02222017Wed
Last updateFri, 13 Jan 2017 3pm


 

THE Train

die train

Beginning in 1942 and continuing to the end of the war, a special train ran through a tiny village in the quaint countryside of Nazi occupied Holland. The train ran every Tuesday. That train held 1000 Jews destined for the Nazi German concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz.

Bert Dorenbos was a small boy who watched the train come by. It is his personal testimony that makes this video so effective.

Today Bert is one of the leading pro-life voices throughout the EU. As the head of Holland's prolife movement, he shares what these trains meant to him and how he was motivated to address the "Holocaust" of our day.

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RIP GOP

Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D., Public Policy Director, Personhood Alliance

Recently, a woman passed away and left a brilliant obituary in the Richmond Times-Dispatch that has since gone viral. It stated: "Faced with the prospect of voting for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, Mary Anne Noland of Richmond chose, instead, to pass into the eternal love of God."

Many God-fearing decent Americans feel exactly like Ms. Noland.  

"Americans’ Distaste For Both Trump And Clinton Is Record-Breaking," reported Nate Silver's data wonky fivethirtyeight.com blog. In fact, in the last generation, the only presidential candidate that has been more disliked than either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump was the KKK leader David Duke during his presidential campaign of 1980.  Yes, that is the same David Duke whose endorsement Trump initially refused to repudiate.

Strictly from a pro-life perspective, the choice between Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton is not as clear as some might wish. Hillary is of course a total no-no, but Trump, with no positive record for us to be re-assured about and an unpredictability and trustworthiness factor causing alarm bells to constantly ring, is not seen as an impressive better of two evils.

Hillary has openly stated as recently as last month, that "the unborn person has no constitutional rights."  Zero, nada, zilch.  On the other hand, Donald Trump has repeatedly stated that the nation's largest exterminator of preborn children, Planned Parenthood, does "very good work." And he still has not undone the serious flaws of that claim. No acceptable clarifications. No acknowledgment of all the other evil and criminal activity that PP is very well known for. No acknowledgment of its founder’s damning, racist, eugenics pre-occupation.

Given this worst of all possible political worlds, what are pro-lifers to do?  

There are probably no better nose-holders in the political universe than pro-lifers, and surely we will be sold the lesser-of-two-evils Faustian bargain yet again and told to vote for Donald Trump in exchange for a seat at the table. 

At least Trump tries to convince Americans about being pro-life, right?  But I foresee that many will refuse to hold their nose, eyes, ears, and mouth this time around. Many also did that with Romney and McCain and we got Barack Obama twice. Still, the likelihood is that the number of no-shows will be much larger for Trump who seems to have an extra-special knack for nauseating social and religious conservatives.

Neither McCain, nor Romney have lived a life of moral debauchery on the level of the Howard Stern Show.  McCain was a war hero turned wishy washy politician and proved to be a far worse false “ally” than we could have imagined since his loss to Obama; Mitt Romney, a committed Mormon family man who had a liberal track record on social issues and became so arrogantly overconfident before the last election that he felt he could publicly weaken his pro-life, pro-family emphasis without losing significant votes.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, has unapologetically engaged in much immoral behavior, while simultaneously rejecting the most Christian idea that he should ask for God's forgiveness.  As the Daily Beast describes him, Donald Trump has "profited off strip clubs, cheated on his wife, and appeared on the cover of the nation’s pre-eminent porn magazine."

But more to the point, on the issue of the right to life, he publicly stated his personal belief in "choice" to the extreme of supporting partial birth abortion.  He supported, until very recently, politicians who have made their careers trampling upon the right to life and family, and even after his claimed conversion to the pro-life side, he has stated a desire to change the GOP platform to expand the acceptance of abortion. 

On the critical issue of the Supreme Court, the crucial question is how strongly will Donald Trump fight for the slate of candidates that was released last month?  On this point, no honest observer knows.  Will the self proclaimed master of the art of the deal be willing to compromise on these judges?  The pressure from Democrats will be intense.  To withstand what will surely be a tidal wave of opposition, Trump's fundamental positions on the right to life and on marriage must be built on the solid rock of deeply held convictions, if not, as surely as the bible tells us, these nominations will collapse with a mighty crash. 

On the issue of the federal persecution of Christian marriage, Trump has basically shown no real inclination to fight against Obergefell or Obama's transgender crusades.

