Broad Generalizations about Islam

While Americans, given our generally negative attitude toward Muslims in the wake of 9/11 seek to come to grips with Islam, this deviant religious copy is quite poorly understood by many – even by Christians, who should know better. Further, those who only hear about wars and terrorism involving Islam are often uninterested in fairly dealing (or any dealings) with proponents of Islam who are not, themselves, terrorists.

Now, of course, the statement above isn’t particularly noteworthy. Many say this, or similar things.  The problem is, the author is a professing Christian, who claims to engage in apologetics ministry, and is studying for a degree in it. As such, I would most definitely hold him to a higher standard.  It suffers from a number of inaccuracies.

Firstly, anyone who has dealt with any religious group – any group at all – knows that there is a spectrum of beliefs within any religion – even strictly hierarchical ones!  It may make things simpler for you to treat every adherent as if they were assembly lined, but that simply isn’t going to be true of most people you meet. There will be idiosyncrasies, ignorance, and straight out “heresy” from adherents to any religion. Any one dimensional treatment of any religion, or its adherents, will be doomed to failure.

Secondly, any religion that has been around for a while will have sects. The reason for these sectarian divisions vary.  In Islam, for instance, there are (for starters) the Sunnis and Shias, who differ, at base, over who was Muhammad’s successor – and about plenty of things since. They multiply, and propagate from that division into a host of other divisions, centered on aspects varying from schools of jurisprudence to practice of mysticism.  That is just the more or less official sects!

Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly for our discussion, however, are two factors: One religious, one cultural.  Religiously, of course, there is the doctrine of “taqiya” – their doctrine of dissimulation, or concealment. Esp. to Shi’a, concealment of their true goals or plans is seen to be a virtue. Sunnis, to some extent, also take portions of this to be true.  Additionally, however, and probably most relevantly; converts, especially in the West, tend to be far more liberal than their counterparts in the Middle East, or places where Sharia is practiced.

You will notice, if you look into the majority of debates that Christians have with Muslims, that those who debate us tend to be “westernized”, for the most part. Not all of them, but most. These Muslims tend to be what anyone who deals with Muslims frequently would call “moderate”.  They would insist (accurately) that a jihad requires a Caliph. If you recall previously, the division between Sunni and Shia is over who should succeed to the Caliphate. Most western muslims would emphasize this, for whichever reasons they have, while also promulgating Islam as the one true religion. In the Middle East, things are not quite like that. There are more “moderate” sects there, as well, and many of those more “moderate” sects run countries. While it might be simpler to lump Islam into one homogenized mass, it certainly isn’t more accurate.

Misrepresenting those you are trying to respond to, or teach about, is not something we are called to do.  As such, I would caution Seth against making such incautious, inaccurate – and uninformed – statements in the future.

As a last note: Simply noting that there are Muslims who have a more moderate position – theologically or politically – is not, and should not be considered a de facto “sign” that the person in question is a “moderate Christian.”  Dr. White, for example, correctly uses such terminology often; and nobody is going to call his theology “moderate” in the sense meant by the tweet above. What he does do, when he points out this moderation, is to call them to attempt to be consistent in calling for the *excesses* that they believe their coreligionists are involved in to cease.  If they are moderates – of a false religion, of course – then by their standards, those who engage in terrorism, and unlawful jihad are, by definition, radical, are they not? Be careful not to speak carelessly about topics that reflect on your Christian witness to Muslims. We’ve already seen someone who did so, and fell catastrophically.  Ergun Caner. Don’t repeat his error.

Author’s Note 10/3 16:30: Seth, in the comment below, takes exception to this post. If he can offer a plausible argument, or even simply inform me that he doesn’t believe either of the two problematic things I garnered from his tweet, I will be more than happy to edit this to reflect that.  On the other hand, you may have noticed that I didn’t follow my usual pattern in this post. Also see the comments for the reason I did so. Thanks! – RK


Why Village Atheists and News Media Shouldn’t Pretend to be Exegetes

So, I’m sure you’ve all read aaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllllllll about how horrible Kim Davis is by now, right?  The news media, all your leftist friends, and the like, are telling you so.  Of course, if it were one of their leftist paragons _you_ were talking about – that would be terrible, terrible irrelevancy. In their case, right now, it is okay – because reasons. To be disclosed later, or something. Or at least Salon is telling you so.

In the land of “I have a liberal arts degree, therefore SCIENCE”, this sort of thing probably makes sense.

— Choosing Hats (@ChoosingHats) September 2, 2015

But seriously – these are the same kind of people who quite literally argue that a fetus is a parasite – and morally equivalent to dandruff.  I can’t make this stuff up. Of course, the very same folks who are after Mrs. Davis are going to, if pressed, tell you that morality – and law – are societal constructs. Think about that, for just a second.  This supposed “legality” that she is being vilified for “violating” is a societal construct. The “morality” that she is supposedly “violating” is likewise a societal construct. Yet, hypocrisy within that construct is, supposedly, a bad thing.

So, let me get this straight. Morality, and law, are societal constructs – and now the construct is that X is good. Right? Which society? How much of society? What says society is even sane? Does that even matter?

I mean, sure, I get the form of the argument. It’s just insane – and false. You have to have the ability for premises to be true, to have a valid argument. Unfortunately, the postmodern sinkhole has swallowed up all sanity in popular culture. This is the case, of course, because truth and falsity are also covered by the above Venn diagram.  I will repeat that – truth and falsity are also covered by the above Venn diagram. Let that sink in for a bit. The same people who will go on about “progress” (how, precisely, do you define “progress” in a gestalt which, by its very nature, is in a state of constant flux?) will say 1) “Out of wedlock” is a shaming phrase, and “bastard” is, too 2) Homosexual “marriages” are stable, two-parent households 3) Divorce is progress 4) This Christian was divorced – FOUR TIMES – and that’s BAD! Real bad! 5) What’s the big deal about adultery? Simultaneously. All of those things.  It is insane. “Stable” in 2 assumes that two-parent households are normative. This contradicts 1,3,5. 4 contradicts 1,5. 1 contradicts 2,4. 3 contradicts 2,4,5 – and so on. We could add in the utterly insane views that the same crowd almost uniformly hold concerning abortion, or sexual expression.  We could even contrast that with their practice, and watch the fireworks. However, that isn’t the real point. The real point is that they are engaging in “slut-shaming” of someone; that they are so massively inaccurate, incoherent, and inconsistent while doing so that it should give you a nosebleed. I give to you exhibit A:

Now, far be it from me to ask a simple question, but… what? Mollie asked him the same question, basically.   

Look, you and I both know that Joe Secularist has a theological knowledgebase of nil. This next answer, though… I laughed. Really? I tried to be informative, at first, but I got this response.

Not even an iota of thought put into it. Nada. Zilch. Note what I said. 1) This is from 1646. This is not a new idea. 2) It is from a confession. Confessions are conservative documents – they aren’t novelties. 3) It was in the context of him saying that this is what the Bible says. Uh, guy? People who actually believe the Bible, a long, long time ago, and who aren’t prone to flights of fancy, say that this is settled doctrine – nothing to get excited about. What he also might have known, had he ever bothered to study the subject, is that this is, essentially, the basis for our historical divorce law. What he is saying is the novelty. Even under the Jews, it was acceptable to divorce on grounds of infidelity. Now, whether this is applicable to Davis’ case is immaterial – because that isn’t the issue at hand. He is saying that her marriage now is unlawful.  That marrying after divorce is always unlawful.  Not so.  Why? The WCF explains – becaus,e under the Mosaic code, an adulterer was subject to the penalty of death. Ergo, the offended party was a widower – and could therefore remarry. Further, note the reference that he gives. Matt 19:19, right? Look that up really quick, and watch his response when I ask him to do the same 😉

Here is where the rubber meets the road. Your claim: Matt 19:19 says that her marriage is against her religion.  Full stop – back that truck up. Matthew 19:19 says what? (For those of you too lazy to do what I told him to do – and since he will be linked to this, I’m positive, and was too lazy to do this himself, your laziness will be rewarded. But only so I can tell you what a lazy person you are.)

HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER; and YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. (NASB)

Yes! That’s TOTALLY about divorce! Right? Right? WRONG. I said to check your reference. That means actually freaking read the text, you lazy clodhopper. Not just check evilbible.com again. What you probably(?) meant was… verse 9.  Which you’d know. If you checked. Which you didn’t.

