On Sexual Harassment

What are we to make of this modern outbreak? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Odds are that before the day is through, a new sexual harassment charge will be brought forward against Roy Moore, Al Franken, or someone else in a position of power. This leaves Christians wondering what is going on exactly. How is it that we respond to this? Why is this such an issue today?

The first thing to say about this is innocent until proven guilty. That’s the American system. If someone does apologize or agree to the charges, then yes, take that as an admission of guilt. I don’t care for the comedy of Louis CK, but when the charges were brought against him, I withheld judgment until he came forward and said that they were true.

Yet there is no doubt some of this happening today and the question is why. Why in our day and age do so many men seem to be accused of this? Please note that a woman can just as much sexually harass a man, but usually, men seem to be the main offenders. It could be because either a man doesn’t want to admit it, or because a man would not consider it harassment if a woman started really coming on to him and doing sexual things to him.

Some of this I think is due to modern feminism. It was this idea that men and women are absolutely equal. Reality check. They’re not. Men and women are vastly different. This does not mean that one is superior to the other. It does not mean that one is more human than the other. It just means that they are different from one another.

Feminism sought to make them all equal and one of the great ways to do this was abortion. After all, once a woman gets pregnant, it could really dampen her career and her sex life. Can’t have that! The oddity is that women who were promoting this were also allowing themselves to be used by men. After all, men have this desire for sex without consequences and if you can remove the consequences even if the woman gets pregnant, then hey, no worries! Sadly, many will happily kill their own children if it means they can get more sex.

I wish I was exaggerating on this point, but I am not. Consider how a few years ago when Texas was passing a bill to limit abortion. Here you have man-child Ben Sherman writing about why this bill should be opposed.

Your sex life is at stake. Can you think of anything that kills the vibe faster than a woman fearing a back-alley abortion? Making abortion essentially inaccessible in Texas will add an anxiety to sex that will drastically undercut its joys. And don’t be surprised if casual sex outside of relationships becomes far more difficult to come by.

Note that part. Casual sex outside of relationships. After all, who cares about a relationship with the woman? That takes so much work and such. You might actually have to get to know her, spend time with her, invest in her, and learn to treat her with love and honor. Nah. It’s far easier to just “hit it and quit it.”

You see, if sex is the end and the women don’t matter for a relationship, then the women will be used. Sadly, it’s not because these people have a high view of sex. They actually have a low view of sex. They take one aspect of sex, the physical joy, and remove all the other aspects of it.

One of the great joys of sex in marriage is the bonding it gives with one’s spouse. That happens in relationship. Before I got married, a former pastoral counselor gave me a notecard with some pieces of advice for marriage. One statement on there I remember was “Sex is the thermometer that measures the temperature of the relationship.” That can apply to many men today. If you want to ask a man how his marriage is doing, he could very well base it off of what goes on in the bedroom.

Sex is indeed a physical act, but it is not just physical. It is spiritual. It is emotional. It is relational. If you take the physical, then you’re really just cheapening sex. Now, something that’s incredibly good and cheapened can still be incredibly good. A Corvette can be a great car even if it has a dent in it. It just won’t have the same value.

To get back then to what was being said, a man won’t value a woman as a woman, but see her as just a body. Often times, this will mean that he thinks the same thing that works on him should work on her. The woman should be that if you do X, then Y happens. Do this and you get sex back. Ask any married man and they will tell you the truth about this.

I often think part of the problem in marriages is that men expect women to think like men and vice-versa. It doesn’t work that way. The way men and women think about things is extremely different. The sad thing is many of those things we think should be appreciated. A man thinks his romantic physical gestures should be appreciated. A wife thinks her helpful tips on how to do the dishes should be appreciated.

To get back to harassment, what happens then is that men can make advances they think should be appreciated, but get turned into harassment. They can also treat women as if they were just bodies and nothing more than objects of pleasure for them. It’s quite interesting to think that Mike Pence got a lot of pushback for his rule about relationships with women other than his wife, but a lot of people today would be in a lot less trouble if they followed that rule.

What does it take to change this? It takes a higher view of sex and a higher view of people. Sex has to be more than just a physical activity, though certainly not less. It has to be a spiritual and emotional and relational connection to be saved for the sacred bonds of marriage. Men and women have to be seen as persons in their own right and their very beings are not just means to an end.

As for the current charges, we can discuss, but let us always remember innocent until proven guilty. See what evidence all sides have. I have not looked at any of the cases sufficiently in order to make a judgment, but it is easy to ruin someone over just a claim today and that is something we need to move past. This is not to excuse sexual harassment at all either. It’s a wrong that should not be done, but it does not mean that we decide on a case before the evidence comes forward.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Loving Things, Using People

Are we a society of users? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

On Facebook yesterday, I saw an old story about a woman in a competition I believe in Poland who apparently had sex with 919 men in a day, and another sad part is she beat her competition by a small number. Ultimately, I see a woman who has cheapened herself and allowed herself to be used just to get a record like this. The story ended with saying that she had sex with her “lucky” boyfriend that evening. Yes. A lucky guy no doubt. He was lucky enough to be #920 in line. Can she truly say she’s saved something special for him?

Isn’t that term interesting? We speak of someone “Getting lucky.” Now I understand what it means. Most any married man especially will tell you that an evening that includes sex is a good evening and naturally, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting that, looking forward to it, and enjoying it. What is often wrong is that this is seen as the goal of relationships. Why does a guy date a girl? Ultimately often just to get into her pants we think. Now don’t understand. Any guy dating a girl should want to have sex with her. He really should. That desire must be controlled until marriage, but the desire is not the problem. Treating it as the greatest good is.

In a married relationship, one of the biggest goals of sexuality in it is to unify closer together. The main theory is that women need to feel intimate to have sex and men need to have sex to feel intimate. A woman should indeed give sex for the sake of intimacy, but a man should always be doing his part. Men. Please never stop dating your wife and being romantic. We often, both men and women, put forward our best foot while dating and strive to be our best, but then when we marry it’s easy to say “Well I’ve got them now” and coast. Don’t coast. Be keeping up the speed you’re going on and gaining more and more.

