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- Our nation's bedrock: The Ten Commandments
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Primary blog of Jessica Reynolds Shaver Renshaw
Humpback whales. They are among the largest and most magnificent creatures on Earth. But how did these warm blooded, air-breathing, fully aquatic mammals come into existence? Evolutionary scientists have long proposed a slow, gradual process driven by random mutations and natural selection. Yet, 21st century biology and genetics have clearly revealed that these naturalistic explanations are woefully inadequate. Instead, the most convincing evidence for their creation now points to intelligent design.
Jan. 4, 2022
(Sequel to DOBBS: The Elephant in the Courtroom, Headline Prayer, https://ifapray.org/blog Dec. 9, 2021)
I don’t agree that abortion decisions should be returned to the states.
Merely going back to the way things were before Roe, with each state sovereign over whether and at what point to restrict abortion, would just substitute many groups of human beings, albeit elected instead of appointed, making these decisions instead of one group of human beings.
Instead of fighting one battle it would mean having to fight 50 different battles.
We the People, not to mention philosophers, religious proponents, lawyers, doctors, mothers, have no right to guess about, legislate, or make these weighty life and death decisions. Governments at any level do not have that right. Individuals do not have that right.
Abortion is unconstitutional–because of what is being aborted.
It is not enough to overturn Roe. In Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the landmark civil rights case challenging the “separate but equal” decision in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), Chief Justice Earl Warren delivered the Court’s unanimous ruling. It did not directly overrule 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson but effectively nullified it.
In Brown, the justices recognized that the original ruling was egregiously wrong. They set aside stare decisis and declared segregation itself to be a violation of the 14th Amendment and therefore unconstitutional.
This is the goal we must pray toward—not just to overrule Roe, but render it and all subsequent rulings that have been based on it–null and void as a precedent. Overturn stare decisis. Have the Court declare stare decisis inapplicable and irrelevant.
Recognize the personhood of that which is in the womb, and grant unborn children all the rights and privileges to which the Constitution entitles them.
Can the “suggestion of personhood” be established? Science has established it. Technology has revealed and demonstrated it.
The Justices for Roe v. Wade did not have—and knew they did not have–sufficient scientific and medical technology to prove the personhood of what is in the womb.
And we have.
It’s a person.
On the basis of science, as demonstrated by modern technology, the justices ruling on Roe v. Wade—and on Planned Parenthood v. Casey did not yet have, we can declare that those rulings, and all cases whose rulings derive from them, can and should be overruled and nullified as unworthy of serving as precedents.
“Personhood” in our documents: Preamble to the Constitution
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. (Preamble to the Declaration of Independence)
The Preamble to our Constitution points out that the right to life is inalienable. It’s not earned, it is granted us by a higher power. It has not come from government or each other. So government rulings and our mother’s personal whims and inconvenience cannot take it away. It is a solemn right to be respected and the rights of liberty and the pursuit of happiness follow and are contingent on it.
By implication, the Constitution acknowledges personhood and the protection of the person in the womb. It applies to those who are “born” as persons. But if those who are born as persons were found to have had personhood at conception, it would apply to them, too.
The very first sentence of the Constitution declares that the document’s central purpose includes the aim to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”
As Glenn Beck notes, “Who are our posterity, if not our unborn children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren?” How will they inherit these blessings if they, our descendants, no longer exist or have any hope of existing?
The Parallel with Slavery: The Emancipation Proclamation
Our first Civil War was a battle to win freedom and dignity for a category of human beings in this country who had been treated as sub-human and expendable, as property owned by slave masters. In declaring slaves free, President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation acknowledged them as “persons” with intrinsic worth, nobody’s property.
The 48-year fight for the unborn is a parallel battle for a category of human beings in our country who have been treated as sub-human and expendable, as property owned by their mothers. This Second Civil War is a war for life. In declaring them “persons,” we acknowledge not only their right to life but their intrinsic worth.
