Reasons for pro-lifers to rejoice — and double-down — on abortion issues


(Lorie Shaull/Flickr & Anna Levinzon/Flickr)

 

 

 

 

 

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Read the transcript:

ROE V. WADE ANNIVERSARY — WHERE ARE WE NOW?

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, it’s been 45 years since the United States Supreme Court made its decision on Roe v. Wade. There have been literally millions of unborn children who have gone into eternity.

Harry, as we look back on this case and what has happened to the United States and what has happened to our culture and our morals; give us some reflection and, here, in 2018, are you optimistic, perhaps, the tide has turned on this issue?

DR. REEDER: Well, I am in one sense and I’m not on another. For instance, there was a recent survey that was just done and they acknowledged that at least two-thirds of the people in the United States believe that some form of restrictions ought to be placed upon abortion. I would say to all of my pro-life friends and fellow activists on this issue, there’s nothing wrong with finding common ground with people who are, basically, pro-abortion but believe in restrictions – just realize that, if you get a law passed based on a restriction but it is not fully honoring the sanctity of life from conception on, just realize that you haven’t won the final victory, but there’s nothing wrong in saving some lives in order to move to saving all of the lives and to, again, reaffirm the virtue of the sanctity of live, ultimately, in society.

I’m also positive, Tom, because the maturing response of this among believers, believers are learning how to enter into this issue in a winsome way, but a bold way, a courageous way and a pointedly effective way. And we have learned a maturing on this issue in dealing with it, the breadth of responses.

Whenever you have a heinous foundational sin that is attempted to be embraced by a culture as a way of life so that the unthinkable is thinkable, that is, the destruction of the most innocent and defenseless of all, and that is those in the womb, who ought to be in the safest place of all but now has become a place in which a full-out assault upon them has been made to the point that it is estimated that well over 20 percent of those babies conceived are aborted today.

By the way, the cultural elite pinpoint the African-American community in the promotion of abortion, consistent with its roots in the eugenics movement of Margaret Sanger, the patron saint of Planned Parenthood. When this is embraced, there are multiple consequences and, thankfully, the Christian community is seeing this.

PROGRESS IN CLINICS CLOSING

Tom, one time in the height of the pro-abortion movement, there were approximately 5,000 clinics promoting and doing abortion. We are now down to less than 2,000 – around 1,800 – and I praise the Lord for that. A number of states only have one or two of these clinics. Some states are now free from any abortuaries at all. The crisis pregnancy centers now number almost 3,000. The women pay nothing to participate in them and there is no taxpayer support of them. Pro-life people have provided twice as many women’s health centers available to women than the tax-supported, fee-based Planned Parenthood clinics that are only disguised abortuaries and, in some cases, body part-selling industries.

BE AWARE OF WHAT PRO-LIFERS FACE IN CANADA

I am grateful for the progress that is there. I am grateful for the maturity of how believers are able to deal with this issue in the public square. Praise the Lord, at least we’re able to save these children, one by one, and we have made significant progress, but we need to be in a society that affirms the sanctity of life.

Our neighbor to the north, Canada, the prime minister is doing town hall meetings and this is what he says: “Oh, I will protect the right for you to believe in a pro-life position in your home and in your heart, but you are not allowed to bring to bear what you believe in the public square to try to affect public policy. I am going to protect the ‘right of women’ to abort their children. I am going to protect that by not allowing anyone who believes in a pro-life position to speak in public. You will be guilty of hate speech and you will be fined and it will be criminalized.” Now that’s our neighbor to the north.

PROGRESS IN JUDICIAL PROSPECTS

My last point of thankfulness, at least at this point, courageous and thoughtful and prayerful believers can now be engaged in the sanctity of life and there is some hope that the recent significant number of appointed Federal Courts of Appeals judges by the current administration and the Supreme Court may finally be tilted toward affirming the right to life in our society and the full embrace of our Declaration of Independence that declares the God-given inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

PROGRESS IN TRULY PRO-LIFE ADMINISTRATION

Tom, finally, while people know I have been and will continue to be appropriately critical of the current administration from a Christian world and life view, I cannot help but affirm the reality that this president has done more in one year for the pro-life movement than “pro-life” presidents did in eight years of office.

He has removed the mandated abortion support in Obamacare. He has removed the threat of financial penalties upon states who defund Planned Parenthood and has given permission to states to defund Planned Parenthood. He has affirmed justices and appointed justices that are originalists in the interpretation of the Constitution and, therefore, affirming life. He has authorized the investigation of the Justice Department of Planned Parenthood and, in that investigation, he has, particularly, affirmed the search for the evidence of Planned Parenthood trafficking body parts through the abortion industry.