If there’s something I suspect leads to this usage of men and women, though especially women in our culture, it is that we don’t have a rite of passage in our society. In many parts of the world, there is a rite of passage where a young man or woman undergoes a ritual or completes a task or something of that sort where they are then seen as a fully functioning man or woman by society. We go so far against that that we have a stage called adolescence and call people teenagers. They are not seen as adults, but they are not seen as children, but they strive to be adults. (Why do even small children play games where they are adults?)

For many men, the rite of passage for them as being seen as a man is having sex. It is “conquering” as it were, a woman. After all, you don’t want to be a prude and be a virgin do you? What does that mean to say you cannot be successful in a relationship with a woman? Are you scared or what?

For many women, it can be similar, but the desire for them is to be loved and know that they are beautiful. Girls. Let me put this to you clearly. When a guy wants sex, he will do or say most anything to get it. (Yeah. In case you haven’t noticed, women have this strange power over men. Wives. You need to realize you have this power too to motivate your man to goodness.) They will tell you they love you and that you’re beautiful and everything. Unfortunately, they will often kick you to the curb afterward. They got what they want. Move on to the next one.

For women, I encourage you to realize something. You are the one in charge. You let every man know how much you’re worth. So how much are you worth? Dinner and a movie? Three dates? A month? Six months? Engagement? Women. You can’t put a higher price on yourself than marriage. You let every man know you’re worth a lifelong commitment and if he’s not willing to pay the price, he doesn’t get what he wants.

What I wish women realized is that you are beautiful and you don’t need to treat that beauty cheaply. If a man really wants you, he will do what it takes and if that means marriage, he’ll do it. If he’s not willing, he’s not worthy. Please don’t also accept this garbage about living together. You can’t have a good relationship if you’re treating each other like a test. It won’t work.

The end result overall in our society is that we have treated sex as a god and used one another as a way of getting this god. Now there is something that we actually have right here. Sex is a transcendent experience. I have a book here written by a pastor and his wife and in it, the authors say something along the lines of that if an atheist ever asks you to prove that there is a God, just say one word. Sex. Give him a day to think about it. If he’s not convinced, he’s told you a lot more about his sex life than he realizes.

There is a transcendent experience there. It is something that gets you out of yourself and entering into something totally unique. It was made to be that way. Sex was God’s idea first. He created it, the engine behind it, and the strong desire for it. One of the big mistakes we have made is to treat it as something dirty. It’s not.

One of my favorite blogs to read is “To Love, Honor, and Vacuum.” Sheila Wray Gregoire runs it and she said recently she is going to stop telling women they need to stay pure until marriage. I was a bit astounded and read to see what she was saying, then I agreed with her! What kind of message is it to say “Stay pure until you’re married and then when you have sex, you’re no longer pure.” You still are pure! Sex doesn’t make you dirty!

So what’s the danger? We confuse the gift with the giver. There is a saying that a finger is good for pointing at the moon, but woe to the man who mistakes a finger for the moon. Picture having a dog and pointing at his food dish for him to eat. Instead, the dog sniffs your finger. He misses the point. So do we. We see sex as an end in itself when really, it’s a great good to lead to even greater goods.

So what happens when we treat it as the end in itself? We use one another. Lewis once wrote about a man who was trapped with a great lustful desire. People would say he needs a woman. Lewis said that is the last thing he needs. If he came across a real woman, he wouldn’t know what to do with her. What he wants most is not a woman but sex and the female body happens to be the apparatus he wants to use to get that sex. The person doesn’t matter. It is the body that makes the difference.

For the Christian, it’s both. If we say that the body doesn’t matter and taking care of it doesn’t matter, then we are essentially gnostics. The body does matter, but it is not just a body. It is a person with a body. The body is how we perform the acts of love for one another. Do you kiss the person you love? Do you do works of art or fix them dinner or take care of the house or earn a living or anything else? All of these are done with the body.

If you think the body doesn’t matter, then picture this. You are a wife sitting at home and your husband comes in. Normally he comes to where you’re sitting, leans over and kisses you. Today, he leans over and smacks you across the face. Does that matter? You bet it does. The body is the means you use to express the desire of your soul. That is what takes places in marriage. The marriage act itself is the greatest expression of your soul through your body to show how much you love and want and trust and desire the other person.

What’s it going to take to change this? For one thing Christians, please stop thinking that a purity pledge, a single talk from Mom and Dad, and a few verses in Paul is enough to stop raging hormones. It isn’t. Just think back to when you were dating. Instead, your child needs a whole worldview of sex. They need to know what place it plays and why it’s reserved for marriage.

Second, let your boys and girls have ways to know they are men and women apart from sex. Fathers are the most essential at this. Fathers need to treat boys like men and make them into men. Ultimately, only another man can do that. If you’re a single mother, I urge you to find someone who can be a father figure for your sons. It could be a coach, an uncle, or a grandfather.

For those of you with daughters, please always let your daughter know she’s beautiful and loved. Make it so that if she marries a man, he’s going to be a man who treats her in a way easily comparable to how her Daddy treats her. When Valentine’s Day rolls around, order something for your daughter as well. Let her know what a special person she is in your life. Be willing to spend father-daughter time together. Even now that Allie and I are married, her Dad will still come to see her and take her out for some father-daughter time together. I have no problem with that. When we lived in Knoxville, her father-in-law once took her to a church event that was a father-daughter dance. I stayed at home. I had no problem with it.

And when it comes to the marrieds, like my own wife and I, can we still get “lucky.”? Yes. We can. In fact, we are. We are “lucky” because we have one person that gives us that ultimate trust and desire. Sex is the full expression of that love and desire with no fear of holding back. What makes us “lucky” is we have someone who shares that experience with us and only us. I share something unique with Allie and she shares it with me that is not shared with anyone else on the planet. How can I not be lucky? I’m the only person in this world treasured by Allie and who gets to fully treasure her.

