Rabbi’s Reflections – Sunday, January 3, 2021

Shavuah Tov,

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)

Sun 3-Jan-2021 19th of Tevet, 5781

Ex 1:1-17 2 Sa 22 Ps 95-96 Lk 14 (Gal 4)

All Lives Matter – Part 1

by Dr. Raymond Finney

REMORSEFUL ABOUT ABORTION? In a congregation of this size, we almost certainly have women who have had abortions and men who have fathered aborted babies. This RR may stir emotional pain. It is beyond the scope of this RR to discuss in detail post-abortion syndrome, a form of post-traumatic stress disorder. Several Websites offer suggestions for help in this matter. (Google for more information.) You probably live near a crisis pregnancy center, staffed by women who deeply love Yeshua and want to help you with any post-abortion grief. Rabbi Weiner (rabbi@syknox.org)  is also available for counseling. Never forget: Your Heavenly Father loves you and is willing to forgive and forget any transgression, if you ask Him. Now is the time to rid yourself of any guilt you may have harbored for years (1 John 1:9): If we confess our sins, He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. God created you for a life of joyful worship and service, not a life of sadness and grief-stricken guilt.

INTRODUCTION: Black Lives Matter (BLM), started in July of 2013, is a well-known organization prominently present at anything related to race (the black race). Later, with the assassination of police officers (traditionally clad in blue uniforms), another movement– Blue Lives Matter– has gained national attention. As Believers, we should argue that ALL Lives Matter– regardless of race, occupation, or other distinctions. And, we should argue that “all lives” includes the lives of unborn (preborn) babies. As we will see in Scriptures included in this RR series, God loves us and has plans for all of us, even before birth.

Sanctity of Human Life Sunday is set this year for January 17, 2021. (This observance is always scheduled for the Sunday immediately before the January 22 Roe vs. Wade anniversary.) I am writing this three-week series of RRs about a topic about which I feel strongly– abortion. More specifically, I will write about abortion as it is now zealously, rampantly performed in America. 

Abortion is a highly profitable business. Politicians, the media, and a growing segment of the public accept– no, passionately promote– the practice of killing unborn babies. The Democratic Party has made abortion a key rallying cry and an indispensable part of its platform. The Biden-Harris administration– with assistance from politicians of the Pelosi-Schumer ilk and the Supreme Court lemmings– will do everything possible to make abortion readily available in communities all across the nation, and, whenever possible, make taxpayers pay for the abortions, regardless of many taxpayers’ beliefs.

Rabbi’s note:  I’m reading this for the first time and want to comment.  (Raymond has given me permission to comment at any time.)  The slogan “my body, my choice” is heard throughout the pro-abortion movement.  When those same words are spoken by someone refusing the COVID vaccine, you should hear those same pro-abortion people complain.  “How selfish”.  “Your selfish choice could kill someone else.” My response, how selfish to rob an aborted baby of life for “selfish” reasons.  Hypocrites! End RN.

A BRIEF HISTORY LESSON: I am unashamedly pro-life. Understand that a pro-abortion (pro-choice) advocate would scream at my ignorant, “Bible-thumping” bias. I have been involved for years to some degree in the pro-life movement in Blount County (when I was younger). You would not believe the horribly offensive and vulgar names I have been called– especially by pro-choice “ladies.” Some of these women have most “colorful vocabularies.” (In fact, I had not before heard some of the names I was called.)  So, understand that there are those among us who would present a very different viewpoint of abortion.

Abortion is the intentional termination of a pregnancy by removing and disposing of (killing) the baby growing in a mother’s womb. Abortion has been practiced since ancient times.

I cannot discuss all abortion practices of different cultures in different times. A brief summary may be read at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_abortion . I will mention two practices  that may interest RR readers:

● Jewish views: I am not aware of direct doctrines on abortion in the Tanakh (such as, “Thou shalt not perform abortion” or “Thou may perform an abortion if…”). Rabbinic law (halakhah) prohibits elective abortion, but allows abortion in order to the save the mother’s life or for other medical reasons. The unborn baby is viewed as valuable, but is less than fully human. Is there hypocrisy in Jewish thinking (as in American jurisprudence)? Deliberately killing a day-old baby is murder, according to the Mishnah (and American law), but an unborn baby (say, one day before delivery) is not covered by this view (law). Should one day on either side of delivery (born vs. unborn) really make any difference?

● American views: Permit a personal note about my experience. I graduated from medical school in 1964. Performance of an abortion was, then, illegal, and was considered gravely unethical. Not performing abortion was one of the things new physicians attested to by taking the ancient Hippocratic Oath. In this Oath, the pertinent clause states: “I swear… I will give no sort of medicine to any pregnant woman, with a view to destroy the child….” When I annually renewed my medical license, I read and agreed to reasons the State would void my license to practice medicine. One reason was performance of an abortion. Physicians were barred from performing an abortion, then. Seven black-robed judges in Washington, feeling they were smarter than the combined  wisdom of courts and legislatures throughout America– wisdom which had accumulated for many decades– completely changed everything on January 22, 1973.

