Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Tale of Two Videos - abortion clinics and Bible translations

Normally, Sharon Cobb and I are not in political agreement. But she had a valid point when she shared this video, adding the following comments:

[I]n her interview with Brian Williams, when he asked her when organized groups murdered the doctors, she decided they weren't domestic terrorists.

But that is not the definite word on the topic. Steve Taylor - if you haven't heard of him, let's just say he's a Christian Randy Newman:

Like Newman, Taylor has been known to put himself in the role of the reprehensible protagonist. To wit:

Preacher on a corner
Calling it a crime
The ends don't justify the means anytime
I stood up on my van
I yelled "Excuse me, sir
Ain't nothin' wrong with this country
A few plastic explosives won't cure"

Taylor's closing words: "I'm a hero!" And, in a way, he meant it:

"I don't want to set myself up as an example, on the one hand because you're asking for trouble," said Steve in the January [1988] issue of CCM (Contemporary Christian Music Magazine). "But on the other hand, you are an example whether you want to be or not. And nobody can get around that. And it wasn't necessarily something that we asked for when we started off in music, but it's just something that you realize--that you are an example, whether or not you choose to be when you started doing it."

Taylor then spoke about the song:

"As a strong believer in the sanctity of human life and an outspoken opponent of abortion, I felt like this was a song that needed to be written. I've been dismayed to watch the Pro-Life Movement in the U.S. lose some of its credibility because a few people don't believe God when He said, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay'."...

"Recent events point to a general philosophy being practiced by man Americans, including a lot of American Christians, that the ends does justify the means. At a time when people are sympathetic with the idea that you occasionally have to do ethically questionable things in order to protect everything from national to personal interests, I think the overall theme of this album is very important."

But, as often happens to a satirist, one can be misunderstood:

I Predict 1990 quickly became the most controversial album in Steve's often misunderstood career. This misunderstanding came mainly as a result of the satirical nature of his songs.

I Blew Up The Clinic Real Good is a prime example of how Steve has been misunderstood. People on both sides of the abortion debate were against bombing abortion clinics. So was (and is) Steve. The unfortunate thing about this whole situation was that they missed "the flashing neon lyric in the middle of the song that says, 'The end don't justify the means anytime.' What better example to use than a clinic bomber." - Steve

The controversy didn't seem to bother Steve until he found himself defending the songs in interviews rather than sharing insight into them and his faith. That combined with the fact that the record didn't succeed to his expectations brought Steve to the decision to move on. This resulted in Steve Taylor retiring from Christian music.

Also see In One Ear's list of the top ten most controversial songs in Christian music. And, who definitely has a problem with Taylor's lyrics:

One of Taylor's songs is amazingly titled "Jesus Is For Losers". What a BLATANT and WICKED contradiction to the words of the Lord Jesus Christ! In John 10:10 the lovely Lord Jesus says, ". . . I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I don't know which Jesus Mr. Taylor is talking about, but it's not the Jesus I met July 30, 1975! And it's certainly not the Lord Jesus Christ of the Bible whom the Apostle Paul writes of in 1 Cor. 15:57, "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the VICTORY through our Lord Jesus Christ."

Ah, but Christianity IS for losers - those who lose the world's prestige. See Matthew 5:29-30, Matthew 10:37-39, and the similar Matthew 16:25.

And if you think that is wrathfully inclined toward Steve Taylor, look at what it says about the NKJV.

But back to abortion clinic violence. NARAL:

A campaign of violence, vandalism, and intimidation is endangering providers and patients and curtailing the availability of abortion services. Since 1993, seven clinic workers – including three doctors, two clinic employees, a clinic escort, and a security guard – have been murdered in the United States. Seventeen attempted murders have also occurred since 1991. In fact, opponents of choice have directed more than 5,600 reported acts of violence against abortion providers since 1977, including bombings, arsons, death threats, kidnappings, and assaults, as well as more than 132,000 reported acts of disruption, including bomb threats and harassing calls.

Then again, according to an article posted at the NARAL Texas site,

From 1973 through 2002, at least 42 million abortions occurred in the United States.

Yes, the seven deaths are terrible. But so are the 42 million others.

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