Trump's stance on marriage proves that he is not just unreliable on the right to life, he is basically untrustworthy on every critical moral issue.  In all, Donald Trump has shown no personal history to give those of us who hold a Christian worldview genuine hope in his presidency.

So if the two mainstream candidates are unacceptable, might now be the time to start a third party?

Apparently nobody who is anybody inside the beltway wants to do it.  Bill Kristol of the neoconservative wing of the GOP and Mitt Romney of the big business wing have both tried and failed to gain any traction.  Absent the third party option, authors such as National Review's John Fund are even making the case for putting none of the above on the ballot.  

But before practicing Christians resign themselves to choosing "none of the above" why don't we make sure that third party options are actually tried by and for Christian conservatives?

On other issues, third parties have certainly worked.  While recent third party candidates such as Ralph Nader and Ross Perot have been blamed for taking votes away from the most electable major candidates who purported to be representative of a particular set of values, a closer examination from the point of view of the supporters of the third party gives us a different reading.  

Ralph Nader's 2.8 million votes under the Green Party ticket in the 2000 election certainly hurt Al Gore's chances to become president, but from the point of view of the socialist environmentalists he was instrumental in bringing about Obama's ideologically driven presidency.  A few years earlier, during the 1992 election, Ross Perot's 19% of the popular vote crushed George Bush Sr.'s chances of reelection, but again, from the perspective of Ross Perot's supporters, the 1992 campaign made possible Newt Gingrich's contract with America and the return of the House of Representatives to the GOP.

The reason that people like Ralph Nader and Ross Perot launched their third party campaigns was that the established parties compromised on the values represented by Nader and Perot, and from that perspective those bruising third party races were very successful. 

If, however, we wish to look at a successful third party that was formed to answer a religiously-based moral issue, we could do no better than start with the GOP's own history.

Most Republicans recognize the GOP as the party of Lincoln.  But they don't know who Alvan Bovay was and they are ignorant of the significance of the little town of Ripon, Wisconsin in the downfall of the most evil institution of slavery.

In 1850, at age 32, Alvan E. Bovay moved from New York state to Ripon, Wisconsin, then a new frontier town with only 13 houses.  He began to practice law, became engaged in land development and became a respected member of his small town. 

Bovay would often join other townsfolk and passersby at the town post office or the town store to discuss the main issues of the day, none of which was more important than the institution of slavery and its spread into the new territories.  Bovay was opposed to slavery and belonged to the Whig party.  The citizens of Ripon were Whigs, Free Soilers, and even some Democrats, but all of them opposed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which permitted the expansion of slavery into the western territories.  

Then thirty-six years old, Bovay called a meeting to be held on the evening of February 28, 1854, at the Congregational church.  The members, who mostly remain unknown to this day, decided that if the Nebraska bill would pass, they would "throw old party organizations to the winds and organize a new party on the sole issue of slavery."

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

Shortly thereafter, the House passed the controversial bill by a vote of 113-100, with the Whigs divided and the Democrats mostly unified in support.  Good to his word, Bovay and the citizens of Ripon organized a meeting the evening of March 20 in a one room school house where the new party was officially formed by Bovay and 16 others. 

"We went into the little meeting held in a school house Whigs, Free Soilers, and Democrats. We came out of it Republicans and we were the first Republicans in the Union," he would say.

There are two critically important lessons to be learned from this fascinating historical event.  The first is that the nation's most successful third party was formed in opposition to what it saw as the established party's compromise with a moral evil.  Secondly, this new party was started by grassroots elements far from the centers of power.

The issue at the time was the nationalization of slavery. The issue today is the federally mandated marginalization of practicing Christians and of a Christian worldview.  During the 1850s, a growing number of people felt dissatisfied with the Whig and Democrat Party's willingness to compromise on the God given right to liberty.  Today, practicing Christians are disgusted by both parties’ complacency towards the court-ordered decrees of abortion on demand, normalization of sodomy, and the constant suppression of religious liberty.

When the GOP nominates Donald Trump, I and many others will most decidedly and joyously follow the example of our Republican grandfathers and  "throw old party organizations to the winds and organize a new party" actually willing to put up a political fight to defend our Christian worldview.  

