The Todd Akin Stupidity

The question of whether the rate of conception is low in rape cases, which is also true with most consensual sexual incidents by the way, has nothing whatsoever to do with the question of whether abortion should be allowed in the case of rape.  Congressman Todd Akins’ argument was, at best, an incredibly stupid one.  He may have single-handedly set the pro-life cause back ten years by giving the other side all they need to make us all look like idiots.  In the future, all they will have to do to discredit us with the public, is to apply the Todd Akin moniker to the rest of us.  We must formulate our arguments on their real base, the conviction that human life begins at conception and that one innocent should not be made to suffer because another has suffered.

But then, there is the continued suffering of the mother.  How can it be justified to force her to suffer even more?  This question often assumes that abortion reduces her suffering, which may not always be the case.  It is a debatable point and not one that cannot be answered except on an individual basis.  If that is the question, the decision must rest with the mother.  The pro-life community must provide sound information, compassion, and assistance where needed to minimize the suffering of mother and child.  It should caringly present the argument that could be embraced by many, that there may be more healing in giving and nurturing life than in the loss of the child.  Abortion is, for many women, a compounding of the pain of pregnancy, and, in this case, a compounding of the bitter tragedy of rape.  The same is true, of course, of incest, which accounts for a significant number of the incidents of rape.

Should this be a matter of law or a matter of conscience?  I believe that in so difficult and delicate an area it should be left to conscience.  This is especially true when the removal of the legal abortion provision leads us to an all or nothing scenario, and in that position, the present culture has opted for unlimited access to abortion.  Failure to make such a compromise in the 80s has likely cost millions of lives.  Here’s where the statistics enter for an argument, the argument for the exceptions of rape and incest.  The small percentage of pregnancies that result from rape means that this is one area we can, by allowing for the exception, save millions of lives.  The all or nothing position, even if right, is wrong because of this fact.  If we really love life, we must choose the most available route to limit/reduce the number of abortions.  Todd Akins’ position is not that route.


Some Good Things Are Happening In the Current Politico-Economic Debate

FIRST, Believers in freedom in the area of enterprise are being given the opportunity to better formulate their arguments and to present a side of free market capitalism through a moral lens that reveals its innate “compassionate” side, to show the side of free market dynamics that naturally tends to work to the benefit of everyone who participates in, and is affected by, a given market.

SECOND, The complaints against free market capitalism have been so strong, so loud, and so predominant in the public discussion that it has forced the free marketeers, who might have brushed aside the concerns in the absence of such pressure, to begin to evaluate and address actual abuses of the capitalistic ideal with real and responsible policy analysis that can result in a freer and more compassionate planet.

Continue reading “Some Good Things Are Happening In the Current Politico-Economic Debate”

A Note to My Conservative Friends

Just because an article criticizes Barack Obama doesn’t mean it’s true.  And, just the fact that the Democrats have done poorly or taken us the wrong direction doesn’t convince anyone we can do a better job.  Just stick with the stuff that can be clearly demonstrated and present solutions not just complaints.  Let our solutions take into account the liberals legitimate concerns.  Its not all their concerns that are wrong, just their solutions.  If we can’t win the argument with real and well communicated solutions we will loose and the decline of our great nation will be OUR FAULT.

Chuck Colson Dies at 80

Some people will never get who this man really was, not just Nixon’s master of Dirty Tricks or a Prison Evangelist or Prison Reformer. He was a former criminal who became one of God’s choicest servants. Think of John Newton, the former slave trader turned believer turned cleric and the writer of the beloved Amazing Grace. Think of the Old Testament character Rahab who even one New Testament writer still called “the harlot” as he listed her among the heroes of the faith. That’s the category where Chuck Colson fits. One of God’s notorious ones. A wonderful example of the power of redemption in Christ.  And through his writings, an instrument of redemption for others and for the culture if we can hear him.

Maintaining Vision – A Necessity for Successful Transformation

“Where there is no vision, the people perish…” Proverbs 29:18

There is lack of cohesion in any society where there is no common vision to hold it on its course.

If we embrace the idea of incrementalism as normative, even essential as a mechanism of change, we must also be aware of its most significant weakness – the difficulty of maintaining direction toward an intended destination when the only visible change appears, by itself, to be insignificant.

It is easy to lose steam, easy to lose hope that the small changes will ever accumulate to the point of establishing a new way of thinking and acting in the culture.  If energy is not maintained, change will become less directional, more random, less productive or even destructive, and the individual will see himself as a small boat adrift on the ever fluctuating sea of public sentiment rather than as part of an armada on a grand voyage.

