Despite what Washington Post writer says, Down Syndrome children are only undesirable to selfish, arrogant people


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EDITORIAL SAYS ABORTING DOWN SYNDROME CHILDREN IS “FOR THEIR OWN GOOD”

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, just this past weekend, The Washington Post ran an editorial. It was written by abortion advocate, Ruth Marcus. She argues in this piece that women should have the right to abort a baby with Down Syndrome. “Those babies need to be eliminated because they are, through bad eugenics, undesirable humans from the gene pool. It’s for their own good,” she says.

Marcus is being heralded as brave and thought-provoking for her approach, which argues that both families and those with Down Syndrome would be better off if the condition was simply eradicated through selective termination.

DR. REEDER: Tom, this follows on some other programs that we’ve done where we’ve noticed that Denmark, and Iceland and other places are heralding the fact that they have eradicated Down Syndrome in their population. What they’re saying is, with the screening process in pregnancy, when they spot the possibly Down Syndrome child, now the social pressures and desires are, “Just go ahead and eradicate the child.” Just as this Ruth Marcus says, “The child is ‘undesirable.’” Undesirable because of its median cognitive ability.

DOWN SYNDROME CHILDREN ARE HAPPY PEOPLE DESPITE DELAYED COGNITION

I have to confess that I have asked the Lord continually in my life, “Please allow me to hate sin but never hate sinners; to go after the issues in public policy in a way that exalts what is right and good and beautiful and true, but to do so in as much of a loving way as possible.” At Briarwood, where I serve the Lord, I had the opportunities in the hallways in the lobby to speak to three Down Syndrome children.

One of them is a boy that comes up to me almost every Sunday and, yes, cognitively, there are some serious challenges, but when I talk to him about Jesus, he understands. It’s hard for me to tell you how loving this young boy is.

I’m just going to be blunt on this: they’re undesirable for only selfish, arrogant people. Is it a challenge? Yes. Would anyone choose to want the challenge? Not necessarily, but when it comes in the hands of a sovereign God, we find out that God is actually doing something in us greater than what He’s doing in that child.

I love to see the 26 high school kids who volunteer to be a buddy to one of them so these children can go to a Sunday School. And I watch what happens in those high school kids’ lives. I watch what happens in the lives of parents when they finally found out, “Oh, the church really does make room for us.” I watch what they do as they work through, “How am I going to take care of this child in their older age? How are we going to work out their situation and begin to solve those problems together as a family?”

WHO DECIDES WHAT HUMANS ARE DESIRABLE?

I am fully aware of the challenges. I am also fully aware of the unbelievable blessings that I have seen occasioned by the presence of these children and literally brought by the way they live their lives in the sweetness, the insights and the beauty that they bring. And this notion that, “We need to eradicate them; they are undesirable,” probably those that don’t desire them are much more undesirable to me than these children are.

These children are desirable. They are not something that should be cast off due to the imperfections in a fallen world that has shown up in their physical makeup. And it’s amazing now what has been done so that these Down Syndrome children can function but, beyond that, these are children made in the image of God.

I pity the nation that has killed them out of their demographic population. In fact, I would find such a nation undesirable to live in.

WRITER CLAIMS “BETTER OFF DEAD” DESPITE OVERWHELMING LIFE SATISFACTION?

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, Ruth Marcus goes on to say that these individuals with Down Syndrome, they would be better off — let me put it bluntly — she’s saying they would be better off dead. And yet a 2011 study found that 99% of people with Down Syndrome over the age of 12 said they were happy with their lives, 99% said they loved their families, 97% said they liked their brothers and sisters, 86% felt they could make friends easily.

DR. REEDER: Tom, go and take those percentages where they’ve talked to these Down Syndrome children — 95%, 97%, 99% love my siblings, love my parents, love my family — now go ask those same questions to the “desirable” family.

I would say to you someone that loves their siblings, loves their parents, loves being in the family, well, I would suggest to you that person is desirable, maybe more desirable than the mentality and the hardness of heart of those who would be in a family and want to kill such children.

