Archive for the ‘ Executive Leadership ’ Category

Supreme Court’s Same-sex Marriage Ruling Seriously Harms Religious Liberty

America changed. What we used to celebrate on the 4th of July is the inception of a government by the people and for the people, citizens of equal value under God as ensured by the rule of law – the Constitution. For the first time since the Dred Scott v. Sandford case fueling a Civil War, the Supreme Court issued a decision presuming upon a different definition of liberty, thereby trampling rule of law with rule of a few (nine to be exact). This is not my interpretation alone but that of the four dissenting justices all of whom felt so strongly about it that each one wrote their own dissenting opinion with exactly the same concern. Furthermore, each one highlighted that this shift in the understanding of liberty and self-government will have significant and broad implications for the free exercise of religion.

All people of faith now have a problem. If you support the long enduring definition of marriage or even if you don’t, we all have a problem. If you support the protection of self-evident inalienable rights such as freedom of religion and freedom of speech you have a problem. If you enjoy living

Justice Thomas

Justice Thomas

according to the teaching of your church or enjoy supporting ministries that engage in education or services that promote your beliefs, such as pro-life pregnancy centers, you have a problem. This is not hyperbole or fear tactics to raise money—we don’t do that. This is the interpretation of some of the best legal minds in America including four of the nine Supreme Court justices AND those that brought the arguments in favor of same-sex marriage before the Supreme Court on April 28, 2015. As Justice Thomas reminds us in his dissent, “Numerous [briefs]—even some not supporting the States—have cautioned the Court that its decision here will ‘have unavoidable and wide-ranging implications for religious liberty.’”

On June 26 the Supreme Court of the United States released their decision (Obergefell v. Hodges) regarding whether the Constitution provides for a right to same-sex marriage. Justice Alito in his dissent warned, “Even enthusiastic supporters of same-sex marriage should worry about the scope of the power that today’s majority claims.” Based on a narrow majority (five

Justice Alito

Justice Alito

justices out of nine) they ruled in favor of the redefinition of marriage and that a State has no basis for withholding that ‘right’ to homosexual couples. Justice Alito summarized the court’s ‘profoundly incoherent’ logic: “This reasoning is dependent upon a particular understanding of the purpose of civil marriage….its argument is that the fundamental purpose of marriage is to promote the well-being of those who choose to marry. Marriage provides emotional fulfillment and the promise of support in times of need. And by benefiting persons who choose to wed, marriage indirectly benefits society because persons who live in stable, fulfilling, and supportive relationships make better citizens.” This line of reasoning supports the majority’s mandate (i.e. legislation) requiring that all 50 states license same-sex marriage and recognize same-sex marriages from other states.

By redefining marriage to include same-sex couples, which no other society had ever considered doing in the history of mankind before the Netherlands did it in 2000, the court ruled unconstitutional at least 30 States traditional and democratically chosen definition of marriage thereby undermining America’s political process that is designed to protect our liberty. This decision robs the people of their constitutional democratic privilege and represents the largest case of judicial legislation since Roe v. Wade struck all laws prohibiting abortion in all 50 states. Many in fact have referred to the Obergefell decision as the ‘Roe v. Wade of Marriage.’ But it is much worse. Roe v. Wade limited its scope by disallowing the Federal government from funding or forcing the provision of abortion services for individuals or states. Like Obergefell, Roe short circuited the national democratic process and made it illegal for states to outlaw abortion. But even Roe’s limited action (compared to Obergefell’s overreach) in attempting to settle a cultural question with the stroke of a pen created a cultural rift heretofore irreconcilable. What consequences should we expect

Justice Scalia

Justice Scalia

from Obergefell if its scope is so much more sweeping? The following statement made by Justice Scalia in his dissent possesses a ‘WOW factor’ never before articulated by a sitting Justice to my knowledge: “A system of government that makes the People subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy.” Earlier he clarifies stating, “This [Obergefell decision] is a naked judicial claim to legislative—indeed super-legislative—power; a claim fundamentally at odds with our system of government.”

Also Roe v. Wade did not have the power nor the potential for a mass violation of what the Founders deemed so important as to place it first in a list of Constitutional Amendments in a document called the Bill of Rights, namely: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Obergefell inherently threatens these foundational principles, as Justice Thomas ominously warns the decision carries with it, “…ruinous consequences for religious liberty.”

