The Coming Political Earthquake – Part 1/Program 4

By: Dr. Frank Wright, Janet Parshall, Craig Parshall; ©2008
Is it really true that those who oppose abortion have no right to impose their values on others? Is there scientific evidence to support the pro-life position?



Announcer: Today on the John Ankerberg Show, The Coming Political Earthquake: How the November elections could impact America in very drastic ways.

My guests will explain: Why the coming elections are not just about the next four years, but about the Supreme Court Judges who could affect our laws for the next 30 years.

Mr. Craig Parshall: Those Supreme Court Justices will not only govern during that administration, but if history tells us anything on that, it will be a law in effect for at least two to three decades. So American citizens will reap the benefits or the unfortunate bad law of a Supreme Court Justice for the next 30-40 years.

Announcer: Then, how the definition of traditional marriage and family is at stake.

Mrs. Janet Parshall: I think a lot of people out there never thought in a million years we would have to stand in the marketplace of ideas and give a defense for what constitutes a marriage as one man and one woman. It was one of those universal truths. It’s been there since time immemorial. Cultures that have lasted have been built on that cornerstone institution. Cultures that have fallen began to dabble with that.

Announcer: How the November elections could decide whether America will uphold the right to life of unborn children in the womb.

Dr. Frank Wright: If you won’t defend the life of a baby in the womb what will you defend? What kind of people are we if we will not stand up for the weakest among us?

Announcer: How newly elected officials could drastically change our religious liberties.

Mr. Craig Parshall: The problem with hate crimes is that it has very little to do with preventing crime and a lot to do with labeling Christians with hate, saying we are hate-mongers when we simply preach what the Bible has to say.

Announcer: I will not tell you which political candidate to vote for or which political party to join. Rather, our purpose will be to inform you of crucial issues based on biblical values and explain why basing your choices on those biblical values is crucial.

My special guests today are: Dr. Frank Wright, President of the NRB, the national religious broadcasters, an association of more than 1,500 Christian television and radio broadcasters, representing millions of viewers, and listeners.

Second Janet Parshall, host of a daily three-hour nationally syndicated radio program originating from Washington, DC, entitled Janet Parshall’s America. In February, 2005, she was selected by President Bush to represent the White House in the capacity of public delegate to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. As a radio and television commentator, she has appeared on almost every political network television program.

And third, Craig Parshall is the Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the National Religious Broadcasters. Prior to coming to NRB, he represented clients before the US Supreme Court, the Federal District Courts and Courts of Appeal in Washington, DC, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Denver, Dallas and Richmond, and has argued before the state Supreme Courts of Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Maryland.

Join us today for this special broadcast of the John Ankerberg Show to hear how the November elections could impact Christians in very drastic ways.

