Saturday, March 08, 2008

Frank Schaeffer: Another Obama Casualty

Frank Schaeffer emotes away about Obama on The Huffington Post. Read the article and see that he gives no arguments except his own swooning over Obama. Schaeffer is another casualty of the Obama-charisma-smoke-and-mirrors-machine. This kind of emotive endorsement is shameful and embarrassing, especially for a columnist who is supposed to give reasons and arguments. At least that is what I want a columnist to do for his readership.

It is also ironic and sad that in the early 1980s Frank (then Franky) with his father, Francis A. Schaeffer, led the charge for evangelicals to care about human life issues. He produced a film series called, "Whatever Happened to the Human Race?" (still worth viewing; and the book of the same title should be required reading for anyone on the fence about abortion). But Frank now watches Obama for hours a day on TV--the same Obama who endorses abortion on demand, who, as President (God forbid) would appoint Supreme Court and federal justices who would agree with this pro-death agenda, who would issue executive orders to repeal any federal restrictions of abortion, and who would veto bills that are pro-life.

My question is, "Whatever Happened to Frank Schaeffer?"


Anonymous said...

I read the Huffington Post article - Yuk, yuk, yuk, cough, cough, gag, gag, I need to put my finger down my throat...what silliness! In describing his admiration for Obama, he says he "feels like a friend," he is "inspired," his "gut" tells him good things about Obama.

Frank states outright that Christian faith is not "rational," yet he affectionately "tears up," at the sound of old hymns. Frank states that Obama "touches" him and he makes a "human connection." All of this is nothing more than emotive nonsense, or more appropriately emotive genuflection ...shame on him!!!

Anonymous said...

I like how you are publicly castigating people for being emotional morons Prof G. We need more people willing to stand up for God by demonstrating His wrath against unrepentant heathens. He's already been confronted by 2 or 3, but now you can unleash the fury of God as you've been doing. Thanks for calling it like it is--God is a vengenful and jelous God and you surely, are the prophet for this generation excerising the great wrathful arm of the Lord. May you continue to be a true prophet for the nations like Jeremiah!

The Daily Fuel said...

Dr. Groothuis:

Your opinions on abortion are well-known. You are adamantly opposed to it, on theological and rational grounds. You pray for the reversal of Roe. You oppose any pro-choice candidates, regardless of their position on all other issues. Perhaps that explains why you would characterize Obama's agenda as "pro-death". Yet, while you accuse Frank Shaeffer of "emoting" over Obama, you use the emotionally loaded "pro-death" label.

Do you really, honestly think that anyone who believes in abortion rights does so because he is pro-death? No doubt the results of their support for a woman's right to choose is the suppression of a life and that is an undesirable outcome, but those who support abortion rights do it not because they are without morals, or pro-death, but because they give more weight to the individual right of a woman than to the rights of a yet unborn life. You and I both think that this is wrong (I make some exceptions), but
I cannot support the characterization of those who disagree with us as pro-death (no more than I can accept the definition of pro-life for those who narrowly define being pro-life as being against abortion).

Pro means to be in favor of. Say what you want of people who support Roe v. Wade, I don't think you can say they are pro-death. Do you think that the seven Justices who ruled for Roe did so because they had a pro-death agenda? Incidentally, five of the seven Justices in the majority were nominated by a Republican president, and one of the dissenters, Justice White, had been nominated by JFK. So, you see, your support for Republican candidates against Democratic ones in presidential election does not always work out as intended.

Also quite interestingly, it was Justice Blackmun, a Nixon appointee and a lifelong Republican, who wrote the majority opinion, which was based in part on the fact that the Constitution does not define the unborn as persons. Chief Burger, a conservative who had a reputation for being a strict constructionist, concurred. So much for strict constructionists and originalists on the Court.

If you believe that the accusation that Sen. Obama's agenda is pro-death, than you must believe that President's Bush is pro-death, too. He was able to overcome moral objections to attacking a country that had done no direct harm to America, and that had no ties with Al-Qaeda (even the president reluctantly admitted as much). If you concede as much, haven't you supported a president with a pro-death agenda? I am sure you had principled reasons to vote for President Bush in 2000; but when you made your case for President Bush over Kerry in 2004 it was clear to anyone but the most partisan loyalists that all the pretexts President Bush had used to justify a just war against Iraq were, in fact, just that. How could you then support a president whose agenda had proved to be deadly for so many, if not openly pro-death?