By the way, I will give her credit for being honest — she has said, “We need to kill them. For their own sake, we need to kill them because they are not desirable and they don’t have lives worth living.” Well, I would suggest to you they have enormously blessed lives and they are an enormous blessing in the lives of others, but that’s not why I argue it.

DIGNITY IS GOD-GIVEN

I argue it because here is exactly where we’ve come to in a secular society in which the sovereign self decides what is right and what is wrong instead of a society that is “under God” and a sovereign God gives us His ethical absolutes which is “You shall not murder,” which is “Every man and woman, boy and girl are made in the image of God.” And no matter what they are facing — spiritually, socially, psychologically, physically, medically — they are made in the image of God and their dignity is intrinsic because of that.

Their dignity is not assigned by an editorial writer who determines who is desirable and who is not desirable based upon the metrics that she has embraced in the arrogance of the sovereign self. Folks, that’s what you’re facing. That’s why we do Today in Perspective. Are we going to have a world and life view that you read through the lenses of sovereign God with ethical absolutes that are consistent with the character of God and are consistent with the law of God or are we going to have a society of secular humanism where the sovereign self will make the determination what is desirable and what is not desirable?

She’s actually as honest as Margaret Sanger, who wanted to eradicate the population of the unwanted minorities. “We don’t need them. We don’t want them. They’re not desirable. And, by the way, we really don’t think their life is worth living so let’s remove them.”

“Yes,” she said, “You may think me selfish; you may think me evil,” — yes, ma’am, I do believe what you’re saying is selfish; I do believe what you’re saying is evil. I will take the rationality of a Down Syndrome child the way that person treats other people as opposed to the way you treat other people. Watch them run up and hug you. Watch as you would have them destroyed in the womb.

REST OF THE WORLD SEES RESULTS OF “ELIMINATING” LESS DESIRABLE

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, is it much of a leap: let’s get rid of people that we think are less desirable who perhaps don’t share the same convictions we have?

DR. REEDER: Before long, you’ve got the “choice” that you may eradicate the undesirable to the fascist mandate. For instance, China — China mandates the one-child policy. In China, guess what? Women are not as desirable, girls are not as desirable as boys.

Right now, Armenia, one study has said that we have lost 200 million more girls to abortion screening than boys that have been put to death because the boy was considered, in most of these cultures, more desirable. Now you’ve got cultures in which you’ve got all these guys but there’s nobody for them to married because the undesirable ones, the women, have been destroyed.

I’m sure that Ruth Marcus would not call women undesirable. You have exalted the sovereign self over life and you can take the life that you deem undesirable, then why can’t they do it?

But I would prefer a Biblical world and life view that says this: every life is desirable. These lives are made in the image of God. Now we need to bring the providential blessings of God into those lives and you will find out those lives will probably bring providential blessings to you.

THESE CHILDREN, LIKE ALL PEOPLE, ARE GIFTS FROM GOD

Those Down Syndrome kids, I’ll tell you what they are — they are a gift from God. I have seen the blessing in the lives of families when these children that they would not have chosen to be born in terms of how they would have designed their child, but when God’s design showed up and the sovereign hand of God, I have seen the blessing that these Down Syndrome children bring.

Grace is greater than sin and the grace of God can overcome even the challenging effects of sin in a broken world.

(Image: Public Domain Pictures)

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin. Jessica is editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News. Jessica has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and her work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

11 hours ago

VIDEO: Prisons could be built with COVID-19 funds, Shelby endorses Katie Britt for Senate, Brooks battles with Swalwell as a new poll shows big lead and more on Alabama Politics This Week …

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and political consultant Mecca Musick take you through Alabama’s biggest political stories, including:

— Will Alabama really use COVID-19 relief funds to build prisons?

— Does Katie Britt’s entering of the U.S. Senate race shake things up, or has U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) already won this race?

— Can U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) keep the more radical members of the Democratic Party at bay?

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Jackson and Musick are joined by former U.S. Attorney Jay Town to discuss the issues facing the state of Alabama this week.

Jackson closes the show with a “Parting Shot” directed at those who want to use the illegally acquired tax returns of the uber-wealthy to push for higher taxes. He argues the released returns show that we should implement a flat tax and do away with all deductions.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN and on Talk 99.5 from 10AM to noon.

