Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

Striking the “S” Word: The Non-Problem of Bristol Palin

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

As the political drama of the 2008 presidential election unfolded, I was intrigued when McCain tapped Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate. As the endorsements from Christian leaders and groups started rolling in, the campaign hit its first speed bump — the revelation that Palin’s 17-year-old unmarried daughter Bristol was pregnant. As conservative leaders made their statements in solidarity with the Palin family, I sensed that something was missing but couldn’t identify the source of my concern. Meanwhile commentators rolled over the speed bump, talking about the non-problem of Bristol Palin as something common in the American experience.The fact that the McCain campaign treated this as a non-issue was not surprising. McCain advisor Steve Schmidt said, “Life happens.” McCain speechwriter Mark Salter commented, “An American family.” I didn’t expect the conservative pundits to even blink at the revelation.

I anticipated the outpouring of support from conservative Christian leaders who praised the decision of Miss Bristol Palin to not commit prenatal murder (a.k.a. abortion) and to marry the father of the child. Albert Mohler’s comments are illustrative:

“Now there is another gift — this time in the form of a pregnant daughter and a child conceived outside of marriage. The Palins spoke of their pride in the fact that their daughter would keep her baby and marry the father. Once again, the Palin family chooses life over death, birth over abortion, when aborting the baby would be justified by many and considered the easy way out of an embarrassing situation. Yes, that baby is a gift, as is every single living human being, born and unborn.

But the entire nation felt the awkwardness of the situation, and even part of the embarrassment. Yes, as Steve Schmidt said, ‘Life happens,’ but not always like this. And Mark Salter is certainly correct in describing the situation as ‘an American family.’ Still, this is not the script many families would choose — especially evangelical families who had been most encouraged by Gov. Palin’s choice as Sen. McCain’s running mate.

Will this damage the McCain-Palin ticket in November? Time will tell, but there is good reason to doubt that it will. Teenage pregnancy is hardly unknown these days, and the very public decision to keep the baby will encourage pro-lifers all the more. The press is likely to leave this issue alone, at least as much as possible.”

John Ensign, a Christian leader and U.S. Senator, stood up for Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her daughter in a brief interview Tuesday. “I’m a parent of a teenager and it’s one of our worst fears,” he said. “But you can do everything you can possibly do as parents and your kids are going to do things, just like we did, that our parents don’t approve of. They’re going to make mistakes. That doesn’t mean they did anything wrong as parents.”

Many of the usual suspects in the “Religious Right” treated the revelation of Bristol’s pregnancy with the rigor we’ve grown to expect in American politics. “I am disgusted by the outrageous attacks on Governor Sarah Palin and her daughter Bristol,” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser in a press release. “The Palin family courageously embraces their pro-life values, and extremist bloggers are excoriating them for it. I strongly condemn the baseless attacks on Sarah’s fitness to lead as a mother and Vice President.”

In a press release Reverend Rob Schenck of the conservative National Clergy Council noted that he met Sarah Palin when he was a VIP guest at her first appearance with John McCain in Dayton last week. Schenck said that Bristol’s pregnancy is “none of our business,” and commended Barack Obama for saying so. “This is a private family matter. The Palins, especially their teenage daughter, are entitled to privacy on this matter. Anyone who cares about young people will back off and give this young woman the space she needs. Anyone who exploits her for political or commercial gain is disgraceful.”

Friends and acquaintances have been probing me for my reaction to these events. My response was that I’m still researching the matter. I have dear friends who have gone through what Todd and Sarah Palin are facing. I kept the matter in prayer and asked that God would give the Palins wisdom.

After mulling over what I heard repeated in the Christian media I finally realized the cause of my unease; the three-letter “S” word — sin — had been completely absent in the discussion! The non-problem of Bristol Palin expressed itself in the conservative Christian media with a complete lack of discussion by Christian leaders and ministers of the problem of fornication in America and the Gospel remedy!

Fornication is the sin that fuels the abortion industry, so it is connected to the pro-life discussion. The Gospel of Jesus Christ stands alone in effectively and holistically healing the individual, familial, and cultural decay caused by fornication. But to date I have not heard one national Christian commentator bring up the subject. Not one politically active conservative Christian leader that I know of framed the non-problem from a Biblical worldview. No one interviewed by the mainstream media admitted that Bristol and Levi committed fornication and that God’s Word clearly condemns premarital sex. I haven’t heard one minister with an open mike on a nationwide talk show say that as loving Christian parents Todd and Sarah Palin’s primary responsibility in the matter is to help their daughter Bristol apply the Gospel – restore the relationship between Bristol and God through confession of the sin of fornication and repentance. It is my hope that this happens. It is my prayer that the Palin family receives wise Biblical counsel in the months ahead because the parents must redemptively help Bristol work through the consequences of her choices.