Finally, Tom – and this is no small matter – the vice president, Michael Pence, has arrived and has spoken at the pro-life rallies. Even pro-life presidents would not appear, nor members of their cabinet and vice-presidents, at these pro-life rallies, but Michael Pence does under the approval of President Trump so I’m grateful for all of that.

MORE EVANGELISM NEEDED TO CHANGE HEARTS

Those are the things that encourage me. What discourages me is the assault upon unborn life and what it does to the coarsening of the heart and soul of a nation. Tom, I have an offer to anyone who listens to this program.

The legal affirmation of the assault upon an unwanted category of human beings in this world, the state-affirmed legal assault upon a category of human beings for a genocidal destruction of their life – all of you who thought that was horrendous in Nazi Germany, please tell me what is different from what is done in this horrific assault upon 6 million Jews; please tell me what is different upon the same state-supported, culturally-affirmed assault upon the unwanted, deemed-undesirable category of human beings called unborn life – not 6 million, but over 60 million now.

As long as we as a nation countenance this, we are in desperate need of the delivering power of our God. If God came down to judge the slaying of one man and his innocent blood when Cain slew Abel and it said, “God came down because the blood cried up to heaven to be avenged with justice,” what does it look like for 60 million statements of destroyed life and their blood crying up to heaven from our nation?

I am pleading with God, do not bring judgment upon us. I am pleading with God, please bring a Gospel awakening so that, through evangelism and discipleship, we will again embrace life – life – to the glory of God, life made in the image of God.

COMING UP TOMORROW: BIBLICAL PASSAGES IN ACTION NOW

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, we are out of time for today. On Tuesday’s edition of Today in Perspective, I want to take you to two real-life stories that paint incredible pictures for Biblical truth: one dealing with “untold riches that are ours,” the other dealing with “be sure your sins will find you out.”

DR. REEDER: Yeah, that’ll be tomorrow. I’ll look forward to being with you, Tom.

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.

13 hours ago

A victory in court for school choice

The U.S. Supreme Court recently delivered a “big win” for school choice and religious freedom. School choice enables competition, which economists find generally improves the quality of goods and services. I believe that this result will apply to education, and specifically public schools.

Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue involved 2015 legislation allowing tax-deductible contributions for scholarships to private, non-profit schools. The Montana Supreme Court struck down the act in 2018 as an unconstitutional use of public funds for religious purposes, including any school or college controlled by a church. Montana’s constitutional provision is a “Blaine Amendment” dating to the 19th century to prohibit state aid to parochial schools; 37 states, including Alabama, have Blaine Amendments.

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The constitutional issues involved were the First Amendment’s separation of church and state and religious discrimination in government policy. Chief Justice John Roberts’ majority opinion found the Blaine Amendment discriminatory: “A State need not subsidize private education. But once a State decides to do so, it cannot disqualify some private schools solely because they are religious.”

The Montana Supreme Court struck down the entire school choice program based on the Blaine Amendment. Although Montana’s legislature could have enacted a scholarship program applying to only non-church private schools, this would have significantly restricted parents’ choice. According to the Institute for Justice, which litigated Espinoza, Blaine Amendments are often used to block school choice. Only a narrow interpretation of Alabama’s provision allowed the Alabama Accountability Act to withstand challenge.

Separation of church and state is wise constitutional doctrine. Still, I do not see the scholarships as violating separation of church and state. The public “dollars” involved are taxes foregone. Church-affiliated schools often operate at a loss, so tuition scholarships will not yield profits to support other activities and presumably provide enough education to qualify as schools.

George Mason law professor Ilya Somin offers an illustrative comparison. No one worries that tax exemptions for religious charities or police and fire protection for churches constitute state support for religion. Tax deductions for scholarships do not establish a state religion.

Church-affiliated schools provide a variety of education consistent with their doctrine and moral teachings. The goal of school reform should be, as economist John Merrifield emphasizes, a diverse menu of options to suit students’ varied learning styles and parents’ values. Church-affiliated schools accomplish this.

School choice policies will make Americans more equal. Affluent Americans, who can afford private school tuition, have long enjoyed school choice.

American higher education features school choice. Alabamians can attend any of the state’s 14 four-year universities or more than 30 two-year colleges at in-state tuition rates. These institutions offer diverse educational options. Two-year colleges offer vocational programs and inexpensive core classes. Four-year universities include one modeled after a liberal arts school, large and small campuses, and numerous online degrees. Federal student aid and loans help make private colleges affordable.

By contrast, K-12 public schools require students to attend their assigned school. After paying taxes to support government schools, many families cannot afford private school tuition. The economic case for public education stresses ensuring all students can afford schooling, which school choice accomplishes.

