Author Archive

Abortion: Just Another Emotional Issue?

People sometimes get nasty when they feel powerless. Cuomo and Obama have certainly contributed to that feeling especially when considering the height of their political hypocrisy. When a lone gunman in Sandyhook, CT is reason enough to trample the Constitutional rights of the people (who are the government by way American political philosophy) while fraud, abuse, and serial murder in abortion businesses go ignored just and wise people get angry. Politicians capitalize on terror when it suits their political agenda such as gun control and Sandyhook. Yet when serial child and woman killing sprees are uncovered in recent abortionist cases like the Kermit Gosnell trial going on now in Pennsylvania and Leroy Carhart in Maryland they turn a blind eye. To the trained observer it appears as though these career politicians are not so much concerned about child killing as much as the manner the children are killed as noted in the videos below.

However, it should be noted that abortion cannot simply be qualified as an ‘issue.’ If life and death, protecting the vulnerable pre-born, and liberating the oppressed woman from exploitation by abortionists and their complicit political counterparts is only an issue we have forgotten the gospel. Education is an issue, global warming is an issue. Abortion undermines all civilization and exterminates the most vulnerable–if it is just an issue it should be the one issue the incorporates all others.

That said emotion is necessary as life includes all human experience. However when emotion is our only response for interpreting behavior and data then we may tempted to feel that everything including abortion is just another issue in a list of issues about which some happen to be more emotionally passionate than others. All emotion, positive or negative, absent thoughtfulness is bad. By itself negative emotion legitimizes hate while positive emotion lethargy. The gospel of Jesus has no room for either. Yet, when all the facts are weighed and the reality of abortion is brought to the full light of day moral outrage, righteous indignation is the only appropriate response.

Docs Say Abortion Expansion Bill Intrudes on Doc/Patient Relationship

Doctors say legislating abortion as a fundamental human right only disrespects the medical profession and destroys the sacred trust a doctor has with his/her patient.

Scores of medical clinicians are voicing their official protest here.

NY Abortion Expansion Act: Update or Deregulate?

It appears that New York government has a case of political schizophrenia. Is New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s radical abortion agenda (See RHA) merely about updating current New York law to match the Federal statute as Senator Stewart-Cousins insists or is it something else? This is what Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins said about it in a recent interview.

By way of stubborn fact two things should be pointed out:

  1. The RHA goes way beyond updating. A recent comparison of the Federal statute and Cuomo’s proposed legislation cuts through the smoke and mirrors.
  2. Cuomo himself says its not about merely updating New York law to Federal law.

Cuomo on Reproductive Health ActWhen asked about the purpose of the Reproductive Health Act on February 17th the governor gave the real reason for ‘updating’ the law according to Jessica Bakeman writing for the Democrat and Chronicle as ensuring State laws are as liberal as they can be so that when Roe is overturned access to abortion is maintained. “‘Maybe not this year, but it could happen,” he said, ‘and if you have a state law, you’re protected.’”

So according to Cuomo himself the Reproductive Health Act is about abortion expansion and not about reconciling current NY State law with Federal statute. He is actually afraid the Federal statute will be reversed. If he was about keeping NY law in lockstep with Federal statute he would be apologizing for things like the Marriage Equality Act or the gun control Safe Act. But how does Cuomo’s words square with Stewart-Cousins’ portrayal of his support of the measure as merely sauntering through the meadow of sexual health updating here, trimming back there? It can’t be both. If Cuomo’s primary concern is matching State law with Federal statutes then he would repeal recent gun control measures as well as the marriage equality act. But Cuomo himself said in his recent state of the State address that he wants New York to be the progressive leader for America. No, says Cousins, he just wants to keep things updated. If he really were concerned about codifying federal statutes then his concern that Roe would be overturned would only cause him to cool his political jets about passing a bill that would shortly have to be repealed anyway to keep things ‘updated.’

On the other hand we could take Cuomo at his word. In which case we would understand that he is only interested in a radical abortion expansion agenda. Hence we are left to presume that Stewart-Cousins’ notion of merely codifying Roe is political propaganda designed to misguide NY citizens and cement NY as the abortion capital of the U.S.