It is clear that conservative Christian leaders and organizations are publicly dealing with Bristol’s pregnancy from the American “conservative” political framework. Sadly, I am convinced that a redemptive discussion on fornication has been trumped by a desire to say nothing that would expose the McCain-Palin campaign to any criticism during the Republican National Convention. In the press releases and commentary I’ve seen, read, and heard from these leaders to date the message has been that the Palins’ pro-life decisions validate Sarah’s fitness as a vice presidential candidate. Whether the treatment of Bristol’s fornication is due to a prior loyalty to the GOP or agreement with Senator Obama, our Christian leaders have missed a rare opportunity to deal with the national sins of fornication and prenatal murder with a clear Gospel message. I’ve seen firsthand through volunteer work at crisis pregnancy centers and counseling in front of an abortion center that fornication and abortion are problems in this American culture and in the Christian community! Scoffers who mock Christian morality will hammer away at the hypocrisy of those Christian leaders’ unwillingness to deal with Bristol’s fornication. Alan Wolfe writing for The New Republic makes the following observation:

“Sarah Palin’s nomination is a public service. No longer will we hear lectures from the likes of Newt Gingrich telling poor women on welfare how to conduct their sex lives. Focus on the Family will have to focus on a different kind of family. William Bennett has no virtues left to write about. At long last our national nightmare over sexual hypocrisy has come to an end, and we can all thank John McCain for that.

And that is not all. In rushing to Sarah Palin’s defense, the leaders of the Christian right have made it abundantly clear how they define a Christian. We don’t care if you sin. We are not bothered if you put your ambition ahead of the needs of your children. If you have lied or broken the law, we will look the other way. It all comes down to your stand on guns and fetuses. Vote the right way, and you have our blessing. If any proof were needed that James Dobson is a political operative rather than a spiritual leader, his jumping on the Palin bandwagon offers it.”

Rev. Flip Benham rightly called offense-free, consensus-building, politically partisan, worldly-wise conservatism “pretend salt.” That Sarah Palin is supporting Senator McCain should give thinking Christians pause regarding Palin’s pro-life convictions. McCain has voted to confirm three pro-abortion U.S. Supreme Court justices (Breyer, Souter, and Ginsburg), is endorsed by Republicans for Choice, and has consistently voted for legislation funding surgical and chemical abortions, embryonic stem cell research, and licentious sex education that promotes fornication. Yet she will be promoting this man, his record, and his policy agenda. To date she has been very effective in using her influence to convince conservative Christian leaders and the grassroots pro-life activists to vote for McCain. And for that very reason Christian voters should turn off the TV, stop reading the McCain-Palin “rally the troops” emails, and open their Bibles. We need to search the Scriptures to glean the principles by which we are to choose civil rulers, then do our duty and leave the results to God.

Ricardo Davis is a grateful husband who has been blessed with his beautiful wife and three children age 17, 15 and 4. He lives in the Atlanta, Georgia area and is active in advancing the pro-life cause. He can be reached at

Copyright 2008 Ricardo Davis
All rights reserved

Sue Ella Deadwyler’s WMVV Radio Commentary, 1/19/07

Monday, January 22nd, 2007

Day five of the 40-day session begins Monday at 1:00. That gives legislators time to attend the pro-life march to observe the 44th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion on demand. Since that time, almost 50 million babies have been aborted and their expectant mothers were never fully informed of the baby’s development and possibility of living outside the womb.

But if the Woman’s Right-to-Know bill has been implemented as passed last year, they won’t be ignorant of the consequences and alternatives when they make that death or life decision about the little human they’re carrying inside. If H.B. 1 passes this session, abortion would be outlawed. Workers would be born. Inventors and artists and businessmen and professionals and mothers and fathers would be born and grow up to become citizens of a country that protects and values human life.

Representative Bobby Franklin has introduced a bill that, at best, has an up-hill battle for passage. He pre-filed H.B. 1 before the session and officially introduced it January 9. The Speaker assigned it to the House Judiciary Committee that handles civil matters. Non civil matters such as H.B. 1 are, usually, assigned to the Non-Civil Judiciary Committee.

The bill reminds us all that life begins at conception and the State has a duty to protect that life. It explains that abortion has a devastating effect on physical, psychological and emotional health. He quotes the Georgia Constitution that says, “Protection to person and property is the paramount duty of government and shall be impartial and complete. No person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws.” Since an unborn baby is a person, regardless of public opinion to the contrary, the constitution should be applied to protect its life.

Many people believe the baby is the only victim of abortion, but H.B. 1 lays that notion to rest. Women who’ve had abortions experience unique health problems that often continue throughout life. In a test group of women who had abortions, twenty-five percent went to psychiatrists, while only three percent of those that did not have an abortion sought psychiatric help. Nineteen percent of women who had abortions experience post-traumatic stress disorder and 60 percent of them reported suicidal tendencies. Twenty-eight percent of that group actually attempted suicide. Of them, half tried to kill themselves two or more times.