15 hours ago

Auburn’s David Housel tackles more than sports in ‘From the Backbooth at Chappy’s’

When David Housel retired from Auburn University in 2006, after a legendary career as athletics director for the Tigers, it wasn’t long before his wife urged him to get busy again – and a deli on Glenn Avenue in Auburn was the beneficiary.

“Susan wanted me to do something to get out of the house,” Housel recalls. “I started going to Chappy’s to drink coffee, read the paper. Pretty soon, Kenny Howard would meet me there, and it just kind of grew from there.”

In short order, friends of Housel began to gather, first a few one day a week and then, just prior to the pandemic, 12-16 people nearly every day of the week.

They meet at Chappy’s, where a plaque commemorates Housel’s booth, and they talk – about sports, of course, but about pretty much anything that’s on their minds.

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Housel began to write essays about those mornings, posting them to Facebook. He’s now compiled more than 100 of those pieces into a new book, “From the Backbooth at Chappy’s: Stories of the South: Football, Politics, Religion, and More.” It’s officially released next week at a series of book signings at Chappy’s in the Auburn area from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. each day: Tuesday in Auburn, Wednesday in Montgomery and Thursday in Prattville.

“Consider this Housel unleashed,” the author says. “Most of the stuff I’ve written in my life has been about Auburn on an Auburn platform. Even after I retired, I was a representative of Auburn, even though I wasn’t working there. This is not an Auburn book. It’s about football, politics, religion and more.”

“From the Backbooth at Chappy’s,” with a foreword by Auburn graduate and acclaimed journalist Rheta Grimsley Johnson, evolved as Housel’s morning gatherings at Chappy’s evolved, though he began writing the essays fairly early in the process.

“When something is in your mind, in your heart, in your head, if you’re a writer, it just has to come out, and it just comes through your fingers,” Housel says. “Turns out people like to read it, so I got the Facebook page. I shared thoughts and essays and that kind of thing. It was not a planned thing.”

When COVID-19 came along, Housel decided to listen to a few folks who told him his musings would make a good book.

“I had been thinking a lot about it, and it was time to do it,” Housel says.

Housel has written six other books. Most have to do with Auburn sports history, but one, “From the Desk of David Housel,” is similar to “From the Backbooth at Chappy’s.”

“That one was primarily sports, but it had some other things in it,” Housel says. “This one is about the other stuff, but it has some sports in it.”

Though the three topics in his book’s title – football, politics and religion  – are often the subjects people are warned not to bring up if they want to keep the peace, Housel and his friends don’t shy away from any of them. Housel especially gravitates toward religious topics.

“I like the ones that I hope make people think,” he says of his essays. “The good Lord gave us a mind, and we’re supposed to use it. Too few people who call themselves Christians do what the Lord said and use their minds. … Faith has got to be built not on challenging God but questioning God. I think God likes that, because it shows we’re engaged and that we care.”

Now that the pandemic is ending, the Backbooth at Chappy’s events are slowly but surely returning to normal. On Mondays, Housel eats two eggs scrambled, lean bacon and a helium biscuit; on Tuesdays maybe a parfait with granola; on Wednesdays, it’s blueberry pancakes, and Fridays a waffle.

What remains constant is the conversation. And the writing.

“I’m still writing the Backbooth, and since the first of the year, I’ve written a couple I think are book-worthy,” Housel says. “I started out doing maybe one a week, but I’m old enough that I don’t have to meet a self-imposed deadline. When the spirit moves me, I write.”

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

16 hours ago

State Rep. Pringle pushes to ban critical race theory in public schools — ‘Woke culture indoctrination,’ ‘Needs to be stopped in its tracks’

Last week, Florida’s Board of Education banned so-called “critical race theory” from its public schools, and it is a move State Rep. Chris Pringle (R-Mobile) hopes to follow in Alabama.

Critical race theory, a belief that racism is ingrained in some of America’s sacred institutions, is widely panned by critics because it distorts and weaponizes history for political gain.

Friday, Pringle discussed his prefiled bill for the Alabama Legislature’s 2022 regular session to prohibit critical race theory from being taught in Alabama’s public schools.

