Friday, January 23, 2009

CRTL Debates on CSPAN!

CRTL Board Member and Pastor Bob Enyart spoke in favor of Colorado’s Personhood Amendement on CSPAN in October. He debated Crystal Clinkenbeard, leader of the "No on 48" campaign, in a 37-minute exchange broadcast nationwide.

Taking the initiative, Enyart spoke for most of the 45-minute program, with Clinkenbeard seemingly having few sound bites that would help her side. Enyart’s points were cogent, and hard-hitting. "Half the time the pregnant woman has a boy inside of her," he said, "so it’s not the woman’s body. It’s a separate body."

Clinkenbeard posed several lies and obfuscations, and raised extreme cases which would never come into play.

One of the charges Planned Parenthood made was that giving rights to "fertilized eggs" would send women to jail for miscarriages. Enyart responded, "The claim that women and doctors are going to be going to jail because of medical treatment, that is shown to be obfuscation, because before Roe v. Wade we had ectopic pregnancies in America – a baby developing in the fallopian tube. We did not have our courts filled with doctors and women going to court and to jail because of having to save the life of a mother in an ectopic pregnancy."

Clinkenbeard explained how concerned she and the pro-abortion forces are that what started in Colorado will spread to other states.

Host Pedro Echevarria asked, "If this amendment passes, could that ultimately go up the line to what it could do for Roe versus Wade?"

She answered, "Absolutely."

A pro-life caller said she was offended that her tax dollars were being used to support abortion. Clinkenbeard responded, "It’s absolutely not true, it doesn’t happen." And went on to say that under the Hyde Amendment, such taxpayer funding is illegal, so... of course it doesn’t happen!

Enyart wouldn’t let that drop, so he explained about the fungibility (transferability) of funds, and how adding funding for any reason to Planned Parenthood naturally supports their abortion services. "Regarding tax funded abortions, Planned Parenthood receives hundreds of millions of dollars, of federal tax money."

One caller challenged Enyart’s right to even speak on the issue, since he was a man. In his response, Enyart pointed out that Roe v. Wade and all the pro-abortion laws in the ‘60s and ‘70s were decided not by women, but by men. "Men are more pro-choice than women… they’ll use a woman sexually, impregnate her, and not want to have to love her or care for her or their child, and so men are more pro-choice than women, and that’s historic, because a woman carries the baby and knows it is a child."

During the program, Enyart compared abortion to slavery. "Back when we were trying to stop slavery — abolition — people said, ‘Well I’m against slavery, but think of all the difficulty this would cause for our economy, for our political system, if we acknowledge blacks as people, think of all the difficulties to our societal structure. Those arguments are irrelevant. What matters is that a child should be honored by the adults in society, should be loved and protected." Then he pointed to, which helps adopt out frozen embryos. Their site also shows pictures of beautiful babies who were adopted as frozen embryos and who are being raised as loved children today.

"Their rights started not in the hospital," he said, "Their rights started when they were created, at that moment of fertilization. And if we deny that, that fundamental truth of when life begins… they avoid the question of when does life begin. They can’t answer that question. All of science acknowledges that the human being comes into existence when the sperm fertilizes the egg."

Amendment 48, of course — the subject of the debate — would protect children from the moment of fertilization. "Our opponents say, ‘well, we don’t know when the moment of fertilization is.’ But that egg knows, because as soon as one sperm fertilizes that egg, a dramatic change happens in the cell wall, and all the other suitors, they’re rebuffed. It’s too late. There’s now a new precious little boy, or a little girl, right there. And we need to love and protect all children beginning right at that first moment of life."

Responding to Clinkenbeard’s charge that Personhood would even force a raped child to give birth, Enyart said, "Abortion for incest is cruel. What it does is it encourages the would-be criminal to rape his young relative, and he knows that if he impregnates her, he can bring her to Planned Parenthood, and nationwide, systematically, Planned Parenthood, Crystal’s former employer, does not they refuse to comply with mandatory reporting for suspected sexual abuse of minors. Just as in California, in August, a case noted by the California Supreme Court, a man will commit incest, impregnate his young relative, bring her to an abortion clinic, they will ask no questions, he’ll take her home and continue to abuse her. So the abortion clinic often sends the victim home with her rapist to be continually sexually molested."

Clinkenbeard brought up ectopic pregnancy and health issues, claiming 48 would prevent action, to which Enyart responded, "You don’t kill the mother to save the baby, and you don’t kill the baby to save the mother. You try to love and protect both. And when the baby dies, as is commonly the case, that’s a tragedy, but you don’t stop half-way, like in a partial-birth abortion, stop and kill the baby. If the mother’s life is at risk, you deliver the baby. You do a C-section. You remove the baby. You don’t deliver him half-way breach, stop, kill the baby, and then continue. That is not loving and protecting the mother. That’s the intention to kill the baby. And that’s what’s wrong. That’s why we have to love and protect all children."

Finally, refuting Clinkenbeard’s claim that Planned Parenthood is concerned for the well being of women, Enyart said, "Abortion is not only cruel to children, it’s cruel to the moms. And we owe it to the next generation of young women in the state of Colorado and our country to protect them from the cruelty of convenience and pressure to kill their little baby, their boy or girl, and so this amendment is a historic opportunity for the State of Colorado to acknowledge the God-given Right to Life comes, like the last caller said, at that moment of creation. Our rights don’t come from the hospital, they don’t come from the delivery doctor, the OBYGN. Our rights come from our Creator. And Planned Parenthood and Crystal, they cannot say when life begins, even though it is so obvious in any biology textbook, fetology, that life begins at that moment. All you have to do is refrain from killing it to find out what a beautiful and precious little boy or girl is right there in that embryo."

