From Hangers to Dirty Surgical Equipment: Is Women’s Health Really the Priority for Abortion Providers?

Angela Chininin Buele

When someone argues that legal abortion is needed to save the lives of women who would otherwise self-abort using wire hangers, I wonder why we don’t just outlaw wire hangers.  I don’t know if anyone has ever posed this question, but I wonder if the idea would gain any serious consideration.  I mean, if the concern is real, then wouldn’t the price of an abortion today (hundreds to thousands of dollars) still lead poor women to self-abort using wire hangers?

Most people blame the illegality of abortion in this country before 1973 for that era’s wire hanger abortion maternal death toll.  As an example of what that number might be, the National Center for Health Statistics reported that 235 women died in 1965 due to abortions (self-induced and otherwise).  It is heartbreaking that so many women would believe they were in such a hopeless situation, whether they didn’t have support from their families and communities or were afraid to ask them for help, that they would be left in a panic that would lead them to risk their own lives instead of having their children to raise or give in adoption.

But, again, is this all a matter of law?  If a woman self-aborts because Planned Parenthood wants to charge her $800 she doesn’t have, who bears the blame if she dies?  What about the women who die within a few days after having an abortion not in the back alley but in the front office?  How often does that happen, and where does the outrage lie for those women’s deaths?

It has not been possible for me to find statistics that show how many deaths take place as a result of abortion in the United States.  The data just doesn’t seem to exist or to be reliable–deaths seem to be ascribed to consequences of abortion rather than to the abortion itself.  So I pursued another route.  As a result of a lawsuit, the St. Louis Fire Department released information showing that Planned Parenthood’s abortion facility in St. Louis, for instance, called an ambulance 23 times in a seven year period (2009-2016) for hemorrhaging patients.  I have no way to follow up on those 23 women to see how they are.  But the thought haunts me that, though you may tell me this is rare, this mattered to these 23 women.  What if the complications were bad enough to lead to death?  If not to one of these 23 women to someone elsewhere in our nation?  Wire hanger abortions are not the only abortions that risk and claim women’s lives.  They just seem to be the only abortion deaths that some abortion rights advocates want to talk about.

Abortion facilities, filled with people who claim to be focused on the care and protection of women, actively resist higher standards to bring their facilities into compliance with the same standards used to regulate other surgical facilities.  When these abortion facilities close instead of updating, some people become angry that the requirements were superfluous in application while exorbitant to implement.  This sort of response does not seem to demonstrate a safety first kind of attitude that prioritizes women’s health and safety above their profitability.

An even more basic practice that regularly jeopardizes the safety of patients is cross-contamination that occurs when hands and equipment are not properly cleaned and sterilized between uses.  Abortion providers throughout the country have been found in violation of health and sanitation codes.  Illinois’ abortion providers alone have quite a record of violations and locations that have not received inspections for well over a decade. Take a look for yourself:

Key Question:  Does removing abortion restrictions actually undermine the protection of women?

Unshakable Truth: “Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness, and his upper rooms by injustice, […] But you have eyes and heart only for your dishonest gain, for shedding innocent blood, and for practicing oppression and violence” (Jeremiah 22:13a, 17)

There is a lot of money to be made in abortion.  Ironic, isn’t it?  The reason many women say they can’t have a child is because of the financial cost.  While abortion providers claim they are doing a philanthropic work to aid the poor, they are profiting.  They wouldn’t be doing as well if fewer abortions were to take place.  And the more they have to spend to update their facility, the less gain they will receive.  If abortion providers are thinking about their own gains, how can they see women and children with mercy?

The Real Choice: If you are truly passionate about the safety and protection of women – today’s and tomorrow’s – are you on the side of mercy?  If not, Christ can show you how mercy is given.  Look to the cross.

Forced Abortion: What Comfort Can Abortion Advocates Offer Women Who Are Victims of Forced Abortion?