The reason for the dissenting justices concerns over the threat to religious liberty is that the majority in fabricating the fictional right to same-sex

Chief Justice Roberts

Chief Justice Roberts

marriage had to redefine the court’s long history of the very term ‘liberty.’ Government does not confer liberty upon people (as it has just done with same-sex couples) according to fashionable political trends. The court is supposed to understand that America’s legal understanding of personal liberty is largely negative, meaning liberty is freedom from government, not positive meaning benefits provided by the government. If nine unelected justices can redefine ‘liberty’ in order to fabricate rights there is no limit to its power over the people. To put it more clearly, if judges can create and confer new ‘rights’ then those upon which they are conferred are not actually free self-governing people with inherent dignity but rather subjects of a servile state. Freedom then becomes a fiction the ruling elite uses to quell and lull the public into compliance to their agenda. If the people of the United States allow this ruling to stand then rule of law as citizens subject to a Constitution is supplanted by rule of man and we are no longer citizens but subjects to the whims of the powerful. As Chief Justice Roberts noted, “If an unvarying social institution enduring over all of recorded history cannot inhibit judicial policymaking, what can? But this approach is dangerous for the rule of law.”

To the decision’s wide-ranging implications for religious liberty the Chief Justice goes on to say, “The majority graciously suggests that religious believers may continue to ‘advocate’ and ‘teach’ their views of marriage. The First Amendment guarantees, however, the freedom to ‘exercise’ religion. Ominously, that is not a word the majority uses.” He gets more specific: “Indeed, the Solicitor General candidly acknowledged that the tax exemptions of some religious institutions would be in question if they opposed same-sex marriage.” (See Tr. Of Oral Arg on Question 1 at 36-38.)

Even if losing tax-exempt status were not a problem, the condescending and demeaning way that people of faith are portrayed portends worse things to come. Those who uphold the ‘enduring definition of marriage hav[ing] acted to ‘lock…out,’ ‘disparage,’ ‘disrespect and subordinate,’ and inflict ‘[d]ignitary wounds’ upon their gay and lesbian neighbors. Ante, at 17, 19, 22, 25. These apparent assaults on the character of fair-minded people will have an effect, in society and in court…it is something else to portray everyone who does not share the majority’s ‘better informed understanding’ as bigoted. Ante, at 19.” Justice Alito confirms the Chief Justice’s grave concern foreseeing that, “It will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy….The implications of this [paralleling of same-sex marriage to the equal treatment of African Americans and women] will be exploited by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent….I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools.”

CompassCare along with many Churches, act in ways informed not by government but by God. It is our religious liberty and freedom of speech that has protected CompassCare and other Pregnancy Centers nationwide from being dragged into court at the whim of a political activist. And if we do find ourselves under legal attack we usually prevail based on the principles of the freedom of religion and speech found in the First Amendment. If we support and actively promote natural marriage and gender roles we are now at risk. When the free public exercise of religious liberty is called into question in part it is called into question as a whole and that is exactly the point the four dissenting justices each made in their own way. We have been warned, and warned not by some talk show, conspiracy theory, or alarmist but by Constitutional lawyers and members of the highest court in the land familiar with philosophy, history, law and culture.

While we implicitly understand as thoughtful American citizens (by the sovereignty of God—See Romans 13:1-7) the harrowing implications of allowing the redefinition of liberty from its traditional meaning as ‘freedom from government’ to ‘benefits permitted by government’ it is important that we remember two things: 1) This is not just a case of the world acting like the world. We ignore it to our detriment and the detriment of the future of godly families and 2) We must prepare for direct persecution by being convinced about what we believe about the purpose of mankind and marriage, readying ourselves to courageously speak the truth publicly.

1) This is not simply a case of the world acting like the world. This case is about the nature and purpose of marriage as Chief Justice Roberts noted, “The real question in these cases is what constitutes ‘marriage,’ or—more precisely—who decides what constitutes ‘marriage?’ He lamented that the court ordered the ‘transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia…Just who do we think we are?” The majority agreed with the petitioners that marriage should be redefined in order to include same-sex unions. The redefinition did not simply cut against the Judeo-Christian understanding of marriage but against ALL religious and cultural understandings of marriage from time immemorial! Marriage is not just a Christian institution. It is a primordial reality that predates all government and is required for the stability of all organized societies. As Justice Thomas quoted from John Locke in his dissent, “The first society was between man and wife, which gave beginning to that between parents and children….that to the institution of marriage the true origin of society, must be traced.”

2) We must prepare to resist in the evil day as the Apostle Paul exhorted believers in Ephesus, “…and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore…” (Ephesians 6:13b-14a). In order to stand firm we must first know what we believe. Government did not create marriage but it does have an interest in preserving it if the government wishes to ensure a future presence for the nation it represents. Marriage is the mechanism that generates and educates tomorrow’s good citizen. States do not have an interest in sanctioning the deviant sexual appetites of adults so that they feel better about themselves, even though none of the states restrain them from doing so (implying the traditional legal definition of liberty as that freedom from physical restraint). The purpose of mankind is to glorify God. In fact the Constitution is founded upon this principle in order to derive the concept of God-given inalienable rights. From this concept of rights that are common to the nature of man-made-in-God’s-image we get ‘dignity.’ Because of the nature of man we each have inherent worth that cannot be given or taken away by a government. This inherent value of each person is the basis for human dignity. Yet as Justice Thomas noted again, “…the majority goes to great lengths to assert that its decision will advance the ‘dignity’ of same-sex couples. Ante, at 3, 13,26,28.” He goes on to assert, “the government cannot bestow dignity, and cannot take it away.” He concludes his dissent with an ominous warning, “[The Court’s] decision will have inestimable consequences for our Constitution and our society.”

