The World According to kcillini77

November 9, 2008

It’s time to stop shouting and start listening.

Filed under: Abortion,America,Christianity — kcillini77 @ 6:23 pm
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Based on some conversations I had with a couple people who read my last post, I thought it would be appropriate to make some clarification on my stance regarding voting for pro-life candidates.

My last post could very well be construed as saying that it was not worthwhile to vote for people with a pro-life stance and perhaps even as advocating the position of the pro-choice lobby.  That was not my intent at all.  And I’m not against overturning Roe.  I just think that we need to be working to get on base first before we start trying to hit the home run.  What I do think is that we need to hold pro-life candidates accountable for making small steps where they can to hold off the extremist views held by some of the pro-choice lobby.  The loophole surrounding the “health of the mother” in the third trimester needs to be beefed up.  We cannot have people like George Tiller in Kansas having people travel from out of state for third trimester abortions because he is willing to claim every woman that visits him is in grave danger of dying if their baby is not terminated.  So we should be pushing candidates to introduce legislation requiring some sort of ongoing accountability and scrutiny on those doctors performing third trimester abortions to make sure that it is only done when there is no other way to keep from the mother being harmed (which will make these abortions MUCH rarer).  Any legislation that has a chance of making abortion rarer should be examined and pursued if logical and enforceable, so long as it does not go to the other extreme (I wouldn’t support anything that involves punishing mothers who had an abortion.)

My main point regarding the focus of the pro-life lobby is that, while the overturning of Roe v. Wade may be attainable in our lifetime, it should not be the goal we focus all of our efforts on.  If by some means that were to be achieved right now, it would be by the slimmest of margins in terms of public opinion.  Granted, right and wrong are not determined by opinion polls.  But we live in a democracy, not a theocracy or a dictatorship.  The only way we will truly as a country come together and end abortion is to come to a place where the vast majority of Americans agree on when life begins.  If we can agree on that, we will agree that abortion of a life is murder.  We won’t come to this place simply by forcing a law into place.

We have to get there by changing hearts and minds.  We won’t do that by shouting.  We have to stop demonizing those who hold a pro-choice position.  We seem to currently be at a place where we think we know what the other side is, we find it reprehensible, and we’ve stopped listening.

But there’s hope.  I encourage you to read this opinion piece that I read in the KC Star yesterday. The author holds a pro-choice view.  Even after reading it, you may not quite understand how she can hold the position, but you will notice some concessions.  To quote from the article, “Medical advances continually push back the date of viability. I acknowledge that my position is difficult and dicey.”

Lots has been learned scientifically since Roe, and it leans very favorably toward the view that life begins at conception.  Even pro-choice advocates are starting to realize that.  If we do away with the “us vs. them” mentality and start listening, I believe we can start making headway to reduce the number of abortions in this country significantly. But the longer we stick to demonizing pro-choicers and going for the home run of overturning Roe v. Wade, we keep the conversation from occuring.  We need to listen.  We need to love.  We need to do our part in small ways and stop thinking that the answer is purely in getting a court decision reversed.

November 6, 2008

God is fiercely Pro-Choice and fiercely Pro-Life


Never fear.  There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it.  Without that self-choice there could be no Hell.  No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it.  Those who seek find.  Tho those who knock it is opened.  C.S. Lewis, “The Great Divorce

One of the principle tenets of our theology is free will.  God steadfastly refuses to use his omnipotence to make His creation follow him.  If there is no choice, there is no love.  Conversely, it also means that humans are capable of great evil and our history has borne that out.  But despite the atrocities committed over the centuries, God remains fiercely committed to allowing us to choose good or evil.  And because we ALL choose evil, he sent His Son to shed His blood and cover that sin for those of us that seek Him.

Knowing this nature of God, I think the doom and gloom I hear from many conservative Christians due to the election of a staunchly, even activist, “pro-choice” candidate is misplaced.  No, I’m not saying Barack=God.  Hear me out.