The war has had high costs both in terms of casualties, lives ruined, refugees, etc, and in monetary terms (over half a trillion dollars and counting). Think about the millions of lives that might have been saved if the Republican party and the president had decided to put our money where their big mouths are. Read this for a list of things that could have been done with money we have spent and will spend on the war in Iraq before we are done.

I know you think that abortion is the defining national moral issue, but when you describe Sen. Obama's agenda as pro-death, aren't you surrendering your reason to emotions, just as you accuse Frank Schaeffer of doing? You can do better than demeaning and distorting your opponents' with an ill-conceived, propagandistic label, don't you think?

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

"Jesus is the way." Your sarcasm is uncalled for. I am unleashing wrath against no one, but pointing out error. Jesus did the same. See Matthew 23.

You say nothing of logical worth regarding my comments on Frank. Instead you attack the writer. That is ad hominem--fallacious.

Matt Steele said...

The label "pro-death" is intellectually honest. Anyone who thinks that killing an innocent human being as a matter of convenience or comfort is OK has a pro-death position, whether they want to admit it or not. Calling it something else (like "pro-choice") does not change what it is.

Anonymous said...

Prof G?

Why are you saying I be sarcastic? I not. I think it good that you berate others, and as you suggested, your attacks are not ad hominem. Just because you attack does not mean that you are making a fallacy.

I appreciate that you speak on behalf of God in this troubled times. Your language is appropriate: pro-choice = pro-death. Plain and simple. Don't let these liberals defines things according to godless terminology. I think you should be even more strident in your language and call everyone who supports pro-death candidates spawns of Satan, nazi's, and Hitler's because that's what they are. "Calling it something else (like "pro-choice") does not change what it is."

Don't listen to the humanistic logic of Sirfab. Stick with the holy scriptures like you've been doing. That is all that matters. Only the laws of God--not men--matter!

The Daily Fuel said...

Matt, calling someone pro-death is incendiary and alienates potential allies.

I think abortion needs to be put in perspective for what is is, the tragic suppression of human life.

But Dr. Groothuis throws the label pro-death around, even if he does not do it for shock value, and when you defend his doing so, intellectually honest as it may be, I get the impression that the pro-life camp is more interested in creating discord for political gain than in seeking allies in achieving the goal of abortion reduction (since it's not total elimination we are after, at least in the case where the life of the mother is in danger, and--for me--in case of rape and incest).

We may be coming from different directions, backgrounds and perspectives, but we need to support each other and to work together if we want to reverse popular support for abortion. Every time you demonize people on the other side of the issue, as you do by calling them pro-death does, you do a disservice to a very good, defining cause.

Please consider that.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

Pro-death is accurate, if you mean fetal death. Pro-abortion people want to allow abortion for any or no reason; and many want it funded by taxes. 50 million unborn humans have died under the pro-death regime of the Supreme Court, since 1973.

In the US today, some species of animals have more protection than unborn humans in their mother's wombs. Pope John Paul II was right, this indicates "a culture of death."

Kyl Schalk said...

Dr. Groothuis,

Thanks for your impressive pro-life advocacy!!!

The Daily Fuel said...

Dr. Groothuis:

What kind of people want to allow abortion for no reason? Very principled contrarians? Anarchical people? Maybe pro-death people. Or very bad people.

In my experience, people who favor abortion do so because they misunderstand the issues at stake, or because they have different principles than you or I do. Certainly they need guidance in thinking about the moral consequences of their support for abortion under all circumstances. But to suggest that there are people who want "to allow abortion for no reason" seems hyperbolic.

Also, one request for clarification: You do agree that medically-necessary abortions should be funded with taxpayers money, don't you? Or does your denial of public funding extend to all types of abortion? Personally, also that a woman should be given the choice to terminate a pregnancy caused by rape or incest.

Finally, I suspect that one of the reasons why so many people are in favor of public funding for abortion under any circumstances is that they perceive the fight against abortion to be based not on universal moral principles, but on religious and sectarian grounds.
Such people have a legitimate fear that similar moral objections to public funding may be one day advanced to prevent homosexuals from receiving publicly funded healthcare for treatment made necessary by their sexual inclination, or to prevent funding of scientific research which goes against the religious beliefs of a part of the population (such is the case, by the way, for embryonic stem cell research), or the teaching in schools of, for example, the theory of evolution.

If we start prohibiting the use of federal funds for things that we find morally reprehensible, we should also include the use of federal money to fund morally repugnant wars. How do you define a war as morally reprehensible? A war of aggression, waged against a nation that has not attacked us first. But, unfortunately, we do not have that prerogative. Such is the price we pay for living in a democratic nation:

From time to time, we get to pay for things we abhor.