So, let’s look at the passage which actually speaks to the subject – not the passage later that you arrogantly assumed you knew already.

When Jesus had finished these words, He departed from Galilee and came into the region of Judea beyond the Jordan; and large crowds followed Him, and He healed them there. [Some] Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful [for a man] to divorce his wife for any reason at all?”  And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created [them] from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH ‘? “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND [her] AWAY?”  He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” The disciples said to Him, “If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.” But He said to them, “Not all men [can] accept this statement, but [only] those to whom it has been given. “For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are [also] eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept [this], let him accept [it].” Then [some] children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them.  But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” After laying His hands on them, He departed from there.

19:19 is in the middle of the Rich Young Ruler encounter. Not even in the same setting, same place, nothing.  Has nothing to do with the Pharisees’ attempted trap.  Vs. 9 is in the middle of Jesus’ survey of the doctrine of marriage – and his definitive interpretation.  Notice the clause I referred to: “except for…” what? Immorality. What does the WCF detail about it?

Adultery or fornication, committed after a contract, being detected before marriage, giveth just occasion to the innocent party to dissolve that contract. In the case of adultery after marriage, it is lawful for the innocent party to sue out a divorce, and after the divorce to marry another, as if the offending party were dead.

Now, is this “contrary” to the Bible? By no means. Note the end phrase: “as if the offending party were dead.”  Why is this there? As I mentioned earlier, because the penalty for adultery is death. That was the civil code for Israel – and as such, has passed. However, remember, we observe the general equity of the law, despite. (cf: WCF XIX.4)  You might also, I should mention in passing, do a bit of study on Calvin’s doctrine of the “lesser magistrate”.  It has further application to the case of Davis.

I will make one further note – but also keep in mind that none of this seemed to penetrate the skull of our friend.

 

Where does Paul deal with this, you might ask? (And he didn’t.) 1 Corinthians, unsurprisingly. Chapter 7, vss. 10-17. Stay as you are. Our intrepid objector seems to believe that Mrs. Davis should divorce again as a solution. The levels of stupid that this entails, given his previous argumentation, boggles the mind. You just got done arguing that divorce was never acceptable. Now you’re telling us it is? Paul says otherwise, while you’re trying to tell us what the Bible says.

But just a bit of a note about the silliness of bad analogies. He made the analogy of the theft of property. Property, sir, can be returned. What ELSE does the Bible say about marriage? That it is a one-flesh union, right? This, also, incidentally, is why a homosexual joining is NOT a marriage, and cannot be. You cannot complement a mirror image. A mirror image cannot be your helper. Cannot be one flesh. Cannot be a picture of Christ and the church. It does not compute.

It simply will not do to flatten out the curves of exegesis and systematic theology. You cannot merely ipse dixit your way through Christian doctrine, redefine it at your whim, and claim contradiction. I have spent a great deal of time outlining why this is so on this site. A very great deal of time. Feel free to look around – I suggest the categories “Bad Arguments” and “Common Objections” for your perusal. Both of which our brave objector has classified himself under.

You cannot expect to be taken seriously when you can’t even be bothered to cite the correct verse – or look it up for yourself when corrected, for that matter. You cannot expect to be taken seriously when you cannot be bothered to argue your claim. You cannot expect to be taken seriously when you cannot be bothered to actually, well, make a claim that anyone but Westboro would agree with – and at their level of exegetical mastery. Namely, saying crazy things, and repeating them when challenged.

In short – if you’re the village atheist – but don’t know what you’re objecting to from a hole in the ground – you might just have made yourself ignorable. After providing an object lesson both for your fellows, and for the little tykes who will most assuredly be trained (and in my circles, already have been trained) far better in the right handling of Scripture than you are.

If you don’t know the subject you’re expounding upon – at least stop and try to think about whether that person who tells you that you don’t know their religion, because you totally blew it on a variety of points you raised, might actually… well… be right. It does happen, you know.

Update: We have a response. Ready for the thoughtful reply?


Refuting The Priests of Molech

I’m sure many of you reading this have noticed that there are a few recurring themes in the coverage of the Planned Parenthood fiasco.  This post is an attempt to deal with those themes and show you how to respond to them. These are the major categories:

1) It’s a Hoax
2) The video was edited
3) The means were dishonest
4) Look at all the good we do, and those horrible people over there want to take that away!

There are major issues with each of these, but we’ll give examples of each, so you can see how they work.

It’s a Hoax:

You may also see ‘bogus,” “fraudulent”, or some other derogatory term applied.  The key to this application is an equivocation on the synonym they choose to use.  A “hoax” could mean a) something made up out of whole cloth – an invention or b) something established or accepted by means of something fraudulent, or bogus – something factual, but established by means of something dishonest.  In other words, they are using the term(s) to imply that the videos are inventions – that it wasn’t really their people talking, saying what they did say, about the subjects that they were speaking of – but not actually saying so. What they aren’t going to come out and say is that the full, unedited videos – raw videos, of the entire encounters, from start to finish – have full transcripts, bolded where the shorter videos take their footage from.  You can watch for yourself.  Full Video 1 Full Video 2 Full Video 4 As of this posting, the full video of the 4th release had not been posted, although the transcript had been. The 3rd video was not an “undercover” video.

If these were inventions of CMP; Why would Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards apologize for the tone of Deborah Nucatola, the PP representative in the first video? Is she an invention? Is Mary Gatter an invention?  Why would Cecile, again, say that the videos “entrapped doctors” – if they were fakes? If they were CGI creations, or overdubbed, with special effects used to make the mouths move, why would she bother saying these things?

UPDATE: White House press secretary on videos –

“There is ample reason to think that this is the tried-and-true tactic from some extremists on the right to edit this video and selectively release an edited version of the video that grossly distorts the position of the person who is actually speaking on the video

Notice – this is not CGI, not overdubbing, not tampering, in regard to the originals. Watch the frame counter in the top left. Watch for skips, jumps – signs of editing. Not there. If they were, in fact, fake, would there be calls (preposterous ones) for investigation into the legality of the means by which the videos were obtained? No. They would be… fictional movies. Which have no possible question as to how they were “obtained.” Do they?  You have to pick one story, or the other – you can’t have it both ways.

Of course, he also admitted to not having watched the videos – and that he was “merely repeating what has been publicly stated by Planned Parenthood.”  Well, that’s nice to know. Now we know you have an utterly one-sided conception of the situation, don’t we?

If you never get around to watching the videos, and you just take people’s word on it, use of terminology such as this implies that the videos are forgeries – that they are not real.  Yet, of course, they are.  Many of us have watched them – and I recommend that you do, if you intend to get into discussions on this topic – because most people you talk to will not have done so.  When this occurs, you can, with utmost assurance, inform your interlocutor that you have, in fact, watched the full video. Have they done so, in order to have an informed opinion?  Odds are, they haven’t – and probably haven’t watched the shorter one, either.

Secondly, if these were really inventions, why on earth would someone invent them dancing around the issues, euphemistically describing processes, using double-speak platitudes, assuring the “buyers” that they would never do anything against the law, skirting the edges of the acceptable, and the like?  In truth, the very arguments that they are using in the “edited” claims militate against the claims that this is a “hoax”. How hard would it be, in this day and age, to make a video that made “her” say whatever they wanted her to say?  The very slippery nature of the conversation militates against it being a hoax of the sort it is being portrayed to be.

In short, this is use of deceptive language – intentional obfuscation.  I used “equivocation” above, because that is an informal logical fallacy.  It is one thing when your pal next door uses one.  It is another thing when professional speakers or writers do so.  They know very well what is fallacious, and what is not. They also know that fallacies will almost definitely succeed in persuasion when cogent argumentation will not – for enough people to make it worth their while, at least.  For such people, it is an intentional deception. They know better. They do it anyway, with a particular goal in mindto convince enough people that what they say is true to give a counter-opinion traction in society.

The Video Was Edited:

Here’s an example from Media Matters;

A deceptive video from a conservative group purports to show a Planned Parenthood official discussing prices for the illegal sale of fetal tissue from abortions. But the full, unedited footage and transcript released by the group (emphasis mine) undermines their sensationalist claims, showing at least three crucial edits that reveal the Planned Parenthood official was instead discussing the reimbursement cost for consensual, legal tissue donations.

