Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Quality of Life: A Hellish Formula

Psalm 139:13-16: For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.

A paraphrase of a quote from Pastor Luke J. Robinson during the 2008 Sanctity of Human Life Rally in Peoria, Illinois:

‘Some people say that life begins at birth. Others say that it begins at conception. But my God is so pro-life that He said “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.”’

January 22, 1973 brought a sinister welcome to abortion on demand in America. The Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade was a wakeup call for the church. Demonstrations and organizations sprung up like the spring grass. But, in the 35 years that have passed, it seems many don’t bother themselves with the disturbing fact that children are being murdered in our backyards. Protests take time. And it’s cold in January. As I reported a few months back, the Life Chain in Peoria this past summer stirred only a couple hundred Believers. To me, the apathy is appalling. Human life is precious. We must prove by our actions that we believe and remember it!

If we forget, there may come a day when doctors evaluate even live births to assess if they are worthy to live. They may come up with a quantitative way to assess a child’s home life (HL), potential contribution to society (CS), and physical “natural endowment,” a child’s physical condition at birth (NE). They may combine these factors into some mathematical equation and come up with a Quality of Life Index (QL). If a child scores above this mark, they are worthy to live. Fall below, and they are left to die.

Science fiction? No indeed. Such a formula [(HL + CS) * NE = QL] was used by Children's Hospital of Oklahoma, in Oklahoma City from 1977 to 1982 to evaluate children born with Spina Bifida. During this period, 24 children were determined to be better off dead and left to die.

This story is important to me. You see, my wife, Stacy, was born with Spina Bifida in the 60’s, the day after her birthmother turned sixteen. Ginger, her birthmother, was one of eight children—the oldest in the household. No doubt being brought up in a home full of little ones helped develop in this young mother an understanding and appreciation for the life growing within her womb—because when faced with that crisis pregnancy, what she chose for Stacy was life.

Stacy was placed into the family of her adoptive parents when she was eighteen months old. By God’s grace, they chose to take on a child who was past infancy, loaded with hefty medical bills, and facing future difficult surgeries. Yet despite all that, they brought Stacy home and called her their own. Years later, when God captured the heart of my wife, He revealed to her the providential Hand that had protected and guided her throughout her life.

By a series of incredible events, Stacy was introduced to her birth grandparents and all of her birthmother’s siblings, nieces and nephews, and aunts and uncles, soon after her twenty-first birthday. She even had the opportunity to know her great grandmother. Ginger was allowed to hold and rock Stacy during brief visits to the hospital during her infancy. She was even baptized in her birthmother’s Christening gown. Sadly, because Stacy was so young, she has no recolection of these short meetings. Ironically, Ginger was twenty-one years old when she died in a tragic automobile accident – the same age Stacy was when she was reunited with the family.

Since that time, not only has Stacy grown to appreciate her adoptive parents in new ways, she has also grown close to her birth family—especially her grandparents. When asked about her thoughts on God’s providential hand in her life, she says this: “I stand amazed and humbled that God spared my life and, by His grace, given me the chance to raise ten beautiful children for His glory.”

When I gaze upon my children, I marvel at the way God weaved His thread of Providence throughout the intricate fabric of Stacy’s life. And yes, I am thankful for the precious gift of that life—a gift that is continuing into future generations.

This gift of life—given by God—is denied to so many. In our human deception, we are too often convinced by the enemy that some precious souls are not deemed fit to live. Some may be conceived during an “inconvenient” time of life; or somehow we are persuaded to believe that the life of the mother is more important than the life of the child. In other cases the child is not even considered human while in the protective confines of the womb—thus murder is treated as a form of “birth control,” without any thought at all to the precious life being snuffed out.

May we continue to fight for the sanctity of all life. May we view it in the preborn, the handicapped, the elderly, the helpless, and the infirmed as a gift from the Lord. It is the God-breathed spirit of our Heavenly Father (Genesis 2:7) that gives quality to life. Such worth is not determined by a doctor or by the state.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Urgent: Defend Conscience Rights Now and How!

Much has been written about President Obama's April 9th deadline for comments regarding rescission of the new regulations protecting the conscience rights of health care workers not to participate in objectionable practices including abortion.

This website www.freedom2care.org is a centralized website sponsored by many different organizations who have joined together to battle the attack on our Rights of Conscience.
Click on "My Message as a Healthcare Professional." (or "My Message as a Patient" if you are a patient) The letter is written for you. (or you can write your own in the empty box at the bottom of the page.)
Next, fill in the contact information that is requested
Next, skip the "comment box" unless you want to write your own letter.
Next, enter the characters asked for in the small box at right.
Next, hit "submit." You are finished. Thank you for doing this!

Thank you.

Dan Smith

Monday, March 23, 2009

Open Letter to Ray LaHood - Stand Firm

Open Letter to Ray Lahood, US Secretary of Transportation -

Dear Mr. Lahood,
Congratulations on your recent appointment, and unanimous confirmation as the 16th U.S. Secretary of Transportation. I wish you Godspeed in your service in the Cabinet.
As a Congressman, you were a robust champion of the Pro-Life position over the years. I urge you to continue that same stalwart, public stand. The pressure to be silent on this issue will be immense! But, you are now one of the few with this perspective that still has a seat at the table of power...
Lost in the urgency of the current economic crisis, is the reality that the pro-abortion agenda is now on the upswing. American tax money will once again be used to promote abortion internationally with the repeal of the Mexico City Policy by executive order, an order issued almost before the echoes of the Oath of Office had faded. Passage of the so-called "Freedom of Choice Act," removing most, if not all Federal, state, and locally enacted protections for the unborn, is a stated priority of the administration. What comes next? Some indication can be found in a quote from the statement issued by the president after rescinding the Mexico City Policy.
"For too long, international family planning assistance has been used as a political wedge issue, the subject of a back and forth debate that has served only to divide us. I have no desire to continue this stale and fruitless debate."
A juggernaut called "change" is barreling down tracks greased by economic upheaval. This train may well be able to avoid the dreaded depression that is threatening and even outrun the current recession. But with its full head of steam, it has the potential to sweep away any bulwark of civilization in its path. Coupled to it are coaches full of gleeful meddlers and their worn out liberal baggage. Economic recovery and stability are not their priorities. They intend to ride this train for all it's worth, unloading their baggage at every station.
So, I urge you to withstand any pressure to be silent. The economy is on weak and dangerous ground. Change is needed. But, this nation has survived economic calamity many times before. It was only a moral crisis – slavery, which nearly destroyed her.
The urgency of getting the Pursuit of Happiness back on track cannot be allowed to justify passivity in the face of mounting assaults against Life and Liberty. If it is, we are sacrificing the High Ideals of our Republic on the altar of prosperity - once again.

Dennis W. Dillard

First posted on Central Illinois Right To Life Web Site http://www.cirtl.org/ and published in abbreviated form in the Peoria Journal Star on Feb. 14, 2009