Monthly Archives: October 2010

thetruth.com and the truth

The next time you see an anti-smoking commercial from thetruth.com, consider the following sobering comparisons between the effects of smoking and abortion.  This isn’t a plug for big tobacco.  This is simply laying out the facts to see which side this nation ought to be concerned about.  The lines in regular font are taken directly from thetruth.com, and the bold print are my figures based on some internet research.  One of the base-line figures I worked with is the total number of abortions performed since Roe v. Wade in 1973. 

In the U.S., about 50,000 people die each year from secondhand smoke-related diseases.

In the US, about 1.3 million people die each year from abortion doctor-related encounters.

In the U.S., 1200 people die every day from tobacco related disease.

In the US, 3800 people die every day from an abortion clinic-related encounter. 

In the U.S., smoking results in 5.1 million years of potential life lost each year.

Given the CDC’s figures of average life expectancy in America, abortion results in 101.4 million years of potential life lost each year.

Smoking causes impaired lung growth during childhood and adolescence.

Abortion causes lack of life during childhood and adolescence.

Since 1964, there have been 94,000 tobacco-related fetal and infant deaths in the U.S.

Since 1973, there have been approximately 50,000,000 fetal deaths alone due to abortion.

Cigarette smokers are 20 times more likely to develop lung cancer than non-smokers.

Aborted children are 100% less likely to develop lung cancer than non-aborted children.

Cigarette smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in the U.S.

…unless, of course, one includes abortion as a source of preventable death. 

In the U.S., 3,400 people die each year from secondhand smoke-related lung cancer.

In the US, 1300 maternal deaths are directly attributable to encounters with abortion clinics.  (This number doesn’t reflect maternal deaths linked to complications days, months or years resulting from an abortion.) 

If current trends continue, by the year 2020, tobacco is projected to kill about 7 million people a year worldwide.

Given current figures now, abortion kills 42 million people worldwide.

In 1974, a tobacco company explored targeting customers as young as 14.

In the 1992 case Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, the court’s ruling essentially gave a green light to minors who wanted to secure an abortion without parental consent.  So… be 14 and buy cigarettes?  Bad.  Be 14 and decide for yourself to have an abortion?  Good. 

Maternal smoking during pregnancy and exposure to secondhand smoke in infancy double the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Maternal vists during pregnancy to an abortion clinic and exposure to an abortion doctor increases the child’s risk of Sudden Fetal Death Syndrome to almost 100%. 

In 2006, U.S. consumers spent an estimated $90.7 billion on tobacco products.

In 2004, Planned Parenthood alone took in $288.2 million from Clinic Operation from US “consumers” and another $254.4 million was from taxpayer dollars.

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Filed under Culture and Economics

Biblical Economics… a review

Biblical Economics: A Commonsense Guide to Our Daily Bread
Sproulito did a great job with the economics end of things but only a mediocre job of the biblical end of things. Any convinced free market capitalist will be cheering their way through the book and be learning along the way as well. His writing was engaging and illustrations were very … well… common-sensical. However, he rarely establishes his economic principles starting with a scriptural foundation. Most of the time he introduces the reader to a free market principle and then shows where that principle can be supported using the scriptures. While his dedication to the scriptures is evident and his zeal to see God’s righteousness established in the economic arena is commendable, it seems a book entitled “Biblical Economics” ought to start with the scriptures and derive its economic principles from there. This is really the only critique I have of the book, but it seems an appropriate one considering the title suggests a stronger biblical presence.

View”>http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/3862894-kirk-blankenship”>View all my reviews

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Because First Baptist and the Taliban are SO much alike

We’ve all at least seen it happen.  We most likely have even participated in it from time to time.  But it’s never helpful.  Oh sure.  We get a charge out of reading it when it’s our man delivering the zinger, but we all turn red and shout “Oh, Come on!” at the computer or TV screen when we are the recipient of it.  Mischaracterization and misdirection are what I am talking about.  Sometimes it takes the form of a straw man.  Sometimes it takes the form of an ad hominem argument.  Sometimes it looks like character assassination and just plain ol’ name-calling.  I’m talking about things like, “That story can’t be trusted because you heard it on NPR” or “His scientific studies are all invalid because big oil companies are the ones paying his bills.” 

But the mischaracterizations that are truly frustrating are those dealing with the intersection of religion and the public square. Continue reading

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From Purim to Eucharist (a communion meditation)

This morning we have heard the second sermon in the series on the book of Esther.  And feasts are a prominent feature in Esther.  Esther’s story begins with a feast designed to stir the Persian empire up to pursue war against their enemy.  The climax of the story centers around a pair of feasts where God turns the tables on his enemies.   And the story ends with a feast that celebrates the victory of God’s people over their enemies.  But notice how God’s people are brought into the feasts.  The Jews who didn’t return to Jerusalem after the exile had ended were being unfaithful.  They were quite comfortable with their new Persian address with all of its perks and all they had to do was lose their distinctiveness and blend in.  All they had to do was hand in their salt and light.  

But God in his faithfulness, quite apart from anything His people had done, had anticipated His enemies’ next move.  The LORD had placed his people where they were, in the spheres of influence of the Persian empire, for such a time as this.  The faithfulness of God was able to overcome the faithlessness of his people.  The faithfulness of God turns the plans of his enemies on their own heads.  The faithfulness of God turns the heart of the king in whichever direction He chooses.  The faithfulness of God brings victory and strength to His people when they cast themselves on His mercy. 

At the end of Esther, the LORD institutes, through Mordecai, the Feast of Purim to celebrate the victory that He secured for His people.  And all of God’s people were invited to come and celebrate this victory, even the unfaithful ones who still lived in exile.  And this is where we find ourselves this morning as well.   Maybe you’ve given away some of your salt and light to live comfortably with neighbors and family.  But our unfaithfulness is no barrier to God’s faithfulness in Christ.  Christ still invites us to a feast that celebrates the victory that he secured 2000 years ago.  We may have drifted into our faithless ways, but the Lord Jesus still says to us “Do this in my memorial.”   Just like the Jews who still lived in exile were invited to the Feast of Purim, so are we, as God’s new covenant people who still struggle with the weakness and the doubt of exile in sin, so are we invited to this feast offered by Christ.  God’s faithfulness is not barred by our faithlessness.  Just like a person in ancient Israel was saved from the laws that condemned them because someone else interceded on their behalf, so are we saved from the wrath of God because someone else pleads on our behalf before the King of heaven.  Just like Mordecai instituted a feast to celebrate and memorialize a great victory for God’s people, so the Greater Mordecai, Jesus Christ, instituted another feast to celebrate the victory for His people that He secured through the cross.

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