Abortion’s victims far exceed the almost 50 million that have died. Their surviving mothers find life very difficult, indeed. Some are so traumatized they will never get over the emotional stress and pain. But that won’t bring all those babies back to life. H.B. 1 is a good bill, but I’ve noticed many things in my years monitoring the legislature. For example: the definition of good had changed. We’re all watching as the Scripture is being fulfilled. It predicts that the time will come when they’ll call good evil and evil good. Thirty-four years of wide-spread legalized abortion is proof.

Unforgiving November (a poem)

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

Jordan Starling

In the bleakness of the month November
Each year it seems I must remember
Callous never seems to grow
Where the myopic cut was bore
And as the crimson leaves are falling
Deafening is the faithful calling
Never ceasing, never stalling
To relieve me of my dolor

And as each season turns
The fire within me burns
And the misery, it churns
A grinding beating on my soul
It’s no different in May
As I watch the toddlers play
So very innocent and gay
They seem, as they their mother’s hold

But each year in the Fall
It seems I do recall
More vividly, the gall
Of that fateful day of yore
The iridescent leaves
Mock the weary heart that grieves
And the body that vainly cleaves
To a hope for something more

Wracked with pain
Wracked with regret
The need for refuge
Remains unmet
Tomorrow will only beget
A fresh reminder of the stain
See, the blood is on my hands
See, the verdict against me stands
And no opinion or ruling of man
Can change the falling of the blame

And I’ve tried so hard to avoid
The fact that I so wickedly destroyed
A life, and that I also toyed
With the idea of playing God
How foolish it now seems
And my conscience within me deems
Me to be the villain of my dreams
The murderer banished to Nod

And each Fall it never fails
The spirit of defeat always prevails
And each anniversary of my mistake entails
Memories from that doctor’s table
The scalpel that he used
Was cold enough to bruise
My unfeeling heart, and now I can’t choose
To forget, even if I were able

All around me, I hear infants crying
It seems my will to live is dying
As all my efforts at trying
To move on rebound against my past
The memories I can’t get out of my head
The lies that everyone around me said
Still I know my child is dead
The die against me is cast

And I often wonder, when I hear a baby cry
That if my baby, who unmercifully had to die
In heaven, when I meet her, will recognize
The Mommy who took her life away
And will I, the wretch, also cry
In the presence of the Savior who came to die
And will I still wonder why
I did what I did and it happened that way?

The cross that hangs around my neck
Helps me so I won’t forget
Through the pain and through the regret
The grace that has now come
For the angels that welcomed my daughter
On that day of gruesome slaughter
Because of Christ, will not falter
To see me safely home

Copyright 2007 Jordan Starling, used with permission

S.D. Abortion Strategy Was Off Issue

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

How to focus the abortion debate
By Jim Rudd
The Covenant News ~ November 10, 2006

As long as the pro-life focus is on “abortion hurts women” pro-life activists will consistently lose the public debate to pass legislation to outlaw abortion.

To be successful, in the public eye, the debate must center on why the passage of such legislation is needed to outlaw a cruel and horrific crime. The strategy must highlight the criminality of killing babies by abortion with a primary focus on the carnality of abortion, which is the crime the legislation is attempting to outlaw — and why the good citizens want it outlawed in the first place.

The conclusive evidence of the murdered bodies of aborted babies is on our side. Which means, it establishes the need for such legislation beyond any reasonable doubt. This is why the 2006 South Dakota Abortion Referendum strategy failed. It failed to shut down further debate beyond the “conclusive evidence” because the focus was on “abortion hurts women” and not on the murdered bodies of aborted babies.

Furthermore, the “abortion hurts women” strategy does not pass the “conclusive evidence” test in the public eye. Sure, the pro-life side can produce post-aborted mothers giving testimony that abortion hurt them. But likewise also the pro-aborts can produce post-aborted mothers saying that abortion was the best thing that ever happened to them. So there will never be “conclusive evidence” on “abortion hurts women” that will shut down public debate. The debate will just go on and on.

When we force the abortion people to publicly argue against the butchered bodies of aborted babies we win that argument every time because they can not produce evidence to the contrary. They can not show the world a picture of a baby with his head cut off by abortion and convince the public it was a self-inflected wound or suicide. That would be stupid. They simply can not defend their actions.

The pro-aborts should be made so ashamed of their homicidal butchery that they refuse to show their faces in public, much less make comments to the press.

It is also unethical to NOT clearly articulate to the public the purpose of the legislation when attempting to pass such referendums. The end result of the legislation is to see this bloodshed outlawed, to have the baby murderers hunted down like the mad dogs they are, arrested, prosecuted and punished to the full extent of the law.

The South Dakota Abortion Referendum strategy failed because the people running the political campaign adopted a strategy that was off issue. For some unexpland reason they desided not to convince the public that abortion is murder.