The full program is available online:

Thursday, January 15, 2009

March for Life Colorado: Metaxas, Wilberforce, Bonhoeffer & the anti-Slavery Model

PhotobucketMark Your Calendar!
2009 March For Life
Thurs, January 22
12:00 Noon
Denver's State Capitol

Join us at Noon, Thursday Jan. 22 for the 2009 March For Life, with guest Eric Metaxas, who will talk about anti-slavery crusader William Wilberforce and anti-Nazi martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
Two book signings will be held — one at the Capitol immediately after Eric's talk (purchase books at the Pillar of Fire Temple 1 block south of the Capitol starting at 11 a.m.), and another before that at the Lakewood/Littleton Mardels on south Wadsworth from 9-11 a.m..

Eric Metaxas wrote the book which inspired the movie “Amazing Grace,” about anti-slavery crusader Photobucket William Wilberforce.

The 2009 CRTL March for Life, on Jan. 22, will feature biographer Eric Metaxas, who will talk about his past book, Amazing Grace (which was later turned into a major motion picture most of you probably saw), and also about his upcoming biography about German Christian martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Eric will have books available for purchase, as well as a book signing after his speech.

Christians are not proud of the predominant behavior of German Christians during the Nazi era — silence, acquiescence, collaboration — but some sterling examples of heroism stand out. Many Christians, certainly, lacked the courage to speak against Hitler, or even came to believe he spoke truth because their pastors would not speak against him. Hitler used a heretical theology based on fantasy which turned Jesus into a Jew-hater, and then used the power of the Nazi government to force many German churches to form a united German church not unlike the government-sanctioned churches in China (in concept, if not by degree).

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was one of a number of prominent Christian leaders who wouldn’t go along. They formed the "Confessing Church," and intended for it to follow Christ in every way where His teachings diverged from the Nazi government. It was the boldest of these confessing Christians who resisted the Nazis and hid Jews in their attics or basements. Unfortunately, as the most outspoken leaders were arrested, and as the government’s grip of fear intimidated pastors and churchgoers, even these churches remained mostly quiet in their resistance through the worst abuses of the Nazis.

Bonhoeffer was one of those bold Christians who did stand up. He ran a seminary, where he taught true Christianity, and spoke out against the Nazis, even so far as to condemn the official anti-semitism as unChristian. He was eventually banned from teaching, and later from any kind of public speaking. Through much of that time, he cooperated with the anti-Nazi resistance within Germany, even after the war had begun.

The anti-Nazi activism he involved himself in wasn’t limited to hiding or transporting Jews to safety. He joined a plot to kill Hitler, which included some of the top leaders of Germany. He was arrested and imprisoned twice, first for helping smuggle Jews, and later when the failed plot to kill Hitler was uncovered in 1944. After spending his last days in a concentration camp, he was cruelly executed by hanging just weeks before the end of the war.

Bonhoeffer lives on in Heaven, of course, but also as an inspiration to all those Christians who would stand up against evil, rather than hiding quietly while injustice abounds.

William Wilberforce, was discussed not long ago, on these pages, in an article about whether he is proof that incremental laws work, or rather stands as proof of just the opposite. If you missed that article, it is available on the Colorado Right to Life Blog, at (search for Wilberforce).

Wilberforce is another hero of the faith, for his dogged persistence and perseverance in fighting against first the slave trade in the British Empire, and later against slavery in general. From his earliest speeches, it’s clear he believed that slavery was a moral evil hated by God, and that Black men had a right to be free.

A conversion experience took Wilberforce from being a skeptical Christian to a life of devotion and passion. He expressed his Christianity by adopting the mission of freeing the slaves. Early on, partly because of his friendship with William Pitt the Younger, the Prime Minister, Wilberforce saw some success in trying to end the slave trade. But opponents stymied his efforts, and the Napoleonic Wars further frustrated him. He turned to incrementalism for a while, but later grew discouraged that further success did not seem to follow those moves. Ultimately, he returned to pushing for absolute abolition, and in that he saw success. He even recommended a strategy of absolute abolition for the United States, where American abolitionists had instead been pursuing incremental laws.

Today, we Christians look back to both of these men of faith for inspiration. They followed God’s law, not man’s. So should we all.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Defining Incrementalism

As we go through the CRTL Newsletter archives, plenty of important articles show up. One of them is Brian Rohrbough's (former CRTL president) refutation of a common charge leveled against us by other pro-lifers who want to continue regulating abortion. Here's his response:

"Clarification of the term 'incrementalism'

Pro-lifers today need to re-define 'incrementalism.' There’s nothing wrong with stopping only one murder out of a thousand if that’s all you can stop. But there is such a thing as bad incrementalism -- where you sacrifice some babies to save others. We call it 'compromised incrementalism' -- incrementalism that employs moral relativism, undermines personhood, further entrenches abortion in law, or makes any abortion appear more humane are misguided means to an end. Laws that allow or affirm killing any baby should never be justified or rationalized by the pro-life community, or in the langauge of any of the laws we give our support."
-- Brian Rohrbough, CRTL President (printed Feb 2007)