We must hold to the understanding that God’s creation as well as God’s word defines marriage as the comprehensive union between one man and one woman that is exclusive, permanent and has the potential to generate new human life. “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27), and “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate” (Matthew 19:6). We must remember that the basic unit of civilization is the family, not the individual. We must remember that God means something very specific by male and female in terms of who we are and how we are to reflect his image with those natural roles in family and society. The family is the first institution in the history of man, and therefore is the primary community in all society.

And believing these things now puts us at risk for persecution. After Paul was stoned and left for dead in the town of Lystra instead of receiving encouragement by the disciples he gave encouragement in Acts 14:22, “strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.’” And writing to Timothy, Paul spoke of his experience at Lystra among other places setting the expectation that, “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). What this means for us is that we must search our souls for any vestige of the misconception that liberty has anything to do with maximizing individual desires and feelings of happiness which is the basis of the courts deeply flawed decision. To reject marriage by redefining it serves only to undermine the dignity of humanity and the stability of civilized order. We must reignite our passion for true godly family and repent of any cultural worldliness we allow lodging in our souls. We must recover our submission one to another, rededicate ourselves as fathers and mothers, rethink ‘financial security,’ careerism, and even contraception. We must remember that our spiritual well-being is found not in bowing to a government agent’s lesser view of man and liberty but being willing to defend a higher view. Not for ourselves but for the sake of our fellow man both generally and specifically to the glory of God. We must get acquainted with the idea that our fellowship with Christ will become a fellowship in His sufferings and remember that this is a high privilege for which the Holy Spirit will empower us. As Peter encouraged the Gentile believers: “…but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation” (1 Peter 4:13).

How then shall we live in this New America? Repent, take up our cross to follow Jesus, and endure.

1000 Expected at Highland Bowl in Support of Preborn Personhood

For Immediate Release: May 2, 2015
Contact: Jim Harden, President | | (585) 820-7229 | @compasscare

Rochester, NY— Over a 1,000 people from the Rochester area are expected to converge on the Highland Bowl this Saturday May 2 at 9:30 A.M. The purpose of the 2 mile walk is to demonstrate the dignity of women and the personhood of their preborn boys and girls. Over the last 15 years thousands have gathered for CompassCare’s annual Walk for Life, the largest benefit walk of its kind in New York State. It is hosted and promoted by local medical pregnancy care provider, CompassCare.

Among the participants great enthusiasm exists over the 39% reduction of abortion in Monroe County between 2008-2013 according to most recent New York State Vital Statistics. In fact, CompassCare’s Walk for Life is expecting record turn-out in the wake of a statewide reduction of abortion by over 20% in just six years. CompassCare is calling people everywhere to “Love your neighbor as yourself” by dignifying women and protecting the personhood of all humans especially preborn babies.
The 2014 Walk raised approximately $193,000 for CompassCare’s services, and the 2015 Walk is on track to break that record. The 2015 fundraising goal is $201,000, which will enable CompassCare to serve an additional 10% of the entire market of women considering abortion in Monroe County. If they are successful in serving those additional women the abortion rates in Rochester will have been cut in half in just 8 years…a national first.
CompassCare is a non-profit organization dedicated to erasing the need for abortion, facilitating the immediate delivery of baseline pre-natal visits for women facing unplanned pregnancy as well as safe-guarding the future reproductive health of men and women via STD testing and treatment.

And women love coming to CompassCare’s giving the services an average satisfaction rating 9.8 out of 10. CompassCare believes the reason for its high marks is because women are treated with dignity. “Women most often have abortions because they feel stuck, trapped, like they have no other choice. CompassCare provides women with true freedom: when a woman feels empowered to make the most difficult choice—to have her baby—then she is truly empowered with choice,” said CompassCare’s President, James R. Harden, M.Div. “Treating a woman with dignity means we support her autonomy and trust her with all the information about her options.” Harden went on to say that, “When women feel supported with the information and care they deserve, most of the time they have their babies.”

A child in the womb was denied personhood status by the Supreme Court in 1973, paving the way for abortion on demand. For the 2015 Walk for Life, what CompassCare is saying is that the denial of personhood is the beginning of abuse. Harden commented, “It is incomprehensible that one person or group of people should be able to disqualify categories of humans (like preborn babies) from protection under the law in support of a political agenda like the Supreme Court did in 1973. It is a slippery slope. What’s to keep that same group of people from changing the definition to deny other groups their ‘inalienable’ human rights in order to legalize future abuse, inequality, and injustice?”

