How the technological achievements of resource rich developed societies can assist the poor in developing nations through social entrepreneurship in the slums of the world, creatively drawing learners into a greater degree of self-sufficiency through revised education.
The Christian Left Welcomes You
And we are LIVE on the interwebs! Yes! Yes sir! Yes siree! We are The Christian Left! … Yes we are; Yes we can; and Yes we will! This is only the beginning of our work on this page. Expect many great features as we move forward. Welcome!
Ed Schultz asked on his radio show recently, “Is there a ‘religious left’?” Yes, Ed. There is. We are The Christian Left. We’re all around you. We’re among the people. Take a look. We’re part of the Body of Christ. We’re Christians. We’re Liberal. We make no apologies. In fact Jesus’ ways are “Liberal.” That’s why He was killed. The Pharisees and the Sadducees were the conservatives of their time. This is clear. Oh and Ed, we love you. Keep up the good fight!
We’re not ‘New Age.’ We’re not waiting for some earthly leader to come and make everything alright – that man already came. When He comes back, there will be no doubt who HE is. Everyone, without exception, will know. Until then, we are part of the Body of Christ. We’re not ‘Communists’ or ‘Marxists’ either. We reject all such labels. We will not be profiled or pigeonholed and we will not ‘Be Quiet.’ We’re Christians. We’re Liberals. Please get used to it. Thank you. ;>)
Ann Coulter, Godless? Really? Wow …
See, it wasn’t just Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection that matter. It was his life too! The life he lived is a huge part of the deal, and he asked us to do a few things if you look at his words. Not only is what Jesus said the Word of God, but what Jesus DID is also the Word of God. Looking at the life of Jesus we see that Jesus made room for those cut off from the rest of society. Jesus put a name and a face on all who had been forgotten or pushed aside, even the dead. Jesus called us to carry our cross daily and follow him. That’s what Social Justice means.
“The Christian Left” — left hate behind; left prejudice; left callous attitudes; and followed Jesus as HE left the 99 in the fold, to go find the ones who were lost, ignored, excluded, overlooked, abandoned, uncared-for — all “the least of these.” We left hard-heartedness in order to be like the Samaritan who stopped to care for those in need.
James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 2:15-16 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?
What We’re All About:
We’re not about Dogma here. We’re just Christians who think the political and Christian right-wing have their priorities wrong.
Wikipedia says it pretty well in the following paragraphs:
The Christian left is a term originating in the United States, used to describe a spectrum of left-wing Christian political and social movements which largely embraces social justice.
The most common religious viewpoint which might be described as ‘left wing’ is social justice, or care for the poor and the oppressed. Supporters of this might encourage universal health care, welfare provision, subsidized education, foreign aid, and Affirmative Action for improving the conditions of the disadvantaged. Stemming from egalitarian values (and what Jesus Himself said), adherents of the Christian left consider it part of their religious duty to take actions on behalf of the oppressed.
The Christian Left holds that social justice, renunciation of power, humility, forgiveness, and private observation of prayer (as opposed to publicly mandated prayer), are mandated by the Gospel (Matthew 6:5-6). The Bible contains accounts of Jesus repeatedly advocating for the poor and outcast over the wealthy, powerful, and religious. The Christian Left maintains that such a stance is relevant and important. Adhering to the standard of “turning the other cheek,” which they believe supersedes the Old Testament law of “an eye for an eye,” the Christian Left often hearkens towards pacifism in opposition to policies advancing militarism. Many passages in the Bible illustrate the example set by Jesus regarding violence:
Luke 22: 49-51 When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
Luke 9:53-56 And the town did not receive him, because he was headed to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elisha did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.” For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.
While non-religious socialists sometimes find support for socialism in the Gospels (for example Mikhail Gorbachev citing Jesus as “the first socialist”), The Christian Left does not find that socialism alone is an adequate end or means. Christian faith is the core of their belief which in turn demands social justice.
