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Archive for February, 2012

On March 24th, it is estimated that thousands will celebrate the faith of atheism at the Washington Mall in D.C.  The event, called “The Reason Rally,” will feature famed atheist, Richard Dawkins.  Among those attending will be Missouri State University’s atheist club known as the “Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.”  

Chuck Colson explains that atheist groups, often filled with young adults who grew up in Christian homes, are increasing on college campuses.  According to the Barna Research Group, three in five “Christian” kids abandon the church after the age of 15.  Eighty-four percent of 18-29 year-olds who call themselves “Christians” admit that they have no idea how the Bible applies to their occupation.  What do you say?  Has the church done a poor job of teaching our young people that reason and faith are not opposites?  Do you think atheism more reasonable than Christianity?  Many young people find themselves at the university completely unequipped to defend the rationality of the Christian faith against the secular worldview so prevalent on college campuses.

A group called Ratio Christi (Latin: “The Reason for Christ”) is doing something about this by starting  student apologetic clubs (apologetics: defense of the faith).  They want to reclaim the intellectual battle ground on campuses.  Questions such as, “Does God really exist?” and “Is Christianity consistent with science?” are discussed.  “Ratio Christi,” said a student at North Carolina State, “has given me a rational and logical defense of my faith.  When I dialogue with atheists, they are shocked that I have a defense. When I run into skeptics, they are overwhelmed by the amount of evidence supporting creation.  When I talk to Christians with questions about this, they find that their belief has a strong, historical foundation that cannot be shaken.” 

I echo Chuck Colson who said, “Folks, this is music to my ears.  A young, bright, college kid who gets it — and who is willing to defend the faith and make the case that Christianity is truly the only reasonable worldview there is.” 

NOTE:  I am indebted to Chuck Colson and his team for the way they keep me informed.  The information above was gleaned from Breakpoint (2/20/2012).  Visit Breakpoint to learn more about Ratio Christi and another group, Veritas.  Also, Colson provides a helpful chart that shows various worldviews.  Go to Breakpoint and, under “Further Reading and Information,” click on the “Worldview Grid” link.  Do not fear the flying spaghetti monster.  It is only the figment of doubting minds.  Ezerwoman

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Jesus said, “Let the children come to Me; do not hinder them” (Mark 10:14).  Jesus also said, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come!  It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin” (Luke 17:1-2) 

Jesus expressed righteous anger when the disciples were trying to prevent little ones from coming to Jesus.  Jesus knows that infants can believe or trust (Luke 18:15) as shown by the way they long to be held by parents rather than by strangers.  An infant may inherit God’s kingdom (salvation) just as an infant may inherit the parents’ blessing and property.  Children have to trust and receive the care of others, and only in the same way does the kingdom of God come to us. But, what is the world – what are we – doing to prevent children from trusting God?  What are we doing to hinder them or cause them to sin?

Do we hinder a child from coming to Jesus through the act of abortion?  Can a dead child grow in trust and a personal relationship with Christ?  Do we prevent a little one from coming to Jesus through the act of infanticide?  Peter Singer, an ethicist and professor at Princeton University has long proclaimed that no newborn should be considered a person until 30 days after birth and that the attending physician should kill some disabled babies on the spot.  “Human babies are not born self-aware, or capable of grasping that they exist over time,” he wrote in 1979. “They are not persons;” therefore, “the life of a newborn is of less value than the life of a pig, a dog, or a chimpanzee.”  Where in Scripture does Jesus say that He wants a relationship only with perfect children?  Where does God say He cannot make a difference in the world through less than perfect children?