Ankerberg: Welcome to our program. We’ve got a great one for you today. We’re talking about the issues that are coming up in the election and the importance of those issues to Christians and how we as Christians are supposed to bring our values to bear in terms of the choices that we make. Does it make a difference? Yeah, it does make a difference, but you’ve got to be informed of the issues. One of the key ones is the fact of the right to life of unborn children in the womb. Both parties are struggling to present their position on this, and they’re trying to make it sound as good as they can, but you need to understand what’s being said underneath the lines.
And what I want to do is, I want to take some of the arguments of those who, after looking at the scientific evidence they realize that life begins at conception; there is no doubt about that, okay? They still want to debate the issue and say we can take it all the way up to birth itself, alright? Now, the way I want to start this is that a couple of weeks ago I had Dr. Richard Land, President of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission on the program. And he says, “I think the problem with liberals is that too often they assume that God doesn’t have a side when it comes to public policy. We’re always saying [and I bet you at the conventions you could hear them saying], “God Bless America.” Well, if you want God to bless America we’ve got to be like Lincoln; Lincoln says we have got to be on God’s side.
Well, what is the side that God has in terms of human life in the womb, alright? Richard Land says, “I’m willing to acknowledge that God may not have a side when it comes to NAFTA or CAFTA or some other trade agreements, but when it comes to the issue of the sanctity of all human life, from conception to natural death and everywhere in between, I believe fervently that God has made it very clear in Holy Scripture that He does have a side, and that we need to be on it; and it’s the side of being pro-life.” Alright?
Even with that in mind let’s take the arguments of those who are arguing for abortion. And, Janet, there’s nobody better than you at doing this. We have already taken the life of 48,589,993 unborn children in the womb since 1973 via abortion. And people would say, “Look, it’s my body and I have a right to make this decision. I have a right to privacy, so stay out of this thing. I’m going to have my abortion.” What do you say to those folks?
J. Parshall: I would say to that person, first and foremost, you’re wrong medically. There’s another little heart beating under yours. It’s probably beating at a different rate than momma’s heart. It has a completely unique and separate set of fingerprints that no one else in the world will ever have again. It might not even be the same sex as momma; eye color, hair color might be completely different. So medically you have to say you’re wrong: there are now two people. It’s not just your body, it is your body and that tiny little body that’s developing inside of you.
Ankerberg: Or you would have to say the mother has two heads, four hands, four legs. I mean, and nobody says that.
J. Parshall: That’s exactly right.
Ankerberg: And nobody says that the mother is both male and female at the same time.
J. Parshall: That is exactly right. So it is medically inarguable that it is no longer just your body, it is now two people. And that’s why God put inside us mothers, by the way, this immediate desire to try to help our babies; because that protective nature is there. It is exactly opposite the nature that God has given us to destroy that human being. And that’s why there is so much kicking against the goads when people make this decision.
But let me go to the privacy issue, because this, of course, is what not only the Supreme Court but all of the proponents of abortion on demand want to talk about. That’s fallacious on its face. There is no absolute unfettered right to privacy. If that were the case and you were to say it’s my body, then why would the law tap you on the shoulder and say “come this way” if you decide you are going to take crystal meth, or if you are going to snort cocaine, or if you decide that you are going to take your body to take the life of another human being? In America, when somebody is outside the womb, paradoxically, we call that murder. So your right to privacy is not an absolute. If you’re privately in your bedroom taking somebody’s life, trust me the law is going to intercede. That is the design of government to facilitate good and to keep back evil. And so it is a fallacious argument.
And by the way, in ‘73 when the Supreme Court handed that decision down, they went out of their way to make sure that they did not acknowledge the medical information that would have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is a human being, that medically we can substantiate the uniqueness and the separateness of this individual person. They hung their hat instead on this peg of a right to privacy. Why? Because it’s a marketable ploy. Who doesn’t want to be left alone? Who doesn’t want the right to privacy? So you make a choice sexually, and then you have a consequence of that choice, and then you say, “Now, I want to be left alone and I want to make the right decision, or the wrong decision, because it’s my body.”