The Christian Left sometimes differs from other Christian political groups on issues including homosexuality. This is often not a matter of different religious ideas, but one of focus — viewing the prohibitions against killing, or the criticism of concentrations of wealth, as far more important than social issues emphasized by the religious right, such as opposition to active homosexuality. In this case, similar to philosophies expressed by writers such as C.S. Lewis, these members of the Christian Left believe homosexual sex to be overemphasized when compared with issues relating to social justice, or even matters of sexual morality involving heterosexual sex. Bottom Line: We welcome ALL to their place at God’s table, just as they are. All means ALL. No exceptions. We reject all attempts to define our Faith by the two wedge issues of Gay Marriage and Abortion. — End of Wikipedia content.
The Christian Left doesn’t get uptight about the same things as their right-wing brothers and sisters. Lefties tend to accept that we’re all trapped in the human condition, that we all struggle, and that we’re all sinners. They tend to focus on behaviors that Jesus focused on while he was here in body — things like hypocrisy, organized oppression, exorbitant greed, self-righteousness, judgmentalism, selfishness, abuse of power, violence, etc.
Paul defined the human condition well: Romans 7: 14-25 “We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
Too many Christians espouse a deeply ingrained code of written and unwritten expectations and rules that shame them and drain them of spiritual strength. The Christian Left focuses on a message to help people unmask the lies that keep them on a works/righteousness treadmill; a message to help people discover the liberation of the gospel, the grace in Jesus Christ, and the rest that comes from what Christ has done on the cross. Salvation is a free gift. It cannot be earned. But Grace isn’t cheap. After what Jesus has done for us, we offer our best to live up to what he asks from us (to follow his commandments).
Here’s what Jesus had to say regarding his commandments:
Matthew 22:34-40 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Many people accuse us of “Cherry-Picking” the Bible. We reject this silly sentiment. We think Jesus made things about as clear as they can get.
Another Christian Lefty, Marilyn Chandler McEntyre, Professor of English at Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California, put it this way in her article “A Voice from the Christian Left.”
“Many on the Christian Right are fond of posing the question WWJD?– What would Jesus do? I’d like to remind them whatJesus DID do: He cared for the poor. He did not condemn the woman caught in adultery. He prayed alone. He commanded us to love our enemies. He preached peace. He ate, drank, and lived with ‘tax collectors and sinners’ — the lowlifes and outcasts of his day, while reserving his condemnation for the religious leaders who, from a place of privilege, imposed their legalism and literalism on the people they were responsible for leading. He told his disciples not to oppose the healing work of those outside the ranks of his followers. And again and again he reminded us to care for the poor. (That moral issue gets more air time than any other in the gospels: 1 verse in 9.) If Christians concerned about how to respond to the grave global issues facing us all were to reread the Gospels for guidance, I think we’d find some pretty clear indications there about what Jesus would do … and what he wouldn’t. (One of the few bumper stickers I’ve been tempted to affix to my still undecorated car in recent months reads ‘Who would Jesus bomb?’)
Whatever Jesus would do, given what he did do, and has promised he will do, I don’t think it looks much like what the insulated, self-congratulatory Fox News fans on the ‘Christian Right’ are doing.” [End of Marilyn Chandler McEntyre Quote]
Based on the Word, The Christian Left believes it’s obvious that the primary message of Jesus was love — Love for God, and love for our fellow men and women.
Matthew 22:37-40 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. And a second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.
John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
Matthew 7:12 Whatever you want others to do for you, do so for them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward in heaven will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.
Mark 10:43-45 Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many.
John 13:14-15 If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.
Love God and love people.Forgive people over and over again, as you have been forgiven by God over and over again. Show mercy, as you have been shown mercy by God. Help the weak, the sick, the depressed, the poor, the jailed, the oppressed, the marginalized, the outcast — for one day you could be weak, sick, depressed, poor, jailed, oppressed, marginalized, outcast. It is also the only reasonable response to God’s overwhelming grace – sharing the same grace with the world.