From the magnificent text of the Emancipation Proclamation, January 1, 1863:
By the President of the United States of America: A Proclamation.
“…That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State…shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.” (Italics added)
President Reagan’s Proclamation of the Personhood of the Unborn Child
On January 14, 1988, President Ronald Reagan recognized the personhood of the unborn in another magnificent Proclamation of Personhood. It reads in part:
“…Our nation cannot continue down the path of abortion, so radically at odds with our history, our heritage, and our concepts of justice. This sacred legacy, and the well-being and the future of our country, demand that protection of the innocents must be guaranteed and that the personhood of the unborn be declared and defended throughout our land….
“NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim and declare the unalienable personhood of every American, from the moment of conception until natural death…”
The Precedent of Brown v. Board of Education, 1954
Roe v. Wade ruling gave us the key to its own reversal: the establishment of personhood: “The appellee and certain amici argue that the fetus is a ‘person’ within the language and meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment …. If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellee’s case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Fourteenth Amendment.” (Roe v. Wade, January 22,1973)
The Roe v. Wade verdict was vulnerable at its writing—and Justice Blackmun recognized this when he admitted that the suggestion of personhood might be able to be established in the future and bring about the ruling’s “collapse.”
Advances in medicine and science since both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, along with all those cases since then using those two as precedent, have conclusively established the personhood of the unborn child. We now know that what is in the womb is alive, human, a baby, “real,” and has intrinsic worth from a specific point–not an arbitrary point of viability but at the moment of conception.
Pregnancy is a continuum from fertilization. There are no other indications of viability, just landmarks. The baby entrusted to its “child palace” (as the womb or uterus is called in Chinese) for nurture and protection will need that nurture and protection throughout pregnancy and even beyond natural birth.
We now know the point (highlighted in Roe v Wade) at which the “separate and distinct” interests of a woman and the separate person in her womb become compelling—at conception. The health of the mother may become at risk at some point in pregnancy but at every point in pregnancy the life of a baby in the womb of an abortion-minded mother is at risk.
The abortion of “persons” in the womb is the taking of a human life and is egregiously evil, only justifiable when both the life of the mother and the baby conflict. A woman’s body, containing the body of a tiny separate person, does not by that fact have any right to her own liberty that supersedes the right to life of that separate little person.
It is time for the case for unlimited abortion to “collapse” and be nullified, for Roe to go.
It is time to make abortion unthinkable.
3) VIDEO: Analysis of Ashli Babbit Video Suggests Coordinated Actions–Interview With Masako https://www.theepochtimes.com/video-analysis-of-ashli-babbit-video-suggests-coordinated-actions-interview-with-masako_3652783.html?utm_source=morningbriefnoe&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=mb-2021-01-12
4) Talk with former congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who was in the Capitol during the break-in Posted on January 13, 2021 by Jessica Renshaw This key first-person account of January 6, 2021 has been censored by social media.
January 6, 2021, was certainly one of the most bizarre days in history–and one of the most carefully, craftily orchestrated…
BIZARRE EVENT #1: That morning the nation’s headlines read variants of “PRO-TRUMP MOB STORMS CAPITOL.” An NPR Tweet read, “Trump Supporters Storm U.S. Capitol, Clash with Police Jan. 6, 2021, 9:33 AM ET.”
WAIT! Read that last sentence again: An NPR Tweet read, “Trump Supporters Storm U.S. Capitol, Clash with Police [dated] Jan. 6, 2021, 9:33 AM ET.”
Odd. How could any news source know at 9:33 that morning that the Capitol would be stormed by anyone, much less “pro-Trump mobs,” some 4 hours later? They knew because they had arranged for Antifa with “false flags” to storm the Capitol so they could call them “pro-Trump mobs.” They were anything but pro-Trump. Keep this in mind as you read on.(more)
Much more detail from The Epoch Times: Timeline of Events in DC on Jan. 6
NOTE by Jessica: I am highlighting here just one part of today’s Epoch Times article, “Police Conduct,” which deals with what I wrote yesterday in Chronology of the scam on January 6.