Those wishing to foster significant transformative change, or even  wishing in some cases to simply maintain a given state, must be ever mindful of the overarching purpose of their common vision and must work to nurture it and broaden its embrace within the culture.  This requires, as mentioned in an earlier article, the development of a significant level of consensus, and it requires a core of adherents committed to marshaling its best efforts toward promoting the cause.

This vision must of necessity be long-term.  Each participant must see his or her role as a significant part of something greater than himself or herself.  The people that are part of the movement must come to embrace the vision and the true significance of their respective parts at a level sufficient to maintain engagement, with a determination to see the mission through to the realization of the vision.  Some transformation requires a commitment of weeks, some of years, some of multiple generations. Continue reading “Maintaining Vision – A Necessity for Successful Transformation”

Nicaraguan Presidential Elections

Daniel Ortega is declared the winner from preliminary counts (40% of ballots counted) with 64% of the vote.  Unfortunately there is no way of knowing what the people wanted. La Prensa and El Nuevo Diario both report widespread fraud and abuse.

Opposition polling officials were barred from many polling places.  Poll watchers from the Organization of American States and the EU were prevented from entering sites.  There are reports of Sandinistas marking extra ballots.  Some polling places closed early with voters standing in line to vote.  Sandinistas were videoed celebrating as they exited polling places to transfer ballots to the Supreme Electoral Council, a Sandinista organization.

This was an absolute mockery of democracy.  Thankfully, there is another Kingdom that is not shaken by this nonsense.

“Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”  Amen

The Assassination Wall

It is election time in Nicaragua, with presidential and congressional elections taking place on Sunday November 6th.  Only a handful of times in its history has the government of Nicaragua been able to change hands without bloodshed.  We are praying that this can be one of those times.  Please pray with us that justice will prevail, that an honest election will be held, and that God will visit this nation with His own presence.

There are a few churches here in Matagalpa that are meeting daily to pray for the city and the nation.  One of the things we are praying most fervently is that God will suppress violence.  This morning a young lady brought us this very appropriate scripture from the prophet Habakkuk (2:11-14).

11 For the stone will cry out from the wall, And the beam from the timbers will answer it.

12 “Woe to him who builds a town with bloodshed, Who establishes a city by iniquity!

13 Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts That the peoples labor to feed the fire, And nations weary themselves in vain?

14 For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea.

After prayer I took this picture of this bullet riddled wall where the “revolutionaries” murdered citizens of our city after the overthrow of Somoza in the late 70s and early 80s.  May we join with the stones of this wall and cry out to God that He will, as He promised Israel through Habakkuk, answer the injustice of senseless violence with a flood of His own glorious presence.



Incremental Dialectical Process as Progress

In examining incrementalism as an instrument of change, we need to understand how opposing forces influence one another in the transformation process, producing new social thought patterns, practices, and systems.  The pattern that is useful in helping us to visualize this process is known as dialectics.  In its simplest expression, the dialectic process is one where two opposing ideas conflict, interact, and converge to result in a new understanding which in turn yields new practices.  Conflict is necessary to change, and conflict in the area of ideas tends to produce new ideas simply because none of us, though we may believe deeply in the positions we hold, has full understanding of anything.

It may sound to some like I am opening the door for the denial of absolutes or truth – that I am saying we do not know truth and that we only ride the ever fluctuating public consciousness from one relativistic position to another at best, or the surrender to the manipulation of others at worst.  Undoubtedly some, who do not believe in what Francis Schaeffer called “true truth,” do speak of dialectics in relativistic terms.  It would seem fair to say that it is within a relativistic context that you will ordinarily see the term.  Still, I believe it provides us who hold to the idea of absolute truth with a valid framework for understanding the way change occurs – to the bad or to the good. Continue reading “Incremental Dialectical Process as Progress”

Core Social Consensus Essential for Sustainable Systemic Transformation

The battle for sound social structures is a battle of ideas.  Without a social consensus rooted in a common core philosophy there is nothing to hold a culture on a given course.  Not that all, or even a majority, have to embrace a common core philosophy.  There is never a monolithic thought structure within a society.  Even the most doctrinaire cultures have schisms, most notable today, the Shia and Sunni factions within Islam.  They argue between themselves, battle theologically and politically, and even in the most extreme quarters kill one another, but there are causes that can bring them together.

At the founding of our nation, the historians tell us, it was not a majority that was intent on revolution to free the colonies from the tyranny of Britain. Continue reading “Core Social Consensus Essential for Sustainable Systemic Transformation”