The Christian Left rejects exclusivity. We believe that John the Baptist wasn’t kidding when he proclaimed the coming of Jesus saying, “and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” We firmly believe that all means ALL. The exclusionary gospel of the Christian Right is foreign to us. We do not recognize it. Jesus came to set the captives free and announce the arrival of the peaceable kingdom of God where ALL are welcomed. Like a member of The Christian Left (Shannon Maynard) has said, one of our favorite words in the Bible is “whosoever.”
The exclusionary tactics and demonization that is so frequently practiced by the Christian Right is not of the Jesus we follow. John the Baptist said, “every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” The tree that is the Christian Right all too frequently bears fruit of anger, hate and judgment. It produces some strange fruit. “The same strange fruit that white supremacists hung from the trees in the South. The same strange fruit that the Nazis baked in the ovens of Auschwitz. The same strange fruit that was diced and sliced with machetes in Rwanda. The same strange fruit that is left to rot to death in Africa because the cost of a cure may undercut someone’s bottom line. The same strange fruit that is pounded to death daily with rocks and bombs in the Middle East. The same strange fruit that are depressed to death because of homophobic bullying. Trees that bear these fruits, systems that bear these fruits are to be cut down and thrown into the fires – they are the chaff that God wills to burn in an “unquenchable fire,” where they will bear the fruit of domination no longer.” (from Rev. Mark Sandlin’s sermon, “All Means All.”)
Unfortunately in this country today, we have a sort of spiritual revival of the Pharisees –people who don’t want to practice love, grace, or compassion, but would rather try to bury people under legalistic demands that they themselves aren’t capable of keeping. Culturally crusading right-wing Christians have substituted the Gospel of Jesus Christ for a Gospel of Morality. They’ve made it more about following rules than loving God (having a relationship with Christ) and loving their fellow brothers and sisters. This is unacceptable. It’s exactly what Jesus spoke out against. People are stuck in the Gospel of Morality. They are drained by the shame it produces. Far too many are repulsed by this false religious system they can’t live up to. This insanity must stop. When we walk with Jesus, he refines us as he sees fit, by his Spirit. Proponents of the Gospel of Morality don’t get that on some level. Jesus didn’t say “Get refined then follow me.” He said “Follow Me … and get refined, the way only I can refine.” Isaiah 64:8; Jeremiah 18:2; Jeremiah 18:6; Romans 8:28; Matthew 4:19
Many folks stop by and tell us to keep up the great work in the name of Christian Charity. Charity is only part of the message. The danger here is allowing it to become about charity only, rather than social justice as well. Charity tries to fix up people so that the system will work better. Justice tries to fix up the system so that people will work better. We agree that a charitable attitude is important … but it does not address the root of the problem, a system that sets up obstacles and barriers that make it nearly impossible for people to break the cycle of poverty, or the cycle of victimization, or marginalization, or the cycle of …; Again, Jesus came to set the captives free. Colloquially charity clearly means to help someone with their immediate needs. Justice suggests that something deeper happens. Charity allows the cycle to repeat, justice readdresses that system that causes the cycle. Charity is as much about the giver as the one receiving. Justice is solely about the one receiving. Give a man a fish he eats for a day, teach a man to fish he eats for a lifetime. The System will never be perfect here on Earth, so Charity will always be required, but that’s no excuse to not advocate for The System to be just for all. When it is, the need for Charity decreases. The two are inextricably enmeshed.
So why are we here and why are we making these statements? Because there should be tension, risk and discomfort while doing ministry work, especially when we challenge deep-seated, right-wing, fundamentalist theology. It’s ugly, messy and dangerous. Oh, but worth every minute! If you are not attracting the same people that Jesus attracted, your message needs to be fixed. If the way you live the Good News (advocating Justice as restoration, universal inclusion, preaching a God of love and grace, feeding, quenching, clothing, healing, welcoming, visiting) does not place your life under a constant threat, you might want to question how fully you are living the Good News. It is time for The Christian Left to decry publicly the lies the right are telling about the Bible, and the fact that their interpretation of Scripture is slanted toward their fears and alleged concerns.