On the other hand, we have Snopes saying this:

In addition to the above-displayed video, the Center for Medical Progress also released what they claimed was an unedited version of the conversation (which other sources maintain was in fact edited).

So, which is it? The Media Matters article clearly states that the full video is unedited – and uses their transcript!  Snopes says that this MM article maintains that is “was in fact edited.”

As to Media Matters’ claims, you should note several things.  First, if their intent was to deceive, why release the full, unedited video, with transcript, simultaneously with the “edited” video?  They did an exceptionally poor job of deception, if so.  If Snopes is right, why didn’t Media Matters ever say what Snopes says it does, instead of using the “full, unedited” video transcript to “prove” their point?  Media Matters claims that Nucotola’s insistence that “nobody should be “selling” tissue” means that nobody is selling tissue.  Ought does not make is.  The problem is, with an investigation like this, you’re not going to get someone to come right out and say what it is they are doing.  Not unless they are utterly braindead. Again, if this is true, however – why is StemExpress, who is brought up in both videos by the nominal buyer, advertising profitability for partnering clinics?  “Financially profitable” – “Fiscal growth.”  Richards’ reply in her Sunday interview was: “That’s a for-profit company. Planned parenthood is a 100% nonprofit company.” You just completely dodged that question, Cecile. The brochure isn’t talking about their profitability – but your profitability.  One of your management team is the endorsement on the flyer, too. Who else is StemExpress talking to?  The “donors”?  Furthermore, why does ABR inform their partners of a nominal fee – in addition to, note the word “also” – the fee for processing/preservation/shipment? The first fee is for the clinic to “enable ABR to execute its tissue acquisition and distribution programs.”  This is not a fee for the latter “service.”

Again, we can read the transcript as well as anyone.  We know what is being said. The problem is whether we should believe it to be the unvarnished truth passing from their lips.  There is an entire discussion about the costs involved with “waste disposal”, and the merits of whether or not to buy incinerators.  There is a mention of “disposal service,” and the pros and cons of such a practice – and Nucatola mentions that disposing of “everything” would be “a huge sell, a huge, huge sell.” Would that not be a financial consideration? Then, of course, there is the Lambo comment.  Also, we must realize, these were not the last videos.  Both professionals showed a keen awareness of their place in the fishbowl of public opinion.  As such, they would naturally be wary of saying anything explictly illegal to a mere potential business associate at a first meeting.  All the talk about “deceptive editing” concentrates on the “virtuous” statements that PP has no intention of breaking the law.  What else would you expect to hear?  When you cover politicians, do you take them at their word?  If so, I have some oceanfront property in Arizona…

I hate to break it to you, but every documentary is edited. Just about every interview you see on tv is edited.  John Stewart? Edited. That’s what you do with video when you want to show something in particular.  If I can be even more clear – the author, and his fellow contributors here are not most interested in whether or not Planned Parenthood violated the laws that CMP say they did.  What they are interested in is the utter, callous, brutal disregard for the life and humanity of the babies they murder, and arrange the murder of.

The full, unedited video of the entire exchanges were put on YouTube within 30 seconds, at most, of the edited ones.  You ever see blooper reels? The unedited, without special effects video of movies, tv shows, documentaries, or the like?  The “cut” footage that gets discovered years later, that everyone makes a bit deal about finding, after it being lost?  In this case, they are posting the raw footage right alongside the short exchanges they consider most important.

1) The “edits” are not what have us outraged, upset, or calling for Planned Parenthood’s defunding, closure, or what have you.  What has us outraged is the sheer unmitigated depravity of the Planned Parenthood representatives.  It is truly sick to be talking about dismembering children over wine and salad.  It is filthy and demented to joke about wanting a Lamborghini right after you say you will check to see if someone else is getting more than the quoted reimbursement – for the eviscerated leavings (acquired by “less crunchy” means) of what was formerly a living child – just like our children.

2) As I am sure you can attest, the ones MOST outraged are the ones who have watched the unedited video.  Almost entirely without exception.  I know, personally, because we follow a rather large percentage of the folks who have been most outraged by this issue.  Contrary to the utter lack of mention by the New York Times in their fluff piece of July 22nd, lots and lots of us have watched the full version.  As Jonathan Merritt puts it in his article concerning the NYT story –

The Times also claimed the video was unreliable because it was “edited.” They are correct that the full video was nearly three hours long while the edited version was only nine minutes. So what? These comments in the longer version do not invalidate those in the shorter version. While editorial board hopes to convince readers that The Center for Medical Progress was deliberately only telling part of the story, but they fail to mention that the full video was also posted online and available. So who is withholding information here? And, by the way, the full video is just as repulsive as the shorter version. In fact, it’s about two hours and 50 minutes more repulsive.

As he goes on to say, all of these pieces completely ignore the real issues that we have with the video.  It addresses only the concerns that their own camp might have with the video.

The most embarrassing part of the Times article, though, is not what they say but what they do not say. The editorial board totally ignores the most disturbing content in the videos. Actually, they ignore the content of the videos almost completely. None of the quotes at the center of the outrage are discussed.

You’ll find no mention of how a Planned Parenthood doctor determines which parts of the baby to “crush” In the Times article. You won’t encounter information about how a Planned Parenthood physician discussed using a “less crunchy” technique to retrieve “whole specimens.” And you definitely won’t read about how the Planned Parenthood doctor attempted to negotiate a higher price for tissue because she claims she wanted “a Lamborghini.” These are the most damning components in the videos, but the editorial board’s article never even mention them.The Times did not merely get the Planned Parenthood story wrong; they missed it completely.

Those parts that we are upset with are *exactly the same* in the full-length videos.  In fact, seeing the banality of the context and conversation surrounding such utterly horrendous description of dismembering, crushing, suctioning brains out of children just like ours – for more money than they already receive for such a filthy and disgusting murder of the most defenseless members of our society makes us about as angry as listening to Jeffery Dahmer speak in a monotone about his own murders. Yes, we put these people in the _exact_ same category as serial killers.  We put Planned Parenthood in the same category as the Nazi death camps, too – except Planned Parenthood’s body count is far, far higher.

Strategy Sessions:

How can we we push about these allegations of “deceptively edited” videos?

First, push the basis of their claim of “deception.”  What do they mean by that? The vast majority of their claims go out the airlock as soon as we note that the full raw video was released simultaneously.  Were they edited?  Sure. How else can you condense 2 hours of footage into an 8 or 9 minute video?  Did it show the most damning portions of the conversations?  Of course they did!  Why else did they make the videos, and engage in this project?  What we need to ask them is this: If there was intent to deceive, why did they release the full video and transcripts of the entire encounter simultaneously with this “deceptively edited” version? Why, if it is so deceptive, are reporters defending Planned Parenthood citing the transcript as if it is accurate? Again, the transcript provided by the “deceptive” editors.

Second, push the conflicting accounts from their sources.  New York Times says that the full videos weren’t released until later. That is not true – and is still not corrected in their initial piece,  or the following editorial – with no correction or apology issued to date.  Snopes says that Media Matters says that the full videos were edited.  Snopes apparently can’t read – because Media Matters says no such thing.

Third, push the spin coming out of Planned Parenthood, and point out that the “deception” involved in “editing” the comments of their own staff seems to be coming from their side.  Look, when even George Stephanopolous asks the question: “When these doctor are talking about less crunchy ways to perform these abortions so that the organs can be preserved, what’s happening, are they just lying?” and Richards response is: “All of this is taken out of context.” – it’s obvious that is not an answer.  She flat out evades that question.  Here is the context, from the transcript.

Buyer: Definitely, yea that would be helpful. So even though you don’t have high volume, I see that their are other niches you could fill for us. Don’t you think so?

Gatter: Here is my suggestion. Write me a three of four paragraph proposal, which I will then take to Laurel and the organization to see if we want to proceed with this. And then, if we want to pursue this, mutually, I talk to Ian and see how he feels about using a “less crunchy” technique to get more whole specimens. Then, if we agree to move forward, the steps, I would need to apply for a waiver at PPFA, in order to do this, we need to have a contract, do you have a contract?

Buyer: What we’ve used in the past is a materials transfer agreement. And obviously, that’s open to discussion.