Do we cause little children to sin by giving them information they cannot process?  K-12 sex education is mandated in some form throughout U.S. schools.  Such education is built on the premise that more knowledge is good.  (What did God warn man about in Genesis 2:15-17?)  At early ages, boys and girls are put in classrooms together to learn about all things sexual.  The goal is to make children “comfortable with their sexuality.”  A great deal of information, discussions of “safe” sex, and how to use contraceptives are offered in elementary and middle school.  Religious or moral views are not considered “science;” therefore, they are not tolerated in the classroom.  But, purity instruction is scientifically supported.  A child’s brain is not fully developed; therefore, he cannot process all information.  Adult brains use the frontal lobe to think through the facts, rationalize, and put the brakes on emotional responses.  The frontal lobe is not fully developed until the late teens or even early 20s.  It’s not lack of information that puts children at risk; it’s lack of judgment.  This is largely ignored by sex educators, fashions, the media and internet.   Children are tempted with sexual images and suggestions away from what is holy, pure, healthy, and good.  Pharmaceutical companies and Planned Parenthood stand ready to profit from harmful choices.  What do you think?  How does all of this benefit children?  Are children led to Jesus, or away from Him? 

Do we cause children to sin by letting them believe that marriage between two men or two women is perfectly acceptable?  Homosexual groups are pressuring schools to teach children that they can choose whichever they want to be: boy or girl.  That homo, bi, or transsexual are “diverse” and “normal.”  Does such teaching lead children to Jesus Christ, The Word – or away from Him?

There is hope!  There is always hope for children when parents trust God’s creation and design.  Guard innocence.  Resist evil. 

Please visit Dr. Miriam Grossman, then contrast her scientific study with PP’s TeenWire

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There is a stage being set.  I see male and female players, but focus on those of my own gender.  Why?  Because the way we women choose to play our role determines much for men and children.  Our character matters.   Each woman being called on stage is a daughter of Eve.  Each one is prompted with one question.  “Did God really say . . . ?”  So far in my lifetime, I have heard many responses.

“We are not created, but self-evolved!” proclaim deceived women.  “We are unbound sexual beings with the right to express our sensuality and seek pleasure.  Our daughters must be made comfortable with their sexuality.  Give them all knowledge and they will choose well.”

“We are no different from men,” proclaim foolish women, “and entitled to an equal playing field.  Men do not have to bear children, nor should we.”

“We have the right,” proclaim restless women, “to unlimited access to birth control and abortion.”

Deceived, foolish, and restless women have difficulty holding men accountable as faithful husbands.  Devoted fathers of their children.  Laborers who work for honest pay.   Builders of vibrant community.

When the act of sex is disconnected from procreation, an entire culture pays the price.  Everything – from the family to the economy, from ethics to health care – is affected.

Choosing to follow after the sensual lifestyle because “it’s who I am” comes with tremendous cost to society.  There are pills before sex and after sex.  Pills to fight infection.  Pills to fertilize life or abort life.  Fearing they may lose their “sexual freedom,” women cry out, “Do not come between me and my right to health care.”  In fact, “whether the conscience of my neighbor is good with my lifestyle or not, they must help fund my pills and procedures.”

The stage is set for Election Day.  Do you see the lines forming?  “Stand here, if you’re in favor of women’s health!”  “Over there, if you don’t give a wit.”  Backstage are powers and principalities busy pitting women against men, parents against children, a people against God.

Well, I give a wit.  But, my conscience can’t embrace the funding of Planned Parenthood or health care that mandates religious institutions to cover abortion-causing drugs.  Nor can my conscience turn away from deceived and restless women.  They may speak in one trained voice: “My body, my choice.”  They may be loud.  Bold.  Impassioned.  But, loud, bold, and impassioned voices can be a cover for unhappiness.  Fear.  Discontent.

Knowing this, I am compelled – mercifully compelled – to take a stand for women.  Not for our foolish and hurtful choices, but for women of character who are needed by men.  Children.  A nation.

Because God really did say there is a way that is right.  A way with blessings.  A future.  Hope.

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Tom lives in the neighborhood.  Most of us see him as a quiet, non-troublesome kind of guy.   He “minds his own business.”  But, those of us who live a little closer to Tom see him making some choices that, while seemingly private, are affecting his neighbors.   It isn’t my right to tell Tom what to do in his own home, or to tell him who he should invite into his home.  But, when how he chooses to live his life encroaches on my life in a less than helpful way, then should I voice concern?