BJS said...

A sad display by Frankie.
Here's a particularly telling line:

"Why do I like Obama? Because I do."

Wow. Tautology city. Tautologies are selling 4 for the price of 1, apparently.

The Daily Fuel said...

By the way.

Four days after Frank Schaeffer wrote the article that Dr. Groothuis links to, he wrote this other article. In it, he goes beyond the "I like Obama because I do" argument, and actually explains in more detail what has drawn him to Obama.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...


The law allows abortion in the first two trimesters for no reason; in the third trimester any reason will do. Frank Beckwith wrote on this in "Politically Correct Death." He has now updated the book for Oxford, I think, with a new title. The US law is far more permissive than in any European country, from what I have read on it.

The Daily Fuel said...

Dr. Groothuis:

In some European countries abortion is allowed also for fetal impairment (abnormalities), which none of the most restrictive state laws in allow in the United States. And nowhere in Europe did a legislature ever tried to pass a law that did not include exclusions for rape and incest (like South Dakota did a few months back).

Also, I object to your continued characterization that first and second trimester abortions can be performed for no reason. Once again, you may be technically right, but do you really think people seek abortions for no reason? The wrong reasons is more like it. And, unfortunately, some of those wrong reasons take on a legitimate air, for example when pregnant women resort to abortions because they cannot leave work or afford the costs of the pregnancy.

Think about it: The United States, the best country in the world (or so I hear), has no federal law that mandates paid leave for pregnant women. (See this article in USA Today. How shameful is that, in a country where a woman cannot enter an abortion clinic without being greeted by throngs of protesters with photos of fetuses on picket signs? Wouldn't their time best be spent lobbying their members of Congress for a paid maternity leave law?

This is a country that, for all its rhetoric about the sanctity of life, treats life as a commodity, where giving birth is a privilege for those who can afford it and have broad enough shoulders to weather all sorts of economic assaults. In what other country in the world does your insurance pay only 80% of the cost of delivering a baby, leaving the family to pay thousands of dollars to take their newborn home? Are you kidding me? America is not pro-life. It likes to calls itself pro-life, because it sounds nice, and it is godlike, but it is a rather empty moniker, don't you think? When the majority of the people are more concerned with the preservation of the free market than with human rights, you don't live in a country that fosters the culture of life. You live in corporate Disneyland!

Sweden, a socialist (boo-hoo) country: 16 months, 80% paid leave -- per child.
Estonia: 140 days, 100% paid leave.
Bulgaria: 120-180 days, 100% paid leave.
France: 16 weeks, 100% paid leave
Canada: up to 50 weeks of paid maternity leave (55% of pay up to $413 weekly.).
U.K.: one year maternity leave (39 weeks paid).
Italy: 22 weeks at 80% pay.
Chile (the land of Milton Friedman's economic coup): 18 weeks, 100% paid leave
United Nations (headquartered on U.S. soil): 16 weeks, 100% paid leave.

These countries are just examples, and many include--hear, hear!--paternity leaves as well. Most countries around the world have some sort of paid maternity leave.

The Mighty USA? 0 (zero, zilch, nada) days of paid maternity leave, just like those other beacons to the world: Lesotho, Papua New Guinea and Swaziland. Some company!

Could that perhaps have to do with the rates of abortion in this country? No: It is much easier to hold up a sign in front of an abortion clinic or call the other side "pro-death".

Too many of those who oppose abortion are not pro-life, they are pro-diatribe. We pro-lifers are more to blame for the current situation than pro-choicers, because the stakes are higher for us, and our goal is, I believe, more important. And yet we are too caught up in the righteousness of the cause to see the harm we do to it by failing to give adequate consideration to all the root causes. If we do not stop thinking ideologically and start thinking practically, deserve to be called hypocrites.

We talk so much about the culture of life that we have started to believe the sound of our own voices. But when it comes to pitching in for the cost of other people's babies (and sharing the costs), that’s where we draw the line: God forbid we should interfere with the idol of free-market economy. God forbid we should abandon the American myth of individualism. Go ahead, have your wonderful little baby. If you can afford it.

Matt Steele said...

So if we were more like Europe there would be less abortions in the US? By your argument, there should be close to no abortions being performed in these countries. I look forward to seeing those statistics.

If my 5 year old son gets sick and I am forced to take unpaid leave to care for him, would I be justified in killing him? Does this take on your "legitimate air"?

