Abortion Industry Taxpayer Supported

Abortion Industry Taxpayer Supported - Planned Parenthood

One of the most challenging decisions for a woman to make is what to do with an unwanted pregnancy. The difficulty of this decision is evident from the “no show rate” for abortion appointments, which can be as high as 75%. Tragically, the abortion industry has become taxpayer-supported.

Planned Parenthood has released numbers in a report for the years 2017-2018. That organization operated 590 locations and performed 332,757 abortions. Their total income for the year was 1.67 billion dollars, of which $563.8 million was in tax money. Because it is a business, Planned Parenthood has to produce an increasing number of abortions or run out of money and have to close. Since 1995, 37% of Planned Parenthood locations have closed, and many of them closed for financial reasons.

By their own data, 96% of “pregnancy resolution services” are completed with abortions without regard for the mental and emotional issues of the women involved. They report only one adoption referral for every 117 abortions. Those numbers tell us that Planned Parenthood is not a service-oriented organization but an industry that must create a market to secure income. We have reported on data about abortion clinics selling baby parts as a source of income for this industry.

The abortion industry has been involved in lobbying politicians to approve their activities and fund them. We now have a president and vice president who approve of abortion and funding organizations like Planned Parenthood. Because of the sensitivity of this issue, it is difficult to get politicians to deal with the facts. The reality is that our political system is now endorsing infanticide. Attempts to defend abortion by claiming the fetus is an extension of the mother’s body do not have scientific support. Morning sickness is because the woman’s body recognizes that the baby is not a part of her body, and her immune system reacts to it. Genetically, the baby is 100% human when the sperm fertilizes the egg.

Educating the public about the facts of the abortion industry and providing alternatives to abortion remains the best that we can do. Our society has now endorsed infanticide, and involuntary euthanasia is the next step in getting rid of inconvenient humans. Scholars like Peter Singer, the Ira W, DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, call for euthanizing the physically disabled and mentally ill. The question is whether this is the kind of world we want to live in and leave to our children?

— John N. Clayton © 2021

For facts about the abortion industry we recommend: To the Heart of the Matter by Shawn Carney (Cappella Books ISBN 978-1-7327417-44)

Organized Religion in 21st Century America

Organized Religion in 21st Century America

In 1999, the Gallup Poll said that 70% of all Americans belonged to a church, synagogue, or mosque. In March of 2021, that number has dropped to 47%. That doesn’t mean 53% of all Americans are atheists, but it does indicate a failure of organized religion in 21st century America.

When you look at the climbing suicide rate, the increase in the use of drugs, including alcohol and marijuana, and the increasing violence in America, it is obvious that our secular culture is falling apart. Add to that the fact that the media, politicians, and academic communities have been caught in lie after lie, and the picture looks bleak.

The bright side is that people are becoming more open to change. This ministry has been in existence since 1968, with the message that science and faith are compatible and that massive evidence shows that God is real and the Bible is His word for humanity. Interest in that message has grown astronomically. Organized religion has maintained the status quo, and hypocrisy has been rampant in religious and political leaders. Meanwhile, young people have shown a growing desire to integrate belief in God with making human behavior changes.

Organized religion in 21st Century America shows the decline of mainline churches that focus on the political issues of the day. Basic Bible groups have experienced growth when they advocate breaking with tradition and listening only to what the Bible actually says. We encourage our readers to look at the evidence for God and the Bible. As young people act on the evidence, they will make positive changes in the direction of humanity.

— John N. Clayton © 2021

Did Jesus Use Hate Speech?

Did Jesus Use Hate Speech?

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a child of hell as you are” (Matthew 23:15). Did Jesus use hate speech when He spoke those words?

In today’s world, making any negative statement about the LGBT lifestyle might put you in jail or at least under threat of a lawsuit. Sweden passed a law in 2003 and Finland in 1995 demanding discipline for anyone who says anything negative about the lifestyles of others. J.K. Rowling, the popular author of Harry Potter fame, has been “canceled” in England because she stated that males cannot become females. The question is not whether she is right or wrong, but whether in society today it is permissible to say anything critical of anyone else. George Orwell wrote, “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

Those of us who are Christians and try to follow biblical teaching do not believe that anything in the scriptures qualifies as “hate speech.” What Jesus said in the passage above is not hate. We need to define what the phrase “hate speech” means. Webster simply says hate is “strong dislike.” We would add that the words “hate speech” describe what leads to physical action against a person. Most people would say it is okay to hate an idea. We can hate the idea of rape or prejudice without an individual being involved. When Jesus taught his followers to turn the other cheek and to love their enemies, He was certainly not advocating hate speech.