Conversations of the past have revealed that Tom and I don’t share the same faith or character.  We have built our lives on very different foundations; therefore, we not only see the world differently, we respond to the things of this world differently.   I’ll be honest.  I’m concerned about my neighbor.  I’m concerned for Tom’s sake, but also for the sake of other neighbors whom he influences. 

I don’t believe I should question my neighbor’s faith and character.  I do believe, however, that I can ask questions about his perspective on life.  His worldview.  Every caring neighbor should ask another neighbor questions about their worldview.  If we don’t ask our neighbor why he does what he does, says what he says, or lives the way he lives, then what kind of neighbor are we?  What kind of neighborhood will we jointly build up…or tear down?

Rick Santorum was recently understood to have questioned President Obama’s faith.  When criticized for his remarks, Santorum explained that he was questioning the president’s “radical” environmentalist view that “elevates the Earth above man.”  Santorum explained that he wasn’t questioning that President Obama is a Christian, but that his worldview on natural resources and how they can’t be tapped because to do so will harm the Earth is a “phony ideal.”  Santorum has also questioned the president’s worldview on the issue of abortion; most recently, in the area of insurance coverage for prenatal tests that can identify problems in unborn children.  Santorum knows for a fact that doctors “more often than not” recommend abortion when problems are discovered.

I believe that any presidential candidate – or American citizen — should be able to ask questions about their neighbor’s worldview.  In kindly doing so, he or she is simply and fairly asking: Why do you believe what you believe?  What is the source of your belief?  How does your belief serve other people?  How does your belief help us all build a better society?  After asking such questions, it is fair to say:  Here’s what I believe and why.  Here is the source of my belief.  Here is how I try to live my belief.  Now, please feel free to question me about my worldview.  Why I say what I say and do what I do.

Too many of us seem unwilling to dialogue about worldviews and how those worldviews affect neighborhoods and society as a whole.  When a person is concerned enough to speak up about health care, marriage, sexual behaviors, abortion, euthanasia, or ethics of any kind, they are quickly labeled as “judgmental.”  Care and concern are not judgmental.  Contrasting one worldview with another is not “judgmental.”  Laying something counterfeit next to the real thing is not “judgmental.”  And, you know what?  Calling something harmful or dangerous is not “judgmental.”  If it is, then every “bridge out” or “stop ahead” or “wear your seatbelt” sign should be torn down.

I’m not sure that I’ll be given the opportunity to dialogue with Tom about important matters of life.  But, if I am, I promise to take care.  To not question his faith (or lack of it) or demean his character.  Instead, I will try to ask questions.  Questions that show my interest in him as a person.  But, also questions that help Tom think about being a good neighbor.

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Do you have a moment?  Please listen to what Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison, President of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, has to say about the recent mandate of President Obama and Health and Human Services (HHS).   Lutherans — and all people of the Christian faith — should care about the HHS Birth Control Mandate. 

http://youtu.be/X5au8yj2msQ

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Dear Planned Parenthood,

You say you care about women’s health.  That being the case, do you educate girls and young women about their sensitive ecosystem?  Do you tell them that their bodies, quite different from men’s, are more at risk for infections?  Do you explain that the cervix, for example, is an area of the female body that more easily allows bacteria and viruses to grow?  That being on the birth control pill may actually increase the risk of infection?  (Dr. Miriam Grossmen, Unprotected, p. 27)

You say you have the best interests of young women at heart.  So, how do you protect them from themselves?  “An adolescent is like a fully mature car that’s turbo-charged, but its driver is unskilled, and his navigational abilities are not yet fully in place.” (Dr. Ronald Dahl, quoted in You’re Teaching My Child What? by Miriam Grossman, M.D., p. 75)  You insist on providing teens with all information so that they can make informed decisions, but how can you produce a sexually responsible girl if her wiring isn’t finished?  Circuits aren’t complete?  If the “feeling” part of her brain is functioning, but the “thinking” part of her brain is not yet fully developed?

You say you want to help women make informed decisions.  Then why do you resist showing expectant moms a sonogram of their baby?  Why, if there is any possible link at all between abortion and breast cancer, don’t you mention this?  What do you say about the risk of cervical cancer that can be caused by the human papilloma virus possibly passed on during the act of sex?