Ladies especially, please realize your worth. Many men will want to use you and even good men will be tempted to give in. Be strong. You are worth it. Wait until marriage. You have the rest of your lives then to enjoy that gift together and it is a gift. Be picky. Be finicky. Be exclusive. You don’t need to settle for anything less than a lifetime commitment.

Follow these steps, and it is far less likely that you will use one another. You are not objects. The greatest good is not the sex. The greatest good is the love and joy that is shared mutually. Sex is the way that you get this in a married relationship, but it is not the end in itself.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 1/21/2017: Christopher Kaczor

What’s coming up Saturday? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

As I have been saying, in January I try to devote the podcast to abortion. This Saturday is no exception. I’ve had some friends from the Christian Apologetics Alliance come on to talk about abortion, but I decided I needed to get one guest from outside of there. I wanted someone who is first-rate and has thought deeply about the issue of abortion.

That someone has done extensive reading on the topic and is a recognized scholar and has appeared on several programs. He is a professor of Philosophy as well meaning a skill in learning how to think on the issues. He is also the author of the book The Ethics of Abortion and his name is Christopher Kaczor.

Who is he?

Kaczor

Dr. Christopher Kaczor (rhymes with razor) is Professor of Philosophy at Loyola Marymount University.  He is a Corresponding Member of the Pontifical Academy for Life of Vatican City and the James Madison Society of Princeton University. He graduated from the Honors Program of Boston College and earned a Ph.D. four years later from the University of Notre Dame. A Fulbright Scholar,  Dr. Kaczor is a former Federal Chancellor Fellow at the University of Cologne and William E. Simon Visiting Fellow in the James Madison Program at Princeton University.  His twelve books include The Gospel of HappinessThe Seven Big Myths about MarriageA Defense of DignityThe Seven Big Myths about the Catholic Church, The Ethics of Abortion, O Rare Ralph McInerny: Stories and Reflections on a Legendary Notre Dame Professor, Thomas Aquinas on the Cardinal Virtues; Life Issues-Medical Choices; Thomas Aquinas on Faith, Hope, and Love; The Edge of Life, and Proportionalism and the Natural Law Tradition. Dr. Kaczor’s views have been in The New York Times, The Washington PostThe Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, National Review, NPR, BBC, EWTN, ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, MSNBC, TEDx, and The Today Show.

We’ll be talking about the case for abortion and noting that the case is not really a religious issue. There are Christians (I don’t know how) who say they are for abortion and there are atheists who are against it. Therefore, we need to make this an issue not dependent on any religious tradition but just what the facts are.

We’ll look at numerous arguments given for abortion and how to reason about the subject. One that I particularly want to deal with is the question of supposed you’re in a lab and there is a dish with ten embryos and there is one fully grown janitor there and there’s a fire. Are you going to get the janitor our or the embryos? We’ll also be discussing perhaps if artificial wombs could ever end the debate, or would it just create more difficulties?

I hope you’ll be joining me this Saturday for the latest episode and remember to please like and share the Deeper Waters Podcast. If you haven’t left a review, please go and leave one on ITunes. I love to see them!

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

 

Deeper Waters Podcast 1/14/2017: Elijah Thompson

What’s coming up? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Last week, we had Ty Benbow come on and talk about abortion and we had a wonderful talk about women who are seeking to get an abortion and about our need to reach out to these people. This Saturday, we’re going to keep going down the path and I will be interviewing some friends for the Christian Apologetics Alliance. Our focus in January is on the topic of abortion and I will be bringing someone on who does focus on that topic. This week, our guest is Elijah Thompson who has his own podcast on this.

So who is he?

ElijahThompson

Elijah Thompson is the host of The Fetal Position, a pro-life bioethics podcast dedicated to having open and honest discussions about abortion (and related topics) from a pro-life perspective. His goal is to promote the equality of all human beings, not because of what they can do, but because of who they are. He believes that human life and human rights ought to respected, from womb to tomb. Elijah graduated with a bachelor’s in biology and a minor in philosophy, so he found bioethics to be an easy fit for his academic interests, and has experience working with cell cultures (including stem cells). He currently lives with his wife and two sons in Buffalo, NY, and attends a church where he and his wife both volunteer as youth leaders.

Elijah also considers his show to be a secular show. How does that work? Can there be arguments that are “secular” against abortion? That will be something I plan on discussing on the show.

What does it mean to be a human being? If we are equal based not on what we do, but on who we are, then who are we? What is it about us that makes us human? What is it that the unborn possess just like us that makes us human as well?

What is the violinist argument and what does Elijah have to say to it that he thinks is unique? We’ll also be talking about tweetable answers. Many of us know that twitter is in the news a lot with the usage of president-elect Trump of it. Can Christians use twitter to make substantial comments on the abortion debate? We have been told in politics that important policies cannot be argued in 140 characters. Is that wrong? Could it be that we could use that many characters to make a successful argument against abortion?

I’m quite thankful to have friends who are willing to come on the show and I hope introducing you to some new minds on the issues can give you some new ideas and hope that there are others out there fighting the fight against abortion. I hope that you will be looking forward to the new episode. (Also, we have fixed the link to the show so your ITunes feed should be full now.) Please also considering going on ITunes and leaving a positive review of the show.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 1/7/2017: Ty Benbow

What’s coming up? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

January is here. This is a month that many of us will think about the abortion industry. After all, Roe V. Wade was decided this month in 1973 and here we are years ago and the silent holocaust is still going on in America. In January, I tend to devote all of my shows to the topic of abortion. I haven’t always done perfect, but it is the hope.

This month, I also asked around for friends in the area of apologetics specializing in abortion. I found three who were willing to come on. I hope then to introduce you to some new names in this field and new resources that you can use. One guest this month will be someone already well known in the field but for the others, I want to give my friends a chance to shine.

