Ted Cruz and his call for pastors to protest against Planned Parenthood has me steamed up. I sent this letter to a friend about their plan to participate in the August 22nd action against Planned Parenthood, mostly because I am sick and tired of billionaires hijacking Christianity to jack up anger in order to win primaries and general elections in the name of Jesus.
As a Christian, it makes me deeply angry and ashamed to see otherwise decent, good, well-meaning people get sucked into this deception, so I fought back the only way I know how: with facts and some Scripture to think about.
I've edited the text somewhat to remove any personal references or otherwise cause embarrassment to people I care about, but this is the gist of it.
TL;DR: Christians have no business spreading slander and lies while persecuting women most in need of Planned Parenthood's services.
By now you surely know these videos were edited to intentionally paint Planned Parenthood in the most heinous light possible, and in one case, the Center for Medical Progress (funded by political groups with less of an interested in abortion rights than in getting out the evangelical vote in 2016) has already admitted they presented the last video in a false light, failing to tell viewers that the fetus was a stillborn, and not aborted, fetus.
Donated fetal tissue is saving lives. Ask Dr. Ben Carson, who used it for some serious medical research before he decided to run for office. You personally may not like the fact that it is, but it still is.
There is nothing that will stir up emotions harder and faster than abortion, which is why it's routinely used for political ends. The people who pay for these videos don't really care one way or the other whether Planned Parenthood survives, but they cynically play on people's emotions to stir up anger -- even anger that one might experience as righteous anger.
You owe yourself some facts.
Defunding Planned Parenthood benefits 2016 hopeful Ted Cruz, who has made that crusade his particular centerpiece. He's willing to shut down the government over it, because he believes it will boost his 2016 chances with a voting bloc that stayed home in 2012.
Since the last general election, hundreds of millions of dollars have flowed into evangelical organizations by people who have publicly stated they're pro-choice, but they recognize the electoral value of that voting bloc. (See Koch, David).
Stripping Planned Parenthood of federal dollars will not stop abortions, but it will stop breast, uterine and ovarian cancer screenings for poor women, as well as screenings and treatments for STDs, testicular cancer in men, and more. Perhaps you were unaware that Planned Parenthood is forbidden under federal law to use any federal funds for abortion, but they are. It's the law. So those federal dollars that person seeks to end don't amount to a hill of beans in the fight to end abortion.
Planned Parenthood has acted in accordance with the law. The problem here isn't Planned Parenthood. The problem is a set of inflammatory, dishonest videos created with the sole goal of changing public policy through electoral gains.
Abortion would not end if opponents went all the way to the United States Supreme Court and reversed Roe v. Wade. Women with money would still have access to abortion services. Private doctors perform abortions all the time and no one protests them, but the clinics treating poor and underprivileged women are under siege.
Count on this: Those poor and underprivileged women will be the coathanger ladies of a post-Roe v. Wade landscape.
In Indiana, where Planned Parenthood has been defunded by the state, there is an HIV crisis. That is a direct cause-and-effect relationship. And yet, Planned Parenthood still doesn't use federal tax dollars to pay for abortions.
You may have a problem with public policy around the issue of abortion, but Planned Parenthood isn't the cause of that problem, nor will shutting them down accomplish any goal but death for those women who can least afford or access health services.
Go ahead. Shut down every Planned Parenthood clinic in the country, and it won't end abortion. There will simply be more dead women from illegal or botched attempts at abortion, more deaths from preventable sexually transmitted diseases, and more missed cancer diagnoses.
Abortion is still a legal medical procedure in this country, but it is one of the few where the public has made it their business to intervene between women and their medical providers for the sole cynical purpose of pushing politicians who will satisfy public policy agendas of the rich and powerful.
The real issue here isn't abortions, but whether all women -- rich and poor alike -- should have the right to make private medical decisions with their physicians regarding their personal health, and whether they're trusted to make their peace with God in their own way and their own time.
When you frame the issue as "pro-life," the clear implication is that anyone who isn't in agreement is pro-death. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, I wish there were *more* Planned Parenthoods out there giving good medical care and dispensing birth control so women and girls didn't find themselves facing this choice.
And if you haven't faced it, don't judge. It's a wrenching, achingly difficult decision, not arrived at lightly.
Having put all of those facts in one place, you should also know I have no problem with you or anyone else going out there and holding up your signs and standing with people you believe are sincere. It's your absolute right to speak as individuals on a topic which you're passionate about. But do it with your eyes open.
You are associating yourselves with a group who is slandering and lying in the name of Jesus.
I can't put it any clearer than that. CMP is a really awful, dirty-tricksy organization. Their president learned at the feet of James O'Keefe, the guy who plotted to seduce a CNN reporter and record it so he could shame her on national television in order to "gag CNN." He's been convicted of breaking and entering a Senator's office (Mary Landrieu) and more.
David Daleiden, the head of so-called Center for Medical Progress, learned those tactics from O'Keefe, but was a bit more of an adult about it. Still, there is evidence he sanctioned the use of illegal state identification cards in order to gain access to areas they would not otherwise have gained access to, which means they lied about their identity to the state in order to obtain those cards. There is evidence that he lied to the IRS about the purpose of the organization itself, and then there are the deceptive videos, which stand as testimony to the slander he is perpetuating in the names of the Holy Billionaires.
The employee referenced in one video as a former Planned Parenthood employee was not an employee of Planned Parenthood, but of Stem Express, LLC, a privately-owned medical research company unrelated to PP. Stem Express employees have had death threats against them, and will likely be forced to close their doors or at the very least, operate on a much smaller scale, which does no harm to anyone at Planned Parenthood but certainly will hurt a business which was essentially transporting tissue to medical research facilities.
The CMP's officers include a woman convicted of bombing an abortion clinic, and another closely affiliated with the extremist and violent Operation Rescue group, a group most recently known for encouraging the murderer of Dr. Tiller, a Kansas abortion doctor. I'm guessing you don't support bombings and shootings in church as means to change public policy.
Yes, the damage is done. Emotions are stirred. And it's just not biblical.
How can it be biblical, when the premise underlying the protest is based upon slander, as the Bible sees it?
Romans 1:29 places slanderers in the same category as haters of God. In fact, that whole verse is really an indictment of anyone who makes a slanderous accusation.
... filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful...
Lev. 19:16, is one Mr. Daleiden might have considered.
"'You shall not go about as a slanderer among your people, and you are not to act against the life of your neighbor; I am the LORD."
Proverbs 12:22 is yet another
Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, But those who deal faithfully are His delight.
"With his mouth the godless man would destroy his neighbor, but by knowledge the righteous are delivered.” - Proverbs 11:9
And most of all, this one:
“You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness.” - Exodus 23:1
If you believe the end justifies the means, then nothing I've said here matters. But if you don't, then don't give your support to cynical political operatives using you for their candidates' gain.