You say you want to prevent abortions.  Once again: Why do you resist showing expectant moms a sonogram of their baby?  Why do you insist on telemed abortions which are not only unsafe for the women and kill more babies, but increase your annual revenue?  According to your own 2009-10 annual report, PP performed more than 329,000 abortions.  Conservatively estimating that each abortion is $450, abortion services brought in $148 million of PP’s overall $320 million in clinic revenue, representing 46% of your budget.  Why do you insist that each of your affiliates must have at least one clinic offering abortion services by 2013?  Why do you have “abortion quotas” that your clinics are to reach every month?   

You say you want to provide services for poor women of every ethnicity.  What kind of services?  78% of PP clinics are set up in minority communities.  African-Americans make up 12% of the U.S. population, but 35% of U.S. abortions.  PP founder Margaret Sanger created the Negro Project designed to sterilize unknowing black women and others she deemed “undesirable.”  Sanger said, “Colored people are like human weeds and are to be exterminated.”  (Source: Black Genocide

You say you want to help this country help its families.  Does single parenthood ever bother you?  Why do you force your way into schools with your “services” and clinics but resist parental consent for minors?  How do you build generational relationships between sons or daughters and their moms and dads?

You call yourself “Planned Parenthood.”  Why don’t you just admit that you’re not very fond of parenthood at all.  In fact, looking at your TeenWire web site (X-rated), I see that you encourage the practice of homosexuality as a way to avoid parenthood altogether. 

You insist that the U.S. government force religious  institutions to pay for insurance plans offering “free” contraception, abortion-causing drugs, and sterilization.  You say that churches have no right to deprive women of access to free “birth control.”  But, have you ever stopped to consider the ethics of The Pill, abortion pills (RU-486 or mifepristone, the “morning after pill,” or telemed/pill-in-a-drawer), and sterilizations on ethical or medical grounds?  Fact is, you and people from all walks of life — pastors, physicians, psychologists, and social workers — have agreed  that The Pill has been responsible for massive social changes which have crippled the economy; increased promiscuity, STDs, and teen pregnancies; decreased marriage rates; and lowered birth rates to barely replaceable levels.

You say you exist simply to offer a choice.  Then why do you resort to “gangster tactics” when that choice is questioned and funds are stopped? (Sheila Liaugminas in Mercatornet)

In what way, Planned Parenthood, are you helping to build a vibrant and hopeful civilization?

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Dear friends and fellow people of faith,

Now is not the time for foolishness. 

Please, don’t look at your watch on Sunday morning and complain if Divine Service expands beyond your allotted hour.  Instead, thank God that He is serving you and filling you with Word and Sacrament so that you are energized for your vocations of parenting, teaching, working, learning, building, and neighboring.

Please, put away your pride and curb your sensitivity if your pastor seems to speak directly to you and your particular weakness or sin.  Be grateful that God is using His servant to stir your conscience and lead you away from harm.

Please, don’t close your ears and plant your feet stubbornly if you hear your pastor speak about sins including abortion, homosexuality, living together outside of marriage, so-called gay “marriage,” euthanasia, and so on.  You may feel loyal to a particular political party.  You may believe that the church should stay silent where the government has spoken.  But, a pastor that speaks where God speaks is a pastor who is faithful to his call.  Instead of resisting that pastor or telling him to keep quiet, please pray for him.  Pray that he speak the Truth of Christ with the attitude of Christ.

Please, don’t be distracted by hymns with melodies you don’t like; or vestments that seem too priestly; or the weekly Lord’s Supper that stretches “church” even longer; or an organ that sounds, well, too much like a church organ; or a choir that doesn’t entertain.  Instead, be thankful that you can congregate with fellow believers in a public place of worship.

This, dear friends and fellow people of faith, is no time for foolishness.  Why?  Because we are living in a country that has legalized the killing of children in the womb whose hearts beat as vibrantly as the hearts of their mothers.  (Those 53+ million babies would have invigorated our economy and supported an aging 76 million baby boomers.) 