Did Jesus use hate speech in Matthew 23:15 when He expressed rejection of the Pharisaical system that injured other people as well as themselves? We have the moral teachings of the Bible because alternatives to those teachings hurt others and damage the people who promote those alternatives. No one following the teachings of Jesus would do any physical harm to anyone, no matter what their lifestyle. This is in stark contrast to the alternative teachings that would enact beatings, imprisonment, and even death.

In 1906, a British writer summarized Voltaire’s philosophy with the statement, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Others have repeated that phrase many times to describe the freedom of speech principle. Did Jesus use hate speech? No, and neither should His followers.

We live in a world where freedom of speech is becoming threatened, and those in power are trying to limit what someone can say. Ultimately Christians may be faced with the same situation that Peter and John faced in Acts 4:19. Their response to those who would shut down their freedom to speak was, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

— John N. Clayton © 2021

Fight For Clean Air

Fight For Clean Air

When I graduated from college, I was invited to a classmate’s wedding in Gary, Indiana. At the reception, I saw a silver serving dish enclosed in a plastic bag. To be helpful, I removed it from the bag when the serving line started. I was reprimanded for doing so because the silver dish began turning black in less than an hour. The problem was that a steel mill upwind from the house was putting hydrogen sulfide into the air. It was an early introduction to the fight for clean air.

With my background in chemistry, I knew that sulfur has economic value. I asked a local businessman why the factory had not installed a scrubber to remove and sell the valuable element. He told me that if the steel company was required to add the scrubber, it would move out of the area because of the cost. The company did nothing even when it was subjected to a daily fine. Local people tolerated the air pollution because of job security and the economic consequences of enforcing clean air requirements.

The April 2021 issue of National Geographic carries an article titled “The Fight for Clean Air.” The subtitle is “The Deadly Cost of Dirty Air.” It begins with these words:

Dirty air affects nearly all of the body’s essential systems. It may cause about 20% of all deaths from strokes and coronary disease, triggering heart attacks and arrhythmias, congestive heart failure and high blood pressure. It’s linked to lung, bladder, colon, kidney and stomach cancers and to childhood leukemia. It harms kids’ cognitive development and raises older people’s risk of contracting dementia or dying from Parkinson’s disease. It’s been linked to diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, decreased fertility, miscarriage, mood disorders, sleep apnea…”

That is only the beginning of the article. As you read through the list, ask yourself how many of these problems have affected you or those you love? How many people have blamed God for things that are on that list? The article documents the numbers and claims that air pollution causes seven million premature deaths a year.

Greed and selfishness lead to the construction of factories that put massive amounts of waste materials into the air while avoiding the investment needed to clean the air. People with money move away from the area with polluted air leaving the poor and disadvantaged to breathe the pollutants. This creates a separation between the rich and the poor, spilling over into the racial issues of our day.

The Bible teaches us to be concerned about the well-being of everyone. The pain and suffering that air pollution brings is not the “will of God.” It violates the principles taught by Jesus Christ. We support the fight for clean air on our planet.

— John N. Clayton © 2021

Falling Birthrates Worldwide Economic Impact

Falling Birthrates Worldwide Having Economic Impact

Falling birthrates worldwide are impacting the economy of virtually every country in the world. In the United States, Social Security and Medicare depend on having young workers paying in to cover the benefits received by retirees. In 1980, roughly five workers were providing the taxes to support each retired beneficiary. By 2019, that number had dropped to 2.8 workers per retiree.

Countries have responded by paying citizens to have more children. Hungary is spending 5% of GDP on free fertility treatments for women under 40. That country is also giving upfront loans to newlyweds that they can write off with each child born. It even offers a lifetime exclusion from income tax for mothers with three or more kids. Poland is giving $140 per child per month. Russia is providing parents with two or more children one-time payments of $8100. South Korea has spent 130 billion dollars on similar programs. In the U.S., we are now seeing payments to families based on the number of children they have. For years, Alaska has been sharing oil revenues with families based on the number of kids they have.

Children are a blessing from God, but we don’t want to see more people on the planet merely to solve economic issues. Even more important to those who deal with disturbed children is the fear that some families may not be prepared to care for more children properly. Ephesians 6:1-4 talks about fathers not exasperating their children but bringing them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. The qualifications for elders and deacons in 1 Timothy 3:1-12 and Titus 1:5-9 involve a functional nuclear family. Having a baby for economic gain does not fit well with those commands.