Angela Chininin Buele

It has been over 35 years since China introduced its one child policy.  Along the way, people around the world have chosen to view this as progress as they hailed reports of economic growth and decreased poverty.  In the 1980s, the UN even gave China’s Minister of Population Planning honors for “solving” China’s population crisis.  And just earlier this year, NPR published an article that largely criticized the one child policy, but then it concluded that the one child policy actually benefited the last generation of women by giving them more access to education since they were only children.

What they didn’t (or didn’t want to) see is the social castigation, coercion, and literal force used to implement this policy among families that wanted to have more than one child.  That is to say that both the Chinese government and international leaders at large were of a similar mindset–-just reduce the numbers; we don’t care what you have to do.  But men and women cared.  They wanted to have their children.

After tens of millions of forced sterilizations, a third of a billion – that’s 336,000,000 – children aborted, and untold millions of dollars of fines and other punishments enforced on parents who had children without permission, this has been a devastating generation for the Chinese people.

China’s men now have no wives.  Because so many parents wanted the cultural benefits of having their only child be a son, they were willing to kill their daughters in order to try again for a son.  This has happened as many as 100 million times since the one-child policy was introduced.

Parents who have lost their only child are lonely and vulnerable to destitution since nursing homes don’t want to admit elderly applicants who have no adult children to be responsible to pay for the services rendered.

It has been almost one year since the once child policy has been changed to a two child policy in China.  But no one knows when families who want more children will be able to trust that the threat of forced abortion is no longer looming from local authorities.

Where, I ask, has the voice of choice, Planned Parenthood been in all of this?  Where were the pink shirt protests in China?  According to a statement released in May of 2012, the PPFA (American branch of PP) opposes China’s family planning policies and practices.  In reality, however, Planned Parenthood is a proud member of IPPF, the very same organization that works alongside the Chinese government as they commit crimes against women and children.

The truth is that all abortion rights activists are in quite a difficult spot here.  If they decry forced abortions simply because the woman did not want to end her pregnancy, they have absolutely no way of comforting her.  Because they have fostered the rhetoric which claims that fetal tissue is not a person, all they can tell the victim of a forced abortion is that she can try to get pregnant again.  This is not compassion.  The woman mourns the loss of a beloved child, and she suffers heartbreak at the abortion that ended his or her life.  The love of a mother for her child is uncharted territory for those who call children unwanted tissue.

Key Question:  Do you find yourself in this impossible position – of being appalled by forced abortion but a proponent of voluntary abortion?

Unshakable Truth: “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him” (Psalm 103:13).

If you come from a background of seeing an unborn child without compassion, the only way to have compassion on those who are devastated by abortion is through the compassion that God grants when we acknowledge Him as King of compassion and loving authority over all.  He is the Creator of all living things, and that includes unborn babies and you, too.  There is no way to truly love people without first being loved by Him.

The Real Choice: Are you willing to receive genuine love from Christ Jesus and give that same love to women and children in all circumstances?

Feelings Before Fact: The Emotions Behind Choice

Angela Chininin Buele

No one can deny there are a variety of emotions that drive the words and actions of activists on both sides of the abortion struggle.  Feelings of determination, anger, disbelief, division, or sadness can be felt on both sides of the fence.

Pro-choice advocates connected with NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and Hillary Clinton, however, have honed in on one particular emotion to describe the decision to abort.  They say it is a “difficult” decision.  This wording can be found on documents at abortion clinics, in political speeches, and in personal testimonies.

Identifying abortion as a “difficult” decision is a way in which humanity is properly inserted into a debate that is often stripped of due sobriety.  For that, I am thankful. Women are human beings, and their fear of losing all they have is real.

We would be hard pressed to find someone who thinks it is difficult decision to seek treatment for cancer.  It is even more unlikely, perhaps, that someone would say it is difficult to seek treatment for a cavity.  These are diagnoses which, by their very nature, are unhealthy, painful, and physically damaging conditions.  Now, if gangrene were found on a woman’s leg and the doctors recommended amputation, that would be a different story.  In order to survive, the woman has to surrender a part of her body forever.  And quickly.  That is truly a difficult decision.  She will be the one to both benefit and suffer as a result of treatment, and this gives her the full right to take sole ownership of this matter.