What would be really nice is if Cuomo consulted with the New Yorkers he presumes to represent. Here is a link to a poll if he would care to read it. If he did he would find a super majority in opposition to the abortion expansion measures he is proposing such as allowing non-physicians to perform surgical abortion procedures, pitting parental rights against the state by making contraception a fundamental human right, threatening discrimination lawsuits for medical providers who refuse to refer for abortion, reducing penalties for crimes against pregnant women, etc, etc. Cuomo’s abortion expansion agenda is bad for women, bad for the medical profession, bad for parents, certainly bad for babies, and should be toxic to anyone’s political career.

Helping Women vs Women’s Health

“Her body! Her choice!” chanted New York Governor Cuomo’s angry voice in this year’s state of the State. But is medical ‘choice’ best interpreted by politicians or by physicians?

When a woman faces unplanned pregnancy she is vulnerable and often feels so overwhelmed that she does not even know what questions to ask. All she knows is that her life has been involuntarily arrested and she believes the doctor can help her. So she says to the doctor, “Give me my freedom back. Give me an abortion.” The sentimental politician or judge who knows very little about the practice of medicine is tempted to think that it is the doctor’s compassionate job to give her the abortion in order to restore her autonomy, that the abortion is in fact her ‘right.’ But a good doctor knows that these ethical dilemmas are solved not by bad legislation but by good medicine.

Medicine is a helping profession. Like all helping professions there is a disparity of power between the helpers and those being helped. A person with a life-altering medical condition places her life in the hands of a physician because she has lost some aspect of her physical autonomy and believes medicine can help her regain it. If the patient knew how to gain back their physical freedom they would not need to go to the doctor. In the past the medical profession recognized this power disparity and ascribed to an agreed upon code of professional ethics such as the Hippocratic Oath to insulate the individual patient and the profession from an abuse of that power. Is it the doctor’s job to safe-guard a woman’s right to choose?

The Commission for Reproductive Health Service Standards (CRHSS) states; “Autonomy (freedom to choose) is the physician’s ethical obligation to facilitate the patient’s right to un-coerced choice or refusal of treatment.” Let’s examine the phrase “un-coerced choice.” In the context of unplanned pregnancy a woman often experiences socio-economic pressures to have an abortion from her parents, her boyfriend, her peers, her finances, etc. She feels trapped like she has NO CHOICE at all, unable to refuse abortion. In fact, circumstances of most unplanned pregnancies represent the very definition of coercion itself—the opposite of true ‘choice.’ Can legislation solve her problem?

What is the difference anyway?

The violence done to medicine by legislation like Cuomo’s Reproductive Health Act (RHA) should have a bone chilling effect on us all. This legislation would make abortion a fundamental right and force medical professionals to coldly treat women as a population block rather than compassionately insulating them from the coercive pressures driving them to get an abortion. Under the guise of human rights the ability of a physician to help a woman exercise true self-determination is gutted. Through the RHA women are depersonalized under the banner of ‘Women’s Reproductive Health.’ Babies are no longer deemed people at all. Depersonalizing women and dehumanizing the child casts a dark shadow over the most basic of all helping professions—medicine.  So instead of protecting and healing the weakest among us medicine is forced to exploit and destroy us even against the trained and thoughtful conscience of doctors everywhere.

It is the medical provider’s job to ensure that every woman’s decision is not undermined by coercive pressure. An ethical medical clinician understands that only when she is able to refuse an abortion, only when she is empowered to make that most difficult of all choices to have the baby, is her decision truly free. Far from empowering and protecting women, Cuomo’s abortion expansion act serves to further harm the public’s trust in the medical profession, the conscience of the medical provider, and the dignity of all patients including both the pregnant woman and the pre-born boy or girl.

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The Word ‘Person’ Does Not Include the Unborn–US Supreme Court 1973

A pastor inquired of me recently, “Why is CompassCare so much more effective now than it was 10 years ago?” I gave him an answer which, after further reflection, I realized did not adequately capture the reason for the success.Scoreboard 2012

I realized that CompassCare’s marketing and service process, while found to be one of the most effective life-saving service operations in the U.S., was not effective because of sound research and process development but rather because of the belief driving everything we do. If belief dictates behavior then the better question is, “What does CompassCare believe that has made it so effective at reaching and serving women at-risk for abortions?” Answer: Personhood.