Abortionists Are No Longer “Pro-Choice”

Planned Parenthood is no longer ‘pro-choice.’ They and other abortion advocates are arguing that ‘pro-choice’ no longer accurately depicts their position. A position that has shifted from abortion being “safe, legal, and rare,” to simply a woman’s Science and Faithdecision based on her moral framework, which allows her to celebrate abortion as a moral good. It could be that this change in abortion advocates’ language is in response to mounting pro-life sentiment and declining abortion rates. But I’m not convinced.

Let’s explore this new abortion rhetoric. If one’s moral framework dictates that some humans are more valuable than others, then abortion should be celebrated because preborn babies are one of those subclasses of humans. But if pro-life sentiment is growing within the population (and it appears that it is), then how could this new barbarism possibly help their cause? Essentially what they are saying is that if you happen to believe all humans are equally valuable, then abortion is wrong…for you. The important and respectful thing is for the ‘equality-of-human-value-believers’ not to force their moral framework on those that believe differently. Bottom line, those with a broader, more Biblical concept of human value should tolerate those with a narrower, more secular sense of human value.

If the pro-aborts succeed in their new logic, they could pass and enforce laws like the one NY Governor Cuomo introduced in 2013 that would have made abortion a fundamental human right. He vowed to push it again in 2015. So if you are a counselor, a teacher, a doctor, a preacher, a pregnancy center…not referring or providing abortion could be construed as a human rights violation punishable by legal action. This is currently happening with discrimination lawsuits against businesses refusing to participate in same-sex marriages (Google: ‘refusal to participate in same-sex marriage’).When Does Life Begin

But is this new line of reasoning, complete with ditching ‘pro-choice’ lingo, a retreat in the face of mounting pro-life sentiment? If the culture were becoming more ‘pro-life,’ it would seem better for their cause if they softened their position by moving toward the center rather than pushing the pro-abortion envelope; unless it is a strategic advance after accurately reading the direction of the culture.

CompassCare has been noticing a trend around the country in how abortion-minded women are choosing to abort. They admit to the humanity of the baby and yet seem to ignore or relegate the baby to their personal fears or desires. It’s “my life versus the baby’s life” in her mind. And the new abortion rhetoric demands that the rights of the mother trump the rights of the baby. If Planned Parenthood is seeing what we are seeing, then it is not a far stretch to think the pro-abort’s change of tune is shrewd strategy.

Moral pluralism complete with the core value of ‘tolerance’ seems to be the prevailing mantra of western ‘civilization.’ And what must be our answer? What should our response be when everyone agrees that the pre-born child is a human but the response is, “So what?”

Human meaning. One’s belief about the ultimate purpose of man determines how one views and treats mankind. If there is no ultimate purpose of man, then human value is a mirage and rights are illusions created by the powerful to control and manipulate the population. If on the other hand, there is an ultimate purpose of man and it is to reflect the glory of the Creator in whose image we are made, then equality of personhood at any stage of maturity is the standard. To the degree we understand the character and nature of God is the degree we understand how to better fulfill our destiny—to reflect Him in our thoughts and actions. Society’s only way back to a high view of human equality is submission to God as our final authority, the one to whom we will all give account, equally, for how well we glorified Him.

We are all equal at the foot of the cross of Christ. There, God exacted perfect justice while displaying uncalculated mercy for Pilgrim's Progress - At the Crossevery human, equally. And now we must all equally come to the foot of that cross, in submission acknowledging that God is our authority, not government, and not some twisted concept of self-actualization. It is His law we have each violated. It is His mercy we desperately need to be restored to our true destiny. It is His forgiveness we must receive to be resurrected from this death riddled world bent on calling wrong right. This is one of the reasons why CompassCare has committed to sharing the gospel message with every patient. And by His grace 19% of those women confess Jesus as Lord.

It is only in submission to Jesus that we can confess the truth rather than daring to create it in our own image.

P.S. Please consider deepening your commitment to erasing the need for abortion as CompassCare pursues new life-saving initiatives, reaching more at-risk women, more effectively.

Has Your Name Been Purged from the Voter Registration Roll?

VOICE logo

Abortion Expansion Is a Major Issue of Concern in This Election

Just 60% of New York’s total population is registered to vote. In the 2010 election, less than half of registered voters went to the polls.

This means that 18% of the population is deciding the fate of the remaining 82%

     And nearly 75% of the Christian community does NOT vote on at all!

Here is what you can do:

  1. Find out if you are registered! The voter registration rolls get purged periodically. If you have moved, or have not voted in a while, it is likely you are no longer registered.
  2. Register! The deadline to register is October 10.
  3. Encourage others to do the same.
  4. Get informed by checking out where your candidates stand on the issues important to you.
  5. Vote! Find out where you are registered and go there Tuesday, Nov 4th.

True or False: Abortion Rates Down Are Down in NY

True! Abortions in New York State fell by 18% between 2008 and 2012. Meanwhile Monroe County, home to Rochester, abortion rates dropped by almost twice that-34%! The Rochester abortion trend reversal continues.

