Archive for June, 2017

“You Have Your Whole Life Ahead of You…You Should Get an Abortion.”

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Temptation

By Brad Cornell

If I’d only known then what I know now.

How many of us have said that?

Father’s Day has such a different meaning to me now at 60 than it did at 20.  In 1975 my then fiancé was in college and unexpectedly became pregnant.  We didn’t know what to do.

I looked up to my uncle, a wealthy and successful businessman, so I sought advice from him.  He said, “You have your whole life ahead of you. You should get an abortion.”

As men, we often think it’s a woman’s problem when she becomes pregnant – but it’s not.  I believed at the time that it’s ultimately the woman’s choice whether to give birth or have an abortion. I should have suggested that we talk through our options.

There’s a statistic that says that in 80 percent of abortions, the dad walked away.  That’s what I did.   I let her go through with it without showing my support for the decision either way.  I ignored the doctor’s telling me that after the procedure she wouldn’t want to have anything to do with me.

My uncle paid for the abortion and my cousin, who was also her best friend, took her. After the procedure she returned to her family, who owned a vineyard in a different part of California, and as the abortion doctor predicted…I never saw her again.

The Abortion Aftershocks

Through the years there have been many problems in my life. I could not figure out why I was acting and doing the things I was doing.  I had problems with alcohol, anger, depression and insecurity, to name a few.

I lost jobs because of fighting, drinking and my bad attitude.   I married in 1976 but never wanted kids and I did not treat my first wife with respect.

The pain of the loss of my unborn child was palpable. Not only were our lives irrevocably changed that day, but so were the lives of everyone I’ve had relationships with.

It’s something I deeply regret.

How would I celebrate Father’s Day today if I had made a different choice?  It isn’t just the path not taken…Father’s Day would mean so much more.

What would my life look like?

What kind of person would my son or daughter have become?

The Gift of Faith

The silver lining in my journey appeared about a year ago. The Lord Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit, made it clear to me that it was time to come clean and use my experience to help others.  As a Christian I needed to share and help other men realize that they are a dad at conception.  Their vocation is to support their lady and have their baby no matter what they have to do to get through it.

During a meeting in Dallas for pregnancy centers, I shared my commitment to build the largest pregnancy center in San Antonio. A gentleman approached me at the meeting and shared that he had two abortions.

Without hesitation, the Holy Spirit spoke through me and I revealed that I had one too! I realized I needed to share my story.

I went home and told my (second) wife of 18 years about my abortion. She encouraged me to share it with the world and save lives.  It became crystal clear I had to do this.  My hope is that other young men will hear my story and understand the monumental importance of the moment.

I want to share with any man facing an unplanned pregnancy:

At conception a spark of life, part of your DNA, is growing in the lady you pursued, you cared for, and loved. Don’t abandon her and your baby because it’s inconvenient, because it’s hard.   They need you now more than ever.  Don’t look back on Father’s Day when you’re 60 and wonder what could’ve been, what should’ve been.  What would’ve happened if you had chosen to support your lady?

 God calls us to lead.  THIS is the time when you must lead.

[Brad shares his experiences with guests each week on his radio program “You Are A Dad”  on  AM 630 The Word KSLR in San Antonio, TX Sunday evening’s at 8:00PM and available on his website here.  I will be appearing on Brad’s radio show later in the month and will let you know when that’s available.  Visit Brad’s website at www.youareadad.com. – Kevin Burke, LSW]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Trojan Horse is Attacking the Heart and Soul of the Church

Friday, June 16th, 2017

Trojan Horse

In 1967 philosopher Dietrich Von Hildebrand published “A Trojan Horse in the City of God.” Von Hildebrand’s sobering message was largely ignored in the euphoric optimism and radical reform that swept through the Catholic Church in the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council.

Hildebrand called out those, acting under the cover of the “spirit of Vatican II”, that were striking at the spiritual patrimony of the Catholic Church. He warned of the consequence of their efforts to radically deform the Church’s liturgy, theology, and architecture.