“Police Conduct” (pasted below) underscores the contrast between the massive deployment of Capitol police customary for all Joint Session events and the reprehensible deployment of “scant” numbers of officers for a JOINT SESSION OF CONGRESS EXPECTED TO BE ESPECIALLY CONTENTIOUS AND EXPLOSIVE.
THIS HAD TO BE INTENTIONAL ON THE PART OF THE RADICAL DEMOCRATS CONTROLLING THE JOINT SESSION:
—THEY KNOWINGLY AND DELIBERATELY PREVENTED SUFFICIENT POLICE AND NATIONAL GUARD PROTECTION OF THE CAPITOL AND THE PUBLIC SO THERE WOULD BE VIOLENCE WHICH THEY WOULD BLAME ON THE REPUBLICANS.
THIS ACTION WAS HEINOUS AND THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE INJURIES AND DEATHS WHICH RESULTED MUST BE LAID AT THEIR FEET... (more)
“Our country needs a Savior right now and our country has a Savior–and that’s not me, that’s somebody much higher up than me. much higher up!”
Former President Donald Trump on Sunday [Dec. 19] delivered a Christmas greeting to a Dallas church that was part-spiritual, part-political, telling members that “dark clouds” are “hanging over our country” but adding that Jesus is the “ultimate source of our strength and our hope.”
Trump spoke for roughly 10 minutes to members of First Baptist Church in Dallas following a sermon by Pastor Robert Jeffress, who endorsed Trump in 2016 and was an outspoken defender of the Trump administration.
The former president continually hinted at a potential run for president in 2024 – which, if successful, would make him only the second president to serve non-consecutive terms. (He would join Grover Cleveland, the nation’s 22nd and 24th president.)
“We will come back bigger and better and stronger than ever before,” he said. “I’m telling you that. We won’t let this happen. We won’t let it happen.”
Trump quoted Scripture and discussed the influence of Christianity on America.
“An angel of the Lord appeared to humble shepherds and proclaimed the reason for our Christmas joy. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ, the Lord,” he said.
“… Our country needs a savior right now, and our country has a Savior. And that’s not me – that’s somebody much higher up than me, much higher up. … The life and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ forever changed the world. It’s impossible to think of the life of our own country without the influence of His example, and of His teachings. Our miraculous founding, overcoming Civil War, abolishing slavery, defeating communism and fascism, reaching boundless heights of science and discovery. … The United States ultimately becoming a truly great nation, and we’re going to keep it that way. We’re going to keep it that way. We’re not going to let it go.
“… But none of this could have ever happened without Jesus Christ, and His followers and His church – none of it. And we have to remember that Jesus Christ is the ultimate source of our strength and of our hope.”
Trump read his prepared text but noted that he was going off-script, saying he wanted to “speak from the heart.” Presumably, his off-script comments included politics.
“We’re in trouble. I think our nation’s in great trouble,” he said at the beginning of his remarks. “I don’t think we’ve ever had a time like this with what happened in Afghanistan the way that was done so badly. And you look at the borders, and you look at the inflation, which is going to rip our country to pieces. We had no inflation, we had oil – much of it coming from Texas. We even filled up the strategic reserves. For decades and decades, they were empty and getting lower all the time. … But I will say that there’s a lot of clouds hanging over our country right now – very dark clouds.”
Trump also discussed crime, saying, “We have to give the police their authority back, and we have to give them their dignity back.”
“We have an incredible country. It will be more incredible in years to come,” he said. “We will do what has to be done to make America great again. We are going to make America great again. We are never going to forget that message. … It’s America first – and make America great again, and we will do it.”
Trump received a standing ovation before and after the speech.
