Alex Deaton and the San Bernardino Terrorist – A Common Enemy

From last weekend until early this week, a statewide manhunt, in Mississippi, for Alex Deaton turned into a nationwide manhunt. Alex first used his hands to kill his ex-girlfriend then he went on what appears to have been a random shooting spree throughout several states. He killed several people before he was finally apprehended in Kansas. As the manhunt continued I viewed Alex’s Facebook page to see what I could learn about him and I noticed something that raised my eyebrows. It appears that he was as common of an American guy as they make – complete with a daughter he seemed to love, tribal tattoos, and a Harley Davidson. He definitely didn’t seem depressed, murderous, insane, or even on the path to becoming as such. Yet I couldn’t help but find irony as I considered his ongoing crime spree alongside one of the memes founds on his page.

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I’m not going to spend time discussing the ignorance of that meme, or the false dichotomy that the meme makes between Muslims and Americans, as though a Muslim cannot at the same time be an American, nor will I discuss the fact that the gunman who the meme seems to reference (the San Bernardino shooter) was an American born citizen. What I think is most worthy of consideration is the fact that the same murderer was responsible for the instances in Mississippi and San Bernardino, even though he used two different people from two different ethnic backgrounds, two different religious professions, and two different skin tones to commit his deplorable actions.

As Americans, or maybe just as humans in general, we spend so much time blaming other religions, races, and nationalities for the grievous acts that are happening throughout our land and the rest of the world. We get so focused on the different types of reasoning that leads to such regretful ends that we miss the fact that all of the different styles of flawed and evil reasoning leads to the exact same end. Radical Islamic terrorism leads to the same end as does the greed that drives the Mexican cartels. Similarly, the ideology fueling the gang bangers in Chicago leads to the same end as did the flawed mindset of the jealous ex-boyfriend from Mississippi, named Alex Deaton. The reason they all lead to the same end is because Jesus’ words were true.

“[Jesus said to them,] You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar.”  John 8:44

The simple truth is that those who reject Jesus and, instead, live for themselves live according to their father’s will, who is Satan. His will is only to lie, steal, kill, and destroy. When we lie, we speak Satan’s language. When we steal from others, kill one another, or destroy that which God intended to be good, we act in direct accordance with Satan’s character and his will for us. That means we must move our attention away from ideologies, nationalities, and skin colors as though they are the source of the problems in our world and we must, instead, realize that all of the perpetrators of such evils have one thing in common and that commonality is the true root world’s problems – they all reject the gospel and refuse to submit to the lordship of Jesus.

There is no need for racism or nationalism. They are counterproductive in our fight. Our fight is not “us versus them.” Rather, our fight is us versus him.

For eight years during the Obama administration, it seems I heard on repeat that “we cannot defeat our enemy, unless we name our enemy.” I’m in total agreement with that sentiment, so let’s name our enemy. Our enemy is Satan and he has blinded the eyes of the world and, sadly, even the eyes of many Christians, so that they focus only on surface level explanations for the death and destruction that we see throughout our world. He has made it all to easy for those who are blinded to completely miss the fact that all of those different explanations for evil have the same root cause – namely, himself. Satan is our enemy. For that reason, there is no need for racism or nationalism. They are counterproductive in our fight. Our fight is not “us versus them.” Rather, our fight is us versus him.

Our battle is not against flesh and blood…but against the spiritual forces of evil. Ephesians 6:12

With that in mind, I urge you to hate what is evil and to love what is good! Hate Satan. Hate the death and destruction that he brings. Hate the lies that he inspires. At the same time, love the people for whom Christ died. Have pity on those who are still blinded by Satan. Love Jesus enough to obey his command to take his light into the darkness of the world and to make disciples of the whole world (Matt. 28:19-20). In case you’re uncertain, the whole world includes even the most vile people who still live according to Satan’s will. It will only be after you realize that Jesus saved you as you actively lived according to the same evil desires that drove Alex Deaton and the San Bernardino murderer to kill innocent people that you will develop enough love for Jesus and for other people to drive you to directly attack the true enemy by means of loving and pursuing with the gospel those over whom he still has his control.

Our enemy is not another religious set of beliefs. Our enemy is not another country or ethnic minority. Our enemy is not the people of a certain race. Our enemy is Satan. If we lose sight of that fact we will never be able to be used to defeat him.

Abortion is a Woman’s Right…right?

This following is discussion of the six most common lies that I hear recited from my pro-choice friends – although to their credits I do think that they believe these lies and do not lie intentionally. This is one of my lengthier posts, but I hope that you’ll read and consider each of these short discussions. Also, I invite you to respond where you disagree – just try to do it without making unsubstantiated assertions or emotional pleas.

Lie #1: Abortion is a woman’s right.

That is to say, “It is a woman’s right to intentionally kill her unborn child.” That is no Screen Shot 2017-03-01 at 9.35.06 AM.pngdifferent than believing, “I have a right to the pursuit of happiness and you inhibit my happiness, therefore, I have the right to kill you.” That’s absurd! A person’s (i.e. baby’s) right to life is more sacred than all other rights and should be held above any other competing “right” held by another person. Therefore, a baby’s right to life trumps any competing “right” or desire of its mother.

Lie #2: Abortion is legal, so there’s nothing wrong with it.

Slavery was once legal and Jews were legally exterminated during the Holocaust. Was either of those black marks on human history right, or even morally neutral, since they were legal at the time? Ironically, pro-choice advocates are using similar “personhood” arguments to those that were used by the supporters of slavery in America and by the Nazis in Germany. Though the Holocaust and slavery were legal in their respective lands and at their respective times, we can all agree that they were equally as wrong then as they would be now. Might does not make right.