Hildebrand exhibited a similar courage and prophetic insight many years before Vatican II.

Dietrich, born in 1889 was raised in Florence, Italy. In his private and preparatory education for university he developed a passion for philosophy and theology leading to a conversion to Catholicism in 1914. He served as a surgical assistant during the First World War and later settled in Germany for a teaching position at the University of Munich.

Hildebrand was a vocal opponent of the Nazi’s as they rose to power in the 1930’s. The Nazis were not pleased and targeted him for death. Hildebrand fled to Austria and later France  before emigrating with his wife and son to the United States in 1940.

Today’s Trojan Horse
Were he alive today I am confident Dietrich Von Hildebrand would be warning of another Trojan Horse that is intimately attacking the heart of the Church and her members – internet pornography.

The sexual revolution and abortion, operating in a culture saturated with consumer capitalism, have elevated the unrestricted entitlements and passions of the autonomous self to the level of idolatry.

All who participate in the unborn child’s death have desecrated this gift of life, made in the image and likeness of God.  Men and women are wounded by their role in the abortion decision and procedure.

Pornography, like abortion, is another fruit of the sexual revolution that attacks the spiritual and emotional health of God’s children.

It is important to note that regular porn users often require more graphic context to experience the same level of pleasure and excitement.  This has led the industry to develop increasingly perverse, misogynistic and abusive content for their consumers.

As the media and entertainment elites fan the flames of Trump hatred and Russia obsession, the real enemy of the republic continues to gather in strength and influence.

What to Do
Catholic News Agency has a very important article, What Can Priests Practically Do To Combat the Porn Epidemic, that presents a challenging call to the Church to respond this growing problem.

The author Mary Rezac offers some practical strategies, including the important work of prevention, for churches to respond to this crisis. [I would only add that Permanent Deacons may be a great resource to assist pastors in implementing the author’s suggestions.]

Please read Rezac’s article, share it with your parish pastor, deacons and ministry leaders.  Consider ways that God may be calling you to get involved.

Rejected Blessing: The Role of Olympic Medalist Sanya Richards-Ross’s Fiancé in Her 2008 Abortion Decision

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

Sanya

From People Magazine:

 “Five-time Olympic medalist Sanya Richards-Ross reveals in a new memoir “Chasing Grace” that she had an abortion just weeks before sprinting in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games — a decision she says cost her more than a gold medal.”

Sanya was engaged to Aaron Ross at the time.  What was Aaron’s role in the abortion decision?

 “According to Chasing Grace, Ross wasn’t present during the procedure because he was at training camp…she couldn’t escape the emotional pain.”

Sanya’s courage to tell her story is a gift to others who have experienced this loss. Most couples who share an abortion never talk about the event.

But the pain is there, and touching every aspect of their relationship.

Sanya tells us in Chasing Grace:

“I always harbored some resentment toward Ross. It was our mess-up, but I felt abandoned in the decision…It was like by not saying anything, neither agreeing nor opposing, he kept his conscience clear, but it wasn’t fair.”

A man’s silence or passivity when a couple faces an unplanned pregnancy is deadly for the unborn child and often lethal for the relationship in the aftermath of the procedure.

Often women interpret this silence (“not saying anything, neither agreeing nor opposing”) as a signal that their partner is unwilling to defend and protect the life of their unborn child and that he will likely abandon her and the baby if she parents the child.  Women may fear their partner’s ongoing resentment at being forced into fatherhood before they are ready.

Often a child is sacrificed because couples, especially women, fail to share their hearts and express what they really want and need at the time of an unplanned pregnancy.  Because abortion takes place in this very intimate and complex emotional arena with both parties operating out of anxiety and conflicted emotions, the abortion experience is anything but a simple medical procedure.