I recently signed the following public personhood declaration with other local, state, and national leaders: “A person is an organism with unique human DNA governing his or her own maturation from conception to natural death. Every person bears the image of God. Any person, therefore, demands our utmost dignity, respect, and protection—man, woman, boy and girl—from the womb to the tomb” (see reverse).  What we believe about personhood has major implications for how we educate our children, treat our patients, elect our legislators, etc. We need look no further than recent history to see what nations do when they redefine personhood for entire categories of people such as Jews, blacks, the mentally handicapped and most recently pre-born boys and girls.

Am_I_not_a_manThe black community understands well what follows when one segment of society decides to use their own definition of personhood—slavery and death. Similarly abortion represents one small group of people—7 out of 9 Supreme Court Justices in 1973—deciding that boys and girls in the womb are not persons (see Roe v Wade). Even more insidious is the manipulative language created by abortion advocates disguising this modern slavery as “women’s rights.” To be sure abortion IS about rights, the rights of every person to be free from the oppression of another man’s idea of personhood. If the definition of personhood is in any way narrowed from the ancient boundaries of conception to natural death, then all are debased and no one is safe.

A high view of humanity is needed, derived from both natural law and God’s law. aminotachildlogoNatural law reveals that a child yet in the womb possesses separate and distinct DNA that governs his own personal maturation receiving only nourishment from his environment. This exactly describes our circumstances except that our voice can be heard. Moreover, God’s law places ultimate value on a human being. The creation account describes humanity in Genesis 1:27 stating, “God created man in His own image . . . .” The Psalmist clarifies further stating, “Yet You have made him a little lower than God . . . .” (Psalm 8:5).

We must wield our resources on behalf of pre-born babies, America’s dehumanized outcasts. Jesus says, “Whoever receives one child like this in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me does not receive Me, but Him who sent Me” (Mark 9:37).

To respect and protect the personhood of pre-born babies honors both the image of God and the inherent dignity of all humanity. A litmus test for our connectedness with God is our openness to bless and protect all humanity, especially voiceless dehumanized babies. Is it possible that to ignore the plight of this person reveals a soul-sick complacency? We were unholy sinners without rights, voice, or influence before a holy and righteous God. We needed someone else’s voice, power, and wealth to redeem our hopeless condition. By emptying Himself on the cross and defeating death Jesus gave us our life back. Now He asks us to use our newfound wealth for the most vulnerable. In America today to truly believe the gospel message is to be radically pro-personhood. Belief drives behavior.

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Cuomo’s Increase of Tax-Payer Funding of Abortion

Governor Cuomo’s Reproductive Health Act represents the largest and most radical expansion of abortion since Roe v Wade. This means New Yorkers will see even more of their ta1317230_dollar_signx dollars go toward abortions.

Abortion activists claim they strive for “Safe, legal, and rare” abortions. Abortion is far from rare in our state. 30% of NY pregnancies end in abortion. In 2010, there were 111,212 abortions performed in New York State. 43% of those were paid for my NY Medicaid, more than any other method of payment.[1] In just one year, our tax dollars paid for 47,548 abortions. If the average cost of an abortion is $585, then the people of NY spent over $27.8 Million to abort babies. The Memo from the RHA’s sponsor Sen. Stewart-Cousins explicitly declares that it is “intended to ensure continued public funding of abortion services.”

The Abortion Expansion Act completely deregulates abortion procedures, legalizes more dangerous and costly late-term abortion procedures and allows non-physicians to perform abortions. With a radical expansion of legal procedures and an increased supply of abortionists, New Yorkers can anticipate an increased number of abortions and costly abortion-related complications. More abortions equals more taxpayer dollars spent on abortion.