We are living in a country where three states have legalized euthanasia and six states plus the District of Columbia have legalized so-called same-sex “marriage.”   

We are living in a country where voters – many of them Christian – elected Barak Obama.  Under this president and his administration, freedom of worship (personal faith kept to oneself) has replaced freedom of religion (personal faith shared and practiced in public). 

Under this president, freedom of sexual expression (hetero, homo, bi or trans) is the right above all other rights. 

Under this president, the government partners with Planned Parenthood (the nation’s largest provider of abortions) and we, the taxpayers, fund deceitful cover of rape and under-age prostitution, separation of minors from their parents, and drugs and procedures that place girls and young women at risk physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Under this president, people of faith – people like you and me – are being stripped of their right to conscience; in other words, their right to resist evil and do good.  With “Obamacare,” for example, church bodies are being told that they must obey Caesar rather than God. 

So please, dear friends and people of faith –

This is not the time to foolishly complain about the length of Divine Service, or liturgy, or sermons that make you squirm.  This is the time to thank God that you can still gather in His name and in a public place.  This is the time to grow more familiar with The Word, partake in the Sacrament, and encourage one another to resist evil and mentor a new generation for Christ.

Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:17).

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No.  Neither are those of the Southern Baptist Convention.  Or the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.  Or other church bodies which are speaking up in defense of religious liberty.

But, President Obama and Kathleen Sebelius must think differently.  Following the firestorm ignited by his policy forcing religious organizations to pay for “contraceptives” and sterilizations, the President offered a compromise.  “Quite frankly,” said Bill Donahue of the Catholic League, “he’s adding insult to injury.  He must think the Catholics are stupid.” 

The president is playing word games which fail to mask his assault on core convictions regarding the sanctity of human life held dear for decades by many Christians.   Catholics, Southern Baptists and Missouri Synod Lutherans believe aborting a child by way of so-called “contraceptive” pills such as Ella or “Plan B” is a sin.  The government said, “So what?  You’ll do as we say.”

Mr. Obama and Ms. Sebelius have blatantly disregarded individual conscience and faith by forcing religious organizations to pay for “preventative services for women.”  HHS, you see, has included unintended pregnancy as “a condition for which safe and effective prevention and treatment” need to be more widely available.  (This sets the stage for mandated coverage of abortion as the treatment when prevention fails.) 

In effect, Mr. Obama and Ms. Sebelius see pregnancy not only as a burden, but as an obstacle – or disease – that must be overcome.  To commemorate the 39th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, Mr. Obama was unashamedly transparent.  He said legalized abortion is indispensable “to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.” 

I believe Mr. Obama is being honest in a most sobering way.  He is taking a stand against life and liberty.  He is friend to Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortions, but foe to the church that seeks to protect and rescue human life in Jesus’ name.  More important than the sanctity of human life to this administration is the sanctity of personal liberation.    

So, here’s what I think.  Catholics, Southern Baptists, Missouri Synod Lutherans, Rick Warren, and other conservative believers are not stupid.  But, we are enablers.

I think this government is doing what it is doing because we Christians have enabled the culture to deteriorate.  We let ourselves come under the influence of nonbelieving neighbors in the land.  We went to the university and mingled with those who followed Darwin, Lenin, Sanger and Kinsey.  We set aside God’s Word on all matters of life to follow after human opinion.  We believed ourselves wise enough to separate good from evil. 

Abortion was legalized by the U.S. Supreme Court only because many in the so-called faith community had already condoned it.  And, why do you think that might be?  Because they had fallen for the lie that abortion is “a tragic but necessary choice.”   Behind that lie was another: We are “sexual beings” whose right to be sexual trumps all other rights, even the right to life. 

Perhaps we in the faith community ought not be so critical of this government for attacking religious liberty.  Perhaps we set ourselves up for the attack by letting people who oppose God shape the thinking of our children.  Lenin said that America would never be changed by a Bolshevik-style revolution.  Instead, believed Lenin, removal of God and the rule of socialism would be guaranteed if children were separated from their parents and taught to follow after “their sexual instincts.” 