With falling birthrates worldwide, perhaps it is time for governments to find new and more creative ways to meet the economic issues. Handing money to people who are not equipped psychologically or spiritually for the challenges of raising a child is not a good answer to the problems.

— John N. Clayton © 2021

Reference: The Week magazine (March 26, 2021, page 11)

Alcohol-Free Beer, Wine, and Whiskey

Alcohol-Free Beer, Wine, and Whiskey

An alternative to alcohol consumption that many people are not aware of is alcohol-free beer, wine, and whiskey. This is not going to be acceptable for someone who is drinking for the drug effect of alcohol. However, for those who drink for social or taste reasons, alcohol-free drinks are becoming a big plus. According to market analysis groups, global consumption of no alcohol beverages is growing two to three times faster than alcohol consumption.

Alcohol-free bars have opened around the world. For example, in Austin, Texas, Sans Bar has live music and various alcohol-free drinks. The founder is a former addiction counselor who has been sober for 14 years. New and old businesses are manufacturing alcohol-free beverages. Anheuser-Busch has introduced an alcohol-free Budweiser Zero beer. Small companies like Spiritless and Ritual Zero Proof have opened and are producing no-alcohol whiskey, gin, and tequila.

Drinking may not be an issue for most Christians. But for people struggling with health issues due to alcohol, athletes, and pregnant women, the social pressure to drink may be counteracted by alcohol-free beer, wine, and whiskey. Christians should be reminded of Paul’s admonition in 1 Thessalonians 5:22 to “Abstain from all appearances of evil.” We hope that non-alcoholic drinks could be viewed as a tool to address problems, not as a social lubricant.

— John N. Clayton © 2021

Reference: Associated Press article by Dee-Ann Durbin

Priorities, Politics, and Family

Priorities, Politics, and Family

Jesus made it very clear that we must not integrate Christianity and secular government. “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21). That was not only about paying taxes but also a matter of priorities in the life of Christians. In Romans 13, Paul tells us to “submit to the governing authorities,” and he says, “there is no authority except from God.” He then says that government is a stabilizing force to protect those who do good and punish those who do wrong. Christ never advocated rebellion against the corrupt, abusive Roman government. The Bible guides us on priorities, politics, and family.

In addition to civil authority and the Church, God instituted the family. From Genesis through the New Testament letters, the family is the basic unit of society. The Week magazine (March 19, 2021) published an article titled “The Broken Families of QAnon.” It details families torn apart when family members become obsessed with political issues above family relationships. Regardless of your political views, for Christians, the family has to come first.

The New Testament and the teachings of Jesus Christ gave the family a new structure. When society considered women as men’s possessions and having status only when they bore children, Christianity taught that women were equal with men. Much of Paul’s teachings deal with family issues. Only Romans 13 teaches the Christian relationship to the civil law. That does not mean Christians cannot be involved in politics or serve in political ways, but that role must be less important than their responsibility to their mate, parents, and children.

In America today, the importance of family has been diluted by the moral collapse resulting from the rejection of God and the Bible. Couples “hooking up” and living together without getting married show a distorted concept of sex. Marriage has become a political tool to justify relationships that are different from the original creation of family in Genesis 2:24. As America continues to reject God and the Bible, we can expect to see more violence and further disintegration of the family.

Christians need to know why they believe what they believe and share those reasons with their families, neighbors, and communities. The real answer to the chaos, political violence, and abuse we see in today’s world is the teaching of Christ on priorities, politics, and family.

— John N. Clayton © 2021

Pope Francis on LGBTQ Issues

Pope Francis on LGBTQ Issues

On March 16, 2021, the media was full of articles about Pope Francis stating that “homosexual unions are not similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.” The Vatican said, “God can not bless sin” further confusing the media. In a 2019 interview for the documentary Francesco, Pope Francis made a public endorsement of same-sex civil unions and said, “Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God.” These statements have led to confusion concerning Pope Francis on LGBTQ issues.

We cannot speak for the Catholic Church or Pope Francis on LGBTQ issues, but we suggest that the problem is very complex and that the Vatican, as one priest at John Carroll University put it, “is trying to thread a needle” on this issue. The Pope stated, “What we have to have is a civil union law. That way, they are legally covered.” Later the Pope said they are legally covered but not church-sanctioned.

Several facts make this issue difficult. One is that most gays did not choose to have homosexual tendencies. Why they do is related to a great extent to the acts of others. The breakdown of the family, abuse, chemical difficulties, and peer pressure are just a few of the contributors to same-sex pressures. It is becoming more and more evident that multiple causes are leading to LGBTQ behavior.

