Understanding the Times – like the Men of Issachar

Filed on 26 June 2010 in Food For Thought category. Print This Page

Understanding the Times – like the Men of Issachar.  June 2010.

The Bible is wonderful. I’m sure you can read it forever and still get surprises. Here are two almost throw away lines…

1 Kings 18:21 Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”  But the people said nothing.

(The situation demanded a decision, but the people were silent)

1 Chr 12:32  …men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do

(The men of Issachar went against King Saul and supported the opposition.  They followed David in defiance of the king.  Did they break the law?  Would you break the law to support that which is right?  I leave that thought with you.)

The first decade of the 21st century has brought almost unimaginable threats from both within and without our society.  And it may be that what we do with the threats within that will finally determine the result of the threats from without.

In 2002 I challenged Baptist Union Assembly here in Perth to see who would come with me on a march into the city if the Senate passed the legislation to allow stem cell research on embryos.  I guess I was relieved when only 1 or 2 put up their hands.  But I left them with the challenge: how and when will we know that is what we have to do?  What will it finally be that drives us to that conclusion?  And will it be too late?

What will it be?

  • 100,000 abortions per year as a means of contraception?  Too late.
  • Partial Birth Abortion?  Too late then and far too late now. This now has legal sanction in Victoria and doctors have no choice but to refer to a doctor who will be supportive of abortion if asked by a patient.
  • Experimentation on embryos?  Almost too late.  Far too late now
  • Euthanasia?  Far too late in other places and only narrowly defeated in SA recently (1 vote)
  • Euthanasia without consent?  Far too late in Holland.
  • Cloning?  We were close to it then. Now cloning is in nationally and in most states but in WA we rejected it.
  • Cloning for reproductive purposes for infertile couples?  It’s only a matter of time – the argument will be that it would be discriminatory not to.
  • Harvesting of organs from clones?  Highly recommended by prominent ethicists and continuing to be recommended. It’s only a matter of time. Actually now we’re hearing the recommendation to harvest organs from people being euthanased.
  • Cloning for special purposes?  Once we’ve gone as far as the above, this is inevitable.
  • Termination of life according to certain criteria – states of self-awareness, personhood, quality of life, ability to be productive for society, or just age?  Only a matter of time unless God intervenes.

So, what will it finally be that drives us to walk into Perth carrying our placards?

Will we be silent like the people before Elijah or will we understand the times and know what to do?

And will we still be able to?

Four years later in 2006 I was back at Assembly once again with my SHAME placard with an updated challenge including: will you come when…

  • We are using 12-week embryos for their formed livers as argued by Will Saletan in “The Organ Factory:  The Case for Harvesting Older Human Embryos” and by one of our Aussie expatriates Oxford Professor Julian Savulescu?
  • We are using babies with other defects that are less than 4-weeks old (after birth) for their hearts and livers consistent with the ethics of another famous Aussie expatriate Professor Peter Singer of Princeton who argues that destruction is even acceptable up to about six weeks after delivery before the baby becomes self-aware and therefore defined as being a person?
  • When in our attempt at perfection we eliminate all that are imperfect at 34-weeks of pregnancy by partial-birth abortion when scissors are put in the back of the baby’s head and its brain is sucked out so that the skull will collapse and there is an easier delivery through the birth canal – this procedure as we were told by a NHMRC committee in 1995 having the “advantage of delivering a dead baby”?
  • And when mothers who object are labelled – as they are labelled now in UK if they object to selective abortion of a foetus with a possible abnormality – as ‘genetic outlaws’?
  • Or when the elderly are faced with the ‘duty to die’ because of the cost of terminal care or nursing home care?

We now need to update…

British researchers in 2006 (http://www.lifenews.com/nat2191.html) concluded that premature babies around 20 weeks did actually feel pain when withdrawing their feet with heel prick rather than this just being a reflex action. Surprise, surprise, but before this the withdrawal was just regarded by some as being reflex.  How did we even think they might not feel pain?  We do not know and to pretend that a 32-week unborn infant does not feel that stab of the scissors in the back of the neck prior to its brain being scrambled and sucked out is mind-boggling in its denial.  Nerve pathways are laid down from around 7 weeks.  How could we think that an 18-week unborn does not feel excruciating pain when it is ripped limb from limb to extract it?  (I am fed-up with mollycoddling these issues so people won’t be upset.  Yes, the facts are deeply disturbing but if you leave here without being disturbed then I have failed.)  At least the US state of Nebraska has recognized that babies of 20 weeks are capable of experiencing pain having this year passed a law banning abortions after 20 weeks called the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

In 2008 it became fully legal in Victoria for babies to be aborted for very minor readily correctable abnormalities right through to term and even for sex selection.  And this execution requires no anaesthetic.