“A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for.” John A. Shedd, Salt from My Attic, 1928
“No rabbi [or other minister] can be called a real rabbi, if his congregation doesn’t want to run him out of town at least once in a while!” (attributed to Rabbi Hillel, 1st century BCE)
Our Mission Statement would be meaningless and incomplete if we didn’t point out Christ’s finished work on the cross. His birth, life, death and resurrection mean everything to us. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that WHOEVER believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Finally, The Christian Left doesn’t tend to march in lockstep. All of the above statements may not speak for all members of this group. The Christian Left is a spectrum, just as The Christian Right is one.
“It’s easier to bow down and shout constant hallelujahs than to get our own hands dirty by following him [Jesus] out into the world of brokenness and mess.” — Mark Townsend
“Sometimes I would like to ask God why He allows poverty, suffering, and injustice when He could do something about it. But I’m afraid He would ask me the same question.” – Anonymous
– The Christian Left
Bull has made me an admin and I have changed Bull’s role to that of Author – he can contribute here if he has a mind to, but as he has not in any way administered this site in the past 2 years and in fact in all the time he has been associated with this blog he has only posted 12 articles, I really don’t think he requires admin privileges.
I have in the past deleted my entire corpus of articles from this blog – which caused a great deal of angst among certain commentors. I want to assure you that this will never occur again.
No one will be banned from this site other than through majority commentor request.
I will be looking to change things up around here, but will try to ensure everyone is happy with any changes – for example I think we need a new header – I will create a number and ask for a vote on which to choose.
Over the next few weeks I thought we night try out a few diffrerent appearance settings for the site and see which one we like best.
In anycase, let the celebrations begin – The Administrator is dead; long live the Administrator!
Lately the term “Christian minority” has been floating out of the mouths of politicians and political pundits alike. The term refers to Christians who oppose homosexuality and who are subsequently labeled as bigots because of it. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) at a Tea Party conference last year noted, “The greatest minority under assault today are Christians.” Recently, CNN published an article, “When Christians Become the Hated Minority,” where writer John Blake quotes the identification by Peter Spriggs, spokesman for The Family Research Council, of a new victim: Christians who believe the Bible condemns homosexuality but are afraid to voice this belief for fear of public backlash.
Is there any truth to the “Christian minority” label? I argue that it is a myth.
The label “minority” is not used in numerical terms to refer to the amount of people who hold these beliefs but instead refer to the victimization and the condemnation of those voices that hold the belief that God condemns homosexuality. Members of the “Christian minority” reference this fact by noting that when NBA player Jason Collins recently announced he was gay, he was praised, but when ESPN reporter Chris Broussard announced his theological views about Jason’s “lifestyle,” Broussard’s perspective was largely publicly condemned. My issue with the implications of oppression associated with a “Christian minority” label is that the title carries a claim of persecution and victimization, which is not only exaggerated but also misleading.
Let’s face it: None of the members of the “Christian minority” are committing suicide for fear of being outed, bullied or rejected by society or their loved ones. They are not denied federal benefits granted to others. They do not have to make announcements (most often not once, but again and again) about their sexuality to family, friends or the general public. They are allowed to marry the person they love in the state they live in. If people see their relationships on TV, they do not describe their affection as disgusting. “Christian minorities” can walk down the street and embrace their partners without fear of being attacked. They can also sit on National TV and condemn others for what is done in the privacy of the bedroom with the belief that their own sexual lives are sanctified by God. Even while some “Christian minorities” admit of having unfounded fear they may lose their jobs over their unexpressed religious beliefs, in 29 states you can be fired for being gay. That is a reality and the law. This doesn’t sound like persecution of the “Christian minority” to me but more like beneficiaries of social privilege.