A century of Darwin and at least five decades of Sanger and Kinsey have had their way with American children.  Those children grew up questioning God and standards of morality.  They were taught to be comfortable with their flesh side – their sensuality, but this put them at odds with their Creator and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.   For them, the First Commandment is no longer “You shall have no other gods before Me;” rather, it is: “I am my own god” and “it’s my body, my choice.”  This becomes crystal clear to me as I hear women defend President Obama’s order that all religious institutions provide contraceptives.  They completely miss the fact that individual conscience is being violated and religious liberties stripped away.  They focus, instead, on their sexual liberties and the “right” not to be burdened by the procreative miracle of sex.  “I’m a working woman,” said one, “who must be guaranteed my reproductive rights.”  “This Catholic uproar,” said another woman, “has nothing to do with faith and everything to do with women’s health.” 

Do you agree that Christians have enabled such thinking?  It is fact that even “good” Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, and other Christian parents have allowed their sons and daughters to be educated by those whose worldview opposes God.  Children have been separated from parents and tutored K-12 in “sex education” or “family living” or “human sexuality” classes whose origins are not God but Sanger and Kinsey.  Educated in such an environment, children do come to think about the act of sex, marriage, family, and civic responsibilities in ways that open the door to government intervention.

Legalized abortion and now this bold attack on religious liberties and individual conscience are government policies that happen when the people (that’s us) seek after the unholy rather than the holy.  After sensuality rather than purity.  After self-gratification rather than generational faithfulness. 

People of faith are not stupid.  But, we are enablers.  I’ve always believed that God placed me where I am at this time in history to play a specific role as the woman He created me to be.  As that woman, I have a choice.  To enable neighbors – and, thus, a culture – to seek after things of God… or self.  To raise the standard of behavior for men and children… or to lower it.  To live as if I’m on a journey to eternal life with God… or just “here for the moment, so get all I can.”

There are those who want to strip away the right to defend life.  Purity.  Marriage and family.  Ethics.  Just law.  Freedom of conscience and faith.  We can no longer enable them to do so.

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What follows is an article by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse.  It was published by Dr. Morse and MercatorNet,  (2/9/2012) and reprinted with permission (see below).  Ezerwoman believes there is no need to try to write what someone else has written so well.

How Hedonism Became America’s Official Religion

An edict from the Obama administration has ended the American experiment in religious liberty.

No, I’m not exaggerating. The American experiment in religious liberty is officially over. The First Amendment provided institutional structures that allow different religions to peacefully coexist. All groups agree to not try to capture governmental structures for the benefit of their own particular denomination.

But the Obama administration has ended that truce. The administration made a decision to require all employers to provide contraception, abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization. The administration offers no religious exemption for people who have the audacity to believe that pregnancy is not an illness that needs to be always and everywhere prevented.

In effect, we have a new state religion, a new Established Church of the United States of America, with Barack Obama as its head. It is the religion of Secular Hedonism, the worldview that sex is a sterile recreational activity, with babies thrown in as an afterthought, an optional extra, for people with quirky life-style preferences. The contraceptive mandate uses the full might of the US government to scrub the public square clean of any competing religious voices that dissent from the new orthodoxy.

But because this worldview is fundamentally irrational, it cannot stand on its own two feet. Some sexual activity does result in babies. Not everyone wants their government acting as if the highest goal is that pleasure is to be sought. Not everyone believes that the purpose of the government is to allow people to indulge themselves sexually, without a live baby ever resulting.

The Catholic Church for instance, famously opposes every precept of Secular Hedonism. As a matter of fact, so did all of the Christian churches, right up until five minutes ago. The ancient Christian teaching is that marriage is the proper context for sexual activity and for child-bearing, for the good of children, women, and men alike, as well as society as a whole.

The government believes that this dissenting voice cannot be tolerated. It must be crushed. And, of course, from their point of view, they are perfectly correct. They have an established religion that says that every sexual act is intrinsically meaningless except for the meaning we might happen to assign it. They simply can’t allow someone to go around saying that each and every sexual act is sacred, and endowed by our Creator with inalienable significance. From the point of view of Secular Hedonism, Catholicism must be crushed.