Pregnancy, unlike cancer and cavities, is a natural, temporary condition that, under most circumstances and thanks to proper care and technology, is very rarely life threatening.  At this junction the most bizarre thing happens.

It is deeply saddening for a pro-life advocate to see the death toll increase each day that abortion is legal and accepted in the United States.  That shouldn’t surprise anyone reading this.  The rhetoric of abortion being a “difficult” decision surprises us as it betrays the natural response of a woman who is torn between the instinct to nurture her child and the pressure to meet expectations (whether imposed by herself or by others or by circumstances) that will lead to the end of her child’s life.

This is both good and bad news.  The good news is that signing someone’s death sentence should make a person feel terribly sad.  This is evidence of a soul which is not completely desensitized.  The bad news, however, is that women still choose to pay to have their children dismembered, knowing they already carry the guilt of this decision.  This is a problem of sacrifice.  Carrying and caring for a child, though in itself a gift, requires great sacrifice.  Abortion always makes the child the sacrifice.  This is a problem of misplaced worship, a religion problem whatever you may say you believe or don’t believe.  You know you will kill another person who is not even threatening you in order to attain relief or a reward for yourself.  It is a difficult decision after all, and we must have great compassion on anyone who identifies herself as a victim even as she initiates the murder of her own child.

Of course not everyone sees this decision as difficult.  Some people don’t even want women to practice free speech to say that having an abortion is a difficult decision.  The #ShoutYourAbortion movement from 2015 encouraged women to have a sort of coming out of the closet experience by making their abortion public.

One year prior to that campaign, an editorial piece in The Washington Post was written by a woman who directly commands women to stop calling abortion a difficult decision.  She warns her readers that, “To say that deciding to have an abortion is a “hard choice” implies a debate about whether the fetus should live, thereby endowing it with a status of being.”  As she continues, she lays it all on the line, even to the point of desperation.  She later states, “By implying that terminating a pregnancy is a moral issue, pro-choice advocates forfeit control of the discussion to anti-choice conservatives.”  I am not sure I have ever encountered a more clear example of both: a confession of unwanted truth and the calculation to cover it up.

Key Question: Does abortion being a “difficult” decision mean it’s wrong?

Unshakable Truth: “They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus” (Romans 2:15-16).

The Real Choice:  Whatever your emotions are regarding abortion, God is resolute.  Forgiveness is in Christ alone, and we all need it, whether we have had an abortion or not.  How about we #ShoutHisMercy?

Abortion is Legal – Why Can’t You Just Let It Go Already?

Angela Chininin Buele

Abortion is legal throughout the United States.  It’s true.  For now.

So, why don’t I accept that fact, agree to disagree, and move on?  Well, I just simply cannot and will not give up.  You see, I could say, “I was born this way” or “This is how I identify myself,” and while those words might gain me respect on other fronts, I don’t know if they would be well-received when combined with the message of Life (worshiping the Almighty and protecting the unborn works of His hand).  But trying to get you to agree with me is not the reason I won’t let it go.

There are days that I get so saddened – depressed, even – by imagining the pain caused in these clinics.  I think of the violent death faced by each unborn abortion victim, and the way in which women are hurried out the door to make room for the next.  This is a weight that each post-abortive mother carries for the rest of her life.  Alone.  It is all quite heavy.  But emotions are not the reason I won’t give up.

The real reason I am still praying for the Lord to end abortion is because it is slavery.  What do I mean?  Abortion is a tool used to lead women down a road that serves interests other than her own.  Women are encouraged to be sexually active early, often, and with a variety of partners.  Then, when one of these women is faced with an unexpected pregnancy, she might be told that the gift of motherhood is what is holding her back from a better life, that she won’t be supported by others, that she had better get rid of the child so she’s not left destitute or without an education or without a promotion.  If this woman goes to Planned Parenthood, she will pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to abort her child, after which they can sell her post-abortive counseling, birth control pills, and STD testing/treatment.  The more she needs, the more it will cost since Planned Parenthood charges for these services.  And the sooner she gets back to having sex, the more likely they are to keep making money off her.  When a woman’s crisis leads to one person’s death and a company’s profit, love and care are not part of the business model.

