Planned Parenthood Videos
With the recent release of the Planned Parenthood videos by The Center for Medical Progress, the field of fetal tissue research is under scrutiny. As a spectator to several lengthy heated conversations on the subject, I couldn’t help but notice Pro-Life people seem incapable of articulating a good case against fetal tissue research. Why? Because they are more concerned about building a good case against abortion itself. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But please, people, recognize that it is a thing.
Perhaps one day I’ll write a blog post about abortion and fetal tissue research, but not today. Instead, I’d like to unapologetically take a page from the book of my Pro-Life friends and change the subject.
Is God Pro-Life?
Is God as Pro-Life as Christian, faith-based Pro-Life organizations? This might seem like a disrespectful question, since God is the Author of life, but if we examine traditional Christian doctrine, the question turns out to be not only legitimate but very consequential to the Pro-Life purpose. Planned Parenthood isn’t the only organization that needs to be in the hot seat. Many churches and Pro-Life organizations believe and teach a doctrine more horrifying than anything Planned Parenthood has done — eternal torment in Hell.
But first, here’s an update on the previous blog post. If you haven’t read it, please do so now. Otherwise you may be a little lost.
I recently met with Marcia Daniel, Executive Director of Life’s Choices of Lake County, to gain clarity on some issues before writing this blog.
To both my relief and delight, Life’s Choices of Lake County does NOT require peer counselors to believe and teach the doctrine of eternal torment in Hell — something that happens behind the scenes in many Pro-Life ministries, which automatically excludes believers like me who reject the doctrine.
Marcia explained that procedures and practices have evolved over the past decade. Currently, peer counselors at Life’s Choices may use one of three “tools” to share their faith (none of which mention eternal torment in Hell), or they can choose not to use tools at all, and just tell their story in their own words. The idea is to introduce each woman to the Maker of the baby inside her and invite her into a relationship with the Creator of all life.
Although I would not use any of these tools, I can see how they might be useful for someone who needs help articulating how they first came to understand Jesus Christ as so much more than just an influential historical figure — as the living Savior of the world Who makes Himself known in a very relevant, personal way to those who believe.
More good news about Life’s Choices
Among the many services Life’s Choices provides free of charge are ultrasounds, thanks to a dedicated group of Catholics.
The ultrasound machine was acquired through the assistance of four local Knights of Columbus councils… Over an 18-month period, the councils held dinners, cooked breakfasts, organized raffles and accepted donations to raise $14,250, which was then matched by the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council to purchase the machine for the clinic. — Elizabeth Wilson, Florida Catholic article, “Ultrasound machine offers ‘window to the womb'”
The Apostles’ Creed
Life’s Choices’ board of directors decided to include the Apostle’s Creed as a statement of faith peer counselors can sign if it is more agreeable to them than the original Life’s Choices statement of faith. This demonstrates both a willingness and a practical application of that willingness to include Catholics, and other non-Protestant Christians who want to support the organization, regardless of denomination or differing opinions on peripheral issues.
You can read the Apostles’ Creed here. Interestingly, the earliest creed, recognized by all denominations, does not mention the doctrine of eternal torment in Hell. If you think this is irrelevant, be sure to read the upcoming blog post. The doctrine of eternal torment in Hell subtly yet effectively works against a foundational truth in Pro-Life ministry, that is, the value and dignity of human life.
Common go-to Pro-Life arguments include:
- Life is a gift from God.
- Unborn babies are defenseless. We need to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
- Unborn babies are human beings. God forbids the killing of human beings (murder).
- The Hippocratic Oath requires medical personnel to save, not destroy human life.
- An unborn baby is aware and can feel pain.
Each of these arguments finds its basis in the idea that human life is inherently valuable.
“… this horrifying holocaust can be halted if those who value human life, worship the true God…”
And with the above quote, we’ve now come full circle to that seemingly disrespectful question: Is God as Pro-Life as Christian, faith-based Pro-Life organizations? What about the “horrifying holocaust” of eternal torment in Hell? The next blog post will explore these questions.