By Matthew Sones

Speak Out: NYS4Life

Stand Up: AlbanyUpdate

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Cuomo’s Radical Expansion of Abortion Bill Revealed

Stop the Fall

Stop the Fall

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has vowed to pass the Reproductive Health Act in 2013. This bill would establish abortion and contraception as fundamental rights. If abortion and contraception receive ‘right’ status medical providers who do not refer women for them may be found guilty of discrimination and human rights violations. Making abortion a fundamental right opens the floodgates for litigation against ethical medical providers. In addition to being labeled discriminatory pro-life OB/GYN physicians who refuse to refer patients for abortion may be at risk for having their certification stripped for medical ethics violations.

Why is CompassCare talking about a legislative issue? The RHA poses a very real threat to CompassCare’s ability to accomplish our mission. This danger is not limited to pro-life Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRCs) either. It extends to ethical physicians and hospitals that refuse to refer women for abortion. The Hippocratic Oath states, “. . . I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy.” On behalf of the medical community, the women CompassCare serves and the babies we help them have to remain silent would be remiss. To that end this post will be the first of many educational pieces in the weeks and months that follow detailing the RHA and how you can join the fight to stop it once and for all.

The RHA has been termed Cuomo’s Coat-hanger Bill because it accurately depicts how despicable it is. The bill scours through the entire New York State legal code and surgically enacts,1359226_vandalism_5 amends, revises and repeals everything that has anything to do with the limitation of access to contraception and abortion. In addition to putting CompassCare at risk some other heinous facts of this bill are:

-Increases tax payer funding of abortion through Medicaid by increasing the number and complexity of abortions through all nine months of pregnancy performed in NY. Currently 43% of all abortions performed on NYS residents are paid for by our tax dollars.

-Allows a teacher to dispense birth control to your son or daughter of any age by repealing section 6811 subdivision 8 of the educational code eliminating age restrictions and no longer requiring distribution by a pharmacist. This will place parental rights at odds with children’s right to access contraception.

-Usurps parental authority extracting parents from the supervision of health care decisions for their minor children (Section 2 of Public Health Article 1700). According to NYS law a minor cannot use a tanning bed even with parental consent because they cannot understand the lifelong implications of skin damage. But that same minor can get a surgical or medicinal abortion proven to increase risk of future pre-term deliveries and breast cancer?

-Reduces penalties for violent crimes against pregnant women (S 6 of the Penal law section 125.00). According to the Center for Disease Control domestic violence is the second leading cause of the death in pregnant women. If a pregnant woman is assaulted and the baby dies the perpetrator can no longer be charged with murder.

-Decriminalizes the murder of women by abortionists by removing from the penal law homicide and manslaughter related to abortion as well as not allowing a medical examiner to investigate a woman’s death who is suspected of dying from botched abortion (S 8 Penal law section 125.15 and S 9 of the Penal law section 125.20). Abortionists like Kermit Gosnell and his staff currently facing the death penalty in Pennsylvania would not even be prosecuted in New York under Cuomo’s Coat-hanger Bill.

-Legalizes back-alley abortion by totally deregulating abortion procedures and removing the ability to criminally prosecute abortionists for malpractice (S 5-11 Penal law section 125).

-Unchains the partial-birth abortion monster (S 2 Public health law section 1701) permitting abortion “at any time . . . to protect the female’s life or health.” Health is so broadly defined by the U.S. Supreme Court in Doe vs. Bolton as to legitimize any reason for abortion at any time.

These are the facts of Cuomo’s Coat-Hanger Bill. And when the dust settles after all the slick marketing, fancy rhetoric, and emotional maneuvering the stubborn facts will remain.

Cuomo and his mid-night militia will want you to ignore these facts, mind you. He will want you to ignore the fact that abortion has been found to increase a woman’s risk of future pre-term deliveries, increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer, and increase her risk of negative psychological effects like depression and suicidal thoughts. In the coming weeks and months Governor Cuomo and his underhanded legislative tactics will tell us that this ‘Reproductive Health Act’ is good for women, good for medicine, tougher on domestic violence, tougher on sex trafficking, and an act of good government. But we have the facts and we will not be fooled.

If decreasing protections for women were not bad enough Cuomo’s Coat-hanger Bill increases the protections for quacks. This heinous bill legalizes back alley abortions and insulates abortionists from any form of accountability whatsoever. What’s even more insidious is that Cuomo deigns to use pro-woman rhetoric to justify this exploitation.