Crisis pregnancy centers, on the other hand offer counseling, education, and testing services for free.  Their bonuses are paid in hugs and stories of victory over fear.  Their joy is in seeing families (both biological and adoptive) bonded together instead of being torn apart.  Joy arises out of walking with someone through pain and confusion, actually being with them and ministering to them to look to true hope as encouragement and strength in a time of weakness where others will leave them to cry, to bleed alone.

What else do abortion and slavery have to do with each other?  Legality.  Slavery was legal and socially accepted for hundreds of years before abolition.  So if you tell me to accept abortion because it’s legal, I will tell you that the clock is ticking.  My hopes are not hung on the upcoming election or even on the Constitution of the United States of America.  My hopes are stored where the True Judge appointed Himself to the bench and His Word is never in need of amending.  Sometime between this day and That Day, the truth will be made known; not that the unborn are precious because pro-lifers say so, but that they are precious because their Maker has made them in His own image.

Key Question:  Will abortion ever end?

Unshakable Truth: And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold , the dwelling place of God is with man.  He will dwell with them, and hey will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.  He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for he former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:3b-4).

The Real Choice: You know how the story ends for those convicted of crimes against humanity.  The Judge of the Universe can offer you a pardon.  Will you plead with Him for mercy, or will you stand on the law that is here today but will one day be history?

The Unplanned Political Pregnancy – When Your Candidate Doesn’t Win

Angela Chininin Buele

When the votes are all counted and the concession has been made, the supporters of one candidate will breathe a sigh of relief, give a shout of victory, and start figuring out how to realize all of those campaign promises.

And what about the other side(s)?  Well, hopefully those candidates and their supporters will be grateful for the opportunity to take a vacation and catch up on sleep.

As for those of us in the middle of two awful choices, our response should be the same upon hearing of victory proclaimed in either camp – prayer.  We are called to pray for our leaders whether or not we voted for them.  We are called to respect them, whether or not they act respectably.  You see, unless another candidate is able to gain enough support to upset the current nominees, people dissatisfied with both candidates – people like me – will be facing an unplanned political pregnancy beginning on November 8th.  And abortion is not an option.

Just as with physical conception of a new life, God has made no mistake.  His purpose in each and every event is to open the eyes of more and more people to see their need for Him, not for any candidate or policy.  As we see Him work, we are to ask Him to complete His perfect work of revealing the wrongs and replacing them with repentance, bringing about restoration and real change.

Perseverance.  Perseverance will be required because there will be growing pains – probably more than a few.  But God is in control, and this is a wake-up call is a gift from Him.  How?  He is sustaining us this day as He shows us the decay of “the very best” rulers we could come up with.  If we cry out for mercy and submit ourselves to His loving Lordship, He will not leave us or forsake us – not in the darkest political hour, and not in an unexpected pregnancy.

Key Question: Are you willing to put your faith in God’s sovereignty over all circumstances?

Unshakable Truth:  First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.  This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time (1 Timothy 2:2).

God desires to save the lost.  Let us ask Him to use all of these unsavory political events to point more and more people to the one mediator between God and man – Jesus Christ.  The time is now for this desperately under-acknowledged testimony.

The Real Choice: When you cry out for salvation, will it be to your political candidate or to the King of Kings?

Partial-Birth Abortion – If You Can’t Stomach It, How Can You Support It?

Angela Chininin Buele

Partial-birth abortion has come into the realm of fact checkers after the third presidential debate.  In showing that D&X abortions are rare, NPR fact checkers pointed us to a 10-year-old article that shows a 2000 statistic from the Alan Guttmacher Institute that reports the number of these types of abortions to be 2,200 for that year, or “about 0.2 percent of the 1.3 million abortions believed to be performed that year.”  I have not been able to locate newer statistics.

