For those who were curious to know the outcome of Gosnell's trial, the horrific abortion doctor I wrote about in my previous post, he has been convicted of first-degree murder on three accounts, and has been sentenced to a lifetime in prison with no possibility of parole.
For more information, I recommend this article.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
It's inner-city Philadelphia. Towering over the narrow streets looms an old brick building with the faded, red letters: "Family Planning."
But what you find inside is far worse than the outside.
You step through the door, and your nose wrinkles from the pungent smell of urine.
Blood is on the floor.
A flea-infested cat brushes by you, defecating as it dashes up the stairs.
If you dare to venture deeper into the eerie clinic, the horrors only increase.
In the recovery room, you find semiconscious women moaning on dirty recliners, wrapped in blood-stained blankets. Those blankets have only been washed once this week.
You pass the operating rooms housing old, deteriorating, faulty equipment. The surgical instruments lying in the sink have never been sterilized.
But the worst of all horrors are hidden in the far back room and the dark basement below. Heart pounding, you cautiously push the door open and, with a wince of dread, flick on the light. You gasp at the horrid sight of shelves filled with jars of severed baby feet, boxes and bags of infant parts, and mangled aborted fetuses in bottles and in the open. An unearthly shriek startles you; it's one of the babies, lying on a glass tray; it's eyes and mouth are still not completely formed but it still made a noise. A shiver like cold ice creeps down your spine and your breath becomes short.
You've had enough.
You bolt out of the room, trying to escape this nightmare. But you are lost. How do you get out of this place? You find an emergency exit and slam your body weight against it, but it's padlocked. Twenty minutes later you find your way to the front and burst out the door, panting.
Is this a scene from a horror movie?
No, this is real life.
This is Dr. Kermit Gosnell's abortion clinic.
|Credit Jessica Kourkounis, The New York Times|
After 1993, for political reasons, the department stopped inspecting clinics at all. Even as disturbing complaints came in — patients leaving with the same venereal disease, illegal abortions on minors and late-term pregnancies, a 41-year old woman dying at Gosnell's hands — the department opted not to investigate the "house of horrors" operating under their noses.
Finally, in 2011, the FBI raided Gosnell's facility on reports of "illegal drug activity". The uncertified "doctor" had been, in addition to running a grisly abortion mill at night, selling painkillers to drug dealers and addicts from his daytime office. The FBI, of course, found far more than drugs. Scattered throughout the nauseating conditions, they found stored body parts and fetuses; some which had been killed after they left the mother, and others far past the 24-week limit for legal abortions.
|Dr. Kermit Gosnell (ABC News)|
According to the Washington Examiner, Dr. Gosnell was often behind in paying bills, and the disposal provider might delay picking up the dead babies for months. Sometimes the rotting corpses would be left out overnight. "You knew about it the next day when you opened the door..." One employee said. "Because you could smell it as soon as you opened the door." (7)
Reports also revealed that Gosnell allowed some of the newborn corpses to fall into the toilets, until it would clog up the plumbing. According to a handyman for the clinic, "I told the doc I would remove the toilet and lay it on its side, but somebody else would have to clean that out." (7)
But perhaps the most condemning and most news-stirring discovery of all was the shocking claim from a number of Gosnell's employees: His slaughtering of infants was not limited to within the womb.
According to his employees, if a baby was still moving when it left the mother, he would snip the spinal cord with scissors. "Ensuring fetal demise", as he called it. The media has been calling it "infant beheading." He taught many of his uncertified, unqualified employees how to do this. Several of his former employees have pleaded guilty to this kind of murder.
Dr. Gosnell himself was charged with seven original counts of first-degree murders of infants (although three of those have been thrown out). In addition, he was charged with third-degree murder of the 41-year-old patient who died in his hands from an overdose of anesthesia and painkillers.
He faces the death penalty if proven guilty.
|Dr. Gosnell's mug shot|
But time's up.
I can't speak for Dr. Gosnell's soul. But I pray that the courts will decide on the side of truth, and that, at least in this life, Gosnell will receive the punishment he deserves. People that like him that practice such evil should not be allowed to live in our society, or in any other.
May the truth be revealed and justice be served.
Let me hear your thoughts. Do you think Gosnell deserves the death penalty? Do you think this story is just a pro-life issue, or is it a human rights issue that all ends of the political spectrum should be concerned with? How do you think the trial will conclude?
Research and Further Reading
(6) http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2013/04/12/exp-erin-abortion-doctor-panel.cnn (video)
(8) http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/23/us/23doctor.html (article from when story first broke out)
(9) http://www.phila.gov/districtattorney/PDFs/GrandJuryWomensMedical.pdf (full story: Grand Jury report)
Sunday, April 21, 2013
|Image from kendrickbrothers.com|
I am very excited to hear about a new direction that the Kendrick brothers are taking. According to Baptist Press, they are now launching their own production company, no longer under the umbrella of Sherwood Baptist Church.
Most intriguingly, this means that, instead of depending heavily on church volunteers as they have in the past, they will now use aspiring Christian filmmakers and students to work in their crews. They are shifting their vision more to the action of training up the next generation of filmmakers. Apparently this may include working alongside several Christian colleges, such as Liberty University and Bob Jones University.