The abortion event strikes at the heart of a couple’s sexual and emotional intimacy, communication, and most importantly, their trust in one another. Men are wounded by their passive or active participation in the death of their unborn child.

The silent and forbidden grief from this shared loss is often self-medicated with substances, acted out in relationship conflict, or avoided through hyper-activity.  This can leave couples vulnerable to seek intimacy and love outside their damaged relationship.

The legalization of abortion in 1973 has left a national landscape riddled with damaged relationships and broken marriages.

The Truth Will Set You Free

But not all is lost when a couple has an abortion in their history and recovery is possible:

“After a number of years of ignoring what had happened, she and her husband (they married in 2010) discussed their true feelings.”

Sanya shares that she now has a better understanding of her husband’s experience at the time of the pregnancy:

 “[Ross] explained to me that he was just as burdened by the decision as I was. He believed that our child in 2008 was a blessing we had rejected by always wanting to be in control.”

According to Chasing Grace, it was prayer and open conversation that healed their relationship with God and each other.  When couples have the courage and humility to open up this secret loss to the light of God’s mercy and truth,  new life and many blessings can flow from that act of faith.

Sanya and Ross shared the good news that they are expecting a child:

“Many parts of our lives have felt like a fairy tale, but this is our biggest blessing yet,” the couple told PEOPLE. “We are so excited to start a family and can’t wait to begin this new adventure!”

[If you or your partner have experienced and abortion, or multiple abortions in your history and recognize that this has hurt you and your relationship, don’t be discouraged or afraid. You can find more information and some very helpful healing resources here.]

The Sins of the Father: The Role of an Abusive Tyrannical Patriarch in the Legalization of Abortion in the United States

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

bernard-nathanson.jpg 2

Kevin Burke, LSW

The father of the late abortion pioneer and physician Bernard Nathanson played a key role in the legalization and promotion of abortion in the United States.

Terry Beatley reveals in her fascinating book “What If We’ve Been Wrong?” that Nathanson’s father, a highly respected obstetrician-gynecologist, was a tyrant in the home:

“Bernard was born into a loveless home in which disdain toward his mother replaced oxygen in the household. His mother was constantly and unfairly berated and belittled by her husband [His father further humiliated his wife with extramarital affairs]… Nathanson and his sister, despite this hungered to gain their father’s respect and affirmation.”

Nathanson father, a staunch atheist, sent his son to the finest Jewish schools to become instructed in the letter of the law. Yet young Nathanson was immersed in a family culture were religious belief was ridiculed and faith stripped of any values and heart. As he matured Bernard was driven to find liberation from his father’s oppression and emotional rejection, even as he continued to long for his father’s affirmation and respect as a son, and as a man.

It is from this complex family soil that Nathanson, following in his father’s footsteps, entered medical school and met Ruth. Author Beatley shares that “he was drawn to her innocence, intellect, and radiance.”

Sadly, Nathanson would soon disfigure the beauty that attracted him to Ruth.

The couple spoke of marriage but when an unplanned pregnancy occurred, Nathanson (fearing his father’s response and driven to prove his self-worth) decided a newborn would interfere with the completion of his medical training.

Ruth sacrificed their child so Bernard could finish medical school. Abortion was illegal in New York at this time so she travelled alone to Montreal for the procedure.  Beatley shares that Ruth returned to New York via taxi in a puddle of blood, and as is common after an abortion, the couple soon drifted apart.

Nathanson likely had no conscious awareness at that time of how the abortion impacted him as a man and father. However, based on my own professional and ministry experience with men after abortion loss, there are some themes to consider.

From Victim to Perpetrator

It is important to understand Nathanson’s abortion in this context; the son who was emotionally aborted by his father, later becomes the father who aborts his unborn child. This is a complex emotional dynamic where the child who was the victim of emotional rejection and abuse, later becomes the perpetrator in the destruction of his own unborn child.

After finishing medical school and the start of his professional career, the relationship with his father became increasingly bitter and contentious. The father/son relationship was now terminated.