But, I want to go down a different path.  It may be rocky, but come with me.

When does life begin?  When is a new human classified as such?

Don’t make the mistake of reading on until you have answered.  If you can’t give yourself an honest answer inside your own head, that should be quite concerning.  Thinking through this, and thinking for yourself are both very important.  I don’t want you to cheat yourself in this activity.

Did you answer?

Does life begin at conception?  That is when multiplication of cells begins, with body formation and organ functionality becoming established within a few weeks.  This makes sense and is quite consistently identified as scientific fact in human biology texts like the ones from which we were taught in school.

Does life begin when the ultrasound shows the profile of a little person or when the heartbeat can be heard on the Doppler?  Is seeing believing?  Is the tree that fell when no one was there to hear really not lying around, waiting for someone to trip over it?  More importantly, is that scientific fact?

Does life begin at the point of viability?  Because of current medical advancements, babies born around the 23rd week of gestation have a fighting chance of surviving–with lots of help from loving parents and a diligent NICU team.  Unfortunately, a fighting chance is not always enough as some babies live to adulthood after being born this early while others may die after being born at the same point (or later) in gestation.  New advancements in the future may move the point of viability to an even earlier point of gestation.  A moving standard is not a solid way to determine the beginning of life.  Plus, what does this say about that life up to that point?  That it carries less worth?

Does life begin at birth?  Delivery takes place, the baby is finally seen in all of his or her glorious and unique details, and the birth certificate is completed.  This is more a political and citizenship detail.  The only scientific difference is in methods of eating and breathing.  A brand new car does not become a car when a happy buyer drives it off the lot. Any mechanic, or any observer for that matter, would testify to the fact that it was indeed a car all along.

Does life begin whenever a woman wants it to?  It does not take a lot of observation to realize that the will of a person is not really the sovereign and determinant factor over the creation of a new life. Wishful thinking does not bring about new life.  Wishful thinking and regret do not end a life once it has started.  Many strategies can be used to attempt to avoid bringing about life from sexual union. Yet, regardless of the amount of control one may believe to have over the bringing forth of new life, we are reminded of our smallness. Plans fail.  Human-made devices are not foolproof.  And that is really why we find ourselves in this predicament.  Abortion is touted as necessary because of this. Because our will does not have ultimate power in the creation of life.  It can only bring forth destruction.


If you keep emotions and the talk of rights out of the conversation, are you really able to argue using science that life does not begin at conception?  I don’t think so. 

Perhaps the question we should ponder is: When should life be ended, if ever? 

Is it simply a matter of possession?  If you believe that a woman who has possession of her unborn child has the right to end that life without consequence, you would have to praise the current Filipino President.  He encourages the murder of thousands of suspected criminals apart from due-process.  Yes, vigilantes are killing thousands with impunity, and no one follows up to make sure that the motive was self-defense or that there was evidence the person was even a drug dealer.

Does this sound barbaric?  It is.  It is also the exact same barbarism that abortion is in this country.  The ideal standard of abortion-rights activists here is: for any reason, at any point of gestation, anywhere, and without apology.  (Yes, they do use the words safe and rare to cool off the rhetoric).  Yet since that is law, there are people seeking and performing abortions in the last trimester of pregnancy after the point of viability has been reached. 

These are observable facts–two cells unite and multiply, organs develop marvelously and at great speed, ultrasounds can be seen, heartbeats can be heard, premature children live and breathe, babies are born, a person’s will is not sovereign.  So, let’s go to justice.  We would all agree that justice would demand that a police officer must not kill a suspect if there is any other way to apprehend him/her without jeopardizing the life and safety of all persons in the vicinity.  In such a case, justice points us to protection for all people. Similarly, the unborn child ought to be protected at all times. If the mother’s physical life is in peril, the child’s will be, too.  Therefore, it is reasonable to deliver the child alive and allow him or her the opportunity to receive medical care and the opportunity to live.  Children should never be dismembered in the womb.  This is not justice.

