For the win

You could hardly have missed the news this week that Texas signed into law a “heartbeat bill,” effectively banning abortion in that state. Well, it went over as you might expect, with pro-abortion advocates losing their minds

Some said the quiet bit out loud— if you ban abortions, there will be more Downs Syndrome babies born, not to mention more black and brown babies too. Some linked to articles about Ceaușescu’s Romania, suggesting the incentive for citizens to report illegal abortions was the same thing as the securitate. In a macabre admission, abortion clinics in Texas said they were “racing” to get as many abortions completed before the law goes into effect in six weeks. ‘Cause nothing says “We care about women’s health” like a rushed abortion…

The Supreme Court of the USA voted to let the ruling stand, but President Biden vowed to bring a “whole-of-government” effort against it.Depending on who you poll, it would seem that most Americans support some restrictions on abortion, yet this shows how broken our moral compass is. Some who fancy themselves “moderate” on the issue found the Texas ruling a bridge too far. This is not an issue with any middle ground – a human is a human no matter how small, or how dependent and we have no business taking that life. 

While most of the chatter is around the rights of the mother and the responsibility of the father, the gaping hole in the heart of a society which views some lives as dispensable is ignored. Pray that leaders who have a heart to save lives can continue to stand in the face of fierce opposition. We give thanks to our Father for his mercy and remember that with him, there is always help and hope. 

There are many organizations continuing to fight against the culture of death, including Lutherans for Life. Check them out for inspiration about how you can get involved. 

Not in My Backyard

We know that the devil is a liar and a murderer and his works attest to that. But it is always troubling when you hear of the wickedness on your own doorstep. According to a new report, a grant of almost $3M has been given to the University of Pittsburgh, to build “pipeline for the acquisition” of fetal tissue to experiment on. According to the BaptistPress, this macabre research has been going on for many years, with the latest grant containing quotas for samples taken from babies of racial minorities. Lord, have mercy!

Calling good evil

Golgatha  shared an article with Us The Chill Discord, which highlights the rise of anti-natalist movements. While the doomsday book “The Population Bomb” has proven to be grossly mistaken in its prediction that great swathes of humanity would starve as the population exploded, Malthusian ideas have consequences. Today, though the reasons may be different, a strange confluence of modern ideas has produced a chorus of voices calling for less babies.

Feminism maintains that motherhood is overrated, with self-focus and career touted to be all the fulfilment a woman needs. Our therapeutic culture preaches that having children is not worth the disruption to your life. More recently, the climate a

larmists have made it easier to shame anyone who wants to have kids. Think of the planet! 
A recent article from Vogue UK has the author, Nell Frizell, wondering whether having baby is “pure environmental vandalism” or an investment in the future. She goes on in her piece to admit that she decided have a baby after all, yet still feels the need to justify her decision by vowing to raise him to be environmentally responsible. The fact that the white noise in Modernland has us second guessing whether having children might be a moral evil is quite a feat.

So Mad Christian, this is one of the doctrines of demons that we are up against. While the pagans continue to be ambivalent about whether life or death is better, we know what it is to be resurrected by the life-giving God. It is his design for this age that there are families, filling his church and stewarding the earth. Let’s pray for strength to defend life and comfort those crushed and confused by the spirit of the age.

In some good news, a  teenage Spanish influencer (yes that’s his job description) with 26 million followers, has taken a pro-life stance on his TikTok account, saying that abortion is “killing someone.” When asked what he would do if his girlfriend became pregnant unexpectedly, 19 year-old Naim Darrechi said “I would be a father without hesitation. You give me a child and I’ll fall in love with him.”

Your best private life now

The loss of a baby is a distressing topic to broach at any time, and those who suffer through the experience know how hard it is. Recently, model Chrissy Teigen and John Legend posted heartbreaking images to social media in the aftermath of the miscarriage of their baby. There is a time to share the unseen pain of miscarriage, but Teigen’s decision to share such an event so publicly, prompted Frank Furedi to pen some insightful observations regarding our culture’s “ritual of disclosure.”

The flip side of the everyone-has-a-voice age of digital megaphones is the “devaluation of private life.” In the decades-long fashion for wearing your heart on your sleeve, the logic seems to be “better out than in,” regardless of the topic. Furedi suggests that the acceptance of voyeurism – and its corollary, exhibitionism, “stems from the cultivation of personal and emotional openness in contemporary Western culture. Openness is encouraged everywhere today. Children are instructed to share their private concerns and anxieties with their classmates and teachers. Adults are continually exhorted to ‘express themselves’, to ‘share’ and to ‘talk about it.’ Individuals who publicly air their private troubles are applauded for their bravery.”

Sharing details of your life can be lucrative: “Celebrities and cultural influencers now compete to see who can draw more followers into their inner lives.” But worse than the commercialization of personal lives, Furedi says that “it is through the act of public disclosure that many individuals now seek validation.” Furedi continues: “Sharing intimate details of one’s life in this way is often justified on the grounds that it challenges the ‘taboos’ and the ‘stigma’ surrounding a particular subject.” 

Yet, mostly, it comes up empty: “A culture fascinated by the performance of revelation will always disappoint. When you look closely, you will discover that very little has been revealed. Even after you’ve seen the tears flow in the sharing of an intimate moment, you will realize that, in truth, very little of value or interest has been revealed. This exhibitionism is a mask – one that conceals the spiritual emptiness where a meaningful private existence used to be.” Ouch.

“Self-improvement” was once a popular way to work on “meaningful private existence”, and today “self-care” seems to occupy the same space. Learning languages or volunteering, or even a spa retreat or Netflix binge might be good for your sense of well-being. Posting your innermost thoughts on the ‘Gram might win you some likes, but Mad Christians have better tools to grow from the inside out. 

There is a “time to keep silence and a time to speak” and feeding an inner life with the wisdom of the Word can help us know the difference. So set up your Psalms clock (see SMChill) and take time away from the white noise to reflect, read, think and pray. As Tony Stark might say it: “Put miles on your soul.”