Uniting for Life
About This Issue
In this issue the thoughts and viewpoints of the Council's
new Officers of the Board of Directors are featured. As President,
Pastor Brown calls for a renewed sense of unity and seeking
out of God's power and wisdom from Christian pro-life people.
"Meet a Member of the NPRC" highlights the National Organization
of Episcopalians for Life (NOEL). Mary Ann Dacey is NOEL's
executive director and is serving as NPRC's Vice-President.
Richard Cizik reminds us that our efforts on behalf of the
lives of the most defenseless must include personal spiritual
support. Cizik is NPRC's newly elected Secretary.
Ernie Ohlhoff, NPRC's Treasurer, urges clergy and church
members to communicate their views on the so-called "Freedom
of Choice Act" (FOCA).
We hope you enjoy getting better acquainted with NPRC's new
FOCA - A Political Millstone
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which
believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were
hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth
of the sea. Matthew 18:5
The so-called "Freedom of Choice Act" (FOCA) represents the
greatest threat to the pro-life cause since the Roe
v. Wade decision was handed down in 1973. While proponents
of FOCA seem confident that it will pass Congress and President
Clinton has vowed to sign it into law, the actual fate of
FOCA is not a "done deal."
FOCA is so bad that every church which opposes blatant abortion
on demand should, from a spiritual and moral perspective,
be actively opposing it. Enactment of FOCA would establish
an explicit public policy denying any meaningful limits on
abortion - a declaration that unborn babies are unworthy of
any protection whatsoever.
It is one thing to say the "Courts" forced abortion on demand
on us (based on some convoluted concept of privacy), but it
is quite another thing to say that "We the people of the United
States have, through our elected officials, enacted into law
a public policy of unrestricted abortion on demand throughout
From a spiritual perspective, the implications of this are
Our overall goal is to make every member of Congress realize
that a very large number of his or her constituents recognize
that FOCA is extreme, and that these constituents are personally
asking the legislator to oppose this legislation.
Hence FOCA must be perceived as a political "millstone" that
will be tied around the "political future" of any legislator
who supports this extreme measure.
For this reason we should do all in our power to educate
our churches and clergy about the true horrors of FOCA. Then
we must ask and assist our clergy and church members to communicate
directly with their three federal legislators (their 2 Senators
and Congressman) expressly asking them to oppose FOCA.
All communications to Congress should be directed at both
U.S. Senators and the appropriate Member of the House of Representatives.
This should be done regardless of the position taken by the
legislators. Write to ALL of them - pro-life and pro-abortion.
Letters to pro-life legislators should affirm their pro-life
stance. Letters to both pro-life and pro-abortion legislators
should focus on the extreme nature of FOCA and a request not
to vote for this extreme measure.
NOW is the time for Members of Congress to hear from their
constituents who are clergy and church members and oppose
Ernie Ohlhoff, Treasurer for the NPRC, directs the
Outreach Department of the National Right to Life Committee.
Meet A Member of the NPRC
THE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF EPISCOPALIANS FOR LIFE (NOEL)
By Mary Ann Dacey
Bishop Joseph Harte of Arizona founded The National Organization
of Episcopalians for Life (NOEL) in 1966. Simultaneously,
other concerned Episcopalians began to recognize the Church's
indifference toward the growing national regard for abortion
as a service to women. Today, NOEL's ranks have grown to 120
Chapters nationwide with members working through their churches
and communities to promote the biblical view of the sanctity
of human life morally, legally, and in practice.
While our first priority is education, it is done in the
hope of touching hearts and minds with the knowledge that
through the Lord's guidance, anyone can save the life of a
child targeted for abortion. Hundreds of our members volunteer
regularly in crisis pregnancy centers; they shelter single
mothers in their homes; they counsel women about adoption
- and lives are being saved.
Through the work of NOEL, the Episcopal Church improved their
position on abortion in 1988. Church leaders declared that
they "emphatically oppose abortion as a means of birth control,
family planning, sex selection, or any reason of mere convenience."
And they encouraged the clergy to "become aware of local agencies
and resources which will assist those faced with problem pregnancies."
While the work of NOEL is officially recognized by the national
Episcopal Church, we work without their financial assistance
and have yet to see the 1988 call for education and alternative
resources mandated. Parish priests receive no official encouragement
to preach on the sanctity of human life, dioceses receive
no guidelines for offering abortion-alternative resources,
and crisis pregnancy services are absent from any church-funded
social justice outreach programs. It is the laity, and a small
but growing number of priests and bishops, who are helping
women facing crisis pregnancies.