And of course, anyone else who dissents from the new orthodoxy must be crushed as well. That is why so many other faith traditions have joined in criticizing the Obama administration’s usurpation of power from civil society. The National Association of Evangelicals, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, Orthodox Christians and Orthodox Jews have all criticized the administration’s attack on religious liberty. These religious bodies know that their religious liberties are at stake as well.

The religious truce is officially over. The Established Church of Secular Hedonism has declared war on the rest of us, enlisting the might of the United States government on their side. We will respond using nothing but peaceful means.

We used to refrain from making religious arguments in the public square. We thought it was our duty. We thought it was good strategy. The Ruth Institute has specialized in defending the ancient Christian teachings, using non-religious arguments. This no longer makes sense. The arguments are still good arguments. But there is no longer any reason to hold back from proclaiming our faith. Our position deserves respect, not simply because it is our “deeply held religious belief”. Our position deserves respect because it is grounded in reason and evidence, and in a far deeper understanding of the human person, and the human good. The ancient Christian teachings on marriage, family and human sexuality are superior to the teachings of the Established Church of Secular Hedonism.

If we don’t respond firmly, the Obama Administration will assume they can get away with ending religious liberty. This website, StopHHS.org will become a clearing house of info about the insurance mandate. Go sign their petition.

Dr Jennifer Roback Morse, PhD, is the founder and president of the Ruth Institute, a project of the National Organization for Marriage.

This article by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, PhD, was originally published on MercatorNet.com under a Creative Commons Licence. If you enjoyed this article, visit MercatorNet.com for more.

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Below are excerpts from a statement issued by Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, president of my church body, The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS), in response to a recent HHS decision which affects religious freedom.   

We are deeply distressed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) recent decision to require nearly all private health plans, including those offered by religious employers, to cover contraceptives.  This will include controversial birth-control products such as “Ella” and the “morning after pill,” even though the FDA warns that such drugs can cause the death of a baby developing in the womb.  The LCMS objects to the use of drugs and procedures that are used to take the lives of unborn children, who are persons in the sign of God from the time of conception, and we are opposed to the HHS’ decision mandating the coverage of such contraceptives.

This HHS action relates to a provision in the “health care reform” legislation (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) signed into law in 2010 . . . The Concordia Health Plan (CHP), the LCMS church workers’ health plan, has been maintained as a “grandfathered” plan.  As such, employers and workers participating in CHP would not be subjected to the mandate.  However, many religious organizations do not have grandfathered plans and cannot avail themselves of the extremely narrow religious-employer exemption, which only is applicable to religious employers that primarily serve and employ members of their faith.

For centuries, Lutherans have joyfully delivered Christ’s mercy to others and embraced His call to care for the needy within our communities and around the world.  In a nation that has allowed more than 54 million legal abortions since 1973, we must consider the marginalization of unborn babies and object to this mandate.

In addition, I encourage the members of the LCMS to join with me in supporting efforts to preserve our essential right to exercise our religious beliefs.  This action by HHS will have the effect of forcing many religious organizations to choose between following the letter of the law and operating within the framework of their religious tenets.  We add our voice to the long list of those championing for the continued ability to act according to the dictates of their faith, and provide compassionate care and clear Christian witness to society’s most vulnerable, without being discriminated against by government.

The LCMS, a church body of sinners redeemed by the blood of Jesus, has affected the lives of millions of people with care, aid, housing, health care, spiritual care and much more.  We have been a force for good in this nation, promoting education, marriage and giving people the tools and assistance to be good citizens.  We live and breathe Roman 13:3-7.  The governing authorities are “God’s servant for good.”  We pray for our President and those in authority . . . 

Increasingly we are suffering overzealous government intrusions into what is the realm of traditional and biblical Christian conscience.  We believe this is a violation of our First Amendment rights.  We will stand, to the best of our ability, with all religious and other concerned citizens, against this erosion of our civil liberty.  Come what may, we shall do everything we can, by God’s grace, to “obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).  (February 3, 2012)

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