Tag Archives: Free contraception

Can Christian Parents Still Be Parents?

 These words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:1-4

These words, taken from the Old Testament and the New Testament, are only a couple of the many references in the Bible to the responsibilities of parents and children in a family. The biblical image of a family establishes a standard for families that is no more attainable than righteousness can be earned by works of the law. Nevertheless, the image of family that God sets before his people in the Bible is the standard Christian parents try to achieve. Christian parents believe that they have the obligation to teach their children what is right and what is wrong, both in word and deed. They believe that children have an obligation to love, respect and obey their parents. Christian parents work diligently to help their children mature during the many years it takes to become adults, and they look forward to the day when their children will stand on their own two feet as adults with responsibilities for their own families.

The sense of obligation to teach and protect children until they reach adulthood means that Christian parents expect to tell their children what to do and they expect their children to do what they are told until the children are adults. The culture of the USA assaults that principle in many different ways. Most recently, the right of a parent to have authority over a child’s behavior has been removed by a judicial act that makes “morning after” contraceptives available over the counter to females of any age without a prescription. The federal government has decreed that a parent not only does not need to know if a child receives such a drug; the federal government assumes that the child can understand and maturely accept the risks associated with the ingestion of the drug. In fact, the federal government believes that a child can understand and accept and self-manage sexual behavior at a level of maturity that will act on the knowledge that this medicine is not recommended for daily use.

Parents who hold the view that a child is not likely mature enough for adult responsibilities until around 18 years of age find this government policy difficult to accept. Christian parents don’t want to hold their children back from adulthood; they want their children to be reared in such a way that the children are ready for their adult responsibilities when the time comes for them to accept them. Christian parents know that rearing a child to understand the responsibilities that accompany sexual activity include teaching about the meaning of sexuality, the risks of promiscuity, the meaning of life, the sanctity of life, and especially, the sanctity of the sexual union between a man and a woman. It is hard enough to teach these things in the normal confusion of daily life. The task of teaching the Christian view of sexual morality becomes exponentially more difficult when children are immersed in media that say that a child has a right to engage in sex whenever it appeals to him or her, and that having engaged in sex, the female child who doesn’t want to get pregnant as a consequence of sex has the maturity and the right to obtain and use a “morning after” contraceptive as she wishes.

This situation is part of the ongoing conflict between the Christian worldview and the secular worldview.

The secular worldview says:

  •  Sex is natural, and because it is natural, it is good. 
  • Human beings experience sex on many levels and in many ways. Children should be taught all about sex in order not to fear it or misuse it. (One wonders how a child, or anyone, could misuse sex if anything goes, but that is a different issue.)
  • Sex is so desirable that people cannot control their need for it. Children should not be taught to control their desires, but only to handle the consequences. 
  • STD is a possible unwanted consequence of sexual activity. Children should be taught how to prevent it and how to treat it if they forget to prevent it. 
  • Pregnancy is a possible unwanted consequence of sexual activity. Children should be taught how to prevent it and how to treat it if they forget to prevent it.

The Christian worldview says:

  • Sex is God’s gift to humans. It is natural and it is good. 
  • The gift of sexuality has a purpose in God’s plan for humans. Sex is granted for both joy and procreation with the boundaries of a committed relationship between a man and a woman. 
  • Promiscuous sex is a perversion of God’s gift, whether between same or opposite sexes. 
  • The power of sexual desire is a power for good when used under discipline. It is a power for evil and destruction when not controlled. 
  • Abstinence outside marriage is the only sure way to prevent STD, prevent pregnancy, and protect the gift of sex for its fulfillment in the marriage relationship between a man and a woman. 
  • A fertilized egg, which quickly becomes an embryo, is the beginning of human life, which is so precious in God’s sight that he condemns murder. Human-ordered destruction of an embryo is the same thing as murder – the willful human assumption of power over life and death that belongs only to God. 
  • Unplanned and unwanted pregnancy does not justify murder. There are ways to deal with the pregnancy that honor God’s gift of life and God’s authority over all human life.

Faced with the secular view of life and family, Christian parents have a serious challenge. Whining won’t help. Prayer will. A Christian who believes that God is actually sovereign over life and death and all things through the end of time must believe that God will bless his commitment to rear children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord despite all the obstacles the world throws in his path. The Christians living in the Roman Empire faced both cultural restriction and official persecution. Christ’s church survived. Through two thousand years of rejection and resistance by Satan through people motivated by Satan, the church survived. Parents who want their children to grow up in the faith must strengthen their own faith and become more deeply committed to living their faith. Words of faith must be modeled by lives of faith. That is how children will learn to accept the authority of their parents and to live their own faithful testimonies.