As members of the medical community CompassCare is appalled at the patronizing way the public is being manipulated and the disgraceful way women are being demeaned.  There is nothing pro-woman about Cuomo’s Coat-hanger Bill. The RHA is inhumane and fundamentally anti-human.

 

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Whoever Wishes to Save His Life Must Lose It

In 2012 CompassCare helped 50% more women seriously considering abortion have their babies than ever before! In 2013 CompassCare is working, praying and strategizing on increasing the patient load by another 100%!

Many women when faced with an unplanned pregnancy are confronted with what they perceive to be a terrible decision: Either my life or the baby’s life. Her circumstances are conspiring against her. The culture tells her that her priorities should be school, a career, money, and independence. Her conscience tells her that ending the life of the baby should not be a decision she should ever have to make.

While we know that having the baby does not necessarily spell doom on the life plans of a woman facing unplanned pregnancy, she still feels pulled in that direction. Her friends, the media, the government, maybe even her parents tell her that her life as she knows it or planned it will end tragically by allowing the baby to live. But something deep in the soul of every woman intuits a different reality.

CompassCare’s job is to give a woman a vision of her future after having a child. CompassCare’s job is to appeal to the noble side of her, beckoning her to a higher calling. We are asking her to exchange her bodily image for a baby, restful evenings for sleepless nights, her reputation for dirty diapers, and a new car for a car seat, a diploma for crayons and a coloring book. We are asking her to sacrifice who she is, so that another might live.


How could we do any less? There is nothing more meaningful, nothing more demanding, nothing more fulfilling, and nothing more exhausting than laying our lives down in sum total for our neighbor, whether that neighbor is a baby or the broken family across the street. This is how the Church changes the world. Sacrificing one for another is how the Kingdom of God comes to earth, to our nation, to our town, to our family. It was after all Jesus Who taught us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).

Jesus made a way for our salvation and it requires our death, giving up our right to ourselves. This kind of life is characterized by uncalculated devotion to God, without thought of our own personal suffering. This kind of freedom from the bonds of materialistic self-love cost Christ everything. We ask women to give everything in exchange for the life of her baby. God also asks us to give everything for others. There will come a time in our nation when sacrificing for our faith will become normal -normal and necessary. And that time may be closer than we realize. Sacrifice with CompassCare this year. Join us as we encourage more women than ever to sacrifice themselves for the lives of their children.

Christmas: The Story of an Unplanned Pregnancy

She did not plan on being pregnant. She was not even married. She was frightened. Her fiancé was going to end the relationship. Her community would disparage her and stigmatize the child. Feeling alone she went away, to a place where she would be loved and insulated from the pressure and where she could ponder what this pregnancy might mean for her, the child, her community, her world. Then the government, having legalized infant killing, wanted the child dead.

Her name was Mary. Her fiancé’s name was Joseph. And her child’s name is Jesus. It is no coincidence that the circumstances giving rise to the world’s greatest sin of our time, abortion, are precisely the same circumstances that gave rise to the only One who could save the world from sin.

The Nativity story represents the story of each and every one of us. We, sinners, were powerless before a holy God. A sinful world conspired against our ability to have a flourishing life together with Him and our family. But the Lord intervened in way that covered our sin and protected our lives from being destroyed, through the cross allowing us to be adopted as children of God. Our adopted status has given us access to God’s throne, with full standing complete with a voice and power to leverage, like Christ, on behalf of the most vulnerable.

Please consider an additional year end investment in the lives of women and their babies through CompassCare.  An end of the year financial gift this Christmas can also be made in honor of or as a gift for a loved one. Reach women at risk for abortion with the critical support and services of CompassCare, by financially providing a way for more women to have, like Mary, a vision of her future after having a child.

CompassCare is grateful for all that the Christmas story represents and we are honored to participate with in you erasing the need for abortion one woman, one baby at a time.