Look, you can come up with every excuse you want as to why someone would get an abortion and it all adds up to one thing: the death of an innocent human. I sense your empathy for these people, but in the end it reads as a justification for murder.

The Daily Fuel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Daily Fuel said...

Way to misrepresent the arguments I made Matt, and of selectively reading them. That you called "excuses" the examples I gave you of countries with more family-friendly policies than ours says more about your intransigent mindset than about my arguments.

It should be obvious to anyone with an open mind that cultural factors are also in play, and that liberal maternity leave laws do not necessarily equate with lower abortion rates. But I was glad to do the research for you anyway (no thanks necessary).

You will be shocked to know that while two of the countries I used in my sample do have higher per capita abortion rates than the United States (Bulgaria and Estonia, both located in or around the Eastern Bloc, where abortion is a notoriously large problem) all other nations have equal or lower numbers of abortion per capita than the United States, some countries by as much as half (Italy and Finland, for instance). But don’t take my word for it. Take advantage of the research I did for you, here (pdf)

You know, your arguments and your attitude exemplify the problems that stop the pro-life movement from achieving better results in the fight against abortion. Even when the world lights up the way for you, you hold steadfast in your conviction that America always knows best and look for a way to explain away or dismiss their achievements. That might have made the United States the most powerful nation in the world, but it does not make it the best.

I will go to bed now, confident that I will wake up to read more posts tomorrow morning about the culture of life: high in rhetoric and low in substance.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Groothuis. Sirfab your arguments about creating a more positive "loving" society are irrelevant when we are committing genocide and eugenics. And by havign the government intervene we are promoting fascist statism.

World War IV is against Muslims as Groothuis said. Any true Muslim believes in Jihad and so we must pre-empt the war; the war in Afghanistan was justified and Iraq is questionable--but not unjustified.

We won World War III and we can with the next one, too.

B. Hussein O. has mentioned his interest in talking to evil regimes, which as Dr. G has pointed out, is weak on defense. Not only will he not fight World War V (the fight for children), but he will also undermine World War IV by making peace with evil regimes, which I wonder is if he might be a Muslim.

Sirfab: your comments are always interesting, but I'm sure that you've noticed none of your points are considered seriously. This is because this is a conservative evangelical blog and we make no bones about of CHristian convictions. His points have obviated your criticisms because our worldview restricts secular thinking.

The Daily Fuel said...


I know my comments are not taken seriously, because yesterday I listened to Dr. Groothuis on the Gino Geraci radio program repeat the incorrect information that abortion laws in the United States are more liberal than laws in Europe, in spite of the verifiable information I posted here to the contrary.

If Dr. Groothuis thinks that he needs to disseminate inaccurate information to strengthen the case against abortion, must we infer that the truth is not powerful enough, or that it is okay to spread incorrect information in service of a good cause?

Sad, considering that the stated mission of this blog is "to sniff out the truth and expose lies and spin as best one can in humility."

The Daily Fuel said...

Dr. Groothuis, one correction.

I should have given you the benefit of the doubt and assumed that you made an inaccurate statement on the Gino Geraci show because you had a not read my post here, yet. If so, I apologize.

Nonetheless, I hope that in the future you will refrain from repeating inaccurate generalizations about how liberal America's abortion laws are v. European laws because they are incorrect, and incorrect information weakens your case.


Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

The last I checked, American laws were more liberal than Europe. Maybe some of Europe has "caught up" with our sin. I'll stand corrected with the proper evidence. The laws could not be more pro-death here, unless the state started paying for more abortions, which would happen if Obama or Hillary get in.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...


A higher rate of abortion is not necessarily the same as a more liberal law. If more women want abortions, even if there are restrictions, there will be a higher rate than in the US--even though our laws are more permissive.

The Daily Fuel said...

Dr. Groothuis:

I take it that in your last post you meant "If more women want abortions, even if there are restrictions, there will be a higher rate than in the US--even though our laws are more *restrictive*".

What I think people should be asking themselves is why there are more abortion in the United States than in European countries with more liberal policies. I suspect that Europe's social attitudes and laws, which are more protective of women's rights (for example employment rights) and which do more to support families (rather than just paying lip service to the importance of the family or railing against the hypothetical damage that gay marriage can do to the family structure) have much to to do with that.

Here's a link to a BBC article, which gives a visual map of abortion laws in different European countries, as well as some details about abortion laws. With some notable exceptions, I would call European laws more liberal on the whole, both in terms of financing and of permissibility of abortion.

Good night.