Why the shepherds? Why did God pick them to be the first recipients of the good news, joyous news, which was ultimately intended for everybody?
I’ve heard some pastors say God chose to reveal the good news about the birth of a Savior first to shepherds because shepherds were “ordinary people.” They represented the poor, the insignificant, and discriminated against.
I very much doubt it. I doubt that the Almighty based His decision on something so politically correct. If He had, perhaps He should have chosen lepers.
But these men were not just a random, marginalized group who needed a “social gospel” savior to address economic disparity.
Those particular shepherds in those particular fields around Bethlehem were of all people on earth at that moment the most appropriate to receive the news first!
First of all, they were shepherds, a profession elevated by its connection to royalty. G-d Himself, a millennium earlier, had hand-picked from their midst a shepherd boy to be King of Israel.
He had chosen the youngest of Jesse’s sons, Number 8, the one who was not distinguished (yet) as a soldier—the runt? The one who just delivered pita-and-hummus sandwiches to the others as they hung around the front line discussing what to do about Goliath’s embarrassing taunts. He had Samuel anoint him and declare him King:
“I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king… You are to anoint for me the one I indicate…”
5 Then [Samuel] consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. 6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.”
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” 9 Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”
“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.”
Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”
12 So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” Bible: I Samuel 16, verses 5-12
God chose David not in spite of what he was but because of it. As a shepherd he had proved himself faithful: a good leader and a brave protector of his flock—so in time God would give him a bigger flock, the whole nation of Israel.
Secondly, they were shepherds in the fields surrounding King David’s birthplace, Bethlehem, for the most important sheep in the nation.
David was of the royal lineage of Judah. But the shepherds of Bethlehem had to be of the priestly line of Levi, because their work was sacred ministry.
Here where the shepherd/king David had been born, generations of hereditary shepherds tended the sacred lambs destined to give their lives for the sins of the nation in the Temple just 6 miles away.
Their profession was surely the most important and respected one in Bethlehem. The shepherd-priests of those lambs would have been held in high regard.
Thirdly, Bethlehem was not only King David’s birthplace and the location of the sacred flocks but would be the birthplace of his successor, a greater Shepherd—David’s Lord.
Even illiterate shepherds would have known of the prophecy concerning Bethlehem: “…for this is what has been written by the prophet…And you, Bethlehem, Land of Judah, are by no means least among the leaders of Judah; for out of you will come forth a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel “ (Matthew 2:5–6 NAS95).
David the Shepherd/King was their role model and hero and his birthplace was their home town. God promised to send to the same town an even greater Ruler who would shepherd the nation—forever:
2“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clansof Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.”
3Therefore Israel will be abandoned
until the time when she who is in labor bears a son,
and the rest of his brothers return
to join the Israelites.
4 He will stand and shepherd his flock
in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
will reach to the ends of the earth.
The Bible: Micah chapter 5
What would the shepherds of first century Israel have known about the successor to King David, that second, greater Shepherd?
On that night, when “an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them,” what kind of Ruler were they anticipating?
Of course they were expecting Him (as we are, coming for us in the clouds) but they had no idea when. It had been hundreds of years since the prophecy. When “suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests,’” –they were terrified before they adjusted to what the angel was saying next:
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”
Although stunned by the brilliance, the vision, the panorama and splendor of this visitation, they would have realized it was appropriate to have an angelic fanfare announcing the long-awaited event. Their response would not have been, “What’s happening?” but “Here? Him? Now? Wow!”
“’Today in the city of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.’”
They knew that this Shepherd would come to Bethlehem, the city of David, so the town would not have come as a surprise. They knew he would come as a newborn so “born this day” was not a surprise either.
But “Savior” and “Messiah” and “Lord”? In this one person would be combined scattered prophesies which magnified Who this Shepherd would be!
They might have been expecting another literal shepherd, like David. So the idea of looking for him around the lambing pens or caves would not have surprised them. But the surprise would be–
“This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (A sign, a huge clue, not just a fact.)