Now some babies that are aborted because of suspected abnormalities are in fact completely normal and have been aborted “unnecessarily”.  This of course is regarded as being undesirable and so it has been said that banning infanticide unfairly discriminates against the normal child by forcing an abortion when major abnormality is suspected but not proven.  The logic is that if infanticide was legal then we could allow the baby to be born before making the decision to kill it.  At least then the baby would then have the benefit of anaesthesia. So there are two reasons for supporting the legalization of infanticide – we can then be sure of the diagnosis and we can anaesthetize the baby.  Yeah, right…

But indeed we have a new infanticide here in the land of Oz.  In Victoria according to figures from the state gov’t for 2007, 54 aborted babies were “accidentally” born alive and then left to die.  Please let that sink in…

We are reassured by prominent Professors of Ethics that infanticide of the new-born up to 4-6 weeks old after birth is OK as they are not yet self-aware.  And these same people are calling for the use of organs from late-stage foetuses and the new-born.

There is an election due in Victoria this November.  The Victorian people have an even more clear choice between good and evil in who they vote for this year because of what they have allowed.

It is worth noting that after that second challenge to Baptist Churches Assembly I asked for people who weren’t getting my ethics emails to email me so I could add them to the list.  How many requests did I get?  One.  OK, maybe half the leaders there were already receiving them.  Maybe…

What is it that we don’t get?  If we cannot call this evil then what can we call it?  What is it that stops us from calling it evil? What is it that makes people continue to vote for the people who promote or condone this evil?  When will people speak up? Will we be like the Israelites who remained silent in the face of Elijah’s challenge or will the mighty men and women of God condemn this evil and those who promote it?  And if not now, then when? How much worse does it have to get?  And will we then still have the freedom to condemn?

At least at this point in Australia we have banned the mixing of human genes with animal eggs but in England they have recently approved this citing the fact that the public are now more at ease with the concept of hybrids or chimeras as long as they are also destroyed at 14 days. Note the justification – the public are now more at ease with this.  This is frightening – we are becoming desensitized to things we would never have contemplated.  Also in England there has been a move to abort male babies where there is a family history of autism because it is more likely to go through the male line.  Where would you stop along the Autism Spectrum Disorder line?

Have I persuaded you yet?  Please put up your hands for a moment if you agree that these things are evil.

But wait, there’s more. It’s worse. Not only has Victoria passed the most liberal abortion laws in Australia but in that legislation is the Section 8 provision to force doctors – even when such is against their deeply held convictions and conscience – to participate in the process of referral for abortion when asked by a patient.

Now it is one thing to pass a law that permits evil but it is something more to pass a law that compels evil.

Do you see that there are two levels of evil here?  One is to permit killing of the unborn child for no reason other than that the mother-to-be chooses not to be pregnant and for uncontrolled eugenic selection in our society but the other, more sinister and greater, evil is to compel medical participation in this process.  Medicine, justly, has the highest level of ethics in the world.  It must.  And yet, here we have a government that has legislation – quite unnecessarily in fact because there is no restriction on a pregnant mother going straight to abortion providers that advertise widely – punitively forcing doctors to act against their conscience and participate in this process.

Now your reaction to this may be that it cannot be this bad.  I can assure you that it is.  It is the first time in the Western world since Hitler’s Germany that doctors have been forced by government legislation to participate in evil.  If we refuse then we are breaking the law.  Please let that sink in…

Now here in Western Australia we are facing a vote for euthanasia.  Every MP in the upper house where the vote will take place has been given evidence that all committees set up in the world to decide whether voluntary euthanasia can be legalised without it progressing to involuntary has found this to be impossible.  So every MP voting for euthanasia knows that the WA legislation will also fail to protect against this.  Now there may be some who might argue that compulsory involuntary euthanasia is OK in certain circumstances but I only have one word for this and that is evil.  And if you agree with me that this is evil and you knowingly vote for a candidate who supports euthanasia then you are voting for evil.  This is a watershed on which each of us must make a decision.  There is no escaping this – we each have to vote.  The Israelites were silent in the face of the challenge but after Elijah’s confrontation with the priests of Baal they had no option.  Neither now do we.  To read more on why euthanasia should not be legalised go to the submission from MWM www.medicinewithoutmorality.info and look at the top paper.