What makes the use of the term “Christian minority” so odd is the simultaneous presence of other religious groups whose faith traditions do not agree with homosexuality. However, these groups are not labeled as bigots. Why not? Well, it is all about how you say things and what you say. One of the reasons people are up in arms about the “Christian minority’s” claims is because of the arrogance and damnable public rhetoric it comes in. It is loud, bold, judgmental and peppered with a self-righteous fire and brimstone theme that can be easily recognized for what it is no matter how much it is followed by phrases such as “God loves the sinner, but hate the sin.”
Take for example again Chris Broussard’s view that homosexuals are not only in open rebellion to God but that one who proclaims to be homosexual is not a Christian. That is not only a pretty bold and untrue claim (one that a seminary course in biblical scholarship and sexuality, not to mention a man in the mirror moment of humility, would challenge him not to state so literally), but it places the “Christian minority” in the hallowed position of being one who with certainty knows what God likes, who is “God like,” and who is and is not on God’s team. If bigotry is intolerance, than this indeed is it. It is hatred wrapped in the name of God and expressed as religious belief.
Lastly, we must be careful with the term “Christian minority.” The term seems to imply that all Christians hold this view but are just afraid to say it for fear of persecution. But not all Christians believe that homosexuality is a sin. Not all Christians believe those who practice homosexuality are not really Christians. Instead, members of the “Christian minority” seem to hold conservative and/or certain fundamentalist or literal views that may be different from how other Christians interpret the Bible and God’s nature.
Remember, once again, that this term “minority” does not refer to the amount of people who hold such views but for the persecution they face for their views. I believe what is being called victimization of the “Christian minority” is really a challenge to their outspoken religious views. People are critically challenging the popular Christian faith as opposed to blindly accepting the words of pastors and popular culture figures such as sports writers as truth just because passages of the Bible support their claims. I think this is a good thing.
Nothing is more exciting in these times than the emergence of critical thinking, Socratic dialogue, and rational objections to traditional or popular theological and political rhetoric within the political process. Those of us who value these things have been in the proverbial closet for too long.
Fake healing is rife within Christianity around the world. A lot of it is centred around African Countries, with this story being a common example. Pastor Sign Fireman (I have no idea where these folk pick up their names – but by crikey they’re good for a laugh – probably a lot like westerners getting Chinese symbols tattood on themselves which they think mean something far different to their actual meaning…but I digress), is a pastor in Nigeria who last year posted a video on Youtube of a supposed healing miracle of a ‘Nollywood’ (the Nigerian versoin of Bollywood) actor Enebeli Enebuwa. However Enebeli very soon came out telling people not to believe the video, that it was a fake and that his health had in fact worsened after his visit to the church. Enebeli in fact died later that year.
Pastor Fireman (snigger snigger) came back with the old ‘Well he obviously hadn’t allowed himself to work into his healing’, supposedly there had been conditions placed upon the healing that Enebeli Enebuwa had not adhered to. One of the ‘conditions’ was that he stop being involved with the ‘white dress church’ the Catholic Church.From memory Jesus had lots of strings attached to the healings he delivered as well…hang on, NO he didn’t!
He didn’t even care if people believed in him as saviour or Lord, or Messiah – his only concern was for them and their condition and the fact that they had the faith to come to him in the first place – A Roman military leader (Pagan) a Psyrophonaecian Woman (Not Jewish and not a follower of Jesus her culture was one of worshiping idols) – Jesus seems to care only that people come to him…no conditions applied to their healing – just healed and that’s the end of it.
Calling fake on most so called ‘healings’ of this day and age is not a problem for me.