The Kendrick brothers will expand to film in locations beyond the Albany, Georgia area. Instead of using largely volunteer actors, they will pull auditions from all over the country, allowing people to send clips of their work through Youtube or DVD, in the hopes of bringing out the "undiscovered" talent they believe are out there.
This new direction is outstanding news for young (and mature!) Christians yearning to get involved in filmmaking. As hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of aspiring filmmakers have wished for years, there is finally an opportunity for outsiders to be personally involved in the renowned work of the Kendrick brothers.
The Kendricks are one example that things are beginning to change. God is stirring our nation... evermore he awakens His rising warriors, the Christian filmmakers that will band together to shake this culture. The ground is trembling... the rumbling grows louder... and louder.
The movement is coming.
To read more, visit: http://www.baptistpress.com/BPnews.asp?ID=40110
To get updates on the Kendrick brothers and to be contacted for getting involved, sign up at: http://kendrickbrothers.com
Saturday, April 13, 2013
A common myth says that when you put a frog in boiling water, he will jump out; but if you heat up the water slowly, the frog will not realize the gradual change before he cooks to death.
While the scientific validity of the story has been disputed, the old metaphor still rings true. Particularly with today's political climate in America.
There's no doubt that our democratic republic has been slowly veering toward socialism for a long time. Like a scientist gradually cranking up the heat on that stove, we've been inching closer to a new form of government... president by president, administration by administration, legislation by legislation. This has been largely under the guise of a term many politicians use: "progressivism".
As quoted by Hillary Clinton, when asked to define the word "liberal":
"I prefer the word ‘progressive,’ which has a real American meaning, going back to the progressive era at the beginning of the 20th century. I consider myself a modern progressive, someone who believes strongly in individual rights and freedoms, who believes that we are better as a society when we're working together and when we find ways to help those who may not have all the advantages in life get the tools they need to lead a more productive life for themselves and their family." (1) (Emphases added)In other words, "progressivism" is Franklin D. Roosevelt... it's redistribution of wealth, it's a nanny state, it's leveling the playing field, it's the big ole government taking care of us helpless toddling citizens... it's socialism.
Progressivism is rampant in both the Democratic and Republican parties. While the Democratic party is probably more well-known for its strong progressive members, the threatening ideology crops up in Republican circles as well... just maybe with more subtlety.
Barack Obama's opponents.
Yes, both John McCain and Mitt Romney are progressives. Despite firm attempts to align themselves with right-wing values during their campaigns, had either of them been elected, we would have ultimately continued on the same, slow path path to socialism that we've been on for decades.
Glenn Beck, a radio host and former Fox News personality, even thought "John McCain would have been worse for the country than Barack Obama." (3) (Emphasis added)
If they're all progressives, what's the difference between Obama and his past opponents?
I'd like to say that if most progressives are like horse-drawn carriages casually pattering off to socialism, Obama is like a super jet....
...Careening into destruction.
The documentary, 2016: Obama's America, and many sources like it, have delved into the mire of Obama's covert past and questionable connections. If what the evidence implies is true, Obama is not just a progressive... he's a radical. And he wants to push his extreme agenda down America's throat as fast as he can, squeezing in as much as he can manage into his eight years of office.
Kind of like dropping a frog in boiling water.
I'm not glad Obama is our president. But maybe, in an unexpected way, Obama is exactly what our country needs. Maybe the startling changes he brings will wake us up to our dire situation... and we will finally realize, as a nation, that this collision course has got to stop.
But will it be too late?
Modern scientists have pointed out several inaccuracies with the frog-in-water myth. One of which is that, even if you dropped a frog in boiling liquid, the poor guy wouldn't be able to leap out because the heat would immediately damage his legs. Even though he would be aware of the danger and would try to escape it, once the damage is done, he's a goner.
America's fate is uncertain now. Only time will tell if Obama will be the catalyst for an awakening... or the final, deadly note in our republic's waning song.
Sources and Further Reading
(1) YouTube Debate: Hillary - Are You a Liberal? July 23, 2007. http://youtu.be/C2oOoCdFblc
(2) LeBoutillier, John. What Does John McCain Stand For? May 23, 2008. http://www.newsmax.com/JohnLeboutillier/john-mccain/2008/05/23/id/323771
(3) Glenn Beck: McCain Worse Than Obama. September 23, 2009. http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-504423_162-5328053.html
(4) Jessup, Meredith. Tea Party Vs. Progressive Republicans -- Battle For the Soul of the GOP. December 3, 2012. http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2012/12/03/tea-party-vs-progressive-republicans-battle-for-the-soul-of-the-gop/
(5) Kruszelnichi, Dr. Karl S.. Frog Fable Brought to Boil. http://www.conservationmagazine.org/2011/03/frog-fable-brought-to-boil/
Friday, March 29, 2013
In the latest Red Dawn movie, North Korean forces invade and gain control over portions of the United States.
Is this scenario a true possibility?