Two other matters that we need to watch federally are the encroachment on Christian ministries through anti-discrimination and human rights legislation and also marriage.

Would it not concern you if your school was forced to employ a teacher that was in opposition to the values that your school seeks to instil in the children?  For instance if he or she was a promoter of sex with children?  Or, if he has an openly active and profligate homosexual lifestyle?  It will be and is argued that such teachers should be employable on the grounds that refusal is an infringement of their “right” to work.  And although any bill of rights is for the present dead in the water it is now proposed that there be a Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights called the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Bill and the committee will scrutinise whether bill trespasses unduly on personal rights and liberties as interpreted by UN committees headed up by countries like Libya.

It was reported last year that Federal Labor had upheld marriage as being between a man and a woman but quietly in the background a whole section was replaced in the federal ALP Policy Statement and the section stating “marriage is between a man and a woman” was deleted as also was the statement that future same-sex union “should not mimic marriage”.  So what does that say about the ALP future direction?  And what does it say about Mr Rudd’s ability to reign in the anti-marriage left? (Postscript: too late – he has lost further opportunity now that Julia Gillard is PM. And do you realise that Ms Gillard was one of the founders in Australia of Emily’s List that now boasts that they have helped elect 139 women MPs across Australia? Have a look at their website and also at The Ethical Crisis in our Parliaments.)

I hope you then will be like the men of Issachar and understand the times.  But do you know what to do?  There are so many ways that you can be involved but that is a subject for another time except for two things.  Firstly we need men and women at the highest points in society who are willing to be a voice and seek to change the ethics of the field that they are active in.  Secondly, you need to know how to vote.

You must clearly not vote for those who support that which is clearly evil.  How else do you decide?  The most valuable aid is the Christian Values Checklist.  You can Google this or go to http://www.christianvalues.org.au/check_list.html or http://www.christianvalues.org.au/CheckList_Federal_Elections_07_FINAL_WEB.pdf for old lists.  Watch as we come up to election time for a new list.  Please do not fail to see where Green’s policies stack up on this list.  Yes, Christians too have a responsibility to the environment but must not in conscience give the Greens the opportunity to further their evil social agendas.

Now feel free to get angry with me.  Argue with me if you disagree.  But please do not just turn away and be silent.

How else do you make a decision?  What did the men of Issachar do?  They trusted David to lead them.  Maybe now is the time to trust those at the forefront of the present battle and to support us when we stand for election by giving us your vote.

Now – an immensely practical point!  Please remember when voting for a minor party candidate (that’s us – vote for us) to put that person or party [1] on your voting slip and your major party of choice [2].  Your vote goes on at full value should your minor candidate not win and becomes very significant in who then gets elected.  Major parties know this and will sometimes change policy or select candidates that represent similar values.  And as you probably know I would have been in state parliament for the last four years if only 91 people voting for Liberal had put me first and Liberal second.

We of course want your prayers. Use the web.  See “food for thought” on the Choose Life Australia website.  Sign in to updates through facebook or twitter.  Stay alert.

Lachlan Dunjey






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One Response to “Understanding the Times – like the Men of Issachar”

  1. Alasdair Livingston 22 May 2011 at 3:54 pm Permalink

    Woooo! Lachlan, what a tirade! But there is plenty to write a tirade about! And now (The Week-end Australian, p. 14) one Bantick (a columnist for the Melbourne Anglican!) is writing a tirade against school chaplains’ being funded by the Government, on the grounds that some parents don’t like the idea of heir children’s being exposed to “evangelism”, and the chaplains are “volunteers” with no training. “Religious instruction . . . does not reflect the diversity and multi-faith nature of Australian society. It should.” OK, let 1.5% of the “chaplains” be Muslim (reflecting their proportion of the population): would you expect them not to “encourage an exclusivist view”? If anything is going to hold back the Islamic onslaught, it is teaching our kids that this country, founded on firm Christian principles, is not a place where small minorities force their views on the rest of us, as the homosexuals are successfully doing. Keep going, Alasdair.