Fakery and Bullshittery is rife here in Australia as well. I am yet to see any evidence of verifiable healing of anyone – yetI have seen plenty of fakery. I was present when a group of pentecostal bible students prayed for a drug addict on the streets of Kings Cross, who had taken an overdose of heroin. The Ambulance arrived adn administered Narcane – and the young man revived. fast forward a few weeks to thier organisatons fundraising newsletter and all of the praise goes to the stidents adn their prayer which had ‘raised the drug addict from the dead’ – not a mention of the Narcane or ambulance – just prayer and raising from the dead . Bullshit. Fakery. Scammers.
THIS story tells of the hundereds of people paying hundreds of dollars to learn how to heal and raise the dead.
Hundreds of people across southeast Queensland flock to the courses every week, paying up to $720 to learn “faith healing” practices that allegedly trigger miraculous recoveries from broken bones, infertility and even cancer.
The Holyfire Ministry Training School at Park Ridge, which offers a subject called Healing the Sick & Raising the Dead, recommends taking children on “treasure hunts” public outings to practise healing on strangers. “Children are great to have on Treasure Hunts. They are less threatening,” its material states.
THIS is the treasure map and instructions.
We all know Bill Johnson is a liar and a faker – diamonds, angel feathers and gold dust apparently fall from the ceiling of his church quite regularly! But did you know he is also a scammer? He charges churches $7000 to use his ‘curriculum’…and that’s just the first year curriculum. The 2nd year is a similar amount! No wonder you have to pay huge amounts to attend the course to learn how to ‘raise’ the dead!The following is directly from the Bethel website:
The 1st Year BSSM DVD Curriculum focuses on developing a culture of revival and a lifestyle of the supernatural through teaching on our identity in Christ, how to walk in signs & wonders, and Bible study. There is also a strong emphasis on healing, developing a prophetic culture, and demonstrating the gospel with power. These foundational messages are a core component in the culture of revival at Bethel; they are combined with worship, activation (outreach), revival/small group discipleship, and mission trips to activate the students in the supernatural. Our goal is to see His Kingdom come, here on earth as in Heaven.
The 2nd Year BSSM DVD Curriculum focuses on taking the foundational first year elements to a new level with training in practical leadership principles, apostolic governmental structures, more in-depth Bible study and deeper activation of the gifts of the Spirit. There is also a strong emphasis on learning to lead people and to steward and pass on our spiritual inheritance to the next generation—for a revival that never ends! These core messages are combined with worship, activation (outreach), revival/small group discipleship, and mission trips to give the students practical experience in leadership and in living a supernatural lifestyle. Our goal is to establish God’s Kingdom in every realm of society.
Talk about selling the gospel! I’m cetain that this is what Jesus meant us to do…NOT. These excesses and huge prices for bullshit seem to be the domain of the so called Word of Faith and Pentecostal denominations.
In contrast lets look at what it takes to put on an Alpha course; 70 dollars for the manual and DVD’s. $8 for a prayer ministry training manual. $35 for an Alpha leaders training DVD. And this is a program that actually leads people into relatoinship with Christ – costs them nothing to participate in and they get fed for free as well. Where does it come from? A traditional church – an Anglican church – where of course the Spirit of God left a long time ago huh?
$7000 or $70? I know which I’d believe is from God and which is not…and it’s not the $7000 one!
The Herald Sun reports on a doctor, who, for personal and religious reasons, refused an abortion on the grounds of gender, has come under fire. He also faces possible punishment for not referring to a doctor who would perform the abortion, which would be no different for the conscientious doctor to performing the abortion himself.