“Less crunchy” is the term Gatter uses, without prompting, in the middle of her own suggestion. It is her description of how to get more useful specimens.  This is Richards’ only reply to the question actually asked.  The rest of the response is a lecture about how we must obviously hate science.

Right after, and I’m not sure whether George is making a dig that she doesn’t get, or just as clueless as she is – but he prompts Richards; “As long as the procedures are never altered” – her response; “Exactly.”  Now, if there is no change; what is the word “less” in Gatter’s description for?

From the transcript, again.

Buyer: The intact specimens, I wanted to touch on that. What I was trying to say is if the 10 to 12 week specimens, end of the 1st trimester, if those are pretty intact specimens, that’s something we can work with.

Gatter: So that’s an interesting concept. Let me explain to you a little bit of a problem, which may not be a big problem, if our usual technique is suction, at 10 to 12 weeks, and we switch to using an IPAS or something with less suction, and increase the odds that it will come out as an intact specimen, then we’re kind of violating the protocol that says to the patient,“We’re not doing anything different in our care of you.” Now to me, that’s kind of a specious little argument and I wouldn’t object to asking Ian, who’s our surgeon who does the cases, to use an IPAS at that gestational age in order to increase the odds that he’s going to get an intact specimen, but I do need to throw it out there as a concern. Because the patient is signing something and we’re signing something saying that we’re not changing anything with the way we’re managing you, just because we agree to give tissue. You’ve heard that before.

Buyer: Yes. It’s touchy. How do you feel about that?

Gatter: I think they’re both totally appropriate techniques, there’s no difference in pain involved, I don’t think the patients would care one iota. So yeah, I’m not making a fuss about that.

So, whether or not Gatter thinks the argument is specious – are the procedures altered? Gatter says yes, but that it doesn’t matter, in a pragmatic sense.  Richards says no, absolutely nothing changes – and then throws a bunch of dust in the air.  Hmm.  Who is editing what?

How can we push them on their own moral ambiguity?

First, stress that there is a legal concern, and a moral concern.  The legal concern is not the primary moral concern. It is ancillary to the moral concern.  It would not, could not be a concern apart from the primary moral concern.  That moral concern is what brought us all out swinging, so to speak.

Second, stress that their questionable use of “deceptive” is a very thin straw to hang their whole case on.  It is by no means obvious that the repeated assertion that Planned Parenthood is uninterested in profiting from, “tissue” that is donated to it has anything to do with whether they are selling it, and just investing the dividends in their own company, or employees – which a non-profit can do, and still not be a for-profit concern. That thought makes the Lambo comment a bit more pointed, doesn’t it?  Ignoring the counter-arguments made to demonstrate that there is financial gain involved by insisting that you are a non-profit only looks evasive. Freely acknowledge that there are ambiguities in the discussion- by the very nature of the discussion involved – but that such ambiguities do not lie squarely in our laps, but need to be thoroughly investigated. After all, a politician will always insist that he’s only accepting campaign contributions even when his vote is being bought – won’t he?

Third, stress the discontinuity between consensual donation of your own tissue vs. the donation of someone else’s tissue. Yes, they will complain about “begging the question” – but that merely opens them up to a return charge, on exactly the same grounds.  We aren’t talking about two-headed, four-legged women here. It must also be discussed that part of the law they are so busily engaged in saying Planned Parenthood didn’t violate is to ensure that women don’t have babies specifically to “donate” them. The law itself says that it is illegal to “solicit or knowingly acquire, receive, or accept a donation of human fetal tissue knowing that a human pregnancy was deliberately initiated to provide such tissue.” (42 U.S. Code § 289g–2)  If this is the case, what are the implications for the fetus-is-part-of-the-woman argument? Explore them.

Fourth, don’t concede the euphemisms.  Their entire virtuous certainty about the rightness of their cause is enveloped in their ability to use euphemisms for each and every stage of the murder and dismemberment of a human being.  What the fourth video did is blow the lid off of the people they are claiming to “protect” – the workers in the clinic use the terms baby, boy, etc. In other words, the only ones duped by these euphemisms are the supporters of Planned Parenthood. Scientists don’t use those terms, medical professionals don’t use those terms, and neither do the abortionists, while working at their grisly trade. They will get upset, but I’m not really overly sympathetic to objections on those grounds.  Take care not to be needlessly combative if you learn that they are themselves the living victim of an abortion – but also keep in mind that they had their own child killed.  God forgives even murderers – but they have to admit they are murderers, and repent.

The Means Were Dishonest:

So were Rahab’s. So were Moses’ and Joshua’s, for that matter. So were the Hebrew midwives’. So were Samuel’s. So were Jesus’ – twice.  So were Nathan’s. The Village Atheist, at this point, is going to be screaming YESSSSSSSSS! At the top of his lungs, no doubt.  However, as we know, they have the exegetical skills of mouldering jello – so we will leave them to their celebratory interpretive dance, while we talk about the real issue at hand.

Richards said, and I quote here, I’m not making thus up, that “the most disgusting the part of this to me is these folks lied, lied to gain access to clinics, you know, what doctors and clinicians face to actually provide health care to women in this country is already pretty incredible.”  Yes, because, of course, it’s really a right-wing conspiracy to deprive people of pap smears. Because we hate women. Obviously. Despite a goodly percentage of the people up in arms at her right now being women.  What she can’t say, and won’t say, is that she very well knows precisely why they engaged in such subterfuge. Because we think they are genocidal monsters who slaughter children like Hitler slaughtered Jews – and call it healthcare – precisely so that they can lump it in with their sideline of legitimate “health care for women” – and call us all mean names for it.  We get it.  Thanks. Got the memo.

 

Further, challenge them on this sudden concern for the morality of the means involved.  They didn’t seem to care about the morality of a Kermit Gosnell, who pickled baby’s feet as trophies – they weren’t concerned about the “extreme violation of patient privacy” inherent in retention of “post-abortion fetal tissue neither patients nor health care professionals authorized” then, were they?  Furthermore, the entire issue is hidden behind Orwellian Newspeak so impenetrable that it ceases to be meaningful language.  For instance, Richards believes that: “every woman needs to make their own decision” about when life begins. “For me, life began when I delivered them.”  Again and again I have seen people, with no citations whatsoever, deride our counter to that as “anti-science”.  Really?

See that? The first two are textbooks. The last one is a hostile ethicist, who argues that post-partum infanticide is equally ethical. “Human” is short for “human being”. It is an ontological category, as can be discerned from the word “being”. We don’t say, however, that we are “having a fetus”, as Joe Carter bitingly suggests Planned Parenthood supporters do, for the sake of consistency. They say, of course, “we’re having a baby.” Why, if the child is unwanted, does that child’s status suddenly become unclear? Are ontological categories suddenly subjectivistic? I thought our world was thoroughgoingly materialistic?  It happens because this materialism that the world is so proud to display goes utterly by the board when it comes to any subject which is inconvenient for their materialism.  Then, we switch categories to something that is a “personal choice”.  Of course, challenges to that “personal choice” mysteriously become… anti-science.  Imagine that.  Pay no attention to the immaterialist behind the curtain, Dorothy.

For further reading, two important posts: Spies and Lies and The Ethics of Righteous Video Sting Operations

Strategy Sessions:

Challenge them about their ethical priorities.  There is an absolute antithesis between our moral codes in view, at this precise point.

First example: As the LA Times points out, there is a huge outcry over the trophy hunting of an African lion named Cecil – simultaneous with the (primarily) Judeo-Christian outrage over selling baby parts.  I’m sure you have seen comparisons posted everywhere.  While the LA Times author sees a point to compromise on here – it is because he doesn’t know why, exactly, we’re outraged.  To some extent, that is because most secularists tend to read the more politicized (and therefore, in general, less theological) sources on the “right.”  Another reason is that we often don’t express theological tenets in ways that “outsiders” understand to be such.  Our shorthand references are, in many ways, a mystery to them.  Also, sadly, many simply don’t ever express their theological principles – or don’t have them. They are just “politically” conservative.  The reasons could be multiplied.  This article, however, is written with Christians, and specifically, apologetically minded Christians in mind.

