National Sanctity of Human Life Day, January 22, 1984

wbc9xilqb4k-tim-bishCopied from reaganlibraryarchives.com

Proclamation 5147 — National Sanctity of Human Life Day, 1984
January 13, 1984

By the President of the United States
of America

A Proclamation

The values and freedoms we cherish as Americans rest on our fundamental commitment to the sanctity of human life. The first of the “unalienable rights” affirmed by our Declaration of Independence is the right to life itself, a right the Declaration states has been endowed by our Creator on all human beings — whether young or old, weak or strong, healthy or handicapped.

Since 1973, however, more than 15 million unborn children have died in legalized abortions — a tragedy of stunning dimensions that stands in sad contrast to our belief that each life is sacred. These children, over tenfold the number of Americans lost in all our Nation’s wars, will never laugh, never sing, never experience the joy of human love; nor will they strive to heal the sick, or feed the poor, or make peace among nations. Abortion has denied them the first and most basic of human rights, and we are infinitely poorer for their loss.

We are poorer not simply for lives not led and for contributions not made, but also for the erosion of our sense of the worth and dignity of every individual. To diminish the value of one category of human life is to diminish us all. Slavery, which treated Blacks as something less than human, to be bought and sold if convenient, cheapened human life and mocked our dedication to the freedom and equality of all men and women. Can we say that abortion — which treats the unborn as something less than human, to be destroyed if convenient — will be less corrosive to the values we hold dear?

We have been given the precious gift of human life, made more precious still by our births in or pilgrimages to a land of freedom. It is fitting, then, on the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade that struck down State anti-abortion laws, that we reflect anew on these blessings, and on our corresponding responsibility to guard with care the lives and freedoms of even the weakest of our fellow human beings.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Sunday, January 22, 1984, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. I call upon the citizens of this blessed land to gather on that day in homes and places of worship to give thanks for the gift of life, and to reaffirm our commitment to the dignity of every human being and the sanctity of each human life.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 13th day of January, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eighth.

Ronald Reagan

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Quit Changing the Characters of My Youth

From marvel-movies.wikia.com

First, Nick Fury was suddenly a black guy. That was cool. I mean, let’s face it, no one was that attached to Nick Fury anyway and Samuel L. Jackson managed to completely reinvent the character. Jackson made Fury credible enough to hang out with the likes of Captain American and the Hulk without being overshadowed. But this trend to “reinvent” the wheel is getting a little out of hand.

miles
from the comiclibrary.tumblr.com

I tried to read a Spider-Man comic the other day. Spidey was the first super hero I really identified with. I was five or six years old when I fell in love with the Amazing Spider-Man and his alter ego, Peter Parker. Pete was a guy I could identify with. He had school problems, work problems, girl problems, and family problems. Because he was a normal guy, his life sometimes sucked. And when he put on a mask things didn’t always get better. Sometimes he failed. But along the way he taught me a lot of stuff. For instance, he taught me that with great power comes great responsibility. And he taught me that sometimes the Hobgoblins of life are gonna knock you on your backside, but giving up isn’t an option. It’s how we respond to the obstacles in life that make us a hero. Peter Parker and Spider-Man are important to me. I grew up with him. But when I tried to read his book the other day, the Spider-man I love is gone. In one universe, he’s Doctor Octopus in Peter Parker’s body. If you think that’s weird, in the other universe he’s a black-hispanic kid named Miles Morales. Uh, what?

Look. I think it would be awesome to create a black hero of Puerto Rican descent. I mean really. We need more minority super heroes. I think it’s a wonderful idea. I could even support turning Doctor Octopus into a hero so readers can learn wonderful lessons about redemption and repentance and all that – the story lines could be deep, substantive and powerful.

But why can’t they do that while leaving Peter Parker alone? He’s my hero. Did they have to sacrifice him on the altar of change?

And it doesn’t stop with Peter Parker. At some point, Thor became a girl, Superman died, and Jim Gordon became the Batman.

What?

Thor_Goddess_of_Thunder_Character_Art.0
from polygon.com

Even minor characters are getting makeovers. I recently watched the debut episode of Supergirl and really enjoyed it, but I was somewhat confused as to why the Jimmy Olsen I know as a skinny, red-headed, pip-squeak is suddenly a large, muscular, hunky black guy. I mean really – how did that happen? Was there surgery involved?

There are even some people advocating that 007 himself should be gay and the Bond movies should do away with Bond girls. I’m sorry, but that would no longer be James Bond. He is a super spy with a fatal attraction to the opposite sex – that’s who he is! Furthermore, Spider-Man is Peter Parker, Thor’s a big, muscular dude, Superman is alive, the Batman is Bruce Wayne, and Jimmy Olsen is a pip-squeak!

Why don’t we go ahead and reinvent the Hulk as a pacifist?

I get that in some cases these changes reflect important progress and changes in our culture. I agree that we need more minority heroes for the youth of today to look up to. Super heroes should come in all shapes, sizes, genders, and ethnicities! All that is fine and dandy and necessary. But for some of us, these are established characters we have literally grown up with. These characters are important to us because someone, somewhere sat down at a typewriter or drawing board, engaged their creative gifts, and invented them.