It is easy to list those 2,200 children killed in the year 2000 as a 0.2 statistic to label a procedure as rare.  This is not justice.  Even if only one had died in this manner.  This is not justice.  The baby is pulled all the way out except for the head.  The abortionist then kills the child, puncturing the baby’s head.  The baby is removed.  This is not justice.

Key Question: Is it ever right to kill a child instead of delivering him or her?

Unshakable Truth:  For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them (Psalm 139:13-16).

The child who grows in the womb is a human being just as unique and precious as the person who is currently reading these words.  Maybe the baby is a girl, and the mother wants a boy.  Maybe the baby has a deformity and will have a short life expectancy.  Maybe the mother already has a few children and doesn’t believe she can raise another one.  Each and every one of these children has been formed by and is known by God.  And God himself is witness to their execution.  He remembers them and mourns them.  And He will call their murderers to account.

The Real Choice:  Will you stand up for viable children to be delivered alive, or will you sit quietly as they continue to be poisoned and butchered in the womb?

Words-Myth: Debunking the Blab

Angela Chininin Buele

When you dare to put something in writing, you are subject to a variety of consequences if your words come back to bite you.  You might face severe ridicule if you get your facts jumbled; or you could face legal action if you have committed libel against another person.

But sometimes, to my bewilderment, no one interjects to cry foul on some pretty clear cut matters.  This is what happens when we – yes, me, too – speak (or listen) to serve our own purposes instead of our Maker’s.

One of these reckless rhetoric lines is that someone is “unqualified to be President” because of his or her character flaws.  As agreeable as this standard would be, all it takes to be a qualified candidate is: being a natural born U.S. citizen, who is at least 35 years of age and who has resided a minimum of 14 years in the United States.  That’s it.  If you can get enough people to vote for you, intelligence, ethics, and manners are admirable qualities that are not constitutionally mandated.

Another, painfully common claim is that someone’s perspective or position on an issue (usually a hot topic) has “evolved.”  The term evolve has become a common replacement for both “develop” (slow transition in the same general direction) and “switch” (complete turn-around, often abrupt).  When used in the context of switching from the former standard of acceptable practice to the new wave of culture, this term can communicate compliance and spare the “evolved” party from social rejection.  However, hypocrisy is glaring when one says he/she has “evolved” on a certain issue but then accuses an adversary of having “flip-flopped” on something else.

Oddly enough, I recall having been quite sad upon hearing of the murder of Matthew Shepherd when many of my high school classmates were casually slinging around words like “f*g” and “q*eer” as the highest of insults.  Some of those old classmates, however, have testified today to their personal evolution and have been pardoned, records expunged and all.  This might flow seamlessly in many social circles, but is it really the best way forward to loosely hold to positions that bend in time with the whims of public opinion?

And then there is the statement that “the unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights.”  Reviewing the U.S. Constitution, The Bill of Rights, and The Declaration of Independence shows that the Ninth Amendment leaves room for understood and unspoken human rights.  The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees that no State shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny the equal protection of the law.  The judicial maneuvers led by Justice Blackmun to redefine the meaning of a person do not make the Roe decision any less wrong.  Period.

Key Question: Are we willing to hold high the standard of truth in our words and our deeds?

Unshakable Truth: “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.  As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry”  (2 Timothy 4:3-5).

The Real Choice: Do you want the truth?


The Talk: What I Would Ask Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton

Angela Chininin Buele

When a recent presidential debate took place in our metropolitan area, my husband and I actually thought that we might be able to acquire tickets to the event.  We soon discovered there were no such tickets available to locals like us who aren’t politically influential.  In fact, not even the establishment where the debate was being held was given the benefit of tickets to distribute to its employees.  Considering the desperate condition of our nation, I suppose that a town hall meeting not being authentically “locally grown” should not surprise me.

Since campaign stops are quite infrequent in my neck of the woods, and I was unable to find an option to ask the candidate a question on her campaign’s official website, I am resigned to ask the questions in this forum, hoping that someone like you might have the chance to meet Hillary Clinton on the trail and ask her one or more of these questions for me.

