Russell and Duenes

Archive for the ‘Humans: To Be or Not to Be’ Category

Evil Men and Women Do Not Understand Justice

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“Evil men and women do not understand justice. (Prov. 28:5). [T]he LORD hates . . . a heart that devises wicked plans. (Prov. 6:16, 18). [T]he name of the wicked will rot. (Prov. 10:7) [T]he expectation of the wicked ends in wrath. (Prov. 11:23) [T]he counsels of the wicked are deceitful. The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood. (Prov. 12:5-6). [T]he mercy of the wicked is cruel. (Prov. 12:10). The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD. (Prov. 15:9). The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord. (Prov. 15:26). The soul of the wicked desires evil. (Prov. 21:10). Whoever says to the wicked, ‘You are in the right,’ will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations. (Prov. 24:24). When the wicked rule, the people groan.” (Prov. 29:2).

The first of the above Scriptures came to my mind earlier today, and as I read it, I could not help but think of Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer and Anthony Kennedy. These are the current justices who, in their wickedness, have given legal sanction and approval to the killing of unborn human beings, human beings who bear God’s image in full. To these “justices” names could be added many more past justices who have acted in like evil.

The above-named justices have now added to their wickedness the giving of legal cover to abortion clinics to operate without proper health standards, all in the guise of preventing an “undue burden” on a woman’s “right” to have an abortion. As Kevin Williamson aptly stated in National Review Online: “There is a great deal of dishonesty in the abortion debate, which is necessary: Otherwise, we’d be obliged to think about the horror of what we perpetrate and what we endure, and that would be very difficult.” However, Williamson is not quite right when he goes on to say: “A culture that treats pregnancy as a horrible disease and classifies its children as liabilities rather than assets is a culture that is, strangely enough, childish.”

The proper adjective is “wicked,” not “childish.” Supreme Court justices who apply rules and standards to abortion opinions which they would never dream of applying to other issues, solely in order to keep the killing regime going, are evil and wicked. Further, Supreme Court justices who refuse to overturn a lower court decision which would effectively compel pharmacists to sell abortion-inducing drugs are wicked. As Justice Samuel Alito put it, the Washington regulations which these justices allowed to be upheld create a “plain dilemma: Violate your sincerely held religious beliefs or get out of the pharmacy business.”

I believe such wickedness needs to be pointed out in our times.





Written by Michael Duenes

June 29, 2016 at 9:12 pm

In-Vitro Fertilization, Designer Babies and Humans as Commodities

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Daniel Kuebler has a new post over at The Public Discourse entitled: “IVF, Designer Babies, and Commodifying Human Life.” He has much to say, particularly about the connection between IVF and the possible mainstreaming of human genetic modification. But this excerpt caught my attention.

While not downplaying the emotional difficulties associated with infertility or questioning the intrinsic human dignity of those created via the IVF process, it is important to be honest regarding the myriad problems the IVF “solution” has created. The process itself involves the production of excess numbers of human embryos, only a small fraction of which will ever be implanted into a uterus. These excess embryos have been the subject of litigation between parents, between oocyte donors and IVF clinics, and between sperm donors and biological mothers.

But the issues don’t stop there. Couples have sued because of sperm mix-ups that have led to biracial babies. Surrogate mothers carrying IVF embryos have been involved in litigation regarding everything from custody, to demands for selective abortions, to compensation issues. The entire IVF practice has facilitated a mindset of seeing babies as commodities to be acquired, contracted for, litigated, and purchased through whatever means necessary. They become commodities to be tailored to the desires of the parents either through selective reduction of multiples, through choosing the appropriate characteristics of the sperm donor, or through pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, which can be used to screen for everything from disease susceptibility to the gender of the child. . . Viewed in this manner, the leftover embryos become just one more commodity to be manipulated.

In my experience, In-vitro Fertilization (IVF) is one of those topics that gets little, if any, treatment from evangelical pastors/leaders, and I sometimes wonder why. I have heard it suggested that IVF may find biblical sanction where only one human embryo is implanted in the mother, so as to foreclose the possibility of any “leftover embryos” which might later be experimented on and killed. However, this suggestion seems to ignore the general way in which IVF is conducted, as described by Kuebler above.

Another possibility for ignoring IVF is simply “battle fatigue.” There may be a good number of evangelicals who agree with the IVF problems Kuebler raises, but who are simply tired of having to “care about” yet another “issue.” Wearied, they just want to get back to “the gospel.” They don’t want to have to ostensibly “condemn” yet another category of people, IVFers, particularly IVFers who have agonized over being childless. With this sentiment I have great sympathy.

However, this makes me wonder about the way in which we evangelicals tend to approach “issues.” In other words, it seems to me that if we saw the interconnected nature of all reality/realities within “the gospel,” and we had pastors who could unpack and lay bare this interconnectedness to us in a winsome and routine way, we might not suffer from this “fatigue.” We might not see IVF, and many other moral/spiritual questions, as “just another issue.” We might see them all as fitting under our obligation from Romans 12:2 to “be not conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of [our] minds.” We might see them as opportunities to articulate the varied way in which Jesus connects with our lives.

Worth considering, I think. Read the whole article here.


Written by Michael Duenes

April 30, 2016 at 1:49 pm

The White House and the Gray Lady Justify the Wicked and Condemn the Righteous

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God Almighty says: “To show partiality to the wicked is not good” (Prov. 18:5); “The one who justifies the wicked and the one who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the LORD.” (Prov. 17:15).