The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

Finishing 2012 Well

CompassCare’s 2012 was the most effective year yet, while America’s was arguably one of the worst. There is a certain emotional torment when torn by the honor of working with such a noble team of passionate, godly people at CompassCare while living in a country that calls evil good and good evil. The following are my personal reflections as I have observed both America’s moral trajectory as well as the Church’s response to it. If you find yourself becoming depressed read on it gets better. If you come to the end and find yourself depressed, read it again. So here goes:

Abortion is a symptom of a deep cultural problem that further deepened in 2012.  It was a year characterized by a secular attack on the traditional family through the redefinition of marriage to include same sex couples as well as an attempt to usurp parental rights through a barely defeated UN Treaty (Convention on the Rights of Children with Disabilities). It was a year that endured an onslaught against religious liberty via Obamacare which now permits the government to define what qualifies as a religious institution. In fact 2012 was the year that suffered the largest expansion of abortion access since Roe vs. Wade, by making you and I pay for abortion-causing contraception directly through our healthcare premiums. To top it off the Executive administration behind all the anti-Christian, anti-government-by-the-people havoc was given another four years by the narrowest of margins with only 26 States and 50.7% of the popular vote.

These past few weeks I have met with over 30 Pastors of some of the most influential churches in the Rochester, NY area. Inevitably we talk about Obamacare and religious liberty infringements imposed on people of conviction as well as the November election. Invariably they say they were not surprised by the outcome of the election and the Church’s lackluster response thus far to the Obamacare mandates forcing individual’s to pay for abortion-causing contraception. I have asked them two questions: 1) What do you think of the general spiritual condition of the Church in America? and 2) Are we prepared for the future?

Their answers reflect a stunning consensus. Before their answers are revealed, it is important to note these pastors virtually never communicate with each other and are godly men from very different traditions. In response to question number one I heard candid statements like, “The Church in America never really embraced Christianity,” and “Christians in America think of themselves as American first and Christian second,” and “The American Church has an Alka-Seltzer Jesus who we go to only to relieve our petty discomforts.” Strong words to be sure. But what about their answer to the second question, ‘Is the Church prepared for the future?’ Answer: A resounding, ‘No!’

Let me be clear, none of these pastors were despondent. Quite the contrary, they were full of sincere hope when they gave these dire descriptions. So when probed deeper about the nature of what’s in store for the Church that makes us unequal to the task, the solution to our collective weakness was simultaneously revealed: We are not fit for the coming hardship because we are unaccustomed to suffering for our beliefs. After all, this is America and it is no coincidence that a nation founded on religious liberty also became history’s most prosperous country. So what made us great as a nation perhaps made us weak as a Church. “And how do we return to faithful fitness for so great a task as real sacrifice?” I would ask. “Through persecution, Jim. The church will be forced to make a choice to either suffer for the gospel or give in. But the faithful will remain and God will be glorified.”

In Paul’s second letter to his son in the faith Timothy he says, “. . . join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God” (2 Timothy 1:8b). From this statement we can presume at least two things: a) Timothy was not currently suffering for the sake of the gospel and b) Suffering for the gospel is a choice we all have to make. Paul goes on to say in verse 3:12, “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” So it seems that our decision to suffer for the gospel is directly proportionate to our commitment to live a godly life.

Bonhoeffer 1932

You may be wondering at this point what abortion and the pro-life position have to do with persecution for the gospel. In his memoir about the theologian and anti-Nazi activist Dietrich Bonhoeffer, G. Leibholz said, “Bonhoeffer was firmly and rightly convinced that it is not only a Christian right but a Christian duty towards God to oppose tyranny, that is, a government which is no longer based on natural law and the law of God.” It was after all Jesus Who taught us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Why is abortion and government policy related to the gospel? Abortion reflects the rejection of natural law and the law of God. Abortion reflects the imposition of a purely materialistic and secular, anti-God ethic, forcing the idea that human life has no meaning or higher purpose than to experience as much physical pleasure and as little pain as possible. And now through Obamacare the government forces people of faith to act in ways that are counter to their belief by paying for abortion directly out of their health insurance premiums.

This situation will test a true Christian’s mettle. Will we continue to justify abortion as rendering unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s or will we

now render unto God what is God’s and stand against this tyranny by standing for life here and now? Jesus made a way for our salvation but it requires our death. It cost Him everything. He asks us now to do the same for others. Give Him everything this year, Christian. Suffer for the gospel.