So who’s up first?

Meet Ty Benbow.

image1

According to his bio:

Ty Benbow is a professor and emerging author originally from Muncie, Indiana.

He graduated with a BA in Psychology from Wabash College in 2008, and later received his M.Div. from Anderson University School of Theology in 2011.

He currently serves in the Church Ministry Department at Warner University in Lake Wales, Florida where he teaches courses on Understanding the Old Testament and Life of Christ.

His debut novel “I’m Not Real” was published by Charisma Media in Lake Mary, Florida. INR was released on January 22nd, 2016, the 43rd anniversary of Roe v Wade.

Ty, his wife Riley, and daughter Berkeley currently reside in Winter Haven, Florida.

Ty has an approach where he seeks to get inside the head of a woman who is seeking an abortion. What is going on? We might be too quick to write someone off like this for negative reasons. Sure. We can all agree that the action is sinful, but we all do things that are wrong and we all think we have good reasons to do those things that are wrong. Ty will help us try to understand what is going on.

And what is the church to do? Ty has a hope that the church will become more proactive in this field. One complaint often given is that the church doesn’t really care about the child so long as the child isn’t aborted. Are we looking for signs of women in our community even who could be considering abortion and how to help them? There are a number of women who go to get abortions who identify as Christians after all.

This will be a serious month no doubt as abortion is a serious issue and since I’m not a specialist in the topic, I’m honored to be joined by people who do focus on that topic. It is my hope that you will be equipped better to talk with the people in your life who are considering abortion or have had one. We can be like Christ for those people who are struggling with the help of these people.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

Book Plunge: The Ethics of Abortion

What do I think of Christopher Kaczor’s book published by Routledge? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Kaczor’s book on abortion is a rather surprising one, and that’s a good thing. He starts out by laying out the parameters of the discussion. He wants to make it clear that his goal is not to antagonize people who have had an abortion and paint them out as monsters. He wants to make sure we know we are making a statement about an action and not about the people who do an action.

Kaczor’s book is systematically outlined to go through all the arguments that he can. He deals with the concept of personhood and why the human embryo even should be seen as a fully human person with rights equal to yours and mine. He regularly interacts with defenders of abortion and for those concerned that this is just a religious rant, he does it without appealing to the arguments of a particular religion. His arguments are scientific and philosophical.

For my money, the best part of the book is the sixth chapter. In this, Kaczor deals with many of the objections that will often be raised up against the pro-life movement. Some, such as the case of twinning, can be dealt with in many other works. Some, I’m not used to seeing talked about. For instance, Kaczor talks about the scenario of being in a burning building and being given the chance to save five adults or ten embryos and points out that most of us would save the adults. Are we being inconsistent? Kaczor presents a powerful argument as to why this is so. (And yes, I don’t tell it because I think you need to go out there and get the book yourself.)

Kaczor also interacts with questions such as asking if contraception is the same thing as abortion. He comes down on a side that is very favorable towards contraception when properly used. I found this to be a quite interesting take on the matter and helped deal with something that is often leveled especially against Protestants who are pro-life.

Kaczor has a final chapter dealing with the idea of artificial wombs. If science were to invent something like this, would this end the abortion debate? Kaczor seems to think it would certainly help so perhaps some scientifically minded people out there who are pro-life might want to consider this. Of course, Kaczor wants to make sure these actions are not done for frivolous reasons and does criticize that too often abortions take place for those reasons. One such example he gives is sex-selective abortion.

Kaczor’s book is a thorough takedown of the pro-abortion position and yet at the same time incredibly fair. He does not demonize his opponents and tries to present their arguments in the best possible light. Kaczor is certainly systematic and rigorous. If you are interested in learning about the best in pro-life argumentation, you owe it to yourself to read Kaczor’s book.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Is Abortion A Religious Issue?

Is abortion an issue that is religious? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Like a lot of you, last night I watched the Vice-Presidential debate. As we got to the end, I wished I could have jumped in and batted for Pence, especially when abortion came up. I certainly would have loved to have seen a Francis Beckwith or Scott Klusendorf up on the stage. I think Pence did great there, but he could have gone in for the jugular a number of times.

After the debate, a mutual friend of Allie and myself was surprised to see me say on Facebook that the issue should not stay with religion but should go with metaphysics and science. She was surprised because Allie and I are so religious. This is a good issue to talk about. Does my bringing up another area show that I am not religious? Am I wrong to move to a different territory?

Keep in mind that in all of this, I plan to also cite the debate from last night. The transcript I am going with is here.

So let’s start. Now there is no one specific Bible verse on abortion to be sure, but there are passages that indicate that one should not take innocent human life. It’s hard to get more innocent than a child in the womb. This is why the early church also took the response they did to abortion. They sought to end it and in fact were pro-life everywhere else. They rescued baby girls that had been abandoned that would either be eaten by animals or taken by men and raised in the sex industry of the past.

Also, I want to say that the Bible does not present statements of morality as if they were new. There is no reason to think that Moses got the Ten Commandments and everyone said “Whoa! We gotta stop this murder thing!” Murder was known to be wrong by Cain when he murdered his brother. Moses himself hid after killing an Egyptian. Judah knew about adultery as well having done it with his daughter-in-law and Joseph fled from Potiphar’s wife because of his moral stance on adultery.

The same happens with history. Why does the Bible say that Jesus was crucified. It says it not so it did happen, but because it happened. The writing of the crucifixion is not the cause of the crucifixion. The happening of the crucifixion is the cause of the writing. They wrote it down because it happened. The same with the resurrection I’d say as well. That’s a historical fact.

Now is there anything that history can’t ascertain about this? Yes. History cannot tell you that Jesus died so that man could be right with God and God’s Kingdom could come on Earth. It can tell you that that’s why Jesus and others believed He died, but the answer to the question is ultimately more theology than history. Of course, if Jesus didn’t die and rise, then all the theology won’t change that.