Instead of reinventing established characters who are important, why not invent new characters. Do for this generation what Stan Lee, Ian Fleming, and others did for mine and quit screwing around with the characters of my youth.

Can Christians be Concerned About the Environment and Climate Change?

greenbible
image from worldmag.com

Christians are often characterized as being unconcerned about the environment, climate change, and global warming. To be fair, I suppose it does appear that way sometimes. However, in truth, it is okay for Christians to concern themselves with matters of the environment. We must remember, that when God placed mankind in the Garden of Eden He gave him one responsibility, to tend to the Garden:

“The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15, NIV).

Not only was mankind created to take care of the environment, God also gave us a certain amount of dominion over the environment:

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule (have dominion) over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground” (Genesis 1:26, NIV).

The world and everything in it belongs to the Creator. Genesis 1 teaches us that He created it all to bless us and then gave us dominion over it. He, in effect, loaned it to us. When you loan something to someone, there is a certain expectation implied with that loan; you want them to take care of your possession – the more valuable the item, the more care you expect to be taken with it. For instance, if you loan someone your car for the weekend you are, in effect, giving them dominion over your car for a couple of days, and when you get it back you expect it to be in the same condition as when you loaned it. It’s even better if they bring it back washed and with a full tank of gas!

Christians, we are expected to take care of God’s world. His creation is precious. When our scientists tell us we are damaging it we need to listen and take steps to do better, if such steps exist. I fear that environmentalism has somehow become associated with the political left and those on the right, including the vast majority of the Church, rail against it because they think they are supposed to.

Environmentalism, however, is not a political issue, it is a Biblical one. God gave us dominion over creation and expects us to take care of His world.

There is one word of caution, however, and it is a word the secular left is sure to disagree with. Christians cannot allow the environment to become their idol. We should care for the world in obedience to and respect for the God who created it. We cannot, however, become so obsessed with the environment that we elevate it to our primary focus in life. Christians should be motivated by respect and obedience when it comes to tending the garden, not fear. Why? Because God’s Word contains an outstanding promise:

“Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea” (Revelation 21:1, NIV).

The Apostle John’s vision recorded in Revelation saw our earth passing away … ceasing to exist … and new heavens and a new earth taking its place. Climate change, global warming, pollution – these are all issues that (sometimes unknowingly) attest to one Biblical fact – the world is tainted by sin. When Adam sinned, sin entered the world (Romans 5:12). Now, thousands of years removed from that original sin, we live in a world tainted with environmental issues. Because of sin, tending the garden has become far more complicated, just as God told Adam it would:

“Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field; By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:17-19, NASB). 

Because of God’s grace, we will someday receive new heavens and a new earth – a new Garden. Those of us who have placed our faith in Jesus can rest assured in that promise. But until that day, God’s directions to tend to the earth and have dominion over the environment still stand. We should care about the environment, but we can’t let the fear of this earth expiring (and someday it will) rule us. Our actions must be governed and motivated by respect and obedience to the Father and hope in His promise of a new earth.

Lessons from Genesis: The Innate Value of Human Life and Abortion

“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (Genesis 1:26).

This verse should cause the reader of Genesis to pause and reflect on the innate, God-given value of human life. Genesis records God speaking multiple things into existence. The atmosphere, the earth, oceans, land, animals, vegetation – all of springs into existence as a result of God’s Word. Yet when He creates mankind He pauses and reflects amid the Holy Trinity, “Let Us make man in Our Image.

Mankind are fashioned in God’s image. Genesis 2 details the artistry that God employed when He made us:

Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being’ (Genesis 2:7).

The word formed in this verse is likened to a potter who us sculpting his are out of clay. Like an artist, God fashioned mankind from the dust with loving care. The prophet Isaiah put it this way, “But now, O Lord, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand” (Isaiah 64:8). 

life
from wikipedia

There is innate value in human life simply because of the One who created us. The same God that created everything in existence (read John 1:1-5) paused and made human life extra special. We are distinct amongst all His creation as being made in His image. We are His image bearers. When God gave us the authority to rule over the earth (Genesis 1:28) He intended for us to be His image bearers in the world. Human life is special.

But as we all know, sin entered the world and mankind drifted out of relationship with God. In the 4th chapter of Genesis Cain murdered Abel and displayed a terrifying lack of respect for life. I would argue that all sin has at its root a disrespect for life. When you steal from someone you are disrespecting the life they have worked to build. If you are violent, angry, hateful, lustful, bitter, or unforgiving toward another human doesn’t it all simply boil down to a lack of respect for their life? Perhaps nothing in our culture displays this lack of respect for life more so than the practice of abortion on demand. Almost 60 million babies have been aborted since Roe v. Wade became the law of the land in 1973. Cain took one life and it was significant enough to be recorded in God’s Word yet we have stood by and allowed 60 million lives to be taken in the last 42 years.