Choices unleash quality-enhancing competition. Some of America’s best public schools are in affluent suburbs where districts must compete for students because parents can afford private schools. It is tempting to attribute suburban districts’ quality spending, but statistics show otherwise. In 2018, Baltimore city schools spent $250 less per pupil than Montgomery County (Maryland) and $1,000 more than Fairfax County (Virginia) in suburban Washington, two of America’s most affluent counties.

In time school choice will force beneficial changes in public school curriculum. Currently, the curriculum is a political football which both parties seek to control. Teachers educate children in classrooms; politicians in Montgomery or Washington shape learning only through bureaucratic controls forcing a curriculum on local schools. School choice will empower parents to find schools that help their children learn. To successfully compete for students, control will need to be devolved to schools and teachers, which I see as a very good thing.

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.

14 hours ago

VIDEO: More municipalities opt for mandatory masks, schools head towards in-class instruction, Sessions/Tuberville race nears the end and more on Alabama Politics This Week …

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Alabama Democratic Executive Committee member Lisa Handback take you through this week’s biggest political stories, including:

— Will Governor Kay Ivey consider a statewide mask ordinance as more municipalities adopt ordinances and pressure continues to mount?

— Are parents going to feel safe sending their kids to school in the Fall?

— Who will win the Republican runoff between former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville?

Jackson and Handback are joined by former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to discuss the runoff election for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL).

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Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” at people who think the government can’t put in more restrictions when they have shown they can, and probably will, do more if the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t get under control.

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

16 hours ago

Alabama sisters continue their family’s farming legacy

Sisters Allie Corcoran and Cassie Young loved growing up on a farm in Eufaula, but once they left home and earned their degrees at Auburn University, they realized their hearts were still at the family farm.

“I always knew I wanted to come home and be part of the farm, but I didn’t know where I would fit in,” Young said. “The only things I have ever felt close to, or had a desire to be a part of, were farming and working with people. At Auburn, I considered a career in family and adolescent counseling, but I knew it would be difficult to find work in this field near home and I was unwilling to move.”

When the sisters were growing up, their family raised crops such as cotton, peanuts, soybeans, corn, grain sorghum and wheat, along with cattle. The family managed a peach orchard.

Their childhood experiences and love of farming pushed them to find their eventual calling, and they opened Backyard Orchards near Eufaula in 2010.

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“Our father had the idea to start a u-pick operation,” Young said. “We had an exciting concept for a new family venture and found the perfect location, so we decided to become entrepreneurs.”

Backyard Orchards gave the sisters the path they longed for in fitting into the family business. They offer u-pick and freshly packed produce.

Fruits currently ripe for picking are peaches and blueberries. There is a variety of fresh vegetables available, including potatoes, onions, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, field corn, sweet corn, peppers, peas and okra.

There is an onsite cafe that serves homemade pies, fudge and ice cream – the perfect end to a day on the farm. The barn, pavilion and grounds can be rented for weddings, birthday parties, corporate events and more.

Under COVID-19 safety measures, visitors are not required to have a reservation, but should follow these guidelines:

  • Stay with your group and remember to social distance while in the fields and store.
  • When the store is busy and social distance is challenged, send one group representative into the store to pay for and/or order food and ice cream.
  • There are sinks for handwashing located in the restrooms. Hand sanitizer is located throughout the store.
  • Pick up café orders from the window located outside on the front porch.

The orchards allowed the sisters to carry on the traditions from childhood that they always dreamed of passing on to their own children.

“Some of my fondest memories are the simplest ones involving our whole family: playing in the cottonseed and corn, jumping on hay bales and cotton modules, riding around with my dad to check on pivots or crops and playing in the irrigation with my sisters and cousins,” Young said. “Farming is a difficult life, but the family experiences have made it a wonderful life.”

Young and her husband have three children: Gardner, 10, Sterling, 7, and Cade, 4.

“Gardner has been picking squash with me since he was a baby,” Young said. “He now helps his dad pick and sell watermelons. Sterling wants to start helping me at the local farmers market. Cade is still too young to help on the farm, but he loves to eat the ice cream.”

Young sees them creating memories and experiences like she had with her sister as a child.

“I hope they all want to play a role in either the orchard or the family farm one day, but only if that is where their hearts lead them,” she said. “Right now, they are growing up the same way I did and enjoying the simple joys of childhood on the farm.”

The sisters continue looking for ways to enhance the orchards and develop the business. Plans are in place for planting blackberries, expanding the peach orchard and increasing the strawberries plants.

To learn more about Backyard Orchards and plan a family outing, visit the website or follow them on Facebook.