So do we have extra information with abortion? We do. We have the science of what goes on in the womb when the sperm and the egg unite. We can map out the whole process and for those wanting that, there are plenty of good books pro and con on abortion that can tell you that. We also have metaphysical arguments for what life is and why it’s good and sacred. These help build up the case against abortion.

It’s also important to point out that if your position is said to be religious, then that often gives it an automatic bias in the eyes of people as something they don’t need to take seriously. If science shows life begins at conception, that has implications for religion, but the position itself is not religious. It’s just a matter of fact.

Often when an idea is given and the person is said to be religious, the arguments for their position is discounted. However, arguments don’t have a religion. People do. Arguments stand or fall with the data and not the biases of the person that is held. For more on this, I recommend listening to my interview with Francis Beckwith on his book Taking Rites Seriously.

Now let’s look at some of what was said last night. Let’s start with the question itself. The moderator Elaine Quijano said the following.

All right. I’d like to turn to our next segment now. And in this, I’d like to focus on social issues. You have both been open about the role that faith has played in your lives. Can you discuss in detail a time when you struggled to balance your personal faith and a public policy position? Senator Kaine?

Of course, we have the opposition set in play right off. The idea is that faith must not be allowed in the public square at all. Unfortunately, that means that those who fear a theocracy (And if anyone can find these Christians pushing a theocracy, please tell them to stop. I’ve been told about this belief many times, but I know of very few Christians who have such plans.) in turn want to create a system where secularism is the religion of the state and no other claimants are allowed.

Now let’s start to look at Kaine’s answer.

Yeah, that’s an easy one for me, Elaine. It’s an easy one. I’m really fortunate. I grew up in a wonderful household with great Irish Catholic parents. My mom and dad are sitting right here. I was educated by Jesuits at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City. My 40th reunion is in 10 days.

And I worked with Jesuit missionaries in Honduras, now nearly 35 years ago, and they were the heroes of my life. I try to practice my religion in a very devout way and follow the teachings of my church in my own personal life. But I don’t believe in this nation, a First Amendment nation, where we don’t raise any religion over the other, and we allow people to worship as they please, that the doctrines of any one religion should be mandated for everyone.

The question is if there is any religious doctrine being pressed? Is Kaine thinking that he is advocating that people be required to uphold the perpetual virginity of Mary? Is it being debated in his state Senate what the nature of the Eucharist is? If so, then why think the doctrines of a religion are being mandated? This is just an implicit assumption that a doctrine a religion holds cannot be based on any independent facts that only the people of that religion hold.

For me, the hardest struggle in my faith life was the Catholic Church is against the death penalty and so am I. But I was governor of a state, and the state law said that there was a death penalty for crimes if the jury determined them to be heinous. And so I had to grapple with that.

When I was running for governor, I was attacked pretty strongly because of my position on the death penalty. But I looked the voters of Virginia in the eye and said, look, this is my religion. I’m not going to change my religious practice to get one vote, but I know how to take an oath and uphold the law. And if you elect me, I will uphold the law.

And I was elected, and I did. It was very, very difficult to allow executions to go forward, but in circumstances where I didn’t feel like there was a case for clemency, I told Virginia voters I would uphold the law, and I did.

That was a real struggle. But I think it is really, really important that those of us who have deep faith lives don’t feel that we could just substitute our own views for everybody else in society, regardless of their views.

What I would want to know at this point is why Kaine is against the death penalty. Now if he says it could put an innocent life to death, then I have my own questions. (One large one is why is it that it is wrong for us to determine that a criminal should die, but it’s our moral right to determine that a baby in the womb should die whose only crime is existing?) Does Kaine hold his position just because his religion says so, or does he believe his religion is telling the truth about reality. If it isn’t, why should anyone, including him, believe it? If it is, why should he be willing to go against it at all? Does he fear the judgment of men more than God?

Now Pence was given the same question.

Well, it’s a wonderful question. And my Christian faith is at the very heart of who I am. I was also raised in a wonderful family of faith. It was a church on Sunday morning and grace before dinner.

But my Christian faith became real for me when I made a personal decision for Christ when I was a freshman in college. And I’ve tried to live that out however imperfectly every day of my life since. And with my wife at my side, we’ve followed a calling into public service, where we’ve — we’ve tried to — we’ve tried to keep faith with the values that we cherish.

And with regard to when I struggle, I appreciate, and — and — and — I have a great deal of respect for Senator Kaine’s sincere faith. I truly do.

But for me, I would tell you that for me the sanctity of life proceeds out of the belief that — that ancient principle that — where God says before you were formed in the womb, I knew you, and so for my first time in public life, I sought to stand with great compassion for the sanctity of life.

I think Pence did good here, but I think he could have gone better. For us, the Bible is authoritative, but if he’s talking to Kaine about the law of the land, he will want to base that on what everyone can more easily determine. Kaine has already said he won’t let his faith dictate the law, so why not point elsewhere? Instead of the Bible, he could say “I am firmly persuaded by all the evidence we have today that life begins at conception. That is also in line with my Christian principles on the sanctity of life. Senator Kaine. When do you think life begins?”

That would have answered the question and then put Kaine on the defensive. By his own personal views, he thinks life begins at conception. By his political views, he thinks we should allow people the freedom to end that life. For now, let’s go back to Pence.

The state of Indiana has also sought to make sure that we expand alternatives in health care counseling for women, non-abortion alternatives. I’m also very pleased at the fact we’re well on our way in Indiana to becoming the most pro-adoption state in America. I think if you’re going to be pro-life, you should — you should be pro- adoption.

This is a home run for Pence. He not only provided the side that says “no abortion.” He also strongly advocated what the alternative looks like. If his state is on the way to becoming the most pro-adoption state, then this only backs his case all the more and it shows that he can hold a position of faith and live it consistently. Kaine has shown he cannot do that already.