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“It’s simply a bill that says in public education, you can’t teach or indoctrinate our children with critical race theory,” he said. “People are waking up all around the nation to how bad this stuff is. I mean, this is woke cancel culture gone completely amuck. They want to completely disregard our 14th and 15th Amendment rights, the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act. If you don’t agree with them — here’s what’s crazy: They want to send you to a reeducation camp. Think about that, a reeducation camp. Don’t they do that in China, Russia and North Korea?  That’s how bad this stuff is. Either you agree with them or you have to be sent off to a reeducation camp.”

“This is just indoctrination — the woke culture indoctrination of our children,” Pringle continued. “That’s all it is and it needs to be stopped in its tracks. I mean, our children need to learn history and we ought to open a frank discussion about history — the good, the bad. But this is not about good or bad. This is teaching our children that our nation is a bad nation, is an evil nation and is not the great country that we live in. We are the safest, freest people in the world and that’s what our children need to learn.”

“Do we have problems? Yeah,” he added. “Have we done bad things? Yeah. But we’re still the greatest nation in the history of the world.”

According to the Mobile County Republican lawmaker, the response to the effort thus far has been positive and supportive.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

19 hours ago

Why Sylacauga marble is known around the world

If you’ve ever visited the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. and stared up at the translucent marble ceiling, you’ve witnessed a piece of Alabama history. The ceiling is made of white marble mined in Talladega County’s Sylacauga (appropriately known as the Marble City).

In addition to lending its natural treasure to some of the nation’s most notable buildings, Sylacauga also holds the title for having the longest deposit of marble in the world. The bed of stone runs 32 miles long, a mile and a half wide, and more than 600 feet deep. The marble found in this quarry is especially desirable for two key characteristics: its purity and its durability. When paired together, these distinct qualities make Alabama marble some of the most desired in the world for large-scale buildings and monuments, as well as homes and sculptures.

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The History of Alabama Marble

sylacauga marble

The Sylacauga Quarry (Sylacauga Marble Festival/Facebook)

Marble is formed when limestone is subjected to extreme pressure and heat. In Sylacauga, the conditions are perfect for the formation of metamorphic marble. Sylacauga’s massive deposit was first discovered by Native Americans, but it wasn’t quarried until 1834, 20 years after army surgeon Dr. Edward Gantt stumbled upon the vein while passing through with General Andrew Jackson’s army.

In the years that followed Gantt’s discovery, Sylacauga’s marble business thrived. More quarries popped up, mining the marble for everything from funerary monuments to building projects to sculptures. By the 1960s, the use of the quarried marble shifted toward the utilitarian. Rather than being mined in huge chunks for building material, the marble was being ground down for use in products like cosmetics, diapers, magazine paper, fertilizer, fiberglass, toothpaste, and chewing gum. In 1969, marble was named Alabama’s state rock.

A Timeless Treasure

Sylacauga Quarry (Sylacauga Marble Festival/Facebook)

Today the charge for Alabama marble is being led by the Swindal family, who own Alabama Marble Mineral & Mining Co. (AM3). AM3’s 50-acre quarry in Sylacauga is the world’s only supplier and leading distributor of Alabama marble. Owner Roy Swindal’s goal is to reintroduce the world to Alabama marble, once again marketing it as a prized material for both commercial and consumer construction. According to the Alabama Department of Archives and History, around 30 million tons of marble have been pulled from the ground in Sylacauga since 1900. The Swindals hope to add to that number by continuing and improving upon the state’s tradition for many years to come.

Marble Mania

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Sculptor Enzo Torcoletti at the Sylacauga Marble Festival (Sylacauga Marble Festival/Facebook)

It’s only fitting that a town built on marble pay tribute to the stone that brought its success. For the past 13 years, the city has celebrated its marble mining heritage with the 12-day Magic of Marble Festival. The festival, typically held in April, features several activities and events that are all free and fun for the whole family. Festival participants can take a tour of operational quarries and visit the Gantts/IMERYS Observation Point that overlooks the town’s historic first quarry. The creative side of marble is put on display at Blue Bell Park, where 25 sculptors create original pieces made entirely of marble. On the final day of the festival, the finished pieces are displayed and sold at nearby B.B. Comer Library. Other activities include a 5K run and a scavenger hunt.

