The Choices that Shape Us

I remember sitting in a college classroom, a criminology class, and hearing the instructor discuss “victimless” crimes, the encounters society frowned upon (more then, less now) but that “didn’t hurt anyone.”

The instructor suffered from the disillusionment that “consenting adults” could engage each other, agree to exploit each other, walk away, and remain unchanged, unharmed, perhaps even happier or better off for having had the experience.

Somehow when one eternal soul encounters another, both change. Loving choices produce good–satisfaction in our purpose fulfilled.

Exploiting choices, unrepented and left to themselves, never produce happiness or anything else we can call “better”.

We human beings shape and reshape ourselves and each other–all through the power of our choices.

We cannot, of course, ignore the work God does in shaping us. Our circumstances–not all resulting from our choices–shape us. But always, always, we choose how we react to every situation.

There is a calling, a mandate, on our lives. That calling demands a response. A false response refuses to acknowledge the harm sin causes. A true response resists evil, evil that has power to do great harm.

In his discussion of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and C.S. Lewis’s various works, Joseph Loconte presents this universal calling:

“One may answer the Call–or refuse it, turn away, and walk into Darkness. But indifference to the Call to struggle against evil is not an option; one must take sides. Thus, set before our imagination in the works of Tolkien and Lewis is one of the great paradoxes of our mortal lives: the mysterious intersection of providence and free will” (152).

Every day, we choose to answer the call or neglect it. We choose the good way or our own way.

As our choices shape us, so do they shape our society.

And the shifts in society manifest themselves in changed language. Unborn humans have not just become fetuses. Clinic workers must never say the word baby. They call the child tissue, a blob.

Prostitutes are sex workers now. That’s a very clinical sounding term for something that sounds like an innocuous business. That innocuous business has grown into sex trafficking, even of children, even in America.

Porn is not victimless. It turns its viewers into addicts.

And it abuses and entraps those who produce it. In the meantime, the audience for porn becomes younger and seeks “ever harsher and more violent, degrading images.”

Abortion obviously harms the child, and less obviously, but still profoundly, harms the mother. Even less obvious, but perhaps as profound, is the damage to fathers, surviving siblings, and other family and friends.

And let’s not neglect the harm done to those within the abortion industry. Many within pro-life ranks today left clinic work to stand for life. They have answered the call. But healing is a long road.

Many wounded remain behind and cause more harm.

Loconte: “It is through their own decisions . . . that they invite a spiritual crisis into their lives. The result is not the freedom they imagined, but the deepest slavery of heart and mind” (163).

God bids us to answer His call–to be instruments of healing–to make choices that will shape us, others, and our society for good.

He calls us to speak the truth in love. Our refusal to do so can only bring more hurt.

It’s our choice.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Trying to Outdo New York

It’s like the states are having a contest to see whose abortion laws can be the most outrageous. And the laws seem designed to protect—not the mother–certainly not the child–but the one performing the abortion–which no longer must be a physician in New York–a provision which may soon pass in other states as well.

Some significant changes in New York: “New York’s RHA also repealed a section of the public health law that required the following: that abortions after 12 weeks be performed in a hospital; that an additional physician be present for abortions after 20 weeks to care for ‘any live birth that is the result of the abortion’; and that such babies be provided ‘immediate legal protection under the laws of the state of New York.”

As outrageous as that is, Illinois and Vermont are in the running to outdo New York by including a provision in their laws (not yet passed, but Vermont’s bill is on its way to the Senate which has a Democrat supermajority). The Illinois provision says that the “fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the law.” The Vermont provision uses similar wording.

The laws will have the same effect as New York’s–abortion until birth. New York jumped through the hoop of making a provision for health of the mother but then neglected to define health, thus leaving it up to personal interpretation. The result allows late-term abortion for preference and convenience.

Vermont and Illinois cut to the chase. Their proposed laws contain provisions that declassify the unborn as humans with rights, which has the effect of not outlawing fetal experimentation and organ harvesting (even for profit).

Planned Parenthood employees will be able to go to lunch, in at least those two states, and negotiate the prices for the livers, brains, and hearts of the unborn without fear of legal retribution.

Further, the Illinois law would require all insurers to cover the costs of abortions–even those of religious organizations. And it “repeals laws that allow husbands to block their wives from aborting their child, eliminates requirements to investigate fetal or maternal deaths resulting from abortion, and allows minors to receive abortions without ever having to notify their parents.”

It’s a dream come true for anyone with a kitchen table and a butcher knife to prey on the unsuspecting and desperate.

Legalizing abortion was supposed to prevent just that kind of back alley scenario.

Alexandra DeSanctis comments: “To the left, abortion is no longer a last resort, an option to be prevented, a difficult and sad choice that some women feel forced to make. Abortion is now a fundamental right, a social good so worth preserving that it is necessary to explicitly dehumanize living human beings to justify it.” (DeSanctis’s emphasis).

We stand at a crossroad in America today. Will we continue down the trail New York has blazed? Or will we choose a different path?

Because of the new abortion law, some New York Christians proclaimed last Saturday as a day of mourning and repentance. And repent is what we must do.

“[I]f then my people, upon whom my name has been pronounced, humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and heal their land.” (II Chron 7:14 NABRE)

Let us humble ourselves and pray and seek God’s face and turn away from this evil. Please, Lord, hear us. Pardon us. Heal our land.

Please.

Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. Restoring the Shattered is published through Morgan James Publishing with whom I do share a material connection. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Silent No More–Healing after Abortion

It’s not the unforgivable sin. And there is healing of spirit and soul.

That’s the message of Silent No More–a global ministry of women and men–parents and extended family–speaking up about the experience of having aborted their children–in order to discourage others from taking the same path.

Today, there is early chemical abortion (which can be reversed mid-process), surgical dismemberment of the unborn, late-term abortion, the euphemistic “reduction”–which is the selective killing of a twin, triplet, etc.

The reasons are plentiful ranging from inconvenience to financial distress to rape to fetal abnormality.

The regrets, however, are the same: I’m sorry I killed my child.

Healing comes, as it does with any sin or source of shame, with speaking up. Saying it out loud as one mother notes: Continue reading “Silent No More–Healing after Abortion”

Young America Rethinking Roe

America is forty-four years after Roe v. Wade legalized abortion for any reason and at any time during pregnancy (provided you could find a doctor to do it–and many have). But the tide is turning.

Or perhaps has turned.

The Guttmacher Institute–which supports abortion and tracks its numbers–says abortions are happening at half the rate of the peak years of the 1980s.

The institute’s report says, “it is unclear whether the most recent decline in abortion is due to fewer women’s having unintended pregnancies, more women being unable to access abortion services or some combination of these dynamics.”

Which seems to eliminate other possibilities. Even so, the report acknowledges that, even in some places where access to abortion increased, rates came down.

Continue reading “Young America Rethinking Roe”