But what I can’t understand is with Hillary Clinton and now Senator Kaine at her side is to support a practice like partial-birth abortion. I mean, to hold to the view — and I know Senator Kaine, you hold pro-life views personally — but the very idea that a child that is almost born into the world could still have their life taken from them is just anathema to me.

Another excellent reply. Pence gave a statement that really should have put Kaine on the defensive. It would have been nice to have seen him give some sort of reply to this one.

And I cannot — I can’t conscience about — about a party that supports that. Or that — I know you’ve historically opposed taxpayer funding of abortion. But Hillary Clinton wants to — wants to repeal the longstanding provision in the law where we said we wouldn’t use taxpayer dollars to fund abortion.

So for me, my faith informs my life. I try and spend a little time on my knees every day. But it all for me begins with cherishing the dignity, the worth, the value of every human life.

In fact, this is one of my biggest problems with the Democratic party. They are consistently pro-abortion. It’s amazing that this is one of the sacred cows of the party. Pence has the moral high ground here. What does Kaine say?

Elaine, this is a fundamental question, a fundamental question. Hillary and I are both people out of religious backgrounds, from Methodist church experience, which was really formative for her as a public servant.

But we really feel like you should live fully and with enthusiasm the commands of your faith. But it is not the role of the public servant to mandate that for everybody else.

Unfortuantely, as public servants, they will mandate something for everyone. Someone’s worldview will be pushed. Why not a true one? If it is true that life does not begin at conception and abortion doesn’t put to death an innocent human life, then what’s the big deal? If it is true, then it is a huge deal.

So let’s talk about abortion and choice. Let’s talk about them. We support Roe v. Wade. We support the constitutional right of American women to consult their own conscience, their own supportive partner, their own minister, but then make their own decision about pregnancy. That’s something we trust American women to do that.

And we don’t think that women should be punished, as Donald Trump said they should, for making the decision to have an abortion.

Of course, we can’t declare a new law and then make past occurrences of it a crime. That would be ridiculous, but I would want to ask this.

Senator Kaine. Do we punish a woman who kills intentionally her newborn baby?

How about her toddler?

How about her child who’s pre-teen?

How about her teenager?

If we do in all of those cases, what makes the child in the womb so different? If he says “That’s not a human life” then we ask if that can be established. If he says it is a human life but his faith can’t dictate, then we point out that it’s also a position in various religions that killing children is wrong and yet you’re willing to punish mothers who do that for children outside of the womb. Why the difference here?

Governor Pence wants to repeal Roe v. Wade. He said he wants to put it on the ash heap of history. And we have some young people in the audience who weren’t even born when Roe was decided. This is pretty important. Before Roe v. Wade, states could pass criminal laws to do just that, to punish women if they made the choice to terminate a pregnancy.

But this isn’t just a Christian position. An atheist can hold this position. Consider for instance Robert Price. He’s a mythicist, but he’s someone I entirely agree with on this end.

As for abortion, it is a crime against humanity. How can anyone claim the name “humanist” and be pro-abortion? Beats me. I’d love to see Roe v. Wade repealed. “Evidence-based policy” is the last thing Progressives really want.

Kaine treats this as if it’s automatically something we wouldn’t want. Why not make it more that something we automatically wouldn’t want is for women to terminate pregnancies and kill innocent children? And yes, I happen to think that if a woman kills a child, she should be punished for that.

I think you should live your moral values. But the last thing, the very last thing that government should do is have laws that would punish women who make reproductive choices. And that is the fundamental difference between a Clinton-Kaine ticket and a Trump- Pence ticket that wants to punish women who make that choice.

Once again, it comes down to what is the choice being made? If the choice is to kill an innocent child, then the question would be why should we oppose that? Are there cases where Kaine wants the killing of children to be legal? After this, we have a back and forth. It starts with Pence.

But here’s — there is a choice, and it is a choice on life. I couldn’t be more proud to be standing with Donald Trump, who’s standing for the right to life. It’s a principle that — Senator Kaine — and I’m very gentle about this, because I really do respect you — it’s a principle that you embrace.

And I have appreciated the fact that you’ve supported the Hyde amendment, which bans the use of taxpayer funding for abortion, in the past, but that’s not Hillary Clinton’s view. People need to understand, we can come together as a nation. We can create a culture of life. More and more young people today are embracing life because we know we are — we’re better for it. We can — like Mother Teresa said at that famous national prayer breakfast…

KAINE: This is important —

PENCE: … bring the — let’s welcome the children into our world. There are so many families around the country who can’t have children. We could improve adoption…

KAINE: But, Governor…

PENCE: … so that families that can’t have children can adopt more readily those children from crisis pregnancies.

It’s important to point out that Kaine had no trouble quoting Matthew to attack Trump, not realizing that the Bible apparently has something to say about killing innocent life. One of my own Catholic friends said it would have been great to have seen the Pope come on the stage and immediately excommunicate Kaine. Kaine seems quite selective when he wants to use the Bible.

But to get to what Pence has said, he’s made a great speech here. His viewpoint is one that is welcoming of children and doesn’t believe that they should be punished for existing. He is interested in creating a culture of life. This is quite important. Kaine then replies.

Governor, why don’t you trust women to make this choice for themselves? We can encourage people to support life. Of course we can. But why don’t you trust women? Why doesn’t Donald Trump trust women to make this choice for themselves?

That’s what we ought to be doing in public life. Living our lives of faith or motivation with enthusiasm and excitement, convincing other, dialoguing with each other about important moral issues of the day…

Okay. Let’s go this way.

Senator Kaine. Do you trust women to make the decision to kill their infants on their own?

Their toddlers?

Their pre-teens?

Their teenagers?

At what point do you think a woman should be trusted with the choice to kill her children or have that choice removed? Why is Kaine personally against the death penalty? Does he think that people shouldn’t be trusted with when to kill criminals? Why is he personally pro-life? Does he think it kills an innocent human being? If so, then he is saying he personally thinks abortion kills an innocent human being, but he thinks women should have the freedom to choose that on their own.