There is another key post-abortion dynamic to consider as Nathanson begins his professional medical career.

Some women and men deny their experience of shame, guilt and any natural sense of emptiness and grief related to the death of their unborn child, by adopting a strong pro abortion moral and political stance. This is a very powerful form of denial that serves to continually validate their abortion decision and also to divert their complex post abortion feelings into activism and promotion of abortion rights.

For Nathanson, this combination of a dysfunctional relationship with his dad, and the denial of his own post abortion guilt and grief as a father, set the stage for his emergence as a pivotal figure in the efforts to legalize abortion in New York and throughout the nation.

During his residency training Nathanson recognized that although abortion was illegal, by understanding how to work the system, New York City hospitals were still performing D&C abortions for supposed miscarriages – that were in fact healthy pregnancies.   He also noted the disparity in the quality of care for patients depending on their economic background.

Nathanson’s tyrannical father led him to share a natural affinity for the anti-establishment, anti-authority culture of the 1960’s. He despised the medical establishment’s maintenance of what he saw as an unjust and unsafe tolerance of illegal abortion.

As an ob-gyn physician Nathanson became an essential front man in the campaign to repeal existing abortion laws.  Author Terry Beatley details in her book the unfolding events and key players (and the use of deception, misinformation and outright lies) leading up to the legalization of abortion in New York in 1970 and the Roe V Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973 legalizing abortion in all 50 states.

The Apple in the Garden of Choice

Whatever Nathanson’s good intentions, once you begin the descent down that slippery slope where medical professionals and parents assume the life and death decisions that are the exclusive providence of the Creator of life, a process of moral and spiritual corruption and decay sets in.

After abortion became legal in New York in 1970, Dr Nathanson trained doctors in the use of vacuum abortion, a method recently perfected at that time in communist China, as a more efficient method of termination. He also shared with his fellow physicians abortion methods for later term pregnancies such as saline abortion.

This method injects a poisonous saline solution into the mother’s womb. The child inhales the solution into their tiny lungs as the saline burns the baby’s skin.  The child suffers a gruesome and painful torture for about an hour before dying in the womb.  The mother gives birth to a dead child, or in some cases to a child barely alive that is abandoned or in some cases directly murdered.

As disturbing as this is, there is an even more shocking event in the journey of Bernard Nathanson as a pioneer of abortion rights.   Dr Nathanson, who as a young medical student persuaded Ruth to abort their child, and was emotionally aborted by his father, assumes dark mastery of his repressed grief and pain.

Nathanson evolves into a sinister reflection of his tyrannical father

Author Terry Beatley shares that Dr Nathanson was involved in another unplanned pregnancy after Ruth. This time, the doctor personally performed the abortion of his unborn child:

“Yes, his hands had personally killed his own child and, when he had finished the procedure, he felt only pride in his adept skill.”

The Crushing Burden of Truth

The development of ultrasound technology finally broke through Nathanson’s denial of the humanity of the unborn child. He came to reject abortion and regret his role in the legalization of the procedure.

Terry Beatley had the opportunity in 2009 to visit Dr Nathanson prior to his death in 2011.

Nathanson shared:

“I am responsible for the death of seventy-five thousand children. Five thousand at my own hands.  I taught doctors how to perform abortion surgery on another ten thousand babies and , on my watch, and additional sixty thousand children were killed by my team; that’s seventy-five thousand lives.”

Nathanson as he began his practice as a young physician was a wounded man. He was further compromised by his abortion with Ruth, and still desperate for the love and validation of his father.  He was raised in a family culture that deprived him of the moral foundation, faith and values to resist the diabolical temptations he faced as an ob-gyn physician in the turbulent 1960’s.

While we can be thankful for his eventual rejection of abortion and conversion to the Christian faith, he ended his life with great anxiety and the crushing weight of his own role in the death of now over fifty-five million unborn children in the United States.

The sins of the father indeed.