  While abortionists are just as plentiful as they ever have been in Rochester, the number of women getting abortions is at its lowest point since the Department of Health began keeping records in 1970. And the women that CompassCare has helped to have their babies account for over 40% of the overall five-year reduction. That means that were it not for your investment in CompassCare’s lifesaving care, the Monroe County abortion statistics would be no different than the rest of New York State, the abortion capital of the U.S.

Rochester is considered an abortion hub, with approximately 25% of all pregnancies ending in abortion. If the numbers continue to drop as they have, we will see a 65% reduction in abortion rates from its recent 2008 high, in just five more years. Thank you for the investment of your time, prayer, and finances. The mission of erasing the need for abortion by transforming women’s fear into confidence is working.

It is because of the generosity of people just like you that CompassCare has been privileged to stay on the cutting edge of reversing the abortion trend. Through marketing, direct patient medical care, thorough follow-up, and  the training of other pregnancy centers, CompassCare is nationally recognized as one of the most effective pregnancy centers in the US.

CompassCare understands that when a woman faces an unplanned pregnancy she feels trapped, as if abortion is her only way out. She is torn between two seemingly conflicting tensions. The primary tension typically is, will she cling to her life as she knows it or allow her baby to continue living. Some feel the fear of not being able to provide the quality of life she thinks the baby should have.  Still others are torn between the guilt of having an abortion and the shame of her friends and family finding out she is pregnant. Only when a woman feels empowered to make the most difficult choice, to have her baby, is she truly making a free choice. Anything less is coercion, not choice. The services provided by CompassCare, and the manner in which those services are provided, are designed to give her a vision of her future after having a child.

CompassCare’s goal is to reach 100% more women than last year. And we are well on the way already seeing over 57% more women at risk for abortion in 2014 compared with the same time frame for 2013.

You are witnessing that for which we have prayed and worked for so many years together: reversal of the abortion trend! Thank you again for your investment in CompassCare. Please consider deepening your investment this year, as together we endeavor to reach even more women and save even more lives and accelerate the reversal of abortion rates in Rochester! Click HERE to donate online.

ALERT: Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Ruling NOT About Contraception

The New York Times and many others are contributing to the false notion that the recent Supreme Court decision, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc allows businesses to ban birthheadscratcher control. In the spirit of truth, the Supreme Court ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby is about abortion-causing drugs and devices NOT contraception. To quote page two of the court’s official opinion, “The owners of the businesses have religious objections to abortion, and according to their religious beliefs the four contraceptive methods at issue are abortifacients. If the owners comply with the HHS mandate, they believe they will be facilitating abortions, and if they do not comply they will pay a very heavy price . . . If these consequences do not amount to a substantial burden, it is hard to see what would.” You can read the high court’s opinion in full here.

Hobby Lobby did not say that providing no cost contraception to employees was against their religious convictions. They said providing abortion-causing drugs and devices violate them. Of the 20 FDA approved contraceptives they have no problem with 16 of them because they have not been proven to end the life of a child. It is important to note that the court recognized along with Health and Human Services that the four ‘contraceptives’ in question in fact can and do end the life of an embryo. The court states on page 32, “They [the business owners] therefore object on religious grounds to providing health insurance that covers methods of birth control that, as HHS acknowledges may result in the destruction of an embryo.” Since the owners of Hobby Lobby have a deeply held religious conviction that all human life is valuable and begins at conception they only had a problem with those drugs (e.g. Plan B, Ella) and devices (e.g. IUDs) that end a newly ‘conceived’ life.

Again, this case is not about businesses blocking birth control it is about ham handed bureaucracy forcing companies to violate their deeply held convictions just so a government can implement a political abortion agenda. For expert interpretations see responses by Princeton Law professor Robert George and the Director of the Center for Law and Religious Freedom at the Christian Legal Society, Kim Colby.

A Brief Pause Before Uncorking the Champagne
For all the hoopla out there on the pro-life side touting this decision as a great victory we should be cautious. It should be noted that this decision is monumental if not only for the fact that this is the first time in the history of the abortion problem that it has been directly connected to individual religious liberty. That is, the moral cost of access to health insurance is to pay for everybody’s abortion. To that point there are several sobering factors to consider in this decision before we celebrate the ‘victory.’