The science so revered by secular thinkers has uncovered a truth that might comfort Christian parents: No matter how it looks, children actually listen to their parents more intently than to any other voice in their lives. This means that Christian parents who simply do what their faith leads them to do will have the single most powerful influence in their children’s lives. No matter how daunting it looks, God’s design built into human beings poises each little baby to look for and obey his or her parents.

The free availability of “morning after” medications for girls of all ages is an atrocity. It is one more nail in the coffin of a moral culture. It is one more fiery dart launched against the legal rights of parents to rear their children in their own moral and spiritual code. (This is, by the way, a right protected by the Ninth Amendment of the US Constitution, but as some have said, we appear to be living in a post-constitutional age.) Despite the appearance that evil is winning the culture wars, Christian parents need not despair. Be strong in the faith. Be obedient to Christ. Speak your faith, teach your faith, and pray your faith. Your children, believe it or not, are watching.

National Healthcare, the Engine of Religious Suppression in the USA, is Upheld

English: United States Supreme Court building ...
English: United States Supreme Court building in Washington D.C., USA. Front facade. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The United States Supreme Court now completes the circle. Every branch of government has now caved in to a progressive and liberal replacement of the ideas somebody wants in place of the Constitution of the United States. All three branches of our government, which in theory act as checks and balances to each other’s excesses, have now completely betrayed the people and trashed the Constitution of the United States of America.This announcement would ordinarily be out of place in a blog on the subject of the Christian life and the signs of a building trend toward religious restriction and persecution. Today, however, this announcement is fully consistent with the theme of this blog. The so-called “Affordable Healthcare Act” includes a requirement for employers that has resulted in the complete trashing of the First Amendment to our Constitution, and the affirmation by the Supreme Court of the law in its entirety assures us all that religious restriction and perhaps even persecution are not beyond the reach of our government.In the midst of all this disaster, God remains on his throne. In the affairs of time and space, he is not obligated to intervene and act as we, his besieged children, might ask. He promises to go with us through the fire and to give us grace to endure it. I see the fires already, and I know I need the grace. I prayed that the healthcare bill would not pass, and it did. I prayed that the court would overturn it, but the law is upheld. It matters not that any third-grader could recognize that the plain meaning of language has been completely distorted in order to declare this law constitutional. I accept God’s sovereignty, whether or not I understand it, and I continue to trust him with my life. However, the country for which I used to give him thanks is gone.

As of today, the United States of America, governed according to the Constitution of the United States of America, no longer exists. It is a glorious memory, a high and noble story in the history of the world, but it no longer exists. With this decision, the Supreme Court declares that the words of the Constitution are irrelevant and that all words henceforth mean only what the government declares them to mean.

This state of affairs does not bode well for freedom of religious expression. It particularly does not bode well for Christians, because Christian teaching is the source of the idea that people are born free and have a right to run their own lives. The concept that every person has a right to choose and freely express his religious choice has thrived in countries where Christians were the majority, but in countries where other religions prevail or where no religion prevails, this freedom has almost universally been at least constrained if not completely suppressed.

My friends who identify with liberal political views, even if they call them progressive, will claim I have wandered off topic. I have not. National healthcare and religious practice are integrally related. (You can argue that we don’t have national healthcare if you want, but healthcare required and enforced by the national government is national healthcare. Any other wording is a semantic game.) The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has already felt the heavy hand of oppression in the regulations associated with this law. Their right to free expression of their faith, and the right of institutions and individual employers to express their faith have been suppressed, even crushed, by the administration of this law and the president’s adamant refusal to allow a conscience exemption for them. We should all view today’s decision with horror and trepidation. If the government can do this, what can it not do?

When I was a little girl, I learned not to fear my government. My parents and my teachers all told me that our government believed in personal freedom and respected the freedom of every citizen to run his own life without interference, unless the citizen chose to engage in criminal activity. I don’t think a choice whether to buy health insurance has a criminal aspect. It is simply a personal choice, just like buying furniture or a car, or, for goodness sake, a light bulb. In all those decisions a citizen in the constitutionally governed United States would be left alone to make his own decisions while the federal government busied itself with its rightful concerns. As of today’s decisions, the government has sat down comfortably in every family’s living room, and even in the hospitals and social services operated by churches. Our days of freedom are over. I do fear my government.

Enslavement to individual property owners ended during the Civil War. It was a bad thing and we should be proud that it ended. However, we are all slaves now, slaves to an overarching government that accepts no limits to its power to intrude in our lives.

I pray that it will take a while for the government to decide to make any more rules or laws about religious expression, but given that I never thought a healthcare law, constitutional or not, would involve religious liberty, I no longer have any idea that I can predict what the government is likely to do.

I am a proud citizen of the constitutionally governed United States of America. I will make one last attempt to save the country from complete destruction by voting for Mitt Romney for president on November 6. If he doesn’t win, there is no hope that anything even vaguely resembling the United States of America and its Constitution will survive beyond November 7.