Recent threats from North Korea's young leader, Kim Jong Un, to launch long-range missiles to the U.S. mainland and "settle accounts with the U.S. imperialists", have stirred some concern, and not to mention media buzz. There's no doubt that tension is growing on the Korean peninsula. In the current climate, it is possible that a small, even accidental provocation from either side could spark war. But the idea of North Korea launching anything, especially a Red-Dawn-style invasion, to United States soil is far-fetched.
North Korea still has a long way to go before they could back up their lofty threats of attack against the U.S. They also know that, if they attacked South Korea, the retaliation from their southern neighbors would wipe out North Korea, even without the help of America.
The real concern, according to Jim Walsh, an international security expert and research associate at MIT, is that an "accidental war" could spiral out of control. A small provocation could launch an all-out conflict with chaotic consequences, even if most of the death toll is on North Korea's end. (1)
Maybe Kim Jong Un doesn't have the military advancements yet to back up his claims, but he sure does mean business. Maybe North Korea should be overlooked, or maybe it's just a matter of time. Should we take their threats seriously? What do you think?
(1) Fox News: "What Kind of Attack Could North Korea Launch?"
(2) The Telegraph: "North Korea: 'outbreak of war hours away' as Kim Jong-un plans US strike"
(3) CNN: "No end in sight for North Korea tensions"
Friday, March 22, 2013
Thought of the day. Does all art need a purpose?
When God created the world, He said it was good. Not all that He made seems to have had a definitive purpose. With the exception of the heavenly bodies, which it says He created "for signs and for seasons, and for days and years... to give light upon the earth" (Gen 1:14-15, ESV), the only real commentary that is given on each facet of His creation is... "and it was good".
This brings up a question. Cannot art exist for the sole purpose of being good? A fruit nourishes us, the wind cools us, a river refreshes us... but do the vivid colors of fruits, flowers and sunsets serve any purpose other than to simply display beauty? Why did God create the flashy peacock, the odd giraffe, the grotesque anglerfish, and the magnificent blue whale? Does every creature serve a "purpose" like the stars do and vegetables do? Does it not seem that many aspects of creation exist simply to display His creativity, His majesty, and His personality... or to just be beautiful and be good? As Stasi Eldredge wrote,
"Nature is not primarily functional. It is primarily beautiful." - Captivating
When God made man, He made us "in His image." That means we reflect Him, and bring glory to Him by reflecting Him. We all reflect His image in different ways. Man and woman, young and old, artist and mathematician... each of us, in our own unique ways, reflect different aspects of His vast person. It is part of our purpose. By simply reflecting Him, we are fulfilling part of our purpose in existing.
This is where the artist comes in. Artists reflect the creative aspect of God's image. It is why the need to create and to make beautiful things is so deeply rooted in our hearts.
Some people may wonder where the value is in a beautiful painting of flowers or a field or a completely imagined scene out of an artist's head. Does it serve any purpose? Is it worth spending the effort to create, the time to enjoy, or the funds to support? I would say yes, it is absolutely worth all those things and far more. Art is not something to belittle.
When artists create, we are directly reflecting God's image, and we are bringing Him glory.
It is part of our purpose as artists. It doesn't matter what we are creating, and whether or not that creation may seem "useless" in the eyes of others. By simply creating, we are reflecting the God who created the universe. Creativity is not to be ignored. There is no small value in the "mere" pursuit of beauty and goodness. God wanted us to pursue these things.
But let's take this a step further. And this is where I may start stepping on some toes.
You see, art is not just limited to paintings and drawings.
What about music? Writing? Storytelling? Filmmaking? We all know that media is the most powerful influencer on our culture right now. (I wrote a previous blog post on this.) This seems to place an obligation on Christians in the media world to create content that furthers God's kingdom and shines a light in the culture to combat all the darkness. While I fully acknowledge the immensely powerful position we have as media-makers, and whole-heartedly identify with all attempts to use that power for God's glory and for cultural reformation, I have to step back and say... is that all we are required to do?
I want to make movies that impacts culture. I want to tell stories that moves hearts and even, I pray, changes lives for Christ. But I've come to wonder, are we fully obligated to incorporate this kind of purpose into every single work of media art we create?
You see, media is art.
Is it a "waste" to write a song about our grandmother, or a poem about how much we love spring? Is it a "waste" to tell a story that never uses the name of Jesus, or a film that never shares the gospel or is, truly, hardly more than clean "entertainment"? Does the powerful potential of media obligate us to the restrictive purposes many Christians apply to it?
I'm not saying we should use this as an excuse... if God wants us to tell a story or write a song with a definitive purpose for His kingdom, we shouldn't use this reasoning as a cop-out from that calling.
But my question is, does God always require us to make art with such evident "purposes"?
Or are we not already reflecting His image, bringing Him glory, and fulfilling part of our purpose by simply making beauty... and making it good?
What do you think?
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Yay! I've had hardly any time for blogging, but tonight (at last!) I went through the remaining comments that were waiting for moderation. If you've been waiting for me to respond to a comment, your wait has ended. :-)
I no longer feel so negligent! My comments page is empty! I feel free!
Perhaps this warrants an actual blog post from me again. (Boy it's been a long time!) But what should I write about? *wonders*...