What the LA Times article didn’t cover is that while many of us would disagree about the merits of trophy hunting for sport – this author is not particularly exercised about it either way – we would, for the most part, be disgusted at the virtual depopulation of the African elephant for ivory.  It is a waste, and very commonly cruel, besides.  Also pertinent is the name of one of the founders of the RSPCA – the original SPCA chapter – William Wilberforce.  That name is important, because he was also one of the leaders of the movement for English Abolition of slavery.  We dislike cruelty to animals – first, because they are God’s. We are only caretakers. Secondly, because we were created to care for them!

“For every beast of the forest is Mine, The cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird of the mountains, And everything that moves in the field is Mine.” – Psa 50:10-11

Or consider this:

“A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal, But [even] the compassion of the wicked is cruel.” – Pro 12:10

On the other hand, there is a very direct comparison made – by Jesus Himself.

“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” – Mat 6:26

We answered the way we did because: a single lion, no matter how badly killed, is not worth as much as a child is, let alone 330,000 of them a year.

“Whoever sheds man’s blood,
By man his blood shall be shed,
For in the image of God
He made man.” – Gen 9:6

This is not to say that we should have no concern for lions, or forests, or whales, or any number of other areas of our fallen world – but that our chief concern is about those created in the image of God – in Latin, the Imago Dei.

Second Example: Accusations of taking “rights” away from women – coupled with “healthcare” are excellent indicators of where we are mutually opposed.  Abortion – the murder of a human child in the womb – is something that Christians, and the Jews before them, everywhere, always, have opposed.  We opposed it in Rome, we opposed infanticide there, the Scripture was implacable against the deeds of Molech worshippers, who sacrificed their firstborn children in fires.  The replies you will get, when you bring this up, will be the typical EvilBible retorts.  Be ready for them.  However, in addition to that, they have been conditioned to believe a number of preposterous things about what an unborn baby is. Not only that, they have been conditioned to believe a number of preposterous things about what rights are. Further, they have been conditioned to feel an almost superstitious reverence for the “proper” term for something – as long as they were told that this term was “proper” by someone in authority.  Lastly, they have been conditioned to believe a number of preposterous things about what makes something moral, or ethical.

When someone tells you, with a straight face, that a 17 week old baby is a “clump of cells” – they haven’t watched these videos. They haven’t looked at any previous pictures of aborted – or living babies of that age. They haven’t studied even the most rudimentary embryology.  They haven’t studied the most basic ontology. Or they are inveterate liars – or so self-deceived that it beggars the imagination. They are telling you, at that very moment, that they are 1) Lying through their teeth about the subject or 2) Utterly self-deceived, and suppressing that knowledge 3) Utterly pig-ignorant of any relevant field of study.  In a word, they are liars, self-contradictory, or ignorant.

Know how to reply to each sort.  For a liar, cite the medical journals. Make it abundantly clear that they are only in this conversation to justify themselves, and have no interest in the truth. This conversation, on your part, is likely for the sake of the person watching you both. Push them to inconsistency until they break.  For the inconsistent, push them until they won’t hear any more, or admit that they need to be consistent.  Then teach.  For the ignorant – teach.  The ignorant can be just as nasty – sometimes more so – and sometimes you have to rap their knuckles to get their attention – but once you do, and they are listening, teach.

All of the remaining three issues, at base, are really about subjectivism.  They most likely won’t know that they are – but you should.  Are rights objective – or are they subjective?  (At this point, you will likely have to correct misapprehensions about what “objective means” – because nobody reads anymore.)  Do they realize that Exo 21:22-23 are about the rights of the unborn?  If you don’t, you should!  So should they. You aren’t saying anything we have always said.  This new “right” to murder children is nothing new – remember Molech, or Rome – but it is certainly not something our society has considered a right. Where do “rights” come from, anyway?  Push that back.

Are words objective, or subjective?  What “makes” the phrase “product of conception” superior to “baby”?  To “fetus”?  To “clump of cells”? To “tissue”? Do they even know?  Probably not.  Should you? You betcha. Subjectivity in language is something that none of them actually believe, however.  They expect you to understand them, don’t they?  It isn’t about the “facts” – as some neutral, depends on how you think about it subjective gobbledygook.  It is about the meaning of the facts.  They say that “the facts” mean one thing. We say they mean another.  Why? Because they adhere to a particular subjective standard.  They will say that it is objective – but people say a lot of things.  Appealing to science, when it doesn’t agree with you in the slightest, and then turning around and appealing to personal experience – or someone else’s – when that doesn’t work, is nothing but a cadge.  An evasion. It is a shell game.  The euphemisms are intended to sound medical – but as soon as they are pushed to absurdity, the conversation turns to their subjective understanding.  Push those, and unmask the contradiction.

Lastly, who determines what is right?  What is moral about killing babies?  If they object, ask them why it’s wrong to say babies, or killing? Pay attention to their web of appeals – because that will give you the strings to pull to get down to the next level of their worldview – and pull those strings again, and see where they go.  For many, they were simply told that this was how things are.  Unborn babies are clumps of cells, who feel no pain, who aren’t really human, can’t be a person, and whom (note how language works – properly, you have to use a personal pronoun there – interesting, isn’t it?)  are not really alive unless and, until, they deem it so.  Notice the staggering amount of claims involved, and how many things they are simply assuming – with no reason whatsoever to do so.  Push that. Hard.  Every time they appeal to science says, remind them that science is not a monolith – which scientist says?  Counter the claim. Fact, meaning of the fact.  Be relentless – in love, and in patience, but do not relent.  This article is prohibitively long – and I hope to do some more specific responses in the near future – but this is at least a comprehensive overview of the current apologetics issues. Don’t be afraid to dig in. Also don’t be afraid to ask us, or any other knowledgeable Christian on this issue. For many of us, we’ve waited for decades for an opportunity like this, If you want to be engaged, we will do all we can to help.

Look at all the good we do, and those horrible people over there want to take that away!

Item the first – like what? Yes, yes, they are going to shoot us all their little factoids. Cozy little sound bytes about “healthcare for women!”.  The problem is, they provide almost nothing in the way of “healthcare” that any other medical professional would consider as such.

Let’s be very clear here.  What Planned Parenthood, and those like them, are primarily engaged in is genocide on a massive scale; and where 94% of their pregnancy-related contacts end up with abortions.  As a recent ACLJ article noted;

According to Planned Parenthood’s own reporting, we know that they perform 327,653 abortions per year. We can also estimate that they provide services to roughly 4,000 prenatal clients and make only 1,880 adoption referrals per year. When approximately 327,000 of 333,000 pregnant mothers are funneled into abortions, it’s not difficult to determine the business model of Planned Parenthood.

Look, we know that they have a sideline, to make them look like something other than mass-market butchers.  We also know that they pad those numbers artificially in order to make it seem like their sideline is the bottom line.  The problem is, they ARE mass-market butchers – and as long as they are, hiding behind their sideline to cover over the genuine bottom line doesn’t work.  Without the 500 pound gorilla in their business model, they are a peanuts clinic chain that offers very little.  Something that any other clinic chain can replace – and one that any other clinic chain should replace, with non-murderous options.  In fact, if I may be so bold?  That needs to be in our top 5 priorities in this discussion.

What is dishonest is all the smokescreens being thrown up about “denying healthcare to women” – as if the ripple in genuine healthcare would be even noticed.  As an article that Planned Parenthood so conveniently (in our opinion) RTd today reveals, 8 of 10 visits to Planned Parenthood involved contraceptives (including abortifacients, of course, given their perverse stance on the topic) – not “healthcare” in any meaningful sense.

However, let’s pull their fangs.  Offer an alternative they can’t deny – genuine women’s health clinics that actually… minister to women’s health, exactly the thing they are screaming about the potential loss of.  They already exist in many, if not most, of the areas they imply that they are the sole healthcare provider to. Let’s work on getting that word out, doing healthcare the right way – the real way – and doing it better than they do, as anyone must be able to.  Support local clinics, ones who won’t kill babies, will provide healthcare to women, and will connect them to help and services for themselves and their children.

Oh, and if you still aren’t convinced? Here are a bevy of alternative options. Another. Another. Another.

CPCs have one thing in common that Planned Parenthood lacks: a choice architecture that really gives women options, good choices, and doesn’t use our tax dollars to ensure that 94 percent of pregnancy-related contact results in an abortion, as it currently does under the direction of Cecile Richards.