A DOCTOR who says that he refused an abortion referral on gender grounds believes all abortion is “murder” and said he has not made any referrals for “quite some years”. Dr Mark Hobart said he was “dumbfounded” when a couple told him they wanted an abortion referral because they wanted a boy, not a girl, and says he broke the law by refusing to provide a referral. In Victoria, a doctor who is a “conscientious objector” to abortion is required to refer patients to another doctor who is not a conscientious objector. Dr Hobart said he would not know which doctors were objectors or not, but he refused to refer the couple directly to an abortion clinic, then learned later they had found one and had the abortion. According to a 2011 submission to a Victorian inquiry, Dr Hobart believes “anyone with full knowledge of their actions and with free will who assists in abortion is committing a mortal sin and the Catholic Church teaches this person will go to hell”. “I am unable to refer for an abortion, because reason and logic lead me to conclude it is murder,” he wrote. “To say it is not murder is against direct observation, reason and logic. “To say it is not murder is to deny reality. Hence, if I refer for an abortion I become an accomplice to murder.” Asked yesterday if he still stood by those views, Dr Hobart said that he did. “That’s basically how I feel,” he said. Dr Hobart is a former Democratic Labor Party candidate. “Pro-life” Victorian DLP senator John Madigan has drafted legislation to ban Medicare rebates for gender-selective abortions, although there is scant evidence they occur. Dr Hobart conceded the clinic that eventually carried out the abortion on the couple who wanted a boy may have been unaware of their original reasons for the abortion. Reproductive Choice Australia President Dr Leslie Cannold said Dr Hobart should have disclosed that he wouldn’t have referred the couple to an abortion clinic under any circumstances. “The doctor made it sound like he wouldn’t refer because of what he alleged were the couple’s reasons for the abortion but now we know he wouldn’t have referred no matter what,” she said.
There is more than one issue at stake here. First, the way in which a couple can consider the gender of a child to be so repulsive that they would abort, not on health grounds, but on selective grounds. Second the way in which doctors, who are, to the best of their ability, to save lives and preserve their patients, are being asked to make decisions, which have to impact on their own conscience over time, on whether a child in a womb should live or die.
UPDATE: this from a brilliant National Review article by Mark Steyn:
America is the abortion mill of the developed world. In Western Europe, the state is yet squeamish enough to insist that the act be confined to twelve weeks (France) or 13 (Italy), with mandatory counseling (Germany), or up to 18 if approved by a government “commission” (Norway). Granted, many of these “safeguards” are pro forma and honored in the breach, but that’s preferable to America where they’re honored in the breech and the distinction between abortion and infanticide depends on whether the “doctor” gets to the baby’s skull before it’s cleared the cervix.
It’s worth reading the full article, which covers the liberal West’s reluctance to face facts when they stare them in the eye.
By Michelle Starr | April 29, 2013 |
(Credit: Australian Cat Ladies)
An Australian Christian Lobby domain name has been snapped up and turned into a website for the Australian Cat Ladies.
If you’re going to have a web presence, sometimes, it pays to make sure any domain name associated with the name of your organisation is accounted for. The Australian Christian Lobby operates out of the acl.org.au domain name, after moving from australianchristianlobby.org.au. But the australianchristianlobby.org domain has been quietly occupied, seemingly kept in reserve — until a relaunch on Sunday.
Three Melbourne feminists — Hilary Bowman-Smart, Genevieve Stewart and Jessica Alice — snapped up the domain when it became available, turning it into a website for the group, called Australian Cat Ladies, stating that there has been a case of mistaken identity between the two groups. “Please note, it is very important that you do not confuse ‘Cat-Holics’ with ‘Catholics’,” the site reads.
Meanwhile, its values are quite different to those of its alter-ego, the Australian Christian Lobby.
We stand against sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, ableism, religious discrimination, fatphobia, whorephobia and all forms of injustice. We understand that cat ladies come in all shapes, sizes, genders, sexualities, backgrounds and ethnicities, and encourage ACL membership by anyone who identifies as a cat lady or a cat lady ally.
The organisation is pro-choice, pro-marriage equality, anti-poverty, pro-responsible cat ownership and, above all, pro-belly rubs.
So far, the Australian Christian Lobby has made no effort to buy back the domain name and refused to comment on the new website, according to the Herald Sun.