Life begins at conception.  Intentionally aborting after conception is killing a human.  It’s murder.  It’s a horrible choice to make and the numbers of abortions performed annually amount to genocide.  I know.  And I understand the one-issue voter who will only vote for candidates that support an overturning of Roe v. Wade are sincerely trying to save countless lives.  But before we proclaim a curse upon the land for voting in someone who has vowed to sign the Freedom of Choice Act and start devoting lots of time and energy to finding and grooming new, attractive, pro-life candidates, we should ask ourselves a huge question.  Are our political activities in response to the scourge of abortion what God wants from us, or is he calling for us to refocus our efforts?

Ever since I was a child the majority of campaigns I have seen coming out of churches in an effort to save lives lost to abortion have focused on either protest or election of certain candidates.  These efforts have been going on for many, many, years.  We have elected countless pro-life candidates.  Abortion continues at an alarming rate.  Most people who point this fact out are told something along the lines of, “Yes, but the key is that the President nominates Supreme Court justices.”  The hope is that there will some day be enough justices on the bench to hear a case and overturn Roe v. Wade, declaring abortion illegal.  That would be considered the ultimate victory to most pro-lifers.    When the pro-choice lobby raises hypothetical scenarios about an overturning of Roe v. Wade involving back-alley abortions, millions of kids on welfare, suicides by potential mothers, etc. they are generally dismissed by pro-lifers as rhetoric.  But in the absence of changed hearts they are very real situations that will need to be dealt with in a post-Roe U.S.  Do we have a thought-out practical answer to how to deal with them?  And what will be the legal consequence of having an illegal abortion?  Rather than treating a scared teenage mom who made a bad decision with compassion and grace, will we throw her in the slammer to punish her further?

My wife volunteers time at a pregnancy center that I think models what our response to abortion should be.  It’s a place where women are educated about what is growing inside them and how valuable that baby is.  It’s a place where they are loved and encouraged to carry the baby to term.  They are mentored and supported on an individual basis according to their needs both before and after the birth of their child.  Low-income mothers are helped with obtaining the things they need to care for their child, or helped with the process of adoption should they choose that.  And women who have had abortions are greeted with open arms and grace.

What if all of the people who vote pro-life as a rule and mourn the deaths of innocent children volunteered for organizations such as this, started new ones, and made it such that there was one in every small town and dozens in every large community?  I think a massive movement of genuine care, love, grace, and monetary support for women and children would do FAR more to lead toward the eradication of abortion than an overturning of Roe vs. Wade.

Choice is not the enemy.  God allows us to choose all sorts of evil, even murder.  Without choice we cannot love.  So those of us who are pro-life should adamantly and proactively choose to love.  We don’t show our love by protests and voting.  We do it by, well, loving.

James 1:27 in action

Filed under: America,Christianity — kcillini77 @ 6:14 pm
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In the middle of all the politically based letters to the editor in today’s Kansas City Star, I also found this:

I’m an 81-year-old widow. On a recent Saturday I shopped at Target. At the checkout counter I reached into my purse to get my credit card. It was gone, and so was my checkbook. I told the cashier, “This is not going to ruin my day!” She put my three bags aside until I came back with the payment.

As I was getting into my car, a woman called to me: “Here are your groceries.” Assuming she had been behind me at the checkout and thought I had forgotten them, I said, “Thank you, but I have not paid for them.” She replied. “I did.”

I asked for her name, but she refused. I called after her, “God bless you,” and drove home with tears in my eyes.

That incident was a jolt. It happened for a reason. I’m waiting with trembles for God to point out what my payback opportunity will be.

P.S. I found my credit card and bank book where I left them.

Gayle Spellman

November 2, 2008

Jamey Johnson – In Color

Filed under: Music — kcillini77 @ 8:21 am
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For some reason, the artist requested embedding be disabled for this video, which is why it wasn’t working in my previous post.  So just follow this link to the youtube video.

I really like this song because of its reminder that our elders are people we should be listening to and learning from, because they have been through life “in color”.

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