Strategy Sessions:

Don’t let these claims fool you. Push back on them. Don’t let them get away with the “big lie” routine.  Planned Parenthood knows it is lying.  You should inform their supporters, too.  Show the alternatives.  Take apart their infographics.  They don’t have anything that will stand up under scrutiny.  Push that right back at them and show how utterly incredulous they have been to believe such a bunch of nonsense.

The Takeaway:

Planned Parenthood, and their supporters, have precisely nothing in their defense right now.  Nothing whatsoever.  They have a whole lot of experience at making things look the way they want them to look – but the mask was ripped off. Keep them running, keep them on the defensive, and show their pack of lies to be precisely what it is.  This is something we all have to keep at, have to keep momentum going on.  The Big Lie only works if there is nobody to oppose it vigorously and comprehensively.  We must understand that we are dealing with an entire nation of self-deceived people.  An entire nation of people illiterate about the most basic fundamentals of the human condition. We must teach as much as we refute.  We must strongly condemn this atrocity, while speaking that truth of condemnation in love.  His grace is sufficient for us.  He will give us the words to say, when the time comes.  In the meantime, get ready, and always be ready to give a defense for the faith – and a defense for the defenseless.


A Carnival of Faulty Planned Parenthood Rebuttals

So, you’ve probably seen, or at least heard of the Planned Parenthood videos by now, right?  Sure you have.  I’m also sure you’ve seen the storms of controversy flying around them, too.

It’s a Hoax: By now, I’m sure you’ve seen the absolute avalanche of stories with “hoax” in the title, the lede, or tucked conspicuously into a significant paragraph.  Right?  Watch. Click this.

Now, your first thought is going to be “Man, EVERYONE is calling it a hoax!”  Why not? A bunch of the big names you read seem to be on that list!  Well, first off, that is an argumentum ad populum – an informal fallacy which appeals to the popularity of something as the determiner of the truth of it.  That isn’t a kosher appeal.

Okay, you say, but you don’t accept that – fine, watch this.  As I’m sure you’ve noticed, there are a lot more people outraged in your personal circle about this issue than there are defending Planned Parenthood.  Unless you live in a really little bubble, of course.  It has trended on Twitter and Facebook for over week now.  It really isn’t especially surprising.  Again, however, as I say, that’s hardly the reason something is true or false.  It isn’t a hoax video.

Why?

1) Cecile Richards apologized for the “tone” of Dr. Deborah Nucatola in the first video.  If it was a hoax – why apologize for the tone of a hoax? A fraud?  That was really her saying those very things everyone is outraged about.  If I can offer one more word of advice, too – the outrage is only secondarily, at best, about “selling body parts.”  More on that in a bit, though.

2) If it were really a hoax, would there really be so much dancing around the issue, euphemisms, and skirting the edges of what they were talking about?  I mean, how hard would it be, in this day and age, to make a video that made “her” say whatever they wanted her to say?  The very slippery nature of the conversation militates against it being a hoax of the sort it is being portrayed to be.

3) Keep in mind that “hoax” as you are most likely defining it – a complete fraud, something that was made up out of whole cloth – is not the way it is being used in the majority of the articles which use the term.  They are using the technical definition – established or accepted by fraudulent means.  Yes, we are all aware that they lied to get the footage they did.  We’re also aware that Planned Parenthood lies about what they do all the time.  A tit for a tat, as they say.  But before you get too up in arms – we’ll address that later, too. I’ll leave you with something to think about:

Here is a related point:

The Video Was Edited: I hate to break it to you, but all your documentaries are edited. Just about every interview you see on tv is edited.   That’s what you do with video when you want to show something in particular.  If I can be even more clear – the author, and his fellow contributors here are not most interested in whether or not Planned Parenthood violated the laws that CMP say they did.  What they are interested in is the utter, callous, brutal disregard for the life and humanity of the babies she murders, and arranges the murder of.

I know why you’re saying this.  The media can’t turn around without attaching the word “edited” to the short excerpts that have been most-watched.  I get it.  I also get that you can’t turn around without #PPSellsBabyParts on Twitter.  I completely understand.  I see a good bit of #StandWithPP tags, too – because we follow a lot of “progressive” sorts, being a Christian apologetics group and all.  So yeah, we see that hashtag war going like a house on fire.

The problem is, folks, the full, unedited video of the entire exchanges were put on the CMP website within 30 seconds, at most, of the edited ones.  You ever see blooper reels? The unedited, without special effects video of movies, tv shows, documentaries, or the like?  The “cut” footage that gets discovered years later, that everyone makes a bit deal about finding, after it being lost?  In this case, they are posting the *raw footage* right alongside the short exchanges they consider most important.

1) The “edits” are not what have us outraged, upset, or calling for Planned Parenthood’s defunding, closure, or what have you.  What has us outraged is the sheer unmitigated depravity of the Planned Parenthood representatives.  It is truly sick to be talking about dismembering children over wine and salad.  It is filthy and demented to joke about wanting a Lamborghini right after you say you will check to see if someone else is getting more than the quoted reimbursement – for the eviscerated leavings (acquired by “less crunchy” means) of what was formerly a living child – just like our children.

2) The ones MOST outraged, folks, are the ones who have watched the UNedited video.  Almost entirely without exception.  I know, because we follow a rather large percentage of the folks who have been most outraged by this issue.  Contrary to the utter lack of mention by the New York Times in their fluff piece of this morning, lots and lots of us have watched the full version.  As Jonathan Merritt puts it in his article concerning the NYT story –

The Times also claimed the video was unreliable because it was “edited.” They are correct that the full video was nearly three hours long while the edited version was only nine minutes. So what? These comments in the longer version do not invalidate those in the shorter version. While editorial board hopes to convince readers that The Center for Medical Progress was deliberately only telling part of the story, but they fail to mention that the full video was also posted online and available. So who is withholding information here? And, by the way, the full video is just as repulsive as the shorter version. In fact, it’s about two hours and 50 minutes more repulsive.

Most interesting to you may be what he says just a bit later.

The thrust of the article’s argument is that it is perfectly legal for Planned Parenthood to offer “fetal tissue” from aborted babies for research. That may be true, and as more facts become available, we will likely discover whether these transactions are illegal “sales” or legal “donations.” But this is not the primary issue for the pro-life advocates I have spoken to. These conservatives are calling for defunding, not incarceration.

The central matter for many pro-life Americans is not whether Planned Parenthood’s practices are legal, but whether they are just.

So, they not only failed to deal with what the opposition is actually concerned about, what else did the NYT do?

The most embarrassing part of the Times article, though, is not what they say but what they do not say. The editorial board totally ignores the most disturbing content in the videos. Actually, they ignore the content of the videos almost completely. None of the quotes at the center of the outrage are discussed.

You’ll find no mention of how a Planned Parenthood doctor determines which parts of the baby to “crush” In the Times article. You won’t encounter information about how a Planned Parenthood physician discussed using a “less crunchy” technique to retrieve “whole specimens.” And you definitely won’t read about how the a Planned Parenthood doctor attempted to negotiate a higher price for tissue because she claims she wanted “a Lamborghini.” These are the most damning components in the videos, but the editorial board’s article never even mention them. The Times did not merely get the Planned Parenthood story wrong; they missed it completely.

Those parts that we are upset with are *exactly the same* in the full-length videos.  In fact, seeing the banality of the context and conversation surrounding such utterly horrendous description of – and you need to hear this, because this is what we’re thinking – dismembering, crushing, suctioning brains out of children just like ours – for more money than they already receive for such a filthy and disgusting murder of the most defenseless members of our society – which we are fully aware that you refuse to accept as members of society, persons, or a host of other things other persons who HAVE rights are given [deep breath] – makes us about as angry as listening to Jeffery Dahmer speak in a monotone about his own murders. Yes, we put these people in the _exact_ same category as serial killers.  We put Planned Parenthood in the same category as the Nazi death camps, too – except Planned Parenthood’s body count is far, far higher.

Look, we get that everyone you read or listen to – except for the person that sent you this link – is pretty much saying that this is nothing.  Even SNOPES is being a tad dishonest on this one. Yes, yes, it says   UNDETERMINED – but that isn’t the issue.  Check this out.

