On January 22, 2018, our country will commemorate 45 years since the infamous Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade, the landmark case which legalized abortion in the…
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On January 22, 2018, our country will commemorate 45 years since the infamous Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade, the landmark case which legalized abortion in the United States by overturning all state laws on the subject. Federalism wasn’t the only casualty. Since that decision, nearly 60 million children in the U.S. have been denied the right to take their first breath. This accounts for almost ten times the number of Jews killed during the Holocaust.
March for Life began in 1974, one year after the passage of Roe v. Wade, as a way for people to gather in the nation’s capital in support of the rights of pre-born children. This year, the March will take place on Friday, January 19 and will feature Speaker Paul Ryan, Pam Tebow, former NFL player Matt Birk, and others. With the theme, Love Saves Lives, the March will focus on love, the love that says “yes” to the lives of the pre-born. While the abortion industry unjustly separates the “inconvenient” from the “worthy,” love accepts each individual life as a unique creation with value, dignity and worth. This love ultimately acts as the force by which a culture of death transforms into a culture of life.
Some might argue that abortion is a personal choice that does not affect the broader culture. Yet a culture that accepts the arbitrary removal of innocent people from its community does not value human life at all. Taken to its logical end, the abortion rationale makes all lives of the weak the “personal choice” of the strong. This philosophically empty concept makes other types of violence seem “acceptable” to those who perpetrate it.
Consider the pervasive violence in our current culture. Just last month, four teens murdered a driver by throwing sandbags onto the interstate from an overpass. To them, murder was recreation. Last spring, a Cleveland man murdered an elderly man and posted it on Facebook? To him, murder was entertainment. Any rational person ought to ask, “What in the world is going on?”
Examining our deeply violent culture, can we not see that it could be related to the acceptance of violence against our own, innocent citizens, those only months away from being born? When we accept the indiscriminate violence of abortion, are we not also condoning the indiscriminate violence of these other situations?
While our country was founded on the premise that “all are created equal,” abortion says, “All are not created equal. Some are created more worthy, some less worthy.” How can we be the land of opportunity when we deny the basic opportunity of life to the youngest members of society? This right is denied without a conviction of crime, due process or trial, but simply because society calls it a “right” to rid itself of those whom they deem inconvenient or whom they determine cannot contribute.
Our Founders believed the essential truth that because we have inherent value and dignity, that we have the right to self-rule, to create a government where the power is in the people, not the elite. They believed that those in power only remain in power because of the “consent” of the people. If we believe in this American model of the “consent of the governed,” we must realize that we don’t have to consent to Planned Parenthood’s reign of power. The strong winning over the weak is the paradigm of dictatorships, not free nations. It is time to acknowledge the Planned Parenthood’s elitism which continues through their suppression of truth and exploitation of women for profit. To them, women’s “rights” are the rights of abortion clinics to keep profiting from exploitation, crisis and deception.
March for Life 2018 reminds us of the need to embrace all people as equally valuable. The anniversary of Roe v. Wade draws the connection between violence towards innocent pre-born children and the systemic violence in our culture. This week, as we remember the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr and the anniversary of Roe v Wade, may we remember the value of the human person and how upholding that value and dignity affects all other areas of culture, life and policy.
Image credit: prometeus/BigStock
Originally published on Patriot Post, January 18, 2018
The increasing secularization of American culture owes its origins, in large part, to the sterilization of religious speech, prayer and religious opinions in public schools. Due to legal intimidation, schools and students have been made to believe that their prayers or religious opinions are “unconstitutional.”
Yet such claims not only violate the Constitution, which ensures religious freedom, but it makes a mockery of the great pain and suffering by which our country came to be. The Pilgrims, at the peril of their own lives, came not in search of gold, but rather, in search of religious freedom.
This week, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and U.S. Congressman Mike Johnson (R-LA) made available a set of guidelines which answers 26 common questions about religious freedom in public schools. Some of the questions involve student-led prayer, religious jewelry, and the religious rights of teachers and administrators. The guidelines answer such questions as “Can students pray during lunch or recess?” “Can students wear religious clothing or jewelry?” and “Can public schools recognize Easter and Christmas?”
Clarifying some of the misunderstandings of religious expression rights, the guidelines show that students can pray during non-instructional time, such as before school or during lunch. Teachers can also pray during these non-instructional times and are free to discuss religion with students, outside of class, to the same extent that they would discuss any other concept, topic or idea. The key factor here is that the prayers and religious discussions take place during “non-instructional time.”
Additionally, students are permitted to wear religious clothing, jewelry and symbols (such as a rosary) because these items are considered an exercise of private (and protected) speech. The guidelines state: “Because schools are prohibited from discriminating against religious expression…a school may not regulate religious items or clothing any differently than it does other student clothing.”
Unfortunately, many public schools have stopped celebrating Christmas and Easter for fear of legal issues. However, the guidelines reveal that a public school can have Christmas and Easter music, art and dramatic performances if the intention is to teach students culture and history, rather than to single out, proselytize or promote a religion.
Other important facts mentioned in the guidelines include the following:
Congressman Johnson and Attorney General Landry plan to send these guidelines to all school superintendents in Louisiana, so that their public school leadership can understand the religious rights of both the students and administrators. Attorney General Landry states, “…many people have unfortunately been misled into believing schools must be religion-free zones. The truth is our First Amendment rights are not surrendered at the schoolhouse door.”
In fact, the first sentence of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution clearly states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” As Congressman Johnson states, “Religious liberty is the first freedom listed in the Bill of Rights and the next generation of Americans needs to be encouraged to preserve it.”
Louisiana’s set of guidelines will not only educate Louisiana schools about the religious rights of their students, but will hopefully serve as a model for other states desiring to understand the Constitutionally-protected religious rights of their students, teachers and administrators.
Image credit: Wave Break Media Ltd/BigStock
Originally published on Patriot Post, January 11, 2018.