Planned Parenthood is wicked. The employees of Planned Parenthood who promulgate the company’s slaughter and trade of innocent humans and accede to its evil, are wicked. If this were not clear before the Center for Medical Progress videos came out, it is clear now. It cannot be denied by simply refusing to watch the videos.

But apparently, refusing to watch the videos is what President Obama and his White House Staff have done. And they have done this in an attempt to justify, to “declare righteous,” the barbaric Planned Parenthood, to whom they are eager to give money. This, too, is clear.

Though journalists at the New York Times and other such outlets have certainly watched the videos, they too have had little to say about the evil the videos obviously show, and have taken the opportunity to “condemn the righteous,” the Center for Medical Progress, who is clearly righteous in this instance, as Rahab the harlot was righteous in hiding the Hebrew spies from the Canaanites.

Thus, many in our political leadership and our media have justified the wicked Planned Parenthood and condemned the righteous pro-lifers who have sought to expose Planned Parenthood’s murderous trade in slaughtered human beings.

God is equally clear about his sentiment toward those who justify the wicked and condemn the righteous. We shrink these days from saying that anyone is an abomination to God, but the author of Proverbs didn’t. We should perhaps shudder with sobriety as we do so, but we should be clear-eyed in our understanding of what is going on. The wicked are being justified and the righteous are being vilified and condemned, and God finds those who are doing this to be an abomination. “This is the one who whom I will look: the one who is humble and contrite in spirit and who trembles at my word.” (Isa. 63:3).


Written by Michael Duenes

August 29, 2015 at 6:53 pm

Fracturing the Genetic, Gestational and Social Components of Parenthood

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joyce_kennardFormer California Supreme Court Associate Justice, Joyce Kennard, in her dissenting opinion in Johnson v. Calvert (1993), brings home a number of concerns about commercial surrogacy. Quoting from the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law, she reminds us that “the gestation of children as a service for others in exchange for a fee is a radical departure from the way in which society understands and values pregnancy.” It certainly requires that we accept a much more utilitarian understanding of pregnancy. It makes pregnancy a kind of business proposition, even though there may be, and often is, love involved in surrogacy contexts.

Additionally, “surrogate parenting allows the genetic, gestational and social components of parenthood to be fragmented, creating unprecedented relationships among people bound together by contractual obligation rather than by the bonds of kinship and caring.” I wonder if we understand yet the full consequences of pulling apart the “genetic, gestational and social components of parenthood.” I honestly don’t know. In some ways, it seems benign, no different than adoption, or perhaps better than adoption, since the genetic parents will be raising the child. Yet the generative act never happens for the genetic parents. Any child of theirs is not the product of the physical and spiritual union God designed to bring about children. This is particularly apparent when it comes to gay couples or single men and women who want to use a surrogate. In such a case we may have a gay man’s sperm, an anonymous woman’s egg, brought together in a laboratory, with another separate woman carrying the child through pregnancy, and both of these women then entirely absent from the child’s subsequent life. This is indeed a radical departure from the social nexus in which the vast majority of human beings have been conceived and raised.

Further, in surrogacy, we ask a young woman to carry the child, to nurture the child as she does so, but to remain disinterested enough in the child she is carrying so that she can happily give the child away when the pregnancy is over. And we don’t ask her to give the child away through an accident of circumstances. Rather, we ask her to enter into the pregnancy for the specific, sole and intentional purpose of relinquishing the child in the end. What effect does this have, if any? Does the fact that all of this is done contractually, with people being sued, change us as people? Does it change the way we view having children, in the sense that we feel entitled to them?

Finally, “surrogate parenting alters deep-rooted social and moral assumptions about the relationship between parents and children . . . [It] is premised on the ability and willingness of women to abdicate [their parental] responsibility without moral compunction or regret [and] makes the obligations that accompany parenthood alienable and negotiable.” Does the commercial aspect change the nature of how we see children and their place in our lives?

I think all of this is worth pondering. We so easily compartmentalize things, and think that action A over here has little or no effect on action/person B over there. And then we rush into things. We seem to have done so here.


Written by Michael Duenes

February 25, 2015 at 6:56 pm

A Little Coat Hanger as a Necklace

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Kevin Williamson has reported that a pro-abortion group, the DC Abortion Fund, has taken to giving out coathanger pendants. His story is well-worth reading as it exposes the lie that so-called “back alley” coathanger abortions were prevalent in the days before abortion was legal.

But my thought as I read his piece was this: I wonder if people wearing little coathangers as necklaces might not be a good thing. In other words, having a little coathanger hanging around one’s neck is odd, to say the least, and could really only beg an observer’s question: “Why do you have a coathanger on your necklace?” I assume that anyone who wears such a thing would be more than happy to answer, and this presents a great opportunity to then discuss abortion. It practically calls for it. Now, it may not be much of a “discussion,” but I would at least want to respond to any wearer this way: “Interesting. I’m curious: In your opinion, what is the unborn?” Then see where it goes from there.

Wearing a coathanger around one’s neck gives me and others like me who care about precious, unborn human persons, the chance to direct the abortion issue, perhaps, to the relevant questions. Now I doubt that I’ll run into someone wearing one of these coathangers, but it’s interesting to think about the possibilities if I, or you, just happen to. “Always be ready to give an answer,” as St. Peter might say.


Written by Michael Duenes

March 23, 2014 at 4:59 pm