As we enter a new year, the outcome of the midterm elections still weighs heavily on my heart. To sum up my gravest concerns, our country is abandoning our most sacred values of life and liberty. Even in the wake of overturning Roe v. Wade, the cultural mandate to equate the slaughter of unborn babies with the inherent rights of women seems to be embraced now more than ever. It is appalling to think that our politicians on the Left are celebrating this so-called right that they now refer to as "women's healthcare."
This is a heart-rending thought. If we, as a country, falter on this most fundamental moral principle of valuing our God-given gift of life, we are opening Pandora's box that will lead to unspeakable atrocities and, I fear, our ultimate demise as a nation.
Make no mistake, at the heart of this moral freefall concerning the sanctity of life is a spiritual battle. It is mankind wanting their own way apart from God. That is exactly why the Left and the LGBTQ community are relentlessly attacking the absolute truth found in Genesis 1:27:
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."
While I'm not a theologian, it doesn't take a seminary degree to see this. By proclaiming their right to destroy the unborn child, the Left and their companions denounce the very imprint of God upon His creation. It is the clay telling the potter that He doesn't exist, and once this happens, man can begin to recreate life in his own image. History has shown us where this will lead. Evil will become good, and good will be declared evil. Tragically, America is already running recklessly toward this end.
After the midterm elections last November, my colleague, and JDFI's senior vice president of public policy, Gary Bauer, reported on the issue of protecting the unborn.
Election Day was not a good day for America's innocent, defenseless preborn children. In California, Michigan, and Vermont, voters by wide margins voted to amend their state constitutions to "enshrine" a right to abortion.
The California vote was not that surprising. California's Governor Gavin Newsom is an aggressive advocate of abortion on demand and has urged women in other states to come to California if they want to abort their babies. He has even twisted the words of Jesus to suggest that California is actually loving their "neighbors" by becoming an abortion "sanctuary."1
The Michigan pro-abortion referendum passed 56% to 44%. In addition to providing abortions, the amendment to the state constitution appears to allow the sterilization of minor children in the name of "gender-affirming care." The drafters of the amendment used deception and word games to obscure how radical it really is.2
Kentucky and Montana, which are historically pro-life states, both failed at passing measures that would have provided greater protection for these precious little ones. Kentucky voted down a pro-life amendment to its state constitution. In Montana, a proposal was on the ballot that declared an infant born alive during an abortion to be a legal person and thus should be protected. Incredibly, this obvious truth was defeated by 52% to 48% after a massive propaganda campaign against it.3 4
These referenda are a disturbing sign that America's "culture of death" is still a powerful force, even though a right to abortion is no longer in the U.S. Constitution. The forces attacking the sanctity of life are well-funded, influential, and have many allies in government and the popular culture.
I pray that you are as distraught over this as I am. We now have government officials using the words of Christ to validate their heinous acts of murder and perversion. They are proclaiming evil as good and using the covering of religion and even Scripture to justify themselves.
The onslaught against God's truth doesn't end here. As I write this letter, the Senate and the House have both voted for the deceptively named "Respect for Marriage Act" that strikes down God's design for marriage. And like Governor Gavin Newsom, the outgoing Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, used her own form of spirituality in calling the law "beautiful legislation" that reflects the "divinity" in every human being. It does no such thing!
Her use of the religious term "divinity" should make every Christian and God-fearing person shudder. Not to be outdone in debauchery, President Biden hosted a celebration of same-sex marriage as he signed this law into effect. Among his guests were self-proclaimed drag queens. It was likely the most dishonorable sight ever to be seen on our esteemed White House lawn.
This new law now threatens the religious liberty of every American who believes marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Attorneys who litigate religious freedom cases have warned it will jeopardize the tax-exempt status of Bible-believing non-profits, and will pave the way for more lawsuits against Christian business owners who cannot, in good conscience, participate in same-sex "marriages."5
More than ten years ago, Shirley and I joined others to sign the Manhattan Declaration, a document that outlined our unwavering convictions that the fundamental rights concerning the sanctity of human life, marriage, and religious liberty come from God and not man. Given what we are witnessing today, I believe it is essential that I share with you an excerpt from it.
Because the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage as a union of husband and wife, and the freedom of conscience and religion are foundational principles of justice and the common good, we are compelled by our Christian faith to speak and act in their defense. In this declaration we affirm: 1) the profound, inherent, and equal dignity of every human being as a creature fashioned in the very image of God, possessing inherent rights of equal dignity and life; 2) marriage as a conjugal union of man and woman, ordained by God from the creation, and historically understood by believers and non-believers alike, to be the most basic institution in society and; 3) religious liberty, which is grounded in the character of God, the example of Christ, and the inherent freedom and dignity of human beings created in the divine image.
We are Christians who have joined together across historic lines of ecclesial differences to affirm our right—and, more importantly, to embrace our obligation—to speak and act in defense of these truths. We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence. It is our duty to proclaim the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in its fullness, both in season and out of season. May God help us not to fail in that duty.6
My heart is stirred even now as I read these words afresh. Our calling, as Christians, is to be a shining light in this world. This can only happen if we boldly step out of our churches and let the truth of the gospel shine in every area of life. This most certainly includes uplifting and protecting the sanctity of the unborn, biblical marriage, religious freedom, and the welfare of our children.
As we enter a new year, I pray you will join us at JDFI in renewing our resolve to uphold these God-given institutions and rights. Time is running out. If we fail to act now, our children and grandchildren will lose the precious freedoms that I believe made this country the most exceptional nation ever.
It begins, as always, on our knees. Yet, it must not end there. Together, let us rise up and engage our families, culture, and communities with the fullness of God's enduring truth and grace.
Godspeed in the new year.
1. Har, Janie (November 9, 2022) Californians vote to protect abortion in state constitution, AP News, Web.
2. O’Kane, Caitlin, (November 9, 2022) What is Prop 3? Voters in Michigan approve abortion rights amendment, CBS News, Web.
3. Kimball, Spencer (November 9, 2022) Kentucky rejects anti-abortion constitutional amendment in surprise victory for reproductive rights, CNBC, Web.
4. Hanson, Amy Beth (November 10, 2022) Montana voters reject ‘born alive’ abortion referendum, AP News, Web.
5. Baylor, Gregory S. (November 3, 2022 – Revised December 14, 2022) What You Should Know About the Respect for Marriage Act, Alliance Defending Freedom, Web.
6. Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience (Drafted October 20, 2009 – Released November 20, 2009), Web.
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