  1. The first point to consider before champagne is the 5-4 decision. This was an issue of freedom of religion my friends. The question as to whether or not a person, acting as an We the peopleindividual or as a corporation, can live out their religious beliefs in the public square was narrowly upheld. That is to say it was refuted by four Supreme Court Justices! Remind me again why this country was founded? So let’s say one of the five majority justices retires and is replaced by a justice who sides with the minority…at that moment when one’s religion becomes a public matter at odds with official government policy it comes with criminal penalties (er…taxes).
  2. A second point that we ought to consider to temper our enthusiasm is the sad fact that holding as true a fact confirmed by empirical science could be considered a religious belief if it does not support the secular government position. ‘Human life begins at conception’ is now considered a religious belief simply because it aligns with the Christian worldview, embryology and human genetics notwithstanding. It would be understandable for the court to site as religious the belief that all humans are made in the image of God and therefore ought to enjoy protection under the law at every stage of development from conception to nature death, hence abortion is bad But that was not the point of religious belief the court considered. It happens to be terribly inconvenient to the abortion agenda that science sides with the pro-lifers on this point. And the court, complicit with that agenda per Roe vs Wade, already ruled that a pre-born child is not a person deserving of protection under the law. So now they are stuck with the Solomon-like act of slicing the baby called science between two would be religions, theirs called secularism or Christianity. So does this mean that embryologists who recognize the new organism with human DNA created at fertilization are religious zealots?
  3. The third point is that the abortion industry has gotten not only the government (including Health and Human Services [HHS] and the Supreme Court), but the media, and 1237682_untitledeven many pro-life advocates to call certain types of abortion ‘contraception.’ The word ‘contraception’ is intended to define the use of methods that block conception which apparently in all other species but human takes place at fertilization. The abortion industry prefers to talk about when ‘pregnancy begins’ (they say it is at the time the embryo implants in the uterine wall) while the pro-life population prefers to talk about when the life of a separate and distinct human being starts (fertilization of the egg by the sperm). If contraception is supposed to mean the prevention of pregnancy and a pregnancy is not said to begin until the newly formed life is firmly implanted in the uterine lining (an arbitrary and convenience definition by the way) then drugs and devices that make it impossible for the embryo to implant are benignly called ‘contraceptives.’ If on the other hand life begins at fertilization, as embryology tells us, then that’s when pregnancy begins and those same drugs cannot be considered anything but abortifacients.
  4. A fourth cooling effect the decision should have on us is that it represents a ruling on a detail of an unethical, wrongheaded law (PPACA, aka Obamacare). This amounts to a sub-ruling serving only to further cement what ought to otherwise be repealed. Obamacare represents the takeover of the profession of medicine inserting itself in the place of the patient in the doctor/patient relationship. Now the government decides what ‘good health’ is for you, a member of a population that they manage, rather than you and your doctor. So, since the government has identified a population block called ‘women of child bearing age’ they have mandated that abortion-causing, carcinogenic drugs are good for all women. Individual health care no longer matters despite the rhetoric. It’s the population objective that counts as determined by non-elected rule-makers at the HHS. The same ones who wrote the contraceptive mandates at issue here. Simply Orwellian.

Press Release: 1000 Pro-lifers Expected at Highland Bowl

For Immediate Release: May 3, 2014Compass Care Walk for Life
Contact: Jim Harden, President | | (585) 820-7229 | @compasscare

1000 Pro-Lifers Rally at Highland Bowl

Rochester, NY— Over a 1,000 pro-life people from the Rochester area, representing scores of churches from both Protestant and Catholic traditions are expected to converge on the Highland Bowl this Saturday May 3rd at 9 A.M. The purpose of their gathering is to celebrate the dignity of women and the personhood of preborn boys and girls. Over the last 15 years thousands have gathered for the annual Walk for Life, the largest benefit Walk of its find in New York. It is hosted and promoted by local medical pregnancy care provider, CompassCare.

In the shadow of Governor Cuomo’s recent re-commitment to abortion expansion, CompassCare’s Walk for Life is expecting record turn-out. The Walk has always represented the largest ecumenical display of unity in Rochester every year. CompassCare is calling people everywhere to “Take up the cause” (Isaiah 1:17) to Dignify Women and Defend Babies.

The 2013 Walk raised approximately $167,000 in funds for CompassCare, and the 2014 Walk is on track to break that record. The 2014 Walk for Life fundraising goal is $247,000, which will enable CompassCare to increase the number of women they serve by 100%.

CompassCare is a non-profit organization dedicated to erasing the need for abortion, facilitating the delivery of baseline pre-natal visits for women facing unplanned pregnancy as well as STD testing and treatment for both men and women. CompassCare’s patient satisfaction rating is a 9.8 out of 10. “We are proud of the fact that women feel like they are treated with dignity and respect at CompassCare,” said President James R. Harden, M.Div.

“Women most often have abortions because they feel stuck, trapped, like they have no other choice. CompassCare provides women with the freedom of true choice: when a woman feels empowered to make the most difficult choice—to have her baby—then she is truly free to decide,” said Harden. “Treating a woman with dignity means we support her autonomy and trust her with all the information about her options. If she decides to abort after that, well then, it’s a truly free decision, isn’t it?” Harden went on to say that, “When women feel supported with the information and care they deserve, most of the time they carry their babies to term.”