Some, even those friendly to our causes, may argue that this is an exercise doomed to failure.  Third parties are a losing bet in the American two party system.  But they don't have to be!  Success for this Christian third party should not be measured in winning the presidency or even in getting candidates elected, but instead in providing a peaceful democratic avenue for thousands of people whose passion in turn can change the existing parties, create new political realignments where the old were stale and ineffective, and perhaps even change the secularist zeitgeist of our culture.

To many, forming a new party may seem like an exercise in futility.  But there is something truly American and transformative in the optimism that allows a small group of citizens to exercise their franchise fully, free of cynicism or fear, for the greater glory of God, country, and our posterity.

Whether Trump's ascendency is the death of the moral majority or just of the GOP depends upon practicing Christians.  I for one, say RIP GOP, and enthusiastically welcome a new Christian party.  I am confident that Christianity when it is courageously proclaimed is as transformative and infectious as it has ever been.  In the words of G.K. Chesterton "Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried."

Personhood and Imago Dei

All of us are familiar with the classic hymn Holy, Holy, Holy, where the refrain declares the eternal truth, "God in three Persons . . . bless-ed Trinity." One God, three distinct Persons . . .  set apart from each other and yet equal . . this is a great and profound mystery. Personhood exists in the Godhead.

When God created Mankind he imparted a similar attribute of Personhood. Genesis 1:26-27 says, “Then God said,“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness . . .So God created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (ESV).

In the original Hebrew this would have meant, "Let us make man to be like us and to represent us." An example would be the sacrament of  marriage where "two become one flesh." (Mark 10:8) Two persons, co-equal in God's eyes and yet one in unity. This same unity is evidenced by an individual "person" being composed of material (body) and immaterial (soul and spirit).Both the Hebrew word for "image" (tselem) and the Hebrew word for "likeness" (demut) refer to something that is similar but not identical to the thing it represents.


The attribute of "representation" separates all human life from the rest of God's creation. This state of being "set apart", derived from the Hebrew word qadosh, is many times translated in our English bibles as "holy", "sacred" or "sanctified". From this concept we derive the term "sanctity of life." While it is true that this difference with the rest of the animal kingdom is not absolute, it is also true that we are much more like God than all the rest of creation.This concept forms the foundation of human dignity and respect for human life throughout Western civilization and history.

“Imago Dei” is Latin for the “image of God.” To be created imago Dei means being endowed with a body, soul and an spirit, (1 Thess. 5:23)  a capacity to know and be known by God and a measure of autonomy and free will in the areas of thought and action that allow us to serve His purposes and glorify Him. Mankind's rebellion corrupted His Image.

After the Fall, God's Image in humanity was distorted by sin, but NOT lost. This is explained by theologian Wayne Grudem when he says (quoting Genesis 9:6),

""Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in his own image". Even though men are sinful, there is still enough likeness to God remaining in them that to murder another person (to "shed blood" is an Old Testament expression for taking a human life) is to attack the part of creation that most resembles God, and it betrays an attempt or desire (if one were able) to attack God himself. (below, [21:9]) Man is still in God's image. The New Testament gives confirmation to this when James 3:9 says that men generally, not just believers, "are made in the likeness of God."

Perhaps the greatest argument for the sanctity of life is the Incarnation itself. Christ Jesus took on human flesh and dwelt among us that he might redeem fallen mankind.

“For God so loved the world,that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him." John 3:16-17

Our redemption in Christ is a progressive recovery of God's Image. Paul says that as Christians we have a new nature that is "being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator" (Col. 3:10). At Christ's return there will be a complete restoration of  God's Image. "God has predestined us "to be conformed to the image of his son" (Rom. 8:29; cf. 1 Cor. 15:49): "When he appears we shall be like him" (1 John 3:2)."

Because we bear the image of God, all mankind, and, by extension, each and every human life has a “specialness” and worth that demands respect and legal protection. Each human life, from its earliest stage of development, is a unique Person which bears God’s likeness, and should have the same protection of law that is afforded other “persons” in our society. For this reason, all human life should be respected in law. This respect is due regardless of the manner of conception, whether through the marital act, fertilized “in vitro” (IVF), or through the “ex utero” process of Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT, otherwise know as cloning).

Our United States Constitution limits its protection to “born” persons. This limitation implicitly violates the doctrine of imago Dei, and has resulted in a branch of the pro-life movement now focusing its educational and legislative efforts on promoting “Personhood” as the answer to the emerging biotech issues facing us in the twenty-first century.