Ankerberg: Craig, I’m going to put two together for you on this one. “Abortion is only wrong if you think it is wrong; if you don’t like abortion, don’t have one.” “I’m personally opposed to abortion, but we shouldn’t legislate our values on someone else.”
C. Parshall: Well, first of all every piece of legislation, and here at National Religious Broadcasters, Dr. Wright and I spend a lot of time looking at pending legislation, every piece of legislation either is directly moral in its application or is based on moral assumptions. It’s just a matter of whose morality ends up getting legislated. You know, you look at the Founding Fathers on this whole issue of abortion and privacy and legislation. First of all, the colonialists in all of the colonies outlawed abortion. Interestingly, Thomas Jefferson had something to say about abortion. Abortion was frequently used in some of the countries in Europe at the time, and Jefferson told some folks that had recorded in his own letters and diaries that he would have thought it unthinkable from a moral standpoint that a mother would take her unborn child. And, of course, Jefferson is cited by the liberalists and the secularists perhaps as the one who would be the most in favor of the woman’s right to choose.
This whole idea of privacy is a zone of protection, as Janet said. The Founding Fathers actually addressed this issue. They addressed it only in one way, they said in the Fourth Amendment the government can’t come into the privacy of your own home and take your papers or your person without probable cause. In other words, they considered privacy, but never would have countenance, never would have allowed privacy to be an excuse for moral crime.
Ankerberg: Yeah, I mean, Frank, we were talking in between programs here, and I just asked you, why have we committed this act on almost 50 million children in the womb? And you had a great answer. Share it with the folks.
Wright: Well, we’ve been talking here about all of the medical evidence that argues for the separateness, the personhood of the unborn. We talked about conception being the starting point of life, that biologically there’s no other identifiable point when we can say that life began here. There is no question in the mind of scientists or in the average person that that baby in the womb is a person. And yet somehow we can take 48 million plus lives and go on as a nation.
And the only palpable answer for us as believers is that this is ultimately, in the higher realms, a spiritual blindness that has fallen over a nation who believes, or the whole world, who believes somehow that if our personal convenience is at risk that I can take the life of an unborn child. If it’s going to cause me mental duress, I can take the life of an unborn child.
And Janet made reference to it earlier, for those women who have done that, the depth of despair in their hearts that can only be assuaged at the cross is so palpable that it speaks to them of the wrongness of it. And, John, at the end of the day it comes back to that biblical teaching that the reason, the prime reason, why we cannot take the life unjustly of anyone is that everyone is made in the image of God. That’s why the Bible allows for capital punishment. If you take the life of another you have destroyed the imago dei, you have destroyed the image of God. And so fundamentally we are going against the essence of who God is as expressed in His creation, creating us in His image. And to destroy that, it takes a kind of blindness that can only be accounted for by the father of lies.
Ankerberg: I also think it’s part of the judgment of God upon our nation, to be truthful with you, that I think that we have this blindness. And I think there are other judgments that are already here in terms of our children turning to other gods and a whole bunch of things that are taking place. We’re going to take a break. And when we come back, you know, the next thing on our agenda here politically is the fact that we are going to have vice-presidential debates going on. And when the debates take place, I want to take you back to the debate that Al Gore had with Dan Quayle in 1992, where Al Gore repeatedly challenged Quayle to say, “I support a women’s right to choose.” And Quayle refused to answer, but finally says, “I do support a women’s right to choose.” When we come back, Janet, I want you to tell all of the candidates that are listening to you, to get advice from the debate master of all time here, what would he have been better served in saying to Al Gore? We will get to that when we come right back.

