), I went through Justice for All's training program. That Saturday we spent about six hours in training, then the following Monday I went with them to Fresno State University to get some "in the field" training. We had a poll table set up (Should abortion remain legal? Yes, no, or undecided) where people could sign their names to give their opinion. We were able to use this as a springboard to get discussions started. There were even large posters set up showing the course of human development through all stages of life (from conception to elderly adult). This could be used as an additional tool for discussion.

I mostly talked to people who signed "no" (it was my first day so I wanted to start off kind of easy), that abortion should not remain legal. Most of the people had common answers to why they don't believe abortion should remain legal (it's murder, it's killing a child, etc.), but none of them could really articulate why they believed that. One girl just believed abortion should not remain legal because she's Catholic, and her parents are pro-life. So I was able to help them see why, exactly, abortion is wrong (we're alive because we're growing, we're human because we're the product of human parents, and all living humans are valuable, aren't we?). However, I got to talk to a girl who had miscarried. She believed that abortion was a selfish act because there are many women who miscarry or can't even conceive children and by aborting a child, you're taking away a potential child that could make some other couple very happy. I thought that was an interesting perspective.

I talked to one person whom I knew from Fresno City College (from music theory class). He at least believed abortions should not be legal for reasons of birth control, but should be legal for the harder cases, such as rape or the mother's life being in jeopardy. Now, I would be very happy if abortions for socio-economic reasons were outlawed. That would do away with over 90% of abortions and save a lot of lives. But of course we shouldn't stop there, because killing a child because he/she is the product of rape, incest, etc. is just wrong, as wrong as killing a one- or two-year-old child because he/she is the product of rape, incest, etc.

And by the way, I agree that if the mother's life is in jeopardy (such as due to an ectopic pregnancy), then as per any triage situation the one with the greatest chance of survival (the mother) must be saved. It's better to lose one life than two. But abortions are rarely ever necessary. They're never necessary in the late-term, because a C-section can be done to remove the child from the womb and be saved. After all, a child can be born a little less than five months premature and still have a chance of survival.

Then I got what is called in the industry a "steamroller," someone who is not interested in civil discussion; he just wants to blow off steam and tell you how wrong you are without giving you a chance to respond. He assumed that because we're out there supporting the pro-life side that we're all religious Republicans. First of all, I told him that I'm not a Republican, so he started using the word "conservatives" instead. (Upon retrospect, I don't remember if I'm technically a Republican or not -- when I first registered to vote, I registered as a Democrat but I think I may have switched to Republican a few years ago. I honestly don't remember now.) He started off by asking me a question I have never really considered before. Am I in favor of less government in our lives? (Remember, he's assuming I'm a Republican.) I had to think on my feet, but I gave him an honest answer: I believe there should be enough government to ensure that the "little guy" doesn't get taken advantage of, but not so much government that they invade our personal liberties. He was trying to trap me, to say if I believe in less government then why do I want the government to step in and abolish (or regulate) abortion? But why would having less government mean killing is suddenly okay? I don't get his reasoning. One of our mentors, a guy named Trent, stepped in to try and smooth the situation over but he wasn't listening. I remained very respectful and tried not to interrupt him. Afterward, Trent said I handled the situation well.

Later on that week while I was volunteering at 40 Days for Life, I met a woman who had her children taken away and was attending classes to become a better mother (I think that's what the classes were for). About an hour later, a young woman came up to our anonymous prayer board and was looking at it. I was alone, so I approached her and told her about the prayer board, and that she can leave it anonymously. The note she left broke my heart: "God, please forgive me. I pray that I will be. I wish I could have kept you." Please keep this girl in prayer, that she would come to learn that God can forgive any sin (save blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, of course), even the sin of abortion. And like David, she can be confident that she will one day see her child again.

So there you have it. A lot of has gone on since I've started volunteering. I think it will all work out well in the end. Let's keep fighting for ending the atrocious practice of abortion.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Podcast and Birth Defects

I have just submitted my blog to Hopefully that will generate some traffic to my blog. If anyone happens across my blog and would like to find more pro-life blogs, I'd recommending clicking here:

Also, I've been listening to a wonderful pro-life podcast called LifeReport, affiliated with Right to Life of Central California. I've actually met Josh, the host of the blog, as they're situated here locally. It's a very balanced podcast; in fact, they have many pro-choice listeners who constantly tell them how appreciative they are of how balanced they are. Not only do they stand up for the sanctity of life, but they'll also mention bad pro-life arguments and how we need to make sure our arguments are up-to-date and that we use the best arguments. It's a very thought-provoking and educational podcast. You can find their website at , or you can subscribe to them on iTunes. Their podcasts are free and worth much more than what you pay for them.
Finally, I'd just like to bring something up. There are many "smoke screen" arguments that pro-choicers use because really, most abortions are done for birth control. Abortions because of rape, incest, the mother's health, or birth defects, are relatively rare. But let's talk about birth defects for a minute here.
I think it's ridiculous that unborn children who have a possibility of birth defects are killed. First of all, doctors' diagnoses are often wrong. There have been reports of an unborn child who is suspected of having a birth defect being born completely healthy. Yet the mother could have killed that child because there was a "marker" for a birth defect. The problem is: homicide is not a cure. No child with birth defects have ever been cured by killing them. How can we ever hope to come up with a cure for these birth defects if we keep killing all the victims? Wouldn't it make more sense and be more ethical to keep these children and to find a cure for these birth defects? I would think so.
I'd just like to share a post here about this particular subject. It's an interesting read:

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pro-Life Songs and a Pro-Life Blog

On top of being pro-life and being a Christian, I'm also a musician. I've played all over California, as well as out of state (as far as Chicago, Illinois) and out of the country (Italy). I've played everything from church carnivals to block parties, to leading worship for a Southern Baptist Convention meeting, to playing for a church retreat, to playing Chrsitian coffeeshops, and numerous other places. I have written pro-life music which probably isn't very rare. I would say that most Christian artists/bands have written at least one pro-life song. As such, I want to compile a list of pro-life songs, by Christians and non-Christians. A disclaimer will be kept next to the songs that are not appropriate for children. So if anyone comes across this blog, please feel free to add to the list and I will continually keep it updated.

Before I start the list, I'd also like to point you to another blog by a pro-life musician. I just came across said blog today and I definitely like it. He has written numerous pro-life songs and apparently adds pro-life flair to the worship songs he writes, so to add him to the list I'd probably have to include his entire discography. :D So please, go check out his blog. Here's the link to it: . He has links to his songs and CD's there on his page, so feel free to support his ministry by purchasing his music.

Without further ado, here's the list:

Blessid Union of Souls, Let's Get Out of Here -- From Close to the Edge
Nick Cannon, Can I Live? -- Single
Kenny Chesney, There Goes My Life -- From When the Sun Goes Down
The Cranberries, The Icicle Melts -- From No Need to Argue
Creed, In America -- From My Own Prison
Creed, One -- From My Own Prison
dc Talk, Children Can Live (Without It) -- From Nu Thang
Delirious?, Our God Reigns -- From Kingdom of Comfort
Final Judgement, Prelife Vivisection -- From Desolation Sacrilege
Flipsyde, Happy Birthday -- From We the People
Focal Point, Homicide -- From Suffering of the Masses
Rob Frazier, The Silence -- From Things I Say
The Front, The Promise -- From The Front
Grammatrain, Execution -- From Lonely House
Annie Herring, Killing Thousands -- From Search Deep Inside
Annie Herring, When You Come on My Mind -- From Search Deep Inside
Kid Rock, Abortion -- From The History of Rock
KIIS, Operation: Rescue -- From Welcome to the New Era
King's X, Legal Kill -- From Faith Hope Love
The Orange County Supertones, Prince of Peace -- From Revenge of the O.C. Supertones
P.O.D., Rise Against -- From When Angels & Serpents Dance
Graham Parker, You Can't be Too Strong -- From Squeezing Out Sparks
The Sex Pistols, Bodies -- From Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols (note: vulgar and violent, not appropriate for children)
Slayer, Angel of Death -- From Reign in Blood (note: a very anti-Christian band, so I can't in good conscience recommend the band itself)
Steve Taylor, Baby Doe -- From Meltdown
Steve Taylor, Bad Rap (Who You Tryin' to Kid, Kid?) -- From I Want to be a Clone
Steve Taylor, I Blew Up the Clinic Real Good -- From I Predict 1990
Steve Taylor, Whatever Happened to Sin? -- From I Want to be a Clone
tobyMac, Irene -- From Momentum
Underoath, Burden in Your Hands -- From Act of Depression
The Verve, The Freshman -- From Villains

Monday, August 30, 2010

What's in a Name?

I should probably start off by giving a brief background of my pro-life history. I've always been pro-life. However, I've never exactly known all the facts behind it. I grew up as a Christian and that probably weighed heavily on just why I believed that abortion was wrong. Yet it wasn't until about the year 2000 or 2001 that I really started to get into it.

I graduated high school in 1999 and went right into college. In 2000 or 2001, I was taking a public speaking class. One of the speaches I had to prepare was on a controversial topic and I had to present both views evenly. I couldn't let my classmates know that I believed one way or the other by presenting too much of one side of the argument. It was in doing research for this speech that I actually realized that not just the logical evidence, but the scientific evidence rested in the pro-life position. Now I don't even bring religion into it. I'll debate purely from logic and science as to why abortion is wrong. The only time I'll bring the Bible into it is if I'm discussing the issue with a pro-choice Christian.

