A specious intro?; Ezra 7-10; Romans 11

Friend: Tom, how’s life treating you?

Me: It’s an NFL world, and I’m always listed as questionable.

Good morning from rainy Georgia.  An eventful weekend, which prompts me to share some of my questionable introspection.  First, all you “my body my choice” women.  No it is not.  It is not a coincidence that the Declaration of Independence orders it “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  Freedom rights and property rights are useless to you if we decide to kill you.  So a person’s right to life trumps (I make the funny!) anyone else’s freedom rights.  A great example of the Supreme Court having a brain fart and making a disordered rights decision is Dred Scott.  They decided that a slave owner’s “pursuit of happiness” (property) rights superseded someone’s freedom rights.  Fortunately they realized later they were stupider than monkeys and got that fixed.  So argue if you will that an unborn child is not a person, and therefore has no right to life, but stow the “my right to choose” rhetoric.  And realize two things if you go the “not a person” route: 1) that there is a lot of legal contradiction on this issue, e.g. in most jurisdictions murder a pregnant woman and you are on trial for murdering two people, and 2) what a slippery slope the legal person argument is, that there are respected academics who would say you are not really a person until you have full reason, which would open it up for killing children up to the age of 6 or 7.  Think about it: what is the acceptable criteria for personhood?  Utilitarian philosophers would argue that once your mother has dementia, she’s no longer a person because she provides no benefit to society.  So let’s put aside emotions and feelings and engage our brains for once, just saying, and notice I haven’t even brought religion into it.

My last and arguably facetious idea is to a have a Christian protest in Washington.  Only during our protest we wash store windows and check to make sure car tires are properly inflated, and we encourage riot police to raise their face shields so they can possible catch the marshmallows we throw at them.  But would the media cover it, and if they did would Chris Matthews describe our motives as “Hitlerian”? Reasonable questions to be sure.

Ezra 8: 21-23 Then I proclaimed a fast, there by the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our possessions. For I was ashamed to ask the king for troops and horsemen to protect us against enemies along the way, since we had said to the king, “The favoring hand of our God is over all who seek him, but his fierce anger is against all who forsake him.” So we fasted, seeking this from our God, and it was granted.

I thought this was a remarkable statement by the scribe.  Ezra was a pivotal figure along with Nehemiah in returning the Jews back to Israel after the Babylonian exile and rebuilding Jerusalem.  In my own life right now I’m considering aborting a worthy effort that could benefit many because of my doubts about my own capabilities in seeing it through.  How many of us fast and seriously pray and take these decisions to the Father?  It is so tempting to make them in the light of one’s own strengths and weaknesses instead of what God wills.  We simply don’t live as children of God, trusting like earthly children trust in the beneficence of their fathers.  To paraphrase noted theologian and rogue cop Dirty Harry, “The question you have to ask yourself is ‘Do I feel trusting in the Lord?  Well, do ya punk?’”

God bless, and be not afraid,

Tom

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