For the 2014 Walk for Life, CompassCare is making the connection between slavery, human trafficking and abortion. Black slaves, trafficked girls, and the preborn all have one thing in common: their personhood has been denied. When personhood is denied, people become nothing more than objects to be used for the whim of the powerful. A child in the womb was denied personhood status by the Supreme Court in 1973, paving the way for abortion on demand. Harden commented, “It is incomprehensible that one person or group of people should be able to deny the personhood rights of another human being. What’s to keep that same group of people from changing the definition to exclude other groups from the rights of humanity?”

Release: New York State Abortion Rate Lowest Since Legalization in 1970

For Immediate Release: April 9, 2014

Contact: James R. Harden, M.Div. President/CEO, CompassCare

(585) 820-7229 | | | Twitter @compasscare

New York State Abortion Rate Lowest Since Legalization in 1970

Rochester, NY—On April 7 New York State published its Vital Statistics for 2012. The data reveals that the number of abortions statewide hit an all-time low since abortion was legalized in 1970. In the last five years alone (between 2008 and 2012) the number of abortions dropped 18%.

Leading the way in the decline are Nassau County on Long Island with a 49% reduction, Westchester County north of NYC with a 40% reduction and Rochester and Monroe County in Upstate with 34%. “Actually, while Monroe County has seen the abortion numbers drop by more than a third it is also the only County of the ‘biggest losers’ with a consistent annual reduction over the last five years,” said Jim Harden, President of CompassCare. Harden claims that his agency was responsible for serving 42% of the total number of women making up the difference of the abortion decline in Monroe County from 2008-2012.

New York State has been labeled the abortion capital of the United Sates with more abortions occurring per capita than any other State. New York City, then, would be the epicenter of the abortion capital. Yet even there the abortion rate has declined 3% from 38% to 35%.

New York State is one of the few States in the Union that actually require abortion reporting and this recent round of data seems to underscore the national abortion reduction trend of 13% between 2008 and 2011 according to a recent Guttmacher study. Abortion advocates claim that the reason for the reduction is increased effective use of contraception across the population.

Regarding the contraception claim Jim Harden notes, “Abortion is obviously connected to pregnancy. Therefore it would stand to reason that if there is increased effective use of contraception across the population one would expect that the overall pregnancy rate would be declining at the same rate as abortion. But that is not what is happening, at least in NY.”

In fact the 2012 data shows that the abortion rate declined 4.7 times faster than the pregnancy rate since 2008. Harden went on to say that the inverse also does not appear to be true: “The only place where the pregnancy rate went up significantly was Albany. There the abortion rate jumped 13 times faster than the pregnancy rate. This translates into 96% of all additional pregnancies ending in abortion. It is a ghoulish outlier. When there is virtually a 1:1 pregnancy to abortion ratio something, somewhere is profoundly broken.”

Is it purely coincidence that this alarming outlier is happening in and around NY’s capital, which has been pushing for absolute abortion deregulation via the Women’s Equality Act? National abortion foes claim that the 13% decline is directly related to increased State level regulation. Yet despite New York’s aversion to regulating abortionists the rates continue to drop all the same. Why then is the abortion trend reversing if both the reasons the pro-lifers and pro-aborts use are not backed up by the data? Harden said, “A cultural shift away from abortion as an accepted norm has begun.”

Is God Pro-Choice?

A woman considering abortion is 8 times more likely to choose to have her baby if she comes to CompassCare than if she goes to Planned Parenthood! Why? Abortion rates in Question markRochester dropped by 29% according to the most recent data available. That decrease is twice what the rest of the state and country experienced. Why? God answers in Romans 9:29, “Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left to us a posterity, we would have become like Sodom, and would have resembled Gomorrah.” Another way of saying it is that without God’s gracious intervention we would continue as those under direct condemnation.

Of the women seriously considering abortion who ‘chose’ to have their babies during the time frame measured above we know that CompassCare’s patients comprised 31% of the reduction. And 2014 is sizing up to be even better. Why now? Why CompassCare?

Where did the wisdom come from to reach abortion-minded women, to serve them in a way that most consistently helps them to have their babies? What is the source of the fighting spirit of the staff and volunteers or the generosity of donors and the good will of the churches? While CompassCare’s lifesaving results are the best in the nation, one may be tempted to think that these amazing results stem from the ingenuity of people. But then God reminds us how the redemption of the world actually works: “I was found by those who did not seek Me, I became manifest to those who did not ask for Me” (Romans 10:20).

Having reported on the abortion reduction trend back in August of 2013, CompassCare has continued to find ways to reach and serve more women seriously considering abortion. But is CompassCare’s activity the driving force behind its own success? If CompassCare’s success is based on its own merits, then there is no hope of abortion coming to an end. Why? Because abortion thrives in a culture that says good is whatever you want it to be. That we can choose what is right and wrong for us at any given moment. If CompassCare’s success is founded upon its own reality, a right and wrong of our choosing, then the very foundation of CompassCare is no different than the foundation of Planned Parenthood. For abortion to end we must recognize it will not be because of CompassCare or any other activity or choice that we can comprehend or accomplish humanly speaking.