Ankerberg: We’re back and we’re talking with Frank Wright, Dr. Frank Wright, the President of the National Religious Broadcasters; and Janet Parshall of Janet Parshall’s America, who, she’s on the radio three hours every day across the country; and then Craig Parshall, who is the attorney for all of us broadcasters at the NRB. It’s a big crowd we’ve got, and we’ve got some tremendous issues. And one of them that we are very concerned about is the fact of this right to life; and bringing biblical values to our thoughts and making decisions about candidates that we’re going to support in this coming election. And again, we’re coming up on the vice-presidential debates. And I want to take you back to Al Gore debating Dan Quayle in 1992 and the vice-presidential debate. And Al Gore repeatedly said to Quayle, “Don’t you support a woman’s right to choose?” And he would just stand there. And then he finally says, “I do support the right of a woman to choose.” What might he have said, Janet, to Al Gore instead of what he did say?
J. Parshall: He simply should have followed up and said, “The right to choose what?” When we leave that part of the question blank, what we have done is we have ignored the fact that the choice here is to murder or not to murder another human being, simply stated. John, let me just take one moment and say how much I appreciate your talking about this; because here’s what we hear in Washington all the time. When they do the polls of what the voters in America want to talk about, they’ll say it’s the war in Iraq, they’ll talk about the economy, the housing debacle. And they will say issues like the sanctity of human life and the definition of marriage become what we call wedge issues. In other words, people don’t care, they’re side bar stories, nobody’s really very interested.
But what’s very interesting is, if Barack Obama the candidate himself says, the first thing I’m going to do is to sign the freedom of choice act, overturning every bit of pro-life legislation anywhere to be found in this land, then suddenly you realize it’s far from being a wedge issue. It defines who we are as a people.
You know, Craig has been involved in a lot of litigation where newspapers will go back and forth, just the verbiage alone, he who shapes the question shapes the debate. So when you talk about pro-choice, what you’re saying impliedly in that statement is you are choosing the right to take the life of another human being. You’re not anti-choice, which is how we get characterized very often. We’re pro-life because we believe regardless of the circumstances of your conception, no death sentence should ever be leveled against another human being.
And if I can take one moment, if someone listening were to say but, but, but, Janet, what about rape, incest and the health of the mother? If you wanted to look at that debate, what we know statistically is that less than 2% of all abortions in America comprise the rape, the incest or the health of the mother. But, regardless, just look at the 2% for a moment, and by the way this isn’t a majoritarian position, this is an absolute position. If you were to just look at the circumstances of conception, tell me why that child should get a death sentence based on how they were conceived? Praise God, Ethel Waters, who was the product of rape, was not in fact snuffed out when she was beating beneath her mother’s heart. She went on to influence an entire world for the cause of Christ. We never know what God’s perfect plan is for somebody’s life. And all I know is that even though the culture wants to mean it for evil, God always means conception for good.
Ankerberg: Craig, I want to ask you a technical question on the law. If Obama actually does what he says, he promised to Planned Parenthood that he will sign the Freedom of Choice bill, I understand this law would make abortion a federal right and would keep abortion legal even if Roe vs. Wade is overturned someday. Is that true?
C. Parshall: Yes. And this really creates almost a constitutional crisis. First of all, there is a separation of powers issue. There’s also a power question with regard to states’ rights. The balance between federal government and state government was really changed irrevocably in 1973, along with a number of other catastrophic consequences of the Roe vs. Wade abortion decision. When the Federal government said, we’re going to take the decision away from state legislature in all 50 states and we’re going to be a super legislature that’s going to decide this. So if, in fact, this decision is made, I think really we’re facing a very revolutionary view of the constitutional power of the presidency.
Ankerberg: Let’s talk about the candidates in both parties, because we have pro-choice Republicans as well as pro-choice Democrats that are running. And so we are not saying you vote for one party or another, we’re saying really bring your values to bear and look at these candidates. And it does make a difference and it does send a message. Can you illustrate this any further?
Wright: Well, I think the key thing is in your evaluating candidates is don’t let the rhetoric of Washington and the labels that are applied to issues obscure what’s really going on. Washington is great for giving pieces of legislation names that sound very good. Who’s not in favor of Americans having choice in their lives? The issue about choice is more easily understood when you substitute something else for that choice. Do you have the right to choose to enslave your neighbor? Do you have the right to choose to use your neighbor’s child and film them in doing pornographic acts? Do you have the right to choose to pull little puppies apart on camera for the amusement for some perverted person?
Everyone gets caught up by the pro-choice, but they don’t go beyond that choice and what that choice means. And as Janet has said, this issue of choosing death for someone has to be explicated. And so, as you listen to the candidate’s talk, think about what they’re saying. They’re not telling you the truth. I mean, part of politics is to say the least amount that you can say in a way that creates a favorable impression. Republicans and Democrats are equal opportunity offenders on this. But on an issue as profound as human life, we cannot let the obscure label that they put on something cloud our judgment to make us not realize what the issue really is all about.
J. Parshall: Frank makes an excellent point. And I think the other thing we have to do as we are discerning in these very important days, is we have to look at their track records. Let’s see where they stand on the issues. Now, this is history. So let’s look back at what Barack Obama did when he was in the Senate in the State of Illinois. There was a piece of legislation introduced there that had been replicated at the federal level. It was called the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. It is what I call the “DUH Act” which means basically you mean if a baby survives an abortion that baby should have the full protection of the Constitution of the United States? It is so commonsense it’s like a “duh” moment.
Well, there were people who argued vociferously in opposition to that, because they said it would infringe upon a woman’s right to choose. Thanks be to God when it was all said and done they said, “Yes, if in fact a baby manages to slip through in the commission of an abortion and survive, that baby is recognized as a full separate unique human being and should have the full protection of the law.” Even NARAL, the most aggressive pro-abortion organization, said, “thumbs up; we can get behind this, we understand the distinction here.”