“A baby wrapped and lying in a manger!” These shepherds knew right where to go to find a newborn—Lamb!
The signs pointed the shepherds to Migdal Eder, the Tower of the Flock. The Tower of the Flock was on the outskirts of Bethlehem and overlooked the fields in which the Levitical shepherds kept their flocks for the Temple. When a sheep was about to give birth, it was taken to the tower. The newborn lambs were placed in a manger, a clean stone bed, to be examined for blemishes and infirmities.
The newborn Shepherd was being welcomed as they, shepherds, welcomed one of their lambs–wrapped snugly and placed in a stone feeding trough which alternated as an incubator for the tiny ones where they would be safe.
That would immediately have suggested to the shepherds the amazing possibility that this Shepherd Himself, this Savior and Anointed One, might also be a—THE–Lamb of sacrifice for the sins of the people. The final one.
Before a man named John confirmed this by his introduction of Jesus to Israel as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world,” (John 1:29) the shepherds would have figured it out.
In their minds would have been echoes of Abraham’s “God Himself will provide a lamb, my son.” (Or “God will provide Himself a lamb.”) Not just the ram God actually provided that day he stayed Abraham’s hand from sacrificing his son Isaac but a Lamb—His own Son.
They understood spotless, perfect lambs born in a birthing cave which was kept in a state of ritual purity. They understood the concept of an animal used as a substitutionary atonement to cover the sins of the people.
They would be able to conclude that this ultimate sacrificial Lamb would die not just to cover but take away sins—even theirs.
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. Luke 2
The shepherd-priests of Bethlehem were the natural ones to be given this news first. They would have been God’s first—only—draft pick for the “glad tidings of great joy which shall be to all people.” They were the ones who would best understand and put all the pieces together—that the Great Shepherd had come as the sinless Lamb to take away the sins of all people.
Of course the shepherds!
It was a tortured birth
the end of jolting travel and all unwelcome doors;
the prince of darkness fought with everything he had
to stop it, prematurely snuff the life
that guaranteed his doom.
Now, lying in the battle’s blood,
sweat-wet hair across her brow,
combat fatigue takes her down.
His mortal father, heavy with
responsibility, attempts to guard them both.
Small brilliance flashes from the manger,
a light which even now is blinding
confused shepherds trying to make sense
of glory-illumined flocks of angels. They will
be arriving soon to seek its source.
“The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.”
It glows and spreads until the Baby,
grown, declares himself at Hanukkah:
“I am the Light of the world!
He who follows Me
will not walk in darkness
but will have the Light of life.”
That first flickering hope
blessing a darkened stable
now reaches every one of us
with fulfilled promises of light enough
to see God visible in flesh.
Painting by Gari Melchers (1860-1932)
Isaiah 9:2, Matthew 4:16; John 8:12
I am delighted to let you know that Fellowship of the Performing Arts’ new movie, THE MOST RELUCTANT CONVERT, produced and played by Max McLean himself (as the adult C.S. Lewis) can be streamed online right now until January 2 at https://cslewismovie.com/ We saw and loved it in the theater recently.
Below are links to several events. Tomorrow (Dec. 17) Trinity Forum is interviewing Max McLean. He is the author of “The Most Reluctant Convert” and acted in the one man show of it, and portrayed C.S. Lewis the narrator in the movie version of it.
“The Most Reluctant Convert” is being streamed until January 2nd, and at the very bottom is a YouTube video on Lewis and Tolkien. If you’ve read “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” in the past, you’ll recognize the title of the Oxford Center event as a quote from that book.
Advent blessings and love,
Jessica and Jerry
Trinity Forum interview with Max McLean, December 17th
FPA Christmas event, December 19th-26th
Streaming “The Most Reluctant Convert” through January 2nd
Oxford Center–“Always Winter and Never Christmas” with Malcolm Guite