PENCE: Because there are…

KAINE: … but on fundamental issues of morality, we should let women make their own decisions.

Seriously? Would you do this anywhere else? All laws deal with moral issues. (Perhaps we should ask Kaine if he doesn’t think Trump should make the decision on when he should pay taxes or release his tax returns.) Should we let women make the decision to kill children outside of the womb, or their husbands, or that annoying dog of the neighbor? Seriously?

PENCE: Because there is — a society can be judged by how it deals with its most vulnerable, the aged, the infirm, the disabled, and the unborn. I believe it with all my heart. And I couldn’t be more proud to be standing with a pro-life candidate in Donald Trump.

Whether you stand with Trump or not or think he’s pro-life or not, the first part of this is excellent. Pence is absolutely right. Not only can a society be judged that way, they should be. So should individuals. We could all consider how we’re treating those who are the most vulnerable.

The issue of life does have religious implications, but it itself is not dependent on any one particular religion. It can be grounded in traditional Natural Law thinking. I don’t fault Pence for not being a trained pro-life apologist, but I would have loved to have seen a Beckwith or Klusendorf on stage dealing with Kaine last night.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

Gorilla Warfare

What are my thoughts on the Cincinnati zoo situation? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

My wife likes to watch the Weather Channel during tornado season and when I’m done with what I need to do on the internet, I tend to like to stay off of it. Therefore, I am somewhat surprised to see posts yesterday talking about a gorilla incident. Now I stroll on Facebook after reading more about it and it’s pretty much all that I see.

It really saddens me that on a day like yesterday when we should have spent more time focusing on the fact that our fellow human beings gave their lives for us, we were more concerned about a gorilla who died.

Now of course, none of us delight over what happened. None of us woke up and said “Wow. Today would be a great day to see a gorilla get killed.” Not liking an outcome does not mean that the wrong actions were done. Sometimes you can do the right thing and feel absolutely miserable. If that has never happened to you, then I wonder how often you are really doing the right thing.

I also happen to agree with many who are saying that there is outrage over the death of a gorilla, but how much outrage have you heard over the deaths of children in abortion? In fact, I have a suspicion that a lot of people raising the gorilla outrage really have no problem with abortion. What I see as a great danger is how our society is trying to put everything on an equal level.

Equality can be a great thing, but it only works if we recognize what is truly equal. We are all equally human for instance, but we have a lot of differences after that. We have differences in sex, race, body build, intelligence, athletic ability, artistic talent, emotional differences, genetic differences, etc. You could go on to add many more to this list. We can’t treat all of us as absolutely equal in every way. We’re not. We’re not supposed to be. If we were all exactly alike, this world would likely be a pretty boring place. (Not to mention our species would have died out long ago.)

What happens if you try to treat those distances like they don’t matter? What would happen if you wanted to put someone like myself, a man who just barely weighs 120, out on the football field to play a game because, hey, we’re all equal and those differences don’t matter? Then what would happen if you took the football player who would normally play that position and have them be studying NT Christianity in depth? (Now to be fair, that can be done, but most football players aren’t known for being experts in the NT.) There are ways men are different from women beyond physical characteristics and vice-versa.

The danger with the drive for equality is that we want equality of outcome instead of equality of start. We want in the end everyone to be equal instead of realizing what we all have in common at the start and then going from there. Now we extend it beyond humans and want to say that all animals fall into the same pattern.

For instance, when it comes to debates on homosexuality I get involved in, I often hear “This is natural because we see this happening in the animal world.” The hidden premise there being that if it is natural, then we should accept it. Let’s suppose that this is really what’s going on and there really is homosexual behavior in the animal world. (I have heard dissenting opinions, but I’m not a zoologist so I can’t state either way) Okay. We also see in the animal world that many animals happen to eat their own young. Do we want humans to start cooking their children for dinner? Now if you’re going to say that example doesn’t follow, then neither does the prior unless you have some argument to show that the above is a valid exception.

Yet the point is still that there’s this underlying idea that we are all just animals. Of course, one could say that we are in Aristotelian terms, “rational animals”, but we are different from the animals around us not just by degree but by kind. We are capable of thinking abstractly. Animals are not.

Our effort to make everyone and everything equal isn’t something that lifts humanity up. It more lowers us. We aren’t raising up the animals either. The animals are still being the same. Treat them like gods or treat them like food. On the whole, the animals will behave the same way. What will be lowered will be the worth of the human species instead, and that is what we see happening when people are more concerned about a gorilla being killed than about the possibility of a child being killed.

“Well couldn’t they have just tranquilized?” We all would have loved to have seen that happen, but real life is not like what you see in the movies. A large part of why we think this way is we’ve seen so many Disney cartoons where animals have been turned into humans pretty much who walk and talk and have their own personalities and reason through matters like we do. That’s good fantasy, but bad reality. One other fantasy is that if you shoot a tranquilizer dart at a gorilla, that it will conk out immediately. Well no. It won’t.

Even if it takes just a few minutes, in those few minutes, this gorilla has been shot with something and doesn’t know where it came from and will be much more agitated than before. You know who’s at risk the most then? The child. Are you seriously willing to risk the life of a child for that? (And if you’re one of those who are actually saying yes, and they do exist, you are indeed part of the problem in our society.)

While I can’t speak as a parent, I can speak as a human being. If it had been someone like say my own wife who is more capable of reasoning and could have known more how to get away, I still would not want a chance to be taken. If I had to, I would have taken up arms myself and gone in and taken out a million gorillas to get to her and I would not have remorse about it. I would be in good company. The medievals are said to have said that one human being is worth more than the entire universe. They were right.