It is time Christians took a stand for human life. It is time we stopped and repented for allowing the practice of abortion to continue. God paused and put special care in the creation of humans yet we abort babies without so much of an afterthought. And that’s why the hidden camera videos recording Planned Parenthood staffers are so troubling. They force us to stop and consider just how disrespectful and immoral the practice of abortion is.

Abortion on demand is morally indefensible. Christ’s followers in the United States need to rise up and vote for candidates who will defund Planned Parenthood and work to reverse Roe v. Wade. We can no longer stand by and allow the practice of abortion to continue uncontested.

I’ve heard the arguments from the left. Hidden camera footage is unfair. The tapes are edited. Planned Parenthood provides valuable heath services to women apart from abortion.

Really?

No argument the left can trumpet surpasses the value of 60 million lives that have been lost. None. If you’re worried about healthcare for women, work to find a new way to provide those services apart from condoning abortion, but don’t pretend your arguments are more valuable than saved lives.

Doing so disrespects the God who breathed into us the breath of life.

Related Posts: What really Bugs Me About the Planned Parenthood Videos

 

New to Running? Here's What I've Learned

y-3ryjiqlgu-jacob-millerI’ve been running for about three months now. Since I started I’ve been reading books, magazine articles, and blog posts targeted for beginning runners voraciously. Through that reading, and through experience, I have learned a few things …. here’s my list of takeaways so far … offered humbly to others who may be toying with the idea of taking up running.

  • Before you run, you should walk. I walked regularly for a couple of months before I ran my first step. I walked because running scared me and I hadn’t lost enough weight yet to feel comfortable going faster. Turns out, walking was one of the best things I could do. I built up a base of mileage, strengthened my legs and heart, and developed a routine of hitting the walking/running path. If you have never run before, you should start off walking.
  •  Add to your miles slowly. Increase your miles no more than 10% per week. This may seem like slow progress to you, but it is the safest way to progress. Your heart will adjust to running long before you ligaments, tendons, and muscles will. If you increase too much too soon, you are at a greater risk for injury.
  • It’s okay to go slow. In fact, it’s probably preferred if you’re in this for the long haul. Go slow, take plenty of walking breaks, and don’t worry about speed if you’re new to running. Again, ignoring this advice puts you at risk of an injury that will end your running hobby before it gets off the ground.
  • Be consistent. Running will help you lose weight. Running will improve your health. But not if you only do it once every other month. For the last three months I’ve aimed for three runs a week. I’m just about to move to four.
  • Rest intentionally. You’re not a slacker if you take a rest day between runs. You’re smart. Running can be hard on your body so take the time to recover.
  • Don’t worry about how silly you look. None of the other runners care. Nine times out of ten you will get a friendly wave and a smile when they pass you. Those who ignore are probably afraid you think they look stupid.
  • Drink pretty of fluids. Dehydration sucks.
  • Buy good shoes, running shorts, and a shirt. A good set of running clothes is far superior to a cotton tee shirt, sweatpants, and your lawn-mowing shoes.

And most importantly …

  • Have fun, relax, and praise God you are able to get outside and exercise. Plenty of people out there wish they could walk, run, and exercise. No matter how slow you are or how stupid you think you look – you are blessed.

What Really Bugs me About the Planned Parenthood Videos …

There’s no need to rehash the media and debate concerning the recently released series of Planned Parenthood videos that expose the appearance of impropriety within that organization, there’s no doubt you’re familiar with them. The left is outraged over what they say are heavily edited videos designed to intentionally mislead while the right is in an uproar over the content of the videos. As a result, a national debate over the defunding of Planned Parenthood has risen to the forefront of our culture wars … and it’s a debate that probably won’t be settled soon enough.

But there’s something that’s been nagging at me about these videos … and I want to take a second to put my concerns into words.

I am ashamed and sickened by the apathy of the Church when it comes to the value and sanctity of life. What bugs me the most about these videos is that they were necessary to catapult the debate over abortion to the front pages of our newspapers. Do you want to know why these videos have left such a big impression on us? It’s because the Church grew silent and cowardly in the face of abortion; so much so that the issue virtually disappeared from our national conscience. Nearly sixty million babies have been murdered since Roe v. Wade in 1973 and the Church has grown complacent about those deaths. As a result, it took a series of “gotcha” videos to remind us what a travesty abortion really is. For this, the videos have done us all a service, however, Christians (myself included) shouldn’t have needed the reminder:

  • “God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27)
  • “Truly children are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward” (Psalm 127:3)
  • “You knit me in my mother’s womb . . . nor was my frame unknown to you when I was made in secret” (Psalm 139:13,15)
  • “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).
  • “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13, Deuteronomy 5:17)
  • “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.”(Jeremiah 1:5)

Need I continue? God’s Word speaks to the very value of life yet Christians have stood by and allowed nearly sixty million abortions over the last 40+ years. Yet it took “gotcha” videos to upset us. We should be ashamed for our silence.

Abortion needs to be the number one issue on our conscience as we step into the voting booths. God’s Word concerning the value of human life needs to be on the tip of our tongues. We should be united in prayer until this desecration of life has come to an end.

And it shouldn’t take a “gotcha” video to remind us what a miraculous gift from God life truly is.