On 14 July 2015, The Center for Medical Progress posted a video purportedly showing a leading Planned Parenthood doctor, Dr. Deborah Nucatola

No, it actually shows her. Even Planned Parenthood says so.

In addition to the above-displayed video, the Center for Medical Progress also released what they claimed was an unedited version of the conversation (which other sources maintain was in fact edited)

Follow the link.  Where does Media Matters say the UNEDITED (notice, they say this repeatedly, throughout the article) video was EDITED?  Nowhere.  So, like I said, Snopes is being a trifle dishonest here, isn’t it?

It’s not edited to change content. The raw footage is even worse.  We aren’t upset because the women aren’t consulted, or aren’t giving consent.  We are upset because these people are clinically discussing systematic genocide – for money.  Donation money, wholesale, retail – we don’t care.  The sale is just an insult added to injury.  We have children in the womb the exact same age as the ones they are talking about crushing and dismembering – then parceling off.  These are babies who were *alive* – now they are dead.  The fact that their mother hired PP as their hitman is only relevant in that it’s “legal”, by fiat, in a “right” created via legislation from the bench, not the legislature, to murder children if you don’t want them. As long as they are in a particular location, and a certain age.  It sickens us immeasurably.

You might want to also understand that we, as Christians, were the ones who used to save babies left exposed to die in ancient Rome – because their mothers didn’t want them.  After they were born.  We’ll do the same today. Heck, let’s do a quid pro quo. If you help us get the insanity of the domestic adoption process straightened out, we’ll help you find and fund an alternative for the tiny minority of things Planned Parenthood does that isn’t abortion – like all the medical services they tell you we don’t care about.  Which is, roughly, about 3% of their operation.  We don’t always seem to care because, let’s face it – they kill 300,000 people a year, that we’re more worried about saving.  It’s a triage thing. Think about that.  Think about my quid pro quo, too.  Fast track adoptions, and we’ll fast track alternative medical clinics.  Which, frankly, probably isn’t as hard as you think it is.  We sort of have a history of doing that sort of thing, in the sort of places you say you need it, too, don’t we?  If we don’t have to burn money opposing the murder mills, I would sure as sunrise put that toward medical clinics instead.

See the problem yet? It isn’t a hoax, and it isn’t edited.  Does putting things in so slanted a fashion – so… deceptive… a fashion, constitute accuracy?

They Acquired Their Footage Fraudulently: Yup.  Look, we can go round and round, like most pundits will, about who did who to who, when – but here’s the central issue.  We already mentioned that PP murders the equivalent population of a midsized city every year? If this was 20-20 doing an undercover investigation, would you be as upset?  If it was the guy posing as store clerks, floor associates, salesmen, or food service employees to do magic tricks for television – would you be as upset about him “lying”?  Of course not.  This is a group who spent a very long time and a huge amount of effort setting up an elaborate undercover investigation, complete with hidden cameras, actors, over the course of years – not to make money, or to get famous – but to save the lives of people who have no rights.

Yeah, it was underhanded.  You seriously want to compare a shell corporation and false pretenses to mass murder, though?  Yeah, they’re activists.  I thought you guys liked activism?  Call him extreme if you want.  For all I know, he is.  What I do know, however, is that this isn’t about “hating women’s health” to us.  It is about saving children from butchers – and those who feed them to those butchers.  over 300,000 a year!  Think about that!

How much reality television do you folks watch?  A lot?  What is it about this reality television that you don’t like?  Have you even watched the videos?  This is real reality television, folks.  I keep hearing that we’re just opposing the yuck factor.  Yes, abortion is yucky.  That is irrelevant, in the main.  What is relevant, and what we chiefly oppose, are those who say that some human lives are not equal in value to those of others.  Who then murder those humans – and callously talk about trafficking their corpses. For science?  For who cares, folks?   It’s dark, when you see what human life is worth to these people. When you see an older lady talking about kids and grandchildren *right after she talks about murdering those of others*.  It’s so shockingly, brutally heinous that is like a bucket of cold water to the face.

Call those babies, fetuses, tissue, whatever you want – but the mask slips in these videos.  The euphemisms falter.  That’s the horrifying power of it. There is this seamless, polished talk of “tissue”, “extraction”, and the like – then there is a sudden shift to “arms”, “legs”, “livers, hearts and lungs” – what kind of livers? Human livers.  Human legs.  How many legs does a body have?  2, right?  So if you donate two, how many do you have left? Zero.  Yet, the patient walks out with two legs.  So, whose legs were donated?  Those of another body.  Whose liver? Someone else’s. Heart. Lungs. Brain. Someone else’s. Someone else’s parts.  Not “my body, my choice” anymore, is it? Human body parts are valuable to science.  Thus, human body parts are harvested.  Not those of the body of the patient giving consent, however.  Remember all those neat arguments about “consenting adults”?  What happens to those when a woman *signs her (very) minor child over to be murdered and vivisected*?  You can’t give consent to murder someone, because you have… parental rights.  And it is clear that you aren’t giving consent for your own body – those aren’t your parts.  So which rights are they that you just used? Parental ones.  Which means that you not only didn’t get your thirty pieces of silver – but you paid for a hitman.

God forgives sin.  Even murder, “legalized” or no.  God won’t forgive us as a nation if we keep slaughtering the most helpless of us.  We, as Christians, are likewise unable to refrain from trying to save them, either.  We must plead, we must protest, and we must dissent from the most vicious genocide in human history – and look at the numbers, folks.  Estimated 55 million babies murdered in the US alone since Roe vs. Wade.  That is an insanity – a monstrous evil greater than that of any society in human history.  Euphemism won’t make it go away. Nor will recourse to sophism or semantics.  We kill babies and traffic in their corpses.  It needs to stop.


Attacking Apologetics Blogs?

Just a short note from us, due solely to this comment:

The fellow then attacks Apologetics “Discernment Blogs” for a while…

Since the opener to the post says:

A blog we haven’t heard of from a person we haven’t heard of (Chris Bolt), was tweeted to Pulpit & Pen by…

I figured it might be helpful to introduce the author to the following pertinent facts.

Chris is an SBC pastor.  He is one of the founding (and Emeritus) members of Choosing Hats. He has well over 500 posts on this site; our most prolific contributor. You can also see his debates, his contributions to the In Antithesis Journal, and his contribution to The Portable Presuppositionalist.  He has appeared on Reformed Forum, as well as Backpack Radio.  He has been a member of Dr. White’s #prosapologian since 2006.

He is anything but anti-apologetics blogs.  He, like the rest of the contributors here, distinguish the Biblical exercise of apologetics from so-called “discernment” blogging. I find it odd, given that half, or more, of the P&P staff are regulars or former regulars of #prosapologian, yet the author states that “we” (the P&P staff, presumably) do not know Chris.  Hopefully this will rectify that situation.


Nothing is Pure

To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.  They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed. – Titus 1:15-16

As I’m sure many of you have been following, Planned Parenthood has been getting lambasted on social media in the aftermath of the sting operation by Center for Medical Progress. This is not to discuss the video in question – although the casual brutality of Deborah Nucatola, the Planned Parenthood senior director of medical services, while discussing the vivisection and murder of children, was horrifying – not titillating, as Slate speculated. That very sort of comment is the problem we need to address, however – to the defiled, nothing is pure.  You can’t have a righteous anger.  It can only be frothing rage.  You can’t be appalled by the sheer casual brutality in which dismemberment and murder is discussed.  You have to be sexually excited by the discussion – as abjectly filthy as the very idea of that prospect is to us.  Yet, that is what their support base is fed – in tiny morsels of untruths.  You can’t have a genuine horror at the atrocity being perpetrated on children just like our own- in my case, like mine, in my wife’s womb, and of a similar age to the ones spoken of being torn apart, crushed, and murdered in such a cavalier fashion.  You can’t possibly imagine, for instance, the tiny body of your stillborn daughter – purposefully torn apart by a murderer like those who haunt abortion clinics.  It’s titillating.  The very thought of such abomination makes me physically ill – but that’s what they think of you, folks.  While yes, it is lurid – and grotesque – it is an accurate depiction of what actually happens when they murder children – every day.  But, you know – nobody can actually believe that matters.  What about women’s rights to reproductive health? (Well, except the 26 million we’ve murdered.  But they, apparently, had it coming.)