It’s a shame so many people spent Memorial Day arguing over something that should have been a no-brainer really. Our soldiers did not die so that animals could be free. They died for us. They died so we could be free and not free to protest about animals, but free to be good citizens and build up a society of virtuous people and pursue that which is good. How many of us are busy doing that? (And yes, I need to do that just as much)

By all means, be sad that this tragedy happened. If you’re wondering my thoughts on the mother involved, we frankly don’t know enough yet. If she left her child alone and went off somewhere else, well yes, that is a problem. Still, we all know stories from good parents who look away for just a second and their child has got caught in chaos. It can happen. Without knowing all about that aspect, I’m not ready to comment on the mother. Still, I would give her some time because right now, she just needs to rejoice that her child is alive and if it was because of neglect on her part, I would hope this experience would be all the lesson she needs.

I look forward to the day when there’s more outrage from people about abortion than about gorillas. Unfortunately, our society has reached a point where we have chosen to tolerate the evil of abortion and said we will not tolerate killing animals to save humans. Again, we have not lifted animals up. We have just lowered ourselves and our fellow human beings. We can only deny reality so much before we pay the price for it.

I hope we wake up soon.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

“This Is My Body”

How have we twisted the notion of self-sacrifice? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I’d like to say I came up with this concept originally, but I heard someone, perhaps Peter Kreeft, speak on the words “This is my body” recently and made a contrast between two opposing positions. I actually thought of another position and I have just been mulling this over for some time. Therefore, I’d like to take my thoughts at this point and share them.

We’re familiar with the words from the Last Supper of “This is my body.” In this, Christ was preparing for His greatest act of self-sacrifice ever. He was preparing to face the tortures of the cross for the sins of the world. This was not something He had to do. This was the plan of God that He willingly submitted to. We find this displayed well in Philippians 2.

Some of you might be wondering about how I interpret the phrase. I really don’t. I have no strong case either way and prefer to see it as words of self-sacrifice. This is something I think could be seen by every viewpoint from a Christian perspective.

Now let’s take this over to marriage. Believe it or not, marriage is supposed to be about self-sacrifice and the epitome of that is to be found in the sexual relationship. This is where the ultimate trust is given by both partners, though I would say certainly the woman puts herself in a more vulnerable position. Each one can say “This is my body” and then say “And I give it to you. In a Biblical sense, your soul belongs to God, but when it comes to the physical relationship, you give your body to only one person. This person gets more of you than anyone else does.

In each of these, we have a beautiful picture of self-sacrifice. It is something powerful in each one and something divine in each one. Of course, since the second one is something we do, we can sadly twist it into something that it isn’t and we can use each person’s body as an apparatus of pleasure rather than that of a person to be loved. Still, something beautiful should not be judged by its misuse and we Christians are called to despite the misuse because we love the real deal so much.

Let’s look instead at another contrast. Do we ever hear the phrase “This is my body” elsewhere? Yes, we do, and in this contrast it is not self-sacrifice. It is in the case of abortion. We hear women speak about how it’s their body and they will then instead give up their children. The children who the body is designed to bring into the world will die for whatever reason the mother deems worthy.

I just find it so amazing that in this act, the concept of self-sacrifice is gone. Is nine months a long time sometimes? Yep. Is the period of childbearing painful? No doubt. Is giving birth painful? I am highly convinced every woman will want extensive pain killers in that time. It’s a shame that some women are not willing to face this time and instead choose to end another human life.

I also think this is worse than what the pagans did in the times of the Old Testament. Sure they sacrificed their children, but they didn’t do it for themselves individually but rather for the good of the harvest or something of that sort. Wicked and evil still? Absolutely, but our modern abortion is even more self-centered then that is.

I look forward to the day when the slaughter of the innocent is done. I look forward to when “This is my body” is always a reminder of self-sacrifice. I look forward to when virtue is restored to our people once again.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

How pro-choice is NARAL?

Anybody want some Doritos? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

So last night my wife was wanting to watch this program that frankly did not make any sense to me. It involved a bunch of grown men just running into each other constantly, but in the middle, it had these commercials and some were quite funny. I couldn’t understand why these commercials were being interrupted by this strange performance. I was even more puzzled when I heard it had to do with some falconry event about a Superb Owl and that Herodotus had written about it long ago.

However, one commercial that stood out to me was one that was done by Doritos. Rather than tell you about it, I think I should just show you.

Cute commercial. Right? If you were anything like me, you just laughed at it. One of my friends had texted me and was saying that NARAL was upset about it. Something about humanizing fetuses. At the time, I was sure he was joking about that. (In fact, as I look over their Twitter feed, it looks like if they are choosing one thing, it is they are choosing to not have a sense of humor.)

What did they say about this?

– that ad using tactic of humanizing fetuses & sexist tropes of dads as clueless & moms as uptight.

I wish I was making it up. I’m not. NARAL is complaining about humanizing fetuses apparently. Well there’s a bit of wisdom you need to remember about this.

offendedpeople

You see, most of us watched it and enjoyed it. NARAL has a habit of wanting to psychoanalyze anything and look for something that can offend them. In fact, there was even a point last night where a video was made of Super Bowl babies. Who were these? They were ones who had their parents watching the game and then one thing led to another and that’s how they were born. NARAL’s reply was that sports fans should use protection.

Because, like, you know, getting pregnant is the most horrible thing ever.

When I saw that commercial, I really thought a lot of those people looked pretty happy. They were glad to be alive. They were celebrating that their parents chose life. (And last I checked, I thought the pro-choice side was supposed to be pro-choice. Why are they so upset when some people actually make the choice that they’d like to have children?)

Now for my part, I have done a number of podcasts where I have interviewed people on the topic of abortion to answer the challenge of the pro-choice side. I will simply put those here.

Megan Almon.

Gretchen Coburn.

Clinton Wilcox.

Freda Bush.

Jay Watts.

Peter D. Williams.

DeeDee Warren.

Dave Sterrett.

Lori Peters.

Daniel Rodgers.

As for me and my house, I think we’ll celebrate the life that we have and maybe do so by making the choice to go out and buy some Dorito’s because I like seeing ads like that, especially if they get the people at NARAL so riled up that they end up showing their true colors.

Happy Superb Owl Sunday NARAL.

In Christ,

Nick Peters