(Courtesy of Alabama News Center)

20 hours ago

Alabama native Rachel Baribeau is Changing the Narrative and expanding her own

Sportscasting is a tough business for anyone, but has been traditionally even more difficult for women. That’s why the change in direction for Rachel Baribeau won’t make sense … until you hear her explain it.

“I am always evolving – as a woman, as a queen, as a daughter and a friend and as a fiancee and a future wife – I am always trying to be better. I’m a lifelong learner.”

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Rachel Baribeau is Changing the Narrative in college sports and beyond from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

The Auburn graduate and former Pell City resident had a career many would consider perfect: covering SEC football and other sports, from the sidelines and from her college football talk show on Sirius/XM (where she was the network’s first female college sports host).

Baribeau was well-respected enough among her peers to be granted a Heisman Trophy ballot. But it was her work away from the microphone that made the most noise.

“The idea that there is royalty inside of all of us; that there is legacy and purpose and greatness.” Baribeau beams as she describes the impact of the conversations she had been having with college athletes.

Changing the Narrative” was Baribeau’s passion project – a movement that promotes positive mental health and inspiring people to build a positive legacy for others. She took her “Purpose – Passion – Platform” message on a nationwide tour of college football programs, filled with candid heart-to-heart conversations.

After spending four years on this consulting journey, Baribeau announced last October that she would be walking away from sports to concentrate on Changing the Narrative full time.

“I started with this desire and belief that athletes could trend for something other than bad news,” Baribeau said.

Now a nonprofit, Changing the Narrative has expanded further. Baribeau is now in demand in locker rooms, board rooms, law enforcement agencies and entire athletic conferences. “We already have the Big Ten on board; how great would it be to be in all of the Power Five conferences?”

Baribeau is scaling the program in several ways. First, the pandemic has forced a shift to more online training and modules. Second, the material is being tweaked to skew younger for high school audiences. Finally, Baribeau is training a network of other speakers including former athletes who can bring their own experiences of Changing the Narrative to even more audiences.

(Courtesy of Alabama News Center)

21 hours ago

Alabama entrepreneurs can apply now for Walmart’s Open Call for products

Walmart’s seventh annual Open Call is underway for entrepreneurs dreaming of landing U.S.-manufactured products on Walmart shelves by successfully pitching their wares to company officials during online meetings.

“Walmart’s Annual Open Call event gives us a unique occasion to identify new suppliers who can meet our customers’ needs with unique and innovative products manufactured or produced in the U.S.,” said Laura Phillips, Walmart senior vice president for Global Sourcing and U.S. Manufacturing.

“During this year of unprecedented challenges for U.S. businesses, Walmart remains committed to sourcing products made, grown or assembled in the U.S.,” Phillips said.

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In 2013, Walmart announced a 10-year commitment to help boost job creation and U.S. manufacturing through buying an additional $250 billion in products supporting American jobs. Walmart’s Open Call is one way the company continues to invest in the commitment.

“By Investing in products that support American jobs, we are able to bring new exciting products to our customers, support new jobs in our local communities and invest in small business across the country,” Phillips said.

The Open Call, scheduled for Oct. 1, kicks off Walmart’s celebration of U.S. Manufacturing Month and will include programming similar to previous years. In addition to one-on-one pitch meetings with Walmart buyers, participants will have an opportunity to hear directly from Walmart executives and learn from company leaders during small breakout sessions designed to inform, empower and encourage suppliers.

“For the first time, this year’s Open Call event will be virtual, enabling even broader participation from potential new suppliers,” Phillips said. “We know how important this opportunity is for many small businesses, especially this year, and we are looking forward to seeing the new product submissions and meeting potential new suppliers.”

This year’s Open Call attendees could secure deals ranging from a handful of stores in local markets to supplying hundreds, or even thousands, of stores, Sam’s Clubs and on Walmart.com.

Gwen Hurt, owner of Shoe Crazy wine, participated in Walmart’s 2018 Open Call, where a Walmart buyer decided to test her product in 66 stores.

“We were walking into an entirely new and welcoming world,” said Hurt. “Everyone was so professional and kind throughout the process.”

“We’ve been thrilled to work with Walmart and are excited about the continual growth of our product,” Hurt continued. “Thanks to this relationship, we’ve been able to expand our operations to 15 employees while reinvesting in our community through the purchase of a once-abandoned warehouse and additional resources.”

“It’s a dream come true for our family,” Hurt said. Walmart is expanding Shoe Crazy Wine to 118 stores across Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia.

The deadline to apply to participate in this year’s Open Call for U.S.-manufactured products is Aug. 10. The application and information about the event are at Walmart-jump.com.

Information about Walmart can be found by visiting corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at twitter.com/walmart.