Another problem is that for many LGBTQ participants, the things necessary to maintain that lifestyle are very difficult. They may have to take hormone therapy for the rest of their lives, causing side effects and a shortened life expectancy. Some STDs are more readily transmitted in homosexual acts than in heterosexual acts.

In a free society, people can choose their sexual identity, but that creates complications. People born male who choose to be transgender females by surgery and drugs or merely by identifying as females have a huge advantage in sports. Should LGBTQ participants be allowed to adopt children or to have children conceived in a science laboratory? The Pope has said that the Catholic Church can bless people who live in “fidelity,” which apparently includes same-sex unions.

The Bible speaks strongly against same-sex unions, although some religious leaders have danced around those biblical statements. God’s plan for marriage and family remains the same. The Pope’s statement that “homosexual unions are not similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family” is consistent with the biblical position.

We suggest that LGBTQ participants have the right to practice their beliefs without abuse, but the Church cannot sanction sexual relationships that the Bible strongly condemns. It seems to us that this is the point of Pope Francis on LGBTQ issues. If that is the case, we would agree with that position. We also recommend reading the book Caring Beyond the Margins by Guy Hammond, a man who has struggled with same-sex attraction. You can read our review of that book HERE.

— John N. Clayton © 2021

Collateral Damage from COVID-19

Collateral Damage from COVID-19

In the past year, we have endured the sickness that the virus caused, resulting in the deaths of loved ones, the isolation of family members, and economic losses. Recent studies by Gallup, the COVID-19 Consortium, the American Medical Association, and the Centers for Disease Control have shown a substantial amount of collateral damage from COVID-19. Reports now being released by these groups show:

1) The suspension of in-person schooling has resulted in poor learning, school dropouts, and social isolation, especially in lower-income groups.

2) In a three-month period, 78% of cancers were never detected due to missed screenings. That means 750,000 to over a million new cancer cases missed over a nine-month period.

3) People being afraid to go to the hospital has resulted in a massive increase in pediatric illnesses, heart attacks, and strokes.

4) The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported a four-fold increase in depression, a three-fold increase in anxiety symptoms, and a doubling of suicide ideation.

5) The American Medical Association (AMA) reported an increase in drug overdoses and suicides.

6) Cases of domestic and child abuse have “skyrocketed,” while many child abuse cases have gone unreported because they are usually detected through schools.

A significant factor in these reports is that specific economic and racial groups dominate the most affected areas. Recovery from the pandemic will depend on churches and ministries addressing many of these areas, but Government rules for gathering have prevented many Christian groups from helping the needy.

We hope that we have all learned some things from this horrible experience. Christian involvement can help create a cooperative effort to heal the divisions and minister to the needs of those dramatically injured by both the virus and the collateral damage from COVID-19.

— John N. Clayton © 2021

Data from Imprimis, February 2021 – available at imprimis.hillsdale.edu.

Vaping Weed is at least as bad as Smoking Cigarettes

Vaping Weed is at least as bad as Smoking Cigarettes

States across the United States are rapidly approving the recreational use of marijuana, but scientific evidence suggests this is a dangerous development. Very little research has been done on marijuana vaping, but available evidence shows that vaping weed is at least as bad as smoking cigarettes.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified a new disease called EVALI. That is short for E-Vaping Associated Lung Injury. An apparent culprit in this problem is vitamin E acetate, a sticky oil substance often added to vaping products. This is especially common in vaping products that contain THC, the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana.

The Center for Disease Control says that 84% of the EVALI cases involve cannabis-containing products. As of February of 2020, cases of EVALI had caused 68 deaths in 29 states and the District of Columbia. Those numbers now are far more significant, and virtually all of them are in young adults. Teenagers are twice as likely to have “wheezing or whistling” in their lungs after vaping marijuana as compared to smoking cigarettes.

As followers of Jesus, 1 Corinthians 3:16 tells us that our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. Vaping weed is at least as bad as smoking cigarettes, and both are destructive acts that damage the body and can lead to death. As our society turns away from God and rejects the notion that our bodies are designed creations of God, young people are less concerned about taking care of them.

The consequences of rejecting God are enormous, and one consequence is the threat to our health. The COVID-19 pandemic should have made us all aware of the importance of caring for our lungs. These studies on the destructive nature of vaping have centered on young people, so the results are not due to old age.

First Corinthians 3:16 tells us of the sacred nature of our bodies. Verse 17 says, “If any man defiles the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” This is not some violence done to humans by God, but the natural consequence of abusing God’s creation. We cannot blame God when we fail to care for what He has given us.

— John N. Clayton © 2021

You can find more information on this study HERE and HERE.