“When does a life begin?  Is that when Constitutional rights begin?  If not, why not?”

“Are pro-lifers part of your basket of deplorables?”

“Your campaign slogan is ‘Stronger Together.’  How would you represent the pro-life community and build togetherness?”

Key Question:  Should people be single-issue voters over abortion?

Unshakable Truth:  “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.  But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess.  I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them” (Deuteronomy 30:15-20).

The Real Choice:  Are you ready to reject death/curse/evil and choose life/blessing/good?

Adoption – Give Joy. Don’t Destroy It.

Angela Chininin Buele

What are some of the reasons behind a woman seeking an abortion?  Poverty, abusive or ended relationship with the father, potential or confirmed disability of the unborn child, wrong time in life/career to raise children, and concern for overpopulation of the world are some that I have heard over the years.

So, how do all of those potential reasons excuse aborting instead of giving the child up for adoption?  If a woman is poor, she might already receive public aid and could receive additional help from a family eager to adopt her child.  Private assistance is also available to the women in abusive relationships, pregnant with disabled children, and career or education-focused.  These babies are wanted, and resources are available to help care for them.  And if overpopulation is a reason to abort, we find ourselves in quite the contradiction as communities cry out for no-kill shelters for animals and on-demand abortion mills for humans.

Clearly, some of the situations referenced above can cause fear, sadness, and other strong emotional reactions.  But, just as someone who is contemplating suicide needs help re-gaining perspective on the situation, women in crisis pregnancies are desperate for someone to be with them, listening and offering lasting help and a happy ending.  One thing women in a state of panic should consider is that parenting a child is a one-of-a-kind adventure that allows you to grow and learn, love and have fun just as you see your child do the same.  Adoption, on the other hand, is the option that gives women the opportunity to give life twice – once to the child, and then to a family longing for a child.

Believe it or not, there are even more reasons that women and couples might seek an abortion.  Race, sex, cleft palate, and twins instead of singleton are some of the more chilling reasons I have heard.  It is unfathomable.  The technology designed to give parents a glimpse of their eagerly awaited child(ren) is now the very scope used to ascertain their unworthiness of life.  As more and more anomalies of human behavior are deemed acceptable outside of the womb, fewer and fewer “imperfections” are tolerated among the unborn.

I know what some of you are thinking: How can you dare to require a woman to carry a child she does not want for nine months in order to give him or her up for adoption?  After all, she might face health risks, she will likely be under more stress than usual, and she will likely be asked personal questions that may make her feel uncomfortable.  These may be true, but think about this: Imagine a woman was holding her infant in her arms when an active shooter appeared. Now, imagine that the woman throws her baby down so that she can run faster to get away from the shooter. She might live, but what does she live with, and who will stand in her defense?

Key Question:  Does the trend that leans away from adoption show women as givers or takers of the life entrusted to them?

Unshakable Truth: (Jesus)“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead.  Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side.  So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.   But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion.  He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.  And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’  Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fellt among the robbers?”  He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise” (Luke 10:30-37).

The Real Choice: Are you a merciful neighbor?

You Might Be More Like a Jehovah’s Witness That You Would Like to Admit

Victor Chininin Buele

It’s Saturday.  I’m up in my office reading through Galatians 1, agonizing to see if this is the right section of scripture to share with a dear friend today to encourage him, to point him to Jesus. I’m questioning for the fifth time the song choices for tomorrow’s service. Will these songs help the congregation acknowledge their need for God and allow them to freely show that they love Him?

It’s also the day when I have a higher probability of being interrupted by that typical knock at the door.  Knock, knock.  Who’s there?  Are you ready for Armageddon? Oh, my dear friends, come in, come in…  And I do let them in.  It is both a hoot and the saddest thing.  The Holy Spirit confirms that I love Jesus, and I do love Jehovah.  And I am supposed to be a witness of what God has done for my soul.  So, why not?