An unborn child is not just a clump of cells (though we begin life as a cell and develop into an embryo/fetus). You could say that fundamentally, all of us born people, child and adult, are just a clump of cells. But an embryo/fetus is human. They have human DNA and are conceived by human parents. Creatures reproduce after their own kind. Two humans will conceive a human. Humans are alive or dead. They are not simply "there." An embryo/fetus grows, which living entities do, and all the signs of life that I learned in elementary school biology (e.g. cell division, response to stimuli, respiration) are all there. Doctors and scientists know when life begins; at conception. Doctors who perform abortions know when life begins. There's no denying that a unique human being comes into existence at conception. And humans, simply by virtue of being human, are valuable and should have the fundamental rights afforded to all people: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I'm pretty sure there's a reason life was listed first in that famous declaration.

But what of the terms used to describe those of us on the opposing sides of the issue? Pro-life and pro-choice are the terms commonly used to describe them but they are really misnomers. First of all, if one identifies oneself as pro-life, that's not really a blanket statement. For instance, some pro-lifers are against capital punishment (they believe we don't have the right to put anyone to death, even criminals), and there are pro-lifers in favor of capital punishment (those who murder another forfeit their own right to live; being pro-life is really about protecting innocent life, of which unborn children most certainly are). But then what of those who don't believe in protecting the rights of unborn children? What's the opposite of pro-life? Anti-life. Some pro-lifers will refer to pro-choicers as "anti-lifers" as a derogatory term designed to insult the other side. But this unfair. Those who are in favor of abortion do not oppose life in all situations; just in the case of abortion. So I've heard the term "pro-life rights" used to describe "pro-lifers." This is probably a more appropriate term.

And what of the pro-choice position? Again, pro-choice is a misnomer. For instance, while pro-choicers are in favor of abortion, they are not in favor of murder in other instances. Except for some very rare instances, pro-choicers would not advocate killing a newborn or a toddler. They don't believe anyone should have that choice. So they're not pro-choice in everything. Conversely, "pro-choicers" will call pro-lifers "anti-choice" as an insult, because they see us as male chauvenists who want to strip women of all their rights and lord ourselves over them. This couldn't be further from the truth. We are not "anti-choice." We believe that women should be able to make any number of decisions for themselves. They should be able to choose their spouse, to choose their religion, to choose what outfits they're going to wear, etc. But when it comes to stripping another individual (read: unborn child) of their right to live, that is where we draw the line. Besides, it may interest you to know that the earliest feminists were anti-abortion. They saw abortion as the ultimate exploitation of women, and allowed men to take advantage of them sexually because the option of abortion would be there. They knew that women didn't need "corrective surgery" to make themselves equal with men. So when it comes to what moniker best describes those on this side of the equation, I've heard the term "pro-abortion choice" being used, which is probably a better term.

On another note, despite their rhetoric, Planned Parenthood has consistently proven themselves to be an "anti-choice" organization. Not anti-choice in the sense of a pro-choice insult, but in the sense that they want no obstacles to abortion, even if it means someone doesn't get a choice or a woman can't make an informed choice. First of all, performing an abortion ensures that approximately 650,000 women each year don't get a choice -- and that's just in the U.S. (there are approximately 1.3 abortions each year in the U.S., and I'm assuming about half are female). Secondly, and I'm not sure at the moment how common this is, but women are not given all the facts by Planned Parenthood. They'll be denied the chance to see their ultrasound because it may sway their decision and cause them to choose life. First and foremost, Planned Parenthood is a business. They sell abortions. They can be craftier than used car salesmen.

Thirdly, Planned Parenthood has consistently opposed parental notification laws (where the parent would just have to be notified -- not consent to the abortion), conscience clauses (pro-life pharmacists must give abortifacient birth control to those who request it), and mental stability laws (to ensure that a woman is not only in her right mind, but that she is not being coerced in any way to get the abortion). This means that number one, they don't want parents to have any choice in the matter. They don't even want the parents to know about it -- because again, they're a business and they don't want pro-life parents to try and sway their children away from it. They also don't give pharmacists any choice. Even though there may be other qualified pharmacists who can help, pro-life pharmacists must comply with her wishes to use abortifacient birth control. Also, they don't care if a girl is being coerced into it. They could want to keep the child but may be pressured by her boyfriend/parent/abuser to get an abortion, and Planned Parenthood has enacted their own "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Planned Parenthood is not an ethical organization.

That's about it for now. This is my first entry here, the first of many. I welcome anyone who wishes to read and comment in this blog. I certainly welcome dialog, as well as it can be kept civil and clean. No swearing, no name calling, just intelligent conversation. I reserve the right to delete any notes that violate common decency.