Alongside this lie often comes the argument that “If abortion is made illegal, then they will just be performed in ‘back alleys’, instead of ‘clinics’, and women will die due to poor care.” First, I do not think nearly as many women would seek abortions if such procedures were not as readily available. Secondly and more importantly, I say, “Ok.” Murders should only be committed in back alleys and under the cover of darkness, instead of in the open and in front of approving bystanders. I’m not arguing that it would be good for women to be hurt by complications due to “back alley abortions”; however, I am saying that it does not follow that we should collectively bless murderous activity because, otherwise, those involved with it will choose to do so in less safe environments where they could potentially get hurt, too. Evil should always be forced into the back alleys of culture, instead of celebrated on Main Street.

Lie #3: It’s a woman’s body, so abortion is her choice!

Wrong. From the time of conception, the unborn child is her own entity with her own unique DNA and genetic makeup that will never change or develop any further. All that changes from the time of conception until her natural death due to old age is her: Size, level of physical development, external environment, and her degree of dependency on Screen Shot 2017-03-01 at 9.42.05 AM.pngother people. As she continues to develop in the womb, a baby girl develops her own organ system, feelings, and even thoughts (yes, there is evidence that suggests babies are capable of dreaming within their mother’s wombs). An unborn girl is NOT a part of a woman’s body – it is simply reliant on the mother so that she can continue to live. The same is true of a one year old child and we agree that it is wrong to kill her simply because she cannot survive on her own.

Lie #4: It’s not a human person – it’s just a clump of cells.

Modern science is clearly refutes this lie. Pro-choice advocates must ignore modern science to tell this lie, yet they continue do so. Consider the following:Screen Shot 2017-03-01 at 9.49.04 AM.png

Dr. Micheline Matthews-Roth (Harvard Medical School) “It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at the point of conception.

Dr. Alfred Bongiovanni (University of Pennsylvania) “…I submit that human life is present throughout this entire sequence from conception to adulthood and that any interruption and any point throughout this time constitutes a termination of human life…”

Professor Hymie Gordon (Founder of the Mayo Clinic’s Medical Genetics Program) “By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception.”

Lie #4: Abortions are a better option than to have children born into poverty, or forced into the        foster system.

Following it to its logical conclusion most easily refutes this lie. Simply ask, “So would it follow that it would also be best for us to kill the kids who are already born and who are currently living in poverty, or in the foster system? Would they be better off if they were dead?” Of course not! Kids in poverty stricken areas and those who grow up in foster care are of no lesser value than are kids who have been born to wealthier family units. The pro-choice advocate would likely respond to this line of reasoning by claiming that Lie #4 is not about the “value” of a child, rather it’s about saving a child from a life of what we consider to be “poor quality.” To this logic I would respond, “If quality of life is determined by social status and wealth, then please explain to me why the suicide rate among the wealthy is exponentially higher than the suicide rate among those whom we would claim have a “poorer quality” of life.” The answer: Because quality of life has very little to do with social statuses and wealth.

Lie #5: Abortion is acceptable in cases of rape or incest.

Another way to pitch this lie would be to say, “The child deserves to be killed because her father committed a horrible crime.” That would be viewed as a terrible idea in any other situation. It’s a curious thing that we would seek to justify sentencing a baby girl to die because her father committed the crime of rape, yet her father cannot even legally be sentenced to death for his crime! When presented this lie, one should remind the pro-choice advocate that statistics demonstrate that less than 1% of abortions in the U.S. are performed because of rape or incest and then ask, “Would you be willing to grant that all other abortions not performed due to rape or incest are wrong?” I’m almost certain the answer will be “no,” which demonstrates that this lie does not even represent their true reasoning for being pro-choice. This lie is just a distraction tactic. It is not lost on me how difficult rape or incest would be on the victim of such a crime. Indeed, it would be incredibly difficult on everyone impacted, yet the fact remains that killing an innocent baby will not remove the emotional pain that the victim feels, nor will it bring justice to the wrong that has been committed against her – it will only kill an innocent child.

Lie #6: Abortions are sometimes necessary to save the life of the mother.

Abortion can be defined as the intentional taking the life of an unborn baby. Similar to the argument concerning rape or incest, this lie is nothing more than an attempt to justify 99% of abortions based on less than 1% of cases. However, there are rare times that ectopic pregnancies do happen and in which the mother’s life and the baby’s life are in grave danger. In those rare moments, the doctor has the option of either losing both of his patients, or performing a life saving procedure that will be able to save one of his patients. In those situations, the doctor is not intentionally taking the life of an unborn baby – he is performing a life saving measure to save the dying baby’s mother. The unfortunate reality concerning this procedure is that it has not yet been developed to the extent that enables the doctor to simultaneously save the baby’s life. This lie is false because the doctor in this situation is acting with malicious forethought to intentionally take a life, aka performing an abortion. Instead, he is acting with the sole intention of saving the only savable life in a very sad and unavoidable situation.

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I hope it’s now clear to you that our country is sacrificing its children on the alters of profit and convenience. We cannot continue to mindlessly accept and regurgitate the lies that are used to justify their slaughter. Instead, Christians, we must share the life and forgiveness that is found in Jesus, as well as our personal love and support, with women who are in difficult pregnancy situations. We must also pray for the overturning of Roe v Wade and take every possible measure to make sure it is overturned as we intentionally and boldly refute pro-choice lies at every opportunity. If you call yourself pro-life and do none of those things, then you have not been pro-life – you have at very best been indifferent. It’s time for a course correction.