My purpose with this is to show you how might be more like a Jehovah’s Witness than you would like to admit.

Who Says?

You know it.  You hate that knock on the door.  You practice your best line.  You open the door naked (well, maybe not).  It can become quite the fun game, “How to get rid of the Jehovah’s Witness?”  A few years ago, a dear friend of ours in Loja answered the door.  She came in after quickly dismissing our visitors.  I asked, lifting my head from the production problem of the moment, “Who was it?” “Oh, some people talking about how to have a better family,” she said.  I answered, “Who says what?”  And two things simultaneously hit me:

  1. It’s the Jehovah’s Witnesses!  Open the door, I must go chase them and talk to them.
  2. This is the one issue that matters for the whole Jehovah’s Witness system of thought–“Who says what?”

Allow me to explain.  The Watchtower Society is the only way one can understand what the Bible says.  That key statement is the most important belief in their system of logic.  It really summarizes it all.  They believe that nobody can ever understand the Bible without somebody from the organization explaining it to them, or at the very least, without using one of the officially-sanctioned publications available to you as a gift from them right there on the spot or available online in more than N number of languages.

The Christian needs not to tangle in heavy theological arguments about whether birthdays can be celebrated, whether Jesus is God, whether the Trinity is an invention of men, whether blood transfusions are allowed, whether we should vote for president. It all breaks if this key principle is false.  The entire Watchtower “theology” hinges on the belief that you are incapable of finding out the truth of the Bible without help.

How, then, might I be more like the Jehovah’s Witnesses than I would like to admit?

This is not an article about the Jehovah’s Witnesses.  Books could be written about that.  The focus here is on ourselves.  How are you like the Jehovah’s Witnesses?  I want to leave you with these questions/points to consider:

Why do you actually believe what you believe? (Don’t say you don’t believe in anything, please, because you do.  You truly do.  Even if it is “I don’t believe in anything.”)  Do you believe because others tell you?  How do you go about confirming or denying what somebody tells you?  As Abraham Lincoln said, “Don’t believe everything you see on the Internet.”

Let’s take a perhaps controversial example–

Let’s say that you believe that the economy is recovering because of the numbers you hear on the media about unemployment and GDP growth.  How do you go about knowing if that’s true?  I remember that in my first economics class in graduate school, the professor kindly asked if we really understood what unemployment figures really mean.  Very few of the students knew what I had learned from my father’s books-that the number is based on the number of people actually actively engaged in the economy.  So, if you quit looking, you’re no longer counted.  That’s skewed.  (And so are all statistics to one degree or another).  Has the number improved?  Yes, but asking why is very important.

The other day I drove through Hazelwood, MO, home of the once vital St. Louis Mills Mall, an outlet mall.  The area surrounding the mall is dead, economically speaking.  Last week I was at the Chesterfield St. Louis Premium Outlet Malls.  I thought to myself, “Hey! That’s where everything went!”  So, aren’t we going to report that they numbers look great for the region because perhaps the gain in Chesterfield surpasses the loss in the other region? Does it matter what kinds of jobs are being added?  Do you actually call it a recovery if we see a larger percentage of retail jobs being added compared to high tech jobs?  How do you know if I’m messing with you, like I did with the Lincoln “quote” above?  How do you discern truth?

Because if you aren’t watching you may just be believing something because you heard your favorite talking head say it.  Or because you read it on the Internet.

And you are doing the same level of proselytizing that the Witnesses do:

– Fritanga is a great restaurant.  We were just there last night!
– My company is a great place to work.  You must join us.
– My children are great, like our picture on Facebook.
– Stay out of my body.  It’s my choice!
– Defend the sanctity of human life
– Keep your hands off my guns
– Protect the vulnerable children of schools from gun violence
– Don’t bully
– Friends don’t let friends vote for Trump
– Down with Crooked Hillary
– and on, and on and on…

We are evangelists by nature.  It matters what our message is.  It matters how we know it’s true because we will be passionate about telling others about it.  It’s in our design.