Worldviews in Collision

In 2005 Christian bio-ethicist Nigel Cameron spoke to the National Right to Life Convention. His challenge to the prolife community was to consider moving beyond abortion as the singular focus of our pro-life endeavors. He said, "In the 21st century it will not be enough to simply be pro-life, one must also be pro-human."


Michael Sleasman, Managing Director and Research Scholar for The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity explains, "while many of the ethical questions of the late 20th Century dealt with bioethical concerns over the beginning and end of life issues (the making and taking of human life), the questions raised by these new, these emerging technologies threaten to change the nature of the human species and the very essence of what it means to be human."

Western civilization is at a critical juncture. According to U.S Congressman Brad Sherman, a member of the U.S. House Science Committee,the unprecedented capabilities of emerging bio-technologies have set the stage for a technological revolution which he referenced as analogous only to the development of nuclear technology. That our culture has reached an ethical crossroads is evidenced by the following statements made by American congressmen at a "nanopolicy roundtable" held in 2006.

"We are talking about a suite of technologies that are going to revolutionize the way we do things and how we live. And the questions are How will that happen? And what will we do as this unfolds? Do we have systems in place that are capable of keeping up with the rapid change in technology?" - Marty Spritzer (Representing U.S.Representative Sherwood Boehlert, Chairman of the House Science Committee)

"What are the policy implications of the emerging ethical issues related to nanotechnology? In other words, how does this bounce back to us (Congress)? Do we need laws? Do we need regulations? Do we need congressional action? Don't ask me to answer all of these question. That's your job, and I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts." - U.S. Congressman David Weldon

"Now, like my colleagues, I do not have any answers. Rather, I hope to identify some of the questions. I know that the right time to start thinking about these questions is now...What is the definition of a human?" - U.S. Congressman Brad Sherman

Similarly, The president and co-founder of the Institute on Biotechnology & the Human Future Nigel Cameron said, "The problem is brought into ready focus by the manner in which bioethics has essentially emerged as the conjoined twin of bio-policy."

The questions have been posed, but their answers require a deeper look into the nature of ethics and policy, ideas and action. So, we will look deeper.

Ideas are irrelevant without action, and action is precedented by idea. Or, to quote the widely acclaimed American philosopher Sam Harris, "Beliefs are scarcely more private than actions are, for every belief is a fount of action in potentia."

One concept that has contributed to American greatness is its celebration and protection of free speech and inquiry. No matter how outrageous, disturbing or irrational, America zealously guards the right to think, inquire and speak without censure. This right is vital to our progress as a culture, because true truth never fears inspection. Sincere seekers of truth welcome all ideas to the table of rational debate. That said, any policymaker can tell you that at some point ideas must translate into action, otherwise society will stagnate or even regress. A "plurality of ideas" is essential to stimulate healthy social debate, but at some point, specific ideas must be selected as those on which to act.

As demonstrated by the Congressional quotes above, American bioethics and bio-technologies are currently held hostage, so to speak, by a misconception deeply rooted in the American mind. We will refer to this misconception as the concept of " plurality of action".

Unless we intend to abandon rationality, it is apparent that in some circumstances you can not have two opposing actions simultaneously. You can not have your cake and eat it too. You can not go up to get down. If you kill someone, they can not be alive. Yes, there are paradoxes, yes there are gray areas. but gray areas and paradoxes have never been the points upon which men construct their ethics, philosophy, science, or law. These things, if they are to grow and flourish, must be constructed on a solid and cohesive foundation of "first principles" from which all further action may rationally proceed.

The assumptions on which man rationally constructs his social frameworks constitute his "worldview". Everyone has a world view. Whether he realizes it or not, he has at some point formed assumptions about what it is to be human and acts accordingly. A worldview then is nothing more than a set of presuppositions that we act on. A cultural worldview is nothing more than the set of socially agreed "first assumptions" from which national policy rationally proceeds.

Every worldview attempts to answer the three fundamental human questions:

* What is man?

* What is wrong with the world?

* Can we make it better?

The first question is critical to the discussion at hand. It begs the question "Where did man come from?" And this is the ultimate question on which all ethics, all morality, and by inference all policy and culture rest. Prior to the emergence of modern bio-technologies, Western culture managed to evade this question, to quietly ignore it. But the advent of modern bio-technologies has once again returned us to the elephant in the room which we all had hoped to ignore. " What is the origin and nature of man?"