If you can’t wait for next year’s festival and you want to see Alabama’s famous white marble in action now, there are several locations around the state to see it put to good use. In Birmingham, try the John Hand Building, Wells Fargo headquarters, City Federal building, or the Chamber of Commerce. If you’re in Montgomery, don’t miss the “Head of Christ” sculpture at the Alabama Department of Archives and History. It was created by Italian sculptor Giuseppe Moretti, who also happens to be the artist behind Birmingham’s Vulcan.

(Courtesy of SoulGrown)

20 hours ago

The economics of paying ransom

The cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline by the hacker group DarkSide disrupted gasoline supplies across the Southeast. The company caused a stir by paying a 75 Bitcoin ransom to DarkSide. America historically has been opposed to paying evildoers, as reflected in the slogan, “Millions for defense, but not one cent in tribute,” and President Jefferson sending the Navy and Marines to fight the Barbary Pirates.

Ransomware raises many economic issues. A first question is, do hackers ever give the data back if paid? DarkSide provided Colonial Pipeline a key to decrypt their data. According to Proofpoint, this is the norm: 70% of ransom payers got their data back, 20% never got their data back and 10% received a second ransom demand.

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From an economic perspective, this is not surprising. About two dozen groups, identifying themselves by name and known to insurance companies, carry out most of the sophisticated attacks. Insurers would never recommend payment in the future to a group which has reneged. The hackers must deliver as promised to make money.

Some have suggested making payment of ransom for cyberattacks illegal. If no one ever paid ransom, the hackers could not make money. Refusing to pay ransom though faces two significant economic challenges.

The first is time consistency. Kidnapping illustrates this concept. Before an event, the incentive exists to say, “We will never pay ransom.” If the bad guys believe this, they will never invest the time, effort and expense to stage a kidnapping. Once they hold hostages, however, our incentive changes; negotiating just this one time now makes sense. Our policy to never pay ransom is not credible.

Collective action poses the second challenge. Businesses collectively have an interest in not rewarding cybercrime, yet individual businesses suffer these attacks. A business which does not pay ransom benefits other businesses, creating the challenge. Why should Continental Pipeline suffer losses to make other businesses less likely to be attacked?

Why do businesses pay ransom? Reports mention several factors. A business may face a closure of unknown length and cost. Customers’ personal information will be sold if ransom is not paid, leading to fines and bad publicity. And the hackers might sell proprietary information to competitors.

Good economists know better than to second guess business managers’ decisions. Decisions to pay ransom often involve the business’ executives, its insurance carrier and tech security experts. They know the options and likely costs and should make a good decision, despite the pressure of a crisis.

Insurance companies and government regulations reduce organizations’ vulnerability to hackers, which is good. But what about channeling President Jefferson and going after the hackers? Most of the hacker groups operate in Russia, which provides Safe Haven as long as the hackers do not target Russian companies. Some law enforcement options may exist. Federal prosecutors apparently recovered most of the Bitcoins paid to DarkSide.

Crime is a very costly way to transfer wealth. Stolen merchandise typically sells for one-third (or less) of market value. A criminal might have to steal thousands in property to net $1,000. Ransomware appears much more wasteful than traditional theft. Consider just the value of the time Americans spent searching for gas during the disruption. Remember then that the ransom was about $4.4 million.

Cybercrime makes us poorer. The hackers and defenders at tech security companies are highly skilled computer programmers. But instead of making new apps or games, they are hacking or defending existing computer systems. Add to this the service disruption during cyberattacks, the reduced use of technology for fear of being hacked and the time spent on security training. The costs may be $1 trillion annually, or one percent of global GDP.

We must guard here against comparing the real world to an imagined utopia. We cannot costlessly protect our property from thieves or our computers from malware, or make people no longer willing to steal from others. Economics teaches that there are no perfect solutions in life, only tradeoffs. Vigilance, antivirus programs and backup are the tradeoffs we face with cybercrime.

Daniel Sutter is the Charles G. Koch Professor of Economics with the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University and host of Econversations on TrojanVision. The opinions expressed in this column are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Troy University.