Each day in this country more than 4,500 women cross the
thresholds of abortion clinics for the purpose of killing
their unborn and unwanted children. Many of them are unchurched
and have not heard that He created each of us, that He has
a purpose for our lives, and that He detests the hands that
"shed innocent blood." Sadly, thousands more may have sat
in church pews just the day before and still not heard that
Biblical message and worse, may never have been offered the
life-giving choice by those in the church community around
Today the Church seems blinded by secular rhetoric about
abortion. Priests stand in the pulpits not mentioning God's
teaching for fear of offending their flocks. Women are turned
out into a godless world whose "easy" solutions are often
followed by years of grief and pain. NOEL is working to affirm
those Episcopalians who are reaching out to women in the pews
who are our sisters and mothers, girlfriends and daughters
with an offer of love, help, and healing in their times of
Dacey, NPRC's Vice-President, is executive director
of NOEL. Contact NOEL at 10523 Main Street, Suite 33, Fairfax,
VA 22030 703-591-NOEL.
A Pro-Life Perspective
A Reminder For Christian Activists
George Washington reportedly said during one of the dark
days of the Revolutionary War that "You have to smell the
evil in order to see it." For pro-lifers who are exposed on
a daily basis to President Clinton's assault against innocent
life and feel deeply the outrage of it all - his actions are
like sulfur up the nostrils. We can't help but smell the evil,
and wonder why others do not.
The world is indeed an unholy place. Senate Chaplain Richard
Halverson calls it "moral, ethical anarchy" that is ransacking
our society. Carl F. H. Henry, the evangelical theologian,
refers to this loss of respect for life itself as a drift
into "animality," as in the behavior of animals. Unfortunately,
most members of our society have drifted into moral indifference.
They simply do not care anymore.
But for those of us who do care, the anarchy of society can
be psychologically overwhelming. There's no demilitarized
zone for us. Either we have the power of God, or we will fail.
If not, weariness from the struggle can set in. Some people
persevere through sheer dedication. But exhaustion can occur,
and exhaustion can breed cynicism. And cynicism is the language
of the devil, and leads to discouragement. So let's remember:
The battle we wage is a spiritual one. And the best medicine
for a spiritual battle is spiritual in nature.
Luis Palau, in his book "Say Yes! How to Renew Your Spiritual
Passion" (Multnomah, 1991), tells the story of Ian Thomas,
the English evangelist, who failed at first because he thought
he could do it on his own. After all, he was aggressive, winsome
and doing godly work. He thought he could make it happen.
He thought he could make it work. But no, it didn't work out
that way. He was powerless and ineffectual.
Ian Thomas compared himself to Moses, whom it took forty
years in the wilderness to learn that he was nothing. Then
one day, Moses was confronted with a burning bush. Thomas
said that the burning bush in the desert was likely a dry
bunch of ugly sticks that had hardly developed. Yet Moses
had to take off his shoes. Why? Because this was holy ground.
Why was it holy ground? Because God was in the bush!
Here was Thomas's major point. God was telling Moses, "I
don't need a pretty bush or an educated bush or an eloquent
bush. Any old bush will do, as long as I am in the bush. If
I am going to use you, I am going to use you. It will not
be you doing something for me, but me doing something for
Like the evangelist Luis Palau, maybe we need to learn that
each of us is that kind of bush: a worthless, useless bunch
of dried up sticks. We can do nothing without God. Despite
our best effort in the pro-life cause, we'll not make headway
unless God our Saviour is in the work. Only He can make something
happen. Only He can make it work. Major Ian Thomas summed
it up this way: "I have been crucified with Christ and I no
longer live, but Christ lives in me (Galatians 2:20)."
Such a reminder may be essential for activist individuals.
Our attitude and approach must not be what we're going to
do for God, but what is He going to do through us? Maybe the
assaults on human life by the Clinton Administration are simply
an opportunity for God to remind us Who must be in the work.
That's when the `"real" victories for life will occur!
Cizik, NPRC's Secretary, is Public Policy Analyst for
the Office of Public Affairs of the National Association of
Speaking of Life
ARE YOU A HYPOCRITE?
Hypocrites are defined as those who pretend to be what they
are not or pretend to believe what they do not believe. It
is a word that appropriately describes everyone involved in
the murder of Dr. Gunn, an abortionist in Florida. The abortionist
was a hypocrite for making his living killing babies after
he had taken an oath to sustain life and "to do no harm."
He pretended to be a healer when, in practice, he was an exterminator.
The protester who killed the doctor is a hypocrite because
while he claimed that only God has the right to determine
who shall live or die, he then pretended to be God.
The women who have abortions are hypocrites, pretending to
cherish freedom while denying their own children any choice
But the biggest hypocrites of all are those who sit by and
say nothing while millions of lives are lost, pretending that
the private choice of abortion has nothing to do with them.
But they can't pretend any longer! With the decision of the
White House to use tax monies to pay for abortion, all of
us will be directly involved. Oh, our hands may not actually
do the killing, but the labor of our hands will pay for it.
Henry Nouwen once said, "We are always one song away from
being a mute." It could be said that we are always one word
...one witness ...one protest ...one objection ...one vote
away from being a hypocrite.
This column is one of the daily radio commentaries
by Dr. Garton, President of Lutherans For Life, broadcast
over the Jubilee Network. For information, call: 1-800-325-6333.