A Texas woman, Norma McCorvey, who lived with her boyfriend, became pregnant. She sought an abortion, which was refused by all her physicians for legal and/or moral reasons. She consulted feminist lawyers, who wished to rewrite abortion laws. Norma was given the pseudonym of Jane Roe. The legal team of Norma (“Jane”) filed a suit on her behalf, which finally made its way on appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). Some SCOTUS justices had apparently been watching for a case to make abortion legal. By the time Roe vs. Wade was decided (January, 1973), Norma (“Jane Roe”) had delivered a healthy infant and her abortion request was moot. Norma later was saved and became a strong pro-life activist. Norma died in 2017. On the day of her death, she re-stated her desire that Roe vs. Wade be overturned. 

Norma never resolved the guilt of being the cause, as she saw it, of abortion legalization. I heard her once on a television program telling of walking through an empty playground one dusk, as a strong wind caused empty swings to sway back and forth. She burst into tears, crying until she could cry no more. Feeling remorse that she had caused “empty swings” all over America because of her lawsuit (aborted children don’t play in the playgrounds), she wrote a poem, “Empty Playgrounds,” which may be read at: htpps://afterabortion.blogspot.com/2003/05/empty-playgrounds-poem-by-miss-norma.html . From this poem, you can appreciate that the pain of abortion may haunt women for years, or even a lifetime. As previously stated, Norma became a Believer and repented. I believe she found solace by at least one line of her poem: “For every time I see a playground empty, I will know that yours [God’s playground] will be full.” I believe, as Norma apparently did, that every aborted baby is carried to Paradise to shelter in Yeshua’s care, awaiting the time his/ her mother will re-unite their family. God may be much kinder and more forgiving, than we are kind and forgiving to ourselves and each other.

At about the same time Norma McCorvey was challenging Texas abortion laws,  Sandra Cano, an unhappy, pregnant housewife in Georgia, sought a divorce. Her public defender, who was a pro-abortion activist, had her sign several papers, promising he would obtain her divorce. She later claimed she was unaware that the papers included an application to the court to overturn Georgia’s abortion laws. Sandra was given the pseudonym of Mary Doe in the case that would be known as Doe vs. Bolton. Mary was granted her divorce, but was greatly aggrieved that she had unwittingly become the plaintiff in Doe vs. Bolton. Sandra, who never wanted an abortion, became a pro-life activist. Sandra died in 2014, still saddened that she was the plaintiff in Doe vs. Bolton.

Both cases (Roe and Doe) percolated through the judicial framework until both were decided on the same day– January 22, 1973. On this sad day, SCOTUS ruled that a woman’s right to abortion was implicit in the right to privacy protected by the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Thereafter, abortion was considered legal in all parts of the nation, because a woman and her physician have the right to privacy (accompanied by other phrases of lawyerly gobbledygook). Read the Fourteenth Amendment to see if you understand how  it applies to abortion: htpps://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/amendmentxiv . 

I find it interesting that the Fourteenth Amendment, upon which SCOTUS based its decision to outlaw abortion, contains these words: “… nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Does killing a baby, without legal proceedings to show he/ she is guilty of a capital crime, deprive that baby of his/her life and liberty? But, I do not own a black robe, so what do I know? I wonder what other nefarious mischief a physician and a patient could enter into, provided it was under the protection of privacy. [Old joke– Question: What is the difference between God and a Supreme Court justice? Answer: God does not think He sits on the Supreme Court.]

Rabbi’s note:  The number of aborted babies qualifies “abortion” as a “genocide.”  In most every genocide the perpetrators have to convince the general population that the victims are not human, ie. Nazi Germany and Jews.  So too, in modern America the pro-choice movement relies on the lie that a fetus is not human.  The scientific definition of life is, “does it react to stimulus?”  A fetus is a human inside of another human.  The fact that it can’t jump into the kitchen and make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich puts it in a category with a lot of elderly or otherwise incapacitated people, but that standard should never be used to decide who lives or dies.  End RN.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD: We need to discuss Planned Parenthood (PP) because this organization is at the forefront of abortion in America. Consider:

● PP began with Margaret Sanger’s work with the American Birth Control League, founded in 1921. The League eventually became Planned Parenthood. 

Margaret Sanger (b. 1879, d. 1966) was born into a large (11 children), poor family in New York. Her mother died when Margaret was a small child; her father was an atheist. Because of her large, poor family, Margaret had disdain for large families. She viewed freedom from poverty required preventing large families.

She had some training as a nurse, but withdrew from nursing school to work with impoverished women in New York City. Joining the Socialist Party, the main emphasis of her work was sex and birth control education (goal: small families).