Yet, of course, as Planned Parenthood assured us today, they do apologize for the tone of Ms. Nucatola’s remarks.  Right.  As if the symptom is the actual cause.  No, while that tone “does not reflect that compassion” that Planned Parenthood says it has as their “top priority” – notice what they said there.  “Our top priority is the compassionate care that we provide.”  To the crushed and/or vivisected baby?  Oh, wait.  What?  Do they really think the actual concern is that talk of crushing and vivisection of the baby is horrifying people because it is inconsiderate of the living patient?  Now, don’t get me wrong – I don’t believe that for a minute.  However, it is obvious that they don’t care about the babies.  They are tissue, remember?  Back to that in a second.  It is equally apparent that they know that we do, however.

See, it is simultaneously crafted to gull the unwary into thinking that they intend to be compassionate to the babies AND the mothers – but to also put one in the eye of their critics who know better – and actually read English proficiently, by the by.  What they actually just said was that it was inconsiderate to literally describe what they do to other human beings – after all, a lack of euphemisms (aka compassion) drives away paying customers.  Got to have that bedside manner intact so they won’t be bothered so much by our sucking their babies’ brains out through a tube.  After we punch a hole in their heads.  This is the problem, folks.  Yes, yes, all sorts of people hashtagged #PPSellsBabyParts – the problem is, the other side doesn’t care.   Nobody who has deceived themselves into thinking murdering over a million children per year for their own convenience is okay will bat an eyelash over “use for medical research.” Nobody.  Not one.  Why? Because you don’t have any common ground with such a hellish worldview, Christian.  They redefine human beings into unpersons, reduce them to “parasitic tissue,” schedule their murders, fry their skin off, suck their brains out, hack their limbs off, dump them into an incinerator – but it’s an issue for them that someone uses that corpse for science?  Think about this.  Not only do you have nothing in common with such a hellish worldview, but you want nothing in common with it.

The real issue, as always, is a heart issue.  A mind issue.  Their conscience is defiled. A man who is convinced that a proper solution to the slaking of their own lusts – or that of another’s –  is to kill the one person innocent of that crime is a monster of gargantuan proportions.  In our last post, we spoke of the modern Molech.  Caananite society was to be wiped from the face of the earth for precisely this reason – the murder of innocents on the altar.  Except nowadays, the altar is that of our own convenience and “liberty”.  Liberty from the consequences of our own sinful actions – and isn’t that a handy scapegoat? The one incapable of defending themselves.  It is a horror, an abomination.  A blight on the face of this earth that rivals that of every death camp Germany ever built.  Yet, in their minds, it is just our titillation at the carnage.  Their minds are defiled.  Sin has a noetic effect. This, friends, is what “nothing is pure” means.  It means that our hatred for sin is seen as perversion, and that their murders are seen as virtuous exercise, and a loving, compassionate thing to do.  Everything is topsy turvy. They call evil good, and good evil.  Those woes?  Just a myth!

There is no reasoning from there to here.  The entirety of man is depraved.  You cannot appeal to his “better nature”.  Man is a slave to sin. He does his master’s bidding – and finds it very good. He loves it.  Not only that, but the checks on sin have been removed, and common grace’s blessing is slowly withdrawn from us, as a people.  There is no commonality, no point of contact which we both, as antithetical worldviews, possess as a point of contact.  There is nothing that you can point to, from that system, that you can grab on to, and say, look, this is real, this is rational.  Everything is topsy turvy.  Their liberty is slavery.  We are not only down the rabbit hole, we are in the midst of the Red Queen’s coterie, and pleading for a single sane ear to heed us, in the busily chattering crowds of sycophantic drones.  You will find none.  All is madness, death, and vanity.

But God. I know you like those two words.  I know I do, too.  You probably know this already, but if you don’t, look up the instances where “But God” is used.  Your pastor probably won’t thank me for it – because that’s a great sermon transition I just ruined for him – but trust me, it’s worth it.

But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.  But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.” – 1 Cor. 1:27-31

See, while there is horror, abomination, and depravity all around us – But God.  He chose us.  The foolish.  The base. The despised.  It is by His doing that we are united to Christ, to His wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption!  So, why do we want common ground with that horror, abomination, and depravity, anyway?  The next verse in Titus, to return to that book, is very important.

Chapter 2 starts with this:

But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.

Another but – but with our practical command.  They will do what they do.  Sinners gonna sin.  As for you – speak fitting things. Sound doctrine.  In verses 5 and 7, notice a word that shows up in both. Pure.  Notice in verse 4 – so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children – needed, timely advice – the elder are to instruct the younger.  They are both to be sensible. σωφρονέω, in opposition to the ἀδόκιμος νοῦς of Romans 1:28.  The μεμιαμμένοις – the defiled – have a mind that is μιαίνω – defiled.  The ἁγνάς – the pure – have purity – ἀδιαφθορία.  This continues throughout the rest of the chapter. Purity of doctrine.  Sound in speech, beyond reproach.

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you. – Titus 2:11-15

Grace instructs. Deny ungodliness, and worldly desires – desires that have been twisted into lesser echoes of their initial created state.  Live sensibly – with a clear mind – be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  See sanctification above.  Live righteously, for God – in this present age.  (Which is now, folks!)  Looking ahead to the hope heralded by the return and appearing of the glory of Christ.  We were redeemed, in order that He might purify us. That is the answer for the depraved mind. For the defiled mind.  The only point of contact for fallen humanity is in their creation in His image.  In their innate knowledge of Him, as His creatures, which they cannot escape, and is ever before and within them; ineradicably stamped upon every molecule, and upon their very soul, tattered and torn though it may be.   Press the antithesis between what they know they are, and what they say they are.  Push every inconsistency of their patchwork belief system to absurdity.  But keep bringing it back to who they really are.  A person made in the image of God – who knows what He should do, doesn’t do it, and thus sins against his Maker. Someone who needs to repent of their sins, cast themselves upon His mercy, and seek the one who is Just and Justifier.  The only one who can make them clean, and forgive their trespasses.  They can’t repair their soul.  They can’t make themselves love good, and hate evil.  They are slaves.  But God…

We know the only One who can set men free – even from their abominable slavery to the slaughter of innocents, and so many other heinous offenses against the Most High.  These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you.


The Modern Molech

Molech still receives sacrifices. Now they call the altar the blood of the unborn runs down by the name “women’s health”, and “reproductive rights.” Except for the 26 million women whose health and reproductive rights were terminated – with extreme prejudice. So, tell me, folks. Are you prepared to say that these are persons being murdered? If not, what are they? Sub-persons? (Or unpersons? Hmm.) Where have we heard that argument before?

But let’s grant that for the sake of argument, for those of you still unconvinced. If they are sub-human, are they animals? If they are animals, why would this even be a problem? The Planned Parenthood representative doesn’t seem to have one, does she, while, as Patricia Heaton put it, she “swills her chianti”? Let’s just be accurate, and call them butchers – and package that “tissue” however you please, if you please. If that doesn’t strike your fancy, then why are they superior to animals, but still inferior to persons? Further, why is packaging their body for sale (excuse me, donation… in exchange for a small donation, of course!) any more offensive than packaging a cow, or a pig?

Words have meanings. Meanings have consequences. Consequences occur in real life – sometimes, while unconcernedly eating a salad, discussing dismemberment of babies – at almost precisely the same developmental stage as my wife and I’s currently womb-inhabiting Philippa.[1] And, incidentally, about the same stage as our Lilith, who died in the womb[2] – whom many of you offered condolences for – and practically any of you reading would have offered condolences for, had you heard.

She had a name. I held her in my arms after she was stillborn, and we buried her – I visit her grave, at our church graveyard – which has a headstone with that name. Tell me, fellow humans, created in the image of God – what is the difference – and what gives anyone the right to murder and dismember a child in the womb – not necessarily in that order?

“For the fetus, though enclosed in the womb of its mother, is already a human being, and it is a monstrous crime to rob it of the life which it has not yet begun to enjoy. If it seems more horrible to kill a man in his own house than in a field, because a man’s house is his place of most secure refuge, it ought surely to be deemed more atrocious to destroy a fetus in the womb before it has come to light.” – Calvin, Commentary on Exo 21:22

  1. [1]And yes, that was an announcement!
  2. [2]http://razorskiss.net/2011/06/blessed-be-the-name/