Religious Pro-life Group
Elects Officers-- United Church of Christ Pastor to Serve
The National Pro-life Religious Council, Inc. (NPRC), a Christian
pro-life coalition which affirms the biblical standard of
the value, dignity and sanctity of human life, held its Spring
Quarterly meeting on April 15, 1993, in Washington, DC. Attending
were representatives from the 13 churches, denominations and
religious pro-life groups with membership on the Board of
New officers of the Board of Directors were elected:
President: The Rev. John B. Brown, Jr., D. Min., President
of United Church of Christ Friends for Life and Minister of
Counseling at Shepherd of the Hills United Church of Christ,
Vice-President: Mary Ann Dacey, Executive Director of the
National Organization of Episcopalians for Life.
Secretary: The Rev. Richard Cizik, Policy Analyst for the
Office of Public Affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals.
Treasurer: Ernest Ohlhoff, Director of the Outreach Department
of the National Right to Life Committee.
In accepting the presidency of NPRC, Pastor Brown offered
some reflections on Ephesians 1 and 2:
"As I understand these thoughts of Paul in the Word of God,
there are several important things for us in the NPRC and
the groups that we represent to keep firmly in mind. One is
that unity is God's will for the universe, and for the Christian
Church, the Body of Christ. This is not an option for the
Church, but God's will for us, something he commands us to
take into account, and to practice.
While the NPRC is not the Church, it is a part of the Church,
and therefore unity amongst ourselves is vitally important.
None of us dare think that we can carry on the work of the
pro-life movement by ourselves. No one member organization
of the NPRC has all the answers, all the talent, all the experience
needed to carry out God's will for the pro-life movement.
Rather we are to cooperate, as one part of the body cooperates
with another, for the good of the whole.
Secondly, I see Paul saying to the early church, and to us,
that we need wisdom and enlightenment, that we may know God
better, and that we may serve him more effectively. We also
need power, spiritual power, equal to the tasks and challenges
which lie before the church when it comes to the life issues
of abortion, euthanasia and eugenics. We must seek to do the
work of God in God's way, with His help and with His wisdom
I see here in Paul's writing a third point, which is that
in Christ and his death we have a foundation for unity which
must underlie all that we are, and all that we do as pro-life
people. If Christ has died for each of us, for all who work
with us in our groups and churches, there is then no basis
for us to disparage or to compete with one another. The atoning
death of Jesus Christ was meant for all of us, for every member
of our groups and churches, for every unborn child we seek
to save, for every handicapped and terminally ill person whose
life we seek to respect and protect.
A related point, I believe is this: Jesus' death was also
meant, at least potentially, even for those with whom we profoundly
disagree - those who believe in and promote abortion and fetal
experimentation and euthanasia. From God's point of view they
too are worthy of respect, even while the battle continues,
for God desires them to repent and become reconciled to himself.
That this is a difficult task cannot be denied. It is one
of the reasons why we must prayerfully and continually seek
the wisdom and the power of God. Without such wisdom and power
we cannot succeed. With such wisdom and power His will must
surely, and ultimately, prevail."
NPRC Denounces Killing of Dr. Gunn
Washington, DC (March 11, 1993) The National Pro-Life Religious
Council's President, The Rev. Benjamin E. Sheldon, issued
a statement expressing deep regret over the violent act during
the abortion protest in Pensacola, FL that resulted in the
death of Dr. David Gunn.
Rev. Sheldon stated, "Just as we vigorously oppose the ongoing
violence to the thousands of unborn children who die each
day at the hands of doctors who perform abortions, we in no
way condone the use of violence as a means of protest that
results in ending a human life. I am reminded of the words
Jesus spoke to his companion who drew the sword to protest
the arrest of Jesus: "Put your sword back in its place, for
all who draw the sword will die by the sword." (Matthew 26:52)
I urge all Christians involved in pro-life protest activities
to consider our Lord's example."
Pastor Sheldon, who served as NPRC's President since 1991,
is President of Presbyterians Pro-Life and pastor of Bethany
Collegiate Presbyterian Church, Havertown, PA.
NPRC Seeks New Members
This is your opportunity to join with other Christian pro-life
leaders to help restore legal protection to the unborn child.
The National Pro-Life Religious Council, Inc. (NPRC) is a
Christian pro-life coalition which acknowledges Jesus Christ
as Lord and Savior, and is called to witness to and affirm
the biblical standard of the value, dignity and sanctity of
NPRC's Board of Directors consists of leaders of pro-life
religious groups or pro-life groups with a religious outreach.
Associate membership is open to any individual, church, or
group which subscribes to NPRC's principles.
NPRC currently has members working within pro-life groups
associated with the following denominations or churches: American
Baptist, Catholic, Episcopalian, Evangelical (member denominations
of the National Association of Evangelicals), Lutheran, Orthodox,
Presbyterian, Southern Baptist Convention, United Church of
Christ, and United Methodist.
Please join NPRC today and help us end the tragedy of abortion!
Click here for a membership form.