Well, in Illinois they introduced the exact same legislation. And what happened was Barack Obama as a sitting Senator in Illinois voted against it. Now he made the proclamation, “whoa, whoa, whoa, if I had been in the Senate I would have voted for it.” National Right to Life Committee has just unveiled some papers that they found when he was serving in the Senate where in fact the language in 2003, one year after we passed it in 2002, had in fact been changed to be verbatim what had been passed on Capitol Hill. And Barack Obama voted against it.
Now wait a minute. So John McCain votes for this idea, as did Barbara Boxer, I’d like to point out. The idea that once a baby is separate from a mother even if the baby manages to survive an abortion, that baby should be protected by the Constitution. But as a sitting Senator in Illinois Barack Obama said no. Now our voters, our viewers, are going to have to understand which of those two worldviews most accurately reflects my position, and then vote accordingly. But one cannot say that they are swallowing a morass of ambiguity here. There is 100% clarity as to the polar opposites these two candidates take on this position.
Ankerberg: There is also clarity here, Craig, in the sense of who they’re going to choose to represent us at the Supreme Court, okay? They’re on record as saying that. And the choices that either Barak Obama makes or McCain makes in terms of the Supreme Court judges, those guys are going to live probably for another 30 years and make the decisions on this very issue of what are we going to do with unborn children in the womb. Speak to the importance of just Supreme Court judges on this whole debate.
C. Parshall: John McCain, as an example, has said that he would appoint judges after the mold of John Roberts or Samuel Alito. In common language, they’re two of the most conservative justices on the Supreme Court. But let me break down what it means to be conservative, because lawyers and judges always don’t like that term. I like to call them strict constructionists, meaning that they go back to the intentions of the Founding Fathers in drafting the Constitution as a self enclosed four cornered document and say, “this is all we have is just the Constitution, and we will interpret it, we will interpret the laws, but not make them.” That’s the difference between a conservative judge and a liberal one, because the liberals are judicial activists. They say, well, if we don’t like the law, we’ll simply create our own.
It is a little bit like getting a Bible translator and you have a Bible written in another language and you ask somebody to faithfully translate it because you would like to read it. And as they’re translating they’re saying, “Well, I don’t really like what it has to say in Genesis about sin, or Revelation about the end of the world. I’m not only going to translate it, I’m going to rewrite the Bible.” Well, of course we would be offended by that. But that’s what the judges are doing: they’re not just interpreting the law, the liberal activist judges are actually remaking it. And now the next President is going to appoint at least one, perhaps two, maybe even three Supreme Court justices, and the future of this country literally will be hanging in the balance.
Ankerberg: I love listening to those hearings. You talk about a litmus test for being qualified to be a judge. I mean, on the issue of abortion how is all of that handled?
C. Parshall: Well, if you go back to the concept of being borked, that came up with the nomination of Judge Bork. Now Judge Bork I had watched for many years. He was on the Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia Federal Court where he was esteemed by his fellow colleagues, considered brilliant even by those who disagreed on the bench with him. But his views on the fundamental concept of interpreting the Constitution rather than inventing rights like privacy, which has been used as an excuse for abortion, really cost him the appointment, the confirmation of the Senate to the United States Supreme Court.
What it really means is, if you have written law review articles, or you have spoken publically on issues like the sanctity of life or interpretation of the Constitution, you stand very little chance of actually being confirmed by a rambunctious Senate. Because, after all, they’ll use those ropes to hang you. So what we might get, in essence, is secretive, subliminal judges who you don’t really know where they’re going to stand. Justice Souter was a good example; no one knew where this State Supreme Court Justice stood. And of course that was very disconcerting to me. I would rather know the devil I know than the devil I don’t know, to use a common illustration. Justice Souter has been one of the most liberal judges that we’ve had on the Supreme Court, basically because we didn’t know where he stood on judicial activism and the interpretation of the Constitution.
Ankerberg: Janet, wrap this up, okay? The fact is in less than 60 days we are going to be voting on candidates that basically are going to put one side or the other into positions to make law, to make decisions that are going to affect all of us, they are going to affect our children. How would you wrap this up?
J. Parshall: John, no one on this platform today would dare to tell another person how to vote; that’s not our job, that’s not our calling. But I will tell you what, there isn’t a person on this platform who wouldn’t say that those of us who follow Christ Jesus, and it is to that person I appeal right now, that our job when we walk into the voting booth is to honor God. Get into His word, find out what He says. And there is, thanks be to Him, no ambiguity on the position our Great King takes on the subject of life. From Genesis to Revelation the author of life Himself tells us, and tells us and tells us again how precious this issue is to Him. In fact, His Son said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” That’s how much life is important to God. So I think what we need to do is we prayerfully consider who we’re going to vote for; understand that abortion is first and foremost, not a wedge issue politically, but it absolutely is not a wedge issue to our Great and Glorious King. So if we’re going to honor God, study to show ourselves approved by getting into His word, knowing what He says and then when you walk into the voting booth, stop worrying about taxes or the economy and find out when you step into the booth how best you can honor God by remembering Him and His position on this issue.
Ankerberg: Yeah, I really feel deeply that we have got at least four or five major issues that we are facing in this election. We’re at a turning point in our history in this country. Who is going to be elected to the Supreme Court, which will affect us for the next 30 years? The sanctity of life, what are we going to decide as a nation in terms of unborn children in the womb? What about the defense of our nation, the safety of our nation? Religious liberties: are we going to be able to talk about these things? Are we going to be able to express opinions that are based on the Bible in the future? We’re going to be talking about marriage and same sex marriage, in fact, that… and we’re going to be deciding that in this next election. But the fact is, we’re going to be talking about that topic next week. And, folks, there’s a huge debate that is going on, there is a tremendous struggle, and I hope that we can convey to you a little bit of that struggle that’s going to be taking place in the next few weeks that is going to culminate with your vote coming up in November. So I hope you’ll join us then.


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