Recently, Hillary Clinton's comments on abortion rights have stirred controversy from both the pro-life crowd and, in a more far-reaching aspect, virtually everyone who takes their religious beliefs seriously, from Christians to Muslims to Jews and beyond.
While speaking to a Women of the World summit in late April, she offered this nugget of wisdom:
"Far too many women are denied access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth, and laws don't count for much if they're not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice—not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed." [emphasis added]
While many have railed against her comments suggesting that religious beliefs should be subservient to policymakers desirous of easier paths to abortion, Answers in Genesis founder Ken Ham recently threw his hat in the ring.
"Hillary Clinton's comments garnered a lot of attention from Christians across the nation who were understandably and rightly upset that Clinton would even suggest such a thing," he said in his blog. But according to one writer he cites, her words might not be too far off from what's already happening in the Christian community.
"Religious freedom has never been under more scrutiny, nor has it ever been more acceptable to personally attack Christians and their livelihoods for their beliefs," he quotes the writer, A.D.P. Efferson, as saying. "There is no longer any institutional refuge for the religious. It is not at all surprising, then, that significant numbers of Christians have learned to adapt as a result."
In the cited article, originally appearing in The Federalist, Efferson argues that abortion becoming widely accepted by Christians is not at all absurd. Pointing to the considerable increase in young evangelicals' support for same-sex marriage in recent years, she argues that mounting societal and political pressure, coupled with the reduction of the usual religious freedom protections this country has afforded believers for centuries, could very well see a similar acquiescence on the issue of abortion.
"As the church continues to reject God's clear words in Genesis (e.g., teaching of the sanctity of human life, as we are image bearers of God) we are seeing more and more Christians reject other parts of the Bible," Ham argues. "If we can just reinterpret what God's Word says in Genesis, why not reinterpret what marriage means? After all, the definition of marriage comes from Genesis! And why not reinterpret when life begins and what murder is? After all, the value of life is grounded in our being created in God's image, which comes directly out of Genesis!"
He also points to the Reproductive Heath Non-Discrimination Amendment Act (RHNDA), which just became law in the nation's capital, noting the curious timing of the two events.
"Reportedly, his law could now effectively force religious—even pro-life—organizations to hire someone who agreed with abortion and force them to provide insurance coverage for their employees to get an abortion!" Ham states. "This is a direct infringement and attack on the freedom of conscience of pro-life people, and it infringes on the guaranteed First Amendment rights of freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of association."
Warning against the continued degradation of religious truth in the modern church, Ham writes, "Unless the church repents and renews its commitment to God's Word and its authority in all areas, we will only continue to see Christians accept sinful man's ideas and accommodate God's Word to fit them."
Efferson's closing words are equally cautionary.
"My hope is that profoundly religious people will recognize what candidate Clinton's suggestion portends," she writes. "My fear is that the profoundly religious will acquiesce, because they have done so before."
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