In a rational world, our bio-policy is dictated by our ethics, our ethics is dictated by our worldview, and our worldview is dictated by our assumptions concerning the origin and nature of man. Ethics can not be a gray area. If we treat it as such, we will find ourselves unable to act in, much less to lead in the coming bio-tech age. It is imperative that American policy makers decide on a cohesive frame of reference and then act accordingly. What will be the idea behind our action? The assumption that man is the creation and design of an intelligent being, or that he is the result of chance evolutionary processes? Is man a unique creation or an organic phenomenon in process? Will we assume the existence of an eternal Supreme Being or the eternal existence of uncreated matter?

GRTL adEither way the question is answered, an assumption has been made. Nobel Prize winning physicist, Leon M. Lederman, agrees. He said:

"In the very beginning, there was a void, a curious form of vacuum, a nothingness containing no space, no time, no matter, no light, no sound. Yet the laws of nature were in place and this curious vacuum held potential. A story logically begins at the beginning, but this story is about the universe and unfortunately there are no data for the very beginnings--none, zero. We don't know anything about the universe until it reaches the mature age of a billion of a trillionth of a second. That is, some very short time after creation in the big bang. When you read or hear anything about the birth of the universe, someone is making it up--we are in the realm of philosophy. Only God knows what happened at the very beginning. "

Personhood asserts that the only rational basis for a pro-human policy in the 21st century is the historic Judeo/Christian view of man as created in the image of God. We also assert that the rational outcome of a materialist/evolutionary assumption is the transhumanist vision of emerging technologies unrestrained by archaic superstitions and ethics.

Biotechnology's Brave New World

by Erwin W. Lutzer

If Immanuel Kant was awakened from his dogmatic slumbers by reading Hume, I have been awakened from my cultural malaise by investigating some of the present medical advances that could radically affect our children and grandchildren. My cursory and all too brief study has made me conclude that ethical issues raised by biotechnology are among the most important to be considered. We stand today at a crossroads where quite literally the future of the human race is at stake. I do not mean the survival of the human race, but something more sinister: the altering of the very concept of what it means to be human. The issue is not whether future generations shall live; the issue is what future people--if we call them such--shall be like. We must face the possibility of Huxley's Brave New World and ask: Is there something we can do to prevent the possibility of a profoundly tragic future from occurring?

When Christians propose limiting the use of biotechnology, they typically face formidable opposition from the non-religious community. Secularists often argue that the Church has always been opposed to scientific progress. Think, for example, of official Christendom opposing Galileo and of religious opposition to the smallpox vaccine on the grounds that the disease was a judgment from God with which we ought not interfere.

Visit the Holocaust Memorial Wall

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Whitepapers & Links: Transhumanism

Conscious Evolution

"We in the Eugenics movement are not interested in competing against Adolph Hitler or Karl Marx for some minuscule little 1,000 year Reich. We are interested in competing with Jesus Christ and Buddha for the destiny of man."

 

The Theology of Posthumanism

Posthumanism is not a formal religion, but rather, it is driven by a series of underlying religious beliefs. Posthumanists, for example, believe that finite and temporal limits of the human body place severe constraints upon the human will.

Summer 2009 Issue of H+ Magazine

"The Designer Baby Controversy", page 25

Fall 2009 Issue of H+ Magazine

Recommended Reading: "God Wants You Dead", page 86

Movie Trailer for Ray Kurzweil's Transcendent Man: Prepare to Evolve

Transhumanism's "Prophet" for the 21st Century and beyond

Remaking Humans: The New Utopians Versus a Truly Human Future

The new technopians actually have a name for themselves: transhumanists. According to the World Transhumanist Association: "Transhumanism (as the term suggests) is a sort of humanism plus.

The Worst Lies You Have Been Told About the Singularity 

Are we approaching technological changes that will merge biological and non-biological intelligence, fuse the man-machine relationship, and blur the lines between reality and virtual reality?

World Transhumanist Association

We support the development of and access to new technologies that enable everyone to enjoy better minds, better bodies and better lives.

Democratic Transhumanism 2.0: Citizen Cyborg

"Let the ruling classes and Luddites tremble at a democratic transhumanist revolution. "

Transhumanism From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedi

". . . the world's most dangerous idea."

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