The fact of the matter is that Christianity, and to the degree CompassCare reflects it, is the polar opposite of current American morality that makes personal choice the basic principle determining right and wrong. While culture says that we can create our own personal utopia, God says that we can be saved only by His “gracious choice” (Romans 11:5). In fact, He clarifies in John 15:16, “You did not choose Me but I chose you….”

So how do we explain CompassCare’s fantastic results? Simple, 1 John 4:19, “We love, because He first loved us.” CompassCare can continue to serve in ways that are this staggeringly ground-breaking only if God chooses to continue to use us.

crossYet our imagination still churns to answer the question, “What else needs to happen for abortion to be eliminated from our social landscape? Answer: Christian revival – beginning with the Church. Not a personal choice to follow Jesus now or later, but confessing that Jesus is Lord and believing it in our hearts (Romans 10:9). This is the essence of Christian revival: a submission to God’s revelation of Himself. This will set apart the Church from culture, and save society from the merciless compassion of a consumer culture bent on cannibalizing itself.

Apart from God’s choice to save us we can choose nothing but ourselves. To be clear, revival is not a matter of working harder at our chosen Christian lifestyle. The Apostle Paul reiterates, “So it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy” (Romans 9:16). So then, ours is not to choose but to pray.

An abortion-extinguishing revival is ultimately a choice, but not ours. It is an act of God, wherein He decides that our hollow society should be filled with Him. It is only after the enticing sensate storm of culture fades that God chooses to speak into the soul of His chosen race (I Peter 2:9) with His deafeningly still small voice. His voice of truth then whispers the ancient words upon which the very world was founded, and the newly created believer simply bows.

Happy Easter!

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“I’m So Glad My Friend Recommended CompassCare to Me!”

5 Stars

Women at-risk for abortion love CompassCare! On CompassCare’s in-house exit survey, women score their satisfaction with the services at 9.8 out of 10. Online CompassCare receives 5 stars out of 5!

 Here is what some of them are saying: “Julie [the nurse] has been so helpful, informative and calming! I’m so glad my friend recommended you folks to me!” (B.A. December 10, 2013). “CompassCare has amazing nurses. I would recommend them to anyone dealing with an unwanted pregnancy. See CompassCare first!” (D.P. August 21, 2013). “The care here is excellent. Could not ask for better!!” (A.C. September 26, 2013).

 Keep in mind that CompassCare does not perform or refer for abortion. It should also be noted that 95% of CompassCare’s patients are at-risk for abortion, and a majority of them have already made up their minds to abort. Despite the fact that CompassCare is not giving them what they think they need—an abortion—these women absolutely love their time in the office. Why? Because at CompassCare women are treated with dignity.

 A woman facing an unplanned pregnancy feels alone, her life pressures driving her into isolation. She feels like she has no other choice, that she needs an abortion. Those pressures pushing her to get an abortion against her natural inclination are what the legal and medical communities describe as ‘coercive.’ When a person is coerced into making a decision, they are by definition not free and their dignity as an autonomous human being is trampled. CompassCare has created a service structure that intentionally shelters women from coercive pressure, providing real information and life-changing resources, giving her a vision of her future after having a baby.

 One reason why patients love CompassCare is that we understand that abortion represents the opposite of medical care (see Hippocratic Oath). The purpose of medical care hasHippocrates 2 always been the good of the patient—to heal and maintain the health of a person—and there are two people in the case of a pregnant woman. Just because abortion was legalized by the US Supreme Court does not make it medicine or ethical. CompassCare services adhere to traditional medical ethics by protecting the woman and preborn child from hidden agendas and coercive circumstances.

 CompassCare’s services are more important than ever as abortion moves toward the status of a full-fledged human right. If the default position of law is that abortion is an issue of women’s rights then refusing to immediately perform or refer a woman for abortion becomes an act of discrimination. This makes it very difficult for an ethical medical provider to have a meaningful interaction with her patient about what abortion might mean for her future reproductive health, for her developing baby, and for her emotional and spiritual well-being. Having open and honest dialogue about these things is what the larger medical community calls ‘informed consent.’ CompassCare is here to facilitate informed consent.

 The services a woman receives are important. But just as important, if not more so, is the manner in which those services are provided. Treating a woman with dignity means we protect her autonomy, her ability to say ‘no’ to a procedure she never really wanted. She is a human being made in the very likeness of God. To dignify her is to respect her whole life: body, mind, and spirit. Simply giving her an abortion is a failure to respect her and in essence, dehumanizes her. This level of neglect masquerading as ‘women’s rights’ is a purely mercenary means to a dollar or a socio-political agenda.

 Every time a woman chooses to have her baby, CompassCare wins, she wins, the baby wins, and the community wins.

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