Her speeches and writings prove that she was a eugenicist and racist. (A eugenicist believes that certain groups of people have the right and duty to determine who should live, die, or reproduce. Sanger wrote such beliefs as: “We who advocate birth control… lay all our emphasis upon stopping not only the reproduction of the unfit but upon stopping all reproduction when there is not economic means of providing proper care for those who are born in health.” The “unfit,” who clearly had no right to live in Margaret Sanger’s world, included the black race (as well as the poor, the disabled, and the mentally challenged). She became the darling of the Ku Klux Klan, and Adolf Hitler studied her writings with much interest. In “My Way to Peace,” Sanger wrote: “The first step would be to control the intake and output on morons, mental defectives, epileptics. The second step would be to take an inventory of the second group, such as illiterates, paupers, unemployables, criminals, prostitutes, dope-fiends; classify them in special departments under government medical protection and segregate them on farms and open spaces.”

As you know, Hillary Clinton was the Democratic Party nominee for the U.S. presidency in 2016. Hillary won Planned Parenthood’s Margaret Sanger Award in 2009. In her acceptance speech of this award, Clinton said: “Now, I have to tell you that it was a great privilege when I was told that I would receive this award. I admire Margaret Sanger enormously, her courage, her tenacity, her vision…. And when I think about what she did all those years ago in Brooklyn, taking on archetypes, taking on attitudes and accusations flowing from all directions, I am really in awe of her.” See Clinton’s glowing praise of Margaret Sanger at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTIHTdap3DM  . 

Sanger was more than a crusader for women’s reproductive rights. She clearly was a bigot and racist. She wanted to rid the world of people she considered unfit and unworthy to live. Could this be the reason Hillary Clinton so easily dismissed people like me as “deplorables?”

● PP’s funding (Fiscal Year 2018-2019) comes from government reimbursements, grants, and health services (37%); private contributions and bequests (36%); non-governmental health services revenue (23%), and other sources (4%). By law, taxpayer money (federal grants) cannot fund abortions, but any funded money is fungible (interchangeable between cost centers in the budget). An organization as large as PP, with many talented lawyers and accountants, can legally shift funds around to fund whatever facet of organizational operation it wants. Taxpayer dollars may not go directly toward killing babies, but the fact that the federal government annually gives PP a small fortune allows PP to allocate its funds flexibly. Do not be fooled by claims that no federal funding is used in providing abortions. A good accountant can do wonders (legally) with a budget to honor wishes of the organization’s leadership.

● PP has a net worth just under 2-billion dollars (FY 2018-2019 report), but is always whining the organization needs more federal and state funding.

● PP killed 345,672 preborn babies in FY 2018-2019. At an average PP charge of 600-dollars per abortion, PP rakes in $568,200 every day! These fees are all cash upfront (no charge accounts, no insurance billing, no bad debt collection failures). Oh, did I mention that PP complains our tax money does not sufficiently help support their work? Oh, did I mention that abortion fees account for only a part of their income? PP also sells aborted baby parts to various laboratories and pharmaceutical companies. Thanks to research by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), we know: “While these [undercover videos showing PP employees discussing sale of aborted baby parts] horrified the country, many claimed that founder David Daleiden and others lied and altered the videos. Outside auditors proved the videos were not altered, and court cases continue, but the footage speaks for itself. For example, in one video Dr. Mary Gatter of PP talks about the best way to crush a baby to ensure that the organs that would be for sale would remain whole. Another worker, Holly O’Donnell, claims that she was ordered to ‘cut through the face of a baby whose heart was still beating AFTER an abortion to harvest his brain.’ Others, such as Drs. Deborah Nucatola and Carolyn Westhoff, were caught on tape bragging about the various organs they were able to procure. Most recently, CMP released a video featuring a PP official’s sworn deposition testimony describing ‘infants born alive and either harvested for organs or left to die inside abortion clinics.’”

● Is PP still a racist organization? You decide. Sanger unashamedly admitted: “We want to exterminate the Negro population.” PP seems to still target blacks and Hispanics. In fact, 79% of PP abortion facilities are located near either a black or a Hispanic neighborhood, with 45% of facilities being within walking distance of predominantly minority neighborhoods. In Knoxville, the Planned Parenthood Health Center is on Cherry Street (black population center), not in Sequoyah Hills (predominantly white). In New York City, more black babies are aborted than are born. The number one cause of death in blacks is abortion, and this number exceeds the next fifteen causes of deaths in blacks combined. The governing boards of PP are, in the majority, eugenicists. Some donations to PP are accepted with the understanding they will kill black babies or will be used to coerce Hispanic women to be sterilized. And, BLM tears down statues of Abraham Lincoln, but leaves standing statues of Margaret Sanger. The Prophet Isaiah would remind us he warned of such times (Isaiah 5:20-21): Oy to those who call evil good and good evil, who present darkness as light and light as darkness, who present bitter as sweet, and sweet as bitter! Oy to those who are wise in their own eyes, and clever in their own sight! 

TO BE CONTINUED: In Part 2, I will continue some aspects of abortion, as we head toward Sanctity of Human Life Sunday on January 17. Until next Sunday, Shalom and Maranatha!